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With the new year in full swing, we wanted to share our tips for scaling up your marketing in 2020, looking at the trends you should expect from the coming year and how to adapt your strategy to best prepare for these.

Claire Stanley-Manock – Paid Media Director:

As audience pools reduce and become less reliable advertisers will need to change strategy and focus on contextual advertising, using keywords to identify customer intent. Make sure your campaigns contain keyword and domain targeted tactics to ensure your ad is seen on more targeted placements.

Brands own data will become even more important to drive users from awareness to conversion and then loyalty. Make sure you’re creating audience lists from all activity and make sure that those lists are utilised across all acquisition channels. Start by creating audience lists in Google Analytics and make sure these are shared to Google ads for bidding against. Make sure your database is opted in and upload this into Google and Facebook for re-engagement and finding similar audiences.

Personalisation and relevance are the key to engaging people and driving higher performance from lower budgets. Take the time to understand who your customers are and what they care about. As a starter see which Google in-market and affinity audience buckets your converting audience and non-converting audience sits in, then create custom audiences to build a profile such a mosaic segment to target and change the messaging for this segment to match their motivations.

Platforms will continue to become smarter as AI develops. Invest in setting up automation and AI powered campaigns to facilitate more powerful optimisation and to allow breathing room for research, insights and strategy. Set your Google Ads campaigns at a bid strategy of target CPA or target ROAS. Make sure your Facebook campaigns are set-up to the right goal e.g. awareness or lead and use the campaign budget optimiser to distribute the budget across the campaign for maximum return.

Tim Grice – CEO:

I believe in 2020 that we will see more spend being moved onto social platforms and away from Google Search. The high cost of clicks on Google is one of the key factors driving this, and the niche targeting opportunities on social will all contribute to this trend. Brands can start this on the platform they currently get the most engagement on, using as much audience data as possible for initial targeting.

I also think that we will see more no follow linking from journalists, therefore digital PR campaigns will need to be more integrated with social media in order to drive the maximum ROI.  Running paid and organic social promotion of assets and data will allow wider reach and create a more viral impact, this will mean more coverage but also allow you to prospect and create new audiences.

David White – Content Marketing Director:

Link relevance will become even more important for digital PR with relevant links passing more weight than non-relevant links. At present too many agencies and brands are spinning out stories which little to no relevance to the brand. These stories may gain great links, but that’s all it will achieve. As a result, this tactic of creating stories for the sake of links can lead to irrelevant coverage.

Marketers need to get creative and understand what the business wants to talk about, what the customers want to talk about and what the media wants to talk about. Finding a campaign that’s answers all three will allow PR campaigns to deliver links in quantity whilst not faulting on quality or relevance.

Rob May – Senior Search Strategist:

As Google algorithms continue to become smarter, rankings will be geared more towards real world signals which cannot be faked or manipulated. Think less about what ‘tricks’ you can use for your website and think more full-circle, focusing on old school marketing to raise the profile and quality of your brand. The shift we’ve seen in Google patent releases is all about using ‘real-life’ metrics to rank entities/websites rather than focusing purely on links, content, or keyword patterns to decide the quality of the search results and ultimately an entity ranking.

Focus on connecting all entities associated with your brand (both onsite and offsite) together to show Google the relationship between these to have the best chance of driving traffic through organic search.

Some additional quick tips from me include:

  • Internally link to related content wherever possible.
  • Naturally attract external links and deserve to be linked to.
  • Encourage online reviews.
  • Answer customer questions publicly.
  • Focus on rich snippets to drive more traffic as Google moves further towards a self-contained experience.
  • Use schema mark-up to capture zero click searches (have the best content on your subject area and if in doubt, gain featured snippets by providing a better answer that your competition).
  • Align your GMB profile with external directories and provide business information for customers NOT just search engines (include photos, Q&A’s, offers etc).

In short – be a reputable brand that deserves to rank because you are the best. Provoke REAL conversations, Get REAL reviews and provide REAL experiences for users. Take your offline reputation and bring it online for both users and search engines to see.

Alan Ng – Technical Director:


AI and machine learning will continue to dominate the conversation and capture headlines as adoption increases and case studies grow. However, the 2019 NewVantage Partners’ Big Data and AI Executive Survey found that, of the surveyed organisations, only 31% consider themselves a data-driven organisation, with 62% of firms noting measurable results from data and AI investments.

For businesses still yet to become data driven, start by setting solid foundations. The data needs to be reliable, trustworthy and reported/monitored using KPIs relatable to the business. A few pointers to put this in action:

  • How long has it been since you’ve last audited your data assets?
  • When was the last time reporting was optimised/consolidated?
  • Consider using top line dashboards with a multi channel view to help drive strategic planning.

If you’d like further information on any of the above, then get in touch via [email protected]