The landscape of marketing is changing year after year.
Ten times as many people use the internet now compared with the turn of the millennium. Marketers can no longer afford to ignore the digital frontier.
But the internet changes rapidly. We’re already on the early cusp of ‘Web 3.0’.
So what does the future of digital marketing even look like? Below, we’ve pulled together the strategies that are likely to stand the test of time.
Targeting the Niche
Marketers are slowly waking up to the size of the internet. And it’s becoming clear there’s a market for everything.
The future of digital marketing will show us how expert niche targeting works. Companies who have tried to reach mass audiences are likely to focus down to smaller cross-sections of the internet.
This change has come about thanks to modern digital advertising tools. Online marketers can now target ads using keywords on social media. Analytics help them find out what works and what doesn’t. They can tailor their approach to work on a niche with laser precision.
That opens up the possibility for marketers to turn marketing into something that feels personal.
The rise of social media platforms has changed the future of digital marketing.
Customers now give feedback on advertising like never before. Most social platforms allow users to curate the content they see – including ads.
This gives marketers more ways to target their market directly.
Digital curation also allows marketers to bridge that trust gap between customer and company. Instead of trying to drop advertising into the laps of unwilling customers, customers now choose those ads directly.
A bonus of digital curation is its multi-generational approach.
Older generations are more wary of overt advertising, so they feel like they have more control over curated content. Millenials see it as an evolution of platforms they grew up with. And Generation Z already expects tailored experiences.
If the success of Snapchat and Twitch have proved anything, it’s that so-called Generation Z is hungry for live content.
Facebook has followed suit with its Facebook Live feature. Streaming is becoming a fact of life.
The modern approach to celebrities is for fans to involve themselves in the minutiae of their daily lives. Brands will need to get used to delivering live content that portrays the brand with less of a public front than they’re used to.
Brands will still be able to control their image in live content. But they’ll need to work harder to keep to a company message while also engaging intimately with their customers.
Brands that manage to achieve this difficult balancing act will enjoy an unprecedented link to their customers, inspiring new levels of brand loyalty.
Customers have more distractions than ever. That means marketers need to work harder to make their content stand out.
Interactive content like games, Q&A sessions, and shareable media are popular with consumers. They allow customers to engage with a brand, rather than play a more passive role.
Increased internet speed along with more powerful smartphones mean interactivity is easier than ever to achieve. Brands can couple social media, games, and advertising into one neat package.
By using interactive content, brands can turn their customers into a cornerstone of their campaign. Instead of an audience, their customers become marketers themselves, inviting friends to join a game or sharing posts on social media.
The rise of influencers has become undeniable over the last year or so. Influencers now interact with everything from movies and video games to political campaigns.
Influencers are the Holy Grail of modern marketing. They can change the landscape of a product launch. But unlike traditional celebrity endorsements, they aren’t obvious marketing ploys.
Influencers work to earn the trust of their fans through their own media presence. This gives them an existence outside of marketing for fans to engage with. That’s a ready-made bridge between brands and customers.
In return, influencers cultivate a relationship with the brands they support.
However, we can expect customers to wise up to influencers more as time goes on. Audiences will likely grow more used the idea of influencers and learn to spot them in marketing campaigns.
Pokemon Go may have been a short-lived bubble, but it showed the astronomical market for augmented reality products.
There hasn’t been a worthy successor yet. But brands know augmented reality will affect the future of digital marketing.
While VR requires special equipment, AR is achievable with the average smartphone. That means most customers are already carrying around a device that can deliver AR experiences directly to them.
Expect the next big success to be a brand which finds a campaign that really connects with their customers. There are plenty of gaps in the market that could be filled with AR services.
Once more forward-thinking marketers have found AR solutions, expect a wave of copycats to follow. AR will likely become as much a part of our lives as apps are.
AI and Virtual Assistants
It’s not quite there yet, but AI is poised to change the future of digital marketing.
Alexa, Cortana, and Siri have already shown that customers are ready to accept digital assistants into their homes. That’s a new level of intimacy for marketers. Even the act of choosing an assistant shows affiliation to a brand.
AI assistants a breaking down the barriers between customers and companies. Now brands can gather data straight from the home. This gives them a better insight into queries customers are making around the clock.
Expect to see AI combine with content curation and augmented reality to create a digital marketing trinity.
The Future of Digital Marketing is Changing
Ultimately, the exact nature of digital marketing in the future is unknown.
Marketing changes fast, and the rate of change will likely speed up as more people are connected to the internet in new ways. But marketers can stay with the times by keeping up-to-date on the latest trends.
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