Digital marketing is an ever-evolving practice. It includes many different platforms and channels, with each one experiencing their fair share of constant innovation. From social media marketing to website user experience (UX), digital marketing encompasses every part of a brand’s online presence. This is important because not having an optimised online profile means you’re definitely missing multiple opportunities—hey, everyone’s online nowadays, right?
Digital marketing’s role in the complete marketing mix will only grow. Global spending on digital marketing is expected to reach $335.48 billion by 2020. Whoa!
And with so many ways to apply digital marketing dollars, what’s the best way to allocate them? The answer is never simple and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ response. It depends greatly on your industry, audience, and business goals. There’s also opportunity to test and learn with new trends, which is why it’s a must to always be updated if you aim to use something as dynamic and innovative such as digital marketing.
As such, here are five trends that are worth considering and currently shaping the digital marketing scene.
Personalised Digital Experiences
Thanks to the internet and its various forms, many consumers have become very savvy and sophisticated online. They yearn for relevant experiences when they land on a website. If you have different kinds of audiences (which could be segmented by industry, buying stage, or other factors), it’s important to create a more personalised experience to increase the likelihood of conversion. This is a significant point since research has shown that 70-percent of online shoppers expect a more personalised experience when visiting online retailers.
Personalisation in your digital marketing efforts is certainly possible, even if you’re running a small- or medium-sized enterprise, thanks to various digital tools now available. You can execute this in several ways such as customised email marketing and retargeting ads that will remind users after they leave your website of why they should return.
Influencer marketing involves developing partnerships with those who have enough online influence or following to promote your product or brand. This could entail an influencer writing a guest blog post, creating a video showing the use of your product, or talking about your brand on social media to all their fans and followers. An influencer can be a social media icon, celebrity, or even an athlete who has significant pull on social media.
Influencers have the ability to affect the buying habits of their followers. However, you must identify the influencers who best align with your brand’s values and whose followers align with your target market. Aside from wooing more people to at least check out your products or services, having a partnership with a recognised influencer gives more credence and legitimacy to your brand.
Using Big Data to Develop Better Customer Relationships
Marketing and customer behaviour data can be used to help brands create better relationships with their customers. By using insights derived from analysing data, it’s possible to increase customer loyalty and improve on the customer lifetime return. It’s important to understand that the customer’s view of their decision-making lifecycle is different from how a brand develops initiatives centred on acquisition, on-boarding, retention, and loyalty. The value of data analytics actually increases as the relationship continues. This means that your strategies and efforts on collecting customer data shouldn’t end just because a conversion or purchase occurs.
By utilising analytics, digital marketers are able to extract the needed insights for creating improved, more targeted digital marketing campaigns. This allows them to take advantage of data relating to online customer behaviour and internet usage, painting a clearer picture of what online channels and strategies to use. This is the reason why more and more companies are turning to Big Data in the hopes of achieving more digital marketing success.
Social Media Customer Care
Customers are increasingly turning to social media channels to seek advice and/or to complain. In fact, one in three social media users prefer to seek customer service via social media compared to phone or email correspondence. Approximately 67-percent of consumers also use social networks to seek problem resolution. This shift means customer service is no longer an activity carried out only via voice calls or sending emails. If you want to provide improved customer care, you’re going to need dedicated online resources as well.
There’s always going to be negative feedback, but you have the opportunity to turn the situation around by being responsive and acknowledging the feedback. If you respond in a timely manner and resolve the issue via social media, the customer is more likely to stay loyal to your brand. This also improves how your clients view your business. Responsiveness and being accessible to your target market improves how they see your brand, increasing the chances of them giving positive feedback and saying good things to other people who are not your clients yet. This, ultimately, helps boost your digital marketing efforts.
User-generated content are becoming a part of many brands’ content marketing plan. When brands engage with their customers and offer them a chance to become part of the community, it elevates the relationship. It can also create trust towards your brand since 85-percent of people view user-generated content as both trustworthy and reliable. Saying how great your brand is will never be as convincing as an actual user saying it.
If utilised properly, user-generated content elevates a company’s digital marketing plan’s effectiveness and gives the brand more authenticity. It also sends a positive message to a consumers that their insights are valued and that the company listens. This is why including it in marketing campaigns is a wise move if you want to reinforce brand loyalty or to communicate the idea that “we’re a brand you can trust.”
Digital marketing is the foundation of how your brand appears and is marketed online. However, due to the many channels, tools, and parts involved, it can be quite confusing, even intimidating especially for newer businesses and SMEs. If you seek guidance and help, we recommend consulting with experts in the field like the hardworking ‘bees’ at Curate Bee.