6 Digital Marketing Trends for Small Business in 2020
Today’s we’re talking about digital marketing trends with a guest post from Mike Khorev (see his info at the bottom of the post). I hope you enjoy it. Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach
2019 is ending, and as a small business owner, another year is coming with new challenges and opportunities.
With 2019 has been a relatively stagnant year in digital marketing compared to 2018, we can somewhat expect 2020 to come with a bang: new platforms, new technologies, and new tactics to promote your small business.
Below are our predictions for some of the most important digital marketing trends for small businesses in 2020 and onward.
1. AI and Machine Learning Implementations in Marketing
AI—and especially machine learning— have been the major buzzwords in the past couple of years or so, penetrating various different fields from technology to the health industry to crafting pick-up lines.
It’s no wonder that widespread implementation of machine learning is expected to disrupt digital marketing very soon. In fact, it has probably started with various AI-driven marketing tools being launched in the past 2 years alone.
In general, we can at least expect two different implementations of AI in digital marketing: first, in advanced analytics, where the AI and especially machine learning can collect and analyze big data to gain marketing insights. The second, to implement automation according to the data analytics.
Both automation and data-driven marketing are really important in today’s saturated market. Today, AI in digital marketing is still (somewhat) a luxury, but pretty soon it’s going to be a necessity—even for small businesses—.
2. Next-Generation, User-Centered SEO
No, SEO is not dead.
However, it’s true that SEO has significantly changed, and will continue to evolve in 2020 and onwards.
If we understand the true philosophy behind Google and the search engines, however, we shouldn’t really worry about the changes.
According to Google themselves, their mission is to provide the most reliable and relevant information for the human audience. So here’s the deal: as long as we continue to aim to provide value for our (human) users, we will always rank.
What about technical optimizations? Yes, we will need to make sure Google can properly crawl and index our site, but the main focus is still the users: improve load speed, maximize dwell time, improve the readability of our content, and so on.
For small businesses, authentic and valuable content will be the key to success.
More and more people (exclusively) browse and consume content on their mobile devices.
On the other hand, we are getting busier than ever with shorter and shorter attention span. Notice that trends nowadays don’t last as long? That’s why.
Thus, shorter, snackable content is getting more popular: shorter but engaging videos, short but informative articles on Medium, interactive content with quick surveys you can finish during a commute, and so on.
Small businesses will need to master the art of capturing short-term attention, and maximize engagement—and conversion—in a shorter time-frame.
4. Evolved Video Marketing
It’s certainly no secret that video marketing is the center of digital marketing for the past half-decade or so, and in 2020, video is expected to make up more than 85% of all internet traffic.
Video, however, has significantly changed in so many different ways, and this is especially related to the rise of snackable content we have discussed above.
With so many videos being published every single day, it’s very important to capture your audience’s attention as early as you can. Consumers prefer to learn about new products from a short video, so capitalize on that fact.
Also, authenticity nowadays is more important than production quality. Content is king, so focus on it instead of waiting for that perfect 4K HDR camera to shoot your video.
Last but not least, with how saturated video marketing is, optimizing your video for SEO is going to be more important than ever.
5. Email Marketing
Even with all the new technologies and marketing platforms, using email marketing tools is still one of the most effective ways to promote small businesses (any business in general, in fact) with the highest ROI.
It might seem counterintuitive, but with all the different social media platforms and endless notifications from subscribed YouTube videos, email is one of the few channels we pay attention thoroughly every day—since we associate emails with ‘productive time’ somehow —
Studies have suggested that people prefer emails as the platform to learn about new product promotions. However, with GDPR and CCPA, as well as the saturation of our email inboxes in general, email marketing will also change.
For instance, automation and personalization will be even more important than ever. It’s all about sending the right message to the right people at exactly the right moment.
6. Local Services Ads
Quite recently Google introduced the Local Services ads as a new advertising platform for local, small businesses to connect better with their local customers.
What’s interesting is that the Local Services ad is placed above the ‘regular’ paid advertisements, and is a dynamic placement where Google will make sure you are a good fit with the searcher. If not, Google won’t place your ad (and refund you) and instead will display another ad—which is probably your competitor’s—.
Local Services Ads, together with local SEO, will be a very important channel for small businesses in the future.
These 6 trends we have discussed above are certainly not all-inclusive, and there will be more trends, innovations, and (possibly) inventions that will color digital marketing in 2020.
However, we are quite confident that the six we have discussed above will be among the most important ones, and should be the foundation of your digital marketing strategy in 2020 and onwards.
Mike Khorev is an SEO consultant and digital marketing expert who helps SaaS, Software, IT and Tech companies generate more leads and sales and grow revenue online. He offers expert advice on marketing your company the right way through performance-based SEO, web design, social media, search engine marketing and many other online practices.