2020 In Review: This Year’s Top Trends In Digital Marketing
By: Dylan Rhudd | December 31, 2020
The digital marketing industry has consistently grown in size, value, and impact over the past few years. However, the events of 2020 accelerated that growth into overdrive.
In what seemed like the longest year ever, stay-at-home orders, business restrictions, and changes in online behavior forced marketers and brands to adapt to new and trending tactics—many of which are here to stay.
As we move (read: jump for joy) into 2021, we’re reflecting on some of this year’s top trends in digital marketing to help you decide where to invest your time, energy, and budget in the new year.
Video Is The Victor
You may be hitting publish on a lot of content every week, but is it actually engaging your audience?
Creating and sharing engaging content is one of the keys to effective digital marketing, and businesses are turning to video as a way to attract and hold their audience’s attention.
Statistics have shown that video content is influencing the purchasing decisions of consumers more and more, with 80% of social media users stating that they’ve purchased a piece of software or an app after watching a brand’s video.
By 2022, it’s predicted that 82% of global internet traffic will come from video streaming and downloads, so plan to incorporate more branded video content into your strategy next year. Not only will this increase your conversion and retention rates, but video content also opens up an array of creative opportunities for presenting the value of your product or service, from how-to tutorials to 30-second video testimonials.
As our CEO & Co-founder, Janet Mesh, explained in this episode on the Everday Business Solutions podcast, when prospects and customers have a choice to watch a 1-minute video or read a 1,000-word blog post, they will most certainly choose the video content.
Companies Are Connecting With Customers Via Live Streams And Webinars
The option for users to live stream on social media has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and the effects of the pandemic are accelerating its relevance. For instance, Facebook’s video statistics show that 1 in 5 videos are now a live broadcast.
The ability to ‘go live’ opens up opportunities for creators in almost every industry. Musical artists can perform songs live for their fans, authors can host Q&A sessions, and production teams can take viewers behind the scenes of their latest project.
From a marketing standpoint, live sessions on social media open opportunities for more direct interaction with their audiences, such as live event coverage or brand announcements.
One of the biggest hits to many industries, especially B2B, was the cancellations of events and conferences thanks to the pandemic. It left any brands and marketers with an existential question: “How will we connect with prospective and current customers without these in-person events?”
Webinars became strategic alternatives to in-person events, conferences, and even meet-ups, allowing attendees to learn, be inspired, and connect with others in the industry from the comfort and safety of their home. Webinar hosting tools such as Zoom and Webex are super user-friendly and have capabilities for events of all sizes. Webinars give brands a much larger reach to a prospective audience and will continue to be one of the most important aspects of a business’ marketing and sales strategy.
Retail Goes Social With Shoppable Posts
We can all agree–there’s nothing like a perfectly crafted ad for an air fryer in your Instagram feed to make you feel seen. There it is—perfectly crispy chicken wings with a ‘buy now’ button. Maybe 2020 did have a glimmer of gold.
Instagram made some waves in the fall of 2020 by redesigning the layout of the app to put the ‘Shop’ button front in center in every user’s menu bar (how many times did you click instead of your notification feed?). The social media platform is giving brands, especially makers and retailers, a front-row spot on the app in order to reach and encourage that much-needed retail therapy we all needed in 2020.
Instagram also expanded their Shopping feature to Reels, giving creators the ability to tag products featured in their content, and viewers the ability to purchase tagged items directly through the app. This is the latest in a series of e-commerce integrations seen throughout social media—apps like Instagram TikTok, Pinterest, and YouTube have made it more convenient to purchase from online vendors.
Business owners benefit from the increased visibility that comes with online shopping — more than 200 million Instagram accounts visit one or more business profiles daily — and consumers enjoy the ease and interactivity of the experience.
Mobile-First Websites Are Non-Negotiable
Over the past decade, we’ve seen a shift in the way that consumers explore the web. In 2010, the ancient days of MySpace, dial-up internet, and flip phones, more than 95% of web traffic came through desktops. But in 2020, mobile traffic took the lead and accounted for 53% of website traffic worldwide. What a world of a difference 5G and mobile devices make, huh?
This steady decline in desktop traffic combined with a spike in social media usage has resulted in an increase in mobile-first web design. Sites are prioritizing the mobile user experience in 2020, which includes easy to navigate menus, touch screen capabilities, and minimal text for easy scrolling.
As your company plans its digital strategy for 2021 and beyond, remember to put mobile design and experiences at the top of your list for optimization.
Influencer Marketing Is Its Own Sub-Industry
The concept of influencer marketing has been utilized since the early 1920s, with various celebrities and public figures signing deals with big-name corporations to represent their brands and pique the interest of their fans.
The rise of social media platforms makes it possible for anyone to build a brand of their own, and the idea of social media influencers has become more and more prevalent ever since. The increasing popularity of apps like TikTok, Twitch, and Instagram in recent years, especially in 2020, has helped to bring influencer marketing to the next level, and by 2022 it’s expected to become a 15 billion dollar industry.
One unique aspect of this marketing trend is the vast amount of approaches to influencer marketing; there is just as much value in a small to mid-sized social media page with a loyal follower base as there is in a million-dollar celebrity cosign.
When In Doubt, Focus On Quality Over Quantity
Incorporate these 2020 marketing trends in the new year, but don’t forget one of the most important aspects of digital marketing—quality content always wins.
Remember to focus your efforts on solving the pain points of your audience, paying close attention to the details, and producing content that is informational, inspiring, and empathetic. No matter which trends surface and which float away with time, quality content will never go out of style.
Aimtal is a full-service marketing agency that builds curated marketing strategies catered towards your audience and goals. Our empathetic approach to content development means we create marketing that your audience cares about, leading to a higher conversion rate.
Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation call and learn how we can help you develop and execute an effective digital marketing strategy in 2021.