Have this post read to you in a natural voice, so you can do other things:
While many of the 2020 marketing trends posts out there say that 2020 will be the year of chatbots, shoppable posts, Artificial intelligence, voice search, and other vague futuristic predictions – I’m going to take a little different tone and try to go as practical as I possibly can. Each of our 2020 marketing trends will have one ‘to do’ / suggestion that I hope you can actually use in the next month – and if you decide not to take action, at least I tried.
- Video is going to reach a saturation point most of us couldn’t have imagined in 2020, mostly because companies are all finally coming to terms with the fact they’ll either do video – or sacrifice their customer’s attention spans to competitors that do.
- There will be a return to good old fashion PSYCHOLOGY, and a realization “no one cares about us – we have to talk about them”, and this might be the most wholesome shift towards what Donald Miller of Storybrand calls “making your customer the hero.”
- A lot of folks abandoned code, and got obsessed with “QUALITY CONTENT” the last few years– but as I heard straight from the mouth of the head of Google Search – John Mueller, those who dive into code and leverage for digital marketing will be swimming in feature boxes, and extras on search engine results pages. My personal favorite 2020 marketing trend is that I’ve seen a resurgence of UNFAIR ADVANTAGES that we can take as SEO professionals in search engine results.
Before you tell me “some of these trends aren’t new!” – I couldn’t agree more, however, I believe these five 2020 marketing techniques have reached a ‘cultural moment’ where they are more important than many others, or they are uniquely important for 2020, I am a PRACTITIONER. I do these things every week, look at the data and see a huge upside for these particular methods this year as far as REAL RESULTS.
Why is an unfair advantage cool Tim?
Well – they don’t always last, so while you do have them, it’s important to remember you are in a competition.
It doesn’t have to be a dog-eat-dog, sad humanity competition – but in marketing, the competition is for the audience’s attention. So you either need to aim at a smaller audience (niching), or you have to broadcast your message at a higher volume (taking every possible advantage, and increasing effort and spend.)
For companies who want to dominate into 2020 and 2020 – I’d suggest doing both… aggressively.
1. Linkedin Video and Linkedin, in general, is having a massive moment, put out videos weekly.
Quantity leads to quality. – Sean McCabe
Linkedin’s algorithm is allowing a very easy ‘viral-like’ quality right now. It really reminds me of 2010 style Facebook. I remember posting on a business page at that time I was doing marketing for, and seeing easy results – but then Facebook moved to a much more obvious pay-to-play model for business pages. I still suggest people leverage their personal LinkedIn profiles when possible to get the benefit of your connections, but even liking and commenting on a post will put that post into the feeds of everyone who follows the person interacting.
Video is powerful on LinkedIn because not a lot of people are using it – and it gets heavy-duty interaction, this has led to us getting over 1000 views on average for ‘DECENT’ videos on Linkedin lately.
To-do: Pull out your camera, turn it on its side and record a useful tip on something you’re expert at, upload it to LinkedIn and press PUBLISH.
2. Story Brand – position your ideal customer as the hero, and yourself as the guide.
It’s harsh, but your customers don’t really care about your business beyond how it can help them solve a problem and make life better. The sooner you realize this and embrace it, the sooner you can show customers how much you can help them. – Donald Miller
It’s crazy to me that the Story Brand – brand script tool is free. It’s that powerful. It’s just a template that asks you questions about your ideal customer, and the journey they go through, but it’s seriously ridiculously powerful.
To do: Read Donald Miller’s Storybrand if you haven’t yet, and fill out the StoryBrand Brandscript with your team.
3. Record your website visitors with Inspectlet to help make your website easier to navigate.
“Great marketers have immense empathy for their audience. They can put themselves in their shoes, live their lives, feel what they feel, go where they go, and respond how they’d respond. That empathy comes out in content that resonates with your audience.” –Rand Fishkin
I realized that empathy can be used to be a better marketer this year while I was creating videos for social media. I realized I absolutely loved when videos had that progress bar at the bottom when they had captions so I could read if I was just watching a quick video while going to the bathroom – and that I was more likely to watch them when there was a spicy title at the top. Why wasn’t I doing that? Once I had empathy for my audience, I added these things immediately. If I’m 3x more likely to watch a video with those things, why wouldn’t they be too?
When watching visitors move around on your website – you’ll certainly get empathy for them, and want to help them get to places more easily. We’ve seen this over and over again installing this for clients. It’s just a lot easier to identify issues and address them with this kind of visibility.
4. Take up a crazy amount of space with your entire FAQ on Search Engine Results Pages
Matthew Woodward put out an article recently where he claims he found the #1 SEO tip of 2019-2020, and I have to believe it’s true. I’ve seen gigantic gains in click-through rate when employing this strategy and it’s not even fair. I have a feeling this strategy might be gone by the end of the year, but in the meantime, there is a giant arbitrage of attention happening, and if you wield it right it will significantly increase your ‘click-through-rate’, leading to a rise in your Google rankings for your top money-making terms.
