The 14 Most Exciting Digital Marketing Developments of 2020 (So Far)

Young Entrepreneur Council members share some of the most exciting trends and developments they’ve seen in digital marketing this year.
Young Entrepreneur Council
Expert Contributor
September 14, 2020
Updated: September 17, 2020
Young Entrepreneur Council
Expert Contributor
September 14, 2020
Updated: September 17, 2020
Headshots of contributing YEC Members
Top row, from left: Jacob Tanur, Diego Orjuela, Kerry Guard, Kevin Leyes, Zac Johnson. Middle row, from left: Kelly Richardson, Jared Atchison, Matthew Podolsky, Solomon Thimothy, Stephanie Wells. Bottom row, from left: Thomas Griffin, Daisy Jing, Syed Balkhi, Andy Karuza.

Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and professionals must stay on top of trends to remain competitive in their respective industries. This year in particular has presented new and unprecedented circumstances for businesses around the world. As a result, companies have had to adapt their digital marketing strategies to customers’ ever-changing needs. Although this situation has been challenging, it has also already led to incredible innovation.

We asked the members of the Young Entrepreneur Council about the most exciting digital marketing developments they’ve seen this year so far. Below, they share 14 of their favorite trends and how they’re impacting the future of the industry.

1. Virtual Events and Conference

Webcasting has replaced in-person events and conferences in 2020. This trend is one of the most promising ways of creating communities, and you can take advantage of all the amazing technologies that wouldnt typically be accessible at a live event. These web-based streaming events are supercharged to allow users far more focused and efficient experiences than live events. —Jacob Tanur, Click Play Films

2. Interactive Content

Interactive content has proven both fun and exciting in digital marketing. More and more marketers are implementing quizzes and polls, augmented reality ads and 360-degree videos. Customers love engaging with content, so I imagine that this trend will only increase more and more in the future. —Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

3. Podcasting

Podcasting has continued to explode in 2020. With the free flow of information and people sharing ideas in such an easy way, I think theres going to be a massive shift in how people operate and grow their businesses, as were learning from one another with less friction and boundaries. Theres less fear of people stealing your “secret sauce. —Kerry Guard, MKG Marketing

4. Personal Branding

Although it has been developing for some time, personal branding has gained more strength in 2020. The personal brand has grown by leaps and bounds and is one of the strongest ideas in digital marketing. Companies consider this strategy an essential element because it focuses on the effect of leaders or other influential people on peoples thinking. —Kevin Leyes, Leyes Media & Team Leyes, by Leyes Enterprises

5. Print on-Demand and E-Commerce

Print on-demand and e-commerce are experiencing high speed growth. Anyone can start a full internet-based business without the need to hold any inventory thanks to print on-demand services. There are also plenty of e-commerce platforms out there that remove the tech aspect of running an online store. This is where a ton of entrepreneurs are focusing their time and efforts in 2020. —Zac Johnson, Blogger

6. Google’s Updated Ad Platform

Setting up ads on Google used to be overwhelming. To get the best results, you had to constantly optimize and analyze every hour by tweaking the keywords, bidding strategy, ad phrasing, etc. Google’s new update of automated and smart bidding allows its algorithm to use machine learning to analyze huge data on a real-time basis. This will get busy entrepreneurs to start ads on a massive scale —Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

7. Omnichannel Marketing

Though not a new concept, omnichannel marketing grows in importance year after year. With more people shopping from home, theyre accessing your social media, email, website and more to see if they want to become your customer. Streamlining processes on every platform is crucial to move customers through the sales funnel and turn them into paying customers. —Jared Atchison, WPForms

8. Personalized Email Marketing

What once used to be Spam-land has now become a litany of personalized emails inviting subscribers into a more personal and intimate experience when they open their inbox. Storytelling has really enlivened email and is a great way to establish more connections with your community and reboot email as a means of marketing. —Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

9. Augmented and Virtual Reality

AR and VR will be very exciting, especially now that most people are at home and shopping online. Every company is ready for it. Apple and Android support it. You can make people feel as if theyre walking through or touching the product within their own space. When you cannot have a physical event, marketers unite and figure out ways around it. We never take no as an answer. —Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

10. AI-Powered Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising involves using AI to show targeted ads to customers. Ads are a great way to build brand awareness and introduce people to your business, so if they’re irrelevant to your audience, you lose money. Programmatic advertising simplifies the targeting process so its easier to find your audience and show them ads theyre likelier to engage with. —Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

11. Voice Interaction

Voice interaction with smart devices is very exciting. As they get smarter, brands that integrate voice search into their digital marketing campaigns will win. People search differently with their voices than when they type. You want to make your brand the one that Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and all the other assistants mention in the results. —Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

12. Chatbots

Who doesnt get a message from a chatbot at least once a day? Well, I do. We get to know our account details, know the answers to common questions, get assistance with point redemption, order products, talk to someone and more all through a chatbot. Chatbots are the best and fastest way for customers to get assistance and for companies to advertise in a snap. Whether you have time or not, chatbots are really helpful. —Daisy Jing, Banish

13. Mobile-First SEO

The mobile-first policy by Google is an exciting and challenging new change for digital marketing this year. If a business wants to keep its search engine rankings high, itll need to focus on its mobile site over the desktop one. This development also means changing how we create content, with more focus on video content and more conversational posts. —Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

14. The Creator Economy

In the rising creator economy, as I call it, influencers and creators are finally becoming more mainstream, with brand partnerships and monetization opportunities exploding in 2020. Social commerce is one aspect of this trend, where brands are doing revenue share or paid product placements with influencers on their social media channels. Andy Karuza, LitPic

Expert Contributors

Built In’s expert contributor network publishes thoughtful, solutions-oriented stories written by innovative tech professionals. It is the tech industry’s definitive destination for sharing compelling, first-person accounts of problem-solving on the road to innovation.

Learn More

Great Companies Need Great People. That's Where We Come In.

Recruit With Us