Take advantage of these emerging marketing trends
Digital marketing has already changed the marketing landscape into something almost unrecognisable, and in a very short space of time. Even now, the digital marketing space continues to evolve and SEO, PPC, social media and content marketing are beginning to shift substantially. We’ve put together a list of the top 5 emerging digital marketing trends, which unlike in the past, can no longer be dismissed as tech gimmicks or the stuff of sci-fi.
Early adoption of new technology and methods can sometimes be risky; however, these trends are seeing wider use and will likely form important parts of effective digital marketing strategies in the very near future. Businesses that take advantage of these evolving marketing methods and technologies could boost themselves well ahead of their competition and go into 2019 with a clear advantage.
Here are the 5 key digital marketing trends which you can put to use, or just learn a bit about for the old knowledge banks.
1 AI – Artificial Intelligence
The world of AI is booming at the moment. Not just in terms of developing thinking machines but in terms of effective application and the acceptance of its increased use by the public. The debate continues to rage regarding the human cost to increased reliance on robotics, automation and artificial intelligence. While some jobs will be lost to progress, many more will be created.
‘AI has opened up vast new opportunities for digital marketers and future-thinking businesses’
AI can analyse consumer behaviour and search patterns by using data from social media platforms, search engines and other websites, informing businesses exactly how customers find their products or services.
How did most customers come across and purchase product X? AI analysis can give you a detailed picture of how the average customer came to purchase, which allows you to focus on the sales and advertising routes that work and improve or drop those that don’t.
AI will see increased business use in the future; while only 2% of customer service used AI-driven chat bots in 2017, this is estimated to reach 25% by 2020. Whether using chat bots or analytics, businesses adopting AI in 2019 will be able to save costs and increase growth, all while gaining and edge over their competitors. The increased use of AI is a theme prevalent among many powerful, emerging marketing trends.
2 Chat Bots
Chat bots have been around for a long time yet when they started to be widely rolled out for use on service websites in the 2000s, they were very limited in their scope and usefulness. Chat bots today are far more sophisticated and rely on AI programming to learn on the job, thus, can answer customer queries and smoothen the customer experience in lieu of a real person. According to a 2016 study, 80% of business said they intend to have a sophisticated chat bots in use by 2020. Chat bots are now ubiquitous in the online world and growing in ability.
Chat Bots are valuable to companies as they allow instant messaging chat in real-time, 24-hours a day with customers or website visitors. Over 1.4 billion individuals currently interact with chat bots in some capacity and estimated suggest that in only a few years’ time, chat bots could help save businesses as much as $8 billion per annum. Much of this saving applies to the banking and healthcare sectors that have to respond to customer queries at a staggering pace and spend a lot doing so.
There was always a worry that the automation and digitisation of communication would put customers off as the human touch is important; however customers do enjoy interacting with bots as they respond quickly, provide straight-to-the-point information, accurately recall everything you have said (or bought) and they don’t get irritated or sassy.
For companies using chat bots, you lower your costs and reduce the burden on your customer care staff who can instead, focus on more urgent and difficult cases that requires human interaction and nuance.
The digital age is quickly becoming the age of personalisation and consumers can’t get enough of tailored services and experiences. If you want to stand out from the crowd and attract a larger audience, you need to personalise your marketing approach which means your content, services, products, emails and everything else which can be personalised!
Personalised content may seem daunting as a creator but with the wide availability of data like consumer behaviour, links clicked, content interacted with and purchase history, tailored content creation has never been more achievable. There appears to be no debate on the effectiveness of personalised content as the vast majority of marketers believe that custom content enhanced customer relationships.
Even with email marketing, which still remains relevant in the age of spam, personalisation can have dramatic effects on engagement, click and purchase rates.
A study conducted by Marketo, a leader in CRM and lead management software, showed that personalised, behaviour-triggered emails are 3 times more effective than blast email sends.
If email marketing is bit outside your sphere of know-how, big companies like Netflix and Amazon also perfectly highlight the emergence of personalisation by prominently displaying things that might interest you based on previous behaviours and buying activity.
The goal of effective personalisation is to maximise enjoyment and minimise search time.
4 Video Content + Marketing
The best way to demonstrate the power of video in your marketing strategy is to use some sweet numbers:
Sharing: 70% of consumers report that they have shared a business’s video.
Conversions: 72% of businesses say video has improved their conversion rate.
Purchase Decisions: Ove half of consumers say that watching product and service videos makes them more confident in pursuing online purchases.
Action: 65% of executives visit the website and almost 40% call a vendor after viewing a video.
Videos are synonymous with YouTube but videos can and should be used to create effects across all social media platforms and on individual websites. As smartphones now come with high-quality video equipment, making a behind the scenes company or product/services video has never been more accessible, even for small businesses just starting out.
Video can now also be used in a broad SEO approach to digital marketing as videos are displayed in the search engine results pages (SERPs) – using relevant text overlays, closed captions, video descriptions, titles and file names (much like images) is important to your SEO success.
5 Influencer Marketing
“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. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead pay influencers to get out the word for you.”
Social media influencers have already put in the effort to obtain followers, and thus, an audience on their social media accounts. Influencer marketing leverages the power of these viewing numbers to market products, services and experiences to a large, tailored audience. As people often look up to social media stars, influencer marketing can be an exceptionally effective marketing tool to attract customers. This is partly due to the fact that people trust consumer opinion over corporate statements i.e. they are more likely to purchase a product endorsed by ‘real people’ they see online.
A great example of this ‘real person’ effect was Iceland’s ‘Real Mums’ campaign which they cleverly employed to put an everyday face to their products. On the back of the campaign, Iceland’s approval rating from consumers rocketed from 10% to 80%, astronomically higher than the agreed key performance indicators.
Influencers can be anyone from legitimate celebrities to social media fitness gurus and travel bloggers – all of whom can help spread the word about your business and product through their social channels.
For smaller businesses, influencer marketing can also work a treat and when in the right hands, can turn a newly opened bar, restaurant or venue into the talk of the town overnight.
Influencer Marketing is a fascinating and growing industry to emerge off the back of a boom in social media use in the last decade. Our friends over at FUEL and Influence Manchester can tell you all you need to know about this powerful and accessible marketing tool.
MadeFour Marketing is an innovative full 360° digital marketing firm, specialising in organic lead generation, website design, content creation and professional copywriting. Get in touch today to see how our services can transform your business.