Last year was unpredictable due to the pandemic and a worldwide lockdown. That meant some pre-pandemic digital marketing trends did end up coming to light. While, others, however, did not emerge.
Due to the long lockdowns, eCommerce sales have exploded. In addition, social media usage has increased significantly as well. Digital Marketing started to play even more effective roles. This has radically altered the way brands connect with consumers.
In recent years, they have moved from traditional marketing to a more digital approach. And in case you are wondering the digital marketing trends to watch out for. Don’t worry. We’ve got your back. Here are some digital marketing trends that you need to focus on.
In recent years Artificial Intelligence (AI) has played a minor role in optimizing social media strategies.
But even with the current advancement in technology, even the most intelligent people cannot predict the future. As a result, artificial intelligence should complement human intelligence.
Presently, there are already programs capable of beating games and consumer behavior. In the future, it is very likely artificial intelligence will replace the human mind.
In fact, 47% of digitally advanced firms already have an AI strategy. While 84% of business executives believe that AI gives their company an advantage.
And today, AI is more important than ever for running day-to-day business activities as well as transforming the different facets of business and our daily lives. It helps guide decisions on everything from content strategy to SEO optimization.
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The technologies that enable artificial intelligence progress rapidly and become increasingly affordable too. By analyzing consumer behavior and search patterns, AI can now help businesses understand customers better. Thus, it’s high time for companies to capitalize on AI. If you’re still unsure, see the ways AI can help give your firm a significant boost:
Content Creation and Curation
Content created by AI can be useful in certain areas and may attract visitors to your website. It can also save you lots of time and resources. In fact, AI can now write reports and news based on data and information. To create content, you can make use of Wordsmith, Articoolo, and Quill.
Besides generating the content, AI can also curate it. By utilizing AI in content curation, websites can better connect with visitors and present more relevant content. It can be used to show visitors more relevant content, based on what they’ve already looked at on your site.
Digital and Programmatic Advertising
Digital advertising has been most successful at adopting artificial intelligence.
A large percentage of Google and Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising. AI helps drive personalized targeted advertisements on these platforms by identifying the right audiences. And since it attracts the most investment and with the largest financial returns, the use of AI has been significantly rising. Moreover, there are already platforms incorporating AI. And in time, more will be added to the mix.
Programmatic advertising uses artificial intelligence to automate ad buying, allowing for more accurate targeting.
According to eMarketer, 86.2% of digital display ads in the US should be automated by 2020.
This automation is far more efficient and fast, so conversions are higher. As a result, customer acquisition costs are reduced as well.
Though it is one of the older digital marketing trends, email marketing is still effective if it is properly done.
AI allows brands to tailor email marketing campaigns to specific preferences and user behavior. This makes it easier to connect with prospects and convert them into clients.
It analyzes millions of pieces of data. And then decides on the best days and times to contact prospects. Additionally, it lets you know when to send emails, and figure out titles that get the most clicks.
There can be a material margin of error for A/B tests and they often take a lot of time. And AI is can your best friend when you need to be specific in an era of hyper-personalized emails.
The combination of AI and search is a perfect match since search is only effective if the user gets what they’re looking for. Generally speaking, search engine tools have problems providing relevant results for all users. Thus, AI can aid search engines to rank results more quickly based on key phrases and results analysis. Over the last few years, AI has significantly impacted content and eCommerce search.
There was a time when a good website couldn’t exist without a programmer and designer.
But now, AI is being used to design websites based on information from the user. The website looks professional in much less time too. As a result, AI is set to revolutionize website creation and development in the next few years.
AI also helps in developing intuitive interfaces that make the user experience better by applying intelligent algorithms.
A 2017 survey on personalization revealed that 33% of marketers used AI to provide tailored web experiences. In addition, 63% said that it increased conversions and improved the consumer experience. Therefore, be sure to check out how AI can help boost your business.
Although Chatbots are part of AI, they deserve a section of their own to showcase how awesome they are. Chatbots are comparatively newer among digital marketing trends.
