Digital marketing is a vast and varied field. Almost every company will have engaged in digital marketing. Everything from the occasional tweet to a coordinated multi-channel campaign across the web falls under the digital marketing umbrella.
As well as being varied, digital marketing is constantly evolving and shifting in reaction to society and technology in the wider world. Here are some of the latest trends in digital marketing.
The Importance of Multi-channel Marketing
The days when companies could effectively market using a single channel are well and truly over. Consumers no longer stick to single channels in their interaction with brands. Multi-channel marketing strategies allow companies to be where their customers are.
A combination of direct and indirect communications with customers through multiple social media, custom web content, and conversational channels is essential. Brand identity can be solidified if a comprehensively coordinated multi-channel marketing campaign.
The use of multiple channels also makes it easier for companies to collect and analyze large and varied datasets – something that helps them to gain accurate insights and make accurate forecasts.
Big Data Is Big News
Big data is a term that has been bandied around to no end in just about every single industry over the last few years. Simply put, big data refers to any use of datasets so large and varied that they can only effectively be collected and analyzed using computers.
In the world of digital marketing, big data is big news indeed. Marketing professionals have always used data in order to influence their work. Market research is effectively the collection and coding of data in order to influence marketing. With huge and varied datasets being collected as consumers navigate, communicate and interact with the online world, market research has evolved exponentially. Being able to effectively analyze market metrics is one of the most important skills that a modern marketer can have.
The analysis of big datasets helps to give marketers a sounder understanding of their target audiences. Companies like ALT Digital Agency make use of big data when creating and assessing a digital marketing campaign. Knowledge of the latest data analysis software is crucial in digital marketing. Some data can reveal subtle facts about the interactions customers have with a company. Data analysis can help with price optimization and audience targeting.
Influencer marketing is not exactly a new phenomenon. Companies have used celebrities in the promotion of their products, services, or messages for many years. The famous American author Mark Twain, known for The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, was employed as the spokesman for the Conklin pen company in 1903.
Influencer marketing has undergone significant change since the rise of social media during the Web 2.0 era. The modern iteration of the ‘influencer’ is typically understood to be a person who, using their own skill or social media savvy, has gained a large online audience. Brands have started to partner with online influencers in order to gain a direct mouthpiece for speaking to their core audiences. Influencers typically use marketing collaborations as a valuable source of income.
Because influencers typically speak to a very specific audience; brands have been able to target their influencer marketing campaigns immensely accurately. Spending on influencer marketing is on the increase, despite a number of new laws designed to prevent marketing campaigns from being conducted in a covert fashion. In the United States alone $3.7 billion will be spent on influencer marketing campaigns in 2021, according to forecasts published by Statista.
Short Form Video
TikTok and its predecessors Musical.ly and Vine are short-form video social media platforms. TikTok has become immensely popular in recent years, with the China-based company reporting recently that it has 1 billion active monthly users. Short-form video, therefore, is clearly an extremely important media format in digital marketing.
Short-form videos shared on TikTok have their own semantic and memetic language and subtextual conventions that are largely understood by people under the age of 26. Companies seeking to understand and harness this language and set of conventions cannot rely upon their own research or creative marketers: such is the pace at which this language morphs. Instead, they must rely on advice given to them by young creators themselves.
Focus groups and online surveys are essential if a short-form video marketing campaign is to be researched successfully. There are plenty of examples of companies commissioning massive flops because they do not hire marketers that understand the complex memetic language of the modern internet.
If you work in digital marketing, it is extremely likely that you have come across the term ‘conversational marketing’ in the last few years – but, what does it actually mean?
In the digital marketing context, conversational marketing involves the engagement of customers in a reciprocal discussion. The rise of instant messaging services such as WhatsApp allows companies to confer directly with consumers. This direct relationship with customers has several benefits.
It allows consumers to connect with companies as people – not just through swish marketing materials. It allows companies to deal with complex customer needs in order to prevent dissatisfaction. It allows companies to harvest important data about consumer needs, which can be analyzed to facilitate the creation of new products and marketing campaigns.
Automation is also driving a new wave of conversational marketing. In recent years, AI chatbots have passed the Turing test. This test, developed by computing pioneer Alan Turing, measures the ability of a machine to interact with human beings and is a significant milestone.
Sophisticated chatbots can engage in conversational marketing without the need for a human operative. For tasks too complex to be completed by a chatbot, the conversation can be passed on to a human being.
Social Engagement and Responsibility
Digital marketing campaigns are increasing, at least on an aesthetic level, emphasizing the social responsibility of the organizations that they advertise. A careful balance needs to be struck between the genuine emphasis of good qualities and the insincere ‘washing’ of company messages.