14 min read

Future Trends in Digital Marketing – Loom’s 2020 Predictions

curtain falling on stage

2019 has marked another year of sizable shifts in the digital marketing industry. This year’s changes are proof that digital marketing industry trends are evolving faster than ever, and emerging trends will continue to shape our digital marketing strategies.

So, as the curtain falls on 2019, the team of digital marketing experts at Loom look ahead to a bright 2020 and predict what new trends and changes we can expect to see in digital marketing. For each prediction, we’ve listed actionable takeaways that you can apply to your digital marketing strategy for 2020.

Use the below dropdown links to explore the article. 

Digital Strategy

Social Media

PPC & Biddable Media

SEO, Search & Content

Agency Services and Employee Well-being

2020: Digital strategy

Over the last year or so, digital strategy has had to evolve fast. The digital marketing purchase journey has become more complex than ever, with users making up to 250 online touchpoints before they eventually make a purchase. During that time they’ll interact with social media pages, videos, blogs and search engines – meaning the power of an integrated digital marketing strategy is more important than ever. 

Karen Pearce, our Director of Client Strategy discusses how she thinks digital strategy trends will evolve in 2020.

Integrated digital marketing will dominate marketing budgets

Karen Pearce 

Role: Director of Client Strategy 

Karen Pearce

Digital marketing has been taking budget from offline marketing channels for years. However, 2020 will be the year when brands really start to take advantage of a more integrated, data-informed approach to digital marketing.

This multi-channel, integrated digital marketing strategy will demand more of business’ overall marketing budget. Rather than focusing on siloed digital marketing campaigns such as PPC or content creation alone, this type of strategy incorporates many digital channels being used together, more holistically. The result will be an uplift in their digital marketing results as businesses reach their audiences more effectively throughout the online purchasing funnel. 

2020 quick wins: 

  • Focus resources on integrated digital marketing.
  • Tidy up your tracking. Do you have the data you need?

Social Media in 2020

2019 was an interesting year for social media marketers. The continued trend of influencers gathered pace, with businesses opting for micro-influencers over high profile celebrities to promote their products. 2019 also saw generation Z evolve to become a demographic powerhouse of online shoppers, sparking a rise in social commerce.

As a result, our social media feeds are becoming hotly fought-over spaces in which to sell to us. Cutting through the noise online has never been harder in such a highly contested environment.  

Two of our social media experts, Nuala and Alice have some exciting predictions about social media marketing trends in 2020. 

Online influencers will spark a bigger surge in social commerce

Nuala McBride

Role: PPC & Biddable Media Account Manager

Nuala McBride

In 2020, we’re expecting to see Instagram finally remove the ‘like’ feature after hinting this throughout the year. There’s been a lot of criticism of social media in relation to mental health, and many say this could be Instagram’s move to combat the criticism.

We also saw the sunsetting of the Google Plus network this year, Google’s only social media network. There’s a strong argument for how much social media influences search – so I’m guessing that Google won’t leave this space unaccompanied for long!

And lastly, Influencer marketing is growing exponentially at the moment and I predict that 2020 will be no different. With this comes the rise in social commerce. We expect in 2020 to see more companies trying to quantify the value of influencers and their impact on brands and people.

2020 quick wins: 

  • Get ready for social commerce by investing in social media resources.
  • Put marketing budget aside for influencer campaigns.

Video content and product research will dominate social media in 2020

Alice Fry

Role: Social Media Executive

Video will be social media’s most engaging content type in 2020. We can expect social channels to be completely saturated by video next year. And with statistics such as 56% of internet users watching videos on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram each month – if they’re not in your social content plan, they certainly should be. 

As social media lends itself so well to promoting products visually, we’ll also start to see social being used far more as a tool for product research. Although search will still lead the way when it comes to product research online, social is hot on its heels – and companies should start preparing. This digital marketing trend is already taking hold in fast-growing markets such as Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. In these countries, using social media ‘dramatically’ beats search engines for product research. That means companies need to start prioritsing social media resources if they want to be ahead of the curve.

2020 quick wins: 

  • Invest in resources for video creation and video marketing.
  • Invest in high-quality visual assets for social media and your website.
  • Invest in lifestyle photography of your products, ready for a surge in social product research.

Further social media Insights from Loom

Looking for more social media strategy inspiration? Below is a selection of articles from our Social Media experts designed to help businesses and marketing managers power charge social media performance.

PPC & Biddable Media in 2020

2019 saw the world of PPC continue it’s march towards automation, with Google Ads promoting Smart Bidding more aggressively than ever. By its very nature, machine learning gets better with time as more and more data points are added, and now we’re starting to see these bidding algorithms generate really strong results. 

