Aaron’s Top Six Digital Marketing Trends For 2020

Two months have passed and already 2020 has been a year of big time events . That is especially true when it comes to the Digital Marketing industry. Already we’ve seen some impactful changes that affect how we reach our target audience. What may work yesterday may not work today so Digital Marketers should definitely take notice and prepare to adjust to changes. After all, the Digital Marketing industry is all about constant change and constant adjustments to your online outreach strategies. When it comes to trends, there have been many but there are six Digital Marketing trends that we as Digital Marketers should take notice of. Let’s look at these, shall we? 😉

Influencer Marketing On The Rise

In recent years, we have seen the rise of Influencer Marketing in a big way in comparison to corporate advertising. People these days look for brands that are authentic and relate to them in a more personalized manner. In fact, 63 percent of consumers trust the opinions of influencers than they do corporate advertising that makes it about the brand. When it comes to reaching out to influencers, it is important to reach out to those who would be more relatable to your brand as opposed to focusing on macro-influencers endorsements. If you’re a smaller business, definitely consider micro-influencers as your go to when it comes to reaching your ideal consumer.

Dark Social Becoming The New Thing

Dark Social is absolutely becoming another rising trend in this day in age and no, there’s not gonna be a Zombie Apocalypse coming to take over the world. Dark Social is a term used to describe website referrals that go through private social media platforms that aren’t trackable by analytics programs. According to a survey of 3000 US and UK internet users, dark social apps are used by 63 percent of people to share content. Both younger and older generations have been using Dark Social in increasing numbers so it is important for brands to join in on the fun and to do so in an authentic manner. For more information about how to properly use Dark Social, I welcome you all to view my latest article here.

Mobile Friendly Sites Are A Must

With people on the go these days, it has become increasingly important for businesses to ensure that their websites are up-to-date and up-to-speed on both desktops and mobile devices. People want great user experience on websites and want it fast. If your website takes too long to load, your potential customers will leave you for your competition and your page ranking in the search engines would likely drop. In fact, your bounce rate will go up the longer your website takes to load as witnessed in this study by section.io. Online users are likely to visit a lot more pages when page load time is 2 seconds compared to 8 seconds. Definitely work to have your sites up to speed while also ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly either by responsive design or adaptive design.

Voice Search Is Becoming Increasingly Important

Without a doubt, today’s consumers are looking for newer and more convenient ways to search for what they’re looking for. They especially would enjoy not having to type in their search or even leaving their couch to order something. With this in mind, it is no surprise that Voice Search has become increasingly important. In fact, half of all searches will be via voice by this year with 52 percent of people keeping their voice-activated speakers in their living room. [E] This is important for people of all age groups so it has become important for brands to include voice search in their Digital Marketing strategies going forward. By doing that, they’ll be ahead of the game in meeting the increasing demands of today’s consumers.

Reputation Management Is A Must

When it comes to Reputation Management, let me just say that this is a big deal in today’s online world. With people increasingly viewing online reviews as a big factor in their purchasing decisions, brands must look to build trust with their target audience. One of the biggest ways to do that is to respond to comments and reviews whether they are good or bad. In fact, 78% of people agreed that brands who respond to reviews and comments made them believe that they care about them. Brands both big and small should always work to respond to comments and reviews  in a way that shows that you’re committed to the needs of the customer while making them feel at home. After all, that’s how you build and maintain relationships with your ideal consumers.

Personalization

Last but certainly not least when it comes to my Top 6 Digital Marketing trends to keep an eye out in 2020 is personalization. In this day in age, people prefer brands who are authentic and relate to them. In fact, 80% of online consumers are more willing to do business with brands who provide them a more personalized experience. Whether you’re starting an Email Marketing campaign or developing your online content, it is always important to keep these stats in mind when it comes to tailoring your content in order to meet the individual needs of the consumer. Don’t be afraid to share your story to your audience. People love stories that speak their mind and makes them feel that they relate to your brand. Your content should focus more on others and not just about your brand. That’s how you compete and that’s how you Win Big in today’s competitive online world.

Change Happens For The Better

There’s no doubt that the preferences of consumers have changed and when that happens, so will the way we as Digital Marketers reach out to those consumers. It is crucial to always be on top of online trends and be flexible to change in order to meet the demands of today’s online consumers. In today’s fast-changing online world, authenticity is the name of the game when it comes to attracting and retaining your ideal online consumers. Authenticity is how you compete in today’s online world and it is how you become that next big thing. By keeping these six big Digital Marketing trends in mind, you’ll be able to achieve great successes in attracting those valuable consumers and Win Big in today’s competitive online world.

What other Digital Marketing trends should we keep in mind in today’s online world? What role does authenticity play in the success of brands? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below.

