7 Digital Marketing Trends That Should Be on Your Radar

hands using phones and laptops

Recently a couple members of the Callis crew attended an AMI (Agency Management Institute) Digital Summit. AMI is a management consulting firm that specializes in helping marketing agencies like us take their performance to the next level—and keep improving. The Digital Summit is an interactive workshop where digital teams come together to learn about new digital marketing trends and tools and share strategies and best practices.  Here are our top 7 digital marketing trend takeaways that should be on your radar:

1. Voice Search

A trend that is coming like a freight train into the digital marketing world is SEO for Voice Search. As marketers, we need to embrace it and optimize our websites and content for voice search inquiries. They’re different than inquiries made from a keyboard. Today, mobile searches are surpassing 50% of total searches.  20% of mobile searches are voice searches. It’s expected that 50% of total searches will be voice searches by 2020. To learn more about Voice Search and what you can be doing now to embrace this online marketing trend, read our OUTthink article SEO for Voice Search.

2. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is another hot trend.  B2B companies have been using it for years, but with a different twist.  Influencer marketing at the consumer level is a form of marketing that focuses on creating strategic messages and delivering those messages to influential people rather than the target market as a whole. Influencer Marketing identifies and communicates with individuals that have influence over potential buyers. Bringing in strategic “third parties” can be very effective in building trust in your brand and credibility among your target audience. As part of an integrated marketing campaign, Influencer Marketing can be very impactful in reinforcing the messages of your advertising.

With the recent Facebook algorithm changes limiting the distribution of social content, Influencer Marketing can also be a strategic way to extend your reach across Facebook, as well as other social sites and digital platforms.

3. Reputation Management: Ratings and Reviews

A concept similar to that of Influencer Marketing, reputation management including positive Ratings and Reviews can also help brands build trust and credibility within their audience. Today’s customers are researching products online before making a purchase. In most cases, they read multiple reviews before clicking the “add to cart” button, making a call or stepping foot in a store. Positive Ratings and Reviews are critical. They help customers evaluate products and brands and in a lot of cases can be what makes or breaks an ecommerce transaction, call-in order, or an in-store conversion.  

But the importance of Ratings and Reviews extends beyond a customer’s buying activity and conversion. What can be more important than that? (I heard you thinking that.) Good question. Ratings and Reviews are also considerations in how search engines are prioritizing Search Engine Results Pages, meaning that conversion could be irrelevant if that customer never made it to your website or store.

4. Over-the-top TV

Similar to TV advertising, Over-the-top TV (OTT) is the distribution of media through streaming content, rather than via cable or broadcast television service providers. This digital marketing trend is creeping closer and closer as folks are calling it quits with their cable or satellite dish TV companies and moving their TV viewing to smart TV apps like Netflix, Hulu, Roku, etc.

TV advertising has been powerfully effective over the years for brands with broad audiences and will likely continue to be for some time.  Since Over-the-top TV is all online however, there are some advantages to it. These include a lower cost to implement, the ability to accurately target viewers and the ability to track and measure results more easily.

5. Chatbots

Chatbots can be an effective customer service tool. They service the needs and questions of prospective customers quickly, saving companies labor hours in answering phones and responding to digital inquiries. If bots are accurate, they can lead to increased customer satisfaction by being able to respond so quickly with a solution.

A bot is a computer program that automates communication with a user through a conversational interface. Bot technology is still very new. Most bots follow a set of rules programmed by a human through a bot-building platform. Building a bot can be as easy as creating a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) and writing canned responses to answer those questions. Bots lead customers through a series of questions to collect the necessary information to understand your prospect’s intent, question, or what they are looking to accomplish and then they deliver the right content to satisfy your prospects’ needs.

With customers expecting information to be available at their fingertips at any moment and companies working towards serving their prospects and customers efficiently, it’s hard to imagine that the chat bot online marketing trend won’t be around for a while – assuming people do it in the right way.

6. Run & Gun Video

Video continues to be a great tool for reaching and engaging potential customers, building brand awareness and credibility, and leveraging other components of your marketing campaigns. In addition, videos provide great content for social media, email marketing, website content and digital advertising.

Live Video is becoming increasingly more popular through Facebook and Instagram. Videos perform well in algorithms, notifications are sent to users when companies go live, and users like the originality and authenticity of companies being themselves.

A new video production trend is emerging to leverage these “live-style” videos and be more efficient with marketing spend. Run & Gun videos are just that. They are shot on the fly, commonly with a phone, speaker and stabilizer. They are cost-effective to produce and are getting good results. Quality is still important to most, nobody is going to want to watch a real shaky video or a video with poor sound quality. However, a happy medium can be achieved quickly and efficiently through Run & Gun video production.

Although the new Run & Gun-style is emerging, there is definitely still a place for high-quality video. You probably wouldn’t want to run a Super bowl ad with an Iphone video. However, introducing a mix of video production styles based on how the video will be used and the quality level it needs to be is an effective way to expand what you’re able to accomplish with your marketing budget.

7. Podcasts

Podcasts have been around for a few years and the value that companies are seeing who have implemented podcast programs continues to grow. People are tuning into podcasts and incorporating them into their day-to-day activities. Some people tune in through their ear buds at work, others on their commutes or while they work out. The flexibility of consuming podcast content allows for customers to easily tune in on their terms and work them in to their demanding schedules.

Podcasting is a great positioning tool and can work hand in hand with SEO. Podcasts can drive direct traffic to your website by adding rich content and can be beneficial in supporting your link-building efforts. In addition, podcasts provide a great source of content that can be sliced and diced and repurposed through blogs, YouTube videos and other social media platforms.

To stay relevant, it’s important for brands to continually be investing in reaching their audience in new and innovative ways. The digital world we operate in today holds many opportunities to do just that. Is your company making the most of new digital marketing trends?