Neil Patel’s 7 Digital Marketing Trends for 2020

If there’s one person we trust with the latest trends and changes in digital marketing, it’s Neil Patel

A bestselling author, entrepreneur and expert on all things digital, he’s been at the forefront of online marketing for over a decade, even being recognised as a top 100 entrepreneur under 30 by President Obama. 

The key to succeeding in marketing in 2020, according to Neil?

Adapting. Fast

A lot of things are changing in 2020, and the brands that are able to shift and evolve quickly are the ones that will succeed. 

So let’s dive into the seven big trends that are incoming. 

This blog post is not affiliated with Neil Patel. Source: IGTV

1. Video Reach Will Dramatically Drop 

Yup, despite its lengthy stint as the medium du jour – in 2020,  video reach is going to drop. Big time. 

Everyone is doing Youtube, Instagram, and Snapchat videos. 

Everyone is chopping up one big video and posting bitesize chunks across their platforms.  

According to Neil, this isn’t the way to go anymore. Instead, you should be multicasting: creating one video you can use across all platforms.

You should also be going live at least once a month. 

Social networks want to compete with television, so they prioritise live videos over all other content. 

Pro Tip: Make sure you engage with viewers when you’re doing live video. You’ll increase the chances of your other content getting more love and reach, as a result of your engaging live video. 

2. Bitesize, Educational, Interactive Content is on the Rise

We all know that a good bit of infotainment, like an infographic or animation, is a great way to distil complicated information into a more digestible form. 

Neil has seen success on his own Instagram by making more interactive pieces of bitesize content – for example, see his use of the Instagram carousel here.

Start with a question your audience might be looking to get answered.

For example: How can I get more traffic to my Youtube channel? 

Then simply create a carousel of images that will lead the user to the answer. All they need to do is swipe right. 

Cool Fact: The act of ‘swiping’ will be considered an interaction by the Instagram algorithm, so will earn you points. Niiice!

3. Your Mobile Traffic Will Decrease

Yup – with organic search traffic falling year on year, it’s time to think proactively. 

Organic search traffic fell 6% year-over-year in Q2 of 2019.


Mobile search traffic is getting hit the hardest.

Due to nifty Google innovations like search snippets, visitor growth has dropped from 13% in Q1 of 2019, to 5% in Q2 of 2019. 

So what can we do to combat this decrease? 

Well, as we’ve known for a while, voice traffic is continuing to increase.

Half the searches in 2020 will be made by voice.


If you haven’t already, ensure you have structured markup on your site to optimise it for voice search

This will help you get rich snippets, which will help you attract more voice search traffic – which will help combat the loss of mobile traffic. 

Pro Tip:  Use a solution like Jetson.AI to help convert your voice traffic into sales. Whether it’s Alexa or Google Home, it works with most of the popular devices. You upload your menu items or product catalogue to Jetson’s dashboard, and you’ll start reaching new customers that are seeking to transact through voice.

4. Google Will Continue to Go Head-to-Head with Amazon

We’ve all seen the Buy Now button on Google. You can buy a product without ever going to the product’s eCommerce site. 

Google is going to continue to develop ways to keep users, well, on Google

49% of all searches on Google result in no click.


So what does this mean for marketers?

It doesn’t mean we need to think of it as a bad thing. As long as we’re prepared to adapt, it could result in more traffic, leads and ROI. 

With some of the programs Google is currently testing, you can generate a lead on Google, without a prospect landing on your site. OK, so you don’t get the traffic, but the most important thing is, you get the lead.

5. Influencer Marketing Budgets Will Decrease

With the decline in engagement across all social networks, it was only a matter of time before the influencer bubble burst. 

Influencer engagement rates are nearing all-time lows.  

Influencer DB

So what does this mean for the future of influencer marketing? Neil’s tip is to pay influencers less, but find more of them. This is a quick and easy way to maintain the levels of ROI from your influencer marketing activities.

6. Stories Won’t Be An Easy Win Anymore

Gone are the days of super high reach with Stories. 

Everyone’s doing Stories these days, and people are quick to skip Stories they don’t care to engage with. 

So, here’s a trick Neil recommends. 

Instagram’s Close Friends feature allows you to segment your follower list, sharing stories with only a select group of people from those you follow.

Consider adding your most loyal followers to your Close Friends list, and share exclusive content, offers, bonus features, or early access to new releases with them. 

Those users feel special, and you get higher engagement.

It’s a win-win!

7. Shoppable Experiences Will Get More and More Adaptive

As we touched on, you can now buy direct on Google, you can shop Pins on Pinterest, and one thing’s for sure: in 2020, VR experiences are going to become even more prevalent. 

Combining the in-person shopping experience with the convenience and comfort of home, VR shopping experiences are in their infancy, but the potential to disrupt is huge

IKEA’s Place app started life as an augmented-reality app, allowing you to see how items would look in your space. They have since developed it to include the ability to shop in-app. 

“It is a completely new experience. The app is combined with the store experience, with the online experience.” 

Barbara Martin Coppola, Ikea’s Chief Digital Officer.

The AR features also work in-store, allowing shoppers to point their phone at a particular piece of furniture on display, and instantly see the other colour or fabric options.

It’ll be exciting to see the possibilities unfold as brands start to experiment more with AR and VR. 

Well, there we have it. Neil Patel’s 7 digital marketing trends for 2020. Any surprises? Will you be employing any of these strategies for your 2020 marketing plans? 

Let us know in the comments below! 👇

Suzie Ryan

Suzie is a Content Marketer for SmarterQueue based in London, UK. She loves helping brands and businesses find their voice through content and storytelling; and is particularly fond of the creative possibilities of social media as a platform. When she’s not writing, she’ll be found somewhere in North London, seeking out the bars that serve G&Ts in goblets. 🍸