What if I tell you that you’ve really lost more customers to your competitors than you might think because you have ignored the most important digital marketing trends of this year?
As a matter of fact, one of the strategies I’m about to show you is what you might have missed in a pool of trends and this is what is costing you really double your competitor’s budget on digital marketing.
If you read through this blog post and implement any of this biggest trend in online marketing today, then your conversion rate is sure to pivot to X4 of your monthly conversion rate.
Think about it this way, right now your conversion rate might be an embarrassing figure compared to what your business would need to survive the next era of business, but if you put these strategies to good use, you’ll certainly secure a great position for your business.
Digital marketing trends such as voice search, artificial intelligence, personal assistants etc. are already altering the marketing landscape we’ve known, presenting a new challenge and opportunity for marketers, who will have to reassess their digital marketing strategy to accommodate such changes.
By 2020, after all, voice and image-based searches are expected to contribute at least half of all searches.
Click here to check our course outline including our next digital marketing training date.
Among the many biggest trend in online marketing today, we will be seeing a marketing mix of new trends storming the online marketing space.
If I were you, I’d get my pen and paper because what you are about to read are some of the biggest revelations you as an online marketer won’t find anywhere on the internet.
So let’s get started right away!
11 Digital Marketing Trends
These digital marketing trends have been picked at random and if you implement it rightly, then your conversion rate will skyrocket through the roof.
1. Brands will be optimizing their content for Voice Search as a way to tap into the digital marketing trends
If there is one piece of technology that has captured marketers’ imagination this year it is voice recognition.
With voice search, you use your voice to perform actions on the web. And this is one significant trend that can govern the world of SEO.
In the next few sentences, I will tell you a popular brand who is using this voice search SEO trend already and is flooding in conversions massively
Amid the rising popularity of voice-controlled devices, including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, brands have jumped on the voice bandwagon.
These are all valid ways of thinking about voice. Voice offers a new and innovative way to reach consumers that technologically advanced brands can take advantage of.
Domino’s Pizza, for example, sees voice as a way to sell more pizza and so has enabled customers to order directly through Alexa using voice.
Incredible right? In a short while, I’ll even tell you what Google has to say about voice search in seo in 2020.
The brand’s digital boss Nick Dutch admits it isn’t seeing huge sales from the channel now but it expects to in future and is “preparing for the fact this technology will be something people use”.
However, perhaps the bigger transformation for brands is in search.
In 2016, Google claims 20% of mobile search queries submitted via its app are already done using voice. Meanwhile, comScore estimates 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.
That will have a big impact on search results and therefore SEO strategy.
Instead of consumers seeing a long list of results and being able to pick the most suitable one, most voice results will probably serve up just one answer.
The types of search queries are different too. When typing, people generally input queries such as ‘weather’ but in voice, they might ask ‘do I need an umbrella today?’.
That offers more context and therefore more chance for brands to show up relevant content, but that requires a change of approach.
Because of this, smart marketers are developing ways to tailor their SEO strategies for voice search.
As typed-out search terms become less popular, it’s going to get more and more important to start making those adjustments.
Here are some ways that the rise of voice search will shape the future of SEO, and some tips on how to prepare for it.
We expect to see more brands optimizing their content for voice search (Voice SEO).
The popularity of voice search is certainly exciting — it’s often easier and more convenient than typed-out searches, and younger generations are attracted to its “cool factor.”
Because of this, it’s important that marketers pay attention to how this may affect their SEO.
The second trend on the list seems to be one that you already know…
..but believe you me, there’s a missing puzzle you might not have figured out when it comes to this one.
2. Artificial intelligence (AI) in Marketing will rise to a new height and possibly replace customer service.
AI is not new – in fact, you probably already interact with marketing AI on a regular basis when you see ads in search results and on social media. And, 57% of marketers already use AI.
But do you know this?..
The use of AI for marketing is only going to grow as the technology improves. It’s projected to grow by 53% in the next couple of years.
Projected this month, we are going to be seeing chatbots as an alternative to human-to-human interaction.
Chatbots can answer customers’ related questions. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimize the customer experience.
So, marketeer adds up to 90x efficiency using Artificial Intelligence.
It learns from human-to-human conversations and from customer behaviors.
One of the companies that I listed below are already using chatbots to assist shoppers with a personalized shopping experience.
It’s no coincidence that a company called ZhuiYi was founded just a year and a half ago by a group of former Tencent computer programmers and it’s already making waves in the field of chatbots.
