Online marketing has now become one of the most (if not the most) essential components of running a successful business. With over 4.6 billion people currently using the digital space, the online world is a potential goldmine for any business owner. Over the past few years, the digital landscape has been evolving rapidly, with new techniques quickly taking over old ones. Now, business owners need to identify recent trends and learn how to take advantage of them to remain relevant or competitive. Businesses that fail to keep up with online marketing’s changing times may find themselves being left behind. So, are you looking for ways to put your business ahead in the online marketing world? Then take advantage of the following digital marketing trends.
Digital marketing specialists believe that chatbots will drive a significant part of the customer service experience from this year onwards. This technology is based on artificial intelligence (AI) and uses messages to chat with customers in real-time. Already, many major companies are taking advantage of chatbots to drive their online marketing projects, and customers are responding pretty well to this trend. Chatbots provide instant responses to queries and answers to basic questions from your clients. Plus, their 24-hour availability means that you’re no longer restricted by different time zones when dealing with clients on other continents.
Chatbots require you to have a more advanced website. That means if you want to enjoy their benefits, you need to upgrade your website. If you’re yet to create a website for your business, you should take advantage of a revolutionary approach to building websites. For example, a JAMstack site is structured to break away from the old CMS platforms to deliver better results.
Another critical online marketing trend worth looking at is video marketing. The stats show that video marketing is gradually taking over the world of online marketing and attracting the numbers every business owner wants to see. Experts predict that the video marketing trend will be one of the most important digital marketing trends for several years. Others also believe that over 80% of future online content will be video-based.
Video marketing comes with several advantages that outweigh text in various ways. For example, it allows you to make better illustrations and descriptions of a product or service than text advertising. Plus, you can communicate more with one-minute video content than you would with text. Additionally, the cost of downloading, streaming, and watching videos has reduced considerably today than it once was. That means both marketers and consumers can afford to watch more online videos at a lesser cost.
The present-day consumer has many questions and wants quick responses to their queries, and conversational marketing helps solve that problem. The main objective of conversational marketing is to ensure that you do not deprive your customers and potential clients of the benefits of instant replies to the questions. Therefore, its feedback-driven model offers a better user experience while giving some sort of human face to responses.
Conversational marketing also builds trust between brands and their customers, as it offers a higher form of engagement without making customers think they’re ‘speaking’ with robots. This online marketing trend is also available across several channels. And this means that business owners can now meet their clients on various platforms available to them.
Conversational marketing also offers a higher lead conversion ratio, which means business owners can expect to rake in higher returns on investment (ROI). Plus, business owners can also benefit from gaining better insight into their customers’ needs.
If you’re active on social media platforms, you have probably come across one or two influencers promoting one product or another. Influencer marketing operates on the good-old word-of-mouth type of advertising, only this time; it uses famous people. This type of online marketing has been growing steadily for the past couple of years and will continue to feature prominently in the digital marketing world. Today, you can find online influencers across various social media platforms, with each of them having thousands of followers. The power of such influencers does not necessarily lie in their individual personalities but in the number of followers they have (which is of interest to business owners).
Many individuals have admitted purchasing products or patronizing services based on recommendations they get from influencers. Others have also admitted to selecting particular products because they have seen influencers use them. However, online influencers usually appeal to different demographics. That means business owners need to focus on the ones with following that fall within their target demographics. Otherwise, their marketing efforts will hardly bring the right sales.
As mentioned, the world of social media is currently home to about four billion users, which offers enormous marketing potential to business owners. Using social media for marketing is no longer something new. In fact, social media marketing has become so popular that the name is used interchangeably with online or digital marketing. The majority of businesses have created online profiles to boost their visibility and reach out to potential clients. Others have also used the platforms to connect with their clients. However, some online marketing experts believe that the key to maximizing social media platforms’ power is by decluttering their activities.
The logic here is pretty simple, the more social media platforms you have, the more platforms you need to focus on. The fewer social media platforms you have, the fewer pages you need to work on. Trying to update so many pages can be very overwhelming and time-consuming, especially if you’re directly in charge of your online activities. Culling your social media activities means you can concentrate on fewer pages and deliver better content. Besides, you don’t need to have a presence on every social media platform to be visible. All you need to do is find the channels that appeal to your target audience and focus on those.
The modern customer does not want to receive generalized marketing content. The contemporary customer also doesn’t want to feel like they’re receiving automated content from robots. These concerns are part of the reasons why personalization marketing has become a growing trend in the world of online marketing. Potential customers are more likely to pay attention to brands that tweak their marketing content to create a more personal feel. Also, clients are more likely to return to brands that personalize their preferences.
That means for a business to step up its marketing game this year (and in the future), it must put more effort into personalizing its marketing campaigns. That includes creating personalized social media posts in your social media marketing, email marketing content, multimedia, video content, etc.
Additionally, many businesses admit that personalized marketing efforts and campaigns generate better click-through rates and results than the standard or more traditional or generalized forms.
Visual search is another modern online marketing trend that is slowly gaining popularity. Technology is currently growing and evolving at a much faster rate than most people ever predicted. Today, you no longer need to type your inquiries or queries into search engines. If you have an image of what you’re looking for, all you need to do is upload it and conduct a visual search for more relevant and specific results.
Marketing experts expect this digital marketing trend to take off in 2021 and gradually dominate online searches in the coming years. That means business owners still have enough time to maximize their content and websites for this type of online search. Major search engines like Google and Bing already have visual search options. Google Lens is currently reported to be able to identify billions of visual items and counting. Bing has also developed its own virtual search option, known as the Bing Visual Search, allowing you to make specific visual search queries.
Optimizing for local SEO and Google My Business listings
The online world opens your business up to billions of potential customers across the globe. However, when it comes to clients ready to do business, you can expect most of them to come from local searches. People prepared to initiate transactions usually search for companies, products, and services in their locations. And the best way to make your brand visible to them is by optimizing for local SEO. Even though local SEO isn’t necessarily a new digital marketing trend, its relevance continues to grow with every passing year.
One major platform that can boost your brand’s local visibility is Google My Business. With thousands of new businesses signing up to this global platform every day, you can only expect this trend to continue to grow. Search engine optimization (SEO), in general, offers a natural or ethical way for businesses to boost their brand visibility on significant search engine results without needing to pay to cut corners. When you manage to optimize for local SEO, you will be able to position your business to be competitive in your local market.
Together, engaging well with these digital marketing trends can help you emerge at the forefront of your industry.