Technology moves forward fast. Every year, there are new, hot social media apps, better smartphones, and other tech advances that promise to revolutionize your digital marketing.
To help you wade through the hype, I’ve compiled a list of which digital marketing trends should be on your radar in the next year.
The top 10 digital marketing trends
Here are some up-and-coming digital marketing trends that can help you better engage with your customers in the new year:
1. Privacy and cookies
To improve internet privacy, Google is on a mission to remove third-party cookies from its websites, and Firefox and Safari no longer support them. This change will likely impact how your onsite ads and banner ads are displayed. Websites won’t be able to use tracking cookies to populate ads.
Thankfully, Google and other platforms are working on replacement algorithms to place onsite ads while improving privacy. And cookies won’t officially be gone until 2023. You can adapt your digital ads by using keywords and advertising on sites that provide a logical context for your ads.
2. Voice SEO
Digital assistants are still trending, and many of your customers are using them to make their lives easier. Features like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google’s digital assistant let people search the internet without even picking up their phones. In 2021, 20% of internet searches were voice-based.
This year, think about tailoring your search engine optimization (SEO) for voice search. Think about conversational phrases people would use to find you through their virtual assistant. On the internet, a user might type “Italian restaurants in Chicago” while on voice search, they might say, “What’s a good Italian restaurant in Chicago?”
3. In-feed shopping
If you run an ecommerce business, you may be familiar with shoppable posts on social media. You can now link your Facebook and Instagram accounts to your digital catalog and let people click right on posts within their feeds to buy merchandise.
Google Ads offers another in-feed shopping tool with shopping campaigns. These ads are linked to your product catalog and display as shoppable photos. Create your ad and specify the search phrases people can use to find it. Then set your parameters, including your geographical area and an inventory number. Google can pull the ad once you’ve sold out of the product.
4. Push notifications
Use this tool to remind customers of upcoming appointments, instantly send digital receipts, and promote upcoming sales.
An estimated 7.1 billion people used mobile devices in 2021. So it’s a good bet that most of your customers are walking around with a smartphone. And push notifications let you reach your customers through their phones.
With push notifications, you can create personalized messages that pop up on their mobile device, either as a message bubble on their home screen or as an SMS message in their text feed.
Learn how to do push notifications to engage with your clients and drive them to your site.
5. SMS marketing
Digital marketing trends also include directly connecting with your clients through texts. Along with push notifications and email marketing, use SMS messages to engage with your customers. This tool involves sending text messages directly to your clients — once they opt-in.
Common uses of SMS marketing include promotions, coupons, and personalized messages. Keep these messages short and make sure your customers can opt-out.
6. Video marketing
The average person watches online videos for about 100 minutes a day. Watching videos is one of the most popular activities on Facebook. You can tap into this market by creating video ads. There are a few ways to go about this. You can create a YouTube or Vimeo channel and use video to educate and engage with your audience.
You can also connect with your audience by creating TikTok business videos and other social media content. Share your videos with common hashtags to help users find them. If you’re not interested in producing your video content regularly, you can use over-the-top (OTT) advertising. Create ads that are 10 to 15 seconds long that you can run over the top of other videos.
OTT ads appear at the front of other streaming videos. Use them to connect with viewers.
7. Email marketing/segmentation
Privacy is top of mind for internet providers and users alike. Show the same consideration to your email list. When you’re email marketing, segment your list and send personalized emails to different segments.
By doing so, you can add value to each member of your email list. Be thoughtful with your campaign in email marketing, and make sure it’s easy for members of your list to opt-out.
8. Interactive content
People like interacting with brands through social media and other platforms. And interactive content lets you talk to your followers in real-time.
Features like Instagram Live and Facebook Live let people talk to you while you’re recording your video. Use this tool and engage with your customers. You can host an “ask me anything” live event or a product Q&A. Promote this event for a few weeks for more participation. Pay attention to your streaming setup for a quality event.
9. Conversational marketing
Another digital trend gaining steam is conversational marketing. This refers to chatbots, AI assistants, and other tools through which customers can contact you. You can use it to improve customer service, generate leads, and answer questions.
With conversational marketing, your customers talk to a bot through text messages or a chat platform, letting them solve their issues quickly and effectively. You can use this tool to be available 24/7 without having to answer calls and emails yourself. If your clients do need a person, chats can be escalated to a call center or you.
10. Influencer marketing
Partnering with an influencer in your industry can open you up to a wide range of potential customers. The industry has generated over $13 billion in 2021.
This marketing strategy involves giving free products to a social media personality or paying them to promote your product. In exchange, they create a post telling their followers about your brand.
You can partner with popular personalities on TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram, for example. Instead of spending a lot of money to get a major influencer with millions of followers, consider partnering with a micro-influencer, which is someone who has 1,000 to 10,000 followers.
According to Forbes, “A micro-influencer serves more niche audiences and can be beneficial to a brand because they provide access to a small subset of a targeted demographic interested in your business.” They’re often considered more reliable by their followers as well.
Where to focus your digital marketing efforts
Don’t worry, you don’t have to dive into all of these 10 digital marketing trends. Start by doing some deeper research on each and deciding which ones are best for your business — if you pick the tools that best fit your customers, it will be easier to incorporate them into your digital marketing strategy. Then, pick one to start with.
Once you’re comfortable with one of the new trends in digital marketing, start experimenting with others and have fun growing your business! Or explore prioritizing your digital marketing services.