Modern businesses would not get very far without digital marketing. Time travelers from the past would barely be able to comprehend how businesses are advertised today compared to just a few decades ago. Advertising your business in the past may have consisted of strategies like putting up billboards and posters, cold calling, posting ads through the mail, and handing out flyers. While all of these are still used by some companies today, they are almost useless on their own in 2021. For a business to be successful with marketing in the digital age, digital marketing strategies are on the rise. And with technology ever-changing, so is digital marketing, with some of the methods that were heavily relied on just a few years ago forgotten about in favor of newer strategies that audiences tend to favor. Keeping up with the ever-changing face of digital marketing is not always easy, but for a business to succeed, it’s one of the most essential things to do.
Data analysis is not a new trend in digital marketing, but it is one that more and more business owners and marketers are realizing that they cannot do without. Today, data has become one of the biggest and most valuable assets that a business can own, and companies of all sizes and in every industry need to be prepared to collect and analyze data that they can use to make the best decisions, get to know their target audiences better, produce more successful marketing campaigns and better predict business outcomes. With more and more data analysis tools being rolled out onto the market, they are becoming more accessible to even the smallest of businesses with tight budgets, allowing them to get better results.
Video and Audio Content Marketing:
Content is, has, and probably always will be king when it comes to digital marketing. Without content, we would not have access to the vast amounts of information that we can now find at just a few clicks right at our fingertips. However, the way that viewers and readers are consuming content is changing. While there will always be a time and a place for written articles on the web, they are no longer the main way that internet users like to get their information. Video and audio are taking over as the preferred methods of consuming content. YouTube has become the biggest social media platform in the world, and more and more videos are being produced and published to explain ideas and concepts to audiences. Video in particular is a top content marketing trend that’s poised to stick around for some time, due to the fact that it’s convenient, easy to consume, and more entertaining than written content for the most part. Podcasts and other types of audio content are also becoming a bigger trend compared to in the past, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic where more people began to take an interest.
Digital marketers around the world have come to realize that the web is, for the most part, not very accessible for all. A masters in digital marketing from Emerson University is likely to touch on the importance of website accessibility as marketing and design begins to become more combined and more inclusive. For businesses, not having an accessible website can seriously damage their marketing efforts, as online reputation is more important than anything else today. All it might take is one negative hashtag on Twitter regarding a website’s inaccessibility for everything to fall to pieces. Marketers are now working more closely with designers to ensure that their web design meets expectations and leads to a positive reputation by being accessible for all users including those with diverse abilities.
User Generated Content:
User generated content has become a growing trend in digital marketing today, with consumers looking for more genuine connections with brands. Compared to in the past where businesses would often use highly promotional marketing materials to show off what they have to offer, today, more and more brands are relying on their audience to present a more genuine experience to others. This can be seen in a simple format of customer reviews, which are becoming more and more important to marketing a business as they are often relied on heavily by new customers who are considering shopping at a certain brand. User-generated content is also heavily used on social media, where businesses encourage customers to send in photos and videos of themselves using the products or services that they’ve purchased to be posted on the company profile. Fashion brands in particular are big fans of user-generated content with many making the switch from professional models to include their real-life customers wearing the items as product photographs instead.
Social media marketing, advertising and content is a huge part of digital marketing today, and TikTok is one such platform that has recently blown up quite a lot. Today, TikTok is filled with diverse content from a range of different users of all ages. While it’s most commonly associated with the younger generation, this platform does have a lot of older users making it an ideal place to get your brand across to a diverse audience either in the form of sponsored ads or organic content. The short, snappy videos can be anything from comedy to educational and the platform lends itself well to concise story-telling with these becoming some of the most popular types of videos posted.
Support for Good Causes:
Consumers today care about the world more than any other generation that has come before them. Today’s customers are actively looking to spend their money with brands that are making an effort to help others and be kinder to the planet at the very least. As a result, more and more businesses are not only making these efforts from a genuine place but are also incorporating it into their digital marketing strategies. The COVID-19 pandemic has only highlighted the need for companies that go out of their way to help others, with businesses that played their part in supporting communities, providing assistance and education and taking a genuine interest in their customers’ wellbeing likely to be the ones that have come out the other end of the crisis thriving.
