Digital marketing has evolved along with digitalization and smartphone usage in the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns. With the Gen Z market growing in influence, their preference for short-form video content has made TikTok a dominant player in the social media space. Growing awareness and demand for privacy have led Google and other social media platforms to create new regulations to protect customers. Digital marketers and companies simply cannot afford to not be aware of these transformations in the industry if they hope to keep their customers engaged with their brands. Here are the 5 biggest digital marketing trends you should know.
Growing Demand for Real and Authentic Stories
The storytelling game is not new. Consumers have long been inundated with product and corporate messaging that they tune out when they see such marketing attempts on their socials. What consumers crave are real and authentic stories – stories that they can connect with on a personal level. All marketers must be storytellers! Consumers these days want to know how brands have fulfilled their promises in a way that meets their needs and expectations.
However, that does not mean that marketers should relinquish the narrative to organic reviews from their customers. Rather, the marketing strategy should place storytelling in the center. Rather than focusing on the benefits or unique selling points of your product as compared to a competitor’s, marketers should communicate the value of their brand, products, and services through storytelling. For example, a brand can communicate how their product has solved a frustrating problem for a customer through a customer’s narrative. Let’s get real – storytelling may not result in direct conversions and sales, but it creates mindshare and brand recall. The next time a consumer has a specific issue that was covered by your story, they will remember your brand. That is a bonus for brand placement on every level.
Increased Focus on Privacy, Transparency, and Trust
Another key online marketing trend is the increased awareness and action taken on privacy and transparency. Recent scandals such as the Cambridge Analytica breach by Meta (then Facebook), have caused governments and consumers to scrutinize their privacy on online platforms and how their data is being used. Though consumers are largely still on social media platforms, the growing distrust of data use has led to an outcry for stronger privacy protections. With lobbying from citizens and governments, online and social platforms have committed to taking action to further secure the privacy of their users and be more transparent over how their data is used. With this in mind, digital marketers should be prepared for further restrictions on the tracking of users’ behavior.
Google has recently announced its decision to clamp down on third-party cookies by 2023. Brands and marketers must consider how to pivot their strategies on understanding and tracking their customers. However, this is not the end of the road for data-driven marketing. Rather, it is an opportunity to build stronger trust and relationships with their customers. Brands can be fully transparent about the data that they are collecting, give clear reasons why they are being collected and how they would be used, and give the user an easy option to opt out anytime. Brands should only collect useful data and not collect information that they don’t need. Making data usage and opt-out information clear and accessible shows your customers that you can be trusted.
Governments in different countries or states may tighten their data regulations and stipulate corporations to comply. Always check the latest regulations in your area and follow them, or risk a hefty fine and damage to your brand’s reputation.
Customers Want to be Conversed With and Interacted With
Though conversational marketing is not exactly new, the platforms where conversational marketing is taking place have changed. Consumers want to be interacted with at a personal level. They are open to brands being more conversational on social media and expect social media managers to know and communicate with the latest trends and lingos in mind. Sometimes, brands are even expected to chime in on issues that may not even be directly related to the brand’s products and services. What consumers want to see is the relevance between brands and their interests.
Chatbots have also been on the rise with consumers demanding instant interaction and direct messaging. With advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning, chatbots can learn how to communicate with and assist consumers in a faster and more relatable manner. Furthermore, chatbots can also integrate with your website, socials, and even your brand’s inventory and e-commerce system to seamlessly help customers with purchasing your products and services. The data gathered from a customer’s interaction with a chatbot is also a goldmine, and give brands insight into how their customers think and search for products, and their needs and expectations.
Short Homemade Videos are in Demand
Perhaps one of the biggest key digital marketing trends of 2022 is the rise of TikTok. Gen-Z has moved the internet away from photo grids and status updates to short DIY video posts. Wanting to capture the Gen-Z market and retain their customers, YouTube started Shorts and Instagram and Facebook started with their Reels feature. As expected, users have been cross-posting their short videos across all platforms to amass a following.
Social media users prefer more fast-paced and easily consumed content. Short videos with simple and concise messages tend to perform and engage better. Boost your engagement with short polls or even invite your brand’s followers to embark on a new challenge.
While polished and well-edited videos still have their place, consumers are used to seeing DIY videos on TikTok and other similar platforms. It is more crucial to be timely, on-trend, engaging, authentic, and real rather than come across being too perfect or polished. Young consumers crave authenticity and being in the moment. Showing that your brand is open to creating content like they do also puts you in a “one of us” category and makes you more relatable to your customers.
The Rise of Shopping and Auctions on Live Streams
Live streaming has been a go-to for music artists, influencers, and gamers to interact with their fans in real time. With fiber broadband and 5G, lag and buffering would be a thing of the past. The upgrade in internet infrastructure is expected to give a boost to digital advertising trends.
Brands can also consider live streaming as a platform to engage with their consumers. After all, live content enjoys three times more viewing time as compared to pre-recorded content. This shows that there is an appetite for live content amongst users. There is also a growing trend of brands and promoters selling products online. From beauty products to food and even sports accessories and more, a lot of products are being sold and auctioned off on live streams. Brands can connect with their customers on a one-to-one basis and deliver value right on the spot.
Effective live streaming requires preparation and homework by the marketing team. Marketers need to ensure that the tone used during live streaming is unique and yet still conforms to the brand identity. The marketing team may need to invest in resources such as a green screen, lighting, sound, and visual effects to create a premium live stream experience. The host of the live stream should be personable and approachable and embody the brand’s values. Ideally, the host of the live stream should be kept consistent to increase brand recall.
If you are looking to build a strong digital presence amongst a sea of brands, you need a capable digital marketing team. Our digital marketing specialists at FMO Media are here to help! FMO Media helps companies create a strong and unique online presence that builds brand awareness and loyalty. We are a full-spectrum digital agency that has helped many clients build a loyal following. Contact us today to find out more!