Chatbots assist potential customers with finding answers to frequently asked questions. Furthermore, they can help them find the products and services they need.
Chatbots are predicted to remain important in digital marketing. They enable customers to chat with your business in real-time, day or night. Studies show that Chatbots will power 85% of customer service by 2020. Many customers prefer chatting with chatbots because they can answer questions immediately. They also remember buying history accurately and most importantly never lose patience. Thus, these virtual assistants will remain in the game his year as well.
Chatbots powered by AI is good for answering open questions. They use natural and machine learning expertise to find the perfect response.
Apart from that, Chatbots can serve clients 24/7 and retain their data. They’re friendly too. And the best part, Chatbots can simultaneously respond to multiple requests from several customers. Here are some reasons to get Chatbots:
Quick Customer Support
With a chatbot, people don’t have to wait to get answers. As you can offer help to visitors whenever it is convenient for them. You can also use some pre-set questions and answers relevant to all business and customer types. Likewise, with AI-powered natural learning, your chatbot can engage in real conversations. This will make answering questions to your customers easier.
Getting a bot that offers personalized suggestions will help you achieve one of the most important standards of business. We’re talking about personalized customer service. Upon learning algorithms, the bot can assist customers in making their decisions. Furthermore, it can serve as a reminder and a reference, as well.
Modern marketing nowadays employs a conversational approach. In fact, 82% of consumers want a “quick” response when they ask a question. And brands are adapting to what consumers want. Conversational marketing helps connect marketers and customers in real-time. Chatbots can aid in doing this as well.
Easily Locate Products
With the right chatbot, your customers can explore your site without having to leave the chat. For instance, some bots offer to search and upsell features through chat. Essentially this creates a better customer experience than click-and-search shopping online.
Online shopping cart abandonment rates typically hover around 70%, year in and year out. There are a lot of factors that make customers ditch their carts. However, some shoppers just get distracted, or get caught up with work, and forget about their shopping. Chatbots can remind shoppers about their unattended shopping cart. Thus, your conversion rates will increase.
Chatbots are a great way to build your marketing lists by collecting analytics data. You can receive Facebook profile data from your customers if they sign in with a Facebook profile. You can also request a telephone number, and an email address, for building your marketing lists.
Business owners can gather a lot of data from chatbots these days. And with a chatbot, you have instant marketing lists from email addresses and phone numbers. Combining these data will help you come up with more effective campaigns.
Social Media Marketing
Marketing through social media promotes brand awareness, visibility, and other factors that generate sales. It makes you more visible on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and others.
Social media marketing makes it easy for customers to participate in the branding process. However, not every business uses this affordably accessible medium. Consider these reasons to get a social media strategy if you have not already implemented one.
Many businesses cut their marketing budget to save money, but promotion is crucial in order to sell. This saves you money, as well as keeps your brand relevant among customers. Providing you with cost-effective promotions.
Brand Awareness Boost
Social media is a powerful marketing tool that helps your business promote itself. It’s cheaper too. Moreover, a strong social media strategy will help you build brand awareness and connect with a larger audience as well.
Enhanced Search Ranking
Although social media can influence web searches, it cannot directly affect rankings. Therefore, by sharing links on your page, you can easily drive traffic to your site.
Improved Brand Loyalty
Social media marketing is a must for small businesses, as they cannot invest a lot in customer satisfaction. But, don’t worry. With time and proper strategies, you’ll begin to gain loyal customers through social media channels.
Additionally, a larger online audience means a greater chance for conversion. Because each post plays a role in bringing more traffic to your website. Among marketers, more than 51% say that building relationships boosts sales. And SMM makes that possible since consumers prefer to deal with people, so they are more at ease.
To know more, read our in-depth blog on the benefits of Social Media Marketing.
User-Generated Content (UGC)
With the ongoing pandemic, online sales are on the rise as never before. UGC helps build and maintain trust among your customers.