Dark Social & Why We Should Embrace It

OOOO Scary! I bet that’s what many of you thought when I mentioned the words Dark Social. Some think that Dark Social is when the Night King, the Ice Dragon that he stole from Daenerys and his army are on their way to invade Winterfeil in Game Of Thrones or when Evil Emperor Zurg is planning to rule the Galactic Alliance and make Buzz Lightyear and his Space Rangers his eternal slave. No need to worry though. Dark Social isn’t when an evil person plans to bring eternal darkness to the world. What Dark Social really means is that it’s social media’s new thing and that it marks the beginning of the future of social media as we know it. In this awesome blog, I will tell you what Dark Social is and why it’s important that we embrace it.

An Overview Of Dark Social

Dark Social is a term used to describe website referrals that go through private social media platforms that are not trackable by analytics programs such as Google Analytics. That creates a challenge for digital marketers in trying to find out exactly where their referral traffic comes from. Great examples of Dark Social platforms are email, text messages and private messaging apps such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. In a 2012 article by The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal famously coined the phrase “Dark Social” where he discovered that over half of The Atlantic’s social traffic came from dark referrals while also finding out that other websites have an even larger percentage of social traffic coming from Dark Social. To find out how much Dark Social traffic your site has, the awesome folks at Disruptive Advertising describe three great ways to do just that with my personal favorite being the Dark Social Calculator. No doubt that dark social is on the rise and it’s important for businesses, especially small businesses, to embrace the fast-evolving world that is Dark Social. In this next section, I will tell you exactly why Dark Social is on the rise and why it’s important for businesses to embrace it.

Why We Should Embrace Dark Social

When it comes to the rise of Dark Social, a huge reason why that’s the case is that people are valuing privacy now more than ever. That’s especially the case for younger audiences like Millennials and Gen-Z. It’s no surprise that Dark Social platforms like Snapchat and WhatsApp are becoming increasingly popular with these generations. I know that for a fact since my own niece uses Dark Social platforms like Snapchat and even convinced me to get a Snapchat which I now absolutely enjoy. Not to mention that 84% of outbound sharing occurs via Dark Social channels as reported by RadiumOne and by many Digital Marketing companies. With that being said, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to get ahead of the game and embrace Dark Social while making it a big part of their marketing strategy. The way they go by doing that is by understanding the behavior of the younger generations while also knowing the effective strategies on how to properly reach out to them via Dark Social networks.

How To Effectively Communicate To Your Audience Via Dark Social

When it comes to interacting on Dark Social platforms, we must learn that these are informal settings in terms of how people communicate with each other. What we must do to capture the attention of your target audience via Dark Social is to think outside the traditional mindset when it comes to marketing your brand. One of the biggest cardinal rules when marketing your brand via Dark Social is to never go for the sale immediately right off the bat. Instead, focus on creating content that brings value to your target audience. There are many good ways to provide value and build up your Dark Social traffic. Beginning an online conversation is a great way to start. That can be done by asking a question or sharing a poll about which products would you use in a particular situation or how well do you rate a certain personal experience with a product or service. My personal favorite is sharing an interactive video showcasing a product or inviting people to a big event like a cupcake and pastry drive. In other words, share content that speaks to the mind of your target market and gets their attention. In addition to sharing quality content, you also want to make content sharing much smoother and less roomy when it comes time to share. Dark Social users are much more likely to share shorter links that take up very little space than they would larger links. You also will increase your chances of seeing more traffic on your website. A great example of how to shorten your links is to use the tool that smallseotools.com uses. If you can follow these tips when it comes to using Dark Social, then you’re on your way to success when it comes to one-upping your Dark Social game.

You’ve Reached The Dark Side

No doubt that when it comes to the future of social media, Dark Social will be a big part of it. It’s basically a must to embrace Dark Social while learning all there is to know about how to best communicate your brand via Dark Social platforms. The keys to success when it comes to Dark Social are to know your audience as is the case in any marketing situation and to communicate with them via authenticity. Each audience on Dark Social has a different mindset so it’s important to tailor your marketing strategies to capture the attention of your target audience. By doing all these things, you will have big time success in the fast-evolving world that is Dark Social. With that being said, I’d like to welcome you to the Dark Side. I promise you that we have cookies and I’ll even throw in some tacos for extra fun. 😉

I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Cydney Hatch of Disruptive Advertising and Caz Bevan of Be Impossible and NPAccel for inspiring me to write this blog about a subject they’re really big on. They really help us all be better when it comes to Digital Marketing.

What do you feel is a recipe for success when it comes to Dark Social? Questions? Comments? Feel free to share this article & don’t be afraid to share your thoughts below.