What is Digital Marketing, and How is it Useful in 2020?

In 2020, one of the best and most cost-effective ways to market a business is through digital marketing. If you own a business and haven’t placed a priority on marketing it online, it’s far past time to get with the program. What exactly is digital marketing, though? Put simply, it’s any form of marketing that takes place online. Popular digital marketing channels like websites, social media, search engines, email, online maps and online directories can all play a role in an effective digital marketing strategy. The possibilities are endless, allowing you to experiment and to analyze what works – and what doesn’t – without spending a fortune.

Read on for eight important digital marketing topics that are poised to dominate the landscape in 2020.

  1. Niche and Alternative Social Media Channels – Although it’s still crucial to have business pages on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, it’s increasingly important to branch out to smaller, more niche social media channels. Focusing on developing a presence on channels like Reddit, Pinterest, Medium and Snapchat will serve you well in 2020 and help you to generate effective leads for your business.
  2. Social Commerce – You don’t have to be an online retailer to take advantage of social commerce, which involves offering products and services directly through social media posts and advertisements. As long as you sell something, channels like Instagram Checkout and Facebook can effectively be used to reach a wider, more relevant audience. If you have an existing Shopify account, you can link it to various social media platforms to quickly and easily get started. With approximately 54 percent of people using social commerce to perform research for goods and services, this is a hot area in digital marketing for 2020.
  3. Vlogging – Blogs have long been a great way to bolster an effective digital marketing strategy. Videos have also been highly recommended for effective SEO and online marketing for many years too. Increasingly, however, a combination of the two – vlogging – is taking hold and rising in prominence. This personal, more direct way of reaching out to and engaging with customers is commonly practiced on platforms like Instagram Stories, Snapchat and YouTube, and it is a great way to boost the overall online presence of your company or brand. From live-streaming events to quick, interesting interviews, it’s a terrific option for enhancing your digital marketing efforts in 2020.
  4. Interactive Emails – If you think that email marketing is passé, think again. In reality, it continues to be among the very best ways to engage in effective online marketing. Indeed, the ROI of email marketing is a staggering 3,200 percent, making it one of the most cost-effective options out there. In 2020, though, you’re apt to get better results by upgrading to more polished and interactive emails to customers and prospects. More akin to websites than traditional emails, these messages are sure to boost your conversion rates in a big way.
  5. Direct Messaging – Consumers are increasingly reluctant to pick up the phone and call for more information or help. If they can’t find the answers they need online, they turning more and more to direct messaging – and companies that provide such a service are faring well in 2020. From customer service to sales, direct messages offer an immediate yet simple way for users to reach out – and for businesses to respond and engage. Excellent channels for getting into the direct messaging game include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber and the messaging features on platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
  6. Programmatic Advertising – Search engine marketing – especially pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising – continues to be a great way to draw in relevant traffic to websites and other digital assets. However, the landscape has become so confusing and competitive that you practically need a full-time staff to manage it all. Thankfully, in 2020, programmatic advertising via automated software is more readily available than ever. Options like SmartyAds and Adobe Marketing Cloud can automatically place and buy ads, track performance and engage in effective customer targeting strategies. Therefore, if you invest in any marketing programs in 2020, choose programmatic advertising software.
  7. Sentiment Analysis – Also known as social listening, sentiment analysis is coming into its own in 2020 – and it’s easier to get on board than ever. That’s because a wide array of algorithmic software and data collecting tools are now available, including Critical Mention and Repustate. These tools analyze online reactions to a company’s products, services and even its content in a quick and effective way. They scour online reactions to various activities and then offer suggestions regarding how to proceed to capitalize on them the best. Invest in this type of software this year to get the ball rolling and to reap the rewards.
  8. Micro-Influencers – Social media influencers – folks who have amassed huge followings and who can direct massive amounts of business a company’s way through a mere mention of its products and services – have played a big role in digital marketing for some time. In 2020, however, smaller companies with smaller budgets have been edged out of the game – but an alternative has arisen. Micro-influencers – social media accounts with around 30,000 followers or so – are a viable and effective way to reach your target audience. In fact, compared with big-time influencers, micro-influencers are about 6.7 times more cost-effective and enjoy 60-percent more engagement than their larger counterparts, according to Adweek.

Knowing what you do now about what digital marketing is and why it’s so crucial in 2020, you are probably raring to go. However, making even one or two of the above steps happen can be a tall order for a small business owner or entrepreneur. A great way to get around this is by outsourcing the work to a reliable and effective digital marketing agency, and Digital Ascent Solutions has you covered in that regard. With our assistance, you can embrace the full benefits of digital marketing in 2020 and see the success of your business skyrocket.