It’s safe to say that harnessing automation as part of your PPC strategy is vital for 2020. 

PPC experts Tommy, Victoria, and Wez discuss what else is in store for PPC & Biddable in 2020.

Amazon will ramp Amazon Advertising up a gear

Victoria Doherty

Role: PPC & Biddable Media Account Manager

Victoria Doherty

Over the coming year, we can expect to see Amazon’s presence in the advertising world continue to grow, primarily due to its unique advantage over Google and Facebook: a higher purchase intent. As Amazon works on making its offering ever more sophisticated, I think we’ll see more e-commerce advertisers join the trend, and therefore invest more budget in the platform.

Aside from Amazon, we’ll also see automated solutions and general automation progress in 2020. Both how it’s viewed by the digital advertising community and how widely it’s utilised will rise in popularity. This will see the role of PPC Managers shift towards a bigger focus on strategy rather than manual implementation, allowing us to work smarter and faster while letting machine learning networks do the number crunching.

2020 quick wins: 

Display campaigns will be more effective with Programmatic 

Tommy Pearson

Role: Head of PPC

Tommy Pearson

96% of time online is spent outside the search engine results page, across websites, mobile, YouTube and social networks (Source: “State of the Media: The Social Media Report,” Nielsen) This means businesses can’t just rely on search to find new customers. Display Advertising Spend in the UK is predicted to pass $10 billion for the first time in 2020, and if you aren’t targeting your audiences effectively, you will get left behind.

When it comes to Display and Video, 2020’s focus will be on Programmatic advertising. This automated ad buying enables you to leverage AI to efficiently show your ads to the right audience in the right place and at the right time. You maintain control of the ads you show and who you show them to while the ad buying system uses thousands of targeting signals to target your users based on their habits and interests. As we know well, showing your ad to the right people means higher conversion numbers, and even more importantly, lower customer acquisition costs.

According to eMarketer, 85% of digital display ads in the US are on course to be through Programmatic means in 2020. With strong targeting now a very accessible reality, make sure your campaigns don’t get left in the dust!

2020 quick wins: 

Automated bidding will become the norm

Wez Cogan

Role: Senior Biddable Media Manager

Westley Cogan

In the past, the word “Smart” in PPC was synonymous with poor results.

However, years of innovation and a wealth of data points have resulted in a wave of conversations circulating around automated bidding and machine learning.

These conversations used to start with a panicky statement of “the machines are going to take our jobs” and end with “we are years away from this”.

Fortunately, there isn’t a number-crunching T-1000 poised to take our jobs, but instead more of an insightful robot butler (not called Jeeves!) who will allow PPC managers to take a more strategic role. As for the “years away,” the time is now and the algorithms are working the way they were first intended.

In 2020 we’ll see the large growth of automated bidding & Smart campaigns which will allow PPC managers to focus on experimentation, creativity, and strategy.

2020 quick wins: 

Additional PPC insights from Loom

Want extra content from our expert PPC and Biddable Media managers? The posts below are designed to help you get the most of your PPC campaigns.

SEO, search & content in 2020

SEO is known for its constant change, and 2019 has been no different. This year, Google released a huge update called BERT which focussed on better understanding language. A part of this update’s purpose is to be able to interpret longer queries, in turn helping Google to understand a growing number of voice searches.

There was also an emphasis on rewarding online content that was created using EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) principles.

2020 should be another exciting year for organic search. The SEO and Content team discuss what emerging SEO trends might take hold in ‘20.

Content strategy will need to focus on “content experience”

Hannah Gardiner

Role: Account Manager, Content Specialist 

Hannah Gardiner

In 2020, we’ll see a bigger trend towards “content experience” strategies. Content experience is the overall experience that a user has when accessing, consuming, and engaging with a brand’s content. Focus on these holistic, integrated online experiences is growing, and into 2020, deliberately crafted content experiences will become more complex, strategic and considered. 

Changes will include creating tailored content to show across various devices, platforms, and channels, as well as personalised content aimed at specific users based on how they’ve behaved earlier in the funnel. This will help generate stronger ROI from content marketing campaigns.

2020 quick wins: 

  • Work with content strategists who plan content campaigns with devices, channels, and platforms in mind. 

Technical SEO will be more crucial than ever in 2020

Claire Young

Role: SEO Manager

Claire Lagoutte

Ranking in 2020 will be focussed on real-world signals that cannot be faked. This means communicating your true brand image across all digital channels, not just Google, will be more important than ever. Keywords, terms, and phrases used without context will be far less important. Companies should instead focus on the overall value of genuinely useful, intent-driven content. 

