It’s no secret that businesses strive to stay on top of—or ideally, ahead—of marketing trends. With the digital landscape continuously changing and creating new ways to interact between brands and their customers, it can be hard to keep up and even harder for brands trying to figure out how to break into the digital marketing sphere. While there’s no crystal ball that will tell us what digital marketing will look in 5 years, we can analyze some today’s trends to figure out what direct we should be heading.
Here are my predictions for what brands will need to survive the digital marketing landscape of the 2020s:
When it comes to interacting with consumers, transparency is key. Consumers are no longer interested in brands that merely get the job done, they want to see brand practices and culture. From revenue numbers to energy and waste practices, consumers are more likely to trust brands that practice transparency (Birkett, 2020). Customers want to know they’re using products that are ethically made by people who are ethically treated and delivered by earth-friendly means. Transparency is a sign of vulnerability and creates a unique, personal connection between businesses and consumers, cultivating trust and loyalty. Transparency is no longer an option for companies and will soon become the standard rather than the exception.
With mobile phones becoming smarter and more and more integrated into our lives, it’s a pretty safe bet that mobile marketing isn’t going anywhere. According to the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), nearly three quarters of web users will access the internet solely through their smart phones by 2025, an increase of approximately 20% (Handley, 2019). While mobile marketing may not be considered new, it too falls into the category of “must have” for small and large businesses alike. One on the biggest drivers for this increase in mobile use is the introduction of 5G, which offers higher-speeds and broader cellular network than Wi-Fi (Bump, 2020). All that being said, brands will need to ensure their mobile site and apps work intuitively for consumers and mobile expectations become more demanding.
With the rise of YouTube, Facebook Stories, TikTok and now Instagram Reels, video has quickly risen to superstar status in the marketing world. Video content is entertaining, engaging and usually easy to digest, making it popular among internet users of all ages (Digital Marketing Institute, 2019). What’s more, viewers are twice as likely to share video content (Wyzowl, 2020), meaning your hard work goes farther and is seen more when compared to written content. When creating video content, we do need to remember that nearly 50% of viewers watch video content on their smartphones (Sukhraj, 2020), so optimizing videos for mobile viewing will need to be done. (Quick hack: consider shooting your video vertically, rather than horizontal so you appear larger on the screen.)
With all that’s going on in the U.S. lately, I would be amiss if I didn’t include inclusivity on this list. The reality is that it’s taken this long to see the lack of diversity in marketing campaigns and today’s generations are calling for a change. Over the next few years, brands are likely to take this call for change to heart or else suffer the fury of social justice minded Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Inclusive marketing, however is more than just skin deep; brands will need to ensure they walk the walk, by creating diverse workspaces. From ethnicity to gender identification, disabilities to veteran status, and age to religious affiliation, brands will need to ensure they foster a diverse corporate community that is reflected in their inclusive marketing (Gynn, 2020).
100+ Video Marketing Statistics For 2020 (All New Data). Wyzowl. (2020). https://www.wyzowl.com/video-marketing-statistics-2020/.
Ahmad, I. (2018, March 6). The State of Video Marketing in 2018 [Infographic]. Social Media Today. https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/the-state-of-video-marketing-in-2018-infographic/518339/.
Birkett, A. (2020, August 16). Why You Should Embrace Transparency Marketing. CXL. https://cxl.com/blog/transparency-marketing/.
Bump, P. (2020, March 5). 5 Ways 5G Will Impact Marketers. HubSpot Blog. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/5g.
Digital Marketing Institute. (2019, November 15). The Importance of Video Marketing. Digital Marketing Institute. https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/the-importance-of-video-marketing.
Gynn, A. (2020, June 4). How to Do Diverse and Inclusive Content Marketing That Matters. Content Marketing Institute. https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2020/06/diverse-inclusive-content-marketing/.
Handley, L. (2019, January 24). Nearly three quarters of the world will use just their smartphones to access the internet by 2025. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/24/smartphones-72percent-of-people-will-use-only-mobile-for-internet-by-2025.html.
The Importance of Transparency in Social Media Marketing. Global Marketing Professor. (2019, May 27). https://globalmarketingprofessor.com/the-importance-of-transparency-in-social-media-marketing/.
Sukhraj, R. (2020, July 28). 14 Reasons Why You Need to Use Video Content Marketing [2019 Infographic]. IMPACT. https://www.impactbnd.com/blog/video-content-the-importance-of-video-marketing.