We are already in August -- the second half of this eventful year, that has been nothing short of a Hollywood movie, packed with action, action and more action! From the COVID-19 pandemic to raging forest fires, from earthquakes to explosions, from floods to cyclones, our world has been going through a rapid transformation.
And so is the world of digital marketing!
As more and more people, choose to stay indoors for health and safety concerns, the world becomes more reliant on digital marketing. From working from home to shopping online for everyday needs and luxury items, the need for it has been increasing in leaps and bounds.
Considering that, here are the top ten digital marketing trends that are emerging in this ‘new normal’ of COVID-19 era:
In the current situation, digital marketing cannot work in isolation. Hence, there has been a rise in integrated marketing, where brands are understanding the customer at every step while making use of custom tools, data, and tech to stay ahead in the game. Instead of providing a wholesome experience for everyone, marketers are focusing on ‘personalized’ and ‘relevant’ experience for individuals.
Hence, the moment the consumer realizes the need for a product and begins his search for it to the moment when he makes the purchase, marketers are holding the hands of the consumers with the help of digital marketing. Carefully placed ads on social media, related searches on e-commerce sites, online reviews, and specifications, are being used to drive consumer interest and ultimate purchase.
Snackable video content
We have seen a tremendous surge in the consumption of OTT these days. With restricted environments and the ever-growing need for entertainment, leisure activities, etc. consumers are spending a lot of time on the internet while they try to cater to such needs.
Hence, with the rising popularity of video content among users, there has been considerable focus in this avenue by the brands. They are creating snackable video content, curated for social media consumption. While there has been a good mix of content that is informational, casual, motivational as well as promotional, they are also ensuring that the content adds value.
Big companies usually pay top dollar to big influencers like Kylie Jenner to post positive reviews or showcase their product to their followers. Various brands are hiring influencers for the purpose who may not have as significant a following but big enough for community outreach.
It means that they are interacting with their audience by pitching their products to multiple small-time influencers who are charging less or negligible for showcasing the products. In turn, when multiple micro-influencers showcase the same product to their followers, there is a wider audience at a reasonable cost.
Reaching out to potential customers is a great way to increase the presence of a brand. Hence, brands are resorting to quick and concise replies that are piquing the people's interest, as they are appreciating the efforts being put into making the brands approachable.
People want things to be approachable in a warm and friendly way in the current situation. Gone is the era when everything had to be mysterious and suspenseful. Hence, brands are using videos like 'How it is to work at your company' to 'What is served for lunch', and publishing them weekly or daily depending on their goals.
Advertising with AI
When a cutting-edge technology is available for use, you should tap into its full potential without wasting time, as it can have a significant impact on your social media handles. Brands are tweaking their campaigns to perform best with this, and are enjoying their advantages over competitors.
Alternate shopping platforms
With the changing ways of doing things and social distancing norms, consumers’ shopping habits have changed too. Shopping from physical stores is seeing a decline and is more focused on essentials. Hence, brands are already making efforts to create alternate shopping channels and platforms.
These alternate channels will stay for longer and will help brands stabilize their business. Marketers have been exploring online platforms, shopping options on social channels, and shoppable posts wherever possible. Adding to this, catering to the convenience aspect of consumers and following a personalized yet responsible approach is helping the brands significantly.
Small and medium brands to group together
As brands transform digitally for this new virtual normal, many businesses are considering symbiotic partnerships where they group with other brands. This has led to multiple advantages, especially for small and medium enterprises facing higher demands for needs they are not yet ready to cater.
When working together and sharing costs, a lot more money can be invested in marketing. Building into a larger entity would also mean being able to access a broader consumer base with specialized needs that a small or medium brand might not be able to meet alone. This also takes into account user familiarity. A consumer is far likelier to return to an online store that sells everything from a pin to a cupboard even if they are from different brands because it means not having to visit multiple smaller websites for every need.
Valuing people and building relationships
While digital transformation has become a buzzword, true winners are those who understand digital platforms well and can put together a holistic strategy that is suitable for brands as well as consumers. The importance of ‘People and Partners with the right Processes’ has become paramount. Hence, there has been a lot of iterations in the relationships between brands and digital marketers.
Marketers are cautiously working on it while ensuring that they help the brands in their growth in a responsible way. They are being there with them at every step as they restructure their functioning and evolve along with the changing customer journeys.
Rise of digital marketing as a profession
The demands of the current scenario have led market researchers and economists to comment on how the process of shopping itself might shift completely into the virtual arena while physical stores and restaurants turn into experiential and recreational joints. In 2017, a study claimed that the need for digital marketers was at 56 percent. On the other hand, those able to meet the needs and demands of the market were a mere 24 percent.
By the second half of this year, the need for skilled digital marketers has at least doubled. This has undoubtedly led to the creation of a newer, savvier batch of digital marketing experts, as many entrepreneurs are seeing an opportunity in the changing needs of the digital market and move to take it up as a profession.
The Bottom Line
The future is now, and it is digital!
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