Like a busy beehive, the digital marketing industry is always teeming with life, requiring savvy marketers to keep their fingers on the pulse of the next major marketing trends in order to stay ahead of the curve. With today’s rapidly evolving industry, you may need a little extra help while gazing into marketing crystal ball with plans to predict the future.
Look no further as we’ve evaluated 4 major digital marketing trends that your business shouldn’t ignore in the coming years. While not every marketing solution will fit every business’ needs, you can bet that these following trends will help your marketing firm or marketing department remain relevant in an ever-shifting industry:
Trend #1: Shifts in the Social Media Landscape
Nearly every marketing team in the world now fully appreciates the importance of social media when it comes to targeting both broad and razor-thin audiences. But given its very nature, social media isn’t static, making it very sensitive to the whims of young trendsetters across the world. You should expect this to begin to come into play in a major way in the immediate future.
More specifically, you should expect Facebook – the current stalwart of social media marketing – to reach its influential peak as a platform in the near future. After a troubling 2018 that saw some 14 million account’s worth of personal data breached, some industry leaders have begun to branch out into other social media platforms just in case another major breach causes the floor to drop out entirely.
Also, keep in mind that Facebook’s median age range is rapidly aging. Rather, fewer and fewer young people are frequenting the 15-year old platform, leaving nearly 41% of its user base over the age of 65. That’s good news if you’re marketing towards retirees, but bad news if you are angling for a young and middle-aged audience.
While the next big social media platform is uncertain, you can bet that Facebook will control the social media marketing environment in the immediate future.
Trend #2: Video is Here to Stay
As high-speed internet and unlimited cellular data plans have become the norm over the past several years, so too has a preponderance of video across nearly all marketing efforts. Just as widely-available television revolutionized marketing back in the 1950s and 60s, access to rapid streaming video across platforms like YouTube and Twitch have begun to push a market-wide reliance on video content.
Digital video marketing isn’t just relying on YouTube, of course (though some 73% of internet users today say that they engage with YouTube on a regular basis). Instead, savvy digital marketers are finding new ways to integrate video into their existing online content. In addition, some marketers with existing video portfolios have redoubled their efforts to stand out in a growing market through a focus on quality content.
One video output that appears to be spreading like wildfire are so-called “Stories” on a variety of social media platforms. Starting with Snapchat in 2011 and expanding to Instagram and Facebook more recently, these platforms allow users to upload pictures and video that remain active in a specialized feed for 24 hours. Just as user’s create their own content for these feeds, keen marketers can take advantage of these “Stories” to communicate their brands and products.
Trend #3: “Siri, What’s Are Some Current Marketing Industry Trends?”
Voice assistants started on smart phones and have more recently spread everywhere from desktop computers to so-called “smart assistants” like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. With a growing market saturation for this technology, more users feel comfortable using them for everyday quarries. As such, an important marketing industry trend going forward will involve shaping content to fit this voice-guided medium.
While this field of marketing is still evolving, marketers should make a preliminary plan for their content to be delivered to users through a voice search. As such, any keywords used in written marketing copy should match how the target audience speaks, rather than how they type only. Also, this same written marketing content should read well out loud, given that many smart assistants can read back full articles at a user’s request.
Trend #4: Chatbots Are Back
Folks who have been using the internet since the days of Netscape and dial-up might remember the concept of a chatbot. These AI-powered bots are designed to interface with users, allowing them to speak and respond to natural language (with differing levels of success). This type of intelligent chatbot is making a resurgence, allowing marketers to harvest their new potential in order to drive engagement and sales.
Since the days of SmarterChild on AOL Instant Messenger, these chatbots have evolved. In fact, many have improved their speech analysis functions to better understand both plain and connotative meaning in writing. As such, these bots can be put to work to serve as customer service agents live on your website.
Often, these bots live in a specialized chat window where they can answer user questions and recommend products based upon the user’s needs. While not every marketing team will have a precise need for such “concierge” services, some may see it as an ideal solution for eliciting personalized interactions without the need for an extensive customer service team.
The Bottom Line
All in all, these are just a few of the key digital marketing trends that you and your team should remain mindful of in the near future. Many of these trends will bring subtle shifts to the marketing landscape, so you’ll need to be on the top of your game to leverage these changes into further marketing success.
While these trends may not last forever, they will certainly plant the seeds for future trends. If you’re able to take advantage of these trends at the root level, you’ll find yourself in a prime position to lead future digital marketing trends as they come into vogue.
There is one trend that never goes out of style, though, and that is implementing the best hosting solution for your team. Consider reevaluating your own hosting this year as you follow these other trends and you’ll find that new opportunities for affordable, feature-packed hosting are waiting just around the corner.