From Greta Thunberg and other young people leading the Global Climate Strikes to Labour having their lowest number of seats since 1935, 2019 has been one hell of a ride.

Notable shifts have also been felt across the marketing industry, from the ban of junk food and gambling ads to the rise of new social media channels like TikTok. With the landscape constantly evolving, marketers need to stay ahead to gain a competitive edge and develop new ways to grow their businesses and brands. 

So as the curtain falls on the past year and decade, our team of experts at Stellar Search have put together a few digital marketing trends and changes to expect in 2020. For each prediction, we’ve also put together some actionable takeaways to ensure that you can integrate these trends with your existing digital strategy.

The screws will turn tighter on social media 

It may be over two years on from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but last year we saw Facebook and Instagram trailing the removal of the ‘like’ feature, which came from criticism in the media in relation to mental health. In the next year, we expect to see these channels finally removing the feature to combat the critics. 

The removal of likes is a huge change for marketers, as brands and businesses will have to become more creative and innovative with their content. 

Our advice would be to implement a paid strategy, as to us the removal of likes signals a pay-to-play motive and reflects the monetisation of social media platforms. For more strategies on how to overcome this click here to read our previous blog post which covers this issue in depth.

AI & Machine Learning will continue to grow

AI and machine learning are hot topics right now. Facebook using more advanced machine learning techniques to target users with ads and serve content alongside Google heavily investing in automation and promoting Smart Bidding more than ever.  

When it comes to PPC, we believe smart bidding will become the norm in 2020, meaning you’ll be able to get your ad to the right people at the right time, resulting in higher conversions and lower acquisition costs as we’re now able to translate information into real-time actions instantaneously. 

We suggest putting a PPC team in place who know how to get the most out of machine learning and AI. Whilst AI is great for deciding which users get which message at what time, it’s still up to brands to dig into the data, test new copy and creatives and remove the poor performers. 

Amazon will become more powerful

Amazon now accounts for 13% of paid-search market share, with more and more buyers going directly to Amazon rather than using search engines to find products. There’s no doubt its presence in the advertising world will continue to grow. 

Amazon Ads have a key advantage over the likes of Google and Facebook – buyer intent. Users on the site are ready to purchase, resulting in higher conversion rates and ROI. 

Set aside an e-commerce budget for Amazon advertising and build a brand name as quickly as possible so that shoppers are eventually searching for you by name, rather than by product. If you want more information on how to leverage Amazon to your advantage, click here to register for our keynote event which will be taking place in April 2020. 

If you found these digital marketing predictions interesting, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn and let us know what your digital marketing predictions are for 2020!