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The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.
Marketing is the main challenge of every business. A brilliant idea will not succeed if it is not promoted correctly. Digital marketing strategies such as search engine optimization, ecommerce and social media have created low-cost alternatives to promote a brand effectively, taking advantage of technological advances.
As customers increasingly embrace technology in all aspects of their lives, the goal of marketers should be to find the best channels to connect with those people. Here's the trick: those who adopt it faster win. As more and more advertisers realize these benefits, channels fill up and customers become blind to marketing. This is why marketing is a game of constant change, and those who get ahead of the rest are the ones who win.
Having said that, here are some innovative ways to promote yourself in 2020. To start, let's tackle the most important preliminary problem: What do you sell?
There is not something that works for everyone
The strategies discussed here work differently for each industry. For example, fashion benefits a lot from AR / VR, while most B2B businesses benefit more from LinkedIn's live videos. TikTok works great for B2C entertainment. SEO works for all businesses.
The techniques and methods we discuss here, as exciting and inspiring as they may be, may not work for your specific niche. So although you are welcome to read and use them all, pay attention to your business model to achieve the best results.
1. Voice search
In 2017, a Google report found that 20 percent of mobile searches were done by voice. By 2020, that number is forecast to rise to 50 percent. According to a survey conducted by NPR's Smart Audio Report in late 2019, 157 million homes in the United States have smart speakers, a growth of 135 percent in two years. On average, people have 2.6 devices in their homes, which means they want to increase the amount of listening content they consume.
However, optimizing for text is different than optimizing for speech. “People speak to audio assistants as if they were speaking to a human,” said Andrea Knezovic, brand manager and content writer at mobile marketing agency Udones. “This means that they tend to use a more conversational tone, with long-tail keywords and questions.”
In late 2019, Google updated its search algorithm to adopt BERT, a natural language processing engine. With this, Google is trying to move from searching for “keywords” to searches that feel more natural. Instead of “best places to shop,” people are now asking, “Where can I buy a dress in Los Angeles?”
Users tend to include location terms in their voice searches, so emphasizing your location or including location keywords makes you more visible. Voice search optimization is trending. To use it to your advantage, you must answer specific questions and make a greater effort for the quality of the content.
A recent SeoClarity report notes that nearly 20 percent of all voice searches include a group of 25 keywords, such as “now” and “what,” with these being the most commonly used along with “best,” “where,” and ” top”.
2. Featured Snippets
In recent years, Google has included a separate section at the beginning of its results that shows the information it thinks is most relevant to the search. This space is called “featured snippets” and digital assistants love to read them when people ask them questions.
“The featured snippet extracts the main data from a high ranking publication and displays it in a separate table,” explained Dale Johnson, co-founder and content strategist at Nomad Paradise. “To optimize them, use hashtags on your website so that Google knows what is the main data to extract (as product headlines) and uses a relevant and attractive main image, and as original as possible.”
Featured snippets also have their downsides. Because Google displays the answer to many questions right at the top of its results, “In some markets, half of the searches do not result in a click by the user. This means that people search, find the answer and leave Google without clicking on any of the results, ”says Reuben Yonatan, an expert in marketing and sales. “In this new world it is no longer enough to appear in the results with a few keywords. What is the use of being at number one if nobody enters your website? ”
For this reason, advertisers should also focus on keywords that have deep content, beyond what can be shown in snippets.
3. YouTube SEO
Following the featured snippets, YouTube videos rank second. “Google increasingly favors YouTube videos in its search results, next to web pages,” says Johnson of Nomad Paradise. “If you are not promoting yourself on YouTube, it is worth producing a video for this reason alone. You don't need to focus on growing within this platform, because these videos are basically within web pages and in the search engine ranking. ”
In the same way that you find keywords with low competition to position yourself, you must find keywords relevant to your business with few or no videos about them and make them. These videos must also be optimized. “The first part is optimizing the title and description of the video,” says Annie Shulyarenko, senior marketing manager at Hoppier. “The second but equally important thing is to use subtitles. This will not only facilitate the consumption of your content for a part of the population, but they will give more keywords to your videos. The more keywords, the easier it will be to position yourself in the terms you need from Google. ”
In 2020, video will be a crucial medium. The speed of networks makes video consumption easier, and platforms increasingly favor video content, something that leads us to the next section.
TikTok is the new trending social platform. The current audience is practically made up of young people, under the age of 25, who do not have much purchasing power. But TikTok also has its strengths. “What is important for companies to remember is that TikTok is very light and fun,” says Knezovic. “It is an opportunity to show the most creative and humorous side of your brand, but above all, it is a very intimate platform, which makes it perfect for establishing a real connection with the audience.”