Nowadays, consumers are more socially savvy, so creating authentic content has become crucial for brands. Consider user-generated content as the online equivalent of personal recommendations. And make use of it to develop content compelling enough to motivate conversions for your brand.
These are some of the reasons why UGC is useful:
Helps Build Trust
Consumers are getting better at identifying trustworthy companies. They do this usually through the use of user-generated content.
In fact, 79% of shoppers said user-generated content influences their purchase decisions. In this sense, businesses ought to embrace UGC and start focusing more on it.
Unbiased Source of Information
As consumers are increasingly looking for brands they know, like, and trust. UGC has become all the more important to provide them with an unbiased source of information.
Establishes a Community
UGC gives brands the power to increase their audience. Furthermore, people become more engaged with brands by becoming part of a community. And UGC creates one when the brand encourages its customers to post for them.
You’ll Save Money
It can be cheaper to source UGC than to create a content piece in-house. With UGC, your customers distribute their content. This makes it easier to spread word of mouth, making this a highly cost-effective method.
Promotes Social Media Growth
An effective UGC campaign paired with a powerful social media platform is a winning combination. Moreover, it can boost your brand and enhance customer relationships.
Therefore, make the most of UGC by creating captivating strategies and responding to them positively.
Ways to Encourage UGC
It’s been basic stuff up until now. But the fun part begins now. We will discuss tips and hacks you can use to boost UGC submissions. Read on, to know more:
UGC requires a strong online presence in order to be successful. However, brands with fewer followers may want to start by finding their audience’s favorite social media sites.
Additionally, you need to know what kind of content performs best on each social media platform. You can follow Buffer’s recommendations as a basic roadmap:
- Videos and curated content on Facebook
- High-resolution photos, quotes, and Stories for Instagram
- Blogposts, news, and GIFs on Twitter
- Professional content for LinkedIn
- Infographics and photo guides on Pinterest
Get Customer Feedback
UGC campaigns cannot succeed without customer reviews and feedback.
In fact, a BrightLocal survey found that 68% of consumers must see at least four reviews to make up their minds about a brand.
Thus, it’s essential that businesses pay more attention to customer reviews. That way you can prove to your customers that you are trustworthy and reliable.
Run contests to generate more UGC. Contests help with submissions as well as their quality. Additionally, they help create a buzz for your brand.
Develop Content Campaigns
Making content for social media can be challenging, and keeping it fresh and engaging is hard. UGC campaigns give you a content library, so you always have quality content to share. It also makes your audience happy. Making this a win-win situation.
Support a Cause
Consumer behaviors have shifted recently as they are now as interested in a company’s cause as their products or services. Therefore, it is crucial to have a campaign that is visually appealing to encourage participation. Try supporting a social cause that aligns with your brand image.
And Don’t Forget to Engage
And finally, the most important aspect of gaining UGC is engagement. Engaging with your audience regularly demonstrates your brand’s personality. You can’t expect followers to suddenly submit content without first engaging with them, can you?
Therefore, it may be wise to engage with your fans in discussions, reply to their questions, and interact with feedback.
User’s Search Intent
User intent (or search intent) is the intention of searching for information that satisfies a particular need. Additionally, it plays a crucial role in improving your page ranking.
And regardless of what content you produce, the main objective should be to achieve user intent. Because they are ultimately who you want to reach.
Thus, if you fail to include key content that keeps readers interested, then you can never rank on the SERPs. And if you are not ranking among the top ten for your target keywords, you might as well be invisible. But that is not what we want, right?
Users have different intents for their searches. This makes search intent crucial to rank on the first page.
Remember, content that focuses on search intent will boost ranking. If your page does not satisfy search intent, it won’t be able to rank.
In general, people use the internet first to learn. And sites on the first page answer 95% of their questions, with the top results being blog posts or videos.
The audience will try to buy from the provider after learning. So try to determine keywords based on search intent. Thus, figure out what type of questions your audience asks. And then act on it.
