It’s no secret that businesses need to optimize their digital efforts in order to remain relevant and competitive. This means having a mobile-first web strategy, and strong SEO should be second nature by now — allowing you to focus on the next wave of tech trends.
We’ve entered an era where things like robots and artificial intelligence are no longer space-age fantasies. And while you might not be ready to build your own smart speaker or R2-D2, there are a number of digital marketing trends within your reach that can strengthen your brand and engage your customers.
Gone are the days of blasting out content to your entire audience and seeing a high ROI. It’s now important to tailor your digital efforts to specific segments of your audience (or even on an individualized basis), whether through email marketing, banner ads, web content, or social media. Just look at Amazon and Netflix to see a shining example of how personalized experiences can drive desired customer behavior and higher levels of engagement. Keep in mind that excellent data analysis is an essential part of creating successful personalization.
2. Interactive Content
More and more, customers want to feel connected to the brands they follow. Creating interactive content is a great way to fulfill that desire. Quizzes, polls, contests, and 360-degree videos are examples of dynamic, engaging content that give your audience a more immersive experience with your brand. What’s more, these kinds of content make your brand more memorable and allow you to collect valuable user data.
3. Social Media Messaging and Stories
Speaking of personalized, interactive content, you’ll want to apply these approaches to your social media marketing. With billions of people using social messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, you’re missing out on quality opportunities if you’re not meeting your customers there. In addition, social stories are on the rise, with Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube hopping on the train. You can leverage stories by sharing polls, adding location tags, creating live videos, and using clear call-to-action.
4. Artificial Intelligence
AI is a powerful tool that’s evolving rapidly. It has many applications, from automating ad buying to chatbots to powerful consumer behavior analysis. Chatbots especially are rising in popularity, as they give customers the ability to easily and instantly find answers 24/7. In addition, they can gather and analyze actionable data that you can use to improve the user experience.
5. Video Marketing
Video has been a staple of good digital marketing for a while now. In fact, websites that include video are 50 times more likely to drive organic search results compared to plain text. While video marketing is clearly here to say, the way it’s being used continues to change. These days, you have to think beyond YouTube and start leveraging things like doing live broadcasts on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Also, consider posting a video transcription, using the audio as a podcast, and including video thumbnails in email marketing with the word “video” in the subject line.
6. Voice Search and Smart Speakers
As the popularity of smart speakers continues to rise, businesses are looking to adjust their content so it can be found by the likes of Alexa, Siri, and Google Home. Maximizing your voice search results means writing in a more conversational tone — featuring keywords that people would speak (as opposed to type). This means using words such as who, what, how, when, and where, as well as more question-and-answer content.
With so many ever-changing digital trends, it can be difficult to keep up with everything. Don’t feel like you have to employ every single new, shiny piece of tech that comes out — choose what works best for your brand and only tackle what your team can handle.