TikTok works best for B2Cs, especially for food, fashion and clothing businesses. The use of challenges, influencer marketing and advertising generates the best results on TikTok.
“One of the ways I promoted my brand on TikTok was with the #HashtagChallenge,” says Rameez Ghayas Usmani of PureVPN. “In these types of campaigns, the brand challenges users to create and upload TikTok videos inspired by the original video and using the #HashtagChallenge and then tagging their friends to continue the challenge. The person with the most hearts in the video wins a brand product. This helped increase my brand searches by 44 percent and generated 25 percent engagement. ”
Usmani also shared his experience with influencer marketing. “I chose an influencer from the country I wanted to go to and worked with him to present my product. The influencer recommended his followers to try the product and leave a comment when they bought it, and one of those buyers would have the opportunity to meet their influencer in person. This helped my brand searches in that country increase 50 percent, and I got 2,000 orders for my product. ”
Advertising on TikTok can also be a great opportunity. Knezovic spent $ 40,000 on TikTok ads over the past six months and had 200 million impressions, over 2 million clicks, and over 400,000 conversions. TikTok's audience is young, but “businesses that connect with that audience right now will be able to reap the benefits when that generation reaches the workforce,” he says. “Brand recognition must be one of the main goals at TikTok.”
In 2020 there are two Instagram tools you should focus on: story advertising and direct messages. “A direct message campaign that out of the box garnered 42 percent responses,” says Johnson. “There is an issue of intimacy in direct messages that cannot be compared to advertising in the feed. Constantly communicate with your followers and treat it like any other email campaign. Eventually DMs will monetize and include ads, but for now, there are very few companies using this marketing strategy. ”
Another marketing technique few are currently using is story ads. They were activated in March 2017 but remain “significantly cheap, averaging around six cents per click compared to Facebook's 30 to 60 cents per click,” says Jamie Halper, founder and director of PrettySocial PR. “And 60 percent of consumers of Instagram stories consume them with sound, so using a 15-second video for an Instagram campaign is critical.”
Again, the type of your business will determine the best way to use Instagram. “We have found that products that lend themselves to movement and tutorials, or that are easily captured on video, tend to have a higher CTR than products designed to be static, which tend to have lower conversion rates,” says Halper. . “Beauty and wellness brands, especially ones that require some kind of narrative or a small demo, are great for Instagram story ads.”
In 2018 Instagram launched IGTV which allows people to upload videos longer than 60 seconds. It was immediately established as a competition for YouTube, but there is another video format that most platforms still compete for.
6. Live videos
The benefits of live streaming are twofold. The number of digital natives who prefer the video format is growing, and brands are challenged by ad blocking and ad cuts. Live broadcasts are not only attractive to this audience, but they manage to overcome these challenges. Platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, LinkedIn, and Instagram are all prioritizing live video.
Many of the live video statistics show that users stay more hooked. “Being able to respond to comments and questions live makes users feel like they have a direct connection to you,” says Barbara Hernandez-Taylor, director of marketing for Azuga. “This will build trust among your followers, leading to greater loyalty on their part.”
7. AR and VR
Two other technologies under the radar that the brands must know are the augmented reality and the virtual reality. Snapchat and Instagram are currently the most prominent in this type of content. “Most don't know, but there are millions of people using augmented reality on a daily basis,” says Matthew Fischman, founder of marketing agency Har Har Creative. “For brands, the difficulty will be convincing their customers to download another app. That is the advantage of building apps within platforms such as Instagram or Snapchat, where consumers are already. ”
Retail and beauty brands are already using VR (virtual reality) to show their customers what a product looks like before buying it, and home decor companies are using the technology to allow their customers to see what a piece of furniture would look like. in their houses. Statistics show that people who have tried a VR product are not only more likely to buy it, but also less likely to return it.
A Statista report included statistics indicating that Pinterest is one of the least-used marketing platforms. It's only used by 28 percent of marketers globally, but people tend to rate Pinterest ads as 1.4 more relevant and useful than other platforms.
Platforms that continue to expand tend to offer lower rates to get more advertisers. Using them at this stage almost seems like stealing, and Pinterest is in that position right now. If your brand relies heavily on images (from food to clothing, travel, and real estate), Pinterest should be on your marketing agenda.
It seems that videos are one of the best media advertisers have in 2020, since many of the techniques (including SEO) have to do with video marketing. This makes sense and will continue to grow as younger audiences continue to favor it over the text. If you adopt a marketing strategy for 2020 you will have the leadership and you will be able to connect with your audience on many platforms.
And in addition to the video, watch new technologies and trends. A good place to start is to review the trending apps in the app stores on a weekly basis. New technologies are constantly being developed to make life and work more comfortable for people. Adapting to change and staying ahead of the curve is critical to effective marketing.