TOP Marketing trends in 2020: VR, AI in Google Campaigns, Chatbots. What else?

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Today it’s getting harder and harder to compete online….only if you don’t keep pace with the latest trends. Marketing today and marketing 20 or 15 years ago has so different approaches. You don’t advance much placing ads in the yellow pages or just making cold calls or rely only on word of mouth. I am not sure whether cold calls still even work today. People are overloaded with information and calls from unfamiliar numbers are only annoying. Even TV for some companies is not the main platform to advertise anymore. We cannot ignore progress and not accept the new rules. You can’t have an outdated website with a style from the 90s or a phone number as a picture and count on business growth.

Not long ago artificial intelligence, data-driven marketing, and voice search engine optimization (VSEO) were ambitious concepts like flying cars from movies about the far future. But today, these latest digital marketing trends are already among the top priorities for most business owners in 2020.

1. Google Ads Smart Campaign

I have just launched a new Google Campaign for the Digital Agency BereshkaWeb. If you are located in the Houston area, you can see my Ads. Companies that offer to set-up Google Adwords Campaigns used to create each campaign manually, choose a strategy, add a bunch of keywords and like 10k of its variations, create Ads, extensions, watching, and analyzing every day what search terms people use before to click the Add.

When I just launched it for my business these days, I had several questions to Google Adwords consultants, you can easily reach them out through your Google Adwords Account. I got a call and we spent an hour talking about new features. The advisor recommended me to try a new feature, namely “Smart Campaign” driven by AI. It’s so easy to create, even a teen could do this. You just set initial parameters like location, couple of related keywords, links to your website that should be used for the Ads, and pretty much that’s it.

Now AI generates  even text for your Ads, it offers new related keywords, it’s analyzing the market and set the best bid. You just need to watch and adjust it from time to time to teach the machine. For example, add negative keywords, change Ad’s text to what you like more. AI gets trained and modifies the Campagin in the best way to help you be seen and found by potential customers. This new approach was invented to make the Campaign creation as simpler as possible for the business owners to exclude intermediaries. Try it out, create a Smart Campaign, enter just few initial parameters, and the machine will do the rest for you.

My personal opinion: 

I think it’s good to use it if you have time and you have a good budget. In my case a Smart Campaign was too slow, I didn’t get enough clicks during the first week, but probably I just should wait more time. As far I came back to Search Campaigns where I control all settings manually, but maybe I want to try it again in the future.

2. Virtual And Augmented Reality

In recent years and especially last time I think (because of the pandemic), both augmented reality and virtual reality have become very popular and are emerging as top trends in marketing. I can’t say that it’s widely used yet, as to include this kind of high-tech innovation in your marketing strategy will cost money for concept development, programming, testing and etc.. But it’s for sure the latest trend. And big companies with big budgets successfully put it into practice.

For example,

  • Ikea has an app that allows users to visualize what a piece of furniture would look like in their home before making a purchase.
  • A few years ago, Thomas Cook, a UK-based travel agency tried out a campaign that allowed travel agents to experience certain trips in order to promote them to clients, called “Try Before You Fly.”
  • McDonald’s has managed to create a Happy Meal Box that easily folds into a VR headset. The boxes even came with instructions on how to build their own at home.
  • Volvo created an application of VR to test drive a car when you don’t have a dealership nearby.
  • The New York Times delivered Google Cardboard glasses to all of their subscribers in order to watch a VR film and then did it a few times over with different films. These glasses were only delivered to their most loyal customers.

My personal opinion:

If you have a budget to hire a good programmer or a company that can develop for you the software, it’s worth it. Due to Covid-19 whether we want it or not we are forced to partially replace the reality with virtual. If we can’t go to a museum because of the quarantine, we can do a virtual tour, we can’t attend a classical music concert – we can watch it online. I agree it’s not the same, but it’s better than nothing. Today it’s not enough to be just on the Internet, you need to stand out among the crowd of competitors. And this is a great way to declare yourself as a modern and growing business.

