Beyonce has made a habit of dropping albums in stealth mode – without announcements or advertising.

Famously, many of her albums became incredibly successful. If only marketing campaigns were that easy. Unfortunately for most of us, we aren’t Beyonce.

For marketers and brands, what we’re selling needs to be presented to the right audience, in the right way, at the right time.

Digital marketing is extremely effective for many small and mid-scale companies. One of the main advantages is that if you have the right approach, you can get huge ROI with a very modest budget – or none at all.

The disadvantage is, however, that you need to innovate constantly. What worked last year doesn’t mean it’ll work now.

So how do you make it work for you? In this blog post, we’ll explore 7 digital marketing trends that will boost your campaigns and brand awareness in a huge way.

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1.Brand monitoring is essential

People are going to talk about your brand across social media and the web, and you need to know what they’re saying. Monitoring these conversations is one of the first and most important actions you need to take.

Brand monitoring not only helps you figure our who your audience, but also where they’re talking about you. What’s more, you can also keep a pulse on what they’re saying about your competitors as well as the industry.

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Once you know what your customers are thinking and how they’re reacting, you can tailor your campaigns and content to resonate with them better. You can also track the reaction to your campaigns or products and bench mark it against your competitors’ and the industry.

2. Voice technology breaking through the noise

With sales of smart speakers spiking in 2017, voice search technology shows no signs of slowing down.

Identifying ways to make your brand available to voice searches is going to be an important part of marketing in 2019. But smart digital marketeters have already started to look at voice for more than that.

Take popular Netflix show Stranger Things, who did a digital campaign with a Google Home voice product by creating a voice-based game to promote the second season.

This campaign worked well because it was on-trend, interactive, and it didn’t hurt that Stranger Things already has a huge fan base. So how can regular businesses optimize themselves for voice search?

  • Prioritise for search localisation, as people often search for stores or recommendations near them on voice.
  • Use long-tail keywords, since voice searches are usually more conversational
  • Target users who seem to be looking to buy your product specifically, rather than searching from general interest

Voice marketing may not be for every business, but those who do it right can get great results without investing a ton of resources.

3. Don’t ignore the mobile experience

According to Statista, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic was generated through mobile phones in 2018.

Are you making sure that your customers are getting the best experience of your brand across desktop and mobile? It’s crucial for your company that your website can be found through mobile searches, and can be used through mobile.

A digital marketing strategy that understands how mobile users frequently have a different experience from the same content than desktop users is the real step forward in mobile-friendliness.

So what can you do to help ensure that your brand is providing a good mobile experience?

  • Use more videos, more graphics, and less text are key. Mobile screens are too small for most users to bother with scrolling through a lot of text.
  • Ensure that your social media pages are optimised. Mobile users are just as likely to check out your Twitter as they are to check out your website.
  • Try new tools like Google’s AMP to help you ensure that your website gives a toned-down but faster experience for mobile users

4. Invest in video marketing

Did you know that just mentioning the word ‘video’ increases the click-through rate by 13%?

Video is one of the most rewarding digital marketing methods. And with VR/AR hitting the market slowly, there’s no time like the present for companies to test out different ways to make video work for them.

Mercedes has already leveraged the VR hype to present ‘test-drives’ of two of their cars, Mercedes Sauber C9 and the AMG GT, to customers. Ikea uses VR to let people ‘see’ where their potential furniture could fit in their homes. The more you experiment with video, the more innovative you can get.

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Try creating different types of video content for different platforms, whether it’s Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, or permanent videos.

5. Influencer marketing is a valuable investment

A big part of winning marketing campaigns is about ‘telling the right stories”. And a part of telling the right stories is finding the right people to channel it through.

Nearly half of all people rely on product recommendations from influencers and trusted social media personalities. Influencer marketing is no longer just a buzzword but can generate real results quickly.

To do it well, your audience has to believe the recommendation of your product is genuine. Influencer marketing has been overused so much that a mere recommendation isn’t enough anymore. You need to find influencers that align perfectly with your brand so the promotion comes off as organic as possible.

Think of the 44-minute yule log video Diageo created with actor Nick Offerman to promote their whisky. Most accomplished digital marketing execs would scoff at the thought that the notoriously short attention span of the internet could be captured for 44 minutes, – and usually they’d be right. But it worked because it was the right story and the right person.

6. Use chatbots for personalised attention

Chatbots are a remarkably powerful tool to engage customers.

Why? Because it’s impossible for businesses to offer attention to every single customer, but in the digital age that is the demand. In fact, many customers prefer live chat to phone or email.

However, most businesses still shy away from chatbots as it seems hard to implement or manage. The good news is, you don’t even need to know how to code.

You can set up a chatbot to answer basic customer service question and program it with questions to qualify and nurture the lead. Chatbots can be programmed to take data from your user and respond with questions or offers that give the user a truly special experience. H&M’s Chatbot sells products all on its own, and it appears to be making a killing.

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7. Continue to reinvent your brand

When IHOP announced their rebranding to IHOb in a unexpected PR stunt, it went viral instantly – mainly because people couldn’t believe the absurdity of the name change.

That’s probably not the sort of publicity you need, but there’s a lot to be learnt from it about how to keep people talking about you. The number one takeaway here is to be unexpected and original. 

I’m not suggesting you change your name, but looking beyond the obvious can be a good start. Elevator advertisements have always been a space for creativity, from the Resident Evil elevator that was developed in 2007 in Kiev, to a new trend of putting in screens in elevators so that people can look at something while they’re ignoring the awkwardness of being stuck with five strangers in a tiny space.

Not every viral marketing strategy will work for you, and the key is to try and test different kinds. There’s no time like the present to start experimenting!

Over to you

The moral of the story is that brands have to make sure their digital base is strong on all grounds, whether it’s mobile or voice, but innovate and diversify no matter where their campaign is focused.

Know what other important brands in the industry are doing so that you can avoid it, or do it better. You can’t keep doing the same thing that every other business does and hope to get noticed.

Have you used any new marketing trends and strategies recently? Let us know in the comments!

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