07 Jul Sneak Preview: Five Future Trends in Digital Marketing

The digital marketing world is ever-evolving, and savvy business professionals need to stay current on the changes taking place. We at Thoughtlight very much agree, and believe the rapid changes in technology bring constantly new challenges in digital marketing. You don't want to rest on the laurels of yesteryear’s marketing successes. Instead, you need to keep a persistent eye towards future trends happening in real-time amongst an audience of digital consumers. We focus on five future trends in digital marketing for 2020 and beyond.

1.    Personalization

We are overwhelmed with all sorts of ads every single day. We are an overstimulated world, and consumers are tired of it. With the increasing prevalence of ad-blockers and additional privacy features, your customer will not tolerate any generic ads popping into their channel feeds. You can bet they will immediately scroll down or swipe right, and you’ll have missed an opportunity.

Instead, consumers expect a more personalized approach to targeted advertising efforts. As you analyze your audience traffic and the metrics associated with both your organic and paid marketing efforts, you will need to be increasingly intentional on your buyer personas. This may mean a changed strategy where your segmentation efforts will need to be more on point for remarketing. You should consider additional research to improve your understanding of the wants, needs, desires, motivations, and goals of your audience. As a result, you can make your omnichannel marketing messaging consistent in content and relevance.

Person using smart phone for video marketing

2.    Video Marketing

A second future trend in digital marketing is the increasing necessity of a strong video marketing presence. With the rise of visually-interactive, mainstream social apps like Instagram and Snapchat, you are even seeing the increased popularity of new video apps like TikTok. Traditional text-heavy messaging is simply less dynamic, and therefore less engaging for your audience. This means video is no longer optional, but should be a pillar of your digital marketing efforts. Consumers come to a website and are more likely to engage, if there is a video component present to describe the company, its products, and its why. More and more users are flocking to YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok than ever before. Everyone is increasingly looking for that humanistic connection online and videos tend to do that better than text-based messaging.

Consider investing in hiring a videographer as part of your marketing team for 2020. Think about ways to capture what your company does through visual moments in time. Start monitoring the most popular videos online and ask yourself questions as to why they seem to be so attractive and easily shareable.

3.    Influencer Marketing

Because of the proliferation of social media in the last decade, we have seen the rise of both macro- and micro-influencers on social channels. These are the people who have created great content and have communicated their selling points effectively on a social channel, thereby gaining a very large and loyal audience. Their social capital is incredibly valuable and presents an opportunity to collaborate for mutual benefit, boosting your company’s reach to your target audience.

Consumers will always prefer word-of-mouth over a company ad any day. Your potential buyer has particular influencers that they’re likely to follow, learn from, and mimic. Because influencer marketing is still a developing household name in digital marketing strategy, you will want to take advantage of it early on. Depending on your budget, you may be able to connect with macro-influencers, i.e. the powerfully famous celebrities, athletes, and musicians, despite their steep asking price. If you are a small business owner, you can still do influencer marketing by partnering with micro-influencers. These folks have a larger than normal following, but not the full stature of a five-star celebrity. They’re also more inclined to partner with you, as a way to build their own brand. Be sure though that your target audience is similar to your partner influencer’s fans.

4.    Augmented Reality

Technology is having a big impact on the future trends of digital marketing. And one marketing technique with high-potential is that of augmented reality, or AR. AR provides a highly interactive experience for consumers through technology. They are able to sample your products and services without having to be physically there in person. AR makes use of computer-generated objects and optics to create a virtual immersion experience within your business.

Why is AR so important? It helps create an emotional connection between your buyer and your business. AR delivers novelty in an increasingly competitive marketing landscape. It can simplify your marketing funnel from initial interest to conversion through a product purchase or service subscription. AR can save you budgeting dollars by making more efficient content and personalization.

How augmented reality will ultimately enhance your business will depend on your industry, your product or service, and your target audience. Maybe it means investing in a virtual 360 rendition of your shop as a way for customers to tour your location. Maybe it involves a gamified experience where your customer can demo one of your product features, and be able to share results instantly with their friends online. Though this technology is still in the early stages of growth, you will want to invest in its high-reward payoffs.

Artificial Intelligence Robot

5.    Artificial Intelligence

The last future trend that should be on your radar is artificial intelligence, or AI. Artificial intelligence is a machine- or computer-generated technology that is meant to mimic “cognitive” functions such as learning and problem-solving. AI is impacting all industries and sectors. Its digital marketing potential includes benefits in personalization, convenience, customer service, and content creation. AI can analyze your buyers’ preferences and behaviors as gathered from online activity and provide more targeted questions and product offerings that attract, engage, and delight them. One example of AI’s influence is the increased use of chatbots. Chatbots help to answer customer inquiries and use customer data to generate more personalized solutions that ultimately provide a more satisfying buying experience.

AI can boost your content strategy. After all, despite technological advances, content is still king. What AI can do is help reveal the marketing campaigns and messaging that generates the most leads, garners the highest engagement, and produces the greatest return on investment. If you’re especially stretched thin for content creation, AI can be a beneficial guide in prioritizing the content types that provide the most value for your time and efforts, and your company’s bottom line.

In Summary

No, you shouldn't ignore today's priorities. Nevertheless, the best digital marketers always have an eye to the future. They don't stop innovating, in order to stay competitive in the public eye. Your ability to take notice of future trends in digital marketing – Personalization, Video Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence – can translate into continued value to your buyers and satisfaction to your company’s stakeholders.

For further advice on how to incorporate any of these trends into your digital marketing plans, Thoughtlight provides digital marketing services and consulting for future-minded clients in the Boston area and beyond.

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