The 5 Biggest Digital Marketing Trends Making Waves as We Enter 2020

The months seem to be whipping by in a whirlwind and before long we will be into the new year. While it can be easy to get caught up in plans for marketing for the holidays, casting your eye further is necessary. Because 2020 is more than just a milestone, it is an opportunity to start implementing the hottest digital marketing trends that are going to be dominating the industry.

Digital marketing has a wider scope and greater applications than ever before. Statista projected that by the close of 2019, active email accounts would be increasing to an astonishing 5.6 billion. According to Hubspot, local searches have become so powerful that 72% of searchers for local businesses end in a 5 mile radius visit. Omnicore Agency has found that a full 93% of all Traffic is driven by search engine results, making the days of targeted URLs and domain names a potential thing of the past.

Clearly, we should all be focusing more on digital marketing, even if we have invested a lot of time, energy and budget into the process. Start the year off right by understanding these digital marketing trends.

1. The rise of the machine

The exploitability of chatbots has been talked about for a few years now and certainly big name brands have jumped on board. But the real power of artificial intelligence in marketing is only just beginning.

Acquire ran a survey earlier this year and found that within the Millennial demographic 40% of responders interacted with chatbots on a daily basis. That far exceeds even the most optimistic projections for the popularity of AI in the world of customer facing marketing strategies.

Not all successful Chatbots are artificial, however. Chatbot powerhouse Facebook reported that there was an overall satisfaction rate of 73% when using a messaging feature for B2C communication.

According to Shirish Agarwal, founder of Flow20;

“The customers find it extremely easier to communicate with a chatbot because they can accurately remember who they are and what problems they faced in the past. A prompt response from the chatbot and easy assistance keeps the customer happy. Customer experience is the single most important distinguisher that can prove to be a game changer for your business.”

Given the importance of immediacy in communication due to the sophistication of social media outreach and customer service, having this tool is critical. Where human to human interaction is strained, AI can pick up the slack.

This opens the channels for more traditional customer service to occur, while giving quick assistance to others. At the same time, the ability for customers to use chat as an option narrows in on a younger crowd who would prefer self service and online help to phone calls or face to face connection.

The good news is, you don’t have to be a huge brand to embrace artificial intelligence. There are several powerful plugins which can help any blogger integrate AI with their blogging routine.

2. The explosion of visual and video marketing

The demand for interactive and video content is growing fast. According to Hubspot, more than half of US consumers are willing to see more video content from any brand.

Oberlo demand for Video Content for digital marketing trends

Image Source: Oberlo

No wonder, more and more brands are embracing multi-format visual marketing actively investing in creating advanced image and video assets. Over 50% of marketers are planning to increase video marketing budget.

How do you keep up with the ever-changing visual marketing industry? With so many brands investing heavily in video creation, how do you remain competitive or stand out?

The key is to find the video marketing solution that will keep you up-to-date with video marketing trends and provide you with affordable video creation and marketing tools.

VideoBoost, an app by Boost Apps, is a solid option here offering you an affordable suite of tools for your social media marketing needs. Using VideoBoost, you can put together marketing videos right on your phone, applying a variety of filters, fonts, templates, etc.

Video Boost for digital marketing trends

The VideoBoost app offers trendy templates and pre-written copy ideas to help people come up with videos that are relevant to today’s digital marketing trends.

3. Search without a single click

Search has been adapting to a mobile world. It has also been shifting to accommodate a faster moving one. Google made something truly beautiful when they implemented Featured Snippets, for both seekers and providers alike. No longer do you have to sift through long articles or endless web pages for information… it is right there, at the top of the search results.

Now what used to be an occasional find with the right keywords has become commonplace. It has also expanded. Clickless searching is all the rage and Sparktoro reports that it is on the rise.

Mobile searches make up a good chunk of that increase in use, as evidenced by the fact that 31% of the 3.3 billion estimated smartphone owners across the globe use voice search, a statistic that is believed to be directly correlated with the increasing number of zero-click searches.

So, how is this a good thing when you are relying on a certain amount of organic Traffic? Branding and reputation, for one thing. When trying to get your name lodged in the head of potential customers, what better way than to show, at a glance, that you are the first one with the answer? You may not get a click every time but you are still making an impression that is crucial.

Featured snippets are here to stay and fast answers are the best answers for most. Take advantage by driving the competition to the second, third or fourth spots on the list and reigning supreme.

