The Future of Online Marketing: Top Trends

Year on year, digital trends evolve. This means that online marketing strategies need to evolve alongside it, and businesses need to take full advantage of this evolutionary journey in order to be ahead of the game. 2019 has seen rise to a number of digital trends that are only set to increase in popularity. Let’s take a look at some of the more underused innovations when it comes to marketing trends online, and how your business could utilise them for better conversions and continuing success.

Augmented Reality and VR

Nope – augmented reality is not just for the bunny rabbit filters on Instagram. When was the last time you looked at the ‘filter’ options on the SnapChat app? They continually change, but you can guarantee that on any given visit to the app there will be at least one augmented reality marketing campaign. Whether it’s branded sunglasses over a selfie, or a ‘capture them’ style game for a new sports product, they are there and they work! This is because augmented and virtual reality advertising is still relatively new. Some may call it gimmick, others will argue that it is the future of digital marketing – no matter. The point is that now is the time to jump on board. This is because this type of advertising is based on consumer engagement and entertainment. It allows the customer to ‘experience’ a product, idea or service in a unique and entertaining way. Nothing captivates a consumer more than being able to put themselves in the picture.

Searches Using Voice

It is estimated that by 2020, that around 50% of all online search queries will be voice-based. With the rise in popularity of voice-based technology such as Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana and iPhone’s Siri, it is becoming an increasing search trend to simply vocalise the query – even if the results are still search-engine site suggestions. While this is a trend that marketers themselves and big brands are taking advantage of, businesses shouldn’t forget to look into these trends either. You’ve likely heard of SEO (search engine optimisation) which is predominantly text-based. But have you considered VEO (voice engine optimisation)? It’s basically SEO but the focus is on a much more natural language pattern. In other words, it looks at speech patterns and the ways in which people vocalise queries as opposed to what they might type into a search bar. It may be subtle, but there are differences. And, if voice search is going to account for half of all the searches online, these differences should be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy and content.

Free for a Chat?

The ways in which businesses interact with their customers has always followed trends and advances in technology. The rise of the call centre has somewhat dominated the field and perhaps dampened the consumer experience in some ways. These days though, people are beginning to see the benefits of Chatbots over spending too much time on hold on the phone, or being passed from department to department. This is probably because it allows consumers to be getting on with other things whilst they wait for answers and support. Yes, it is slightly faceless, but quite often this means of communication offers less frustration for the customer and more time to think and express their query. On top of that, it’s great for business. Having an alternative means of communication keeps your options open, and automated responses mean that you can gage enquiries as and when they arrive whilst having enough time to prepare for the query in the most efficient way possible. It also allows businesses to handle multiple queries at a time. Applications such as Slack, Whatsapp Business and Skype for Business are also great ways of staying in touch with clients, discussing ongoing client projects and offering a more convenient option for consumers to reach you. In fact, messaging traffic has just about doubled in the last year or two. So, whether it’s a web chatbot, or an instant messaging/video service, it’s certainly worth implementing to stay on top of the competition.

Email Marketing

GDPR has changed the way we communicate our marketing campaigns online and over the phone. But email marketing is getting smarter, and it is still a hugely useful trend in terms of marketing success. As soon as potential or existing customers begin to engage with your online presence, there are ways in which you can engage them to opt-in to future emails. Once you have a subscription list, emails are a great way to nurture your client-base. It’s not always about the hard sell; it’s about engaging your customers with interesting content, as you would on a blog, but landing it straight into their email inbox: tips, insights, event information; useful content that encourages the customer to feel cared for, understood and valued. And, although there has been a rise in HTML email campaigns, good old plain text is seeing a rebirth due to an increase in spam capture and nuisance emailing filled with links, pictures and video. So, the process today couldn’t be more straightforward.

The most important thing for businesses hoping to make the best use of a digital marketing campaign is that they work alongside an expert who can guide them on trends like these and offer new insight into up-and-coming innovations that will keep them ahead in the marketing race. It’s all about evolution – businesses must keep their online presence fluid and seen in order to grow now and in the future.