The digital marketing landscape is both fast-paced and continuously changing. This year, we saw businesses and brands of all sizes scrambling to build upon last year’s social media trends, which included influencers and chatbots.
As Q2 comes to a close, it’s always good to catch up on what’s going on and reflect on your current strategy. Business owners and marketers can benefit immensely by paying attention to the trends and innovations influencing or disrupting consumer behaviors.
If you haven’t updated your digital strategy yet, learn about these six trends in digital marketing that successful brands are using to their advantage.
Voice searches have gained traction as Alexa, Siri, Google Home, and other smart speakers and digital assistants have grown more popular in recent years. In fact, voice searches make up nearly one-third of daily Google searches (which currently stands at 3.5 billion). Voice-based smart speakers and digital assistants can be extremely useful for carrying out web searches and daily tasks at home. This is due to the remarkable improvements in their human speech recognition capabilities.
That said, it’s predicted that voice searches will constitute at least half of all search queries by 2020, according to a recent report by ComScore.
To optimize for voice search, take note of the following:
- Consider the differences between text and voice search (i.e. take into consideration what customers might say rather than type)
- Start creating content with a more conversational tone to better align your content with voice search
- Optimize your website for mobile
Consumers have short attention spans, which explains why they prefer watching videos over reading blog posts or articles. By 2021, 80% of global web traffic will be video, according to Cisco. This makes video marketing very important for brands and businesses that want to remain on the radar of their target market.
Brands are currently publishing numerous event and behind-the-scenes videos, instructional videos, and other captivating video content. However, video marketing campaigns will only generate positive results if they’re well-executed. You should also deliver video content that consumers want, when they want it.
Here are some tips for ramping up your video marketing campaigns in 2019:
- Run YouTube and Instagram video ads
- Create original video content
- Partner with influencers for paid product placements or endorsements in their video content
Live video or live streaming is another innovative way to get eyeballs. A Livestream and New York Magazine survey showed that 81% of users saw more live video in 2016 compared to the previous year. This is presumably due to the increase in streaming websites and social media platforms that support live streaming.
There’s also “snack ads” or very short videos with a running time of 10 seconds or less. The growing popularity of GIFs and short-form videos have made snack ads an acceptable means of garnering audience engagement.
Today, search engines favor topic-based content clusters more than keywords as part of recent algorithmic enhancements. As the name suggests, content clusters let you devise groups of content around a single topic. Certain long-tail keywords are at the core of these clusters. You can rank higher on search engine results pages if you use this digital marketing strategy to demonstrate your expertise in a particular subject matter.
Content clusters revolve around topic modeling, which ensures that the whole content cluster is as relevant as possible to your topic. It involves the use of “pillars,” which are pages that generally summarize a particular subject. Marketers create content clusters by linking relevant information to these pillars. They do this by linking a pillar to every cluster page that they have and inserting a hyperlinked keyword in those pages as a backlink to the pillar. Your whole content group’s performance will increase if a single page does well on the search results.
Voice search is not the only rising star in the field of online searches. Although it has minimal technology available as of now, visual search will surely turn the whole retail industry upside down in the near future. And the numbers are there to prove it: Kissmetrics reports that 93% of consumers regard visuals as an important aspect in deciding what to purchase.
Unlike text-based searches, visual search utilizes images in search queries. It recognizes certain items in a specific image and looks for images that correspond with them. However, there’s limited technology surrounding visual search since machine learning must first recreate the human mind’s image processing capabilities before a viable visual search app can be produced. Apart from merely recognizing a certain image, it’s also important for machines to identify various colors, shapes, sizes, and patterns, just like humans.
A new player in the digital marketing scene, micro-moments are considered to be a new form of consumer behavior. Micro-moments happen when individuals spontaneously use their smartphones or other devices to obtain more information about a topic, or gather more information before taking a desired action or making a purchase.
Micro-moments are essential because people generally choose items to purchase, places to go to, and restaurants to eat at in an instant. This lets you grab their attention within a few seconds. Micro-moments give consumers the right information at just the right time—and brands and businesses that know how to seize these micro-moments will come out on top.
Old school digital advertising has become less persuasive, as people have trained themselves to ignore them and even utilize ad blockers to avoid them. Thus, native advertising can be a good way for businesses and brands to communicate with leads and prospects.
Native advertising refers to ads on social networks with traditional post formatting. These are displayed in the organic stream of updates on a user’s timeline. Native advertising allows brands to seamlessly tell stories rather than disrupt users. They also let brands express their stories in a way that helps them forge a better connection with their audience, which in turn will help with click-through rates and conversions.
2019 has been a fruitful year in the digital space, with so many new technologies and strategies cropping up from all directions. Take a long look at your performance this year and see what else you can change to turn customers into conversions.