To optimize for featured snippets, use Text Optimizer‘s sentence building functionality that helps you create highly-optimized copy that uses related terms in close proximity, increasing its chances to get featured:

Text Optimizer for digital marketing trends

Text Optimizer uses semantic analysis to identify important concepts behind any query and help you build context that uses important terms in close proximity.

Using structured markup is another way to get your search snippet to stand out in Google’s SERPs. Using schema generators, you don’t need to have any coding skills to have your content structured.

4. Fragmented and scattered customer journeys

Due to the fast growth of smart mobile devices and assistants, the buyer’s journey has become more fragmented. These days consumers are able to perform on-the-go purchases right from their mobile device. Furthermore due to the integration of mobile instant payments, mobile experience has caused a boost in impulse shopping.

Engaging customers with one site is getting very challenging. Here’s what you can do:

Use Content Engagement Tools

Embrace new content engagement tools to get customers to keep interacting with your site. Alter is a new content recommendation platform driving your readers deeper into your site and keeping them engaged:

Content Engagement Tool for digital marketing trends

Another tool to use is Finteza that can engage your return visitors in a more meaningful way. Finteza allows you to set up goals based on performed events and create personalized advertising campaigns that bypass ad blockers.

As a result, you can customize your on-page CTAs so that they make the most sense to the user. For example, you can encourage them to download the full report after they read half of your blog article announcing it. Or you can invite them to complete their shopping journey after they have abandoned their cart:

Customize On Page CTA for digital marketing trends

Follow the Entire Customer Journey

Everyone knows that retaining a customer is more beneficial than acquiring a new one. It is why companies such as Discover Card put so much effort into perfecting their customer service. In fact, they explain it as “the customer experience” and it begins before they even have an account.

Digital marketing in general is beginning to follow this philosophy. If you want a truly successful campaign you have to plan for the entire journey of the customer, from that first spark of recognition to years down the line. Putting beats in at different point of that journey will improve that experience.

Smart Insights provided an incredible infographic showing how they utilize this concept in their own marketing. By dividing the customer’s journey into four segments (Reach, Act, Convert, Engage) they were able to show actionable steps taken in each one to capture and retain with maximum efficiency. It reads like a blueprint on how to make customers fall in love with your brand.

Another solid resource here is MoEngage’s guide on omnichannel marketing and how to utilize it to connect all the dots between multiple marketing channels to keep the buyer’s attention and walk them to the final purchase.

Omnichaneel Marketing for digital marketing trends

Older tactics still work as well. For example, it is still recommended to use social proof to boost your conversions. There are many more tricks that keep working, including CTA optimization and de-cluttering your checkout page. So it’s not just new shiny things to work on.

5. Marketing as an experience, not advertising (interactive, creative, exciting, social)

It isn’t enough to tell a potential customer why they should be attracted to your brand. You have to show them and, more than that, make them feel it. Interactivity is vital in modern digital marketing, and storytelling is the best way to attract attention.

Tourism Australia provide us with a great example of this. By taking over a hashtag that was already in use (#SeeAustralia), they created a campaign where user generated content – in this instance, photographs of the country – were used. They would take a few photos per day and feature them on their Instagram page.

Instagram for digital marketing trends

The results were incredible. Not only did they see a 33% increase in their site Traffic, showing that their brand was growing, but people were spending 66% more time browsing the site when they were there.

Collaborating with niche influencers is a great way to embrace that experience-driven marketing model. Influencers have already earned your customers’ trust. They are real and authentic, so having them on your side means making your brand’s voice heard.

BizSwipe is a solid connecting app that will let you find those businesses and influencers who are eager to partner with brands for mutual benefits (marketing campaigns, co-hosting contests, blog contributions, etc.):

BizSwipe Connecting App for digital marketing trends

Jump into the new year with these digital marketing trends

We are heading into a whole new decade and we have ten years of advances, challenges and triumphs to look forward to.

The sooner we get started, the better off we will be. Let’s ring in 2020 with a brand new perspective and strategy for the twelve months ahead.

