The Examiner

Emerging trends in digital marketing you should keep an eye on

Digital marketing is constantly evolving so it's crucial for businesses to stay up to date with the latest trends to remain competitive. Picture Shutterstock
Digital marketing is constantly evolving so it's crucial for businesses to stay up to date with the latest trends to remain competitive. Picture Shutterstock

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Digital marketing has grown massively over the past few years thanks to technological advancements. Today, the number of web users is over 5.18 billion, representing 64.6 per cent of the global population. This has encouraged many businesses to advertise their products online.

It's worth noting that the online marketing industry is dynamic and keeps changing with ever-evolving user demands. A strategy that worked a decade ago may not be fruitful now, so you need to stay current on all emerging trends. This is essential for any business or marketer that wants to stay ahead of the curve and remain competitive.

This article will explore significant trends in digital marketing you should keep an eye on. These features can transform how businesses approach internet marketing, from voice search optimisation to artificial intelligence. Let's dive in and explore each of them and how they can define this industry's future.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing refers to the practice of promoting products, services, or brands through digital channels. These platforms include search engines, social media, email, mobile apps, and websites.

This is a way of reaching potential customers via their preferred channels and engaging them through targeted content and messaging. With this, businesses can build brand awareness, generate leads, drive traffic, and increase sales.

There are many strategies in the realm of digital marketing. You can categorise them based on the platform used. Have a look at some of them:

  • Search engine optimisation (SEO): This is the process of optimising websites to improve their visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising: This is a digital advertising model where advertisers pay a fee whenever a visitor clicks on their ad.
  • Social media marketing: This refers to promoting products or services through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
  • Content marketing: This involves creating and sharing valuable content to attract and engage a target audience.
  • Email marketing: This refers to the use of email to promote products or services, build relationships with customers, and drive website traffic.
  • Affiliate marketing: This is a performance-based marketing model where affiliates are paid by businesses to promote products or services, and they earn a commission for each sale.
  • Influencer marketing: This is a type of marketing that involves partnering with influential people on social media to promote products or services to their followers.

Remember, the rules of the game vary for each strategy. Therefore, before launching a campaign, you must research and learn all significant factors, including target user behaviour.

Most of these aspects are rapidly changing, so you must stay updated. The best way to do so is by working with experts who understand industry dynamics.

For instance, Pursuit Digital uses state-of-the-art tools to assess your site's performance and how it compares with your competitors. The team analyses all critical metrics and recommends the best digital marketing strategies to match the following trends:

1 Voice search optimisation

Voice search is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to the rise of virtual assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. Statistics show that 40 per cent of adults use voice search at least once daily. Also, according to Google, 27 per cent of internet users utilise this feature on their smartphones.

This trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future as technology constantly advances. So, what does this mean for digital marketers? Optimising for voice search is crucial in today's competitive online world.

Unlike traditional search, voice search queries are longer and more conversational. For example, someone might type 'best pizza place near me' into a search engine. But they're more likely to say, 'What's the best pizza place near me?' using a voice assistant.

Therefore, to optimise for voice search, use long-tail keywords and natural language in your content. This means using phrases more likely to be said in conversations rather than focusing on short keywords.

2 Artificial intelligence and machine learning

The era of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is here. AI refers to the ability of machines to perform tasks that typically use human intelligence, such as decision-making, problem-solving, and learning. ML, a subset of AI, focuses on the ability of machines to learn from data without being explicitly programmed.

AI and ML usage has exploded in 2023, with experts predicting an annual growth of 37.3 per cent between now and 2030. They're no longer buzzwords but integral parts of most online business activities.

Over the past few months, AI has infiltrated most industries, especially online sectors like digital marketing. These innovative features help improve everything from customer experience to ad targeting.

For example, AI-powered chatbots can provide instant customer service, while predictive analytics can help businesses understand their customers' behaviour and preferences. ML algorithms can also be used to optimise ad targeting, ensuring that ads are shown to the right people at the right time.

As you adjust your digital marketing strategies, you must consider how AI and ML can be used to further optimise your marketing efforts. Doing so will not only keep your plans current but also help reduce costs significantly.

3 Story-driven content

Story-driven content creation has become synonymous with modern digital marketing, and rightly so. The rise of AI-generated blogs has made distinguishing between authentic and non-authentic information difficult. Remember, AI blog generators are trained to write like humans, but they still lack one crucial aspect - a personalised touch.

Many marketers are using AI and ML to cut content creation costs. However, some are taking advantage of this trend by writing more personalised articles. Such blogs stand out in today's saturated web because they are customer-centric.

But what's story-driven content marketing? It's a strategy that focuses on telling compelling stories about your brand rather than just promoting products and services. This creates a narrative that resonates with your audience. As a result, you can build a deeper connection with them and differentiate yourself from your competitors.

The key to effective story-driven marketing is to understand your potential customers and what motivates them. What are their pain points? What are their aspirations? Answering these questions allows you to create a story that speaks to their needs and desires.

A great example of this is the 'Share-A-Coke' campaign launched in 2011 in Australia. It involved printing popular first names on Coca-Cola bottles and cans. The idea was to encourage buyers to share a Coke with a friend or relative whose name was printed on the packaging. This would help create a sense of connection and community around the brand.

The campaign was highly successful and has since been rolled out in over 80 countries around the world. It increased sales and brand awareness and created a sense of nostalgia and happiness around the Coca-Cola brand.

4 Conversational marketing

Conversational marketing focuses on engaging with customers in real time, using chatbots, messaging apps, and other conversational interfaces. Like storytelling, the goal is to provide a more personalised and engaging customer experience while streamlining the sales process.

One of its key benefits is that it allows businesses to engage with customers on their preferred channels. Whether it's through Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or SMS, customers can interact with companies in a way that feels natural and convenient. This can help increase engagement and build stronger relationships with customers.

It can also streamline the sales process. By using chatbots and other conversational interfaces, businesses provide customers with personalised recommendations based on their preferences and behaviour. This can help increase conversions and drive revenue.

This is one of the most vital trends you must catch up with to compete with the rest of the market today. But choosing the right channels and tools is important before you start.

You'll also need to train your chatbots and other conversational interfaces to provide accurate and helpful responses to customer queries. While at it, ensure that your conversational marketing strategy is aligned with your overall brand values and messaging.

5 Short-video marketing

Short-video marketing is another popular strategy, thanks to the rise of platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels. Users on these channels create and consume short engaging videos that can be shared and viewed easily.

The appeal of short-video marketing is that it allows brands to capture their audience's attention quickly and effectively. With attention spans getting shorter, delivering engaging and easily consumable content is becoming increasingly important. That's where short videos come in handy.

A compelling short video has two critical factors: storytelling and visual appeal. Your content should have high visual quality and tell a story that resonates with your audience. These aspects can help you capture the viewers' attention within the first few seconds.

Another thing to keep in mind is mobile optimisation. Remember, most short-video platforms are designed for smartphones. Also, 95 per cent of global internet users surf the web using mobile devices. So, it makes sense to prioritise these consumers in your video creation process.

Conclusion

Digital marketing today isn't as we knew it a decade ago. It's constantly evolving, so staying updated with emerging trends is crucial for businesses and marketers to remain competitive. Voice search optimisation, conversational marketing, AI and ML, and story-driven content are among the new strategies you can leverage in today's digital environment. Adapting these trends helps you stay in touch with changing user behaviour.