Have you given much thought to the changes that are coming in digital marketing? While it’s a common tendency to assume things will remain the same, it never happens that way — especially in the digital marketing space. Paying attention to all of the following trends will help prepare your company to connect with consumers through the mediums and channels they’ll prefer most in the coming year.
Attribution Becomes More Important
If I could make one recommendation for your marketing activities, it would be to get a decent multi-touch attribution system in place. If all you’re using is the data provided by Google Adwords (which uses last touch attribution modeling), you’re missing out on valuable data.
Suppose a prospect clicks on one of your Facebook ads from his work computer and spends hours browsing your site, only to go home, click one of your Adwords ads and make the purchase. Only the Adwords ad will get credit for the conversion, driving up your customer acquisition costs and failing to validate your Facebook ad with at least partial credit for the sale.
Multi-touch attribution modeling isn’t the easiest thing in the world to understand, but programs like Convertro are making it easier. Study up on the subject and be prepared to add it to your upcoming digital marketing campaigns.
Humor Will Gain in Marketing
Humor is already more likely to go viral, but it’s usually used in a non-informative, non-professional context. Marketers who want to get noticed should begin using this strategy in their content.
Millennials are a purchasing generation, and they love to research their purchases. Studies show that 50 pecent of them use four or more sources of information before making a decision to buy. However, they are also more likely to respond to humor, transparency, and vulnerability than to a slick sales pitch.
Small and medium-sized businesses can especially benefit from this trend, since they have more flexibility in defining and messaging their brands than larger corporations. Brands that take advantage of humor and current memes will find their marketing reaching their target audience — and even being welcomed by otherwise cynical consumers.
Marketing Will Move to a Combination of Paid and Owned Outreach
Far from being the tactic of long ago, paid promotion of content is alive and well today — it’s just the systems used for promotion that are new. With so much content being produced, the focus will move toward increasing your target market’s consumption of content. Cutting through the noise online to bring existing blog posts, infographics, and videos to consumers’ attention will require paid outreach on sites like Taboola and Outbrain, in addition to viral distribution.
The result of focusing on consumption and a consumers’ reaction to content will be an increase in the importance of analytics. When you have to put out money to get your message in front of customers, you will want to make sure you fully test each message so you get the most return for your investment. Analytics skills won’t just be nice to have. They’ll be essential for anyone in the digital marketing space.
Marketers Will Focus on Creating a Single Customer Experience
Right now many companies’ content marketing campaigns are a bit siloed. They may operate on Facebook, Twitter, the company blog, and Pinterest, but the customer experience is widely varied. Smart marketers will focus on unifying the message and creating a consistent customer experience across all channels. This will ensure that the quality of content and service is the same, regardless of where the customer engages with the brand.
Today, customers expect (PDF) brands to court them, rather than feeling the need to seek brands out. Only by creating a single, unified message can your business give customers the attention they want. As a result, optimization needs to move beyond single, “one off” tactics to encompass the overall customer experience across all your marketing channels.
Mobile Will Continue to Dominate Marketing
People are extremely connected to their smartphones, and it’s expected that this trend will continue and expand. Roughly 80 percent of phone owners have their devices with them 22 hours every day, so if your site doesn’t display well on these devices, you’re missing out on tons of opportunities to connect with them. Design all of your media outreach, webpages, infographics, and video clips to display appropriately on any mobile device — and if your current service provider doesn’t have this kind of dynamic ability, find a new one.
Digital marketing is constantly changing, and you owe it to your customers and your business to be ready. By focusing on these five trends and making any necessary changes to your promotional campaigns, your marketing strategy will be positioned well for success in the future.
What was your biggest surprise in digital marketing recently? What do you see happening?
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