Five Emerging Trends in Digital Marketing
If you are reading this article online, you will have encountered digital marketing in one form or another. It includes online videos, display ads, search engine marketing, social advertising, content marketing, blogs, and social media posts. Digital marketing can be contrasted to traditional or offline marketing which includes events, television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and billboards.
What is digital marketing?
In basic terms, digital marketing is the set of activities through which brands connect with customers using the internet and other forms of digital communication. Popular digital marketing channels include content marketing (blogs, articles), emails, social media, text messages, WhatsApp, and internet-based advertising (SEM). At its core, digital marketing is no different to traditional marketing in that it involves connecting with your audience at the right place and right time. It means you meet them where they are already spending time and present a message that resonates with them.
Why is digital marketing important?
A recent survey conducted by Pew Research showed that at least three in ten adults in the USA are online ‘almost constantly’, while more than eight in ten adults go online at least daily. With digital marketing, you not only target your audience where they already “hang out”, but you also target a larger audience, often at a lower cost than traditional marketing channels.
So, what are the latest trends in digital marketing? We have listed 5 below.
1. Development in ‘Augmented Reality’ technology
Augmented Reality (AR) refers to the use of digital technology to overlay information in video, text, or image format onto everyday objects in the real world. AR provides marketers with the ability to transform a static everyday object into an immersive 3D experience. While an advertisement in a magazine might provide a visual, that same image can be transformed into an engaging experience while providing customers additional information and the ability to interact with the product as if they were interacting with the object in real life. Good examples of using AR include IKEA’s AR app that allows users to put digital furniture anywhere and Amazon’s hair salon which allows users to visualize hair color and styling options before buying.
2. Artificial Intelligence
The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ubiquitous. Put simply, it is the use of computers and machines to mimic the cognitive functions of the human mind. Whilst machine learning and AI cannot replace much of the work done by creatives and marketers, they can do a lot. Owing to detailed and sophisticated algorithms, AI is evolving at a rapid rate. AI involves targeted advertising, showing products to potential clients based on previous searches. A popular and successful example of AI is Amazon’s ‘recommendations’ which contributes to over 35% of its sales. For AI to be used effectively, investment in data is key. By collecting massive data and using data analytics tools, marketers can gain valuable insights into every aspect of a business. Marketing backed by data will provide a competitive advantage. The best marketing, however, is one that intelligently combines data and AI with human insight and creativity.
3. Programmatic advertising
Programmatic advertising is the use of algorithmic software to buy digital advertising space. The use of algorithms ensures targeted advertising to segment the audience, allowing advertisers to only pay for advertisements that are delivered to the right people at the right time. This automated buying and selling of online advertising make transactions efficient and more effective.
4. Use of voice search functions
As the name suggests, voice search refers to the use of voice recognition technology in digital marketing. This feature allows users to perform searches by speaking into a device. Almost one in three adults use mobile voice search and given the convenience of just speaking into a device instead of typing, these numbers are just set to increase. Voice recognition tools eliminate the need for users to type into their devices thus allowing them to multitask while shopping. Websites optimized for voice searches not only can capture this segment of the market, but they also rank higher on search engine results.
5. Interactive content
Adding interactive content is great for users to interact with your website. Interactive content such as quizzes, polls, surveys, calculators offer a stimulating and often informative interaction with your clientele. For example, a property realtor who includes a mortgage calculator on the website offers value to purchasers while providing insights to the realtor about the purchaser. The use of live chat functions is on the rise. A recent survey reported 60% of users aged between 18-34 use live chat features on websites regularly. Live chat features speed up responses to customers, improve sales conversions and provide a personalized experience.
Ready to embrace the future in Digital Marketing?
As the all-too-common saying goes “change is the only constant in life”, this could not be truer for those in marketing, more specifically digital marketing. With technology, trends and customer preferences constantly evolving, it is imperative that brands have their finger on the pulse, stay up to date with new technologies, and be agile to embrace and implement innovation, all while keeping close and connected with customers.
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