Also, Singapore Airlines on Tuesday (Dec 12, 2017) announced that it has launched a chatbot designed to answer customer queries.
Another company that’s effectively using these digital marketing trends, chatbots, is Mall of America, their chatbot aims to give shoppers a personalized shopping experience.
So you see, companies are already using chatbots to enhance and automate customer experience.
In fact, Google has opened it’s Google’s chatbot analytics platform called Chatbase — that allows the usage of the chatbot can to be monitored in order to spot potential flaws or problems.
It can also provide useful insights that can improve the final user experience (watch the video embed below).
The truth is chatbots could even move into a conversational advertising role in the future, based on whom they are speaking with, and what is being discussed.
3. Video marketing as one of the digital marketing trends will be massive soon.
How much video marketing is your brand doing right now?
If the answer is NO, well it’s time to start. Because if you don’t, then you’re going to be missing out on one of the biggest marketing trends set to skyrocket greatly.
I’ll break down the HubSpot’s new stats on video marketing so that you’ll see how much of conversion you’re loosing out from if video marketing is far down in your marketing priority list.
In fact, according to Entrepreneur, soon, 80% of online content will be video. That’s a pretty incredible stat. So, it shouldn’t go unnoticed.
In Hubspot’s released State of Inbound 2016 report, video was set to play a large part of the strategic plan for brands and marketers in the nearest future.
When asked: What content distribution channels do you plan to add to your marketing efforts in the next 12 months?
This was the breakdown of the responses:
- 48% YouTube
- 39% Facebook video
- 33% Instagram
- 20% Messaging apps
- 15% Podcasts
- 13% Snapchat
Notice a trend there?
Beyond the heavy social media presence here, every single one of these distribution channels has a large (or solely) video component with the exception of podcasting.
The majority of marketers are looking to add channels that support video in their marketing efforts. Meanwhile, these figures are projected to increase as more brands would embrace video marketing.
Of course, there’s a reason why marketers are starting to love video because video provides results.
Check out this infographic from Hubspot:
Video has the capacity to increase conversion rates and the infographic above says it all.
Here are some project video marketing trends you can’t ignore.
- Live video: Like AI, live video is nothing new, but it’s growing exponentially. Everyone wants a piece of Facebook Live. And, it isn’t just popular with marketers. People love watching a live video too. In fact, 80% of users said they’d rather watch a live video than read a blog post, while according to Facebook, live video gets 3x more views. It is not only interesting for marketers due to the uniqueness of the content but it also generates more exposure and higher engagement. If you can include live video in your marketing strategy, it should eventually lead to more conversions.
- Mobile views: Considering that most people will watch your video on their mobile devices, it is important that the video is optimized for screens of smaller sizes. Besides that, a lot of people will watch your video with the sound on mute. That is why it is important to include subtitles or captions to share your message with the viewers.
- Interactive content: It will be much easier to understand when you explain yourself, your point of view, or your business through video or audio. And by using more interactive content like videos, podcasts, or webinars, marketers can create content that will engage more with your audience.
- Personalization: Not just any video will be interesting enough for your audience to connect with. This trend can be combined with storytelling. There has to be a story behind your video. A story your audience can relate to, something personal. Not only a story to sell your product or services but a story that evokes emotions and creates a connection between you and your audience.
Here are some video platforms that marketers will leverage greatly.
- Instalive (Instagram live videos)
- Facebook live
- Whatsapp Status (videos)
- Linkedin videos
- Video ads
4. Growth hacking as on of the biggest trend in online marketing today will become a priority soon.
Do you now that there are marketing strategies that are specifically targeted as for growing a business revenue, and SEO is one of the leading strategies?
Your business is slowly dying because you’re possibly missing out on this and I will tell you why.
As technology evolves to allow additional search options, you have to adjust your strategy to meet your audience where they are looking for you.
Attracting leads with awesome content and exciting twists (such as a giveaway or a challenge) can help move the dial in converting these leads to sales.
The idea of “growth hacking,” which means seeking growth from a company’s existing traffic, driving marketing through technology, and gaining results through greater efficiency is a new mentality and skill that today’s company managers and marketers will need to master in in-depth.
These Big Giant’s “Growth Hacking” Strategy Won Them Tremendous Business Growth
Here we are listing case studies of giant brands that have invested much in growth hacking and have scaled their business because of this strategy.
