Author: Prema Chandrasekaran
Digital marketing is promoting a brand, product or business in one or more online platforms. Social media, Email, YouTube, Search engines and Websites are made use of, to create an online presence of a business.
1. Visual Marketing
Visual marketing is using any type of visuals to make our content more appealing.
Humans tend to grasp information from visuals in a better way than from written content. It is said that 90% of the information that goes to the brain are visuals. Some of the ways to bring visual content into marketing are by including images, infographics into our content and by making vlogs.
Infographics are widely used by content marketers these days. The use of infographics is to make complex things like statistics, data look simple with beautiful visuals. The combination of colors we use for infographics is very important. The content made with the right images and colors will be loved by readers.
People would rather prefer watching videos to reading these days for a better understanding. YouTube was said to be the second biggest search engine but this visual below makes it clear that users have started to use YouTube more than Google Search.
It is evident that Youtube has become dominant now. Videos attract people on a deeper level when right content is made with rich visuals and attractive elements. The usage of smartphones has increased than ever before and users get delighted with an idea of watching videos.
Visual marketing not just reaches the audience but frequent posting of content with visuals will make the audience stay with us for a longer period.
2. Artificial Intelligence & Behavioral Marketing
The possibility of machines learning from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform tasks done by humans is made possible by Artificial intelligence. The trend for artificial intelligence has become huge with everyone integrating AI into the business.
The search these days have become a lot smarter, easier and advanced. A few years ago, it was difficult to get the information we had in mind without the right name or title or words. Now, with a vague set of words, we can attain any information we want.
AI collects data gauging the users’ activity. This helps us provide the right content for the right audience. The users are provided with customized suggestions according to their preferences. The customers become more excited when they’re given recommendations that are to their liking.
Let’s look at some of the ways AI could be of help to digital marketing,
Natural Language Processing(NLP)
The act of learning and processing the human language by a machine is Natural Language Processing.
Chances are if you have used a mobile phone, you would’ve used NLP. The Swiftkey keyboard on our phone is one of the Natural Language Processors. It was created with an intention to make the keyboard predict words according to our typing, fix wrongly spelled words and establish a vocabulary that applies to the way we type.
The biggest challenge is to understand that feelings and opinions of the user. This could be achieved by NLP and by that virtue the marketers understand the customers better globally and not just locally.
NetBase is one of the tools of NLP for analysing sentiments of human beings.
The process of distinguishing our customers both individually and as a group is what to be known as segmentation. Segmentation analyses the user by having an eye on their activity. It takes into account of the browser they’re using, operating system, location, where they’re spending most of their time online and so on and so forth.
Gone are the days when we would assume a set of audience according to the gender or age group. Segmentation helps us know the the specific type of audience to target based on what they use their internet for. This helps digital marketers know where and who to market their products and services and provide personalized content to individuals and also to a group of people.
Self Web Designing
Websites can be designed on our own with the help of artificial intelligence now. Although there is still so much of time for the web designers to lay off, it is no doubt that it is quite fascinating to think about designing our website all by ourselves. The website can be designed as we want it to be, but it hasn’t come to the level where a website can take care of it’s SEO strategies by itself.
Grid is the first ever tool created for designing websites on our own.
We must all have seen “Recommended for you” in various sites like Facebook, Amazon, YouTube etc. Artificial Intelligence use algorithm to understand the users’ behaviour and give them recommendations according to their preferences. This gives the users to explore more options and get them hooked into it.
These are only few of the uses of AI. There’s much more that can be achieved by including AI in digital marketing.
3. Content Marketing
One of the most important trends of digital marketing for 2018 is content marketing. Companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon etc. invest huge chunk of money on original content, out of their marketing budgets. It is very clear that original and consistent content is going to be the key for content marketing. So, we need to make sure we develop a content marketing strategy in our digital marketing plan.
The content shouldn’t just be about sales pitching and marketing, it should be more about creating an awareness towards the users and having them engaged.
As Jay Baer, CEO of Convince&Convert, puts it,
“You can sell to someone, or you can help someone and create a customer for life.”
The content must be of some value to the readers. The problem is that users easily get diverted. But, if the content asks for the users’ interaction, they’ll have their full attention in the content. This can be achieved by interactive content. The more interactive the content is made, the more engaged the audience will feel.
