Think about where digital marketing was a decade ago. Not everyone had a smartphone, and many of the social media platforms that are ubiquitous today didn’t exist.
As digital technology goes, so goes digital marketing. Digital marketing has expanded beyond what we could have envisioned back in the day.
Trends in technology inform — but don’t dictate — digital marketing trends. Tactics like increasing your Facebook ad budget may work right now, but they may not be your top priority in six months or a year.
Here are 7 digital marketing trends that business owners, website owners, and digital marketers should consider. Click on one to learn more about it.
1. Conversational Commerce
The mid-to-late-20th century featured ads dictated to a defined region or an entire nation through mass media. It wasn’t a conversation so much as a declaration. It wasn’t ideal but it worked as well as anything could.
Things are different now.
People have access to essentially unlimited information all the time. You can’t just claim something is true and expect people to believe it. They’re going to do research and comparisons.
Commerce and advertising are more conversational now. Digital marketing must be prepared to understand the most popular communications channels (like Messenger and WhatsApp) and to use them with their leads and customers.
Conversational commerce makes it easy for leads and customers to ask questions, evaluate products, and even make purchases seamlessly.
2. Omnichannel, Not Multichannel
You can think of multichannel marketing as analogous to old-school television advertising. Brands put the same ad on ABC, CBS, and NBC.
Omnichannel marketing tailors the message to the channel. In other words, it doesn’t put the same ad on LinkedIn as it does on Instagram.
This complicates things and requires more creativity and productivity from advertising teams. But when it is done correctly, it can get better results than a multichannel approach.
Doing omnichannel well is likely to be one of the fundamental digital marketing trends of our era. This means that marketers must make it a point to keep up with which channels are emerging and which are popular with particular demographics.
3. Email Marketing Continues to Thrive
As a digital marketing platform, it could be easy to put email marketing on the back burner. It has been around for a long time and is dependable.
But it will become more important to understand users’ privacy concerns and email platforms’ changes to protect users’ privacy.
Still, however, email marketing is one of the most important digital marketing trends of our time. It is likely to stay that way.
4. Using Email Marketing for First-Party Data
Email marketing not only gets great ROI, but it is also an excellent way to gather your own first-party data on your customers. Some of it is indirect and some of it is direct.
For example, when someone signs up for your email list, you may have them answer a short survey to help you understand them better for segmentation purposes. Likewise, when they open an email and click on a link, you learn more about their preferences.
You can also learn which emails deliver the most purchases. You can then research the product(s) purchased, the email message, and the segmentation to try to learn why that particular email delivered such outstanding results.
In short, your email marketing creates significant data. Learn how to use that data and you can fine-tune not only email marketing but other digital marketing modalities as well.
5. Answer-Based Content Dominates
Google understands that when people use search engines they want to ask questions and get answers. Marketing content needs to provide answers.
Ranking for organic content is becoming more difficult. Periodically Google offers guidance for content, and currently, they emphasize the importance of content that gives answers to questions audiences ask.
You can mark up FAQ pages with structured data to make it more likely to be included in FAQ-rich results. You can do this for pages where the content is in question-answer format and where there is a single answer to each question.
The recent Google Helpful Content update offers more guidance on writing content that is likely to rank higher and be used for things like knowledge panels and the “People Also Ask” results.
Digital marketing is largely technology-based. But digital marketers must always remember that they are addressing people, not search engines.
6. Focusing on Channels That Work
With all the marketing channels available and the emphasis on an omnichannel approach, it can be easy for digital marketing teams to spread themselves thin. It’s better to focus on the channels that work before expanding.
A brand that caters to an older demographic may not have much ROI if they advertise on TikTok. If they’re getting great results on Facebook, it’s better to emphasize that channel rather than expend energy trying to dominate TikTok.
In short, you must monitor your analytics and let them lead you to the channels that give you the best results for your efforts.
7. Symbiosis of SEO and SEM
Search engine marketing (SEM) works well for many advertisers. But when results start to decline, it may be time for a deep dive into both SEO and SEM.
Search engines update their algorithms frequently to prevent people from using loopholes or gaming the system to get an unwarranted high ranking. Google’s recent Helpful Content update was another effort to promote high-quality content and penalize content written for search engines and not people.
Any time there is a major search engine update, brands have to monitor their analytics for a while to make sure they aren’t running afoul of any new rules. Search engine marketing should understand SEO changes too, in order to maximize the chances that their search engine ads show up for the right queries.
In other words, it’s not a good idea to put SEM on autopilot. Results monitoring and improvement iterations must be part of the SEM process.
Change Is the Only Constant
Digital marketing has countless advantages over the mass media marketing of yesterday. It annoys fewer people, reaches more of the right people, and can be far more cost-effective.
It also has many more moving parts than mass media advertising. Adjusting one component of an ad campaign can change many outcomes. Digital marketers must be ready to change their approach at any time.
The good news is that digital marketing professionals have the option of altering plans when they realize something has gone wrong rather than waiting out a failing campaign. But it requires the use and understanding of analytics.
We help our clients understand digital marketing trends so we can help them create the most effective campaigns possible. We know the technology, the channels, and the budgetary concerns.
We also understand SEO and its symbiotic relationship with SEM. If you need help with digital marketing, SEO, or building a website, we can help.
Why not schedule a call with our digital team? We are ready to listen to your needs and help you make the most of your website and your digital marketing efforts so your business will get the recognition it deserves.