What are the Types of Search Intent?
Google has improved its search algorithm over the years so they can distinguish between search intent. In addition, Google prioritizes the pages with the greatest relevance to search terms. As a result, tailor your content to your audience’s interests. Listed below are four categories of search intent:
- When users look for specific information.
- Search engines recommend specific pages.
- So make sure users get what they need.
- When users search for specific websites or tools.
- Questions like ‘How do I?’ are used.
- Provide your best-used scenarios.
- When users are looking to purchase.
- Looks for specific products.
- Then decides to purchase.
- When users are ready to buy.
- Ensure ease of purchase.
- So make sure they buy
Thus, remember to tailor content to your audience’s search intent. Make websites as friendly as possible. And always strive to simplify their lives.
Content marketing is undeniably one of the most crucial elements of your digital marketing strategy. Bill Gates realized back in 1996 where he coined the phrase “Content is king”.
He predicted that content would rule the internet. Well, Gates was right. These days, content is everywhere, and one of the biggest factors determining successful website operation.
New content enhances your SEO. It boosts traffic and makes your site rise on the SERPs. It also keeps Google crawlers at bay, helping your site rank higher.
Here are a few reasons why you should incorporate content marketing strategies:
Builds Brand Reputation and Trust
Great content creates a positive experience for potential and current customers. A sign of quality content is that it addresses customer pain points. An enjoyable experience encourages people to return for more This helps establish familiarity and trust towards the brand.
Your content should be geared to answering common questions and objections within your business. Think of questions like What challenges does your target audience face? What makes people choose to work with your business?
Drives Organic Traffic
Google changes its SEO algorithms periodically, so even the largest companies may not be able to keep up to date with the latest requirements. However, experts agree that one strategy stands out throughout these changes: quality content marketing. Organic SEO really helps to bring more traffic.
Make the content more readable by highlighting key ideas or images. Following this, try sharing via Twitter or Facebook. By repurposing content, your company can engage social media users as well.
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Displays Your Expertise
A benefit of using content marketing is its big variety of channels. You can answer customers’ questions in a blog, a video, a podcast, a whitepaper, an ebook, and more. When you provide in-depth content that adds value, it shows that you’re an expert in your field. As a result, potential customers will trust you more.
Helps Build Backlinks
The backlinks you earn when other sites link to your content represent “votes” for your content for the web spiders. This helps your website rank higher in the SERPs. Thus, look for backlinks coming from authority websites that already appear in search results.
Keep in mind that backlinks tend to grow as your website evolves. And in general, it takes time. However, a few high-quality backlinks from an authoritative website can greatly increase your traffic.
Improves Conversion Rates
Conversions are influenced by the content you post. It helps build your relationship with your audience and provides them with the information needed to make informed purchases. Thus, make sure to include a CTA and tell the reader what they need to do next.
To know more, read our blog on why fresh content is important to help you decide why you need content marketing.
Voice and Visual Search
With the rapid advancement of AI, search has taken a paradigm shift. Search is about to become even better and more intuitive than it is today. Thanks to voice search, by way of natural language processing (NLP). And visual search, by means of computer vision. Developing these technologies can completely revolutionize how people conduct searches.
The availability of voice search features is increasing rapidly. And we bet that you have used voice search at least once in the past six months.
In fact, more than 50% of searches are expected to be carried out over voice search in the next few years. And when implemented correctly, voice search can improve a business’s SEO and customer experience.
Voice SEO is a good way to increase search engine rankings. And, these facts will motivate you to think about it:
- Voice searches have generated $2 billion in sales so far.
- 65% of smart speaker owners are comfortable purchasing items via voice commands.
- 31% of smartphone users use voice search every week.
Based on these data, doesn’t it seem time to optimize your sites for voice? However, many companies are still not integrating voice search, which makes early adoption even more important. So why wait? Add voice search to your enterprise SEO strategy and keep up with the competition.
