The Top Digital Marketing Trends for Small Business in 2020

Skyram Technologies Private Limited
  • Date Published
  • Categories Blog
  • Reading Time 14-Minute Read

It really doesn’t matter what your industry is, what products or services you are offering, you simply cannot ignore digital marketing.

A few years ago, a website or a simple Facebook page would be enough to establish an online presence. However, the digital landscape is evolving so quickly that a lot of companies find it hard to keep up.

It’s pretty simple, isn’t it? Everything needs to grow and evolve with time, otherwise, it becomes useless and irrelevant. The same is applicable to digital marketing for small businesses as well. With evolving Google algorithms, new digital trends, strategies, and tools, if you don’t adapt, you will be left behind.

One thing you have to get straight! Digital marketing is and will be the future of marketing. Most of the time, the aim of a small business is to grab the first set of customers by any means, offer them the best product or service and hope that this will bring more customers. A lot of businesses think that it is the best way to make loyal customers.

However, customers don’t appear out of the blue. If you are running a business, you have to reach out to your audience. If you are skeptical about digging deep into digital marketing for small businesses, that too, in 2020, you need to get out of this bubble today! Digital marketing is for everyone. That’s the beauty of it.

Why is digital marketing important for small businesses?

1. That’s how you make your business visible!

Know this – your customers are already online! It’s 2020! You have to take your business to them. How would you buy a product or get a service today? The first thing you would do is look for it online. That’s how things work now.

When anyone comes to know about your business, the first thing they do is, look you up online. People expect you to have a strong social media presence, good online reviews, a well-optimized website, videos, and more. Otherwise, why would they choose you?

If your brand is lacking all these elements, they will not think of your business as the one they should choose. Would you opt for such a company? I’m sure you won’t. No one will. You lose your target audience; you lose your business!

2.  You learn from your competitors and bet them on their own turf!

That’s the thing about digital marketing for small businesses. The digital marketplace is so huge that once you are in it, you will find a number of competitors that you didn’t know even exist. Surprised? They were stealing your limelight and business, weren’t they?

Now is the time to give them a taste of their own medicine. Digital marketing helps you to follow and track your competitors. How? Check if they have got a website or a blog, follow the kind of content they publish in them, check their social media handles, check how they respond to their customers, follow what the audience thinks about them, then you have to think how can you do it in a better way.

For instance, Indian food delivery company Zomato does excellent email marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing. Swiggy has started to follow the same formats of email and content marketing that Zomato follows. They have succeeded because they must have done something right. There is no harm in learning from someone.

3. You get to offer exactly what your customers need – Customization

Customization/Personalization is something that digital marketing can offer you but not traditional marketing. Because digital marketing offers you a lot of options to communicate with your audience. That could be through social media handles, through emails, website comments, chatbots, reviews, or even a poll.

You can get to know what exactly your customers want. Digital marketing offers small businesses the option to run surveys and get true feedback from the customers. This will help your business by giving better services and products. You can find the pain point and then rectify it to grow your business.

4. Helps to reach your target audience

Digital marketing helps you to reach your audience. You get to spend your marketing money only on those people who you want to advertise. This reduces a lot of unnecessary costs. Also, reaching the right audience also increases the chances of profit and ROI. You can customize your budget based on the needs and the number of people that you want to reach.

Source –

5. Digital marketing for small businesses caters to mobile consumers

Almost everyone uses smartphones these days. Smartphones are an alternative to laptops or desktops. You can do anything and everything with your smartphone now. Using this technology, you can influence your audience. Often people are influenced by what they are seeing online through their smartphones during their leisure time.

The impulsive buying nature of the consumers and the time they spend online, are the best factors to leverage for small businesses. Optimizing your website and having a strong social media presence can help your business in more ways than you can think of.

Source – CISCO

Since digital marketing is all about reaching your target audience through customization and visibility, let us share how Rapido made it as one of India’s best bike-sharing startups facing intense competition from Ola and Uber.

How Rapido made it as one of the best bike-sharing apps?