Interactive content is not only about making people read or watch our content but also about having our users engross into the content.
Content marketing isn’t just about writing blogs or creating videos. The technology has become advanced now with Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual reality etc. The content we are creating should be integrated into these technologies to give the users a great experience while acquiring our content.
Chatbots are one of the important aspects of “Marketing Automation”. It is no doubt that it is going to become huge in the upcoming years.
There are two types of chatbots. One is rule-based chat and the other one is machine learning chatbot. Rule-based chatbot is you form a set of rules and it learns the conversation only based on the rules. It can be used when the information is fixed and doesn’t need any change. For example, a person looking to buy a product from an online store is going to need details of the product, track the status of the product and will need post sales support. For this, rule-based chatbot would suffice.
Machine learning chatbots are flexible and integrated into business with an intention to understand the humans better by conversing with them, observing their behaviour, storing the data and using it for providing customized content for them.
Chatbots can be put to use in digital marketing in one of the many following ways
- Interact with users accessing our websites
- Help with the groundwork before putting out a content
- Analyse the users where they’re standing to convert them to customers
- Customize the experience for the users according to their preferences
- Keep the users occupied by initiating a conversation
5. Voice Search
Voice search is the next big evolution in search marketing. People have started to go towards voice search these days. With usage of Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant increasing everyday, it proves that voice search is going to be a big part of search engine. Digital marketers should make sure they also work towards optimizing for voice search.
Optimizing for voice search engine will not be the same as it is for search engines because people don’t usually speak the same way they write.
Let’s take an example here. If we wanted to know the President of the United States using Google Search, we’re more likely to type “US President” and if we wanted to find out the same using virtual assistant like Ok Google or Siri, we would have asked “Who is the president of the US?”. It is obvious that the length of the question is long while using a voice search.
Marketers should include keywords that are voice-friendly to rank top in the Google results. Some question keywords like What, Why, Who etc. related to the business can be added. Analysing what is the most searched question phrases and including those keywords in the website and content will help optimize the pages. They must make sure if their websites are mobile friendly. Voice searches are most likely to be used in phones. So it is necessary that the pages are mobile friendly as well.
6. Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality, basically, means an interactive environment created by a computer-generated program, achieved by three-dimension.
VR is going to bring a huge change in digital marketing. People don’t go out and shop these days. Almost everyone is shopping online. With virtual reality, the users get to feel, touch and experience the products, like they could when they go to the stores. Also, the customers buying the products would like to have a bond or connect with the company they’re buying from. The E-commerce companies can produce making videos of some of the products through virtual reality. This could make people feel close to the company.
Anything we want to experience, we could do it without having to go anywhere. If a person wants to go Scuba diving but he doesn’t have time to go, he can experience scuba diving from where he is.
VR can be used for storytelling. It is no news that people love watching videos and digital marketers are making content visually as well. VR can be used to enhance the experience of the users while watching. This can be achieved only if the content of the story is real good. With such a grand experience if the story isn’t good, it is not going to have much impact on the people.
Virtual Reality is here to stay. Big companies like Google, Facebook are investing billions of money on VR. With the use of virtual reality, we can see a huge deal of difference in the way of marketing.
7. Growth of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is having our brand endorsed or promoted by a person who is already famous on the internet. A good influencer is someone who is famous online and with whom people get influenced by and one who is in the same niche as ourselves.
Influencer marketing not only helps reaching the audience. It helps with lead generation and in converting the lead into sales, if done right.
How to get Influencer marketing done right?
Once you have decided to go for influencer marketing, there are a few steps you could follow to succeed.
- You must start doing a research on finding the right influencer. You will need to find out if the influencers are connected to you in anyway, if their audiences are the type of audience relevant to your content. After this you can take the best choices of influencers and start interacting with them.
- You must be clear on what you want achieve with the help of influencers.
- Understanding the way the influencer work and implementing it in our work may help reaching the audience.
- Focusing on the content is very important. The content should be real good and thorough so that their audience start following you as well and become your audience.
- The relationship with your influencer shouldn’t just end with that one time. Build a rapport with them and make sure you continue to have a relationship.
These are some of the digital marketing trends that are going to have a big impact over the coming years. But, as digital marketers, we should always be on the lookout for new technologies. With the frequent improvements in the technologies, only by implementing them in our business can we succeed in the market.
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