2019 has almost come and gone. Before we roll into 2020, it’s important to take some time to reflect on the top 2019 digital marketing trends. To predict where the digital marketing landscape is going, it’s important to remember where we are now. What were the top changes we saw and how will they affect 2020?

In addition to the 2019 digital marketing trends listed below, please take note of our honorable mentions: user-generated content, geolocation, personalization, and transparency. These major 2019 trends were featured in our mid-year trends update and, as predicted, continued to dominate throughout the second half of the year.

1. Mobile, Mobile, and Mobile

No digital marketing trends article is complete without talking about mobile. With more than 5 billion mobile users in the world, we officially live in a mobile-first world. Google’s launched mobile-first indexing, nearly 62% of emails are opened on mobile phones, and mobile ad spend will surpass 250 billion dollars by 2020.

No matter what digital channels you’re brand is using, mobile is just as, if not more so, important than desktop. While this means you can access your customers wherever they are, so can your competitors. If you didn’t already optimize your marketing channels for a mobile experience in 2019 that should be a top priority in 2020.

2. Voice Search & Smart Speakers

Voice search has been at the tip of marketers’ tongues for the last few years, but with over 66 million Americans now owning smart speakers, 2019 was the year to get ahead of the curve. While smart speakers are a huge share of voice search, voice assistants can also be found in smartphones, cars, wearables, smart TVs, and more. Tallying all of those devices up, nearly 112 million people (one-third of the US population) use a voice assistant at least monthly.

6 Trends that will Define Paid Search Marketing in 2018While the purchasing power of voice search hasn’t quite taken off, marketers who want to stay ahead of their competition should be optimizing now. The earliest applications will be seen in everyday household items, local searches, and content marketing:

1. Household items: In 2019, 25% of consumers shopping with their voice assistant are purchasing everyday household items. Unlike groceries, which came in at about 12%, everyday household items are easy to repurchase once your smart speaker knows what brand you’ve purchased in the past.

2. Local searches: Location-driven questions and commands are conducted weekly by about 75% of smart-speaker owners. This includes reservations, beauty appointments, and inquiring about local product prices & availability.

3. Content marketing: The biggest change here is the focus on conversational searches and longtail keywords. While text searches are often abbreviations or shorthand, voice searches tend to be complete sentences. Brands that want to capitalize on this opportunity to interact with potential customers need to make sure that their websites answer their customers questions in this format.

3. Podcasts

From college students to your grandparents – everyone has been listening to podcasts this year, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of our featured 2019 digital marketing trends. 32% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly, so we can definitively say that podcasts have caught the attention of Americans. But the statistic that should really convince you is that:

55.6% of podcast listeners said they had purchased an item after hearing it advertised on a podcast.

One of the many reasons that podcasts have become so popular is their highly focused topics that connect with listeners’ niche interests. Marketers love this characteristic as well because audiences essentially segment themselves! Additionally, most podcasts make the listener feel like they’re having a personal conversation with the their trusted friend (the podcast host). This not only makes the ads more memorable, but it gives them credibility, similar to influencer marketing.

Speaking of podcasts, take a listen to ours! Let’s Get Digital features two of our paid search specialists, Alex Wynn and Hallie Altman, as they interview subject matter experts to tackle developments in digital marketing on a new hot topic each episode. If you’re interested in discovering best practice strategies and tactics for success that will transform you into an expert of all things digital and ecommerce marketing, this is the podcast for you.

4. Privacy

To deliver a better customer experience, marketers are constantly trying to understand and identify their consumers. But with advancing technology making this easier than ever, regulations like the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have reaffirmed the need for marketers to think about privacy when managing their customers’ data.

In the new year, marketers should be preparing to make the necessary adjustments to their systems and policies to comply to these new regulations. Since the introduction of GDPR, any company doing business in Europe is required to follow the legislation. And while California is the only U.S. state currently affected by CCPA, other states are proposing similar requirements. Attaining compliance can be expensive, so even if you aren’t affected by either of these regulations yet, getting a head start on these changes could really benefit your brand.

5. Live Video

Live video combines the best parts of video advertising and podcasts by creating a feeling of intimacy between the viewer and the brand through engaging video.

These real-time interactions encourage viewers to interact with the brand because they can see the host reacting to their questions and comments right in front of them. To further illustrate that, 80% of brand audiences would rather watch a live video from their brand than read a blog post.

While practically every social media channel has a live streaming feature, Facebook Live is still the most popular, with 35% of marketers using it as a channel this year. By 2022, it’s predicted that live video will account for 17% of Internet video traffic by 2022. With video being consumers’ preferred media when learning about new products or services, live video takes it one step further.

Hopefully this recap of the top 2019 digital marketing trends has prompted you to reflect on your current marketing strategies and identify places for growth in 2020. If you’re interested in more in-depth content from this year, here are ROI Revolution’s top 10 blog posts from 2019 featuring topics from SEO, machine learning, Google Marketing Live, and more.