If there’s one thing you can count on when it comes to digital marketing trends it is change. The very nature of all things digital is that nothing is really permanent in the way that a book is permanent. Algorithms can be changed, ideas can fall out of favor – but you can go back and edit your website.
Here are 7 quick digital marketing trends that you should be thinking about right now. Apply them to your current plans, and start building them into your future plans in advance!
Digital marketing trends you can’t ignore
It has always been location, location, location – but that location is now mobile. With #Mobilegeddon now past, you could have seen a change in your website’s ranking on mobile devices. This is due to Google changing their algorithm to reflect that mobile optimised websites are preferred as so many people are using their tablets and smartphones to surf the web.
Be sure that you have a plan in place for:
- Mobile search
- Mobile optimisation
- Mobile conversions
You, as a digital marketer, likely spend most of your time on a computer. Lord knows I’m sitting here 10 hours a day. Your customers, however, are spending more and more of their time on mobile devices. If you’re not ready for them you’re not ready. Use Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to see where you’re at with them.
2. Google can’t be your 100% entire world
Yes, this comes on the heels of just talking about Google. Don’t get me wrong, sites like Duck Duck Go are not about to overtake Google in terms of web search popularity. But the mere fact that websites like Duck Duck Go and Bing! are gaining ground shows that you need to do more than just sweat Google because the future does not belong entirely to them.
Social discovery is a fast rising way that consumers are discovering content. Give your social media a look as a place where people discover content and share it with friends, not just a place to directly interact.
3: Social channels need more conversions
You can’t collect fans like baseball cards anymore. You need to turn them into regular conversions, and this does indeed relate to the topic discussed above. Creating content that pushes conversions more than you’re use to is going to be the key. Taco Bell are not the kind of brand you’d expect trying to make sales happen online, and yet here’s this tweet:
— Taco Bell (@tacobell) April 17, 2015
Find ways to monetize your audience.
4: Paid advertising is the new standard
One of the digital marketing trends I’m sad to report on is this. I recall when social media was, well, I want to say smaller…but I think ‘not gargantuan’ is the right phrase. Back then, social marketing was all free – besides the time investment. But getting noticed on some platforms, notably Facebook, is making paid ads necessary.
I’m not saying that you’ll have to pay for EVERYTHING, but popping for a Twitter Ad every now and then will bring you back some excellent returns when done correctly.
5: Social proof is the new black
Social accounts that lack social proof are going to struggle more and more going into the future. We go into greater detail on social proof here, but in social media it comes down to the follower and subscriber numbers that your fans see the first time they discover you. The problem now is that with many social channels being well established, and their audiences numbers being high, gaining your own audience when you’re new is tougher than ever. You need that audience for social proof, so you’ll have to employ a few key strategies:
- Collaborating with other successful accounts to borrow their audience
- Working with key influencers in your industry
- Using trending topics effectively
When those techniques aren’t getting results fast enough, as is often the case, there’s always our Twitter follower and YouTube subscriber services for a quick shot in the arm. Try them out, your social proof will thank you later.
6: Excellent content creators are worth their weight in gold and diamonds
This isn’t my bias coming through, but content creators that can create something that your audience responds to are the new online rock stars. When their voice is unique, and they know the product or industry they’re talking about, they may be your greatest asset.
Nowhere is this more important than YouTube. Videos don’t appear out of thin air. Writers sit down and write them, then actors and directors mess them up. (Sorry, old writer joke.) I don’t know who is doing the writing over at Toasty.TV, but they need to get PAID, and they need to get to work on more content just like this:
No, wait. The credits say it’s Devon Kelly. Good job. Someone hire her before she goes back to TV.
7: Looking at improving your conversion rates
Carefully looking at your conversions, and your lost conversions, is a key statistic to start looking at. Only focusing on getting more and more traffic, which may be irrelevant, will soon prove to be a waste of time. One key way of doing this, and increasing your ROI on paid search, is using remarketing tools. Google and Twitter have remarketing services that help you market your ads specifically to those who have already visited your website.
Your A/B testing should also ramp up as you work to see what’s really getting people to convert. Focusing in on the techniques that work will help you increase your conversion rates.
You’re also going to want to start getting your entire process of gaining site visitors to look more at getting people who are looking to make purchases, not just the maximum number of people you can get to show up. Are you getting more conversions off of search terms like “buy air jordans,” rather than a term like “new air jordans?” Do you social channels bring you more conversions on Twitter than Facebook? Which calls to action are really working. Out of all the digital marketing trends mentioned, this one is going to have the most direct impact on your bottom line.
Digital-Marketing Trends for 2017
- Live streaming is hot, and your brand should incorporate it. Facebook, SnapChat, and YouTube all have easy-to-use platforms—and 74% of the online content consumed in 2017 included video.
- Virtual reality can no longer be ignored. Though it can be pricey to develop at the beginning, the gains could be huge—VR revenues are set to hit $5.2 billion by 2018.
- If you don’t yet have one, create an email newsletter for your clients. This marketing strategy has been proven successful again and again, and email-opening rates are steadily rising.
- Tell fantastic tales about your brand: Research shows that stories are 22 more easily remembered than facts and figures.
- It’s all about the catching the eye. Infographics are the best-performing marketing tool, and social-media posts (FaceBook, Twitter) that include photos draw the most engagement.