Digital marketing moves at a supersonic speed these days.

Whether it’s how you set up your website, write your business emails, engage your fans on social media, be on your toes always because things change fast.

Tactics that worked like a charm yesterday might be ineffective today.

New tools, technologies, and tactics emerge every day.

To succeed, you must keep up with the latest trends and bring your A-game always. You can’t afford to slacken off or be lethargic in your approach otherwise you’ll lose ground on your competitors.

I’m sure you don’t want that to happen, right? 🙂

In this post I’ll explore 5 digital marketing trends you should latch onto to stay ahead of the competition and grow your business.

#1. Augmented Reality: How to Mesmerise Customers with Fascinating Out-of-this-world Experiences

First, what is augmented reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that gives people an interactive experience of a real-world environment by superimposing sounds, images, and text on real objects. It merges what is with what will be.

AR is great for giving your customers rich immersive experiences as they interact with your brand.

Instead of only telling prospects what using your product would be like, you can now give them a vivid lifelike impression of the product or service, thanks to AR. This inspires even the most disinterested prospect to buy.

Houzz has a view-my-room app that lets customers virtually place multiple items they want to buy into their rooms. Not sure how the nice-looking tile will look in your kitchen? No problem, grab the app and take a sneak peek of the tiled room.

houzz
  Source: 9TO5Mac

How cool is that?!

Importantly, people who use the app are 11 times more likely to buy.

You can also hypnotise your social media followers through unforgettable AR-driven experiences like:

  • Branded games
  • User-generated-content (UGC)
  • Cyber masks

#2. Voice Search: How to Get Your Content Heard Above the SEO Noise

Google says by the year 2020 half of the searches will be through voice.

More and more brands are optimising their content for voice search. They realize search as we know it today will soon fall by the wayside. Voice search is not the future. It’s already here.

Microsoft’s Manager of Global Engagement Purna Virji reported that voice search accounts for 25% of searches conducted on Windows 10 taskbar.

Verbal search is surging.

Without voice-optimised content, you’ll miss out on traffic, leads, and sales.

But how do you do it?

Here are some quick tips:

  • Answer questions through your content because most voice-searches are question-based. Also, craft a FAQ page for your site if you haven’t already.
  • Use the ‘how to’ headline often since 8,64% of voice-queries contain the number one trigger word ‘how’.
  • Write longer content — the average length of posts that show up in verbal search results is 2,312 words. (Backlinko)
  • Optimize your site for speed because the average voice search result page loads in 4.6 seconds (52% faster than the average page).
  • Create simple easy to read conversational content. That’s how ordinary folk speak when searching.
  • Infuse long-tail keywords into your keywords strategy to match the natural way people speak.
  • Optimize your site for local SEO. Studies show voice queries are 3x more likely to be local in nature.

Conversational search is here to stay. Better dip your toes in now.

#3. Artificial Intelligence: How to Use Robots to Win In Business

Robots are the rage in digital marketing right now.

If you are uninitiated, artificial intelligence or AI as it’s popularly known, is an intelligent machine that works, acts, and reacts like people.

The marketing potential of AI is huge. No wonder companies across all sectors have increased their AI technology investment by a jaw-dropping 300% according to a recent survey by Datamation.

AI can do a lot for your business:

  • Facilitate omnichannel marketing by collecting and analysing gobs of data across all channels… super-fast.
  • Help with customer support by deploying sharp chatbots to interact with prospects.
  • Determine the different content tastes your audience has and send them personalized content.
  • Create memorable customer experiences by responding to requests and questions whether verbal or written.
  • Send highly customised emails to your list with pinpoint accuracy using an individual’s search and transaction history picked from multiple sources.
  • Optimize the performance of your funnels and ad campaigns through rapid data analysis.

Walmart uses HANA, an AI-driven SAP cloud platform to process its high-volume transaction records from over 11,000 outlets in seconds. Not only do they work faster, but they also cut back-office costs considerably.

Machines are taking over the world of marketing in a good way.

Join them or remain behind manually counting your losses.

#4. CRO and Analytics: How to Grow Your Business Using Data

If you were a marketer back in the days, you’d chew your fingernails for months waiting for campaign results to arrive.

Not anymore. Old marketing is dead.

Welcome to 21st century marketing where campaign results trickle in immediately after your launch. Everything on every channel is measurable:

  • Dwell time
  • Shares and comments
  • Open rates
  • Sign-ups
  • ROI by channel
  • Click-throughs
  • You name it

Today, through genius analytics tools you can see exactly what your audience is doing in real time and adjust your strategy on the fly.

Talk about responsive marketing.

Such capabilities can only supercharge your campaigns.

Marketing technology tools are becoming smarter by the day. For example, Finteza, a new comprehensive analytics tool analyses website traffic using color codes.

finteza

Source: Finteza

Green stands for clean traffic, yellow for medium traffic, and orange for suspicious spam traffic.

You’ll be able to hyper-target consumers in ways you never deemed possible before. Plus, you’ll detect trends in a flash and start remedial action at once.

In the future, predictive analytics software will anticipate a single customer’s behaviour and present them with tailor-made offers. We are already seeing glimpses of this in Amazon’s recommendations feature.

#5. Interactive Video: How to Magnetise Your Content with Next-level Audio-visuals

Regular content doesn’t cut it anymore.

The content bar is high. To win, you’ve got to work a tad harder.

How?

Enter interactive video.

According to Smart Insights, 83% of marketers believe video is growing in importance — interactive video has risen phenomenally. Another research, Content Trends report by HubSpot, showed 53% of people want to see more video content.

Interactive video is a video on steroids.

Unlike regular video, it allows users to engage with the video resulting in deeper connections.

With interactive video, your engagement levels will go through the roof. Interactive video is great for:

  • Sales pages– bring your products to life and enable your customers to have a 360-view of your products through 3D videos.
  • Social media posts– turn your social posts from duh to wow through animated videos.
  • Quizzes– capture more relevant data from your audience using smart video quizzes that ask the viewer questions while they watch and gives them instant feedback.
  • Gamification– gamify aspects of your campaigns by, for instance, awarding points for repeat buyers or letting your audience do a product treasure hunt.
  • Demos– show your product (especially software) in the best light possible using hotspots, or clickable elements in the video so viewers see specific parts they’re interested in or even go to a separate page such as the pricing page.

Incorporate interactive video into your marketing mix. You will increase your engagement rate, sell more, and boost brand loyalty.

It’s Time to Ride the Wave

With new online marketing tactics and emerging technologies, it’s always best to become an early adopter.

Jumping in first gives you a head start on your competitors. By the time they wake up, you’ll be a long way ahead. You’d have raked in all the profits. And, by taking the lead, you’ll be a trailblazer and revered authority in your niche.

Ride the wave of these trends today before it’s too late.

 

About the author:

According to his cheeky wife, Qhubekani Nyathi aka The Click Guy is an irresistibly handsome guy. He’s an offbeat certified content marketer who helps SMBs grow their income through zingy long form content that ranks, drives leads, and builds authority. He contributes to prestigious blogs like Search Engine Watch, Crazy Egg, Smart Blogger, Business 2 Community, Get Response, and more.

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