It has been a few years since we have seen any truly radical transformation in digital marketing. At least, that is the case at the time of publishing, and experts theorize that the reason for this plateau is because digital marketing has reached maturity.
Even revolutionary technology such as machine learning and AI has not been as disruptive as concepts such as social media marketing or inbound marketing. However, these trends are powerful currents that have the capacity to transform the way you do your digital marketing in the near future.
The rise of video in marketing has been spectacular, but not unexpected. Video content is easier to digest and far more relatable, making it one of the key formats used in content marketing and in advertisements. Today, the time spent watching video averages 100 minutes a day, rivaling even conventional TV.
Video marketing has transcended social media channels such as Instagram and YouTube. Different types of videos such as brand videos, behind-the-scenes videos, explainers, among others are part of corporate websites. They have even found their way into email marketing, making video marketing a key trend that every marketer should keep an eye on.
2. Experiential Marketing
Talking of being relatable, the younger generation today is gravitating towards experiential value rather than mere transactional value. They want to connect with brands and care about whether their chocolate is Fair Trade or their cosmetics are cruelty-free.
Now that the customer is the hero of the story, brands have been under pressure to create trust with customers in many creative ways. This includes ensuring complete transparency through product value chains and taking a stand on issues such as environmental conservation and veganism to remain in vogue with today’s “woke” type of customer.
3. Omnichannel Marketing
Multichannel marketing has now evolved into omnichannel. Customers expect the same kind of quality and seamless service from you regardless of whether they reach out through Instagram, email, or Twitter.
Brands need to maintain consistent messaging and user experiences on all their channels, which is much harder than it sounds. But it is important, as this study published on HBR proves. Here’s something you may not know: the more channels customers use, the more valuable they are.
4. Voice Search
“Alexa, find me the best digital marketing agency to handle my link-building with high-authority domains.” Yeah, not happening.
However, despite its limitations, voice search is shaping up to become a major force in search volume. Voice shopping is set to bypass $40 billion by 2022, showing increasing value for B2C brands. You may not have to overhaul your content to make it compatible with voice search, but it is important to have a strategy in place going forward.
5. Conversational Marketing
The rise of AI-powered bots that can create content in seconds has caused shockwaves through the content marketing industry. They are becoming increasingly popular as a cost-effective option for fast, in-depth, and accurate content, but they have yet to replace teams of writers. Why is that?
It’s because no bot (yet) can create the kind of conversational content that users want. They are great as chatbots for dialogue-like engagement, but marketing content is a different game altogether. People want to relate to your brand through your persona and online presence.
The kind of conversational marketing you need will require a mix of box and humans to create a rich experience for your audience.
What Gartner calls personification (as opposed to personalization) is the process of enabling markets to deliver targeted digital experiences … based on a characteristic customer segment.”
In other words, technology such as AI and machine learning is being used more extensively for hyper-targeting content to ensure maximum personalization. This technology is used to process large amounts of data collected from online channels to help customize individual user experiences and increase brand engagement.
Today’s customers actually expect brands to provide a personalized experience, and they don’t mind up some personal information to achieve that goal. That’s why even small businesses need to become savvy on this aspect. Using data and commercial tools, you can get better at discovering your core customer groups and targeting them better with your marketing.
Thanks to the latest updates to its algorithms, Google is better able to judge user intent and provide content that helps meet their need at that moment. This gives rise to micro-moments, defined as “a moment when a person turns to a device to act on a need or impulse.”
These moments are full of intent but low on patience, which means that the results need to provide an immediate solution. Marketers need to think in a more customer-centric manner and learn to predict increasingly dynamic users. This also underscores the need for more data to help with the personalization of content.
8. Native Ads
How many times have you had to click on the Back button because a site was chock-full of popups and footers? Native ads are a different type of ad that operates more in the background as part of the page. They are seamless and don’t block the site content, which makes them less intrusive.
Given how big a priority search engines such as Google place on user experience, native ads are likely to become more commonplace than they already are today.
There are many more marketing trends that are shaping digital marketing today, with some being new and others ongoing. Nobody knows what the next disruptive movement will be about inbound marketing and the use of social media, but diligent marketers know how to keep their ears on the ground.
In the meantime, one of the most dynamic and hot trends in marketing today is influencer marketing. It has become a discipline of its own, generating some of the highest returns of any form of marketing.
Every brand needs to consider what role influencer marketing should play as part of their digital marketing strategy. Poptribe is here to handle all your Instagram influencer marketing needs, and we welcome you to get in touch with us to learn more about it today.