One of the greatest challenges facing digital marketers is staying on top of the technological and consumer trends that drive change in the industry. In many respects, this challenge has become all the more acute over the last couple of years as the digital transition has hastened, particularly in the world of e-commerce.
With that said, in this short article, we will give you a broad overview of some of the main consumer trends and behaviours that will change the face of the digital marketing world over the next year or so. Regardless of whether you are a digital marketing professional or a business owner hoping to better connect with your customer base, staying on top of these trends is essential to ensure success in the coming year.
Keep reading for the digital marketing trends to watch out for as this year steadily draws to a close!
Embrace new forms of search technology
While SEO has always been at the forefront of search engine technology, the need for digital marketers to keep on top of new search engine technologies will be more acute than ever in the coming years.
While it is likely that organic text-based searches will continue to be the most popular way of conducting searches online, we anticipate that over the next few years, visual and voice-based searches will also grow in popularity.
The rise of visual and voice-based searches has been fuelled in recent years by advances in mobile technology, with mobile devices increasingly having these functions built into their operating systems. For this reason, consumers are increasingly familiar with conducting voice-based searches using voice assistant software such as Siri, Cortana, Google and Alexa.
Similarly, visual search technology is also an increasingly familiar sight on mobile devices, with Android developers a particularly strong supporter of these digital tools. Visual search includes Google picture searches, Google Lens and the use of QR codes. Although visual searches are nowhere near as popular as voice searches, this gap appears to be steadily decreasing.
With that said, if you are a digital marketer hoping to stay on top of the latest trends in search engine technology, it is advisable to start thinking about how you could incorporate these technologies into your SEO content. Based on early user data, consumers tend to phrase their search terms slightly differently when spoken compared to when they are manually written. This is something you should be aware of when selecting which keywords to incorporate in your content.
For many people around the world, the events of the last year have created a keen understanding of the fragility of global supply chains and the importance of the ‘local’ economy.
For businesses with an online presence, this creates both challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, if you are a small local business, you can use this to your advantage by maximising your online visibility to individuals and potential customers in your immediate locale. If you are a larger business, you may need to localise your marketing strategy in order to capture their attention. While neither of these are necessarily difficult obstacles to overcome, it nevertheless requires a recalibration of your digital marketing strategy and the kinds of content you produce.
Despite previous conventional wisdom in the digital marketing world being that ‘presence’ and cross-platform visibility was of the utmost importance, this might not be the case anymore.
In previous years, the best social media strategy was to ensure that you maximised your visibility by having a presence on as many social media platforms as possible. However, the world of social media is increasingly fragmentary. It is now increasingly common for users to be selective in which
social media platforms they use.
Your average Instagram user, for example, tends to be a completely different demographic from your average Facebook user. For this reason, businesses should match their social media presence to their target demographic. There is no point in trying to run an active social media platform on TikTok if most of your target customers are not of an age that uses it.
For this reason, one digital marketing trend that we can expect to see more of going forward is a greater selectivity, rather than ubiquity, when it comes to social media usage by businesses.
Find your authentic voice and focus on building a community
Some general trends in the world of digital marketing relate more directly to the kinds of authorial voice and brand image that end users are more likely to connect with.
One of the most interesting consumer trends to emerge over the last year or so is a greater concern among customers that the business with which they spend their money shares their values. These values might take the form of ethical issues, such as environmental or humanitarian concerns, but can also extend to what consumers believe to be the ‘personality’ of the business.
For this reason, customers appear to respond positively to brands that put their values up front in their marketing campaigns and business materials, rather than hiding them away in a generic corporate social responsibility statement. By being more keenly aware of what your brand stands for and how these values influence the business, you can create opportunities to connect with your customer base on a deeper level, and foster longer-term customer loyalty as a result. In particular, customers are increasingly appreciative of brands that they consider to be honest, transparent and generally trustworthy.
You might establish this by showing support for specific social movements or by more generally rooting your business in some greater mission or project.
If you are looking for a content marketing team that is on top of the latest digital marketing trends, why not reach out to Purecontent? By booking a one-on-one consultation, we will help you craft and deliver a content marketing strategy that will maximise your online presence and drive engagement with your audience. Reach out and get started today!