2018 is coming to an end, and with this ever-changing industry, digital marketers need to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. Some of these changes will have a significant impact on your business strategy- whether you’re on board with them or not- be prepared.
Here are eight key digital marketing trends you can’t ignore:
1. Artificial Intelligence
As technology advances, the application of artificial intelligence (AI) is expanding. It’s reshaping marketing, taking the load off marketers and delegating repetitive work or lengthy calculation to machines- and in the process, allowing unparalleled data analysis. Brands have the opportunity to create insightful campaigns and strategies supported by solid, up to the minute research.
In the past, capturing and analyzing user, site, and market data were extremely time-consuming. The availability of data was poor, and most campaigns were based solely on demographics. Analytics backed by machine learning allow marketers to be both incredibly reactive and targeted in their efforts.
What this means is that today’s consumers expect a highly personalized experience when they interact with brands (we’ll talk more about it next); this requires fast and accurate data collection to deliver.
2. Customer-Centric Marketing
We know personalization is old news, but as we mentioned above, with the availability of insightful data, marketers are able to highly customized their message even further, transforming digital marketing into customer-centric marketing.
Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, marketers have data like customer behavior, purchase preferences, habits, and more, creating an easy opportunity for the personalization of content, emails, and products.
Brands like Netflix, Amazon and, Airbnb are leveraging this information to personalize not only the emails their customer’s receive but the product itself creating a fantastic user experience.
As Netflix said: Personalization = Maximize enjoyment + Minimize search time.
Chatbots have only just begun their spread across almost every online marketing and sales experience. This technology gives brands 24/7, two-way communication with their audience through instant messaging that’s always “staffed.”
According to Juniper Research, Chatbots will be a game-changer for business, redefining the customer service industry- especially the healthcare and banking sectors- saving $8 billion by 2022 by employing chatbots as customer service and technical support.
Many consumers like chatbots because they’re responsive, never lose their patience, and give accurate answers. It’s a great, cost-effective way to deliver fantastic customer service and build stronger relationships with your audience.
4. Visual Search Marketing
Visual search (or “image search”) is a kind of reverse search, where users upload images to find text-based results instead of the other way around. As this technology becomes increasingly accurate, it’s opening more and more opportunities for both marketers and consumers.
Google, Microsoft and, Pinterest are some of the brands that are already leveraging this technology. Pinterest launched Lens, which is a new visual search tool that allows users to search in the social network by uploading an image of an item and find out where they can find it online for purchase.
This trend also presents many opportunities for marketers, especially for eCommerce businesses. With visual search, marketers are able to personalize and create an innovative shopping experience during the browsing or discovery phase, for example, by recommending items based on visual features and attributes of the products. Marketers are also able to find insights and spot new trends with visual search. Instead of just analyzing words that consumers are looking for, marketers can research consumer image search behavior. This process is called social listening.
5. Voice Search Marketing
Are you one of Siri and Alexa’s many friends? These digital assistance help consumers find product information, make shopping lists, listen to (and purchase) digital music and more without having to lift a finger. Awesome, right?
Domino’s Pizza has already leveraged the widespread use of these digital assistants by teaming up with Amazon Echo to allow customers to order and pay for pizza delivery without lifting a finger.
Source: Domino’s Pizza
Marketers must adapt to this new type of marketing: consumers behave differently and use different language when making purchases through speech. Voice search queries are more verbose than text-based ones and employ natural language rather than just keywords or short phrases. According to Campaign, voice search queries tend to be three-to-five keywords in length, and they tend to ask a question explicitly (saying, for example, “where can I find pet grooming services?” instead of “pet grooming”).
6. Video Marketing
In previous blog posts, we discussed the importance of incorporating video in marketing campaigns. The data continues to support the value of engaging this trend:
- According to Cisco, more than 80% of all Internet traffic will be video by 2021.
- Video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year, according to Aberdeen.
- A study by Eyeview shows that using video on landing pages can increase conversion by up to 80%.
- According to Impact, 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in their online purchasing decisions.
If you haven’t already, make 2019 the year you integrate all the possibilities of video into your digital marketing strategy.
7. Influencer Marketing
Social media influencers are becoming increasingly essential to digital marketing campaigns.
Key leaders and influencers relevant to your industry can drive awareness and deliver your brand’s message to your potential market. Influencers are nothing new, but their importance is growing due to the shift we’ve been witnessing in social media where celebrities, key leaders, and bloggers are becoming increasingly trusted sources of product and industry information.
The fact that consumers continue to trust consumer opinions over company statements demands that brands work to create long-term relationships with influencers and work with them to send a more natural and organic message to their audiences.
8. Social Media Stories
We mentioned in a recent blog post that Instagram has been giving a lot of love to marketers, offering new features to increase their brand awareness, improve their relationships and interactions with their audiences and drive customer happiness.
Without a doubt, the most important Instagram trend going into 2019 is Stories.
400 million Instagrammers a day, including brands, are harnessing the natural, casual style of the Instagram Story; videos which disappear in 24 hours, they create a sense of urgency, motivating higher click rates. Whether you use it to show the company’s behind-the-scenes or sneak peeks, to place polls and ask opinions to the audience, or share appealing content, time-sensitive offers, and new products, Instagram Stories is rapidly becoming a vital component of any Instagram marketing strategy.
The future of marketing is becoming more authentic, transparent, responsive- and personal. Every one of these trends can be taken advantage of to drive your campaign farther.
Ready for 2019?
If you’d like to consult a team of skilled and passionate marketing experts- or you’d like us to be your marketing department- please, say hello. We’d love to talk to you about how to build your marketing strategies – and beyond!