Marketing has come a very long way when we were used to looking for black-and-white ads in the newspaper to the interactive digital content we see on Facebook or TikTok. The truth of the matter is we all live in an ever-changing digital landscape shaped by the Internet and the rise of artificial intelligence. We live in a world forever changed by the lasting effects of the global pandemic, which shifted the collective consumer preferences and values. With that being said, brands have to find the most effective marketing strategies that would work well.
This year has been a turning point for everyone - brands and consumers alike - as we all moved away from the challenges of the past few years, embrace the new opportunities of the present, and overcome the uncertainties that lie ahead. Learn to take advantage of these recent digital marketing trends so you can get ahead of the competition.
Most people these days would say that influencers are the ‘new celebrities’ in a world where attention span is rapidly shrinking due to greater emphasis on viral hits from short-form videos and IRL streaming. In fact, many brands put a lot of money into their marketing efforts by dealing with established and renowned “key opinion leaders” looking to expand their network to the young, up-and-coming social media influencers looking for an easy payday.
It may sound new but it's just a reinvention of the classic word-of-mouth advertising. It's all about finding someone they know and relate to because they know that whenever these key opinion leaders and influencers recommend, they can be trusted, right?
Well, you get that collective nudge from their large following. After all, brands recognise the importance of utilising these personalities because of their large reach at a specific niche. At the end of the day, it’s the same age-old concept that has been repackaged and modernised in today's new digital era.
As mentioned above, brands are confronted by the fact that a lot of them are vying for attention and consumers have a declining attention span for a lot of branded content they see on any given day. So one way to stand out is to do bite-sized videos and live streams to drive real-time engagement and increase brand awareness among millennials and Gen Z.
One major trend that shows why live streaming is an effective marketing tool - an average consumer spends about 17 hours per day watching online videos of viral dance crazes to ‘mukbang’ challenges. When paired with the right influencer, brands would be able to leverage live streaming by letting the influencer engage with customers directly by talking about the product or service and guiding them towards making the purchase all while watching the video. Everything can be monetised with just a click away.
Personalised Customer Experiences
As many digital experiences are now in app form, user experience (UX) is as essential as the user interface (UI) you interact with. That means, providing customer experiences will always fulfil their needs and more importantly, keep them loyal to the brand or product.
As customers expect a personalised, tailored experience that speaks directly to their needs; brands should always find a way to focus on the entire journey and complete the experience from start to finish.
To better understand your customer's ideal user experience, you have to create a customer journey map as a visual representation of how they act, think and feel through the buying process. With this valuable tool in place, it would be easier to create a cohesive user experience from the ground up.
It is important to note that your website is your most valuable marketing asset so that means you need to have the best possible user experience to convince people from the top of the funnel to become your customers. Consider the following design trends to optimise your website:
- Minimalist design, without intrusive ads
- Mobile-optimised design
- Voice-activated interfaces
- Hands-free control
- Animated elements
- Video content
Let's face it, people don't really like being told what to do. That goes the same way when telling people to get their products and services. One way to avoid that is brands need to channel a more conversational approach by directing people to lead capture forms and then wait for a response. By leveraging this type of marketing, you can utilise targeted messaging and AI automation to engage with people once they get into your website.
With the advent of technologies, this marketing strategy works even better with the use of intelligent chatbots with machine learning and natural language processing that allows customers to have a two-way conversation with a brand without the need for human intervention.
If you come to think of it, people need to have a response to their queries in real-time so removing humans from actual customer-to-brand conversations would make customer service and engagement more automated than ever before.
Responsibility, Reputation, and Representation
What does these three R’s have to do with digital marketing? Well, these bring your brand identity and philosophy into your digital marketing strategy thereby raising the stature of your brand higher than you can ever imagine.
These days, many brands are putting great emphasis on corporate social responsibility (CSR) by balancing their profit-oriented goals with real-world socially-beneficial initiatives as the "right thing" to do. On the other hand, many consumers are considering these values in their purchasing decisions as more people are willing to shell out extra cash for brands that showcase their social commitment.
It would be a great idea to highlight key areas of CSR efforts to attract more customers who want to make a positive difference with their purchases:
- Promoting recyclable non-plastic packaging
- Spreading awareness of pressing social issues
- Donating portions of profits to charity
- Advocating social justice
Another thing to emphasise in this type of marketing strategy is the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts to ensure different sections of the consumer demographics are represented in terms of race, body types, ages, sexual preferences and more.
Always Stay Ahead
The last few years have seen great changes in digital marketing trends and best practices. With great change comes great opportunities for brands to make a great difference in the way they engage with the ever-evolving consumers. These days, they value authenticity, transparency, and inclusivity more than ever.
These trends are just reminders for brands to always be on the lookout for emerging developments that will change the way they do business. More importantly, staying on top of everything and ahead of the competition is the key towards success in the long run.
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