Digital marketing trends small businesses should be aware of

Digital marketing trends small businesses should be aware of

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The benefits of effective digital marketing can be vast, but it’s a world that’s constantly evolving thanks to the rapid advancements being made in the technology arena.

Because of that, it’s the job of small business owners to keep on top of the ever-changing developments in order to stay one step ahead of the competition. 

But don’t worry, it’s our mission to keep small businesses flourishing, so we’ve taken one thing off your plate and put together a guide to the four digital marketing trends you need to be aware of in 2020 to stay on your A-game.

1. Artificial intelligence

Let’s start with the big hitter - artificial intelligence (AI). It’s been on the scene for a while now, but 2020 is the year it’s going to become a staple in the digital marketing efforts of small businesses, because:

Why is AI such an important tool for businesses?

In essence, because it’s capable of some pretty remarkable things, like:

  • Analysing your customers’ behaviour 
  • Providing you with an accurate picture of your users
  • Analysing online behaviours and search patterns
  • Showing how browsers find what they’re looking for online.

This sort of information is like gold dust for business owners - it allows you to position your business where it needs to be to be found, and also provide consumers with what they want. Genius, right?

The rise of chatbots

The biggest indicator that 2020 will be the year for AI is the growing popularity and implementation of chatbots which can offer heaps of perks to consumers and business owners alike:

  • They’re available 24/7
  • They remember consumer purchase history
  • A chatbot will never get fed up with too many questions
  • They’re more efficient at dealing with simple tasks
  • They deal with repetitive tasks thus freeing up your time, and
  • Time is money, so they do your purse strings a favour too.

Top tip #1: Start looking into AI solutions to maintain a competitive advantage.

2. Mobile traffic is changing

While mobile traffic to the web has been on a crazy upwards spiral for quite some time, the experts predict that’s about to change in 2020 thanks to Google and voice search.

Don’t panic, that doesn’t mean you’re going to suddenly lose all your visitors, it just means you need to clue yourself up and adapt to stay ahead of the tide. 

Culprit #1: Google

The search goliath has developed some pretty nifty tricks to encourage users to stay on their search engine results page, and they’re working.

One example is featured ‘snippets’ which pop up at the top of each results page, providing a brief section of text aimed at answering consumer questions without them needing to click-through to the website it was pulled from. 

Why would you click on the link if you’ve already got what you were looking for? Clever, isn’t it.

The solution

But all is not lost, the key to overcoming this is working on the content of your website so you’ve got a good chance of appearing in said snippet. Think about keywords (but don’t overstuff) and common consumer queries and searches and you’ll be on the right tracks.

This is also a branding opportunity - if the tone of voice in your snippet is instantly recognisable as your business, consumers will remember that and chances are head straight to you as a valuable source of information next time they’re in the market for it.

Culprit #2: voice search

Here’s a fun fact for you, experts predict 50% of all searches will be made using voice search in 2020. 

Yep, the technology is racing forwards, and consumers can now make purchases and orders without even picking up their devices, so your business needs to adapt to ensure you don’t lose out on these new searches.

The solution

To up your chances of being found in voice searches you need to rethink the way you approach your content:

  • Optimise for rich answers
  • Use conversational language
  • Restructure your content with spoken phrases in mind
  • Target long-tail keyword phrases

Top tip #2: start working on your content and optimise it for Google snippets and voice search.

3. Get real

2020 is the year to start treating consumers as more than just pound signs - they know when they’re being sold to and they don’t like it, so treat them like the people they are and you’re on to a winner.

The personal touch is trickier to deliver in an online environment than during a face-to-face interaction, but with the world jumping online more than ever - skyrocketed by the pandemic - businesses that don’t get personal are sure to be left trailing.

It’s all about quality over quantity, and consumers can sniff insincerity out a mile off, so you need to be personable, authentic, and relevant to ride this wave. The payoff? Loyal customers and that’s every business owners ultimate goal.

How do we do it? We hear you cry. Here are our top tips for getting real in 2020:

  • Provide people with useful information
  • Be empathetic 
  • Interact and engage
  • Do your research on the questions your target audience are asking, and
  • Answer them!
  • Personalise your tone as much as you can.

Top tip #3: provide that personal touch online and reap the benefits.

4. Videos are evolving

In recent years videos have become the king of consumable content, so if you haven’t joined the movement yet, 2020 is the year to get on board.

Part and parcel of their rise in popularity is the difficulty for businesses to differentiate themselves in a crowded market and as a consequence, many started chopping up longer videos and spreading them out across multiple digital channels.

The result? It’s diluting everyone’s video reach, so if you’re guilty of doing this, stop, and if you’re new to videos avoid this tactic.

Instead, focus your efforts on creating one top-quality video that will work on all your platforms.

Live videos

Some of the biggest social media platforms - like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, are on a pursuit to compete with traditional live television, so it’s a good idea to consider using live videos as part of your digital marketing in 2020.

Go live and the platforms will favour your content and push your stream to all of your subscribers and followers - it’s a top marketing trick - and once they’ve found their way to your page you’ll be boosting the traction on your pre-recorded videos and upping engagement. 

Top tip #4: work on the quality of your videos and consider going live.

Whatever the trends are overtime, make sure your business offers robust payment solutions that stand the test of time. We offer a great range of card machines for small businesses because we believe in choice and finding what's right for you. When you find the perfect one, our Specialist Joining Team will be here to support you along the way, from setting everything up, to making sure you're fully confident taking payments on your own. 

For heaps more info, advice and guidance for small businesses head to our choc-a-bloc blog.

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce


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