Guest author: Jessy Troy is co-owner of Hire Bloggers, a blog dedicated to helping bloggers find paid gigs or even full-time jobs. You can catch up with me on Twitter as @JessyTroy

The post The 5 Biggest Digital Marketing Trends Making Waves as We Enter 2020 appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

Break Free B2B Series: Judy Tian on Humanizing B2B Through Influencer Marketing

As the world’s largest social network for professionals, LinkedIn* lies at the epicenter of people and business

Profiles on the platform put a real face on our professional brands, allowing visitors to learn about our interests, career experiences, and personalities. Emphasizing this human element, and creating a genuine sense of community among members, is paramount to LinkedIn’s brand mission according to Marketing Manager Judy Tian

“As a platform where so much of people’s job opportunities and personal and professional development takes place,” she says, “we really sought to humanize the brand and make it a more community-based platform, where real stories can be told and people would feel like they have relatable experiences there with others.”

[bctt tweet=”We really sought to humanize the brand and make it a more community-based platform, where real stories can be told. @judytian07 on @LinkedIn’s #InfluencerMarketing strategy #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”]

A key aspect of this initiative was launching an ambitious influencer campaign, helping LinkedIn connect more deeply with its audience of marketers and salespeople by highlighting the human side of these professions, through partnerships with recognizable and respected pros from both fields.

In her interview with TopRank Marketing President Susan Misukanis, Judy provides a behind-the-scenes look at that campaign and LinkedIn’s overall influencer marketing strategy. She unpacks one specific empathy-driven campaign, where influencers shared personal struggles and trials in their careers and how they overcame them. She also offers her views on measuring the seemingly immeasurable, aligning with influencers around shared values, understanding the crucial difference between reach and relevance, and more. 

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Judy Tian

If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 0:30 — Growth and progression of influencer marketing
  • 1:15 — Understanding relevance and why it matters
  • 2:15 — Tracking shared values with influencers
  • 4:00 — Example of a human-focused LinkedIn influencer campaign
  • 7:00 — Measuring the success of an influencer program
  • 10:45 — The difference between reach and relevance
  • 12:00 — The “four Rs” as influencer selection criteria
  • 14:00 — Overcoming internal skeptics to launch an influencer program
  • 16:45 — Paid vs. unpaid influencer initiatives in B2B
  • 19:30 — Where will influencer marketing evolve in the next 2-3 years?
  • 21:00 — Nurturing micro influencers and integrating offline tactics

Susan: Can you give an example of how LinkedIn is working with influencers at a campaign or ongoing relationship level?

Judy: We did a really exciting campaign around telling stories of our influencers. We work with marketing and sales influencers, and so we really wanted to celebrate who they were as a person beyond just their profession. We developed this social campaign called “My Marketing Story” and “My Sales Story,” and we asked each of these marketing professionals and sales professionals about, what were some of the most vulnerable moments in their careers? What did they learn from their failures? Maybe some career mistakes or bumps along the way. What we got were some really honest answers about people being fired, people being let go unexpectedly, people learning a lot of business lessons from working at Little Caesar’s, and that actually shaping their career in a different trajectory.

Susan: Where do you think marketers who are just getting started with influencer program might be heading down the wrong path in terms of how to measure, and how would you counsel them?

Judy: I would say that one of the biggest traps that I’ve seen when it comes to measurement in influencer marketing is really caring about the reach metrics, and trying to understand: if we’re working with an influencer how big is their network, and how many followers do they have? I’m really excited that now we’re changing the conversation a little bit more to relevancy. When I first started partnering with some of the internal stakeholders that were excited about the influencer programs as this new shiny object, many of the questions were around, ‘Okay, if we do this one post with them, how many impressions are we gonna get? Is it a million per influencer?’ Even though I think reach is part of the equation, and we want to work with influencers who have a substantial amount of reach, I think I’ve had to do a lot more internal education of: actually, the relevancy and engagement are what’s important. Are the influencers actually experts in the areas you wanna talk about? And are they gonna have credibility with their end users? And then are they going to shed credibility onto your brand as a result?

[bctt tweet=”Even though I think reach is part of the equation, and we want to work with influencers who have a substantial amount of reach, the relevancy and engagement are what’s most important. — @judytian07 #InfluencerMarketing #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”]

Susan: Who do you admire in terms of influencer marketing?

Judy: Mindy Kaling was somebody that I really respected and really enjoyed hearing from at Content Marketing World. There was a question of how does she choose working with a variety of brands, and for her it has to be something that she really cares about. For instance, she loves shopping, so DSW was one of the partners that she chose to work with, because that’s something she already feels passionate about. And I just love that she chose to do something that would be authentic and true to her. I think right now there’s a lot of backlash that celebrities and influencers are facing because they’re accused of being sellouts, and they just promote brands or products that may not necessarily be something they believe in, but they just want the checks. I think the more we can push the conversation, and influencers, to think about it in that way, and brands to also think about partners that will have authentic, true passion for your products and your business, the better it will be for us as consumers. 

Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:

* Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.

The post Break Free B2B Series: Judy Tian on Humanizing B2B Through Influencer Marketing appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

8 Effective Ways to Improve Your NAP Consistency

According to the Moz 2018 local search ranking factors study, NAP consistency is really important for local SEO. Building local citations with consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) data on your Google My business (GMB) profile and listed online addresses can affect your search rankings.

First, Google decides where to rank your business by dragging out NAP data from your GMB profile. Thereafter, it compares your NAP data from your GMB account with the NAP listed on different online directories, your social media, and website.

Having a consistent NAP also makes it easier for potential customers to find accurate information about your business. Inconsistent NAP data can make users frustrated and lose potential leads. So, optimizing for NAP presence can help you validate your business across a wide range of sources and rank well in local search results.

The basics of NAP consistency

NAP consistency relates to how accurate and up-to-date your business information is on different listings, your website, social media, and other resources.

Consider that search engines take into account small things. It’s not enough to show the basic information about your business, but also focus on spelling and formatting of your NAP data. Even though NAP doesn’t include your website’s URL, ensure that it’s also listed accurately across multiple sources. Try to focus not only on the NAP consistency but all the information listed about your business.

Once you have consistent NAP information, you’re more likely to appear in the Local Pack at the top of a search. Getting featured in the Local Pack can result in more clicks on the results pages to satisfy a user’s search intent.

If search engines find inaccurate information about your business, they won’t be able to tell users who you are and where you’re located. According to this report by Bright Local, 80% of customers don’t trust local businesses if they find inconsistent business names or contact details online. Consequently, it will hurt your local rankings, and people will stop trusting your business.

If you want to increase your local search rankings and brand trust online, let’s dive into the things that you can do to get your NAP data right for a successful local SEO campaign.

1. Map out the details of your business

If you manage one or multiple business locations, it’s time to set up your fixed business name, address and phone number details. Before you start optimization, you can take into consideration the following things:

  • As you know Google loves keyword-rich business names, and it’s one of the most significant ranking factors. You can add any location or service keywords to your Google My business name that will help your local rankings. For multiple business locations, you can include locations within the name to prove more relevance for search engines for each target location.
  • Decide for yourself whether you’re going to write the full word or the abbreviation of your address. Your officially registered address should be consistent and add value anywhere on the web.
  • Search engines understand phone number area codes when serving local results. Choose the way you want to write your phone number and stick to it every time you mention your number across the web.

Map Out The Details of your <a href=business for NAP consistency" width="810" height="1060" />

To manage your NAP consistency, you need to track your local rankings regularly as it can affect your local rankings. Regular monitoring will help you reveal any issues that can hurt your rankings. For example, you can try the Google Rank Checker by SE ranking to monitor local rankings in real-time.

Google Rank Checker for NAP consistency

2. Proofread your NAP data

Once you decide your business’s official name, address, and phone number, you need to fill out some paperwork before submitting them to the right institutions. Double-check how your NAP information is initially recorded.

When you change or move your business to a new office, update your business information. You can create the spreadsheet and control where else you should update the information.

Avoid reporting duplicate locations for your business. Different NAP variations make people and search engines frustrated and confused as they have no idea which listing to rely on. To check out duplicate listings, you can use Moz Check Listing.

Once you find any duplicates, you need to delete them by contacting website owners and claiming your business listing. Try to avoid different alternatives in your NAP profile. Don’t use multiple phone numbers for a specific business location. For example, Rosen Injury Lawyers uses the same business name on Google and a new phone number for a particular business location.

Proofread your NAP Data for NAP consistency3. Update your NAP info on your website

Your website is the main face of your business to both people and search engines that helps them get all the details right. Once you’ve made some changes to your NAP information or you’ve found some inconsistencies, your website is the first place to update it.

Your listing data should be the same as your website to make sure that everything is up-to-date and compliant with correct spelling, grammar, and formatting. You better check yourself before you wreck yourself!

