With everything that has happened lately, we have been thrust into a more digitally dependent lifestyle.
Going to classes, shopping, groceries, meetings–all of which are now readily available on online platforms.
Video conferencing platforms have skyrocketed in popularity with the increased demand to learn from home, as has the usage of Netflix and YouTube with most of the cinemas closed.
People are also becoming more engaged in using applications and websites to shop from the comfort and safety of their homes.
According to statistics, 4.5 billion people now use the internet while social media users have passed the 3.8 billion mark.
Imagine this large market; sitting in the palm of your hands.
These are just some of the reasons why digital marketing is one of the most promising fields in the coming years. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors in conquering this large market, you have got to stay updated with the trends that dominate the digital marketing
1. AI Is Taking Over
AI or Artificial Intelligence is slowly creeping its way into our daily life.
AI is responsible for checking your credentials when you use your phone or computer for online banking. It helps your bank detect fraud and helps verify transactions as “normal” to be validated or declined.
And at the end of a long hard day, you decide to relax and open up Netflix. Artificial intelligence is also present here as it manages and tracks the movies and series that you watch. With this information, it can give you recommendations based on your preferences for what you should watch next.
With the development of artificial intelligence, digital marketing is incorporating these advancements in the following fields.
- Product recommendation
When a customer is browsing on your website, AI can help you advertise the right products and services that are suitable for the browsing behavior of your customer.
They’re reading an article about skincare? Why not show them an advertisement for your product that can help them.
Since it’s artificial intelligence, it can operate 24/7 without the need to take breaks. It also works extremely fast, keeping up with the movement of your target audience in real-time.
- Email personalization
Statistics show that personalized emails deliver up to six times higher transaction rates.
That’s worth noting if you want to drive sales up.
Imagine having to personalize each email, tailored to the details of your customer. It would take you hours, even days!
Artificial intelligence will make it easier for you to send thousands upon thousands of personalized emails to your target audience.
2. Chatbots Are The Future Of Customer Service
Artificial intelligence is now also powering our chatbots. Utilizing instant messaging to accommodate customer inquiries at any time is a big plus to companies.
This is very appealing to customers because they don’t have to wait in long queues or be transferred from department to department when they have a question. They can just chat with a chatbot and get their answers quickly.
The following are a few noteworthy statistics about chatbots:
- By 2020, chatbots will power 85% of customer service
- Top benefits of chatbots include 24-hour service (64%) instant responses to inquiries (55%) and answers to simple questions (55%)
- 63% prefer messaging an online bot to communicate with a business or a brand
- Chatbots are expected to cut business costs by $88 billion by 2022
It becomes easier for customers to reach out to brands with their questions when they’re talking to chatbots who are always there with a quick response. With this kind of automation, it is also easier to pull up records of customers, thereby assisting them even more efficiently.
Through time, the AI learns more about each customer, continuously improving the quality of service based on the data gathered.
3. Interactive Content Will Get You More Engagement
Statistics show that 93% of marketers agree that interactive content is effective in educating buyers compared to only 70% for static content. It’s also worth noting that 70% of marketers say that interactive content is effective at converting site visitors.
Interactive content can be something as simple as a poll asking a customer what they want to see next, or a call to action from you, or a call to action using a hashtag that benefits your brand. It can also be something more complicated such as a 360 video or a virtual tour of your company.
The use of interactive content gives your consumers a sense of connection to you and your brand. It also gives them a sense of ownership because they become part of the brand by contributing their thoughts and opinions.
Giving them this experience not only makes your content more personalized but also makes it fun for your consumers to learn more about your products and services.
If they are able to identify themselves better with your brand, it will be easier for them to make the change from being a bystander to a consumer.
4. Blur Between Real and Digital: Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is currently one of the biggest trends in technology. Simply put, augmented reality mixes together elements from the real world through the lens of a camera and a digital augmentation laid over it.
A very popular application of augmented reality would be Snapchat filters. It blends real faces and digital augmentations to create the classic adorable dog ear filter that was released in 2016.
Kendall Jenner using the puppy filter
As we progress further into the digital age where augmented reality will be easily accessible for everyone, companies see this as a major opportunity.
With marketing, we aim to sell the experience of our products and then educate them on how our product helps them solve their problems. We entice them first before explaining the details.
Imagine bringing customer experience to a whole new level.
With augmented reality, we let them “experience” the product from the comfort of their couches.
A company that was successful in using AR is IKEA. They launched an augmented reality application that helped their customers visualize their product in their room. The app features realistically-rendered, true to scale 3D models of the product.
IKEA’s augmented reality application
The company also assured its customers that the scaling of the product is based on the dimensions of the room. They guarantee a 98% accuracy in the scaling.
5. Content Marketing Will Always Be Trendy
The quality of your content will always matter. That’s a trend that’s never going to die down.
What does require your focus in order to keep up with everyone else, in the context of your content, is knowing and understanding your target audience.
As Google begins to develop a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of content online, it is important to be more mindful of your target audience and how your content is curated for them.
It’s important to be updated with Google’s new updates like the new BERT system. This is designed to help Google understand better the natural language that people use in their search queries.
So if you’re optimizing your content from an SEO perspective, you need to stay updated to better tailor your content for your target audience.
A lot of large companies have a link building reseller to help them with their SEO needs. It’s just one of the easier ways to ensure that your content will be fully optimized through the lens of SEO.
6. Omnichannel Marketing: Be Everywhere
Omnichannel marketing is the process of marketing your content across multiple platforms. In doing so, you’re able to connect with your target audience on more than one touchpoint.