What Kind of Voice Search Strategy Works?
Traditional search relies on typed queries, as opposed to voice search. We don’t always speak the way we write. Therefore, businesses need to create a different game plan for voice search. These are four tips to help you win at voice search:
Consider Using Long-tail Keywords
You want to use long-tail keywords, as opposed to one-word search terms. Moreover, they may seem more natural, much like the way a person speaks. Shorten and simplify your phrases to make it easier for your customers.
Have Featured Content
Typically, voice searches are 29 words long. Thus make your content as concise as possible. Try keeping unique, featured content. Remember to make use of hashtags, lists, and bullet points. Google loves them. And finally to use long-tail keywords in the featured snippet.
Understand Your Audience
Prioritizing your audience’s questions can help with creating quality content. Hence, it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of your target audience. Understand what your audience wants by answering the questions. Keep answers direct and simple, but also conversational.
Optimize For Local Searches
It is a good thing to optimize your content for local searches. In fact, 22 percent of voice searches seek location-based information. Therefore, try using phrases like “near me”, which are frequently used by consumers when searching for a product or service. Thus, in order to maximize both opportunities, marketers need to update their local SEO strategies to account for voice search.
Visual search is one of the latest digital marketing trends. It is conducted by taking pictures. It makes certain products more accessible to consumers. Users can identify a variety of places, items, and terms simply by clicking a picture.
According to BusinessWire, 62% of millennials and Gen Z members want visual search, over other search types.
Therefore, we wouldn’t be surprised if visual search became widespread. As Google Lens and Pinterest Lens gain popularity, it’s high time you adapt. Here are a few ways you can improve visual search:
Use Multiple Images
Images show your products from multiple angles, so your leads are better able to find your product. Taking numerous photos ensures that people find your website first. Ultimately, this leads to more opportunities for your business.
Utilize High-resolution Photos
You need high-quality photos to attract prospects via visual search. Google will use those photos to match search queries. Using blurry or pixelated images is a big no-no since Google and other search engines will have a hard time navigating through them. Additionally, high-resolution photos show off your product clearly. Consequently, you will have a more engaged and interested audience.
Conduct Keyword Research
By now, we have probably stressed the importance of keyword research a thousand times. But, in addition to keyword research affecting SEO, visual search is also influenced by it. Optimizing your product images with keywords will allow them to be described more accurately. It also will help you appear in the right results. But for visual search, we suggest you use long-tail keywords as mentioned earlier.
Provide Image Titles and Descriptions
It’s a good idea to incorporate your long-tail keywords into your image title and description.
Having keywords in the description can help draw people’s attention to an image. This will help them locate your products more quickly.
Make your title descriptive whenever you write. For example, “001.png” will not benefit Google or Your audience. Thus, use descriptive headings and descriptions so your images appear in the appropriate search results.
Add Alternative Text
Alt Text is used to provide information about the nature or content of an image. It appears in a blank area normally containing the image. It provides information-rich content that utilizes keywords and context to make Google’s job easier. And helps you rank higher in SEO. In addition, it directs readers to the most relevant information on a page. Therefore, use it wisely.
When you optimize image size and file types, you can improve visual search results. Larger image files take longer to load. Therefore, you should have your images resized before uploading them. Here are a few free tools for image compression:
- Speeds up your website and saves bandwidth.
- Optimizes 50-80% on PNG images while maintaining full transparency.
- Smart lossy compression technique is used.
- Optimize images for the web
- An excellent tool for Mac users
- Perfect for JPEG’s, but not PNG’s
- Image compression by 90%.
- No loss in quality
- Excellent WordPress plugin
- Offers a free plan for 100 images per month
Optimizing your photos will shorten loading times, attract leads, and keep them on your page. This in turn will help you convert more from your visual search strategy.
A caption adds to the image’s description and allows customers to see the perspective of the brand. You can describe the product or action of the picture in depth. Furthermore, it gives your audience a deeper understanding of the image.