Augmented reality was thrust to the forefront of digital marketing for many businesses as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has become a top way for eCommerce companies in particular to advertise their products, by allowing customers to use apps and digital programs to virtually try products out whether it’s testing out how a certain fashion item might look when they are wearing it or seeing how furniture is going to look in their home.
Influencers are nothing new but, in recent times, more and more businesses have stepped up their game when it comes to working with influencers, making it one of the most successful trends in digital marketing to date. Audiences tend to trust influencers more than they do generic ad content since these are people that they have gotten to know through following them on social media. Influencer marketing works similar to leaving a customer review except that it is far more powerful since the review is coming from somebody that the viewer has gotten to know and built a trusting relationship with.
Optimizing for voice search is becoming a more and more important digital marketing trend. In the future, it is expected that more searches are going to be made through voice thanks to assistants on our smartphones like Siri and home assistant speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home devices, which are becoming more and more commonplace in homes and workplaces around the world today. Voice search offers a much more convenient option for getting answers to your questions since it does not involve typing in queries and is often faster. For marketers and SEO professionals, this means taking note of the difference in queries based on whether they are searched for using text or voice, as voice searches are often made in a much more natural and conversational manner.
Keeping Up with the Ever-Changing Digital Marketing Trends:
As an industry, marketing and digital marketing in particular are subject to constant changes, especially due to the regular and fast advancements in tech that we are seeing today. While learning about the latest trends in digital marketing is important for any business owner today, the truth is that these trends might disappear overnight to make room for something new at any time. There is a lot of room for marketers who do not keep up with the changes in marketing to end up getting left behind. So, here are some of the main things that you can do to make it easier for yourself to keep up with marketing changes and trends and keep your business ahead of the curve.
· Know Your Requirements:
Not every digital marketing trend is going to be useful for every type of business. Blindly following trends was never good for anybody, and the same is true when it comes to your marketing decisions. You will need to consider several different factors to help you determine which trends in digital marketing are going to work best for you. For some businesses, older trends that do not get much attention these days might actually work better depending on your business industry and your audience.
· Work with a Marketing Agency That Understands Your Industry:
Many businesses today will outsource work to a digital marketing agency in order to get the best results for their customers. When choosing a marketing agency to work with, it can be useful to select one that is well-versed in your industry and keeps abreast of the digital marketing trends that are likely to impact your business the most. An industry-specific marketing agency can have a large impact on how well you get to know your target audience, how easy it is for your business to keep up with and adopt the most relevant digital marketing trends, and get the best results from your marketing campaigns.
· Follow Marketing Sites, Blogs and Channels:
The internet is a wealth of information on a range of topics, especially when it comes to marketing, with popular sites like HubSpot offering all the latest news, tips and more for keeping up to date with the latest digital marketing trends. By frequenting reputable marketing websites, blogs, and YouTube channels, you will be in the best position to learn more about the latest trends in digital marketing as soon as they start being talked about, making it easier for you to come up with a plan to adopt these trends in your business before they become saturated or even worse, old news.
· Follow Authority Figures:
Social media can also be a great source of information when it comes to learning more about the latest trends and changes in digital marketing. You can often find a range of authority figures in digital marketing that have active social profiles to share the information that they have with their audience. By following these individuals and companies, you can put yourself in with a better chance of learning about the latest and most trending updates to digital marketing. Even better, follow authority marketing figures from your industry to get the most relevant news.
· Offer Continuous Training:
For yourself and anybody else whose career in your business is dedicated to marketing, it’s important to accept that learning never ends. For people who gained a marketing degree years ago, it’s just a fact that some of or even most of the things that you learned at college have probably gone out of date. By enrolling on regular marketing courses to keep your information refreshed and up to date, you reduce the risk of being left behind in this fast-paced industry.
Digital marketing has become essential to the success of any business today, and it’s a field that’s ever-changing with the advancement of technology. Understanding and keeping up with the latest trends and changes has never been more important.