Digital marketing – It's often confused with SEO, social media marketing, and even e-commerce. But the fact is that digital marketing encompasses all of that (maybe not e-commerce as a whole), and a lot more. In essence, digital marketing is any kind of marketing, advertisement, and promotion that leverages electronic media that connects it back to the good old days of ads over the radio.
Nowadays, the term digital marketing is almost exclusively used for marketing and advertisement through the internet. Whether it’s improving SEO to rank higher in SERPs, social media marketing, email marketing, paid ads, or content marketing, all these different marketing techniques and strategies fall under the umbrella of digital marketing.
Digital marketing is constantly (and rapidly) evolving. With each new technology, the behavior of internet users shifts. For example, as virtual assistance on mobile phones and in homes (Alexa) become more commonplace, search engines have started receiving more vocal queries. And that’s just one example. With virtual reality and augmented reality on the rise, digital marketing trends might see several more radical changes in a couple of years.
Whatever your digital marketing strategy for your business and your website is, it should be flexible as the behavior of the people online changes, and they start consuming content differently, your digital marketing strategy has to adapt to the change. Otherwise, you won’t be able to stay ahead of the curve.
2020 has been unique, and in a way, disturbing year so far. The pandemic transformed workplaces since many organizations had to focus on remote work. Also, e-commerce saw significant expansion, and many businesses had to expedite their online shift, to stay in business.
Let’s take a look at some of the digital marketing trends that may help you revise or improve your current plans and strategies.
As of May, about 56% of Facebook users are aged 35 or more. That’s a stark comparison to Instagram, which only has 30% users above the age of 34. Younger generations prefer Instagram and other, more visually leveraged social media outlets over Facebook. This distinction should sway your digital marketing strategy, based on which age-group your products/services primarily cater to.
If your product appeals mostly to young users, you should focus more on visual content, and maybe look into influencer marketing (though it’s losing credibility). But if most of your potential client pool is pushing forty, your Facebook campaigns might deserve more attention.
Artificial intelligence is transforming the industry, technology, society, and digital marketing is no exception. Right now, relatively few entities (like Amazon and YouTube) are combining AI and digital marketing. But that’s the future, and the earlier you realize that, the better. You can use AI for better consumer profiling.
If you start early, you will be able to train a better system with more data and get a head-start on your competitors that are still uncertain about using AI for marketing. Chatbots, personalized email content, and identifying micro and macro marketing trends are some other places where you can use artificial intelligence to improve your digital marketing.
Video has already become a significantly more potent form of content when compared against the written one. And the trend is likely to continue, as people will prefer more and more content through videos and pictures (infographics, ads, etc.). In order to monetize it, and to create a sense of urgency, you can start working on shoppable pictures and videos.
Many fashion related websites already have professionally taken photographs that have purchase links embedded in each clothing article and accessory. The same can be applied in videos as well. It’s likely to entice many viewers to engage in impulse purchases, improving your revenues.
Consumers feel more “personally engaged” when a business reaches out to them using apps like WhatsApp, instead of communicating from behind the layers of automated chatbots. The trend is likely to take-off in 2020. There are still issues of handling traffic and fine-tuning funneling, but they are being taken care of, and more and more people might prefer sending a message directly to a business, instead of writing an email or making a call.
Google has already improved and optimized its crawlers quite a bit. It has forced most businesses to reevaluate their SEO strategies. Mass backlinks are obsolete and actually pull your ranking down. Helpful content has overtaken keyword studded pieces and websites now are more portable, fast, and sitemaps are cleaner to make it easier for crawlers.
That, and the introduction of BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), ensures that the content on your website and social media should be clear, helpful, and of actual value to the reader. It has also improved the snipped-based searches and results, which offer a decent advantage to many websites that otherwise wouldn’t have ranked higher, place at the top thanks to their snippets (if they accurately answer a query). This is extending towards video as well, so you may want to look into your video’s transcription.
Thumbs up and thumbs down “liking” calculations have become a thing of the past. Even graded “how did you feel” is not a comprehensive enough feedback. In order to really understand the feelings of your consumers, and perform a "sentiment analysis," you have to try filling in the grey area that lies between a like and a dislike. And no, comments alone aren’t a viable answer.
As machine learning improves and AI’s processing of natural language comes closer to that of our own, sentiment analysis of consumer feedback will become more in-depth. Algorithms would be able to identify the most problematic and off-putting features of a product or service, and the most-liked elements of a product. That will allow digital marketers to glean better business insights from consumer feedback.
As AI seems to be the new trend in digital marketing, it’s a good idea for companies and website owners to start working on it and find overlaps between their digital marketing goals, AI and big data analytics. That's going to be the next big thing, and companies that aren't prepared for it might be at a severe disadvantage.