From influencers to retargeting, several trends and technologies have defined marketing in the last decade. Of these, which will continue to affect the marketing world in the future, and which new trends will accompany them?

As the 2010s wind-down, a growing number of marketing industry experts are sharing their lists of top trends that they believe will define the industry in the next decade. 

With the world of marketing changing rapidly, both in response to new technologies and recent changes in the way people shop for and buy things, it seems likely that the next decade’s trends will be quite different from those that defined marketing in the last decade.

We’ve listed five future marketing trends with information on how they’re likely to change from the last decade.

1. Shopping on Social Networks

While the 2010s gave us social media advertising, it’s the 2020s that are likely to bring us new ways of shopping for products directly from social networks.

Shopping has already started to become a reality on specific social networks, including Instagram. Instead of clicking through to a separate platform, many users can now purchase goods directly from Instagram’s interface using the app’s Shop feature.

Online Marketing Trends For 2020

With this trend still in its infancy, expect to see social media-based e-commerce develop very rapidly over the coming years as social networks tap into a new revenue source, and vendors make the most of a growing sales channel.

2. Holiday Influencer Marketing

Until recently, influencer marketing has focused mainly on raising awareness of certain brands and products, with relatively little focus on direct sales. However, this is changing rapidly as an ever-increasing number of brands push for direct engagement, particularly around the holidays.

As the Wall Street Journal recently noted, an increasing number of brands are pushing for their influencers to promote products and offers around holiday periods, particularly Christmas.

It’s a change in holiday marketing strategy, as brands have historically spent the majority of their holiday marketing budgets on conventional advertising, such as television, newspaper, and even broad-market online advertising. 

It’s also one that’s likely to continue into the 2020s, with total spending on influencer marketing up from $500 million in 2015 to between $4.1 and $8.2 billion this year. 

3. Personalized Marketing

With data collection on the rise, advertisers now have access to more information about both your shopping habits and your life than ever before.

Privacy implications aside, the massive recent increase in data collection means that modern advertisers have an unprecedented level of ways to personalize their messaging and ensure their campaigns targeted individuals directly.

From simple location-based targeting to ad personalization based on interests, identities, and numerous other factors, be prepared to see a significant increase in personalized advertising over the next decade.

4. A Focus on Content Quality

Throughout the 2010s, content marketing emerged as a way for brands to generate significant amounts of attention at a relatively low cost.

However, with search and recommendation algorithms mostly unable to differentiate between higher and lesser quality content, most marketers took a “more is better” approach to content, focusing on quantity rather than quality and engagement.

With search algorithms and technologies such as YouTube’s recommendation feature valuing quality highly, content marketing in the 2020s is much more likely to revolve around producing the best possible content rather than merely producing as much as possible.

We’ve already seen this trend start with the significant increase in long-form content over the last five years, and it’s likely to continue in the 2020s as technology becomes much more able to differentiate between great content and content that’s merely good enough. 

5. Niche Influencers 

The 2010s have been the decade of influencers — popular online personalities with the type of broad reach that’s beloved by marketers.

However, with social networks becoming more saturated than ever with influencer marketing, a growing number of would-be consumers are tuning out, viewing influencer recommendations as advertisements more than organic suggestions. 

Enter the niche influencer. With smaller reach and more dedicated followings, marketers are increasingly viewing niche influence campaigns — small-scale campaigns aimed at tens of thousands, rather than millions — as a potential marketing trend for the 2020s.

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