1. Shazam’s Growth Hacking Strategy: “Spreading The Word Offline”
Music tech company Shazam came up with a neat marketing device to spread interest in its song-recognition app, while at the same time turning a problem to its advantage.
Shazam’s app allows its users to identify songs they hear at clubs, on the radio, or at parties by recording a snatch of the music and matching it to an online database.
When there’s a lot of background noise it can be tough for the software to do its work, so Shazam encourages users to hold their smartphones up to the speakers.
It’s a neat trick.
Others see smartphones brandished and ask “what’s going on?” News of Shazam spreads quickly by word of mouth.
The result = Impressive 500 million downloads.
While this might seem like the best strategy of “growth hacking” as one of the digital marketing trends used by giant companies to grow their revenue, the next case study is a full blow strategy by Uber.
2. Uber’s Growth Hacking Strategy: “Encouraging Advocacy”
With operations in 35 countries (including Nigeria) and a valuation of more than $30bn, Uber is a poster child for rapid scale-up. But in 2009, it was just a local car-hire company with a platform matching supply and demand and handling payments.
The company knew it was solving a range of problems associated with conventional cab services but it needed traction.
Its base in San Francisco was the key.
Uber initially focused on the tech community, organizing events and – crucially – free rides for those attending. Those who used the service told their friends about the experience.
The result was rapid growth and a model that could be rolled out elsewhere.
3. Facebook’s Growth Hacking Strategy: “Taking a Hard Line on Messenger”
Messenger was an important launch for Facebook, allowing the company to create a stand-alone messaging service that can be used by third parties to offer a range of services through Chatbots. Ultimately playing into Facebook’s future advertising plays.
But Facebook faces a challenge – namely that there are a great many people who already have the Facebook App itself on their smartphones. People who might well ask – why should I download Messenger?
To counter such resistance, Facebook has progressively turned off the message facility on its own app and telling mobile users they must migrate to Messenger. The result is a rapid growth curve to underpin the Facebook messaging masterplan.
Click here to check out more Growth Hacking case studies to inspire you.
5. Influencer marketing (Micro-influencers will be needed more)
Micro-influencers are 4x more likely to get a comment on a post than are macro-influencers (who usually have ~10 million followers)
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Do you know how important micro-influencers are in the marketing mix? For social media, one this is one of the most effective and most direct digital marketing trends that has come to stay.
Let me show you a few stats on how much importance they hold to your business.
Think of micro-influencers as digital influencers with a total audience size of between 1,000 and 100,000 followers.
Surprised with the audience size?
There’s data to support it: Micro-influencers are 4x more likely to get a comment on a post than are macro-influencers (who usually have ~10 million followers).
Micro-influencers are more likely to post about specific niche topics and they have the loyal followings that share their passion and a staggering 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations and only 33% trust ads.
With more than 32% of internet users enabling ad blocker, it’s increasingly harder to reach users and micro-influencers can bridge that gap.
6. Quality content marketing will be prioritized.
High-quality content is in short supply so people will have to be creative in their approach and with whom they are working.
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As one of the top digital marketing trends, the aim of grabbing consumer attention through Content marketing will remain a key priority for marketers in the online marketing world.
Bill Gates was wrong when he said “content is king” in 1996. Content isn’t just king anymore, “Quality content is king!”
In this highly digitized world, high-quality content is in short supply so people will have to be creative in their approach and with whom they are working.
To develop super-relevant content requires speed, agility, and risk-taking. And this will favor local companies (over multi-nationals) as they move faster, take bigger bets, and are therefore more able to be timely and relevant with their content.
7. Experience marketing is gaining popularity
Customer experience is hugely important. Customers see your business or brand as the sum of experiences they’ve had with you.
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Do you have any brand that has lost you as a customer in the last 6 months? How do you feel about the business or brand?
Do you know that in your business, if you don’t have a strategy and isn’t steadily optimizing your customer experience, you’re losing X2 of every customer who walks out and never returns because you don’t only lose a customer, you lose their testimonials or word of mouth.
Customer experience marketing is exactly what it sounds like – making sure the customer has a good experience when you market to them.
And, it’s gaining popularity; 68% of marketers say their business is increasingly focusing on customer experience in marketing.
While you might want to focus on customer experience, the next digital marketing trend will specifically show you what you need to optimize.
Customers see your business or brand as the sum of experiences they’ve had with you.
This could be anything from in-store customer service to finding your local listing online or seeing one of your business’s ads on Facebook.
