Marketing trends to watch for in 2020

To round out a month of advice from our marketing agency, we’re taking a look at the top-level macro influences that we expect will shape 2020. This month we’ve delved into our Top 5 PPC digital marketing predictions alongside SEO and web design trends. Each blog is shaped with a common theme – preparing businesses for changes that we expect to see in the coming 12 months.

Our marketing services start with a top-down analysis of your business, your competitor’s business, and trends in your industry in relation to your primary customer’s needs. This means that we’re constantly on the lookout for the leading indicators of performance, not the lagging symptoms.

Since our marketing strategy focuses around your customer, we aim to align every single marketing campaign towards a common strategic focus.

When making so many top-level strategic decisions for a variety of clients, we have to remain very open and sensitive to the changing trends of the market. Here’s what we’ve been noting in 2019, that we expect to make waves throughout 2020:

1. Conversion Rate Optimization Will Be Key

When it comes to marketing, all optimization campaigns boil down to one or more of the following goals:

  1. Increasing the total number of qualified leads
  2. Improving the conversion rate of the existing funnel
  3. Reducing the cost associated with existing performance

Essentially, marketing aims to improve the reach of what’s already working, fine-tune the aspects of a campaign that works, or reduce the associated costs to improve your return on investment.

In 2019, we’ve seen a glut of competition in the digital advertising space that has resulted in increasing costs across many digital platforms.

Does this mean that the value of digital marketing has decreased?

Absolutely not.

In fact, increasing competition on digital platforms imply that digital marketing has shown such significant success that lagging businesses are only starting to catch up.

But in the face of growing competition, a strong need arises for non-average marketing.

“Good enough” may not necessarily cut it in 2020 – not when your competitors are doubling down on the same platforms as you. What do you do when it costs more to reach the same audience that you’re used to? It’s simple – you make sure that every single touchpoint counts.

We expect conversion rate optimization of landing pages will be of top importance in 2020, even more so than optimizing for campaign traffic performance.

Rather than struggling to increase the number of visitors to your site, we predict that 2020 will be all about converting the visitors that already visit your site.

2. Local Search Will Eclipse SEO

We’ve seen a growing trend in many retail clients, where organic traffic just isn’t as significant as it used to be. While we aren’t saying anything outlandish like “SEO is dead,” it’s true that the Google Search Results page has become somewhat cluttered in the past year.

The isolation of Google Ads to the top of the page, the introduction of featured snippets as a coveted “position 0” and even Google Maps showing at the top of the page, has decreased the value of search overall.

While many users still prefer to click on the “Position 1” search result, we believe that it’s just as important to have optimal visibility on Local Search via the Google Maps “3-pack” on search results.

More and more users are staying on Google, getting their necessary information without needing to visit a website. If this continues to be the case (which we predict will be), we expect Local Search to eclipse SEO in terms of importance in 2020. This means paying attention to your business reviews, associated content, hours and description will be of paramount importance in 2020.

3. Reviews Will Reign

Speaking of reviews – they are now so commonplace among any online platform, that having a good review portfolio is now a requirement, not an expectation.

A poll of 1,000 users in November spearheaded by BrightLocal revealed the following insights:

  • 90% of respondents were searching for local businesses more frequently in 2019 than in any previous year
  • 59% of respondents were more likely to trust a review if it were written no more than a month ago
  • On average, it would take at least 10 positive reviews to create trust
  • 68% of respondents regularly “question the authenticity of reviews”

The above indicate the importance of reviews, but the survey continues to shed light on the market’s increased willingness to provide such crucial content:

  • 65%+ of respondents have been asked to leave a review by a business
  • 51% of the respondents that have been asked to leave a review, have left a review

A 51% response rate by the above respondents is higher than a 46% response rate, last reported by the survey creators in 2018. 

Not only are reviews of paramount importance in 2020, but it will become more commonplace to expect customers to leave reviews, either positive or negative, on your business. Be prepared!

4. E-A-T Content Will Reign

Earlier in this article we noted decreasing importance of SEO – this is not entirely true. SEO in its current form is losing steam when compared with Local Search, but we expect SEO to evolve with changing user trends.

In our previous blog post on SEO trends in 2020 [Link to blog], we discussed how visual search, VR and spoken search will start to come into play with intensity in 2020. 

When these new forms of search become fully adopted by the market, we expect the “winners” of these search engine results will be those businesses that fully abide by Google’s most recent E-A-T criteria.

It might take some time for consumer adoption to accept Voice, Visual and VR search, but it will take just as long for businesses to prepare. Come 2020, we expect businesses to put together the framework to win in this growing field.

5. Marketing Strategy Will Be More Necessary Than Ever

Speaking of framework, the most important trend of 2020 will be the increasing importance of strategy.

With new tools, news capabilities and increasing consumer need for complex individualized experiences, a coherent marketing strategy will be needed to keep everything consistent.

2020 is the start of a new decade. Let that sink in, for a second!

We hope you’ll have had a refreshing holiday season, because you’ll need to take all of your inspiration to plan and execute on this exciting year!

For our clients, we always execute a marketing audit to create a content strategy that will truly speak to a business’ core audience and their changing needs. This is done before any of our on-page search optimization, website maintenance, or paid marketing campaigns.

For any business owner, they need to ask themselves the following in the new year:

  • Is your brand message relevant to your audience?
  • Do you have existing content and campaigns that accurate deliver your key message(s)?
  • What kind of platforms bring traffic to your website? How do you communicate with your customers?
  • Do you have the resources and time to invest in creating new campaigns and experiences?
  • How will you execute the above, if any of your answers are “No”?

This is where our marketing agency comes in. We introduce game-changing, unintrusive processes that will help you consolidate all your marketing needs in one place.

We execute a monthly action plan to ensure that your optimal strategy is backed by action and that everything is recorded and reported properly.

If you want help in tackling any of the above marketing trends we expect to shape 2020, we’re here to help!

Head over to our LinkedIn Page or Instagram to share your thoughts and the most creative comment will be entered to win a free brand audit

Did this article strike a chord with what’s going on in your organization? Do give us a shout at 604.559.7509 and set up a discovery meeting. We would love to see how we can help.

Or, stop by our marketing agency in Vancouver, we always have chocolate!