As 2019 draws to a close, many brands are looking at their marketing plans through the holidays and into the new year. In the digital marketing world, change is the name of the game, and algorithms constantly adjust to provide a better user experience. This, in turn, creates potential problems for marketers, who must learn to adjust with the ever-changing whims of Google, Facebook, and other platforms. As you consider your marketing plans for 2020, here are some of the digital marketing trends you’ll want to watch.

1. The Rise of “Shoppable” Posts

People are relying on social media more and more as they make purchasing decisions. In fact, over half of the people on Instagram, 60 percent to be exact, indicate they’re using the platform to discover new products. In 2020, you can take that a step further by allowing people to actually purchase items or services through a post.

Three of the four major social media platforms, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, now allow ecommerce businesses to create “shoppable” posts which allow someone to purchase directly through the post. This eliminates the extra step of having to consciously navigate to the product page to make a purchase, and will likely increase sales when used effectively.

2. Growth of Interactive Content

Quizzes, polls, virtual reality technology, 360-degree video, and similar interactive content gets more engagement from today’s internet user, and people spend more time interacting with these posts. This extra time increases the chances that people will make a purchase after interacting with the post. It also increases brand awareness. Both of these make interactive content a key focus of digital marketing for 2020.

3. Additional Focus on Voice Search

Currently, over ¼ of adults in the United States have a smart speaker in their home. In addition, 31 percent of smartphone users use voice-activated search in 2019. That number increases daily, and by 2002 half of all online searches are projected to be voice.

If your website is not optimized for voice search, you’re going to face a serious disadvantage in 2020. This year you should strongly consider optimizing your website and other online content for the way people are now choosing to search. In other words, if Alexa and Siri can’t find you, neither can your potential customers.

4. Increased Use of Immersive Tech

Immersive technologies, like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are becoming less a novelty and more a part of everyday life. Marketers should find ways to leverage this technology to their full advantage.

Companies can leverage these to let customers try products out before they buy. Consider a furniture retailer, as an example. Using AR, the retailer shows a customer exactly how a couch would look in their living room using just an image of the space and superimposing the couch into it. This helps customers make more informed decisions, and in many instances can encourage faster buying decisions. AR is on pace to overshadow VR by 2021, so it’s going to be a major player in digital marketing in the coming year.

5. New Use of Social Messaging Apps

Social messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger and others, provide a personalized point of contact between a business and its customers. Personalization is key to reaching the modern consumer, and chatting with them on the app they already use can help. Of course, most businesses don’t have enough staff to individually chat with each consumer who wants to, but chatbots can help filter chats until they need human intervention from a customer support specialist.

6. New Focus on Social Stories

Snapchat started the trend of social stories, and other social media platforms have jumped on board. Instagram is no stranger to the social stories phenomenon, but now other social media platforms, like Facebook, are jumping in. Because stories disappear after 24 hours, people feel driven to watch them for fear of missing out. The popularity of social stories should increase in 2020, and savvy marketers will learn how to leverage them well.

7. Continued Growth of Influencer Marketing

People want recommendations when buying a product or service. Often, they’ll turn to other consumers to get that recommendation. In fact 92 percent of consumers state they trust peer recommendations more than advertising. So how can you leverage this in marketing?

Partnering with social influencers, and allowing them to honestly review your products, will work well in 2020. “Influencers” are social media and YouTube personalities that people enjoy watching. Get an influencer to market your product for you, and your business will grow exponentially.

The digital marketing world is constantly in a state of flux. To succeed, you must stay on top of trends and changes. Going into 2020, keep these seven trends in mind, and use them to help grow your own business success.