People change, so does the trends. As a marketer, you are incumbent to monitor and tweak your online marketing strategies to run parallel with evolving digital marketing trends. Trends often reflects the customer’s taste and preferences. So, be prepared to accommodate the changes and remain competitive in your niche. Framing online marketing strategies and aligning it with the marketing trend plays an important role in attracting more customers.
In this article, we will take a look at the most significant digital marketing trends which will give you better ROI.
#1 Content Marketing to Drive Inbound Sales
A research conducted by smartinsights.com says that 20.3% of marketers believe that content marketing is the best channel for marketing in 2017. Content marketing is a strategic approach of creating high-quality content focused on a niche topic/ target audience. A high-quality content is the one which provides a complete solution to the pain points of your target customers, one which adds value to the audience, and forces them to take action (conversion/ sales).
Content marketing strategy is used by top brands like Cisco, Toshiba, Marriott, IBM, etc. Cisco has effectively implemented content marketing strategy with social media to sell new routers. The outcome was stunning, the senior manager at that time LaSandra Bill coined that they will be using this data for future product launches. The strategy was even classified as one of the top launches in the company’s history.
Main reason why a company uses content marketing, is to create loyal customers. With words, you reach your audience and address their problems with a fruitful solution.
Stats on content marketing:
51% of post B2B purchase decisions are influenced by content research. (DemandGen Report).
75% of digital marketers are raising their investment in Content. (Curata.com)
#2 Marketing Automation makes Life Easier
Marketing automation is widely used by many companies to automate their marketing process. If your customer database only has 10 names on it, then it will be easier to maintain a one to one relationship with the customers. But what happens when your company starts to grow, that’s where marketing automation comes in. With the help of software automated tools, we will be able to calculate CLV (Customer Lifetime Value), and measure marketing tasks with an objective to increase operational efficiency and boost revenue.
With marketing automation, we can send the right message to the right people. It helps to create a rich profile of your ideal customers and provide intelligence insights about your prospects in terms of sales. Most automation tools will help you know the position of leads in the buyer’s journey.
Jordie Van Rijn of email Monday says that the most important measure of marketing automation is conversion rate. According to Jordie most of the modern marketers are using marketing automation tools to boost their conversion.
One good example is Obama’s Campaign in 2012. It says the key to Obama’s digital campaign was a simple marketing automation tool. A registration form where you can enter the Zip code, email address, and a street address. With this tool, Obama’s team was able to contact volunteers who are willing to help with the tasks related to the campaign.
#3 Engage with your Audience on Social Media
An active social media presence helps to drive relevant/ targeted traffic to your website. Social media is widely used by brands to position their products/service among the audience. Stats published on Hootsuite (social media management tool) says that out of 3 billion internet users 2 billion are active on social platforms. Social media is a powerful tool which helps to gather insights on customers.
These platforms help people to interact with industry experts in niche segments and get their brand endorsed. This said, it also helps in influencer marketing. Most SEO specialists maintain a high engagement on social platforms as it is necessary to promote their blogs on social platforms. Most marketers use retargeting strategies on social media to boost engagement.
Social media management tools like optin monster help to automate the entire social sharing process. These tools allow you to curate content, target the timeframe with high engagement rate, evaluate effectiveness, manage teams, etc. With tools like this, you will be able to monitor your social media mentions in real time and respond back to it instantly resulting in addition to your base of loyal customers.
#4 IoT (Internet of Things) – Will be your Invisible Friend
IoT is basically integrating any electronic device to the internet. With IoT, machines can interact with each other and give a better user experience and reduce your workload. Imagine an AI enabled device that can learn your sleeping pattern and set the alarm to ring, then simultaneously asks the coffee machine to start brewing coffee for you. Seems interesting, doesn’t it. Imagine a wearable device that you are using, seamlessly interchange information with all the other electronic devices and helps to make your day more productive. IoT is an invisible friend of yours, who learns everything about you and take necessary actions to reduce your workload.
Our generation produces more data than any other generation has ever produced. IoT helps marketers to delve deep into the behaviour of customers and assists in decision making. With all devices connected to a common platform that shares information, the data retrieved and analysed will help you get better insights of the customers. Companies across the world will be able to deliver enhanced customer services. Internet of things can also be used for personalized interaction with customers on a real-time basis.
#5 Live Videos / Streaming – A New Digital Marketing Trend
Live video streaming is the next best channel to reach a mass audience. Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram all integrated live streaming in order to provide a better accessibility. It is one thing that will stand out in this saturated world. With live streaming companies across the globe are able to reach their target customers and position their products accordingly. With live streaming, we will get a real-time feed of a product release, expert interview on your niche, etc.
Look at BuzzFeed live stream. It shows one exemplary live feed explaining how effective live streaming can be. In the live stream by Buzzfeed, where 2 BuzzFeed employees tried to explode a watermelon with rubber band have attracted more than 800000 viewers in a peak 45min runtime.
#6 Big Data to Learn your Customer Dimensions
Ovum (a market research firm), has estimated that by 2020 the data market will become a 9.4 billion industry. In 2017 streaming artificial intelligence with machine learning will disrupt the way we interact with the mass amount of data. Big data is characterised by three features velocity, variety, and volume.
Volume – The amount of data created every day. Stats published on vcloudnews.com clearly says that every day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated. In 1992 the total data uploaded per day was 100 GB, whereas it’s estimated that by 2018 it will increase to 50,000GB per second.
Variety – Big data has become a repository of information. Structured and unstructured data in the form of text, video, infographics, images, podcasts, etc.
Velocity – The speed at which all data is processed.
The significance of big data on digital marketing is enormous. Digital marketers use big data for understanding prospects (Custom dimensions). Retargeting is another online marketing strategy achieved with the help of big data. Here once the buyer’s purchase pattern is studied, a cookie is placed on the browser which will feed him content as he visits other websites. Big data is also widely used by marketers to provide a customized user experience.
#7 Conversion Rate Optimization to Boost Sales
Conversion rate optimization is one effective method of converting prospects into paying customers. CRO will also help you to know your website performance. SEO strategies can drive a lot of traffic to your website but how to know that you are driving the right traffic to your website. CRO helps you convert traffic into leads and paying customers.
Let’s see how removing social sharing buttons helped Taloon to increase conversion. Taloon is an e-commerce store that sells electronic hardware products. Down the line, Taloon noticed that their conversion rate is not hitting the set target. Taloon decided to go against the social notion, they decided to do an A/B testing. They created two pages one with social sharing button and another without social sharing buttons.
To their surprise, the page without sharing buttons increased the conversion by 11%. Later, after a detailed analysis, they figured out that since the no: of shares on the pages is zero people start to distrust the quality of product and the credibility of Taloon. The social sharing buttons were a distraction for the audience.
Follow and update with relevant digital marketing trends that have the potential to drive traffic to your website. Find the relevant trends in your industry, and change your online marketing strategies to run parallel with the evolving trends. This will help you reach your target audience effectively and stay one step ahead of your competitor.
About the Author
Nishant Maliakel Oommen
Author Bio: A dreamer with a fondness for digital marketing. Inbound marketing is one of Nishant’s forte. He thrives in challenging environments and is adroit in Search Engine Optimization. His technical expertise and experience have enabled him to turn ingenious thoughts into written reality. Nishant is currently working as an SEO Analyst in Kamkash.