Digital world is exploding with innovations, from social media marketing and content strategies to paid ads and community management, ingenious developments have changed the face of digital marketing.
This technological world has armed digital marketers with countless tools. Combating the challenges of marketing now seems easier. However, a rapidly changing landscape, fluctuations in the business environment, changes in consumer trends, and advancements in technology, keep digital marketers on their toes.
It is vital to keep a sharp eye on these changes to adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. The inability to adapt to change has upended numerous brands in the past.
A modern approach to digital marketing focuses on the following elements:
- Consumer experience
- Target-based advertisement
Digital marketing managers must keep these 4 elements center-stage when developing their company’s digital marketing strategy. In doing so, marketers will uplift their brand to stand out from the competition, gain the loyalty of consumers, and increase revenues.
Let’s take a look at the latest trends in the arena of digital marketing:
1. Artificial Intelligence
The advancements in Artificial Intelligence technology have led to increased efficiencies in multiple industries, including marketing. In the field of marketing, AI has increased automation; the last 4 years have seen a rapid increase in programmed advertising, 86% of the digital ads today use artificial intelligence, and this percentage is expected to increase even more.
- Artificial Intelligence and Customer Services
Since AI helps companies provide superior customer service, it is expected that it will be a new norm of digital marketing. Even today, we see examples of AI in customer service marketing in the shape of chatbots and virtual assistants, etc.
- Artificial Intelligence and Paid Searches
Paid searches or paid ads are prevalent in digital marketing. In combination with SEO, marketers opt for PPC to increase conversions. Payment is made either on per click basis or frequency of displaying.
A team of experts decides which channels are ideal for the paid searches to get the highest number of clicks. This type of advertising is connected to programmatic advertising, which is based on artificial intelligence. By employing AI, the experts determine the data to drive maximum traffic in minimum time.
- Artificial Intelligence and Cost
This shift towards AI also has a cost-cutting advantage. AI saves companies a lot of time and money by replacing manual labor with machines. Machines can perform repetitive tasks faster and better than human beings; for instance, machines can sort out a lot of data within a fraction of the time it would take a human. With the help of AI, companies are combing through gazillions GBs of consumer data to filter useful information to customize consumer experiences.
Digital marketing factors that are most influenced by AI are:
- Content marketing
- Face and voice searches
- Recognition of face
2. SEO and Voice Searches
The rise in voice search is another digital marketing trend that companies should monitor closely. Devices like Google assistant Siri, Cortana, and Alexa have increased the popularity of voice searches. One of the reasons for its popularity is the ease-of-use; consumers want ease and value-added services at every step. Since voice search is more convenient, it has taken preference over text search. This is evident by the ratio of 40% of people using voice searches for their daily search.
With the growing notoriety of voice search, it is expected that it will become a permanent part of the digital marketing portfolio in no time. Marketers need to understand this growing trend and act speedily to incorporate voice marketing strategy, including voice optimization.
The shift towards voice search will influence SEO strategy and Content strategy dramatically. Since our way of speaking is completely different from that of writing, you can expect the consumer to search differently.
For instance, in traditional search, we type a few disjointed words in the search engine and hit enter because typing takes time and effort. On the other hand, speaking does not take any time at all. When using voice search, users ask very specific and detailed questions.
Thus, it is recommended to incorporate user-friendly and conversational language in the content. Furthermore, companies will have to change their SEO strategy from primary or secondary keywords to long-tailed keywords. Besides this, long-tail keywords and natural tone are the other essential elements. Updating the strategies as per the changing technology will provide fruitful outcomes and better stability.
Google has announced a 97% accuracy of Google Assistant in the year 2017. Since this technology is improving, the users are likely to grow. Thus, digital marketers need to give a 20% ratio of typed searches and an 80% ratio of voice searches when designing content strategies.
3. Personalization and Virtual Content
Besides optimizing the strategies for voice searches, personalization of content is also imperative. Experts claim that personalization creates a strong bond between the company and the user. Artificial intelligence is playing a significant role in improving personalization; machines are sorting through consumer behavior and customer usage patterns to determine likes, dislikes, preferences, etc. to develop an online experience that most satisfies the customer.
Personalization is also apparent in paid ads; AI is monitoring web history and search patterns of the consumer to show ads that the recipient is more likely to purchase.
You visit an online makeup shop, then you watch a Huda Beauty video on YouTube, you may follow a news article that informs about a dispute between two makeup artists, and so on. Now, AI has learned that you (the consumer) are interested in makeup, and therefore, it will show you ads of makeup products since there is a high chance you will convert.
- Virtual Content
Gone are the days when people used to read long pages. Life is busy these days, and millions of users prefer watching short videos. Some latest developments in virtual content include:
- 360-degree videos
- Facebook stories
- Instagram TV
- Facebook live videos
Additionally, marketers are also using direct means of selling by making personalized videos. Many small businesses that are running from homes are generating good ROIs through video marketing.
