Current Trends in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing continues to evolve at a rapid pace with the assistance of automation to analyze and predict market trends and sales. Technology provides more marketing trends, offering a bird’s-eye view or a granular analysis of marketing strategies. Think of marketing technology as a living Google map, granting you the ability to zoom in or out in real-time.
With trends evolving so rapidly, it’s vital to ensure you have a pulse on the latest in digital marketing.
Conversion Through Conversation
Modern marketing takes place in real-time. Not only can you use social listening tools like Mention or Sprout Social to immediately identify when someone is speaking positively or negatively about your brand, but you can also respond to comments immediately and participate transparently in discussions about your niche and industry. The right software can even tell you what colors you should use in your marketing materials to best convey your brand identity to consumers.
Social media has been a primary tool for customer communication for more than a decade now, but immediate response and engagement is becoming the standard. The first business to engage a potential customer well often wins their business, and response and interaction are now necessities for customer retention, especially in certain sectors.
In addition to the trends listed here, your particular industry or niche likely has innovative marketing tactics that apply specifically to reaching your desired prospects and customers. To harness the latest trends and technology in your niche, you should also stay aware of niche-specific marketing coverage and publications by using curated social media feeds or by following hashtags specific to the leaders and innovators in your industry.
Marketers constantly debate the value of influencers and micro-influencers, but local influencers are the next trend. Even online, local representatives of any kind can influence the level of trust prospects have for your brand. If someone knows a blogger lives in their city, they’re more likely to trust that influencer — even if they haven’t met them before.
Knowing how to identify successful local influencers (especially those who are out and about at local events in your niche) is a critical skill. Here’s what you should look for:
- Do they get results? Inquire about previous sponsorships and data to support their success. Testimonials help too.
- Do they follow the rules? Make sure they’re FCC compliant.
- Are they ready to sign your contract? Make sure it’s all legal and going through your approval process.
- Are they actively participating in the engagement of local prospective customers? Make sure you check out their followers; if they’re on the other side of the world (or if they’re bots), they’re not very valuable to you as an audience.
Big Data and Supply Chain Management
Leveraging big data involves taking large amounts of data collected from users (or other data points), analyzing them, and implementing the data in a strategic marketing plan. Some industry-specific definitions and applications of big data may vary, but overall, the term refers to the technologically advanced ways in which we are able to collect more information more efficiently and specifically. An example is the demographic data collected by Google or Facebook, while a more nuanced example might involve an analysis of how customers use a product.
Let’s look at a smartphone, for example. When does the customer use it, and what do they use it for? Do they use it for both business and professional reasons? Having access to that data could be extremely valuable in a marketing context for a company like LinkedIn, who wants to reach business professionals via their app.
Now that companies of all sizes have harnessed big data or tools, where is it going? “As all of this develops, we may swell see an increase in the number of autonomous tools used in business—algorithms, programs, and robots that require zero user input to not just perform a job, but also to make decisions about that job,” predicts author Steve Ciemcioch.
In other words, big data and automation will converge to perform many tasks without human intervention. This already happens in supply chain management. Think about a company like Amazon, which uses its proprietary software to get packages to customers quickly. This software coordinates human employees, warehouses, shipping data, and more to reduce costs, increase profits, and please customers with unbeatable shipping times and costs.
Google Analytics: The Foundation for Most Digital Marketing Trends
As you can tell by now, data is essential to creating a contemporary, forward-thinking digital marketing campaign. Additionally, so much of the data is now easier to obtain. The cornerstone of data-informed marketing is Google Analytics.
Google Analytics, once given permission, analyzes your website and reports on multiple factors. You get information like how long people stay on your page, how mobile friendly your site is, how users click through your website, and what links they’re clicking on. If it’s a “buy” or signup link, it will also track conversions.
The best thing about this tool is that it’s free, and there are authoritative resources to help you learn how to use it. Once you’ve mastered it, you can learn about the demographics and even the affinities of your website users. That data is crucial to your marketing strategy.
With so many marketing trends, it’s possible to feel overwhelmed. The good news is that complicated processes involving big data can be filtered through many user-friendly tools, complete with intuitive dashboards to help you analyze this information and execute a data-backed marketing strategy. At this point, automation is here to help — but it still needs your human touch if you want to see true marketing success.