Digital marketing has made huge strides over the past decade. Big data has made an outsized impact on digital marketing, enabling companies to sort through the incredible amount of information available on today’s customers.
With the development of finely targeted advertisements, marketers are able to reach a niche of the market without having to make large and expensive ad buys. Anushil Kumar explains how digital marketing has changed in the last 10 years and describes the different facets of the business as it stands today.
Automation is huge in today’s digital marketing. Individual marketers are relying more on automation as they target their campaigns. Through the work of AI and automation, marketers do not have to laboriously sift through data using outworn methods. They are able to enter search criteria and receive exactly what they need.
While social media was important 10 years ago, it is even more so today. The market saturation of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat has grown by leaps and bounds. With social media marketing, marketers are able to associate their products with the lifestyle of their customers. Customers see personally tailored advertising in their news feed along with their friends’ photos and news stories. While many people claim to scroll past the ads, the truth remains that many people use these ads as buying recommendations.
Even the smallest companies are able to gain a foothold using social media advertising. The social media companies provide rich data for targeting their users, and the ability to hit just the right customer has improved over the past several years.
As an outgrowth of social media marketing, influencer marketing has become serious business. “Influencers” are social media personalities with a great number of followers and large networks. When these influencers are paid to post about a product or service, they provide links and refer traffic to the advertiser.
Customers like influencer marketing because it makes them feel personally connected to their favorite celebrities. For example, many spouses of TV and movie stars have begun influencer campaigns. Sometimes these campaigns feature the TV or movie star, giving the public a fun view of their daily lives.
This program can be incredibly helpful, but marketers are cautioned to make sure that their influencers do not have any possible problems that could haunt the company in the months and years to come. Racist and sexist comments, along with problematic activities like smoking, can make an influencer less attractive. Rivalries between influencers can damage a company’s bottom line.
Search Engine Optimization Changes
Search engine optimization or SEO has come a long way over the past 10 years. The ways in which search sites like Google prioritize sites have changed a great deal. Rather than blocks of text with the keywords included, the keywords now must be naturally worked into the text. The old-fashioned keyword style will be pushed down in the search results. SEO requires a trained staff to fully optimize, but the basic principles are easy to learn. All marketers should be conversant with SEO.
The Rise of Video
While some people debate that video is of paramount concern for online marketers, video can be a huge part of a thriving strategy. Customers enjoy seeing short videos about how to use a product. The rise of accelerated cooking videos is a particularly popular example. These are great ways to introduce a new ingredient or cookbook to customers. For long-form videos of over 5 minutes, YouTube can be excellent. “Unboxing” videos fascinate consumers of all ages, from children and teens to adults. Even small children with “unboxing” channels are able to make significant ad revenues.
The prominence of platforms like Facebook Live has been overstated, but many consumers enjoy seeing these videos.
Another exciting development in the world of digital marketing is the rise of the chatbot. With a chatbot, your website can offer one-on-one support to visitors. Chatbots are able to answer basic questions with their AI systems, such as item price, availability, and basic details. If the chatbot can’t answer a question, the call can be forwarded to a human operator.
Marketers caution, however, that people do not like chatbots that try to be too much like humans. It is hard to fake the interaction with a real person, and consumers do not like to be fooled.
The Shift to Mobile
In 2009, the iPhone was only two years old. There were only a handful of smartphones and smartwatches available. Marketing needs were mainly focused on print, radio, TV, and traditional online advertising.
As the smartphone grew in prominence, advertisers became aware that they needed to target their marketing and make sure that their content was viewable on all popular platforms. A website that couldn’t easily adapt to a mobile device would not hold consumers’ attention and would cause frustration.
The digital marketing firm is more important than ever. Cross-platform marketing means that the message remains the same across the many media that are involved in today’s advertising. For example, television ads need to tie into social media campaigns, and influencers need to push products that are promoted in print or other forms of advertising.
Consumers will quickly notice a change in tone or inconsistency in mission, and they can be merciless when cutting off a brand. Being inconsistent can also lead to people mocking your marketing campaign online. The adage that all publicity is good publicity does not apply here. Today’s consumers have a long memory and do not readily return to companies they have spurned.
If a digital marketer from 10 years ago was dropped into today’s marketing company, they wouldn’t know where to begin. The increasingly targeted data enables companies to choose precise demographics, reducing ad budgets. Social media and influencer marketing are much more important than they were 10 years ago. The fragmenting of the social media audience has also become a dominant force.
Anushil Kumar emphasizes that digital marketing firms need to keep up with the times and to take advantage of all of the new opportunities in the decade to come.