While digital marketing has changed the landscape for marketers and put more eyes on marketing messages than ever before, it can feel like a moving target in establishing where to spend your marketing budget or direct the efforts of your marketing team. Smart marketers follow the digital marketing trends to help them understand their audience as well as how to engage with them.
Here are some current digital marketing trends that are worth focusing your time and energy on in 2018.
Businesses have known for a long time that customers look to what other people are saying about a product or service before investing in it in themselves. Customers tend to trust other users, and that is why sites such as Amazon that focus heavily on product reviews and user experiences have consistently led retail markets.
This has led to one primary trend in digital marketing being user-sourced content in the form of affiliate and influencer marketing. Beyond reviews, having users generate buzz about your brand is a great way to gain both traction and trust in the market. Bloggers can show how a specific product impacts their daily lives through a sponsored post or someone can show a how-to video about the ease of product setup in their Instagram stories. The most important thing is that your brand shows up in the social and web space of people who already have an audience and trust the opinions of the people whose blogs and accounts they follow.
It is not enough for a business to simply have a blog anymore. Customers trust and use companies that provide them with much more than just a product, but a well-crafted resource such as blogs. To compete in today’s saturated content market, it’s increasingly important to make sure blog posts are hitting more than just SEO checkboxes. Getting noticed in search rankings is a priority, but reader engagement is also crucial. Consumers expect more from their content, including related videos, pictures, and readability across multiple devices. This means that digital marketing teams in 2018 must ensure that their team has the necessary resources dedicated to designing, production, and research to help craft the best-branded content.
Customer service and marketing are two things that don’t seem to have much in common on the surface, but current digital marketing trends link them. CS teams are responsible for conveying the brand’s voice and personality to initial customer contacts. A company’s voice tells the story of the company and makes it more appealing and relatable to the target audience.
This line of storytelling begins with marketing materials. A software company may put together a landing page from a PPC campaign that is informative, concise, and product-minded, but it’s not enough to generate interest or awareness. Modern customers crave a consistent experience. The customer who calls based on the sophisticated landing page cannot be answered by a CSR who sounds casual and ill-informed. This is one of the reasons content teams and marketing departments are increasingly being tasked with projects that create materials beyond what ends up in digital ads, social channels, and print campaigns. Creative and marketing teams are now being asked to create scripts for their call centers, chat representatives, and other customer-facing teams. This helps to create a consistent brand voice that makes companies seem more dependable and can lead to increase in repeat business.
The best marketing strategies for your business will always depend on your specific organization’s goals. Some of these 2018 digital marketing trends might help to refine your marketing strategy and extend your reach to new markets and audiences.