Written by Dan Burtan
Marketing teams are adapting to the way consumers have shifted their buying behavior. Before customers come to your business, prospects are doing their own research online, reading reviews, discovering your social media platforms, looking at your company values and following the brand all over the internet to get as much information as they can about you before requesting a demo or contacting sales.
Marketers today are rethinking their customer experience and re-mapping their customer journey, especially as it relates to its largest-growing demographic of new consumers and employees, the millennials. Here are some digital marketing trends that are generating buzz this year.
1. Customer Journey
Prospects and customers go through various stages during their journey ranging from awareness, evaluation, and consideration. If buyers have an unpleasant interaction at any point, they’re less likely to become a customer.
Prospects and customers trust in brands based on their perception of authenticity. Brands that have the ability the connect to consumers on an authentic level will have the greatest chance of converting into customers.
Marketers are shifting their marketing strategy by understanding the customer journey and working on their authenticity.
4. Diving Deeper into Data
Today, 64%of marketers said they are not fully clear on the sources and traffic of their marketing data (Source). Ask yourself, how clean and accurate are your Google Analytics?
5. Create Compelling Content
There is an overwhelming amount of content online today and digital marketers need to get in front of their customers. B2B marketers have taken interactive content by storm creating extensive resource libraries, ROI calculators, quizzes and forms that help buyers along their journey.
6. Mobile-first Mentality
Google’s mobile-first search indexing (source) this past year is a prime example towards a mobile-first mentality. As digital marketers, we realize how important our phones are to making an impact in the market.
7. Voice Search is on the Rise
More than 50% of users use a voice-powered device like Amazon Echo to purchase products (Source). This is a concern for those who are focused on primarily SEO and traditional e-commerce marketing.
8. Social Media Influencers
Because authentic social media is the modern-day testimonial. By providing positive reviews, some brands are using social media influencers as an effective advertising avenue by provide positive reviews.
9. Positive Reviews
Authentic online reviews are the modern-day testimonial. Majority of buyers read reviews online before engaging with a salesperson. Organizations this year are providing major incentives for customers who leave positive reviews.
From marketing automation to lead scoring to chat bots, automation is evolving and tackling more tasks that previously required real-time human engagement.
11. Chat Bots
As an extension of automation, chat bots do well to poke and increase user engagement. Millennials prefer chat bots for speed and convenience over traditional communication via phone or e-mail.
12. Live Chat
Thanks to chat bots and other automation efforts, companies can afford to provide 24/7 live chat for both sales and support. Some organizations are removing contact us forms and replacing them with live chat.
Marketers know that relevancy is king for catching a distracted eye and online glance in a noisy world of data clutter, but what is the best way to stay relevant? By utilizing personalization marketers can best connect to their prospects and customers.
This is the year that digital marketers are focused on content that converts. Whether that means doing a content audit or tweaking your CTA headlines and utilizing personalization to optimize your conversion rates, optimization will be huge in 2018.
16. Increase Use of Video Marketing
Millennials prefer to consume content in video format rather than reading via article. At your next event, try to stream your event live on social media and record some customer testimonials or highlights.
17. Artificial Intelligence
Machine learning involves learning human characteristics such as understanding language, recognizing objects and sounds, planning and problem solving. AI is about training software to understand data rather then executing hard code.
As you can see, there are many digital marketing trends that are on the rise in 2018. Make sure to engage your customers and prospect by using these trends on a daily basis!
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