Video marketing is arguably one of the most important digital marketing trends in marketing today. And according to SocialMediaToday, video content is engaging regardless of social media platform. Whenever possible, you incorporate video content to engage your audience.
There are many ways to achieve higher engagement with video marketing. Try using Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn for starters. Here are a few reasons to adopt video marketing:
Getting the user’s attention instantly can be hard – but that is where videos come into play. While users may look at fun photos, videos hold the attention five times as much as still photos do.
Thus, consider making compelling videos that make users stop scrolling and pay attention instead.
Video is great for teaching, and can also be extremely simple to consume. Video marketing is a great way to connect with a wide audience and target their pain points. This will provide value and in turn, get you more customers. Just make sure to include captivating audios as well.
Appeals Mobile Users
Video and mobile go hand-in-hand. In fact, 90% of consumers watch videos on their mobile devices. And as people are shifting towards the mobile view, brands must be sensitive to the personal experience people have on their smartphones. Therefore, if you haven’t already, you need to start making your video mobile-friendly.
Has Good ROI
Video production may seem like a time-consuming and expensive proposition. However, there is now plenty of technology available to make good videos fast and with a small budget. Thus, start creating one. Because investing less when creating your videos will enhance your chances of a positive ROI.
Now, social media platforms make it easier than ever to share videos. Platforms are focusing increasingly on video content. By utilizing this feature, users can create their own personal videos they can share with their friends. Therefore, use videos as your own personal weapon to gain more traffic and shares.
Google Loves It
Finally, Google loves it. The more time that users spend on your website, the more likely search engines are to rank you highly. Thus, optimize your videos for SEO just like you do for text content. Use descriptive and interesting titles and descriptions. Consider adding links to your products as well.
Influencer marketing uses key figures to spread your brand message to a larger audience. It tends to be more authentic than corporate advertising. And studies suggest, 63% of consumers trust influencers more than brands. Try implementing influencer marketing to see amazing results. Here are a few ways you can set up your influencer marketing strategy:
Like any other marketing strategy, you must set a goal for your influencer marketing campaign. Begin with outlining what you want your campaign to achieve. We recommend you consider KPIs as well before you embark on your influencer marketing strategy. This is an important step since this helps you determine how your campaign’s campaign does. Try using SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) to define your goals.
Determine Relevant Influencers
The next step is to find influencers who can complement your upcoming campaign. This is crucial since your brand will be judged by who you partner with. That’s why it’s crucial to find authentic influencers who share your brand’s values.
Get your facts straight before signing a contract and or reaching out to an influencer. Know about their brand, their analytics, and how long they have been doing it to see if they pose any risks. Be sure to review their latest content and make sure they don’t promote controversial topics.
Design Your Campaign
You should then proceed to design your influencer marketing campaign. During this step, remember to include your influencers in the mix. This will allow you to gain their perspective as well. Additionally, allow them the creative freedom to make content in their preferred style. This will help boost your campaign significantly.
Pick the Right Platforms
When it comes to influencer marketing, selecting the right platform is crucial. For instance, it is hard to share hyperlinks on Instagram because it doesn’t have the functionality. Again, if you want to increase awareness of your products. Get reviews by partnering with influencers on Youtube. The way you partner with influencers depends on your goals and their strengths. Thus, find the best one that fits your needs for maximum results.
Track and Optimize
After creating an influencer marketing strategy, the final step is tracking your campaign and optimizing it. This helps you analyze your progress and determine what modifications are needed to reach your goals. Thus, remember to keep yourself updated by using tracking tools.
There you go, the digital marketing trends you should keep an eye out for. Investing in Artificial Intelligence is a great way to boost your business. Create a customized customer experience by using chatbots. Get top-notch results from social media marketing and user-generated content. Remember to create amazing content with user intent in mind. Search engines will rely heavily on voice and visual signals. While you’re at it, you should also improve your video marketing skills. And finally, use influencers to get a significant boost.
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