This shows that the trend of video marketing will keep on rising. Thus, marketers need to arm themselves with the latest tools of virtual marketing.
A company selling coaxial cables hosted a Facebook live sessions to show the product and highlight its benefits instead of writing about them. In comparison to competitors, the brand receives higher consumer engagement, more clicks, and sales.
4. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is another marketing trend to gain popularity in the past few years. Influencers are social media personalities that have established credibility for themselves in a particular niche. These influencers have a loyal band of followers/subscribers that value their opinion.
Influencer marketing is akin to word-of-mouth marketing, but it is more effective. People rely on influencers and trust them to provide an honest opinion.Therefore, when the influencer tells their followers that a particular product/service is worth buying, they do so. The credibility of the message increases in comparison to the brand delivering the messaging itself.
However, during the last few years, influencer marketing faced some challenges. Brands got difficulty in reaching out to the right influencers to market their product. At present, AI has changed the entire methodology of influencer marketing. With great automation, it is providing commendable help in multiple ways, like:
- Selection of Influencer
AI now helps marketers in selecting the right influencer, which was otherwise a difficult task. By sifting throughloads of information, it picks up the best influencers based on specified characteristics.
- Analyzing Data for Each Post
When the selected influencer publishes a post, AI can determine the engagement of the post to let the marketers know about the impact of the post on the target audience. Besides this, it also helps in shaping future strategies.
- Prediction of Incentives
Apart from other benefits, AI can also tell the right incentive that works best for attracting the right influencers. By analyzing previous data, it can give us suggestions about incentives. Thus, making things easier. Besides monetary incentives, others include special trips, exclusive access, deals and discounts, an invitation to events, etc.
This shows that AI will open new doors for influencer marketing. Marketers should not overlook influencer marketing strategy as it delivers higher conversions and more sales.
Chatbots have become essential to customer support. They promise a smoothuser experience unrestricted by time. Users can ask chatbots any information regarding the brand 24/7; previously, online customer support was dependent on human customer services. representatives.
These representatives were available only at certain hours of the day. Do you remember when you reached out to a business on Facebook, Instagram, or their website? It would take them at least a day to get back to you with a response. With chatbots, the wait has ended. They respond to consumer queries in real-time, ending wait, and increasing the chance of conversions.
This automation in customer service is used for giving a prompt response to customer queries. Some chatbots are designed so well that they have eliminated human intervention. While others require partial intervention at times.
Some brands use chatbots to automate the initial phase of marketing. Like contact information, initial marketing messages, the guidance of common issues, and so on.
Some of the best chatbots of different brands include:
- Tech crunch
- Baby center UK
- Lead pages
Chatbots are made conversational so that they can engage the customers in a better way. This helps in building long term relationships with clients besides freeing up your team’s time and energy.
Baby Center UK is a renowned brand of child care and pregnancy resources. This brand is part of Johnson&Johnsons. The messenger’s bot of Baby Center is excellent; it asks questions like the age of a child, gender, height, etc. and then suggests the most relevant products.
For instance, if a parent says that the child is ready to be toilet trained, the bot asks for other symptoms. Like “How do you know? Is he giving any clues?”
6. Digital Assistants
Whether we talk about Cortana and Alexa or Google Assistant and Siri, we see the trend of having a digital assistant on a rising scale. A study showed that by 2020, 1.6 billion users will be using these digital assistants.
Digital assistants are doing a lot of things; from giving makeup tips and household decoration to toddler development ideas and fascinating stories for kids, these virtual assistants have made us heavily dependent on them.
Digital assistants are enabling brands to serve customers in exceptional ways. They are another source of gathering meaningful information about the targeted group.
7. Transformation of Social Media Functionality
As we cast our eyes a few years back, we can see that social media channels were developed to connect “socially.” However, the use of these channels in the current scenario does not align with their purpose of existence. Nobody uses these social channels only to connect with their peers.
Some popular uses of social media today are:
- A home-based business owner is using Facebook to take online orders
- Multinationals are using to connect withgeographically dispersed customers,
- NGOs are using SM to raise awareness for social causes
On the other hand, people are using social media channels for entertainment. They do not want a bombardment of ads; privacy and ad-free user experience have become vital to them.
Social media has transformed the way we communicate and market our businesses. It is bringing new changes in the health care sector. Those social channels that were formed to make virtual relationships are now used for online appointments. Skype’s virtual doctor visit is a great example here. In the same way, Facebook groups help people of the same medication condition to stay connected. Besides this, Twitter is also playing its role in bringing a positive change in society by sharing information with a large number of people.
The digital landscape is changing at a rapid rate. Utilizing massive data, making the best use of AI, and designing explicit strategies is the future of digital marketing. The trends of virtual content, personalized marketing approach, voice searches, and digital assistants will keep rising. Marketers need to dress their digital strategies by incorporating these tactics to increase effectiveness.
Have you used any of the latest trends like chat bots and virtual content so far? Let us know the impact in the comments section.
Nouman provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for Shireen Inc.