It’s Time You Got Trendy – Four Digital Marketing Trends To WatchKenneth Nel
Last time we checked, our crystal ball was in for repairs. And our Cloak Of Clairvoyance was at the dry cleaners. Luckily though, we don’t need either of these things to talk about digital marketing trends. Trends that will dominate the rest of this year and likely well into 2018.
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Because digital marketing is not actually a dark art that relies on such things. It’s a real, honest-to-goodness and proven-effective way of putting your product or service in front of as many relevant people as possible. Why? So that, at the end of the day, you sell more stuff! That, as we’ve said before and will definitely say again – probably more than once – is the goal of any marketing strategy.
So what do we need to make authoritative predictions for where digital marketing is going? We need eyes on what the gurus at Google are saying. We need to monitor what’s happening in the industry internationally and here in our own back yard. And we need to mine our own, not inconsiderable, experience and expertise.
Having done all that (because yes, we are just that good), we’ve come up with four top trends that you can expect to see dominating the digital marketing world in the coming months.
Digital Trends – Mobile
We know what you’re thinking. No, really. You’re thinking, “How can mobile be a trend, which, by definition, is ‘the general direction in which something is developing or changing,’ when it’s been on every digital marketing expert’s To Do list ever since smartphones became a thing?”
No, really. You’re thinking, “How can mobile be a “trend”? By definition, a trend is ‘the general direction in which something is developing or changing.’ But it’s been on every digital marketing expert’s To Do list ever since smartphones became a thing?
One big reason:
The Mobile Revolution
Towards the end of last year, mobile and tablet devices accounted for over half of all Internet usage worldwide – 51.3% compared to 48.7% for desktop. This was the first time this had happened – but it is predicted to be one of the more potent digital marketing trends. Google’s response was swift and deadly – for any website that’s not mobile-friendly, that is.
Google’s new Mobile First Web Index is set to launch towards the end of this year, or early in 2018. This means the giant search engine will start using the mobile version of the web as its primary search engine index. Previously, Google has always crawled the web from the point of view of a desktop browser. But this new index will mean crawling from a mobile browser point of view.
This shows us just how big of a deal mobile really is. Its meteoric rise to its currently lofty position as the dominant force in the way in which we access the Internet is forcing us to rewrite the rules.
In this age of instant gratification, waiting is no longer even a thing. Buying something online? Overnight delivery is so last year. Soon Amazon drones will deliver selected products to your door within half an hour of you placing your order. It’s no longer even accurate to say we live in the moment, we’ve had to condense that even further to living in the micro-moment! We don’t even have to take the time to type in our search queries, we can use voice commands to interact with our devices. People want to know NOW, go NOW, do NOW and buy NOW.
Digital marketing experts have to respond to this NOW!
Businesses unable or unwilling to meet their customers’ needs in the moment and be there when and how they are needed to be, will fall behind faster than you can say, “Hey Siri.”
Digital Marketing Trends – Video
People generally respond more favourably to marketing efforts that involve visual elements. Emotive pictures, graphics and photographs are always popular, but recent years have seen the epic rise of video, and it’s a trend that is set to not only continue but to grow.
Facebook recently revealed that its almost two billion users watch about eight billion videos every single day. And video giant YouTube has more viewers aged 18 and older (meaning, people with the biggest buying power) during peak television watching time than any cable TV network in the US.
Consider these facts, figures and predictions from Cisco’s Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2016–2021:
- It would take one person more than five million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2021.
- By 2021, a million minutes of video content will cross the network every second.
- Globally, IP video traffic will account for 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021, up from 73 percent in 2016.
- Live Internet video will account for 13 percent of Internet video traffic by 2021.
- Internet video surveillance traffic increased 72 percent in 2016, and will increase seven-fold by
Video is clearly a trend worth watching (yup, we did really have to go there!)
Digital Marketing Trends – Personalisation
So, just when you thought you were getting the hang of B2B and B2C marketing, along comes One to One marketing! But don’t panic, we’ve got this.
One to one, or personalised strategies, are digital marketing trends that piggybacks off big data. Big Data is pretty much like the Big Brother of Orwell’s imagination (there seriously might have been more to that man than anyone gave him credit for at the time). All the information about your online habits, internet searches, consumer purchases and so on – which you thought were safely stored on your computer, or deleted for all eternity when you clicked “clear browser history ” – are actually all stored in the Cloud by Google and Facebook, among others.
Pretty scary, right?
But also pretty useful if you’re someone who wants to sell more stuff (there’s that lovely phrase again).
A report released by market research company Ovum estimates that the market for big data will increase from $1.7 billion in 2016 to $9.4 billion by 2020, representing 10% of the overall market for information management tooling.
This vital information is bought by companies and thoroughly analysed to reveal patterns and trends about consumer behaviour and interactions. They calculate the probability of a consumer responding to different types of content, such as personalised landing pages, tailored offers, and targeted ads.
Linking ROI to Digital Marketing Trends.
According to Harvard Business Review’s article, personalised marketing can deliver between five and eight times the return on investment than generic marketing spend. In addition, they can lift sales by upwards of 10 percent.
It’s important to bear in mind that line. That one between useful personalization of marketing messages and creepy stalker behaviour. Everyone likes a personalised campaign that adds value to them individually, true. But most people aren’t as happy with having unsolicited offshoots from a single Internet search following them around the web.
Active consumer engagement is the buzzphrase of the moment when it comes to Digital Marketing Trends. How do you know when your marketing efforts are paying off? When your audience not only consumes your content for their own use, but enjoys it enough to take further action. Liking your Facebook page, sharing your post, forwarding an article or copying a link are examples of this.
Interactive content takes this engagement even further by encouraging deeper interaction. Quizzes, e-books, assessments, report cards, interactive infographics and calculators. These are great ways to capture people’s imaginations. And develop leads!
I can see you nodding in agreement at this point, thinking of the quiz you took on Facebook last night. You know, the one to find out what your favourite ice cream says about your levels of career ambition. Or the calculator. That helped you discover how likely you are to own a convertible based on the number of blue shirts you own!
Yes, these are extreme examples with no discernible marketing value. But the point is, people do actually take quizzes like this. They love to find out fun facts about themselves. (Even if they have no foundation in reality.) So think of how much more engagement you’d get from a more relevant interactive post. One that pertains directly to your particular product or service. It’s a great soft sell! The best interactive content marketing solves problems first and sells stuff second. It lets people have fun and enjoy the process without feeling targeted.
If you need to be a lot trendier when it comes to your digital marketing efforts, chat to the trendsetters at Digital Coach today. We make it our business to grow yours.