A global pandemic has rapidly changed the way many businesses operate. Restaurants have been especially hard-hit and have had to adapt quickly to survive. Besides COVID-19 shaking things up, there’s accelerated development of emerging AI marketing technology, which is making a noticeable impact on how business is being done today. Even blockchain technology is gaining traction as a marketing tool. Here’s the lowdown on the latest digital marketing trends you need to know about in 2020.
Artificial intelligence is no longer solely within the realm of science fiction. The past few years have seen an astronomical acceleration of AI technology. Besides robots that can hold a decent conversation with humans, AI is also being deployed within the digital marketing industry. As of 2020, AI and machine learning are worth a massive $2.6 trillion. That is an eye-popping amount, yet it’s nowhere near the real potential for these emerging technologies.
Up until now, there was a bandwidth problem that made it difficult for AI to gain a foothold in any significant way. However, thanks to advances in wireless technology, there is increasingly more bandwidth that can handle AI functions. It’s already being used in chatbots, providing customer support that could be as good (or sometimes even better) than a live human helping you out. AI can analyze massive quantities of consumer data exceptionally fast.
The majority of digital marketers are already using AI. The extraordinary adoption rate is unparalleled by anything else. Not even the Internet of Things can keep up. AI is now creating and curating content, which speeds up the process of content marketing. It’s also being used to make email marketing campaigns highly personalized, using the preferences and behaviors of users. Conversion rates are able to get a boost thanks to using AI in this way.
The big tech giants, such as Facebook and Google, are already using machine learning and AI when it comes to ads. They can now identify users who are most likely to respond favorably to the desired actions of digital marketers. This is done by in-depth analysis by an AI of the data mined related to interests, demographics, and other elements. Google Adwords also has an auction system for ads that automatically helps advertisers lock in the lowest cost per conversion (CPC) possible
Blockchain technology is primarily associated with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, there is far more that is possible with a blockchain than merely using it as a currency. In fact, marketers for any product or service stand to benefit from blockchain technology.
A major disruption in the digital marketing industry comes thanks to blockchain technology and what it is doing with display ads. Every business knows just how expensive online ads can be to run.Additionally, they can be complicated to manage and get a grasp on. Finally, the inventory is essentially controlled by a corporate duopoly of Google and Facebook.
Display ads annoy people. They are in-your-face and take up precious bandwidth and battery life on mobile devices. One solution brought to us by blockchain technology is the rewarding of users with crypto tokens for seeing ads while they browse the internet. Basic Attention Token (BAT) is one such cryptocurrency that is leading the way in this digital marketing trend. As an added bonus, this trend looks to break up the near-monopoly on digital ads that currently exists.
Getting financially compensated for looking at ads is one of the most promising developments in digital marketing. Ads perform better, thanks to the way they are targeted, publishers receive greater revenue and control with respect to the ads, and end-users see ads they are interested in, which won’t mine their personal data.
Shoppers in the US alone spent $327 billion in 2016 on online shopping. That figure is undoubtedly higher than it’s ever been, thanks to all the stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19. Social commerce involves using social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, to create personalized and targeted shopping experiences for customers. It is essentially a marriage of eCommerce with social media.
Everyone and their mother is on one of the major social media networks today. This makes it a great place to advertise, especially because of the potential for content to go viral. Besides paying for ads to displace on these platforms, businesses also stand to gain from word-of-mouth marketing. This stretches advertising dollars even further than they would typically go.
Social commerce is gaining a larger foothold, especially on platforms like Facebook, where entire retail store pages can exist. Users can shop right on the platform. Other networks, like Twitter and Pinterest, provide the ability to feature ‘buy’ buttons, creating a de facto on-page sales funnel.
The restaurant industry has been especially hard by the COVID-19 shutdown orders. However, they have been remarkable in their ability to adapt. Direct-to-consumer sales have been the strategy of choice. Using their presence of social media, restaurants, and cafes have bypassed Uber Eats and other food delivery apps. This has ended up saving them money while being even more convenient for consumers.
The Future of Digital Marketing Is Here
These three trends are significant disrupters of the way digital marketing has been done in years past. We are in the ‘new normal’ now, thanks to the effects of essentially shutting down the global economy for weeks or months in 2020. The digital marketing trends listed here are just getting started, but they are already showing tremendous progress and promise. If you want to be on the leading edge of digital marketing, these are the areas you want to focus your efforts.