Creating a great experience for the customer is more likely to help you gain brand loyalists.
If they search for you online and find two different listings, or they receive bad customer service while making a purchase, they’re just not going to use your business again.
Let’s prepare to share a good customer experience when you market to them.
8. CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) focused on proofs
This period may finally be the period that businesses start to become customer-centric and embrace intelligent, strategic conversion optimization (I’ve been preaching that every year for what seems like a while now).
Amongst the heady mix of AI, machine learning, chatbots, data clouds, influencer marketing, and fixed mindsets within businesses, these trends will be harnessed by the few brands who choose to step outside of their comfort zone.
In a short while, I see more brands leveraging proofs.
The proof is the art of showing potential customers and clients that what you sell is both real and worth having.
It’s one of the trickiest elements to get right in digital and inbound marketing and can be the difference between appearing authentic or fake.
More and more people are using ad blockers or developing ‘banner blindness’ to overcome the fact that they are constantly being targeted by someone.
Perhaps, with real proofs, you can display real-time customer activity notifications on your website and let your existing customers sell for you.
Have you heard of Useproof?
Well, if you are concerned about showing your potential customers that what you have to offer is both real and valuable to them with a bit of, then you might have to check out Useproof.com.
Useproof can do the following:
- Activity Notifications: Display recent sales and opt-ins on your pages and drive visitors to convert.
- Live Visitor Count: Show how many visitors are browsing your site – eg. “28 people are viewing this page”
- Visitor Identification: Shows detailed profiles of every visitor who enters their email.
- Customer Journeys: Watch visitors travel across your site and see which steps they take to convert.
- Custom Timing: Control when, how long, and how fast notifications display on your site.
- Custom Rules: Granular control over how and when notifications display on your pages.
- Mobile Optimized: With mobile traffic approaching 70%, Proof looks amazing on mobile.
- Language Translation: Translate your notifications into any language you want.
9. Fluid marketing will become the trend
“Fluid online marketing” is a multi-channel approach to online marketing that addresses each customer’s unique challenges in a way that can help you keep your brand in front of them.
Instead of following a one-size-fits-all approach, fluid online marketing leverages the very best growth opportunities for each customer’s situation.
In fluid marketing, you see your customers as a moving target, you will understand where the word “fluid” originate from.
The way fluid marketing works is when you leverage on different channels to ensure that you deliver what your customers are looking for no matter where they are, what website they visit, the social media platform they use, etc.
Soon, fluid marketing will thrive! I see more marketers using features like re-targeting, customer audience, and lookalike audience to ensure customers are always reminded of what they left off.
10. Data Analysis
If you’re maxing out on data and analytics this year, just wait.
The mass amount of information being created by the IoT has the power to revolutionize everything from manufacturing and healthcare to the layout and functioning of entire cities — allowing them to work more efficiently and profitably than ever before.
One company, for instance, found that it was able to reduce the cost of managing its fleet of 180,000 trucks from 15 cents per mile to just 3 cents.
That same kind of efficiency can be exercised in almost every industry, from retail to city planning.
Tech giants such as Microsoft, IBM, SAS, and SAP are all heavily investing in Analytics, more specifically IoT Analytics as they are seeing the power of this combination in driving new business insights across a vast array of industries and applications.
11. Customer Journey Marketing
Given the way the complexity of marketing and digital marketing has increased, techniques like customer journey mapping for different personas are increasing in importance to help define the most relevant communications and experiences for different touchpoints in the customer journey.
To support this, the way I like to think about how to improve the effectiveness of digital marketing is to think from the customers’ viewpoint of the communications opportunity available through the customer lifecycle for different types of business.
We define lifecycle marketing as:
Creating a managed communications or contact strategy to prioritise and integrate the full range of marketing communications channels and experiences to support prospects and customers on their path-to-purchase using techniques such as persuasive personalised messaging and re-targeting.
We designed this mind-tool to help members think through all the potential touchpoints across paid, owned and earned media. Then you can perform a ‘gap analysis’ of the use and effectiveness of lifecycle comms you are using against those you could be used to increase the relevance and response of communications.
To sum it up:
Digital marketing trends all year-round are going to be massive.
The likelihoods is going to be another exciting period for new and innovative ways to reach consumers and increase brand awareness. Accelerated advancement in technology is making it more challenging and marketing teams will need to explore, invest, experiment, and adapt in order to keep up.
Do you agree with the digital marketing trends contained in this list? Or perhaps, do you have any of your own to add?