Just a few years ago, voice-activated search engine optimization was the most significant trend in SEO. With the arrival of voice search on major platforms (as well as Amazon Alexa), the writing was on the wall. Businesses had to adapt to the changing nature of search. If they didn’t, the world would move on, and they’d be left in the dust. 

Of course, that’s not quite how it panned out. Voice search is important, but the majority of people still use text. It’s often more convenient and discreet than shouting keywords into a smartphone or home assistant. With that said, a lot DID change in the world of digital marketing in the last ten years. Back in 2009, agencies were still spamming backlinks. Now that’s all come to an end. 

Does your business plan on spending more on digital marketing in 2020? Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your efforts. 

Use Chatbots

Chatbots have been around for a long time, but it is only in recent years that companies have dared to use them instead of regular customer service reps. Ten years ago, the technology just wasn’t there for them to be a viable replacement. They could just about route customer service inquiries to the correct rep, but beyond that, they were pretty much useless. 

Today, though, that’s all changed. Companies like Amazon make heavy use of chatbots that pose as genuine people, constructing sentences in response to customer queries. They’re not perfect, but they’ve learned enough to provide solutions to the majority of problems.

In 2020, bot technology will develop to the point where businesses begin using them to chat with customers on social media platforms, providing a new level of one-on-one marketing. Thus far, this kind of digital marketing has been prohibitively expensive. Still, companies with the best chatbot technology will be able to take advantage of it and enhance the customer experience. 

Why do chatbots make such excellent customer service reps? Simple really: they never get moody, they always have good humor, and they can respond to questions quickly, so long as the answer is in their data banks. 

Rely On Automated Strategies More

Facebook’s campaign budget optimization is an excellent example of how the major online advertising platforms are trying to make their services more user-friendly. Business owners don’t want to have to go to a specialist every time they launch a social media campaign; they want the platform itself to do it for them. 

The new set of tools from Facebook effectively eliminates much of the legwork involved in budgeting for a specific campaign. The software reduces the amount of expertise that the advertiser has to have, relying instead on a set of AI algorithms to manage the process independently.

Stop Marketing On Every Platform In Existence

When new businesses take their first foray into the world of digital marketing, there’s a tendency for them to think that they need to have a presence on every platform in existence. A company advertising department isn’t doing its job unless it has accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Google, YouTube, Vimeo, Skype, and goodness knows what else. 

The problem with having multiple accounts, however, is that it dilutes your approach. While you might know about your audience on, say, Facebook, you probably don’t have the same kind of insight when it comes to the people with whom you interact on Snapchat. 

Here’s some advice for 2020: stick to the platforms that you know. You don’t have to spread your message far and wide immediately. Learn more about your audience on the major platforms, and then once you’ve got that cracked, expand from there. 

Improve The User Experience

Customers fundamentally don’t care about the technical details underpinning your online marketing efforts. What matters to them is the user experience – how your site makes them feel. 

Here are some of the factors that you’ll need to consider for 2020: 

  • The speed at which your pages load. If they don’t appear in less than half a second, you could lose customers. 
  • A user interface that somebody can understand the first time that they visit your site. Avoid gimmicky menus, structures, and graphics. 
  • Assistance from in-site chatbots available 24-hours per day, should a customer need help with finding a product. 
  • Quality content that provides customers with information that helps them make better purchasing decisions. 
  • Website copy that is easy to read, understand, and provides value.

What you’ll immediately notice is that many of the ways that you can improve customer experience are surprisingly easy. You don’t need to invest in new technology or do anything particularly sophisticated. Just a few simple updates are often all it takes to change the UX dramatically. 

Stay Up To Date With The Latest In SEO

2020 is going to see some critical changes in SEO, designed to enhance the user experience of search engines. Expect to see further movement towards quality links, not quantity, when determining page rank. Also, expect to see a rise in the importance of video, a major trend from the last couple of years. As internet speeds increase, the amount of SEO-related video content is going to explode. Finally, make sure that you stay on top of user experience signals. If search engines detect that your site is not adequately serving users, then they will downrank you. Dwell time looks set to become even more important than it already is. 

Use Influencer Marketing

A couple of years ago, the digital marketing community went through a bit of a scare. We worried that customers had finally found out what we were up to and were going to rout us. It turns out, however, that the consumer fears about influencers have died down, with more than 70 percent of millennials saying that they trust thought-leaders on social media. 

Thus, if you want to have an impact on these platforms, then start thinking more about making links with influencers who talk about issues related to your products. Use them to tap into new audiences and piggyback your brand on their credibility. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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