By Dr Amit Nagpal
Digital Marketing has taken India by the storm. Mushrooming training institutes, new courses like MBA (Digital Marketing), increasing influence of social media influencers, increasing popularity of video blogging, and so on are symbolic of the fact that digital marketing is here to stay.
Here are the top 14 digital marketing trends which are likely to rule in 2020:-
WhatsApp for Business & WhatsApp Marketing
WhatsApp marketing has caught the attention and broadcasts and groups for marketing have already become popular among freelancers such as trainers, coaches, graphic designers etc. WhatsApp will become one of the most important tools for small businesses in 2020.
Customer Service chatbots
While many banks in India have started using chatbots, they will truly dominate in 2020. While conducting training, I gave the demonstration of Axis Bank AHA chatbot and it did not answer my first two questions (relating to current accounts) very well.
I replied to AHA, “We are not having an AHA experience” and AHA quickly responded, “Sorry. I can currently handle the questions relating to following areas only”. Well chabots now even know when to say sorry.
Mass usage of video
While video has already caught the fancy of Indian audiences, more production of videos is going to happen in 2020. As mobile apps for basic video editing have already arrived, most of the smartphone users will create their own videos: be it for marketing small businesses, self-marketing, resumes, short films etc.
Rise and Rise of Personal Branding
Personal branding has caught the fancy of Indians. Organisations like GoDaddy are giving it further boost by popularizing the concepts of personal portal through their innovative campaigns such as online starter bundle, Godaddy ke saath website banao, make the world you want etc.
Be it social media or websites, more and more people are going to share their digital stories in video, text and PPT formats.
Snapchat gets the credit for popularizing stories on social media, but now all major players have joined the game including Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. GoDaddy is even saying in its ads, “Don’t get stuck in someone else’s story. Write your own story”.
Leave it to AI
A chatbot can coach you too. Executive Coach Sudakar Reddy has launched a coaching chatbot named Amura.
AI is going to take the role of augmented intelligence. For example Smart Bidding feature on Google Ads (for programmatic buying) makes much more accurate predictions about how different bid amounts may impact the conversions.
Customers build your brand, not you
Your brand today is the sum total of conversations about you on social media. You can’t control the conversation, but you can engage.
You can participate in the conversation and show you care through a prompt response.
Social media teams will work 24 X 7 in 2020 as which direction the conversation takes, is still in the hands of brands.
Speed of Response
Customer service and social media teams need to be integrated for faster response to customer complaints and queries on social media.
You need to quickly answer because if you don’t your competitor will. Complaint tweets which are not getting quick response from Airtel are getting offers from Reliance (of portability). The new mantra is, “Your speed of response if your brand”.
Human machine collaboration
Well you can’t leave it on the chatbots alone because in India we have a contextual culture. We may use hint language or sarcasm instead of straightforward replies. Companies need to keep an eye on chatbots through smart employees who can read and hear between the lines.
There is a saying in marketing world, “The customer is lazy” and voice search follows the principle. Since a large chunk of voice search answers come from a featured snippet, Also known as position zero, smart marketers will jostle to occupy the privileged space.
Social Selling and social commerce
From Instagram checkouts to LinkedIn lead gen forms, social media is the new marketplace. More and more people are going to buy on social media, as the experimentation phase is over and growth phase has begun.
SMEs join Content Marketing Bandwagon
Not just corporate but even SMEs are going to join the content marketing bandwagon. Be it whitepapers or in-depth blogs or infograpics content pulls.
As digital changes the game from push marketing to attraction marketing, content is going to generate leads for SMEs also in 2020.
Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
PWAs are basically websites that work like mobile apps. They offer many features of mobile app such as fast load times, working offline, utilizing device hardware, etc. They work like mobile apps and are not restricted by the kind of device or platform. They will rule the roost in 2020.
Humanise the Brand
The paradox of our times is that humans are trying to become brands and brands are trying to be human. Brands will try harder to make emotional connect online. Increasing use of technology is also creating a parallel need to humanize the technology story. Google Assistant has a sense of humour too.
If you don’t have a sense of humour yet, develop it fast. You don’t want to be outsmarted by a machine. Or do you?
Dr Amit Nagpal is the President and Co-Founder, Bloggers Alliance, a not for profit society of bloggers. He is a Business Storyteller, Keynote Speaker and Brand Storytelling Coach. He has more than two decades of work experience in training / coaching, and varied industries in corporate sector including publishing, media and digital marketing. He is also the author of four books on topics such as personal branding, storytelling, and productivity et al. His latest book is Heroes Amongst Us.