As well all know that Rapido was not the first bike-sharing platform in India. Ola and Uber had already launched their bike taxis. However, Ola and Uber had to restrict their operations to certain cities only.

On the other hand, Rapido managed to survive the regulatory tug of war and launched its service in 90+ cities in India. At present, it has got more than 5 Lakhs Rapido “Captains” and serves more than 10 million customers.

It has got 20 million app downloads and 15 million paid transactions. So how did Rapido do it? Initially, they focused on building up a two-way marketplace. It took them some time to reach 500 rides per day with 10,000 app downloads. Gradually, Rapido grew consistently at 20% per month from April 2018 to May 2019.


However, Rapido also posted a 5X increase in financial losses in 2019. This is where Rapido started reworking on the app to suit the needs of both the users and the Rapido Captain. There are different types of bikes, scooters, and e-bikes available on the platform. The users focus on the reliability and availability of the Rapido Captains.

To cater to that, the first feature that the app got was the “snooze” feature. For instance, if you are looking for a ride and you don’t find one, then hitting the snooze button will prompt the app to look for captains for the next 10 minutes.

Mobile optimization and social media marketing worked for Rapido

The product managers increased communication with their customers through multiple online platforms and social media platforms to customize the app according to their feedback. Mobile optimization and social media marketing played a pivotal role in Rapido. Then they added a logistics layer tying up with hyperlocal players for the delivery.

A lot of people were reluctant to use two-wheelers because they thought that two-wheelers were not safe. This is why they launched insurance from day zero. Also, the app was in-built to track the speed of the captain. The Rapido captain will be deactivated if he goes beyond a certain speed limit.

Rapido also built a feedback look on the app which allowed the user in putting up grievances instantly so that the team can take action.

One of the most interesting digital campaign promoted by Rapido was the #RideToVote campaign for the Delhi elections during February 2020. In this campaign, Rapido offered free rides to voters to help them in reaching the election booths. This campaign was also to encourage the citizens of Delhi to exercise their right to vote.

What are the top digital marketing trends for small businesses in 2020?

1. Video is no longer an option, it is a necessity

If your business is not using video marketing, it is high time to get on board with the videos. Because, text-based people are more intrigued by the video contents, especially when you are selling products or services online. In this mobile-mad world, people watch more videos than ever. Here are the stats to prove it.

  • 70% of the consumers share a brand’s video
  • 52% of consumers claim that watching product videos give them more confidence to buy.
  • 72% of businesses believe that video content improved their conversion.

Video marketing is very engaging, especially when it is a live video. Live streaming is a powerful means of digital marketing, especially when it is combined with influencer marketing. Whether you are using the new generation of social media influencers or the traditional sources like celebs, athletes, or musicians, having a live stream with an influencer can draw a huge audience.

2. Good content still matters and now it matters even more

Content marketing is an essential part of digital marketing. Yes, it is true that there is an increasing focus on the nuance of the content. The quality of the content will always matter. However, presently, the importance is on the context and targeting.

Google is constantly updating the web crawler algorithms to understand online content. This is why marketers have to think about the target market and how to tailor the content in a much better way. The new BERT update on the algorithm helps the search engine in a better understanding of the natural language in the search queries.

According to Google, “rather than chase the latest SEO trends, it’s more important to ensure a site has fast speeds, useful links, and well-written content.” In short, Google prefers in-depth, accurate content that closely matches user intent. It is important to keep this in mind.

3. Email has become much more personalized

With billions of users still using it, Email continues to be one of the most preferred channels for communication. There is no doubt that email is here to stay.

However, email marketing is changing. The general marketing emails are not effective anymore. They once were but they don’t work now. It is more personalized and automated in 2020.

You have to use email marketing for something specific, for instance, a user looking for a certain product, you can follow up with a promotional price or a demo video in a personalized email. This is a very useful strategy.

4. Interactive content will be mainstream

Interactive content is anything that people can click on, swipe, or interact online. 93% of the marketers find interactive content to be highly effective to inform the buyer about the products and services. In 2020, more companies will try out the polls, online voting, quizzes, infographics, 360-degree videos, and AR ads.

