Trends to look out for in digital marketing

Top trends to incorporate into your digital marketing plan to make your brand ubiquitous

We, as an industry, are witnessing the upsurge of digital trends and newer technologies YOY. Experiments are being conducted simultaneously to test their effectiveness too, like when the search engine giant Google tested out new approaches (like shopping tab) to enhance customer experience and leverage their buying intent. Even e-commerce players like Amazon have increased priority to the marketplace. PayTM mall and Flipkart also gaining focus on e-commerce marketplace and the trends only seem to be getting better.

The reason behind this: as per reports, digital media spend that stands to be at 12 per cent of complete ad share will inflate to 24 per cent by 2020. And these statistics will be influenced further by the rising smartphone penetration expected to go up to 800 million over the next 10 years. Other involved factors include expansion of artificial intelligence and robotics, customised targeting and a gradual shift from man-made towards automated mediums. The report even suggested that digital advertising would grow to 32 per cent CAGR reaching roughly approximately Rs 19,000 crore by 2020. 

So here are the top trends to incorporate into your digital marketing plan in order to make your brand ubiquitous. Before that, one thing more -

Fact: In 2020, the visitor’s patience will decrease further on. 25 per cent of them will most likely abandon their search on your site if it fails to load within a meagre time span of 4 seconds. Therefore, the first and foremost priority for you would be improving the site’s performance for tapping on the below given top trends. 

Interacting with individual customers:

Personalisation: The current customer goes to the extent of paying OOT media and music streaming services extra in order to avoid ads. They don’t want to waste even 1 second of their precious time on a generic ad. The solution to this problem is personalised advertising. 90 per cent of target audience has admitted that personalisation held an appeal for them. Even personalised email blasts are found to perform 3X better than their generic counterparts. 2020 will be mostly about getting up close and personal with the target audience.

Private & Customised Messaging: Brands will steadily shift towards the private messaging app. WhatsApp advertising will be one evolution in this direction and similar to WhatsApp other private messaging apps will gain attention too. Even customers are taking their feedback, complaints, queries and appreciations to the DMs of Facebook messenger and Instagram app. 

2. Going LIVE & engaging through videos: 2019 was all about videos in the digital marketing arena. So would be 2020. They dominated Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Even a social media video app Tik Tok took the Indian youth segment of Tier 2 & 3 cities by its fascination. 

All a testimony to how our audience loves consuming content on video. Seeing this, brands have been increasing their share on digital marketing spends too. Because videos also increase 53X likelihood of getting your website on the first page of search results. And as an improvement on them, the Facebook Live and Instagram Live are where these visitors are spending more of their time. These live videos are watched 3X longer than the videos on the feed because they give the audience an option to ask for information and give feedback in real time. 

3. Voice search slowly taking precedence over text search: In 2018, around 28 per cent search queries were being done by voice in India and in the same year, Google revealed that the nation was seeing 270 per cent YOY rise in voice searches. 

With Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa already becoming the favourites amongst millennials, digital marketers will need to attune (optimize) their brands’ site for the voice search. The most important change would be involving long-tail keywords to the sites. 

4. AR in Social Media: For a long time, VR had hogged all the attention but it is being predicted that soon VR will give way to AR. Digital marketers are already devising strategies around this technology to transform the way brand searches happen and the way a customer experiences these brands. 

Even Facebook is heavily invested in AR believing it to be the wave of the future. By feeling truly present, the target audience can interact with the product offerings and make purchases based on this experience. Facebook has started rolling out augmented reality feed ads in order to give advertisers an option to show off their products in new ways. This, as a result, has made online shopping an even more interactive experience for the customers and assisted advertisers in better conversions.

5. AI Everywhere: Several AI features already work in the background of social media platforms. From auto recommendation to image recognition, AI will only work on empowering these social media platforms further. 

Whereas on websites, AI & machine learning-powered chatbots have been found making it more comfortable for the visitors to communicate with them. In 2020, smoothening customer service through AI would become a priority.

6. Apps losing the limelight: App bloat, frequent updates, uninstall rates, & increasing app installs fraud on phones might force more consumers & companies to choose PWA options. Services/Products that pass the ‘Toothbrush Test’ (“Must be used at least twice a day”) will be preferred as apps while the rest will stand on shaky ground. 

7. ‘Amazon’ the Marketing Channel: Owing to its being the product search starting point and rich customer data, Amazon is only estimated to grow further as a marketing channel of its own. It’s estimated that Google will be putting huge efforts into servicing & increasing the share of its product searches. 

8. Catching them on the go: As the audience gets busier and their attention span decreases, more content would be consumed in transit. The omnichannel approach across video sites, social media, OTT players and Digital OOH placements in transit - OLA Play etc will increase. This also spells rapid growth in hyper-locally relevant Digital OOH like at restaurants, malls, railway stations and bus stands.

9. Strong on Social Media: Majority of the marketers think that social media is going to be big as compared to apps or web. It is especially going to be vital for the sake of brand awareness and brand connectivity. And to help the brands achieve these goals, social media channels keep undergoing evolution. New features are constantly added to Instagram, Youtube etc. 

One such trend is of shoppable posts, which is becoming a big part of online marketing. Approximately 60 per cent of the Instagram audience says that they discover products of new brands on Instagram. Something to tap in the upcoming year.

(The author is founder & CEO of Hiveminds. The views expressed are their own and may not subscribe to them.)

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