What’s Trending in Digital Marketing?


By Kate Whitney
In the constantly evolving world of digital marketing, changes occur faster than most businesses can adapt. What’s effective one day may fail to connect you to your target audience the next. However, industry experts who are succeeding in the space, like the ones teaching UVM’s #1-ranked Digital Marketing Fundamentals Professional Certificate, have their fingers on the pulse of tomorrow’s marketing trends and understand how digital marketers can leverage these insights to their benefit.
UVM Digital Marketing Instructor Erik HarbisonErik Harbison, Lead Instructor for UVM’s 8-week, fully online course, recently spoke with us about three digital marketing channels gaining traction and what we can expect to see trending in 2020.

Digital Marketing Trends: Email Marketing

Don’t believe Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s 2010 assertion that email is dead—checking email is still the #1 activity on the internet and 94% of all users go online for this reason alone. According to Harbison, it’s individuals using email the wrong way that’s the problem.
“The cream is rising to the top for those that understand how to best leverage email, which we talk about in the class as the primary, or the rock star of the digital marketing channels as it relates to communication,” Harbison said. “So it’s not that the push from an inbox to inbox is going away, it’s how is email being supported by other messaging streams and direct communication, one-to-one channels? We’ve seen this growth of Chatbots and messaging apps—how are businesses using them in a way that is kind of shortening life cycles for sales teams, shortening life cycles for correct ranking conversions for email and messaging? This is a category that’s quickly advancing.”

Digital Marketing Trends: Video

Considering these statistics, Harbison notes that digital marketers have to harness the incredible power of video streaming. “You look at the life cycle of apps like Vine that came and went but then now TikTok comes out of nowhere and it’s answering this 15-second video conversation,” Harbison said. “Now granted, TikTok is not the marketing solution for every brand out there, but it’s an indicator of how consumption habits are changing where short live video or short video messages are becoming more and more a part of the ecosystem.”

Digital Marketing Trends: Voice Search and SEO

The final trend Harbison discussed was in voice search and SEO. According to Harbison, there’s a wealth of data that supports that a growing number of searches are being made that are indicative of somebody speaking to a voice device or a home assistant and how important that is to integrate into an SEO strategy—including a forecast from Forbes that estimates that 30% of all website sessions will be conducted without a screen by 2020.
“I think we’re all guilty and we can all remember the last time we asked Alexa or Google or whatever device we’re using about scores, updates, weather, etc.,” Harbison said. “That’s something Bill [Digital Marketing Fundamentals instructor Bill Rowland] gets into deep in week one and loves to talk about which is great because it’s a burgeoning vehicle for businesses to be aware of and start investing in how to make it a part of their marketing strategy.”