The influence of the digital landscape or cyber space has been growing constantly since 1990’s, and now, just a few decades later, it is a major virtual environment for the vast majority of people on the planet. The constantly changing landscape demands an ever changing ability to adapt and grow with what digital users are consuming.
In this article, we explore the top trends digital marketers should know or prepare to master.
- Influencer Marketing
Marketing is no more with Brands, it’s in hand s of consumers. Popular people on Instagram and YouTube became celebrities and the content they posted and the volume of followers they had determined if they would be an influencer worth the budget spend. What makes them influential is their large followings on the web and social media. An influencer can be a popular fashion photographer on Instagram, or a well-read cybersecurity blogger who tweets, or a respected marketing executive on LinkedIn. Within any industry, there are influential people.
- Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots
Chatbots are just a specialized form of software that acts as a virtual “concierge,” communicating with users and assisting them in completing their goals. Chatbots interact with humans in a natural way, primarily through the use of text chat windows, but verbal interactions are also possible.
Chatbots are already used extensively in Facebook, by the tens of thousands for different tasks. Everything from providing weather reports to automating some basic customer support functions can be easily handled by sophisticated software. Bots allow users to get personalized, focused interactions without pulling too much from limited human resources. Their effectiveness in 2018 is already showing a significant increase in usage, and that use is likely to continue growing for digital marketing in 2019.
- Voice Search & Interactions
Thanks to Siri, Google, Alexa, and a host of other “smart” devices, verbal interaction with devices is continuing to rise. The real takeaway is that talking is simply a preferred way of interacting. And now the machines are finally catching up to the way people want to search, shop, and discover new things.
- Video Marketing
While video is a valuable tool, one of the fastest rising stars in digital marketing is the use of live video. Despite YouTube still being the top-of-mind platform for video, other social platforms are gaining traction with businesses via live video. Live streaming, as it is called, is especially big for digital marketing when combined with influencer marketing.
- Content Marketing
Content marketing continues to be an essential component of digital marketing, content marketing attracts prospects and transforms prospects into customers by creating and sharing valuable free content. Content marketing helps companies create sustainable brand loyalty, provides valuable information to consumers, and creates a willingness to purchase products from the company in the future. This relatively new form of marketing does not involve direct sales. Instead, it builds trust and rapport with the audience.
- Video /Image Search
Google allows users to upload an image to conduct a search to garner more specific results, but they’re not the only platform. Pinterest, which had 250 million active monthly users in 2018, came out with a new visual search tool that will likely change online shopping in the coming year. Users can take a photo of an item and search for where to buy it online, search for similar products or view pinboards of related items. Google lens is currently available in Pixel phones and certain android devices.
- Audio Marketing
With 24 million people streaming music and podcasts each week, there are huge opportunities for brands to target people on-the-go with relevant and timely messages, relevant digital audio ads within playlists, radio ad breaks or podcasts, which can be highly targeted to both a listener’s interests and location.
- Micro Moments
Google has termed a new “consumer behaviour” and it is changing the way brands have to work in order to capture consumers’ attention. According to Google, micro-moments deliver your marketing message clearly and concisely in a way that is of interest to the consumer within a span of seconds. These moments occur when people need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something or buy something.
People spend an average of 3-1/2 hours on their smartphones every day and with mobile devices becoming the medium that gets the most minutes in 2019, these micro-moments are occurring when people turn to a device.
The ability to find whatever someone is looking for on their smartphone has consumers expecting that brands will deliver exactly what they want when they want it. This short span of attention coupled with consumers’ desire for immediate satisfaction demands that brands understand consumers’ needs in micro-moments and meet those needs. In order to capitalize on micro-moments, being where people search for information at a moment’s notice (Google, Amazon, YouTube, etc.) is imperative.
“PERSONALIZATION AND AUTHENTICITY WILL SEPARATE SUCCESSFUL MARKETERS FROM THOSE WHO JUST CONTRIBUTE TO NOISE.”
Email marketing is evolving, and generic marketing emails aren’t as effective as they once were. It is now a combination of automation and, more importantly, personalization that makes email marketing important for 2019. Businesses that are built on subscription-based models are already capitalizing on personalization. . A study conducted by Marketo shows that personalized emails that are triggered based on behavior perform three times better than (generic) batch emails. Making your target audience members feel special could be the deciding factor for them to choose your brand over another.
Social Media Today
Digital Marketing Institute