Few sectors in business evolve as regularly as marketing, with new styles and techniques seemingly arriving every single day. In 2019, social media marketing spending outpaced print ad spending for the first time ever — a sign of the massive changes to come. The world of marketing is always in flux, and businesses that want to stay ahead need to be on top of all the latest trends. This, however, doesn’t mean that every new technology or platform is worth adopting. To give your business the edge it needs, you need to be able to sort the good developments from the duds. While no one can perfectly predict what will make an impact and what won’t, some trends are worth watching more than others. Here are six marketing phenomena poised to make a big impact in the coming year: Performance Video Video has already revolutionized the world of marketing, with 87% of industry professionals using video as a tool. Consumers are now used to digital video as a marketing technique, meaning marketers need something else to grab prospective customers’ attention. Enter performance video. Performance video combines traditional video with the latest personalized content technologies, allowing you to display videos specially catered to the people you’re marketing to. By analyzing user data, you can create video content that specifically appeals to the consumers you’re targeting — showing the side of your company most likely to generate new business. Long-Form Content Traditional thinking may dictate that content stays on the shorter side, but new developments are turning that notion on its head. WordSteam, for example, saw average user time on its site more than triple after increasing its volume of long-form content. As with all content, long-form pieces shouldn’t be used indiscriminately. You should use your longer pieces of content as an opportunity to appeal to more specialized groups of customers. If you run a tech company, for example, perhaps come up with an extended piece on how your business’s tech actually works. Upping the length of your marketing materials can go a long way toward engaging consumers in the long term, ensuring deeper relationships down the line. Interactivity Video games recently overtook the film industry in terms of overall revenue, a development that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. While there are numerous reasons for the rise of gaming, one is a bit more obvious than the others — people like to engage with the content they consume. The same goes for advertising. Ads that users can actively engage with are far more likely to attract and hold interest than static ones, but curating interactivity can still be a tricky process. There are many different types of interactive content, not all of which will work for your business and products. Interactive content can also require more intensive design and development than other content, meaning you’ll need to work closely with other teams on any plans you might have. Conversation In a world increasingly defined by automation-driven marketing, a bit of human touch can be a powerful thing. While person-to-person conversation is one of the most effective marketing methods out there, it’s also one of the most expensive. Ironically, technology can help with this. Chatbot usage is expected to grow up to 136% before 2021, allowing users to get the conversational experience they desire without weighing on your business’s costs. While chatbots are often used for customer service, they can also be highly effective in keeping people on your website and showing them new products your business might be offering. Shoppable Posts When Instagram introduced shoppable posts — posts that allow you to buy the products featured just by clicking on them — the marketing world was set ablaze. While this might have happened more than a year ago, the repercussions will continue to be felt as more and more platforms adopt shoppable posting. Up to 75% of Instagram users take some kind of action upon seeing an advertising post, whether it’s shoppable or not. With those kinds of numbers, you need to make the path from ad to purchase as streamlined as possible to ensure conversion. With shoppable posts, you can get it down to a single click. User-Generated Content User-generated content is nothing new, but 2020 is still poised to be a big year for the phenomenon. New platforms like TikTok represent entirely new spaces in which companies can get users to promote their brands — often without paying a single cent. By employing your brand’s social media correctly, you can inspire users to create content that leads back to your brand, in turn convincing more users to create more content, and so on. Done well, this doesn’t even have to touch your business’s budget — creating an entire marketing campaign from just a few of your posts. Marketing is all about looking forward to what’s next. It’s not always easy to know what’s coming next, but hitching your wagon to some of these trends will likely pay off big for your business in the coming year.