Digital platforms are changing faster than you can imagine. Not too long ago, Facebook boss, Mark Zuckerberg announced algorithmic changes to the social media platform that caused quite the commotion in the digital marketing industry.
But, the thing about advertising is that it never stays the same. The way consumers consume information is subject to constant change. You never know what’s going to happen next. So, it’s a wise idea to always keep an eye on what’s happening in the industry and what’s likely going to be a big deal when the time comes.
Speaking of keeping an eye on the future, here are a few emerging digital marketing trends that need your attention.
VR and Augmented Reality
VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) aren’t going to be limited to gaming anymore. These technologies are going to transform the way brands market their products and services. So, your business needs to start preparing.
AR and VR are already being leveraged by social media platforms. Facebook and Google Cardboard offer 360-video publishing, while Snapchat allows users to enter a virtual world as a 3-D bitmoji.
So, the day is not far away when other industries learn to leverage VR and AR to forward their own agendas in their own creative ways. Recently, IKEA launched an application that allows virtual shopping. With the app, users can actually see what a particular piece of furniture might look like in their home.
McDonald’s did something similar by launching a bitmoji. The bitmoji projects itself into the user’s environment and attempts to steal your cup of McCafe.
As you can see, both McDonald’s and IKEA have leveraged AR/VR to create memorable experiences, which leads to better brand loyalty.
Snapchat has a plan too. It intends to bring out the second version of its smart glasses, which didn’t do too well in the beginning. The glasses allow users to capture and record moments. The second version is likely to offer far more advanced features.
To put it simply, immersive experiences are going to dominate the digital marketing landscape.
Mobile usage is only going to grow in the near future. So, it’s natural that brands will start focusing on offering mobile-oriented user experiences that are unique and optimized.
Many businesses are already moving away from the desktop approach ever since Google made it clear that the future would be mobile. The truth is solid – mobile-oriented user experiences will account for most of a brand’s success with regard to visibility and search rankings.
So, design/development needs to be mobile-driven.
Companies are already observing a boost in traffic towards their mobile sites and they are using the data to shape their development/design strategies. It’s obvious that brands need to start paying attention to people and how they behave within a mobile context. By doing so, they can acquire insights and predict actions and trends, thereby, gaining an edge over their competitors.
The near future will also see brands focusing on a trend called “micro-moments”. Micro-Moments are basically granular events within short periods of time wherein the user/customer accesses a mobile device to acquire information. This can include using the phone to look at prices, make a purchase or learn about a product/service.
For example, when you see an advertisement and immediately open your browser, that is a micro-moment that indicates you’re going to look for more information about the product/service. Several micro-moments make up the customer’s decision-making process and eventual purchase.
The point here is that businesses need to focus on the timing, quality, and relevance of a message, as these things are extremely influential on brand perception.
So, brands that can offer their best at each micro-moment will definitely lead the race.
Captivating video content
Video marketing is the primary weapon in the digital marketing arsenal. Video has become so influential that it still gives birth to new strategies. Just last year, we saw social media platforms making changes to their algorithms to prioritize video content.
As a result, the social media audience has been noticing more videos on their feed than images… and they like it!
In fact, video has become such a big deal that some brands are even turning still images into slideshows just to capitalize on the love for video and to beat the new algorithms.
So, if social media accounts for a major portion of your digital marketing, it would be a good idea to try and create engaging video content. In fact, video marketing, in general, is a good idea. The world watches about a billion hours of video every day and Facebook alone accounts for about 10% of that.
Focus on video. Make sure you offer content that is engaging and creative. For instance, one excellent tool you can leverage right now is Facebook Live Events. It’s far better than newsfeeds and offers excellent value. You can engage with your customers in real time.
Another emerging digital marketing trend is location-based marketing. There are two forms of location-based marketing. The first is real-time geolocation marketing, where businesses can approach customers by detecting their GPS.
This is currently practiced by a few brands. Starbucks is a good example. The café chain provides “Mobile Order and Pay” which makes it possible for customers to purchase items and pick them at the nearest branch.
Then, we have cross-technology location-based marketing. Here, location data guides users on the nearest options with regard to shopping, dining or entertainment. An excellent example of this is the Pokemon Go app, which leveraged augmented reality to guide users to where they could find the next “Pokemon”.
Chatbots are AI-powered applications that are growing to be a very popular tool with regard to customer service and engagement. In 2018 and beyond, it’s being predicted that their role in developing customer relationships will likely be more pronounced.
Major brands like Sephora and H&M are already leveraging chatbots to interact with their customers. Sephora, for instance, uses its chatbot to offer customized interactions, treatment, tips, and even advice. H&M, on the other hand, uses its chatbot to offer style solutions.
For all your digital marketing needs, get in touch with Crafted, one of NYC’s top-ranked digital agencies.