The world is changing, and technology is taking the lead. Everything from entertainment to healthcare and banking is going digital in our times. Digital channels are playing a vital role in engaging, acquiring and retaining customers. In this age of increasing social media usage and declining ad spends, businesses are clamoring to ramp up their online presence and expand their marketing reach with the help of digital marketing.
Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that rely on electronic devices or the internet. It makes use of online branding assets such as digital advertising, email marketing and online brochures to connect with the customers. Social media is the major playground of digital marketers as more than 3 billion people are active on the social media.
The digital marketing space is evolving in a big way as the consumer of today is no longer constrained by geography, language, time zone and age.
Social marketing is a low-cost, high-returns approach to digital marketing. Some businesses are promoting stories on Facebook’s News Feed in order to gain direct mileage on social sites. Other companies are giving offers such as discounts and/or cash to encourage the social media users to promote the brand’s products and services.
A billion hours of video are being watched on YouTube and 100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook; while Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat generate billions of video views every day. Moreover, the social media platforms have recently altered their algorithms to favor video content. The social users are seeing an endless scroll of video playlists and fewer photos. It therefore makes immense sense for businesses to incorporate video into their marketing strategies.
Chatbots have become the rage lately and for a great reason. The technology combines text, voice and messaging to converse with the consumers, resolve their issues and even close a business deal in some cases. Chatbots also collect data about the users in order to improve user experience in the future. The main reason for the success of chatbot technology is its ability to provide quick and accurate information to the consumers.
AR and VR are one of the most transformative advancements of this era. As mobile devices are become technologically powerful and social apps are getting better integrated with AR and VR, brands are using these tools to engage better with the consumers. Facebook and Google Cardboard are offering 360-video publishing and Snapchat is allowing users to project their virtual self into the surrounding as an animated 3-D bitmoji. IKEA has developed a virtual shopping application that lets a prospective buyer to preview furniture in one’s house prior to making the buying decision.
Artificial intelligence has taken a huge leap in recent years. AI now drives customer conversions by interpreting the date and leads generated. AI also helps in evolving a personalized marketing strategy by predicting what a customer wants to buy next and when. With the help of SMS, email marketing and content recommendations, AI can make suggestions in conformity to customer needs and interests. AI also identifies the best engagement points in the buying journey. AI innovations such as chatbots are changing the ways in which brands plan their marketing campaigns and enhance customer experiences.
There is an incredible amount of data at our disposal today, thanks to technology. It is a challenge to draw out insights and do something useful with the data. There comes Data Mining. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to marketing is no longer viable. Brands are connecting with the individual consumers by tapping into the behavioral data generated by technology platforms such as AI, chatbots and augmented/virtual reality. Marketers are leveraging the potential of AI-driven tools to analyze the data for insights into what can work.
The mobile usage is spreading at a breath-taking pace. Companies are optimizing their websites for the mobile. Google’s announcement that uninterrupted user experience on mobile websites would yield a higher search ranking has hastened the development of mobile-friendly websites. Marketers are therefore finding ways to optimize the user experience of a brand on mobile devices and reap the resulting benefits.
The use of voice search and voice commands is increasing as people are constantly on the go. AI-enabled voice assistants are empowering mobile users to access information online and execute tasks like never before. Unlike conventional online searches, which throw up pages and pages of results, voice searches only provide the top-most answer to a query. Digital marketers are optimizing content to conform to such voice searches and emerge as the top result that matches a voice query.
A successful digital marketer differentiates himself by his ability to create unique and captivating messaging in a saturated market. He/she should be able to covey the right message, raise brand awareness, drive traffic and promote customer engagement. Such a digital marketer, whether it is a digital marketing agency in hong kong or any other part of the world would be always in demand. Brands that create experiences that inspire, educate and entertain, will make it big in the years to come.