Digital marketing has all the technology and digital infrastructures to put businesses ahead of their competition. Looking back to the start of digital marketing, many of the technologies used by business are completely outdated and this fast-paced evolution has rendered marketing efforts to move at the same pace.
The pace of change in digital marketing continues to be fast and in a survey of marketers in 2013, by Adobe’s Digital Distress, 76% of the respondents thought marketing had changed more in the two years prior than it had in the past 50 years.
The basic principles of marketing have not changed; they entail the creation of powerful messages that attract the target market of any particular business or service. However, the method of delivery now has a full range of other tools which include SEO optimization, customer acquisition, engagement, pay-per-click, social media, search advertising and the ability to track what effect each campaign has had.
The biggest trends in digital marketing right now are:
- Artificial Intelligence
Any business that doesn’t want to fall behind has to be ready to use AI in marketing intelligence and delivery systems. AI not only helps lead to more sales, improve customer service and support, it allows for the development of new products and service, provides new business models, products and services and new revenue streams.
All of the above are achieved through personalization of each marketing lead, turning them from a marketing qualified lead to a sales qualified lead.
The benefits are obvious but few businesses are currently using this ability to send real-time personalized advertising insertions and optimized message targeting.
In order to prepare for the future, companies need to have high quality images of products labeled appropriately with alt-text so that online robots have more to work with.
Push notifications have become popular again with new AI-based push platforms. They are a matchless tool to engage, re-engage and retain customers; as long as they add value to the user.
Interaction is important for the human race. Social media networks have become popular, because people can voice their opinions and be heard. There are other ways for businesses to keep contact with clients and chatbots can be installed on a website allowing for basic conversation and responses to most-asked questions, similar to live human customer support. Chatbots are cheaper than employing someone to do the job and provides an instant response. The benefits include 24 hour service, instant response, answers to simple questions, fast resolution of complaints and good customer service.
- Omnichannels and marketing
Multi-channel marketing allows for communication across various channels but does not always solve consumer problems because it’s not integrated. Omnichannel marketing makes the process easier because all the channels are connected. Customer relationship management programs are ideal for keeping track of interactions with customers on different platforms.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Escalated movement on search engines cause website load times to increase, leading to a lower Google ranking. With 60% of search traffic on Google coming from mobile devices alone, Google realized the need for speed and started the AMP project, which helps load pages in less than 0.5 seconds, with a lower bounce rate of pages, which in turn improves website rankings.
On the other hand, Progressive Web Apps (PWA) is the middle ground between a normal responsive website and a native app and eliminates the high cost of building a mobile app, while providing a great experience to visitors with a faster loading time, no need for user downloads and the user can create a shortcut on their smartphone. This allows those from areas with poor internet to use a mobile site instead of an app.
Most of the growth in the revenue for social media apps is powered by mobile spending right now. The trend is for optimized mobile video and graphic experiences and better social media ad campaign management.
Personalization has changed email marketing making it more effective, and does the same for other marketing methods. With the new GDPR consumer protection laws, those receiving emails have agreed to them. So, since they are willing to receive emails, these recipients are warm leads and happy customers are easier to reach and more likely to buy again.
Marketing automation is a trend that will continue to grow since it eliminates time wastage, minimizes error and increases collaboration between the marketing and sales department.
- Live Video
Whatever people watched on their TV before is most likely to be viewed on a smartphone now. Popular platforms like You Tube, Facebook Live and Netflix all show videos and advertisers are expected to spend $20 billion on mobile video in 2019, which is a huge increase from $2 billion in 2015.
Live video is attractive because it is authentic with no editing, it’s cheaper and there is the thrill factor of watching it live. Live videos can be applied in many ways and are popular for hosting of industry events or product launches.
Besides live videos, there are many visitors to websites who prefer watching a video to reading text. This allows companies to reach a wider audience.
- Voice search
Voice recognition allows for people to do voice searches and smart speakers can be used to order items or control smart devices. Since people are multi-tasking more or driving and not able to use their mobile, it is often easier for them to do a voice search and it is faster than typing.
People using voice search typically perform a search for a local business and of those using a smart speaker, 31% had added an item to their cart according to research by NPR and Edison and 39 million American own smart speakers.
Since we will be seeing far more voice searches in 2019, loading time and site organization will be important.
- Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality
By inserting objects into a real-life setting, prospective customers can view what they look like in an environment before purchasing. Mostly used in games until now, businesses can use it as a marketing tool.
Attracting more customers to a business has never been easier, as long as the tools available are used cleverly by the marketing team behind the brand.