2. Shoppable Posts

I think that people still fully underestimate the importance of a good Social Media Manager. When I passed a course of SMM 10 years ago it was like a side occupation for students, today it’s in demand and it’s not enough to know only how to create a social media account. You must be able to juggle with the tools that provide social networks. You need to know how to choose a target audience, how to attract and grab attention, and the most important how to convert online visits to sales, how not to drain your client’s budget.

Social media has become an integral part of online marketing. According to statistics 72% of Instagram users have purchased a product on the app. Even more impressive, a survey of more than 4,000 Pinterest users found that 70% use Pinterest to find new and interesting products. Whether you use Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram, there are now ways for e-commerce stores to create shoppable posts, making it easy for users to shop directly from your post. Social media offers you the ability to reach new customers quickly and easily, shortening the sales funnel and making it easier for users to shop.

My personal opinion:

If you sell goods online then for you “shoppable posts” can be even more profitable than to sell it through a website. For sure, it’s better to have both, but if you just want to try, if you’ve just started your business, then first push your social accounts hard and then invest money in a good online shop.

3. Interactive Content

We all know how much the restaurant business has suffered today and not only it. But the restaurant in particular. Restaurants have “to move” to online to somehow stay afloat. But it’s not enough to offer just takeout, everyone is already doing it. They will have to fight for the customer, surprise him, and please.

That is why we offer restaurants to add interactivity and involvement to a website like to create an interactive online menu with images. The customer not only chooses a meal on the website and adds it to the basket, he sees a photo of it, and often the picture can make us buy more strongly. Also, he does not need to call the restaurant and tell his credit card number, he pays for the order online, which is much more secure. Here’s what it means to add interactivity to a business.

And besides, the more website traffic, the more users longer on it, the higher the position in ranking websites for relevant requests. 91% are seeking more visual and interactive content, because

  • Interactive content is different and new, it stands out more.
  • As I just mentioned above this type of content serves to keep visitors on your page longer.
  • Interactive content is shareable and it helps to grow awareness of your brand.
  • It is more engaging as users enjoy it more than other content.

My personal opinion:

If you think about how to stand out among your competitors, then this may be one of the great options. For example, on our website, we plan to place a price calculator so our potential customers may check how much may cost a website for their needs. Restaurants can have an online menu, lawyers can add an appointment online functionality, doctors can create a portal to collect and store a patient’s medical history.

4. Personalization

People buy KKW Beauty products, not because of the popularity of the company, some may even be not familiar with this brand at all. But we all know Kim Kardashian, it’s her cosmetics brand. The same as Kylie Cosmetics. Teenagers follow Kylie, they watch her life, her routine, they want to be like her and buy her products. How popular Instagram is today (whether we like it or not) is how important personalization is today.

People no longer show such interest in companies where the owner is a gray cardinal. They want to know who this person is, how he came to this, where he comes from, what books he reads, whether he has children or not, whether he or she goes through the same difficulties as I did. If people fell in love with you as a person, as a business owner, they will fell in love with your product.

In a survey of 1,000 people, 90% remarked that they found personalization appealing. More important for your business is the fact that 80% admitted they’d be more likely to give their business to a company that offered them a personalized experience.

  • 63% of consumers are highly annoyed with generic advertising blasts
  • 80% say they are more likely to do business with a company if it offers personalized experiences
  • 90% claim they find personalization appealing

My personal opinion:

I think it’s very important to add personalization to your business. Some of my friends do not agree with me that you need to place your photo on a business card or include it in your email signature. But from a practical point of view, sorting out a pile of business cards in a month or even a week or for me even in a day😀, you can really remember who is who? Me not and how convenient it would be to have a portrait on each card. Does it really not matter to you exactly who you are communicating with, meaning to have a business together, even if it is only at the stage of email correspondence?! Personally, I disagree and believe that personalization will only gain. Grow your business by introducing yourself to the public. Among all restaurants, I prefer most of all those where I can see that the owner is actively involved in his business.

How exactly do I use this approach in practice? It seems to me to send the same email template to everyone, it’s already outdated and inefficient marketing. Before I offer services for developing a website or updating or promoting it, I do quick research toward this firm or this person to know what website he has, what problems the site may have and how I can be useful for them. I do not tell him how good I am, I immediately tell him what benefits he can get from me particularly in his case and for his business.