Searching on mobile brings local search to the forefront and with 5G being rolled out soon, Google still needs sites to be faster. Site speed will be core to fine-tuning your site performance in the SERPs – SPEED = visibility and success

Devices are changing and people’s interactions with devices are changing. Users are getting information from a range of online sources (and NOT just Google) so Google (and marketers) have to be responsive about what’s happening in the real world. 

2020 quick wins: 

  • Focus on creating genuinely useful, intent-driven content.
  • Make sure your mobile site is fast and user-friendly.

We’ll see more tools to help with video ad marketing

Thom Popejoy

Role: Account Manager, content specialist

Thom Popejoy

Creating bespoke assets from existing video content has mostly involved getting someone to repurpose what you have in the bank. No more! This year, Google released a tool called Bumper Machine that turns videos under 90 seconds into a 6-second bumper ad, using machine learning to find the most relevant parts of your video.

As video continues to establish itself as the dominant content form online, don’t be surprised if you start to see AI tools that take our content and turn it into bespoke assets for ad platforms online. 

I predict that in 2020 we will see a greater number of tools developed and made available for people that want to create quick and easy video assets for their marketing campaigns. 

2020 quick wins: 

  • Use video creation & editing tools to repurpose existing videos

Extra SEO and content insights from Loom

Want more SEO insights? The below selection of articles is designed to help businesses and marketing managers understand how to improve their SEO and content strategies.

Agency services and employee well-being

Away from channel-specific predictions, here at Loom we’re passionate about refining and improving our processes and methods.

Whether it’s how we service our clients or treat our employees, 2020 will be another year of us innovating on how to be the best agency we can be. Our Director, Nikki and Chief Happiness Officer, Vicky discuss how Loom is pushing things forward as a digital marketing agency. 

Agencies will need to be flexible and know-how to collaborate

Nikki Ellison 

Role: Director & Founder 

Nicola Ellison

The evolution of marketing has gone beyond building a brand and growing revenue. We are now in an era where marketing teams are also the custodians of customer experience, data, and digital transformation. What does this mean for agencies? Our role to support clients needs to adapt and change.

As agencies, we’ll need to have a better understanding of the client business metrics, audience, market challenges, industry opportunities. That means clients will start to favour agencies that are skilled collaborators, sparking a shift towards clients using specialist agencies and putting internal resources into managing these multiple partners.

Agencies will need to help clients navigate the very complex marketing tech landscape, and offer strategic solutions to their clients rather than just focussing on delivery and execution as the core service.

Lastly, agencies need to adopt an agile approach to workstreams and support clients in helping them organise these.

2020 quick wins: 

  • Choose to work with agencies who are skilled collaborators 
  • Invest in points of contact to manage your agencies to get the best results 

Employee wellness aids creativity – so it will become a priority

Vicky Hockley

Role: Senior Account Manager & Chief Happiness Officer

Vicky Hockley

The importance of employee happiness became a hot topic in 2019. In 2020 we’re expecting to see employers take this even further by building in more time for employees to be creative during working hours. Whether this is encouraged time out of the office to ‘daydream’ or the availability of different working spaces, employers are starting to see the advantage of giving their creative minds space to think. 

As our brains have more and more information and stress to deal with, employers will come to realise that creativity can’t just be called up – especially when there are added stresses in play.

2020 quick wins: 

  • Happy teams are effective teams – choose to work with agencies that have a big focus on creativity and employee wellbeing.

Loom’s extra insights on culture, wellness, and employee happiness 

Our unique culture is something we’re very proud of at Loom. This year we’ve gone above and beyond to refine how we manage our agency, both from an efficiency point of view, and an employee happiness point of view.

Below is a collection of articles about our approach to agency culture, employee happiness – two of which feature in the local press.

Your business’ 2020 digital marketing strategy

So it looks like 2020 will be an absolute cracker for the world of digital marketing. Are you ready for some of the changes we’ve predicted? Do you feel like you need to supercharge your marketing? If so, we’d love to help you out.

We help businesses succeed online. From PPC and SEO to Content Marketing and Social Media, our team of digital marketing experts is dedicated to managing and executing successful digital marketing strategies for our clients. We can help you take a giant leap forward with your digital marketing in 2020. 

Give us a call on 0117 923 2021 or drop us an email at hello@loomdigital.co.uk and find out how we can help you and your business.

From everyone at the Loom HQ – we wish you a prosperous 2020.

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