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New year, new trends! That’s right, 2020 is here which means one thing: a whole new set of marketing trends to build into your strategies. But what’s in store for marketing in 2020? Well, from our research, we’ve found 7 key trends set to shake up the year ahead, these include:

  • Brand Storytelling
  • B2B Influencer Marketing
  • Visual Search
  • New Shoppable Features
  • Progressive Web Apps
  • Esports 

No one wants to be a year behind or, even worse, stuck in the last decade, so read on to discover how you can make the most of these top marketing trends… 

New Approaches to Narrative

It’s no longer enough for brands to send out campaigns with thinly veiled marketing messages. In 2020, it’s never been more important for consumers to be exposed to a range of voices and for narratives to be shared using non-traditional formats. 

Non-traditional formats making waves in 2020 include:

  • Sharing employee stories on social media
  • UGC content
  • Podcasts
  • Brand Newsrooms 
  • Story formats on social i.e. Instagram and Facebook Stories 

Brands also need to look at making their product placements more subtle and sophisticated, by aligning themselves with a fictional story that has captured people’s imaginations. For example, Stranger Things and the launch of Burger King’s Upside Down Whopper. 

For more on brand narratives, download our latest guide ‘2020 Trends: Marketing Trends with a Global Reach’.

B2B Gets Influential

According to Demand Gen’s The 2019 Content Preferences Survey, 95% of respondents named reliable content from industry influencers as their B2B marketing preference, an increase of 30% from the previous year. So, B2B influencers are a big trend this new year. Many B2B companies are seeing that influencer campaigns lead to a combination of the following: greater engagement, increased lead generation, better lead quality and a higher number of ebook and guide downloads. 

But, what B2B influencer content works best? Well, LinkedIn generates 80% of B2B Leads, so it’s a great place to start. Great content to use on LinkedIn includes: 

  • Informative lists (between 5-10 bullet points)
  • Short video think pieces
  • LinkedIn Live videos

Other channels and content formats to consider for your B2B marketing strategy include: Plain Content

  • Case Studies
  • Webinars 
  • Influencer events 

Want to get influential with your 2020 marketing? Download our latest guide ‘2020 Trends: Marketing Trends with a Global Reach’ to find out how!

Eyes on the Buys

Placing images at the heart of the shopping experience, visual search is rapidly changing the way products are discovered online. Thanks to visual search tools (such as Google Lens, Pinterest Lens, Bing Visual Search and Amazon’s StyleSnap) that are making the modern shopping experience more intuitive and efficient, shoppers are no longer confined to one brand’s product line. 

But it’s not just good news for shoppers, brands who have successfully developed a visual search function have found it presents a huge opportunity to build loyalty and boost sales. And, far from undermining the experience of shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, many brands have discovered that online visual search can in fact complement their offline offer. Take customer service: chatbots that incorporate a visual search tool can help users find a product or accessory without having to browse the entire range. 

Social Becomes Shoppable

With the introduction of new shoppable features, a bridge has been built between product inspiration and product purchase. Shoppable has removed the hassle of following a different path to the product, e.g. by physically searching for the retailer’s website. Now customers can satisfy their desire to purchase immediately simply by tapping a button in-app. 

A huge number of channels are adopting new shoppable formats, in different yet equally exciting ways. Here’s all you need to know for 2020:

  • 130M Instagram users are tapping on shopping posts every month 
  • In the US, Instagram has introduced an in-app checkout feature. 
  • At the end of 2019, YouTube launched its first shoppable ads. 
  • TikTok has also been busy testing shoppable features, including Shoppable Hashtag Plus.
  • Last year, Adidas were the first brand to sell content via a shoppable game on Snapchat.

Need more info on the future of shopping? Download our latest marketing trends guide now

From Web to App to PWA

They look like native apps, but when it comes to connecting with new customers, driving conversions and increasing revenue, progressive web apps are in a league of their own. In fact, 50% of all consumer-facing native apps will be replaced by PWAs by 2020.

So, what do you need to know about PWAs? Well, PWAs can hugely improve a user’s  online experience, especially when it comes to making purchases. For example, 

  • PWAs load quicker than traditional websites.
  • PWAs are partially powered by push notifications which have been identified as being responsible for higher click-through rates.
  • PWAs take up less storage. 
  • PWAs are converting customers while helping to reduce bounce rates and cart abandonment. 
  • PWAs are consistently up to date.

It’s Game On for Esports

Put simply, esports is competitive gaming, organised in a sports league style. Esports teams or professional players compete against each other, tackling some of the industry’s most popular games, Newzoo predicts that, by 2021, there’ll be 297M global esports enthusiasts, and a further 347M casual viewers.  So, with such huge audiences to tap into, brands are sure to get noticed if they play the game right. 

So what can brands do to tap into esports audiences?

  • Collaborate with influencers, using their live-streams for product placement like the chocolate brand Hershey’s partnership of Ninja and DrLupo. 
  • Sponsor a team or league like Nike who, in 2019, announced their collaboration with the League of Legends Pro League in China. 
  • Consider new product developments; K Swiss’ esports trainers named One Tap sold out within an hour of their launch. 
  • Start new events and take them global. In 2019 Red Bull took many of their esports tournaments around the world, including the Red Bull Kumite in Japan. 

We hope our quick introduction into 2020’s marketing trends has been useful! If you’d like to find out more, download our new guide, ‘Trends 2020: Marketing Trends with a Global Reach’ now!

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