5. Content Marketing

“Content is king” is the axiom of digital marketing for the last few years. High-quality content allows you to show your expertise and communicate with your customers from a place of authority. Your content is also what search engines provide to searchers online, so continuing to produce high-quality content is a must.

My personal opinion:

I absolutely agree with that. The content must be of high quality, it must be either useful or interesting, or both. Therefore, articles that are 80% of water are no longer interesting to anyone. Having a blog is often underestimated by companies. Business owners say – what are we going to write there. Or we have a segment where people do not read articles on this topic. For example, a moving business, who will read about the types of packaging. Actually it depends on how interesting you tell this topic. And I offered them to start writing, not about packaging, write about the peculiarities of importing things into Africa, Australia, New Zealand and etc. You will be crowded with online users and maybe not all of them are your potential customers, they can be just readers, but a highly visited website is always at the top for relevant keywords. That’s how it works. After all, Google’s task is to provide the search engine user with the most interesting, most popular, and high-quality website.

6. Search Engine Results Pages Position Zero

To be number 1 is no longer the goal. The top spot in SERP is now position zero, a featured snippet of text appearing above the search results. This location often provides information relating to the search query, while also providing a link to the page from which the information is drawn. Position zero is the first, and sometimes only, result that some users will view. As such, it is highly coveted and should be the focus of your efforts.

My personal opinion:

I think to achieve this position you just need to keep creating valuable content. And in general, articles that detail the issue are now valued much higher than general ones about all and nothing.

7. Chatbots

Today chatbots one of the main trends in digital marketing. It’s AI-based technology that uses instant messaging to chat in real-time with your website visitors. According to research:

  • Chatbots may power 85% of customer service by 2020;
  • The main benefits are 24-hour service (64%), instant responses to inquiries (55%), and answers to simple questions (55%);
  • 63% of respondents prefer messaging an online chatbot to communicate with a business or brand;
  • By 2022, chatbots may help businesses save over $8 billion per annum;
  • 80% of businesses want chatbots by 2020.

People like interacting with chatbots as they respond 24/7, give answers quickly, recall your buying history, and never lose patience. Many brands use chatbot technology, including brand Lyft. You can request a ride from Lyft via chat or voice, and their chatbot will let you know the current location of your driver.

My personal opinion:

This can be a great tool only if the chatbot is very well configured. Namely, possible answers and questions will be spelled out, you should well predict how your visitors think. Otherwise, the chatbot will only be annoying. By the way, BereshkaWeb has a specialist who is engaged in the creation of chatbots, let us know if you are interested.

8 Video Marketing

Any picture is perceived better than text. Clients react better to visual content, making a video is significant in 2019-2020. Live videos on Facebook and Instagram keep your followers watching multiple times longer than recorded ones. Video marketing is one of, if not the, most important marketing tools today and probably for the next 5-10 years. And talking about the video it doesn’t mean only Youtube, you can/should make a video post on Instagram, Linkedin, Facebook, and other platforms.

The popularity of video content is also associated with an increase in the use of mobile devices. Despite the responsiveness of websites to different screens, the Internet users will prefer to watch a video rather than read small text on the phone. If your website has video, it’s 50 times more likely to bring organic search results compared to text. Because people consider content more compelling, so Google pushes pages that include videos higher in the rankings.

My personal opinion:

Yes, yes, yes! I love video content. Because it attracts more attention, it can be more effective, it allows you to be more creative, it can better introduce you to online visitors. Especially today, when we have to be isolated, video can help to erase this border of unfamiliarity between you and a customer to help him to know you and to trust you.

You can say there are so many video bloggers. To which I will answer there is still not so much high-quality content, but everyone is tired of the poor quality.

BereshkaWeb is going to launch its own Youtube Channel with videos to such topics as – How to run business in the US, How to create a website, How to promote a website on the internet, and others. Stay tuned and subscribe as far to our blog 😀!

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