Technology impacts almost every facet of business nowadays. Sales, hiring, administration, accounting and training are just some important areas affected by technology. To help your business grow and evolve to meet future demands, you need to have one thing in your toolbox.
Digital marketing helps you stand out against your competitors. It’s something that’s always evolving, and will continue to grow and adapt to changing technology and trends. Digital marketing has spread to many different platforms and devices (desktop and laptop computer, smartphones, digital kiosks, etc.).
Companies always have to adapt to change, no matter what. To remain relevant and competitive in your industry, you need to look at your digital marketing strategy. What are your current plans and strategies? Are you advertising on social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)? It’s good to have a well-constructed website, but you also need to be able to draw Internet traffic into your site through social media and search engine advertising.
Whether you have a handful of products and services or hundreds of thousands of items for your customers to choose from, you need to make sure the information presented to your buyers is clear and concise. Too much information may confuse your new and existing customers, but at the same time, having too little information can prevent future sales, because your customers don’t know enough about what you have to offer. Keep things simple and easy to understand, and update your advertising and website when you need to.
With that in mind, here are a few digital marketing trends to consider for the present and beyond:
1. Video Advertising
It can be used to give your customers more information about your company and your products. They can be added to your website, your social media postings and even your email marketing. They’re quick and easy to produce and are more engaging and appealing then just standard visuals. Videos can even be customized towards a specific product or customer that you’re trying to reach. Live videos on Facebook and Instagram are gaining more and more popularity, and are a great form of spontaneous digital marketing that will set you apart from your competition.
2. Social Messaging Apps
Such as Facebook Messenger, YouTube and WhatsApp can be targeted to reach your niche audience. They can also be customized for each customer that you interact with, to create personalized advertising and calls for attention that are almost impossible to ignore. Social media messaging ads get noticed and are often more effective than print or email ad campaigns.
3. Social Media Stories
Are something that you’ve probably seen them from your friends and family on Facebook, SnapChat and Instagram. A few pictures and/or videos strung together can also be incorporated in to your digital marketing strategy. It’s a good way to reach millions of existing and potential customers, and because these stories usually disappear after 24 hours, it’s a perfect time to use social media stories to create a sense of urgency, by offering limited time offers and enticing an immediate call to action.
4. Influencer Marketing
Is a form of paid advertising that uses well-known experts, celebrities and industry leaders to promote your products and brands. It’s a form of word of mouth advertising that is often seen as positive, because it’s not coming directly from your company itself. By having an outside expert promote your business, the general public will usually trust their logic, especially when it’s presented in an informative and entertaining manner. Influencers can promote your products and services via their social media accounts, blogs and websites. While this type of advertising can be expensive depending on the experts used to promote your company, it can pay off great dividends in the long run.
5. Voice Searches
Video searches are done on everything from search engines to artificial intelligence voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri to television remotes. It saves us the time and effort of having to look things up ourselves, especially when we’re busy making dinner, working on the car or otherwise have our hands and minds occupied. Voice searches are becoming increasingly popular, and you can integrate them into your digital marketing campaigns so that customers come to know your company and products as industry leaders-they’ll be some of the first things that they find. You can even incorporate your voice search capabilities into your social media and video marketing campaigns.
6. Visual Searches
Using pictures to help people find exactly what they’re looking for. Pinterest has become a leader in the visual search industry, and visual searches are often found on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Most visual searches will incorporate text about the product and the company it’s manufactured by. You can use these options to your advantage by adding visual search information about your products and services to your digital marketing.
7. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is being used more and more often in today’s business world. Managers and marketing professionals are already using artificial intelligence (or AI for short) to pore over hundreds and hundreds of social media posts and blogs to help analyze and forecast consumer behavior. Another trend that may cost more initially to develop, but pays off in the long term when planning marketing budgets and staying on top of trends.
All of these trends above and many more can also be tracked, so that you can see when and how often people are clicking on and responding to your messages. They can also determine that a real human is viewing your advertising and not an automated bot. You can use this data to determine the effectiveness of your messages and the times of day when your target audience is most responsive to your social media and digital advertising.
Whether you’re a small mom-and-pop shop or working for one of the largest Fortune 500 companies, digital marketing is an important part of your business’ overall success. Take the time to conduct your marketing strategy wisely, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your customers. They are often a great sounding board for what efforts are most and least effective. Digital marketing will help you take that feedback and create customized, unique advertising that will keep your products and services top of mind for new and existing clients and keep your company relevant in your field for years to come.