Online Marketing Trends in 2020 – What Should You Be Doing Now?

It’s been a wild ride since the start of the year and we’re only halfway through. Overall, the world seems to be at a standstill with many areas of life being shut down or operating with very limited activities. With many companies closing down, there’s an opportunity for those who want to get back to basics and focus on what’s important to them.

From a business perspective, digital marketing is an area that can help drive revenue and growth in line with what’s important to you.

There are several marketing trends that took the digital world by storm this year and it’s important to keep up. If you’re looking to build a business case for 2020, then this guide will help take you along the right path.

Email Marketing

This year, email marketing grew its presence in all areas of digital marketing with an increase of 68% in click-through rates (CTRs) and a 125% increase in revenue compared to 2019. This makes it the single largest digital marketing channel this year, followed by social media.

The spread of the Coronavirus disrupted online marketing, shutting down live events and social gatherings. However, marketers should have expected this and been prepared to take the conversation offline. Most companies quickly adapted and started delivering marketing messages to customers via email.

With customers having fewer face-to-face interactions, email marketing allows you to have a conversation with potential customers without the fear of getting sick. The best part is you can do this without having to pay a dime!

Email marketing is a powerful tool and having a well-thought-out email marketing strategy can do wonders for your business.

Inbound Marketing

The term “inbound marketing” was coined by Henry Cloud in his 2008 book, “Origin of the Company: How Marketers Become Influencers”. It’s a mindset and approach that prioritizes customers and builds relationships with them instead of pushing products at them.

However, inbound marketing doesn’t mean that you have to completely cut out traditional marketing. It’s about incorporating the two sides of a customer’s life – their feelings and thoughts – into your strategy and aligning your marketing activities around these two pillars.

You can apply this in multiple ways. For example, you might want to send emails about your products or services, but you could also use email to introduce your customer to a new product or service that might match their needs.

If a customer signs up for your email list, you can then send them content that is valuable to them based on their interests. One effective way to do this is to segment your list based on the products or services that you sell. You can then send targeted emails to specific groups with offers that fit their interests.

Inbound marketing is about adapting to customers’ interests rather than forcing your product or service on them. This year, more and more marketers are experimenting with inbound marketing and gaining success by aligning their marketing efforts with customer interests.

Content Marketing

The Content Marketing Association states that 97% of adults get most of their “news content” from digital platforms like social media. This means that if you’re not speaking directly to an audience of one, you’re probably speaking to an audience of many.

However, the same pandemic that caused marketers to pivot to email marketing and inbound marketing disrupted content marketing this year. Although the majority of businesses adapted and shifted their content marketing strategies to focus on producing helpful and valuable content, publishing unhelpful content is still a viable strategy for attracting the right audiences.

The most effective way to produce content that helps your business is through case studies and other types of articles. Studies have shown that customers are more likely to trust information presented in written form as opposed to visually on social media. As a marketer, you should be using your existing blog to publish informative and useful content to help your business succeed. This way, you’re not only providing value to your customers but you’re also establishing a resource for those who are looking for guidance.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Your Marketing

The success of your digital marketing strategy depends on how you measure it. Without good metrics, it’s difficult to know if your spending is having the intended effect. That’s why it’s important to track the performance of your campaigns via specific metrics such as cost per acquisition (CPA), traffic, and the like.

You can then use this information to determine if your marketing efforts are delivering the expected value and if you should continue pursuing this strategy or switch gears.

Display Advertising

Display advertising, which is the most popular type of online advertising, grew its revenue by 17% this year to $16.67 billion. This makes it the second-largest digital marketing channel after social media.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic caused many online marketing platforms to see a decrease in growth, display advertising still saw an increase in demand from businesses large and small. Display ads are often displayed alongside content in a rich media format such as HTML, SVG, and the like.

To learn more about display advertising, check out the BizEaze blog or read MarketingCharts’s blog. You can also follow the IAB’s Digital Advertising & Marketing Leaders Twitter account for the most up-to-date industry news and insights.

Social Media

This year, social media grew its presence in all areas of digital marketing with an increase of 55% in the average time that people spend on social media platforms and an increase of 29% in the number of daily active users. In 2020, social media usage increased by 71% globally and 79% in North America.

The increase in daily active users can be attributed to the fact that fewer people are seeing television as a result of the pandemic. Similarly, the increase in average time spent on social media platforms can be attributed to those same reasons. With fewer people going out, many are using social media to entertain themselves.

There are several different platforms that you can use to promote your business. For example, you can use Facebook to build a community around your brand and engage with your audience. You can also use Telegram to launch a marketing campaign and connect with potential customers. Or, if you’re looking to target the real estate industry, you can use Craigslist to find leads and educate consumers.

Having a presence on social media is important because of its massive reach. According to HubSpot Blogs research, “on average, a person spends nearly eight hours per day on social media platforms – that’s 168 hours per week, or over 314 hours per month on these platforms.” As a digital marketer, you should be doing everything you can to take advantage of this massive audience.

Mobile Marketing

This year, mobile marketing grew its presence in all areas of digital marketing with an increase of 60% in the average time that people spend on mobile phones and an increase of 33% in the number of mobile users.

Similarly to social media, the Covid-19 pandemic caused many businesses to close down or operate with fewer employees. This is why the mobile market saw an increase in demand as businesses tried to keep their existing customers and attract new customers online.

Even prior to the pandemic, the mobile market was on the rise. In 2020, global mobile users surpassed the milestone of one billion, with nearly 58% of the population now accessing the internet via a mobile phone. In October 2020, TikTok celebrated reaching 1 billion mobile users. With over three billion monthly active users, it’s the biggest social media platform globally.

However, despite the huge user base, TikTok is not without its challenges. In 2020 alone, TikTok generated $13.7 billion in revenue but spent more than $700 million on content creation. This is due to the fact that as a growing business, they had to hire more people to keep up with the increased workload.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has made it easier for businesses to create and post content on their own. Although AI has made content creation much easier, it has also made it much more accessible. In the near future, AI-generated content could replace human-generated content on blogs and social media platforms.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

This year, SEO grew its presence in all areas of digital marketing with an increase of 24% in organic search traffic and a 33% increase in revenue compared to 2019.