Digital marketing is evolving at a rapid pace, and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends. However, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, it is important to be aware of the latest developments.
Owing to the widespread usage of the Internet and the availability of information online, there is one thing that is for sure: consumers are now more aware. Whether it is pricing, different specifications/features of a product, or simply brand values, they are better equipped to make informed choices.
This factor makes the online marketing landscape an even more competitive one, so the question is: are you prepared for the future of digital marketing?
Here are 6 digital marketing trends that you need to prepare for:
1. AI Is Being Increasingly Used In Digital Marketing
In the contemporary world, the importance of data in digital marketing cannot be undermined. In fact, data is available in such abundance that it is becoming nearly impossible for marketers to analyze all of it and draw valuable conclusions.
This is where AI steps in. With machine learning algorithms, large data sets can be analyzed and can build models to predict consumer behavior. Once brands know the future behavior of consumers, they can frame their marketing strategies accordingly.
Knowing which customers to target in ads and what type of content to push out during different times on different social media platforms will enable brands to perform better.
In addition, consumers now expect a personalized experience when they interact with brands online. As a result, brands need to use data to segment their audience and send targeted messages that speak to their individual needs.
This is also where AI steps in. It is being used in chatbots which have recently become increasingly popular as a way to provide customer service and support. They help give instant replies that help in answering queries of people.
In other words, brands that understand the importance of personalized recommendations are the ones that are more inclined to adapt to AI and be better prepared for the future.
2. New Ways To Keep Your Audience Engaged
The main aim of digital marketing is to create brand awareness, increase website traffic and generate more leads for the business. However, it is essential to remember that once you get those leads through digital marketing, calling to convert those leads has started to become a thing of the past.
According to studies, more and more millennials have started preferring texting over calling. If your target audience is Gen-Z and millennials, it is unlikely they will be much receptive to your nurturing calls. In fact, the younger audience is more tech-savvy, so they are likely to place online orders, submit forms and read reviews online rather than getting the information over calls.
Brands will need to build simple and intuitive order forms to increase their chances of engaging with their target audience. Click here to learn more about form building and to select the best form type for your business.
In addition, small businesses will need to put in more efforts to keep their potential and existing customers engaged so that they do not lose business to big competitors. As a result, your audience should be kept aware of whatever is happening at your brand especially if you are launching a new product.
In fact, sending product launch emails for small businesses has become easy with the numerous templates available at Flodesk. Be sure to learn quick yet effective ways to get your message out there. In short, nurturing calls need to be phased out but keeping your customers updated (for example, through product launch emails) will still remain trendy.
3. Augmented Reality Is Becoming More Popular For Marketing Purposes
Augmented reality (AR) is an immersive technology that enables consumers to interact with digital content in the real world. The technology is still in its early stages, but it is one to watch for the future of digital marketing.
Your potential customers can simply hold their phone in front of a marketing poster of a new product which can then come to life. Users can see what the product(s) appearance is like which is a good substitute for holding the physical product in their hands.
For instance, IKEA has created the option of virtually placing furniture in rooms so that customers can know if their potential purchase would fit in the room, match the theme, etc. This way consumers can interact with the product as they become “alive”, hence increasing engagement and even brand loyalty.
In short, AR technology has created a lot of possibilities for digital marketing. Companies can add interactive features that allow users to clearly view products and get a feel of them before making the actual purchase. Enhancing product listing and marketing through AR is something that has the potential to become trendy very soon.
4. Influencer marketing is still going strong
Brands partnering up with social media influencers to reach a wider audience and build trust with potential customers will be the key to stay up-to-date.
More people are using their phones and tablets to browse the internet than ever before. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and that your email marketing campaigns look great on a small screen.
Influencers are creative in their ways to engage audiences: They make use of live video to connect with their audience in real-time. If they are partnered with your brand and are invited to cover some event or product/feature launch, they can use live video to give customers a behind-the-scenes look of your business.
They even host live Q&As, showcase product demonstrations on their stories and make use of short videos (which brings us to our next point.)
5. Short-form content is gaining more traction
Short videos have started becoming more popular among consumers, especially the young audience. It is due to this reason that YouTube has rolled out the option of “Shorts” and Instagram was about to make the application’s interface similar to TikTok’s where more short-form content from random people would show up on the newsfeed.
Even though long-form content is still relevant, in some niches it only makes sense to produce short, engaging, and visually appealing videos. For instance, when it comes to tech, people still like to read long articles which contain specifications and usage instructions. However, when it comes to fashion, people are more likely to watch their favorite models in short TikTok-like videos trying different brands rather than reading blogs.
6. A Cookie-less Future
Cookies have been in use for a long-time to keep track of consumer habits on websites that they visit. For instance, when consumers add a product to the shopping cart but do not complete the purchase, ad retargeting is done with the help of cookies to show them the ads for the products in their cart as a reminder.
However, now cookies are being phased out by Google and companies need to find alternatives to third-party cookies. As keeping track of consumer behavior will still be very relevant for digital marketing, companies can use Google Tag Manager as it helps keep track of the ROI for your digital ad campaigns. With this tool, you have more control of the data and can update related code fragments with ease.
Another way that you can prepare for a cookie-less future is by making use of data pools. With these knowledge banks, you can have access to insights into how consumers behave. The information is categorized according to different industry verticals and can help you get to know your potential customers better. Therefore, you can plan your digital marketing accordingly.
Summing Up The Digital Marketing Trends You Need To Prepare For
Nowadays, staying up-to-date with digital marketing trends has become essential for brands that are looking to remain competitive in today’s market. Brands have jumped in on meme marketing which shows brands are becoming more adaptable to trends.
It is true that meme-marketing has more organic engagement, the trends are not predetermined and brands have to be on their marks to push out relevant content when the time arises.
Even though there is potential to have a high engagement by capitalizing on a “meme-worthy” event that occurred, the lifespan of such content is short-lived. It is up to the brands to decide whether they want to jump in on trends and capitalize on them or build a strategy that results in long-term growth and user retention.
Some long-term trends are the prevalence of AI and AR in digital marketing, cookies being phased out, influencer marketing becoming an integral part of marketing strategies and building a sustainable brand image.
Remember that the younger generation has started to buy from brands that resonate with their own perception and values. The aim of digital marketing should be to retain customers rather than just aim for one-time business. Be sure to incorporate this into your digital marketing strategy.
Osama Zahid is a technology content strategist who is passionate about content marketing and all things SEO. He has helped various companies rank their content on the first page of search engines. In his free time, Osama loves to play football and travel. You can follow him on LinkedIn.