Marketing is the "lifeblood" of any business. After all, how can you expect to stay financially viable in the long run without a steady influx of customers?
It's important to make marketing one of your brand’s top priorities — even during relatively slow times. One way to do so is to stay informed on current marketing trends. By identifying, analyzing, and implementing such trends, your business will gain (and retain) a powerful competitive edge over industry peers.
Here are seven digital marketing trends to keep an eye on:
1. Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising (i.e., automated online advertising based on a bidding model) continues to play a key role in marketing strategy for thousands of companies across all sectors. Perhaps the single most significant advantage of this form of marketing is how it streamlines the traditional advertising process into a quick, convenient, and effective channel for targeting specific customer demographics. It's no wonder that in 2021, global programmatic ad spend reached an estimated $418.4 billion!
2. Responsive Websites
Mobile devices account for approximately 60% of online traffic worldwide. It's in companies' best interests to optimize their websites for mobile responsiveness (e.g., to make their sites look as good on smartphones as they do on laptops and desktops). As the market for mobile devices expands — and as mobile devices become more sophisticated — expect to see this trend accelerate.
3. Chatbots/Immediate Responses
The average person doesn't like waiting for responses or information, as the internet has made it so easy to retrieve what we need to know quickly. For instance, when someone navigates to a website in search of an answer to a specific question, they don't want to dig through one site page after another in search of the correct information.
This is just one area in which chatbots have "changed the game" for businesses and consumers. Advanced chatbot technology allows companies to offer visitors immediate responses to frequently asked questions, direct users to appropriate product pages, and even process customer payments. At the same time, these chatbots can be programmed to seamlessly transfer to a live agent when required.
Customers expect to receive product recommendations, offers, and even discounts customized to their purchase history and relationship with the company. Businesses that want to stay ahead of the curve must continually seek ways to personalize the customer experience across all channels, including the digital and the physical. If you invest in personalization, you will likely see a significant hike in conversion rates across different product/service categories.
Visual content — especially videos — remains one of the most effective means of engaging with and converting prospects. For instance, one study found that if a business uses a video on its webpage, it is 53 times more likely to appear on Google's first page of search results due to the SEO boost that video provides.
Companies will continue to produce video ads, explainer videos, webinars, and other forms of video content across various platforms. To stay afloat on this rising tide, consider how you can publish more videos to engage your target audience.
6. Omnichannel Marketing
Marketing via multiple integrated channels is essential for optimizing your ROI and guiding customers through their buyer's journey. The reality is that modern consumers expect to interact with a brand on their terms — not the brand's terms. This means that there may be many touch points for a typical buyer's journey, such as visiting a company's website, interacting with the brand via social media, asking the company chatbot a question, and then, perhaps, finalizing a purchase.
Since the sales funnel often looks like this, it only makes sense that marketing would take an omnichannel approach. For instance, consistent ad copy across all marketing media can boost credibility and help increase brand awareness.
7. First-Party Cookies
The days of third-party cookies are, to all appearances, numbered. Therefore, marketers must turn to first-party cookies as a primary consumer data source. In other words, marketers need to invest in analyzing direct customer interactions with their website instead of counting on targeted ad tactics that follow online users around the Internet to deliver specific messaging.
Partner with McClatchy to Implement Winning Marketing Solutions
The seven trends discussed above will undoubtedly continue to inform the world of digital marketing for years to come. Of course, if digital marketing is not one of your business's core competencies, trying to keep up with these and other trends may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, help from an experienced marketing partner is close at hand. Reach out to our team of experts to learn more about how we can implement winning marketing solutions for your business.