To see the best return on investment (ROI), brands will have to be early adopters of a few social media marketing trends we’re shining a light on here. Let’s dive in!

As John F. Kennedy aptly said: “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”………For anyone in marketing, change is an integral part of the job. 2019 was a year of significant strides in digital advertising and marketing space. The evolution of artificial intelligence, voice search, rise in influencer marketing, increased personalization was some of the buzzwords this year and the outlook for 2020 remains on similar lines. To see the best return on investment (ROI), brands will have to be early adopters of a few social media marketing trends we’re shining a light on here. Let’s dive in!

Voice Search is on the Rise

We will see a large percentage of consumers finding details through voice search, instead of a traditional typed Google inquiry. Hence the best way to prepare for this influx of voice inquiries is by optimizing your website for voice specific keywords.

Influencer Marketing Will Continue to Grow

The key to discovering influencers for your business is finding someone that has a similar target audience. Marketers are flocking to YouTuber’s as their primary influencers due to their extensive reach, and the fact that social videos are highly shareable. Hence it’s no surprise that this trend is on the rise.

Personalization is the new marketing

Personalization is one of the most sought after traits consumers look for when shopping with a new business. People want to associate with brands that go out of their way to deliver personalized content and offers based on their past experiences. Businesses are also trying to personalize each and every single experience both online and offline. Marketing is going to become a game of personalization.

Multichannel marketing

Marketing across multiple platforms (such as social media, apps, email and blog) is gaining traction so that you can connect with prospects on more touchpoints. When you do marketing right, you can offer enhanced user experience and cohesive brand message that drives people to action.

Augmented Reality (AR) / Virtual reality (VR) Will Become Mainstream

There’s a heap of potential in this type of technology – realtors, for example, can take prospective home owners on virtual tours of homes, during which paint colors can be changed, walls can be removed or moved to a different spot, etc without any physical labour. Similarly, with VR, consumers can be physically transported to a simulated environment, for an almost life-like feel of a product. Hence AR & VR will take the centre stage in 2020 as companies use these technologies to delight and retain users.

AI-Based Automation

Will 2020 be the year of the rise of the robots?.. We’ve already seen huge advancements in AI over the last few years, and a great increase in the number of businesses using AI-powered technology and automation to assist their marketing efforts. It’s sure to be at the heart of global business and industry in the future – and it’s already taking over many simple jobs.

Blockchain Technology

The uses of blockchain are far more wide-reaching than just the financial world, however; this technology is also making waves in the digital marketing world. Blockchain eliminates the digital marketing intermediary, builds trust by means of transparency, drives public accountability and offers benefits for branding.

5G Technology

In a world gone mad for mobile, arguably one of the most significant digital marketing trends of 2020 is the dawn of 5G technology or fifth generation of mobile technology. This update heralds a new era of digital communications and its impact will be felt across virtually every industry.

Cracking the Language Code

Vernacular medium would definitely continue to be an evolving trend in 2020. In a country that has so many official languages, language holds the key. And anyone who thinks that the urban Indian in a metro consumes only English is mistaken. Conversely Tier 2 and 3 audiences are very likely to consume English as much. In 2020, the smart money is in the art of creating content (from news to entertainment) in various regional languages.

Purpose-Driven Content

“Content” as they say is king. Whether it’s a tweet, an insta-story, a YouTube video or a web series, the one thing that’s here to stay is content. On a similar note, brands will need to be purposeful about choosing influencers from diverse populations and backgrounds. Audiences increasingly want to see content that reflects their own reality. User-generated content (UGC) is a potent resource for marketers who want to tap into the Millennial and Gen Z markets.

Data is king

In the past, brands didn’t focus so much on metrics. Metrics and data are important not only for businesses but also for influencers themselves, to better understand their audience and know which posts receive more engagement. That effectively allows them to adjust their approach accordingly.

Video Storytelling

The production and consumption of video content on social media platforms have risen exponentially over the past couple of years. Videos on YouTube viewed on mobile devices reach more audience than any other network every day. Videos are also becoming shorter and shorter. From short-form ephemeral videos for Instagram Stories and Snapchat to longer format YouTube videos, she notes, all forms will continue to grow as platforms such as Snapchat extend the length of ads from six seconds up to three minutes. Quick videos that include subtitles are a great way to educate, inspire and inform your audience.

Businesses are realising the effectiveness of reaching more focused groups as opposed to mass audiences, and that it’s more about quality than quantity. There was a time when artificial intelligence, voice search engine optimisation, and data-driven marketing were considered ambitious and novelty concepts. Today they are among the top priorities for most digital marketers and brands alike and will continue to dominate the market in 2020. As marketing methodologies continue to evolve and grow, those of us in the industry are tasked with the often-challenging job of not only staying current with trends but also looking ahead to the future. As we are set to enter into a new decade, one must keep looking ahead and strive to embrace new technologies, tools and strategies in order to gain an edge over your competitors.

by Kiran John , Abhishek Jain for Business World.

The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Marketing Automation Ireland.