What is the Future of Digital Marketing?
What is the Future of Digital Marketing?
Whether you consider yourself a digital marketing expert or a relative newcomer, the landscape is changing constantly and it’s important to keep up with the trends. The current focus is on a new level in the digital marketing sphere: on customer experience, functionality, micro-moments, and highly targeted advertising.
Digital marketers should be following some of these important and exciting trends and thinking of ways to incorporate them into their own strategies.
Artificial intelligence, in the digital marketing context, is the meta-analysis of extensive data sets and then using that data to make decisions. What does this mean? Think self-driving cars. While the technology is still new, we are seeing AI in action. For example, both Amazon and Netflix have built-in AI features that help with customer recommendations and transactions. We will continue to see AI used in a range of future marketing applications, including content creation, voice and face recognition, chatbots, digital assistants, and targeted marketing strategies.
AI will become the marketing strategy norm because of its increasingly accurate ability to determine consumer behavior and feed into a better, more interactive, and personalized buying experience.
Influencer marketing is the idea of using “influential” people or brands to both explicitly and implicitly market your products and services. It is hugely successful, particularly in social media channels. Up to this point, influencer marketing has been used mostly in specific campaigns, however, it’s likely to grow into a continuous strategy rather than be focused on a single product.
Building and nurturing relationships with both macro and micro influencers will gain importance. Influencers are increasingly likely to engage with your brand and its marketing efforts. Typically influencers have credibility with their followers because 90 percent of consumers trust peer recommendations. No other form of marketing can buy that kind of trust.
Consumers have unlimited choice and power these days. They typically do their own research on mobile devices, which they bring nearly everywhere they go, and on which they make split-second decisions about purchases of all kinds, even large ones. The challenge for the marketer is to catch the buyer in these micro-moments, otherwise known as critical points along the buyer’s journey, which ultimately determine how that journey ends.
By using micro-moment marketing, brands can move the customer’s journey forward and deepen their relationship with users. User’s needs are addressed in real time and with relevance. Micro-moment marketing can be wielded in an unlimited number of ways, anytime a consumer reaches for their device.
Statistics abound regarding mobile phone usage in the U.S. and worldwide. According to one source, consumers now spend more than five hours a day on their smartphones, and a recent AdWeek survey found 88% growth year over year in time spent watching smartphone videos. You only have to look around you to see, everyone seems to have their eyes on a smartphone, so if you are running an online business, keeping up on this new digital trend only makes sense.
Businesses need to be visible and to engage this new type of consumer with highly mobile-friendly offerings. Maintaining search rankings versus competitors and keeping pace with highly customized content and targeted marketing strategies are key.
Social Media Usage
Social media is ever-changing. Originally, social media was intended to be used for peer interaction. Today, users want more control over what they see and seek more user-focused, less ad-focused entertainment and often less peer interaction.
People are spending more time on social platforms, but the way they are using them has changed. Brands need to reevaluate how they use social media to connect with customers and prospects.
Many people are watching more videos and other media for information gathering rather than using them for “social” reasons. Users are looking more towards entertainment and new technology like virtual reality and are looking to do this independently from socializing.
Personal blogs and websites are becoming less popular as a means of interacting online, and fewer people are using instant messaging. Digital marketers need to watch social media platforms that choose to incorporate explicit advertising strategies, as well as understand new ways to collect customer information implicitly to direct their strategy.
Before digital marketing, it was not always easy to measure campaign effectiveness. In the past, proving an uptick in sales was the result of a new ad campaign versus a change of website messaging or just a big push by the sales team, was often a mystery.
But, digital technologies provide extensive opportunities to accurately measure key metrics and see how marketing affects sales. Individual contributors, social media, email campaigns, direct mail, print, etc. can all be measured independently. Therefore, calculating ROI is possible when you have accurate data on what specifically drives traffic and conversions. These metrics provide useful data and inform digital marketing decisions and strategy.
All digital marketing professionals need to stay on top of these trends and we at Alt Creative can help. We have the expertise to work with you and your team. Contact us and let us help you ensure that your marketing strategy remains competitive and incorporates these trends.