Marketing’s evolvement from traditional to digital represents the latest stop of a long journey. Throughout history, marketing kept pace with the market’s tendencies to develop new tastes and preferences. And when the pandemic changed consumers’ purchasing habits yet again, digital marketing came to the rescue.
7 Digital Marketing Trends Your Company Should Adopt
With consumers shifting toward the online marketplace, digital marketing is here to stay, at least until the next paradigm shift. In the meantime, below are seven of the topmost trends happening in the digital market today. Check if your company is already riding on these trends. If not, maybe it’s time to catch the next wave.
1. AI-Powered Marketing
Artificial intelligence may not be new but its applications are now creeping into unchartered territories. Digital marketing is one of those new applications that’s currently making new inroads. Marketing utilizes AI to closely identify target audiences and provide the content needed to reel them in. In addition, AI also helps analyze a company’s recent performance to determine trends and gather insights on what makes the market tick.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning help companies learn more about their customers. They make it possible to get to the smallest details about customer preferences as well as the things they don’t want or dislike about your products. Knowing these shortcomings allows you to create better and more personalized marketing campaigns that offer solutions to customers’ problems. When these buyers feel or see that their needs are being addressed, they become more likely to patronize your brand and even make repeat purchases.
In addition, AI helps marketers automate common tasks to save time and elicit better results. This includes manual tasks such as segmenting customers, evaluating leads, and curating content. Another valuable AI application is image recognition. This technology allows users to get more information about brands or products using images as search tools.
Long-term, AI can ultimately prove to be the faster, cheaper, and more effective option for digital marketing practitioners. What’s not to like?
2. Influencer Marketing
Having an influencer put in a good word about your brand can lead to an uptick in both sales and awareness. But why an influencer and not a prominent celebrity? While most companies will point to costs as a major driver, there’s more to it than just saving money. Influencers already have a following on their own, so getting an influencer’s endorsement also means opening your brand to their captive audience. Choosing the right influencer means getting the right people who already hold clout over your target audience.
Therefore, the trick with influencer marketing lies in identifying the influencer. Authenticity is a big reason why people follow certain influencers. Followers already placed their trust in these individuals in their chosen area of influence. Getting the influencer that aligns not just with the target audience but also with your brand values can pay off big time.
When evaluating influencers, make sure you check their followers’ lists. In some cases, some shoddy entrepreneurs would pad their stats by employing bots or buying fake followers. Falling for these pseudo-influencers not only can cost you money, but also credibility if word of their faux following gets out.
3. Digital Content Marketing
Of course, customers will want more than just an endorsement to make up their minds. Today’s buyers love the idea of conducting their own research before deciding on something. Thanks to the internet, information is freely available anywhere, anytime. If the customers want to know more about your brand, your company should be the first and most informative resource out there. That’s why companies must keep churning out content consistently. This keeps the brand fresh among the minds of followers and keeps them informed at the same time.
However, you shouldn’t limit the content your produce to advertisements or endorsements on your social channels. Doing so can make followers grow tired of your constant selling tactics. Producing content that deals with common problems (not necessarily ones the product can solve), or simple how-to guides can be helpful. In addition, writing about industry trends, helpful tips, or other lighter but related topics can keep followers happily informed and aware. Similar to influencer marketing, content should remain authentic, informative, and accurate.
4. Short-Form Videos
Videos lasting less than sixty seconds are the most popular content type in social media circles at the moment. While both Instagram and TikTok made short-form videos ubiquitous, other channels such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter also host similar content. Why? Well, everybody seems to love them, especially digital natives from the millennial and Gen Z generations. Most people surmise that both creators and viewers prefer the relatively short time needed to produce, load, and view content. Whatever the reason, it’s not because of the short attention span myth circling the internet. Instead, consider the fact that short-form videos are widely available and are free to view anytime and anywhere. Additionally, shorter videos are cheaper to produce (especially if you are using free text to speech technology) and less complicated to publish. Short-form videos that have undergone a media production transcription, are more accessible and searchable. In contrast, radio and TV ads will need to jump through a number of hoops to get FTC approval before airing it.
