There is no doubt that digital marketing is a constantly shifting landscape, with each year bringing new trends to the table. In the last year or two alone, we have seen the rise of AI that has opened up the digital space to offer a far greater level of customisation than ever before. We have also seen smaller shifts in how customers are reached, along with steady shifts in various digital marketing channels, from SEO to social media. One of the greatest things about digital marketing is its ability to adapt as new technologies are discovered and new ways of reaching customers are explored.

As we get closer towards the end of 2019 and the start of 2020, we’re taking a look at some of the most noteworthy digital trends that are emerging. Keep reading to find out how you can keep your campaigns up to date as you embrace new and emerging strategies to take your results to the next level.

Digital Marketing Trends for the Year Ahead

Although blindly following trends is not at all what digital marketing is about, staying aware of current trends is an excellent way to discover new strategies and approaches that can maximise your results. The best way to get the most from any trend is to integrate it within your broader digital strategy. This is why a multi-channel or omnichannel approach becomes the most effective way to get the most from your digital marketing efforts.

Some of the most interesting digital marketing trends for the year ahead that we will certainly be watching include the following:

Storytelling

Storytelling is not exactly a brand new concept in itself. Using the many new digital marketing methods that have become available will allow you to take your storytelling to a whole other level, however. The marketing sphere has become saturated with millions of campaigns across every conceivable channel, from video to text and social media. The days of bland, faceless content that appeals to a generic audience are over. Instead, what we are moving towards is an approach that integrates storytelling for a far more personal touch that allows audiences to make a genuine connection.

There are many ways that you could integrate storytelling into your digital marketing campaigns. Social media is naturally one of the most effective channels for this, but you could also look at maximising your video campaigns with the addition of real-life people such as your team members. You could also use your website to show customers who you are. Behind the scenes content, photos of your team and other relatable content will all help you better tell your brand’s story.

Zero-Click Results

Google Snippets continues to shift the way that people find information in the SERPs. Rather than having to click through multiple results, users can get a quick snapshot of content directly from the search. Zero-click results are set to continue to rise as Google enables rich content in the SERPs. The result is a far simpler search experience and a far more streamlined search that delivers faster results for users.

For brands, this means making use of Snippets to present a condensed snapshot of your content that can be used in the SERPs. It also means that your content will have to gain attention quickly in order to be clicked on rather than scrolled past. Make sure that you optimise your pages carefully to get the most from this trend.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is showing no sign of slowing down any time soon. If anything, AI is set to expand even further as we enter 2020 and beyond. From chatbots that provide a better user experience to customers to automated features that further add value, AI is spreading across the digital marketing landscape, into search, mobile marketing, ecommerce marketing and many other areas.

Simply adding a chatbot to your site and then hoping for the best is not the way to go. Instead, you will need to also look at how you can optimise your chatbot and AI features to provide a better experience for your audience. Do some research into how you can enhance the customer experience and make use of testing to see what is working and what is not. This is the best way to get more from AI without ending up over-automating your website.

Live Video

Live video is another trend that is continuing to grow each year. Since Facebook launched its Live feature, in the moment video has become a popular feature for brands across all markets. What makes live video a valuable strategy is its interaction and engagement. Unlike traditional video, which is recorded and then published to platforms such as YouTube or Facebook, live video is filmed in the moment, with interaction that is also done in the moment.

The result is a far higher level of engagement. Viewers have the chance to ask questions or make comments and brands get the chance to interact directly with their audience throughout the video. Once the video has been done, it remains on social media pages, meaning that it can be viewed later if audiences missed the live viewing. There is also a chance to create hype and build excitement prior to the screening, to maximise views once the live video starts.

Visual & Voice Search

Google continues to pave the way when it comes to innovative search. Some of the biggest trends to watch in the search department include visual search as well as voice search. In visual search, images can be uploaded through an image search or a link to an image can be added. Pinterest is also making use of this feature. With voice search, searches can be done without having to type, using voice to ask questions. This follows the rise of Siri, Alexa and other tools that have made way for such technology.

To make sure that your site can be found easily using both visual and voice search, it is imperative to optimise your website for both types of searches. Pay special attention to the keywords you use, the way you name image files and the meta and content you use within your website pages.

Push Notifications

Finally, we have push notifications. Another trend that has slowly but surely been emerging in recent years, push notifications uses website browsers to send instant notifications to users. With email marketing regulations tightening all over the globe, brands are looking for new ways to reach audiences all the time. Push notifications offer a simple, minimally invasive way to send out messages at the right moment, while your audience is currently on your website.

Notifications that are based on behaviour triggers are especially effective. In ecommerce marketing, these notifications can help to remind customers of items left in abandoned carts, inform customers of upcoming sales or special offers and even share limited-time deals or discounts. Multi-media notifications can also be enabled, working hand in hand with calls to action to further encourage users to engage.

Digital Marketing Trends

With a brand new year around the corner, we’re looking forward to seeing how the digital landscape will continue to adapt and grow. These digital marketing trends will certainly be worth watching as the new year gets underway.

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