sparklers - Marketing Trends for 2020

With 2020 just a week away, it’s time to step into the future. Marketing is all about planning ahead so the time start is now! 

The online marketing world is constantly shifting as technology grows and we gain more insight into what consumers like. New tools and features are continuously being added to social platforms to make the experience better for both the user and the marketer. In order for your business to be successful online, it’s important to keep up with trends and shift strategies to include these new tools and features. We take a look at some marketing trends for 2020 to keep an eye on and consider when making your plan for the new year.

Influencer Marketing

Since the beginning of social media, the use of influencers has continuously been on the rise. In 2020, it is expected that influencer marketing will only become more prominent on social media platforms. Social media users are increasingly becoming tentative towards ads and looking more to their peers for purchasing influences. When considering who their peers are online, social media users often will include celebrities, artists, and other influencers in addition to their friends and family.

Although influencer marketing can come with a hefty price tag, it’s not just reserved for big businesses. Smaller businesses with tighter budgets can take advantage of micro-influencers for their campaigns. It has often been debated if micro-influencers might be even more effective than big-name influencers as they have a niche following that is very focused on specific hobbies, likes and habits. Read more on micro-influencers here.

Shopping on Social Media

New tools and features on social media have made the purchasing process so easy for consumers. Social media users can now shop directly from their Instagram feeds without even having to leave the platform. This seamless process allows conversions to happen quickly and effortlessly, which is great news for businesses and marketers. In 2020, the use of shopping on social media will only grow as more businesses include this option in their marketing and consumers get more used to the idea of shopping on social media.


Technological advancements have made the use of Augmented Reality (AR) a credible tool for marketing. We are already seeing it pop up in certain industries such as real estate, fashion, home decor and more. The use of AR makes the buying process so easy for the consumer allowing them to make purchase decisions without even having to leave their home. As technology grows even more, we can expect to see the use of AR become more mainstream in 2020.

Chatbots and AI

We have already seen an increase in the use of chatbots and AI-based technology, however as more data is collected and algorithms are improved, this technology will become “smarter.” In the past, chatbots mainly ran when triggered by certain keywords, answering with prewritten sentences. With new technology, chatbots are able to read and fully “understand” what users are writing to them. They now have the ability to search the web and adapt their answers. 

The use of chatbots and AI-based technology allows businesses to improve their customer service which has increasingly become an important aspect for consumers.

Voice Search

As people become more comfortable with the idea of voice assistants and AI-based technology, the usage of smart speakers has grown exponentially. We saw a 51% increase in the usage of smart speakers by Canadians from 2018 to 2019 alone. In 2020, it is estimated that almost 18% of Canadians will use smart speakers. This presents a huge opportunity for marketers, as well as a new list of challenges. Although it’s not mandatory to completely shift strategies for voice search, certain content optimizations should be considered — Generally, users are asking the speakers direct questions so including content on your website that answers these questions will ensure your content is found and used by the smart speakers. 

With 2020 just around the corner, it’s time to get cracking on your strategy. Need help with your marketing strategy? Not sure how to incorporate these marketing trends for 2020 into your business plan? Connect with us for a free consultation here.

Top Marketing Trends 2019

It is important for small businesses to keep on top of trends, especially in Digital Marketing. Here are the top things you should be doing in 2019 to get the most out of your budget and beat your competition.


Social media is a rapidly growing industry. With over one billion active users worldwide, Instagram is an essential tool to connect with your customers. 64 percent of US adults aged 18 to 29 claim to be using the platform. Being an exclusively visual platform, users can post videos and pictures. Posting regularly on Instagram- at least twice a week – is a great way to connect with your customers. You can also use paid advertising options if you are looking to target a wider audience.

Live Video

In a survey conducted by Livestream in New York Magazine, 80% of the 1000 people surveyed said they would rather watch a live video that read a blog. In 2019, there are many live video platforms you can use, including Facebook Live, Youtube and Instagram. You are able to reach a more engaged audience as they have opted to tune into your live stream. This great tool for new product reveals, staff intros, how to videos and advertisements, is also cost effective and doesn’t take time to produce.


