The best way to plan your marketing strategy is to look to the future. This enables you to create a sustainable strategy that takes advantage of trends that are about to occur. To achieve this, turn to the projections in the infographic below for the future of digital marketing.


1. Increase in Marketing Spend

By 2020, digital marketing spend in the U.S. will reach to close to $120 billion. To put that into perspective, consider that it will represent almost half of total media spend.


2. Rise in Voice Search

Voice search will soon dominate the digital sphere. For example, the “hearables” market will be worth more than $20 billion by 2020. Furthermore, more than half of searches will be through voice.


3. Growing Importance of Reviews

We already talk about how reviews have a big impact on SEO and sales, but their influence is only going to grow. Users give reviews the same weight as personal recommendations. In fact, 92 percent of consumers read online reviews for a better idea of the quality of a company, product, or service, and 90 percent say that positive reviews have a sway on their final purchase decision.

Plus, positive reviews have a tangible effect on a business. Just improving your rating by one star can lead to an increase in revenue of anything from 5 to 9 percent.

Reviews are particularly important in health care. For instance, 62 percent of patients use them as the first step in their search to find a new doctor.


4. More and Improved Display Ads

Businesses are spending more on display ads to expand their reach. In 2016, display ad spend was just $8,872. By 2021, this is expected to increase to $10,820. To better engage with users, ads will be more customized and interactive.


5. Social Ads Will Prevail

Even more significant than display ads will be social ads. At $15,016, spend was already higher than display ads in 2016. The difference will become yet more pronounced when spend more than doubles to $32,977 in 2021.


6. Online Video Spend Will Soar

Another area where spend will more than double is online video. In 2016, online video accounted for just $9,252. By 2021, this will be up to $20,891.


7. You’ll See More Emojis

Three-quarters of men and 84 percent of women say that they are better able to express their emotions through emojis than with words. Expect to see more emojis popping up, including new emojis that allow users to better express how they feel.

The time to start preparing for these trends is now. To stay competitive, you need to reassess how you are allocating your marketing funds, create content that is voice-friendly (through keywords users are likely to use in voice search and by using a conversational writing style), and encourage more customers to leave you reviews — especially with emojis.


7 Projections for the Future of Digital Marketing [Infographic]