It would be better if you display your business name, address, and phone numbers in specific areas, such as your site’s header and footer so that everyone can see them on all the pages of your website. As you know that search engines index web pages, not websites, so ensure that your NAP data is correct on all web pages to show up. Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C provides a great example by displaying the NAP information in its header and footer.

Update your NAP info in your website for NAP consistency

Your text needs to be human-readable and indexable by search engine crawlers. Don’t add your information to images or photos as search engines can’t index the NAP.

4. Optimize your Google My business page

A lot of potential customers will search for your business using Google. So, if you want Google to trust your NAP information, it’s time to update your Google My business page. Make sure that the company name, address, and phone number match the information on your website, and in your paperwork.

Once you notice some inconsistencies, just update it. After Google verifies your company, your accurate NAP data will appear in Google’s Local Pack when customers search for your business.

Optimize your Google My <a href=business Page for NAP consistency" width="810" height="879" />

You can track your optimization progress on the Google My business dashboard. To reach 100% optimization, you should add many other things to your GMB page. You can also monitor your profile with a unique UTM URL and analyze the impact of your optimization steps in Google Analytics.

5. Use local Schema Markup for your business

Adding local schema markup to your page allows Google to evaluate your NAP information and appear in rich snippets. You don’t need to be too technical, use Google Structured Data Markup Helper to add your structured data for your company.

Use Local Schema Markup for your <a href=business for NAP consistency" width="810" height="602" />

Once you’re done generating your structured data code, you can check it for validity by using Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. It will show all errors for missing required properties and give some recommendations to add more information to your structured data.

6. Audit and update your business directories and listings

One of the most significant steps to increase your local SEO is to build up local citations across trustworthy online directories. If your company is listed in some business directories, you should check out how consistent your NAP is with the information on your website. Pay attention to your full company’s name, address, phone number, and URL.

Ensure that your NAP information matches your website, your Google My business page, and your social profiles.

7. Keep track of social media

Social media can have a significant impact on your search results. If you have profiles across different social media platforms, check out all of those profiles you have to make sure that your NAP matches the information on your website. For those who are just starting out, it’s never too late to create social media profiles and provide consistent NAP information.Keep Track of Social Media for NAP consistency

8. Manage NAP for multi-location businesses

For businesses who manage multiple locations, having a clear and consistent NAP can be tricky. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t pay a lot of attention to NAP consistency for a multi-location business that can result in missing out on new clients.

To increase your NAP details for multiple locations, don’t do things like:

  • Numerous phone numbers for one business location. Make sure to include a consistent and local phone number for each specific location through your GMB listing, landing page, social profiles, and online directories.
  • Name and address variations and changes. Once you change your business name, address or have name or address variations, you should immediately update your NAP info. Otherwise, it can cause inaccuracy and duplication.
  • Less is better. Don’t build a lot of citations for your business. It is really hard to manage too many citations in the context of multiple inconsistency issues. You are better off managing the most popular online directories with real Traffic and consistent NAP than having a lot of low-quality citations that are hard to update.
  • Closed and moved locations. If you have moved to a new location or closed your store, just leave it and don’t update your NAP information.
  • Different URL variations. Having duplicate web addresses can adversely impact your business. Just choose one URL and stick to it everywhere.

Once you identify NAP inconsistencies, manually analyze by using Google-Fu to find out citations that Google considers authoritative. For a business with multiple locations, I recommend tools like Moz Local or BrightLocal to manage NAP consistency problems.

Bonus tip: Track local SEO success

Even if you verify your GMB page, update your website, check out the NAP consistency on all of your business listings and social media profiles, tracking the success of marketing activities is vital for any local business.

For this purpose, check out Finteza to get advanced analytics. You will be able to get the truest picture of your local search performance, reveal a transparent breakdown of your Traffic and set conversion goals based on visited local pages or events.

Track Local SEO Success for NAP consistency

Wrapping up

Google intends to show search results that are perfect solutions for your search query. NAP consistency will help you rank better in Google Maps, let people find your business, and finally choose your business to meet their needs.

The more accurate and consistent the NAP Google finds, the more chances it will consider your business as legitimate and rank high for local searches. So, take full advantage of the opportunities staring you in the face and get your NAP profile right.

Guest author: Irina Weber is a blogger and marketing manager of SE ranking. She creates and develops new marketing campaigns, writes articles about online marketing, social media, conversion optimization on popular websites like Jeff Bullas, WordTracker, Onblastblog and other authoritative websites. If you have any questions, you can reach her on Twitter.

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