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The changes in 2020 will create just enough anxiety in digital marketers to keep the coffee and libations industries booming. AI will continue to grow and impact how we interact with our audiences and understand our own content.
As usual, old trends will slowly fade away and get replaced with new, shiny trends. Yet, the list below isn’t all new trends. In fact, most are things you’ve heard of and may be doing.
In 2020, a lot of familiar best practices will get a facelift, and underutilized tactics and software will become more vital for data-driven decision making.
Here are the marketing tactics you need to consider as you plan your 2020 marketing.
Find ways to get links other than guest posts
Obviously, SEO is important, but it’s getting harder and harder every year. Google has a potentially big algorithm change coming in March of 2020 that will reduce the value of guest posts in consideration for search rankings. So, if your SEO strategy is 100% based on guest posting, diversifying will be important to maintain your rankings.
Invest in original research
With the value of guest post links potentially waning, content creators will look for other ways to build great inbound links.
One of the best ways to get inbound links is to do original research that is of value to your industry. Original research gives your brand something to share with the industry that is new and exciting. It creates motivation to link because it is based on actual data and will be a talking point in the industry. As a result, original research gets a lot of earned media and social coverage, which helps boost your search rankings.
Many organizations currently rely on original research for their domain’s overall authority and inbound links, but in 2020, more and more will join the fold, especially with online research becoming easier with services like Google’s Marketing Platform.
Focus on medium-tail keywords
The days of long-tail keywords are nearly obsolete. Google has revised its algorithm to understand that a lot of similar long-term keywords are actually talking about similar things. The result? Longer form content that speaks at length about a subject gets ranked higher than pithy posts that are focused on extremely specific keyword phrases.
Truly understand where local and national SEO start and stop
SEO used to be a one-trick pony, with only a single algorithm to figure out. Since Google local began back in 2004, the tides have been shifting. Many industries are seeing this shift, as content that used to rank well nationally is now being overrun by local results, pushing older content down in search rankings.
For example, areas such as franchise SEO now require a blended method of national and local search for their search strategies — things that used to be handled by entirely separate teams at one point.
Understand where your organization should be optimizing for local search vs. national search to avoid losing existing SEO traction and gaining ground on competitors who are not keeping up with this trend.
Use chatbots to drive lead generation
67% of consumers worldwide used a chatbot for customer support in the past year. Though working with a real human in preferred by most people, the availability and quick answers chatbots provide have made them invaluable in customer support and even lead generation.
Chatbots can help prospects understand more about your solutions by answering prospects’ direct questions quickly. Getting these quick responses without feeling the pressure of having to talk to sales right away will help drive more “maybe” prospects into solid leads.
Create long form, educational videos to rise in YouTube rankings
It used to be standard practice that short videos were the way to go. But this was mostly because people didn’t want to spend over 90 seconds watching a video that’s just a disguised ad for your organization.
Now, people don’t want to spend ANY time looking at a video that’s an ad for your organization. So, what’s the key to success on YouTube then? Creating content that people actually need and want to watch — GASP!
How do you do create something that your audience needs and wants to watch? These videos need to be educational AND entertaining to have sticking power.
Videos with low audience retention get booted pretty quickly from YouTube rankings, while those with high retention are moved up. So, follow YouTube’s lead and favor longer, educational videos (10+ minutes) in your marketing strategy, and you’ll see the results when it comes to search and recommendations.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Wait, did he just say 10 or more minutes? Everything out there says the top videos on YouTube are 2-3 minutes!” Correct, they are. Because most of the top videos on YouTube are music videos. But, if you look at the most successful YouTube channels out there, they average between 13 and 14 minutes per video. Your goal is to create a great channel, right? So, go for amazing, longer-form videos that really address your audience’s pain points.
Follow through with remarketing
One of the most often underutilized benefits of online display advertising by the majority of companies is a great remarketing campaign. Getting people to your site once is the hard part. Once you get them there, you now have the ability to target them with inexpensive, effective messaging wherever they are online.
It’s relatively low-cost given you only pay for the ad clicks you get, and it is not incredibly hard to do. I see so many companies that have Google Ads set up for PPC search, but don’t have remarketing set up. Also, most marketing automation systems now allow you to remarket to your existing leads based off of what they do on your site. So, if that person who downloaded a white paper 6 months ago momentarily came to your site today, you could have your email system send them a special offer since you’re top of mind for them. If you take these extra steps, you’ll be ahead of the pack in 2020.
Make Google Analytics a foundational part of your marketing toolkit
It’s robust. It provides value beyond what most people can possibly imagine. And it’s free. Google Analytics is a real gift to the digital marketing universe that is really not used enough.
The main reason it’s not used enough is that it comes across as overly complex. And admittingly, it is. But learning the basics of Google Analytics can help you better understand how people truly use your site and where you have opportunities to make your website more intuitive and useful.
Use attribution modeling to invest your marketing dollars wisely
The adage, “I waste 50% of my marketing budget, but I don’t know which 50%” is no longer an excuse.
Understanding the channels and campaigns that truly drive success should be core to a digital marketing strategy. Unfortunately, many organizations don’t pay attention to which campaigns and channels bring traffic in and which get them to actually convert. This inevitably leads to marketing organizations putting dollars and resources into ineffective endeavors.