While only 15% of Americans currently claim to have used a chatbot, this is something that is predicted to grow rapidly within the next 2 years. Chat boxes pop up on web pages and answer customer’s questions, usually outside of business hours. It’s a great way to engage with your customers 24/7 and gain a better understanding of their needs. Plus once chatbots have been set up, the cost of maintaining and updating them is low.

Strong Content

The purpose of online content is to provide accurate relevant information to your customers. This will not only educate them but help to drive sales. Good content doesn’t have to be keyword heavy. It needs to help solve a problem and be useful to your customers. Make sure to add relevant, well-written content to your company’s blog and keep your website up to date.

Ever-Evolving Marketing Strategy

Staying on top of ever-changing digital marketing strategies is essential for your business to move forward. Something that is relevant now, may only be an effective strategy for half a year. Understanding Google’s rapidly changing algorithms, will help you to meet their criteria and better place your ads. Here at Cloud9 we stay up to date with fast-changing digital strategies so we can help with what will work best for you. Contact us by calling 604- 938- 4016 or email


Digital advertising spend is now swallowing up traditional advertising and for the first time ever, digital ad-spend surpassed television ad-spend at the end of 2016. With traditional ad revenue expected to stay flat for the next several years, digital ad-spend is seeing double digit growth, with a 20% jump in ad revenues between 2015 and 2016 according to Business Insider. With Google and Facebook at the receiving end of most of the digital revenues, and with augmented and virtual reality set to impact the online advertising world, there are big predictions for digital advertising between now and 2020.

As consumers become savvier (and more annoyed) with online ads, the technology and format of ads are changing to offer a more user-friendly and integrated experience. The future of digital advertising has arrived, and here are some trends we can expect.

Video Ads

It’s well known that video is the preferred format of 2017 and we will see an increase in video ads as we head towards 2020. Video is the medium of choice for online storytelling and engages and hooks an audience quicker than others online formats. Video ads have an average click-thru-rate of 1.84% which is higher than any other ad format, and four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it according to Hubspot.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is intended to fit the form and function of a website so advertising content appears seamlessly integrated, and in some cases, does not resemble an ad at all. Consumers are said to engage with native ads 20% to 60% more than standard display ads with increased engagement attributed to the authentic nature of the ads which complement the existing content on the site. Enterprise Innovation believes that native ad spend will increase to $53B by 2020, creating a more user-friendly ad environment for consumers online.

Influencer Marketing

The trend of influencer marketing is set to amplify over the coming years. Influencer marketing is a system where a business or brand uses paid promotion to leverage the social network of a particular influencer or influencers. Currently about 86 percent of marketers use this strategy however investment in influencer marketing is expected to double this year. What makes influencer marketing so powerful is that the promotion of a brand or product is coming from a trusted source. According to Convince and Convert the average business generates $6.50 for every $1.00 spent on influencer marketing.

Ad Targeting Gets Smarter

Currently online advertisements have the capability to target based on demographics, behaviours, interests and shopping patterns. With data mining a huge area of intelligence expansion, the technology for these contextual ads is getting smarter. Over the next few years online ads will not only be able to target users based on their experiences and actions online, but also on more deep-rooted desires and motivations. By targeting user intent, ads will become hyper relevant and increasingly engaging.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality technology is innovating at a rapid pace. From video ads we will see a shift to AR ads where users will be able to virtually try on jewelry or see what a coffee table looks like in their living room. Google Lens and Apple AR are two pieces of technology that will propel AR ads. Although AR technology is now accessed mainly by early adopters it is expected the number of AR users will increase by 35% a year over the next 5 years.

Mining Visual Data

The ability to view images that prospective clients are posting, sharing and engaging with online is becoming easier. With the enhanced capability of visual data mining, advertising will be able to take these insights and create relevant content for their target market. Tools like MetaEyes are making visual data mining accessible for marketers.

We’ve come a long way from traditional print advertising and even the tacky pop-ups ads of yesterday are beginning to lose their appeal. Mobile-friendly has evolved to mobile-first and the pay to play system for online exposure is now widely accepted. The future of digital advertising will create ads that intuitively understand a consumer’s actions and intent, and offer more relevancy than they have in the past. How can your business stay relevant in the world of online advertising? Let Cloud9 Marketing help you reach customers online using the latest trends and technologies.