Current digital marketing trends

The days of merely having a website and a neglected Facebook page are over. Regardless of which industry you’re in, having a digital presence is primordial for your brand to grow and reach those you’re trying to reach. This digital landscape is also continuously evolving and it is key to stay in touch with the various effective ways to reach your audiences. 

1. Facebook Might Be Peaking. Honestly.

Facebook isn’t the leader in the social media world. According to Forbes41%of its users are over the age of 65. Although the platform is not struggling, it is important to understand who actually is on the platform. It has clearly morphed into a platform which is highly popular among an older demographic, while younger audiences tend to flock more towards Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat. 

Digital marketers clearly need to be aware who their target market is. If the aim is to connect with younger audiences then Facebook is probably not the route to be taking however, one could be wasting precious marketing budget on targeting the individuals on the wrong social platform. Facebook can however be considered a gold-mine when it comes to marketing to an older crowd. 

2. Chatbots Dominating Customer Service

Chatbots are artificial intelligence (AI) software that acts as a virtual “concierge,” they communicate with users and assist them during their visit to a platform or website. They can with humans in a very natural way, usually through text chat windows, but verbal conversations are also possible. Eventually, as the system collects more data, the AI learns more about the customers, making it possible to offer a continuously-improving service.

Recently, chatbots carved out a regular role on Facebook for a variety of tasks. Everything from providing weather information to automating basic customer support functions. Bots allow users to get personalized and dynamic interactions without pulling too much from limited human resources.

There are a variety of benefits from employing AI technology:

  • 24/h service
  • Instant replies to customer questions
  • No need for breaks, vacations, or overtime pay

Tidio research from January 2020 found that 43% of customers prefer to message an online bot than to phone customer service centers when communicating with a brand. With businesses and customers eager for more interaction with chatbots, this is sure to be one of the fastest-growing digital marketing trends this year. 

3. Video is not Optional

If video is not one of your business’s method of communication, then you’re lagging behind unfortunately. Text-based content just doesn’t cut it anymore when trying to sell products and services online. 

In a smartphone-addicted world, people are watching video more than ever before. The medium is used to watch, share, learn and create opinions. 

The concept of pairing visuals and sounds in order to heighten a user’s marketing experience is the next level in terms of digital marketing. This style of media allows brands and businesses to send out various, more concentrated messages within one piece of content. Although production can be more costly and time-consuming than static posts – the benefits exceed the the investment. 

Video-centric platforms such as TikTok, YouTube and Twitch have continued to grow exponentially with the tastes of users shifting towards more entertainment-rich content. Brands wanting to grow on digital platforms should be looking into delivering messages through video ! 

4. Good Content Matters But So Does Context 

Content marketing continues to be an essential part of digital marketing, although there’s an increasing emphasis on nuance in the content. The quality is forever going to matter, but now there’s more emphasis on the context and targeting. Google is developing a more sophisticated and deeper understanding of content online. This means that marketers need to think carefully about their target market and how to tailor content more precisely in 2020.

Much of this boils down to the BERT update, released on Google in November 2019. This new algorithm helps Google get a better understanding of the natural language in user searches. The advice from Google is that “rather than chase the latest SEO trends, it’s more important to ensure a site has fast speeds, useful links, and well-written content.”

That being said, Google is getting smarter, and it gives preference to in-depth, accurate and current content that is closely aligned with user preferences. 

5. Personalization of Emails

Email is still very much a channel that continues ot be used by billions, be it for commercial or personal purposes. Email is, for now, here to stay and email marketing serves as a major tool to digital marketers.

It is a channel that’s evolving and the once generic style marketing emails aren’t that effective anymore. The combination of automation and personalization is what makes email marketing relevant. 

If you can tailor your email message to a specific user experience, such as browsing a specific product this allows a stronger connection to be formed with the potential customer. That message can be heightened by following up with promotional code or demonstration video in order to truly deliver on the needs of the customer. Email is often the final trigger to motivate an action, especially when combined with your remarketing techniques.

6. Interactive Is Mainstream

What is interactive content ? Anything that people can click on, swipe, or generally interact with online. According to Outgrow, 93% of marketers rate interactive content as a highly effective tool for educating a buyer.

Some interactive content types are:

  • Quizzes and polls
  • Augmented reality ads
  • 360-degree videos

These formats have started getting a lot more traction and clear favouring from consumers. Some brands have also started leveraging extremly high-tech marketing tactics such as augmented reality and interactive video content in order to offer people a more immersive and engaging experience. These days, customers want this type of fun content from brands, as it helps them feel more connected to the company as well as having a more memorable experience. 

7. Voice Interaction Moves Forward

Thanks to technology such as Siri, Google, Alexa, and a host of other ‘smart’ devices, verbal interaction with devices is on the rise. As humans, we like to talk and is usually our preferred method of communication. So, it would only be natural for the machines we interact with to also catch up. This has opened up a whole new method of searching, shopping and discovering new things digitally.  

This method also poses some challenges as one would wouldn’t get as many search results as with a text-based search. It is up to brands to optimize these technologies to benefit them. For example, showcasing the top search-results on a platform that allow the company to generate the most revenue or satisfaction. 

8. Marketing in Messaging Apps Will Level-Up

Social messaging apps aren’t just for staying in touch with friends and family. Many businesses have taken a big interest in apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp recently, and it’s no surprise when you consider the opportunities:

Although traditional messaging channels like email and social media are far from dead, it is clear that people are much more active on instant messaging apps. In the next 5-7 years, messenger marketing is expected to be the number one marketing channel in the world. Therefore, it’s only logical for brands to start connecting with consumers on these platforms. Marketing through Facebook Messenger generates 10 to 80 times more engagement than organic posts on the Facebook feed.

Messaging apps allow companies to reach a vast audience with short, personalized texts. Consumers are more likely to return to a company website if it has a live chat option.

9. Omnichannel Marketing is Vital

Omnichannel marketing is the practice of marketing across multiple platforms, including email, apps, social media, and your website. This approach allows brands to connect with consumers on more digital touchpoints in order to offer a better user experience.

By delivering a natural, consistent voice as well as a cohesive brand message across all channels, you can generate much better results. Customer retention, average order value, and purchase frequency are all higher when you market through multiple channels.

As AI technology improves, companies can leverage data insights and machine learning to better understand customer behaviors, and then personalize it in the most optimal way. Ultimately, a focus on omnichannel marketing is the road to an enhanced customer journey that keeps people coming back for more.