Apologies for waxing philosophical right off the bat, but it seemed like an appropriate place to start.
It’s a concept that applies to everything in life, and the marketing industry is just as much a victim of change as we are. It’s come a long way from some air time on the radio back in the 1920s to posts on social media today. The medium and means may have evolved, but the intent behind the messages surely hasn’t.
Marketers are constantly trying to innovate and push boundaries to get their brands’ messages across to their target audiences. This innovation has already seen them shift focus from traditional marketing techniques like print media and TV commercials.
With the world going digital, so have marketers. Online marketing has now evolved into a mainstream marketing platform.
However, online marketing keep changing as the industry is continuously evolving and changing. From the rise of influencer marketing to a shift towards video content marketing, new trends keep emerging in this dynamic landscape.
It has become necessary for marketers to keep track of the ever-changing online marketing trends and plan their strategies accordingly.
That’s why we have decided to come to your rescue and update you on the latest online marketing trends that will shape the marketing landscape in the future.
Following are six of the most important online marketing trends that you need to know right now:
1. Video Content Will Continue to Dominate
Marketing through video content was a dominant online marketing trend last year and will continue to be so in the foreseeable future.
No surprise really seeing as Cisco predicts video will account for 82% of overall internet traffic by 2022.
But what’s the secret behind this massive video consumption rate?
Well for starters, they’re more engaging because they appeal to our visual and auditory senses together. You can get your point across better and improve your sales by telling more compelling stories.
The second reason is that people now do a lot of product-related research, both pre-purchase and post-purchase, by watching videos.
Whether it is to research a product before buying or understanding how to use it after purchase, videos are an easy way to understand both.
According to a Think with Google study, people are 3x more likely to watch a product review video than to read a product manual. And 80% of people who watch a product-related video do so pre-purchase, at the beginning of their purchase process.
From July 2016 to July 2018, the most commonly-watched shopping-related videos included “shop with me,” "does it work," and "everything you need to know" videos.
Videos are a great way to make the buying decision-making process easier for consumers. They can also be used to improve customer engagement with the brand.
You can share videos like customer testimonials to build consumer trust in your brand. Or you can use video ads to promote your brand.
But if you really want to kick things up a notch, I’d recommend sharing live videos with your audiences.
Giving them behind-the-scenes footage or live coverage of a brand-sponsored event is a great place to start.
2. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the most popular online marketing trends, and that is only going to grow further in the years to come. And it has been adopted by digital marketers at a rapid pace.
According to a survey from 2017, 58% of marketers said that influencers will be integrated into all marketing related activities in the next couple of years. Additionally, 39% of marketers expect their budgets for influencer marketing to increase in the coming months.
According to HubSpot, influencer marketing spend is forecasted to reach $8 billion by 2020.
Consumers tend to trust opinions and recommendations about products when coming from their favorite influencers.
Clearly then, if you haven’t already jumped on this bandwagon you should do so now.
Your ability to find the right influencers, especially ones who are aligned with your niche, will determine the success of your campaign.
It’s here that influencer marketing tools like Grin can help you. It can help you identify the right influencers and run your entire campaign.
Don’t restrict yourself to just brand mentions either. Experiment with social media giveaways, testimonials, and influencer product reviews too.
You can even have them provide their followers with a unique discount coupon to give consumers that extra nudge. Here’s an example.
You shouldn’t be surprised to see Big Data on this list of online marketing trends seeing as it’s trending in almost every industry.
From an online marketing perspective, there’s an overwhelming amount of consumer data you can collect and analyze. Thanks to Big Data, you can gather data from customers’ social media activity, online purchases, and internet searches.
With this data, you can understand your target audience on a deeper level. Learn about their purchase patterns, analyze buyer intent, and leverage this knowledge to better position your products.
Big Data empowers marketers to be more targeted in their approach. This way they can save a lot of money advertising only to people who are most likely to be interested in their products.
No wonder a survey by Statista found it to be the second most effective digital marketing technique. With 14% of marketers voting for it, it was narrowly behind content marketing and at par with AI.
5. Interactive Visual Content
88% of Americans want brands to push boundaries when it comes to customer service. They prefer brands that are setting new standards for their customers.
While blog posts and video content will forever drive site traffic, they’re not the out-of-box thinking consumers crave.
Incorporating interactive visual content like VR and AR in your marketing efforts, though, will take it to a whole other level.
With VR and AR, you can offer prospects a completely immersive product demonstration like never before.
And it is not that difficult to accomplish, in fact, you can do it using a platform like Shopify. Shopify developed an app for Thread Studio that allows people to customize their t-shirts online.
Content marketing in itself isn’t a new concept. But incorporating storytelling to get brand messages across is one of the newest online marketing trends.
After all, who doesn’t like a good story?
In fact, stories are 22 times more memorable than just plain facts and are a good way to communicate your brand’s message.
That’s exactly why brands are focussing on crafting compelling stories which have an emotional appeal.
Social media has evolved from a channel to generate traffic into a platform for customer engagement. And what better way is there to engage customers online than to share personal and authentic brand-related stories.
Have your customers and employees share their personal experiences with your brand and why it means something to them.
Maersk hits the nail on the head with their, “The Heart of Trade” video above. This is a brand that knows what good storytelling looks like.
While some of these online marketing trends are already well-established, others are more disruptive. Either way, these are the online marketing trends that will shape the marketing landscape in the future.
That’s exactly why you need to get ahead of the curve and consider leveraging these online marketing trends into your future campaigns.
Which of these online marketing trends do you think will dominante? Let us know through your comments.
Brian Mechem is CRO and Co-Founder of GRIN, the #1 software solution for direct-to-consumer brands who run influencer marketing programs. GRIN's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.