To do: Find the top 3 pages that are currently getting you traffic and employ the FAQ snippet on those pages.
5. Position “0” in Search – can be incredibly powerful. Here’s how to wield the power.
Do you know how if the first answer on Google search is good – you barely look at the next 5?
Maybe you’re mad that Google’s scraping the internet and serving up content on page 1. I would be mad too if I were Rap Genius.com or Celebrity Net Worth.com or someone who’s business was ad revenue, but as it stands – being a premium service provider, all I need to do is:
- Take up as much space as possible and get the lion’s share of attention.
- Preach my gospel to the willing masses – namely, that the problem my company solves is important and can make their life better.
- Share as much value as possible, and possibly entice them to look deeper. In some cases, I might even provide the email address of our sales guy. If someone emails our sales guy and I don’t see it in Analytics is it still a lead? Hell yeah, it is.
To do: Create content clusters on your blog (publish 5 articles around the same subject but going after different angles people are doing searches for), write a press release about that and distribute it with a link back to the main service page that the topic cluster surrounds. For more check out the Hub & Spoke model of SEO.
- Attribution will improve, but C-level executives will be more obsessed with results than perfect attribution.
- Smart marketers will recognize that CRM and automation won’t do the marketing for them, and they’ll have to put blood, sweat, and tears into crafting emotionally resonant messages.
- Marketers will recognize that WHITE SPACE is more important than ever and they will have to find the places where their competitors ARE NOT, instead of following their competition like lemmings off a cliff.
A final send-off regarding 2020 Growing Marketing Trends
Certainly – the above stated 2020 marketing trends are likely going to resonate with the audience we serve most, premium service companies, but hopefully there’s been some truth in them for you, whatever your niche.
I say this often – but it bears repeating, examines your own situation closely.
What worked in 2020 – where did your leads come from. For us it’s easy – Referrals, Organic Search, Speaking, Social. Boom – make sure you have that data down for real, for your self and double down on the top 2 or 3 as hard as you possibly can before persuing some dumb chatbot shit that your marketing agency has ridiculous margins on. Trust your gut – especially if your gut doubled sales last year.
The original Post – 5 Types of Marketing Skyrocket This Next Year (A year ago)
Did these come true? If not – take my predictions above with a grain of salt! LOL!
Bonus marketing trend for 2020:Going back and refreshing old content and keeping the exact same link, with a new meta title going after the current year, is so much more effective than creating a whole new post. REFRESH OLD CONTENT – for many companies, they could just do this, and massively increase their search engine effectiveness.
Don’t get stagnant in your marketing efforts! Many companies have created a lot of opportunity for themselves by pushing heavily into Google AdWords or some old-school E-mail marketing, but don’t get out when the rates start going up, or the open rates go down, and the methods are not as profitable as they once were. It’s crucial to stay nimble and swap out, or play down out-dated methods (within reason for your industry), and start experimenting with heavier marketing budgets in other areas.
Here are five areas where marketing budgets are increasing next year – reasons include: higher perceived ROI, more proof of concept from other companies doing it, and natural progression. Paid social for instance continues to grow, just because ad budgets that may have been spent on Google AdWords in the past may work better in the context of social proof and a more interactive experience.
If you’re not using video, nimbly, that allows you not to pay 1000s of dollars every time you put one out, you’re behind the times. A mid-premium video setup can be as little as $2000 bucks, and pay for itself ten times in the first three months if you have a clear strategy to make compelling videos regularly.
- The Camera: Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR – This camera allows you to flip the viewer towards the subject in case you’re filming yourself in tutorials or explainer videos.
- The Lens: Canon EF-S 10-18mm – This lens was suggested by someone doing a video about Casey Neitstat’s (master daily vlogger on YouTube) video equipment. It should allow you to focus on your face or other faces in automatic mode without knowing a lot about focus.
- The Stand: Joby GorillaPod Focus with BallHead X – This pod allows your camera to stand on tables, or cling to a tree branch, whatever you need.
- The Mic: Rhodes Video Mic Pro R with Shockmount – This mic allows you to get a focused audio signal on the go.
- The Backdrop: Simple White Muslin Backdrop – You’ll need something to give a consistent and decently clean feel to your videos, and this backdrop is an option.
- The Lights: Limo Studio’s Photography Softbox Lights – Decent lighting will require you playing around with different setups, but these lights are a solid option for under $60.
2. Content Marketing and SEO
Content Marketing is just creating things your clients, customers, and prospects would actually want! It’s the best form of SEO and will stand the test of time. Use these methods and tools to get the most out of your content marketing and SEO efforts.
- Persona planning template: “Make My Persona” by Hubspot – You’ll want to plan your objectives, and really dig into who your core audience is and what would be most useful to them. Who are the company’s ideal clients? What questions do they have? What resources do they need?
- Tool for keyword strategy: Ahrefs – Do the competitive analysis and find what kind of traffic different terms have.
