Lisa Smith from Wordstream looks at the best marketing strategies for 2020.

Personalise marketing messages

Peter Wilfahrt, managing director of digital agency Versandgigant, said marketers should personalise every single message in 2020 by digging into analytics and understanding demographics, affinity categories and in-market segments. More on that in a moment.

‘Only very few brands execute a personalised messaging strategy and we’re not talking about adding the first name to your email greeting. Really dig into your prospect’s mind and discover what they fear, wish and want.’

While Brock Murray, COO of digital marketing agency seoplus+, agrees consumers should be made to feel special, he argued that automation is the way to go because it allows advertisers to create ads that dynamically change based on whoever is searching. And, Murray said, results show consumers want this type of customisation.

Refresh your content

Cyrus Yung, co-founder of SEO company Ascelade, said updating old content is a strategy that has served Ascelade well as Google has a freshness ranking factor and most sites eventually see content decay. ‘They have old articles that have ranked well previously and have attracted backlinks, but the search traffic for that particular article is on a downward trend,’ he said.

Mark Webster, co-founder of online marketing education company Authority Hacker, said 2019 was the year Authority Hacker focused on this tactic of refreshing older content instead of just pumping out new, high quality content.

‘After some testing, we found that making simple updates and tweaks and, most importantly, changing the date of the article to represent the newest revision [made] our rankings instantly [jump] up. It’s no secret Google prefers fresh content but we had not anticipated this to be such an easy win.’

Data should drive creative

According to Natalia Wulfe, CMO of digital marketing agency Effective Spend, platforms like Google and Facebook are taking control more control of audience targeting as they simultaneously move away from manual bidding capabilities. Meanwhile, their algorithms have become adept at understanding which ad images and copy will drive the best click-through and conversion rates.

‘With these shifts, we’ve seen creative emerging as a serious performance driver, carrying equal weight to other key drivers like placement selection and audience targeting. We analyse the performance metrics of existing creative, identify where the gaps are, and then design new creative that directly impacts those poor performing metrics,’ she added. As a result, Effective Spend overhauled its creative design process to incorporate a data-first approach.

Automated email marketing campaigns

Maciej Baranowski, manager of customer engagement at career advice website ResumeLab, said ResumeLab started automating its email marketing campaigns in 2019, which was a ‘resounding success’. That’s because the company can send almost four times as many newsletters, which more than compensated for the initial drop in conversion rates.

‘Ideally, we want both, but math tells us that the tradeoff was more than worth it and we’ve been surging ever since,’ he said. Automated email also allows for better customisation with A/B testing, infographics, sequences, time zones and CTA buttons, as well as data-backed optimisation.

Get ready for voice technology

Continuing a trend from prior years, voice search was once again on marketers’ minds in 2019. That includes chatbots, which Paige Arnof-Fenn, CEO of marketing consulting firm Mavens & Moguls, noted cut costs and convert visitors into leads by answering FAQs, as well as optimising for voice queries and long-tail keywords.

Arnof-Fenn said the latter will be key to maximise marketing and advertising opportunities via voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. ‘I predict that the brands that perfect the branded skill with more customer-friendly [and] less invasive ads are going to win big,’ she added.

Use more video 

Stuart Leung, vice president of marketing for vaping brand Breazy, said that videos forge stronger bonds with consumers, which, in turn, makes them more likely to purchase a product. Options include tutorials, testimonials and behind-the-scenes footage. Video remained a popular digital marketing tactic in 2019, and it’s a must marketing strategy for this year, too.

Chris Savage, CEO of video software company Wistia, said Wistia has paid close attention to the rise of streaming platforms and has seen more and more businesses take a page from the Netflix playbook, creating longer-form original content to build brand affinity. That’s why Wistia created its own late-night-style talk show, Brandwagon.

‘Throughout the series, I talk with some of the top minds in the marketing world to learn the secrets behind some of their biggest successes. Plus, we welcome some unexpected special guests and our team even buys a ’91 wagon to transform into the ultimate Brandwagon along the way,’ he said.


Host or join, Digital marketing consultant Ryan Scollon called podcasts ‘a real breakthrough in 2019’ with a surge of shows in digital marketing in particular. Marketers can appear as guests on established podcasts or start their own, both of which Scollon said offer huge benefits with few downsides.

‘Podcasts are a great way of building a solid audience that returns every week without having to have your face in front of the camera. It’s also a great way for repurposing content that you may already have on your blog,’ he said.

Stacy Caprio, founder of Accelerated Growth Marketing, said appearing on podcasts has been one of her most effective marketing strategies of 2019 because it has driven site traffic and brand awareness.

Prioritise local SEO

Dan Rice, marketing manager at recruiting firm Talent Locker, said that the most effective strategy in 2019 was optimising and prioritising Google My Business, the free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including search and maps.

‘We have used this as part of a wide-ranging digital marketing campaign designed to raise awareness of the brand and brand name. Through steadily producing posts, updates and actually helping drive people to our Google My Business listing, we have been getting strong results. It doesn’t just appear to be helping local SEO, it is also highly significant in driving searches on brand names, too.’

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