As we approach the “visionary” year of 2020, we took a look at what the New Year has in store for the digital advertising industry. Here are key things to watch out for as you plan ahead and finalize your marketing budgets.

1. Amazon Hits Its Stride

2019 was a phenomenal year for Amazon, supported by a record-breaking Prime Day and a highly successful back-to-school season. Brands have begun to understand the power of advertising on Amazon and the unique opportunity it offers to capture people at the beginning of their purchasing journey.

The Opportunity: Brands have flocked to Amazon for its revenue-generating ad capabilities. We expect this trend to continue in 2020 as Amazon refines its offering and advertiser use becomes more sophisticated. Experiment with sending more of your paid search traffic directly to Amazon as the offerings improve, like Amazon Attribution. Amazon is simply too good of an opportunity to miss.

2. Search Remains Strong and Flexes Its Gen Z Muscle

Paid search remains the dominant digital ad channel and as we look into next year we see no indication of this changing. Google retains the upper hand through constant innovation and releasing a number of sophisticated tools that help marketers target their customers more effectively.

The Opportunity: As we move into 2020, a key challenge for search advertisers is how to reach the Gen Z audience. It’s no surprise that mobile, specifically smartphones, will be a core part of this strategy.

Smartphone search usage continues to increase—more local search queries are now done on smartphones. Marin research shows that university students are truly the smartphone generation; with this in mind, advertisers that adopt a mobile-first approach to search can expect to reap rewards next year.

3. Despite Social Controversy, Instagram Remains Facebook’s Secret Weapon

In spite of an ongoing public image crisis, Facebook has continually published positive results throughout 2019, demonstrating that media backlash doesn’t necessarily equate to poor business performance. This growth is likely to continue into 2020 due to the roll-out of a number of new features such as Facebook Watch and Automatic Placements.

However, the real story is still the rise of Facebook’s secret weapon, Instagram. With more than 500 million people using Instagram Stories every day, there’s plenty of opportunity for advertisers to experiment with engaging creative.

The Opportunity: Instagram Explore Feed is expected to launch in the New Year. It’s a fairly new concept for advertisers, bringing more interest-based targeting to the platform. Explore Feed represents a great chance for advertisers to be part of what’s culturally relevant and trending while reaching new audiences looking to discover something new. Exciting times ahead!

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