At one point in time, voice search and AI would have just been things put in sci-fi movies, but not anymore. Emergent marketing technology, or martech, is at the forefront of digital marketing trends for the coming year. No matter what new technologies emerge from year to year, the aim of digital marketing will unfailingly remain to grab and hold your audience’s attention. Innovative approaches in this new year will change the digital marketing landscape. The direct focus is on customer experiences, which marketers are diligent in researching and improving with martech solutions.
Here are a few of the top digital marketing trends expected to dominate the rest of 2019 in perfect view of 2020:
By 2022, predictions say chatbots will save businesses more than $8 billion each year. Chatbots are virtual customer service representatives who can perform tasks such as providing a business address or informing when a package is delivered.As AI-informed virtual assistants, chatbots offer answers to FAQs. Customers enjoy interacting with them because they are available day and night with solutions and help in real-time.
There’s no need to have a call center or a dedicated team of service agents. Chatbots can also make decent deal-closing sales reps as well. The bots are trained to respond naturally with programmed emojis to typical consumer questions and answers.
Influencer Marketing in Your Community
You’re probably wondering why influencers are on the trends in the digital marketing list, considering they aren’t new to the game. Well, the critical distinction here is that it calls attention to "local." Influencers are perhaps one of the best marketing tools for any industry.
Celebrity endorsements are great for broadening brand reach, but experts have noticed big-time influencers, despite having a considerable following, serve well only in the short term. For long-term campaigns, local influencers are the way to go. Affiliation with the top industry influencers is a promotional network that you can start passively by following them on social media through any platform sharing their voice. Then follow up with a tap on the shoulder via an informal message to get a dialogue started.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Could you explain AI to a class if put in front of one? If you don’t understand it much, you aren’t alone. Artificial intelligence is on the lips of many who don’t fully get it. An AI is a computer-performed analysis of data. If allowed, it can offer insight into customers’ buying patterns, behavior, and brand interactions. To fully engage with an audience, it might serve your brand well to incorporate artificial intelligence strategically.
Audio and Smart Speakers
What do Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Google Assistant all have in common? They function best with voice interactions. Voice search is making a big splash. SEO is excellent, and this should now include optimizing your website for audio queries that are not just single, two-, or three-word phrases. People search in complete sentences. "Hey, Google, where is the nearest movie theatre playing Spiderman?" You should include longtail phrases and questions throughout your site. A logical way to incorporate them naturally could be with an FAQ area. By optimizing your site for voice search in this way, you increase your ability to rank highly in results.
Machine Learning (ML)
Machine learning is a subdivision of artificial intelligence in which the spotlight is on machines’ ability to learn from themselves as they process data and change algorithms accordingly. With ML, you can boost the speed and accuracy of all of these marketing aspects:
- Sales forecasting
- Lead scoring
- Contextual content
- Cross-channel marketing
- Marketing automation
It shouldn’t be hard to figure this one out. Social selling merely means using social media to get sales. With social media vouching for your brand with an impressively created profile, offering your pitch to leads through private messages, comments, and social posts works out much better than cold calls.
For digital marketing in 2018, the motto was "content is king." What better content marketing strategy is there than to produce videos? If you take it a step further and make it a "live" video, then you are on to something. Live video streams have been a hot trend for 2019, where brands have taken full advantage of YouTube Live, Facebook Live, Periscope, or Instagram Live to give your customers fun but valuable information about your product, services, or company. Then use those videos as leverage for even more content to cross-channel with white papers, audio, infographics, blogs, and so on.
The landscape of data-driven marketing in businesses will be altered by blockchain. It is the technology behind cryptocurrency. With blockchain, marketers have a way of digitally keeping records of customer transactions in a tamper-proof ledger. That’s right! It gives you the ability to validate an ad's delivery with confirmation. You’ll have a way of getting more accurate digital attribution by tracking customer journeys as they engage with your ads.
With ledger-based transparency intrinsic to the blockchain, you gain customers’ trust. Many consumers are ready to release their data to brands they turn to, often in exchange for something concrete and of value.
When you speak of programmatic, it refers to a discriminatory process determining which ads get shown to end-users for the available ad inventory. It involves bidding on what to pay for specific metrics, such as impressions on a webpage or CPM, and buying ads through a programmatic auction. Real-time bidding allows for an analysis of ad purchasing opportunities by the millions per second.
If you think social SEO works hand-in-hand with social selling, you’re correct! Social SEO aims to use social media to boost search engine rankings. Adequate social activity connected to your website gives your brand a presence of authority, making for faster and easier ranking with search engines. Every Tweet, like, and Google +1 helps to provide the site authority for search engine algorithms, which opens your brand to a broader audience.
If you haven’t seen the massive mobile takeover coming, 2020 will shock the socks off you. Did you know that almost 80 percent of the interactions on social media are done using mobile devices? It probably wouldn’t surprise me if you were reading this blog post on one right now. It isn’t just social media, but attention should be paid to location-based marketing (LBM) as many people engage with location-based platforms. These are also areas of mobile domination:
- VR/AR—Now, developers put video recordings from the real world into virtual reality environments, which they term "mixed reality." On the other hand, VR is augmented reality (AR), which overlays elements of virtual environments onto those of the real world. Forbes predicts the technology for augmented reality will reach $5.7 billion by 2021. If used in advertising, both AR and VR elements make for powerful and personal components.
- Shopping: With mobile devices, customers can make purchases with a single click from their kitchen or car. Two out of 10 Americans shop on a whim, so brands should adjust accordingly with marketing initiatives to mobile trends. A recent study reports that 44% of retail minutes on the internet get spent while consumers are using smartphones.
- Mobile Wallet: Yes, this makes for a secure and convenient way to pay on the go, but there is also marketing potential here. Marketers can leverage the mobile wallet for transactional content such as coupons or loyalty cards, encouraging patronage.
This is one of the latest digital marketing trends and shouldn‘t surprise anyone. With cloud marketing, you get data on marketing initiatives in real-time, which makes it easier to customize your customers’ experiences after analyzing and arranging the collected data. You can test new channels with little risk. Also, you can use cloud tools to know where and when to put the right content for your audience.
Stories attract humans innately. Through stories, we can relate to one another. Quantitative analysis can’t get to a person’s heart. Whether through social media or an "About Us" page, a narrative encourages empathy and connection when put behind a product or service. According to a Nielson study, 53% of people were motivated to purchase high-priced products with a story behind them that was socially conscious. Using ads with the storytelling element can communicate values, create a larger picture, and trigger an emotional response, which has been proven most of the time to promote positive purchase behavior.
The new year will bring innovative martech straight from the gate and force brands to be daring with digital marketing trends. There will be plenty of places the helpful chatbots can offer assistance. Compelling advertorials and storytelling social media interactions will help persuade buying behavior. People may lose touch with reality as they step into the spectrum of VR and AR. Influencers will continue to arouse the minds of millions with brand awareness, and machine learning and AI will help digital marketers use martech to its fullest potential for personalized content for consumers. As 2020 approaches, the hottest trend to survive 2019 is improving the customer experience.