Any marketing professional worth their salt knows that these days, digital marketing is a key across all industries. People use the internet, and particularly their smartphones, more and more every day. Instead of checking the yellow pages or calling a friend for a recommendation, today’s consumer relies on tools like Google, Bing, and Facebook. Any company hoping to make it in the crowded landscape needs to understand how to use those tools effectively.

Digital marketing has evolved rapidly over the past five to ten years. In addition to refining traditional search engine optimization techniques, marketing agencies have expanded their understanding and use of other types of marketing. The pivot to video is one example, but influencers may be the biggest buzzword in this area. As ubiquitous as influencers seem now, in terms of outlook for 2020, this category is only going to expand.

At one point, influencers had to be household names. Established media celebrities like the Kardashians, TV stars and models were highly sought-after for brand partnerships. Today, that field has become much more democratized. Whereas brands once looked for people with millions of social media followers to promote their products, today people with numbers in the low thousands are being snapped up. What has changed?

Advertisers are learning that consumers see influencers as trusted friends. Recommendations from an influencer are treated with almost the same degree of trust as traditional word-of-mouth buzz from friends and families. This means that someone with a small but devoted following can be as valuable in terms of conversions as someone with a big following. Another issue with influencers is their perceived expertise. A fitness influencer posting regular updates from the gym may have more credibility with followers than a random model whose workouts are a big question mark for the general public.

Finally, brands are hoping for even more engagement in the digital space. Interactive content provides a way for brands to gauge customers’ interest and brand loyalty. When marketing agencies meet with their clients, one thing almost all of them mention is interactivity. Creating a relationship with the public requires some element of real engagement. Look for digital advertising that provides more opportunities for consumers to have real engagement with brands and their products.

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash.