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20 Ways to Get Ahead Online in 2020

By NOW Marketing Group

What’s going to work online in 2020? How do you interact with your audience in this new digital age, the age of the internet? In 2013, this question was posed and researched in depth by Walker in their report Customers 2020 and then reinvestigated again four years later. 

They looked ahead to the year 2020 and asked:

  • What customer expectations and trends are still relevant as 2020 approaches?
  • What should B-to-B firms do today to ensure they’re able to win and keep customers in 2020 and beyond?
  • What are the implications for CX professionals? 

Check out the full report here

As we are moving closer to the pivotal new decade, we want to share with you some ways you can prepare your business for 2020 as it relates to social media and online marketing.

Boil it all down to one word and what you need to focus on is: EXPERIENCE.

Experience is the number one deciding factor for customers that will set brands apart from their competitors. @JessikaPhillips (click to tweet)

With the ease of accessibility through the internet, people can find millions of options and products that are similar, if not the same as what you offer. How do you rise above the noise? What sets you apart from other people and other brands is YOU. 

Here are 20 ways to be uniquely you and to give your customers the experience they crave online.


1. Do a one-to-one interview with one of your current clients (or a couple of customers)

Are you positive you are targeting the right people? Gain valuable insight on who your customer is and what they’re truly interested in by checking in on them. Schedule a lunch, phone call, or video chat with one of your ideal customers.

Ask them things like:

  • What are you watching right now?
  • Where are you getting your information?
  • Where are you connecting with others online?
  • What do you like about our company?
  • What kinds of things do you wish we could provide for you?

2. Google your brand 

What shows up when you search your brand name? (Use incognito for best results.) Is your Google My Business profile complete with current and accurate information? If not, focus on updating that. Consider adding a mobile number so people can text you! Don’t worry, your phone isn’t going to display out there for everyone to see. Instead, searchers will have the option to “message” you, which will be sent to the mobile number you set up. You’ll have the option to message them back, just like you would a text with the exception they’ll see the company name, not your phone number. 

Google My Business is like a little mini-website for you to quickly get info to people without them having to click. It’s vital to have it all filled out since potentially it’s the searcher’s first interaction with your business. 

Here are some other things to add to your profile:

  • Add posts for a month and see the results
  • Add new photos and videos
  • Update and enhance the about section
  • Add links to social profiles
  • Make sure to use questions feature 

3. Keyword research and competitor analysis

Do some keyword research and figure out what terms your customers are using when they are searching for people like you. You may be using one phrase while they’re using a completely different one! There are lots of nifty tools that help you determine which keywords are valuable for your website. We like SpyFu to use when we search for keywords or SEMRush is another great option. Don’t forget to check out Google Trends to see how keywords are shifting and changing over time. 

4. Update your website—like for real 

Alright, once you know how people are searching for you, it’s time to update the ol’ website.

In 2020, a static website means certain death. Especially if you haven’t updated it in years. Remember, it’s all about the experience! @JessikaPhillips (click to tweet)

What is the user experience and is it easy, intuitive, informative? People expect websites to be fast, easy to navigate, and helpful.

Complete a website audit to figure out the things that need to be updated. A tool like Hotjar can be extremely informative because it allows you to create heatmaps of user interaction. You’ll know if people are clicking on something that’s not clickable or if they’re completely missing portions of the website.

Don’t forget Google Analytics! It’s a critical tool that helps you know whether or not your website is getting traffic, where it’s coming from, how long they’re staying, and which pages they’re visiting. Read more about that here.

5. Encourage reviews and see what’s already out there 

Word-of-mouth has turned into world-of-mouth with the internet. Now, when people recommend you, the whole world can see it. And, people rely on reviews to know whether or not they can trust a company on the internet. I think we’ve all been to a place where we are just about to buy something when a negative comment changes our mind.

Google My Business has a place for reviews, so check what’s been said about you. Thank people for positive reviews and apologize to people with negative things to say. If you can make it right, do it. But, never, ever, ever argue with someone over a review (or you might end up on one of those lists of worst customer-business interactions).

6. Grow your email list

While you’re updating your website, don’t forget to have a place where you collect emails through a call-to-action. It could be a dedicated page, an option on your blog feed, or a pop-up that appears when people get to your website. You can also collect email addresses through the inbound process with landing pages and valuable offers and deals people in your market would be interested in. No matter how you do it. Grow. That. List. People! 

One of the best ways to connect with your audience is by sliding right into their inbox and personally reminding them that you exist. 

People are trending towards smaller, niche communities, and email allows you to keep a tightly knit group of people on your radar. Everyone still uses it and that’s not going to stop in 2020.

7. Use the 10-by-10 rule to come up with content ideas

Struggling to come up with blog content? The lovely Stephanie Liu came up with a great way to come up with 20 blogs with basically a finger-snap. 

What are 10 questions your customers are always asking? Write those down.

What are 10 questions you wish people would ask you but don’t because they’re not the experts in your field? Write those down.

Snap! Now you have 20 topics to tackle with blogs, videos, podcasts, whitepapers, or whatever else you are producing as your content strategy. 

8. Create a download or a new offer

In number six, we suggested creating offers as a way to get an email and we’d like to expand on that here. It will be extremely valuable for you to create an inbound workflow with downloads and offers that you can use to “trade” people for their name and email.

It should be so valuable that people would spend some money on it. It doesn’t have to be a lot or huge, but it does need to be “worth it” enough for people to give you access to their email. When it comes to sharing emails people are super guarded and will hesitate if they think you’re going to spam it. Ideally, your offer should be something worth paying for.

No time or budget for a fancy design? Try Designrr.io to create a whitepaper in literally five minutes.

9. Use Google Ads to do at least one paid advertisement

If you’re not using Google Ads, stop, drop, and roll cause you have a fire on your hands. It’s an emergency! Google is the number one kingpin when it comes to search with more than 68 percent of people using the search engine. You know we love organic traffic, but at some point, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and create an ad. (There are a lot of metaphors in the paragraph, yeesh). 

What better time to start using Google Ads than for your newly developed offer? If you know your audience is already looking for something, it’s kinda a no-brainer to promote it with an ad. Test it out and kick-start 2020 with an ad targeted towards people who are already looking for something like what you’re offering. 

P.S. Google has coupons, check them out and you can get $50 or $100 matched for your ad.

10. Know your accelerators

Who are your number one fans who are super happy to share and accelerate your content and get it seen? These are the people you can always count on, who have your same ideals and viewpoints, who serve the same community as you. Come up with some ways that allow you to work with them collaboratively. Bounce ideas off them. Trust them to help you come up with ideas and see them put into action. 

And, thinking ahead, who are some people you would want to work within 2020? It doesn’t have to be a lot of people, maybe the top three people you’d love to collaborate with. Think big.

11. If you know us, you know this one—build relationships!

Simple, yet critical. Build those relationships!

Here are ways you can cultivate relationships online:

  • Create a user group/resource center on your website
  • Start and Admin a Facebook Group
  • Email people with an email drip campaign
  • Use LinkedIn to build connections

Don’t forget about the in-person connection as well! Attend events, go to chamber meetings, whatever you can do to get out there and start talking to people. Remember, one-to-one relationships and personalized experiences are key.

12. Complete a social media audit on all platforms 

Are you speaking to the right people with the right message? Audit your social profiles and see if you are using them to the best of their ability for your goals. This helps you engage with people more!

Here’s more info on some of the platforms you may be auditing.

Speaking of social media platforms and audits, don’t forget ye olde LinkedIn. They’ve been hard at work updating the platform with new features. You should update profiles for both your personal page and your company profile. Add new achievements. Don’t forget to use it to send messages to clients and your community. This platform is almost as important as your Google My Business, so be sure to give it the attention it deserves.

13. Personalize! 

2020 is all about connection, experience, and relationships. So make sure you personalize messages you send out! @JessikaPhillips (click to tweet)

Here are some ideas:

  • Send out voice messages
  • Send out cards
  • Send video emails

Get your team involved. Make sure they are using tools to personalize messages too.

14. Spend a day taking photos

Stock photos are gross. Stop using them. Instead, pencil in a day where you can just walk around taking photos of your company, the team, and the process. Then, use them in your marketing. Share them on social (not all at once!). Give people a real look at who you are and what you do.

15. Make gifs for your brand 

Have you been taking videos? Use short clips and turn them into gifs, then share them out! It’s a quick way to show your audience how fun you can be.

16. Use videos

If you haven’t been creating some videos, you should get on that. Do you have updated testimonial videos? Have you shot a Who We Are video? Have you addressed frequently asked questions in videos? Just like you should capture some photos, also capture some b-roll footage to use with tools like Wave.video.

17. Answer one question relevant to your brand 

What questions are people asking? Take time to answer at least one. People want answers to their questions and places like Quora are ranking higher because of that. What question would you want to rank for online? Answer that question to drive traffic to your website.

18. Plan out your social calendar for important dates and ideas 

Map out some important dates and ideas for the calendar year 2020. What holidays would you like to post about, important dates in your industry you’d like to recognize, or even important dates to your company? Spend two hours reviewing this and writing some posts up ahead of time. 

While you’re at it, determine what 2020 will look like for you. Then spend five hours a week working to accomplish the big goal.

19. See where you can save time

Now you know what to do, you may be thinking, well, I’ll never have time to do all that! Which leads us to this point. Figure out some areas where you can save time!

Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Evaluate your tools: which ones can you eliminate and which ones do you need to invest in
  • Use SaneBox for email
  • Use a tool for content curation

20. Do one training online to amp up your skills

Lastly, complete an online training so you can continue to amp up your skills and become even better at what you’re doing.


You made it through our list! What’s on your agenda for 2020? Let us know. As always, we would love to help you reach your goals. Send us your Q’s and we may just feature them on an upcoming Magnet Marketers Training Tuesday.

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Tags: relationship marketing, future of business, Magnet Marketers Training, magnet marketing

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