Digital marketing: the future
Digital Marketing is one of those fields where you have to be constantly on your toes. It relies heavily on technological developments, which have been happening almost at the speed of lighting so, consequently, Digital Marketing is constantly evolving as well.
The digital marketing landscape that contains SEO, social media, PPC, content marketing and more is going through yet another dramatic shift.
For example, there may have been a time when you could’ve dismissed artificial intelligence or visual search as gimmicks from a generic science fiction film, but clearly, that is no longer the case. That’s how fast things are evolving.
There are many new digital marketing trends and strategies that are evolving in the current high-tech, Internet-connected era and businesses now need to use them to succeed in their efforts because what worked for you last year may not work anymore.
Here are some key digital marketing trends for this year.
SEO A/B Split Testing
Marketing is all about testing for the solutions that will give better results, which is why SEO A/B split testing is so relevant.
Search engine optimization A/B split testing — like all split testing — allows you to isolate the variables increasing traffic so you can take a targeted approach to content changes.
SEO A/B split testing manages to get the best SEO performance out of your site and gives you insight into the variables that move the needle.
AI can analyze consumer behaviour and search patterns, utilizing data from social media platforms and blog posts to help businesses understand how users and customers find their products and services. For example, Facebook messenger bots can help you automate and optimise your customer service.
Artificial intelligence also offers information and tips to users by getting into conversations using chatbots. It is estimated that 25% of customer service will use chatbot technology by 2020.
Businesses adopting AI in 2019 will be able to save costs and accelerate growth, getting an edge over their competitors.
Programmatic advertising means using AI to automate ad buying so you can target more specific audiences. Real-time bidding or auctions, for example, is a type of programmatic ad buying. This automation is much more efficient and fast, which means higher conversions and lower customer acquisition costs.
This AI-based technology uses instant messaging to chat in real-time, day or night, with your customers or site visitors.
With 1.4 billion people interacting with chatbots, 80% of savvy businesses are already using or plan to use chatbots by 2020. And by 2022, chatbots will help businesses save over $8 billion per annum, especially in the banking and healthcare industries.
Many customers prefer interacting with chatbots as they are responsive, give answers promptly, accurately recall your entire buying history, and never lose patience. These virtual assistants offer outstanding customer service, meeting customers’ expectations and automating repetitive tasks – which means you can focus on more important work.
If you want to stand out, you need to personalize your marketing – and that means personalized content, products, emails, and more.
With the availability of data like purchase history, consumer behaviour and links clicked, custom content has never been easier. In fact, 96% of marketers believe that personalization advances customer relationships.
Businesses like Netflix and Amazon are already leveraging the power of personalization. Logging on to your Netflix account, for example, immediately shows you the evidence of this: the banner, carousels, order, artwork, text and search are all personalized for you.
Don’t just think YouTube. To witness higher engagement with your video marketing, you can make a video post or start a live broadcast on Facebook or Instagram.
Live video is gaining popularity, with a large number of businesses using it for interviews, product demos and “behind the scenes” glimpses of events, life in the office, how products are made, whatever can bring their audience closer to their world.
With ever-decreasing costs of film equipment and the increasingly high-quality smartphone cameras, businesses and marketers are heading for personalized video messages rather than phone calls or emails.
YouTube and other videos are displayed in the SERPs, so video SEO is becoming much more important – like using text overlays and closed captions, in addition to your description, title and file names.
Influencer marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market, instead of the audience getting the message directly from your brand which doesn’t inspire the same amount of confidence in your message or product.
Using influencers is an effective marketing tool that works to attract customers. Influencers can be either celebrities and Instagram or YouTube stars to well-known bloggers and journalists who help spread the word about your business or product through their social channels.
Social Messaging Apps
Statistics show the growing popularity of social messaging apps for business purposes. Since people are spending more of their time messaging each other, it makes sense to market your company’s services where your potential customers are hanging out.
Social messaging apps can be very useful in sending messages to customers directly, as they allow personalization (another trend) and add value to the users’ experience. This differs from the messenger chatbots we discussed earlier. You’re actually able to market to customers using messaging apps now!
Visual search can take the user experience to a totally new level. With visual search, users can upload an image to conduct a search and get more specific results.
Google Lens is a visual search engine by Google, which recognizes objects, landmarks and other things visually through a camera app (currently only available on Pixel phones).
If you take a photo of a business card, you can save the phone number or address to a contact. If you use it on a book, you can get reviews and other details about it. If you use it on a Landmark or building, painting or museum, you can get more details about it.
CamFind is a visual search mobile app, which enables users to search for anything from their mobile phones simply by snapping a picture and this app will tell you what it is. Instead of typing queries into a search engine, you can directly search through images to find similar images, price comparisons, local shopping results, etc. You can also take a picture of a movie poster and CamFind will show you movie information, trailers, showtimes, and local theaters.
People spend an average of 3 hours and 35 minutes on their smartphones every day, and by 2019, mobile devices will probably surpass television in that department.
This is changing the way brands must work to capture buyers’ attention.
Micro-Moments is a “new consumer behavior,” as termed by Google, that delivers your marketing message clearly and concisely in a way that is of interest to the consumers – all within a span of seconds. People generally make instant decisions on what to eat, which restaurant to choose, what to purchase, or where to go.
To take advantage of micro-moments, be where consumers search for information in the moment – such as Google, Google Maps, Amazon, YouTube, and anywhere else people search for information at a moment’s notice.
Voice Search & Smart Speakers
The increasing use of voice search has made it important for companies to rethink their digital marketing strategies in 2019.
Voice search plays an important role in providing all the relevant information that people are searching for through audio content. Artificial Intelligence is getting smarter and the number of errors made by voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google is decreasing.
Alexa will tell you the answer to your question along with a “word from her sponsor”. Which means you’ll be able to purchase voice ad space – like Google AdWords, but for home speakers.
For all voice technology, remember to write in a conversational tone, focus on getting featured snippets on Google, and think about keywords that people will speak rather than type.
Social Media Stories
With the growing popularity of social media “stories,” it is important for businesses to consider this format in their digital marketing strategy. You can even make use of live video, one of the most profitable social rollouts to date, to promote engagement and brand awareness.
Since stories disappear after a set period of time, this is a great opportunity for businesses to make good use of the audience’s fear of missing out. You can feature your employees in the Stories, show the story behind the making of a product, ask for reviews about your products and services or get creative.
2019 will be about better customer experience with personalization, automation and AI-powered technology, so to stay ahead of the curve and increase conversions in the coming year, you’ll need to get better at producing custom, conversational content – particularly audio and video content – to share with a more accurately targeted audience.