Another reason behind short-form videos’ popularity is their tendency to solicit viewer participation. TikTok is famous for spawning countless challenges, which often generate a lot of engagement in and of themselves. Typically, a creator will publish a video performing a short routine and prompt others to do the same.
Of course, not all short-form videos are of the challenge variety. Many videos provide valuable information that’s easily digestible given their short duration. Abridged recipes, quick tips, and even short did-you-know segments are also popular sources for microlearning.
5. Digital Marketing Helps Focus on Customer Experience
Digital marketing also serves as a great vehicle for even better customer experiences. Improvements in digital technology allowed individuals to visit a company website and customize specific products to give them a more personalized touch. The experience of creating a digital version of your personalized product is often a fun experience that ultimately leads a user to complete the process and order the actual finished product. That’s why enterprising T-shirt printers and popular brands now allow users to create customized products on their sites, pay for the item, and have them delivered afterward.
Meanwhile, digital marketing innovations are also helping solve online-specific issues. For example, an online store’s major drawback is the lack of facilities to actually try out a product. Sure, you can buy shoes or cosmetics online. However, picking out a size or color using online images will require an act of faith. Even if stores offer returns or refunds in case the order fails to meet expectations, the inconvenience can push customers to shop elsewhere.
Beyond personalization, digital marketing also introduced innovations such as virtual fitting rooms. While it seems gimmicky, virtual fitting rooms allow customers a glimpse of how an item looks on them when worn virtually. Nike’s app went a step further by introducing an augmented reality-powered ruler that actually measures a customer’s foot. Once the measurements are made, the app then shows shoes available in that size. Meanwhile, IKEA launched a furniture app that allows users to virtually set IKEA furniture in their living rooms to see how it looks.
6. Bigger Marketing Tech Spending
Companies bent on doubling down on digital marketing will need to invest in tools to get the job done efficiently. Demand for marketing tech platforms will continue to rise as more and more companies will join the bandwagon. According to LXA’s The State of Martech 2022/2023, 63% of Chief Marketing Officers surveyed said they expect an increase in their martech budgets despite looming economic uncertainties. Chief among their martech wish list items include provisions for a digital commerce platform (67%), followed by a digital experience platform (59%). Additionally, AI and machine learning tools also made it to 60% of the surveyed CMOs lists.
However, one concern shared among the majority of the CMOs is the lack of qualified workers to operate these marketing and martech platforms. This almost assuredly means that many companies might alternately seek external help and outsource their digital marketing strategies instead of investing in tools.
7. Customer Retention Over Acquisition
The tides are turning against the trend of acquiring customers at all costs. Nowadays, savvy companies and marketing teams prefer focusing their resources on retaining customers instead of generating new ones.
Luckily, digital marketing is well-positioned to generate the needed information and apply the needed strategies to keep existing customers happy. This includes enhancing the customer experience through personalization and customization. It also means tailoring solutions to assure customers that their individual concerns are heard and addressed. Additionally, improving customer service by opening more digital channels and streamlining operations can greatly enhance a customer’s loyalty toward the brand. Finally, the proper utilization of artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to gather insights and determine trends and patterns can help create better customer retention strategies.
Get on Top of The Latest Digital Marketing Trends With The Right Outsourcing Partner
The shift from in-store sales to online shopping will definitely continue even beyond the pandemic. The return of businesses and everyday life to a pre-pandemic normal state will not include a reversal to offline activities. This is not to say that brick-and-mortar stores are about to die off or that all transactions will go digital. Existing technology already showed that a digital marketplace is sustainable, and with more improvements underway, the digital marketplace will become a more efficient system sooner than later.
Meanwhile, shifting all of your resources to embrace digital marketing might require some long-term planning. Understandably, many companies might hesitate to fully commit to acquiring martech tools and platforms. The current economic climate, plus the anticipation of lower costs as technology improves, are valid reasons for some to hedge their bets.
Companies that want to embrace digital marketing while also minding their budgets can strike a middle ground by outsourcing. Capitalizing upon the expertise of marketing outsourcing companies like Helpware can help you secure the right digital marketing tools and talent.
Let Helpware provide you with the experienced staffing you need to hit the ground running. That way, you won’t need to worry about your martech setup at all. Why wait? Get in touch to arrange a meeting today!