Digital Marketing Trends for 2020

Digital Marketing Trends for 2020

Last week, the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI), Ireland published an article on 10 Digital Marketing Trends we should expect to see in 2020. Although the article is an adaptation of a similar one published in 2018, DMI’s focus has always been global so the adaptation took on a global perspective. To bring it home, we have tried to assess these trends in relation to Africa and more specifically, Nigeria.

It does not matter what industry you belongto, or what or what products and services you offer – digital marketing trendscannot be ignored. The digital marketing landscape is evolving so quickly thatkeeping up-to-date is becoming a full-time job.

There are not so many successful businessesthat don’t have some form of online presence, even if it is as simple asWhatsApp for Business. According to DMI, new technologies and tools will cometo the fore in 2020, forcing marketers to adapt in order to keep theirorganizations at the top.

DigitalDarwinism – an era where technology and society are evolving faster thanbusinesses can naturally adapt – is an unforgiving reality. If you as a personor a business don’t adapt, you’ll surely be left behind. The digital marketingtrends to be ready for in 2020 are;

  1. Facebook May Be Peaking.Really.

Facebook is no longer the kingpin in the social media world. According to Forbes, 41% of its users are over the age of 65. Well, no surprise there. Facebook is the social media of choice for the older demographic in Nigeria. While it is by no means struggling, it’s clear that Facebook is losing ground with the younger demographics, who tend to prefer the more visual, interactive experiences offered by Instagram, Snapchat, and the rising star, TikTok. It is considered to be the fastest-growing social media platform, even ahead of Instagram. It is important to mention the uptake and growth of TikTok in Nigeria, especially among teenagers. Brands and businesses should look into how to leverage this trend.

After the data breach scandal in 2018,Facebook has lost significant credibility, with many people growing frustratedand resentful with the platform’s proliferation of fake news, politicalpropaganda, and cyberbullying. The once-dominant force is continuing to drop inpopularity with younger demographics, with TechCrunch speculating that Facebookmay be dead to Gen Z.

It’s essential for digital marketers to really look at who their target market may be because Facebook may be very unsuitable for some campaigns, especially as it continues to trend downwards with younger people. Facebook is still massive, and majority of Africans continue to use it. Still, marketers should be more cautious with who they are trying to connect with and make sure their target audience is still on Facebook. If not, you could be wasting your marketing budget, targeting the wrong social media platform.

  • Instagram is a Hit withthe Kids.

And young adults too! Instagram has passedits one billion user mark, which is an impressive achievement. This makes itone of the most rapidly growing social media platforms, with the coveted userbase of younger demographic, especially under 30. Facebook is losing much ofthat cohort, due to its reputation as the social media platform for “oldpeople.” In Nigeria, Instagram remains a social media of choice amongyoung demography with over 65%of its Nigerian users aged between 18 and 34 years.

One potential problem that marketers shouldkeep in mind is thatInstagram recently decided to remove the likes feature from the platform.Many influencers have voiced concerns about this move, and therefore, companiesshould keep a close eye on the impact this will have in 2020. While it couldlead to an uptick in content quality, many users may drift away from theplatform in search of vanity metrics elsewhere.

  • Chatbots Will DominateCustomer Service.

Chatbots are artificial intelligence (AI)software that acts as a virtual “concierge,” communicating with usersand assisting them in completing their goals. Chatbots interact with humans ina natural way, primarily through the use of text chat windows, but verbalinteractions are also possible. Over time, as the system collects more datainsights, the AI learns more about the customers, making it possible to offer acontinuously-improving service.

Everything from providing weather reportsto automating some basic customer support functions can be easily handled bysophisticated artificial intelligence software. Bots allow users to getpersonalized, focused interactions without pulling too much from limited humanresources.

80% of businesses claim they want to startusing chatbots this year. When you consider the benefits, it’s easy tounderstand why:

  • 24-hour service
  • Instant responses to customerqueries
  • No need for breaks, vacations,or overtime pay

In recent times, the use of chatbots can be observed in the Nigerian finance industry. Some banks have created an entire virtual personality out of chatbots to cater to the needs of their customers. Even the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) is not left out. However, as fiery as the chatbot trend has been in Nigeria, the customer experience has fallen below expectation and the bots are seen not to be as intuitive as their operators presented them to be.

Despite the challenges, a Tidio researchfrom January 2020 found that 43% of consumers prefer to message an onlinechatbot rather than to phone customer service centers when communicating with abrand. So, with businesses and customers keen for more involvement withchatbots, this is sure to be one of the fastest-growing digital marketingtrends in 2020.

  • Video is No Longer anOption.

If your business isn’t already using videomarketing, you should get on board this year. Text-based content simply can’tcompete with the power of video, especially when it comes to trying to sellproducts and services online.

In a mobile-drive world, especially in Africa, people are watching more video than ever before, using smartphones to watch and share videos about everything, learning more about brands, and what they have to offer. Think about these stats from ImpactBND:

  • 70% of consumers have shared abrand’s video.
  • 52% of consumers claim thatwatching product videos makes them more confident and guides their onlinepurchasing decisions.
  • 72% of businesses believe videocontent has improved their conversion rates.
  • 82% of consumers prefer a livevideo from a brand than social media posts.

Video marketing is highly-engaging,especially if it’s live video. Live streaming is a powerful method of digitalmarketing when combined with influencer marketing. Whether it’s the newgeneration of social media influencers or traditional sources, such ascelebrities, athletes, and musicians, having a live stream with an influencerwho is interacting directly with comments is a huge draw for an audience.

Twitch has over 15 million daily activeusers, most of whom tune in just to watch live streaming videos frominfluencers like Ninja. Arguably the world’s most popular gaming influencer,Ninja, recently signed an exclusive deal with Mixer, which was a power play bythe Microsoft-company in recognition of the expected value of live videostreaming in the year ahead.

In Nigeria, the power of influencermarketing can be better harnessed with live video streaming.

  • Good Content StillMatters (and Now Context Matters More!).

Content marketing continues to be an essential component of digital marketing, although there’s an increasing emphasis on nuance in content. The quality is always going to matter, but now there’s more emphasis on the context and targeting. In Nigeria, local nuances within content have become a very important tip to driving user engagement with content. Google is developing a deeper, more sophisticated understanding of online content, and so, marketers must think carefully about their target market and how they can tailor content more precisely in 2020.

Much of this boils down to the BERT update, released on Google in November 2019. The new algorithm helps the search engine giant get a better understanding of the natural language in user search queries. Advice from Google is that “rather than chase the latest SEO trends, it’s more important to ensure a site has fast speeds, useful links, and well-written content.” A well-written content should match the natural language and choice of words of the target audience.

Make no mistake: Content marketing isn’tgoing anywhere.

That being said, Google is getting smarter,and it gives preference to in-depth, accurate, current content that is closelyaligned with user intent. Companies must keep this in mind as they create newcontent in 2020.

This article covers 5 of the trendspublished by DMI, the remaining trends will be covered in part 2 of thisarticle.

Now that you have an idea about the trendsyou should expect to see in 2020, how prepared are you to leverage them? Do youneed to reassess your digital communications plan for the year? Do you need toupskill to be better equipped? Take a quick look at the DMI’s Certified Digital MarketingProfessional program offered by Simon Page College of Marketing to see ifit is a good fit for your needs.

Christiana Aina
[email protected]
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