When you’re able to do this right, it enhances the user experience and makes your brand message more cohesive. This, in turn, drives people to action.
Brands must be able to showcase a consistent message across every medium they can get their hands on. This includes physical storefronts, social media platforms, catalogs, blogs, and email.
The following statistics on omnichannel marketing is worth noting:
- Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies are able to achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention compared to businesses that don’t utilize it.
- Consumers use an average of almost six touch-points with nearly 50% regularly using more than four.
- Over 35% of customers expect to be able to contact the same customer service representative on any channel.
Having a website shows that you are professional, you’re dedicated to your cause, and it sets you apart from your competitors. When users look you up online, they’ll be directed to your custom website.
This is why the services of a website design company are popular among large brands and small brands alike. You can spend more time focusing on your brand and you gain a reliable, faster, and well-designed website.
It’s also worth noting that your website has to be designed to accommodate multiple devices. Not everyone will access your website on their computers, and if your website is not optimized for viewing on mobile phones, it might discourage your customers.
7. Voice Search Is The Future Of Queries
When Siri came out in 2011, everyone lost their minds. Imagine accessing your phone with a personal robot assistant? Genius!
9 years have passed and we now have other AI assistants like Cortana, Alexa, and Google Assistant. These personal assistants have made our lives easier by letting us use our devices with only our voice.
In the span of 9 years, we’ve progressed so far in voice search, and it’s only going to get bigger from here on in.
That’s why companies are starting to optimize their content for voice search.
Since we’re used to typing our queries when we’re looking for something online, we view the results one page at a time.
But when a user makes a query verbally, their personal assistant may only give a few choices and those choices are optimized to be read out loud.
Just making sure that your content is one of those few choices, will keep you a few steps ahead of your competitors.
8. Conversational Marketing: Making Conversations More Personable
As we have discussed voice searching, optimizing your content for voice search is important to keep relevant and ahead of your competitors. It is important to note that in making your content, you have to remember to use a conversational tone.
Using a conversational tone in your content makes it easier for personal assistants to pull out your content. Conversational means that you use keywords that people are likely to say when they make queries.
Aside from this, using a conversational tone with your chatbots also helps make the experience more human. Users will feel more at ease using your chatbots if they seem more human.
Making your content conversational will enhance user experience and foster higher engagement, and ultimately, greater loyalty to your brand.
9. Choose Your Social Media Platform Wisely
Choosing the right social media platform for your content will be more crucial in the coming years. Different age groups use different social media platforms so knowing which platform your target audience uses most is important.
According to Forbes, women were more likely to use Facebook than men. It is also worth noting that for the American population, Facebook is popular among individuals who are 65+ years old.
If your target audience is a younger demographic, Instagram and Tiktok might be the right platform for you. According to statistics, Instagram caters most to users who are 18 – 34 years old and Tiktok caters most to users who are 10 – 29 years old.
Platforms that cater to a demographic more distributed in age are Twitter and Snapchat. The age of users who use Twitter ranges from 18 – 49 years old while the age of users who use Snapchat ranges from 13 – 35+ years old.
10. Video Reigns Over Text
People are bored with just plain text. With the attention span of the average user growing shorter and shorter, they want something more visually engaging and appealing.
This is why video has taken the internet by storm.
Users enjoy learning about products through a video which is why it’s the most preferred method of learning, according to Hubspot.
Videos are highly engaging, especially if it’s a live stream.
Live streaming is powerful because it connects brands and users in real-time. This also gives a more personalized feel, thereby increasing user engagement.
Here are some noteworthy statistics about video marketing:
- 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television.
- Mobile video consumption rises by 100% each year.
- By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic.
- 78% of people watch online videos every week and 55% view online videos every day.
- 59% of executives say they would rather watch a video than read a text.
11. Influencer Marketing: People Trust People For Their Decisions
You can think of influencer marketing as an evolved version of word-of-mouth marketing. The brand focuses on key leaders that help them spread their brand’s message to a larger market, specifically, the leader’s audience.
An influencer can be a celebrity if their fanbase is part of your target audience. More often though, these influencers are big personalities from different social media platforms who have a huge niche following.
What makes influencer marketing effective is that consumers are able to identify with the people they like following. They find these people more personable and authentic compared to what brands are saying about themselves.
Here are some important statistics about influencer marketing:
- 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities.
- 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations.
- 60% of teens follow advice from influencers over celebrities.
- 74% of people trust social networks to guide purchasing decisions.
12. Messaging Apps: So Much Untapped Potential
A lot of people use social media platforms but it doesn’t compare to how often these people use social messaging apps.
Here are some statistics to help you grasp how big messaging apps are:
- 41 million messages are sent out every minute.
- Messaging apps are now over 20% bigger than social networks.
- Around 2.9 billion people now use Messenger and WhatsApp.
- There are 2.52 billion people using messaging apps on mobile.
With these statistics in mind, it’s only logical to bring marketing to the people.
Sending personalized messages to customers using these applications adds value to the user experience.
This also reassures the customers that if they ever need anything from the brand, they’ll be able to reach out easily through these apps. In turn, customers will enjoy working with your brand.
With everything that has happened lately, we have been compelled to learn how to integrate the internet into our daily tasks. We have seen how we can make many activities easier with just a touch of a button.
With this rapid progression, digital marketing is experiencing both the pressure of keeping up with the many changes, as well as the opportunity to reach out and engage with a wider audience.
Learning these trends and successfully implementing them in your marketing strategy will ensure that you’re not left behind by your competitors.