- For monitoring search traffic: Google Search Console – Google Search console is invaluable for figuring out opportunities. It allows you to sort by impressions and to find terms you have a lot of impressions for but not a lot of clicks for – earn links and build out more content for these terms!
- For getting granular on all traffic: Google Analytics – Beyond just search engine optimization, monitor all of your paid ads, social traffic, and conversions in Google Analytics.
- Setting meta-titles, descriptions, and basic technical SEO: Yoast SEO – A great start for SEO, you’ll want to de-index slim content, write meta titles and descriptions, and get your site in order in a general way by configuring Yoast SEO based on your keyword strategy.
- For planning content in context: Editorial Calendar Plugin – If you have more than one person in your content team, this plugin can help you coordinate the different components, and plan content in a calendar form.
3. Paid Social
People are still mourning the loss of “free” marketing, as organic social media reach has gone down to almost nill for many brands, Facebook and Instagram are still crazy effective for brands if you’re willing to pay. Whether by promoted posts, video ads, or just straightforward offers – you want to save this for the best shots you have. Here are some keys to making it work.
- Social Ad Template: Customer Magnetism – Get your ad sizes right!
- Ideas for writing social ad headlines: Formula’s and Strategies – It takes persuasion and finesse with the words you use to make these ads truly effective + and offers that have an emotional resonance with your ideal customers.
- Ad Refiner/perfector: AdSpresso – This tool helps you put your images, headlines, and demographics in and tests them all in random combinations and then refines them based on what works over time.
- Regular posting tool: Buffer – You need something to schedule your posts at regular intervals and ideal times – Buffer is perfect for this. Then you can go promote ones that get better organic traction.
- Social Media Analytics: Sprout Social – For monitoring what’s working and reporting on trends.
- Social Designs on the fly: Buffer’s Pablo – Even if you’re not a designer, Pablo allows you to create nice-looking images for social media, and schedule them on Buffer quickly to go out to all your social accounts.
4. Strategic Use of Influencers
If you can find people that own your audience’s attention (in any situation, not just social media), it makes absolute sense to collaborate with them to reach those people. This method has been growing over the past couple years – but it will reach a pinnacle this next year as companies have started to learn how to do it well.
- Ways to reach out to bloggers quickly: Pitchbox –
- Knowing what to charge for Instagram Influencers – 6-12% per post engagement. 10 cents to keep it simple. So if your influencer usually gets 5,000 likes? $500. You’re going to pay less for younger influencers, and more for influencers over 25, and much more for influencers over 35 according to this white-paper.
- Platform for Social Influencer Connections: Revfluence – Need to connect with influencers? Here’s a way to scale that and do it quickly.
- An actual influencer plan: Klear’s Influencer Marketing Template Plan – Klear suggests influencer marketing yields an average of $6.85 worth of earned media value, for every $1 of paid media.
5. E-mail Marketing and Marketing Automation
One of the third-highest perceived positive ROI marketing strategies (the other two are SEO and Content Marketing). E-mail marketing and marketing automation can be wielded well with practice and experimentation.
- Something to handle your main e-mail list: Mailchimp – Your main e-mail list needs a home, MailChimp is perfect for this and easy to setup.
- Something to fill your e-mail list regularly and systematically: Sumo – Particularly the welcome mat, and ‘exit intent’ popups are extremely effective in getting more e-mail signups.
- Tracking your leads: Hubspot Marketing – Another great way to fill your e-mail list (bottom right popout works great.) But it also can capture every lead your site gets for review and another rake to make sure you have attribution around your marketing
- Way to segment and create trickle out e-mail campaigns: InfusionSoft – Not crazy intuitive to get started on, but InfusionSoft is insanely useful for creating e-mail funnels and drip e-mail campaigns.
- Ways to find people quickly and outreach to new e-mail lists: Ninja Outreach– For guest posting, roundups, and your best content promotion Ninja Outreach is perfect.
I would be silly not to mention offline marketing methods that are growing as well. Brand activations, experiential marketing, and use of VR, and content producers are also going up as people recognize that there is some arbitrage in getting in front of people at the right moments. These methods are particularly effective when you have a captive audience at a trade show, a big event where a lot of ‘early adopters’ show up (like South by Southwest in Austin) or other places where tastemakers often show up looking for the latest and greatest.
But yes – digital marketing and digital-related marketing is on a steady rise.
These methods are growing because:
A. They Work
B. People are using their own understanding of where things are moving to slowly increase digital marketing budgets up to 40% (!) this year, up from 36% just a few years ago.
Slowly but surely marketing budgets are increasing. If you don’t find out where the ‘arbitrage’ (the best deals for the most effect) are until other people all have their budgets there as well – you will simply be fishing in a pond with all your competitors. The trick is to find a completely blue ocean (not one red with blood with all the other sharks around) and dominate entirely.
Keep your eye out for marketing methods that involve less competition.
Thanks for reading about where marketing budgets are growing this next year!
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