These formats offer cutting-edge marketing technology like AR and video content for offering people a more immersive experience. Nowadays, people want fun and engaging content from the brands because it helps them in feeling more connected to the company.

5. Marketing in messaging apps will increase

It is very true that social media messaging apps are no more for simply chatting and connecting with your near and dear ones. These apps have become the tools for marketing as well. You can do a lot more than just staying in touch with your friends and family.

Almost every business in every industry is using social media messaging apps, especially Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. This is not a surprise if you check the chances.

  • 6 billion users are active on Facebook per month sending more than 10 billion messages every month.
  • WhatsApp has a user base of 1.6 billion.

People are more active on instant messaging apps. In the next 5 years, messenger marketing is expected to be the number one marketing channel in the world. Therefore, it is very logical for the brands to try and connect with people on such platforms.

Did you know that Facebook marketing generates 10 to 80 times more engagement than the organic posts done on Facebook News Feed? These apps allow you to a broader audience. 63% of the live consumers will return to the company website if they have a live chat option.

6. Finally, combining the digital with the physical

Yes, it is true that online shopping has become very popular these days but that doesn’t mean that physical shopping doesn’t exist anymore. People still want to do physical shopping and this is why there are so many businesses that still have on-site locations.

Many businesses are starting to use such a technology that helps in connecting with consumers that are present in their vicinity. A very simple way of doing this is using a beacon. The beacon can send signals to the mobile devices along with a predetermined geofenced area like push notifications or specific time-sensitive coupons for the potential nearby consumers.

The beacons can be used in:

  • Trade shows can install beacons in the lanyards worn by the attendees so that the exhibitors can communicate easily.
  • The retailers can use them to enable consumers to check the stock and scan in-store products.
  • Hotels can use them instead of the room keys.
  • Sports academies can use them to connect with the in-stadium fans
  • Airlines can use them to update travelers regarding flight times, delays, and other important information.

What digital marketing trends will evolve in 2021?

Well, it is important to say that the trends in digital marketing for small businesses are not going to be something completely new or anything like that. It is just that the trends will evolve in notable ways. These are the following factors that will evolve:

User Experience

This is not just a buzzword and you cannot overlook the user experience in SEO. It is one of the most important factors to rank a website in the search algorithms. Google Search will now include the UX signals into the rankings. This will include the load time, interactivity, and stability of the content as it loads. Therefore, to get your pages ranked in 2021, UX is just as important as on-page SEO or off-page SEO.

Semantic Search

Moving forward to 2021, SEO will be shaped by how people search for things online. Semantics generally means the study of words, relationships and what do those relationships mean in specific contexts. This is just the perfect thing for a search engine like Google, right? In 2021, the semantic search will be how the search engines use available data to know the context, intent, and meaning to offer the most relevant search result.

Search Intent

This is pretty simple. The marketers that understand their audience better, will get better organic search rankings. The Google algorithm is capable of interpreting the intent behind the natural language queries, be it long or short. Somehow Google will now help you in finding the most ridiculous search query. This focus on the search intent is also an evolution of the search engine experience to accommodate the growing voice assistants and voice search.

Zero-click search results

Increasingly, Google will be taking people to multiple Google properties that include YouTube videos, snippets, and knowledge graphs. The things that Google can offer in the search results without any “click” from the user. Because this is all about what the user wants. The zero-click search results offer the answer or information as quickly as possible without clicking and visiting any other website. Not surprisingly, Google is getting pretty good at giving its users all they need on the single SERP page through snippets, video carousels, knowledge graphs, and more.

Example of a Zero-click search

Responsive Search Ads (RSA)

A lot of marketers are using Google’s push to make the RSAs as the default option. This was introduced in 2019 and it is powered by Google AI. With the RSA’s Google optimizes the headlines, Ad copy, and CTA based on your target audience and search terms. All you have to do is supply the content. RSAs are designed to improve performance for the ad groups and save time. All you have to do is just feed the system with a lot of variations for the headlines and descriptions and Google AI will do the rest.