The latest marketing tech innovations enhancing user experiences (UX)
Online marketing continues to be a strong element in business success. For many businesses today, it is their primary channel and even their primary source of clients and customers. While traditional marketing strategies continue to be exploited by marketers, newer and more modern strategies are always surfacing.
With new ways to communicate constantly emerging, advertisers are not far behind, cooking up new ways to attract attention. Social media is a well-established marketing hotbed and it’s crucial for a brand’s success. Not long before this, it was the Internet itself making waves.
Online marketing trends continue to be a business favourite every year because they can be rolled out uniformly, customised per demographic, and they are directly measurable. The last point is especially important compared to some of the more traditional marketing techniques, with modern methods possessing a wealth of data to review performance.
Whats more, new online marketing developments are dynamic, innovative, and original in their approach; it’s the forefront of the industry.
Here is our pick of the top online marketing trends to follow and keep a finger on the pulse.
Personalisation through artificial intelligence
AI was used in 2018 by content marketing software to determine audience behaviour and appetites. It is also useful in determining what types of images and videos readers want. AI enables business owners to present carefully curated and personalised content to their readers so that each user has a unique experience.
The use of AI in business has been growing yearly and 2019 is expected to see a significant spike in the role of artificial intelligence in optimising ad creative images. With AI being integral to online marketing, it is expected to deliver a whole new experience for customers via “intent advertising”.
Online intent advertising is a potential disruptor as it enables the identification of new prospects beyond typical audience categories. It employs a competitor-oriented strategy wherein competitor brand URLs and keywords are used to establish a custom intent audience during the purchase decision phase. Intent advertising serves as yet another resource for assembling a custom optimisation strategy for a brand.
AI can also be developed and integrated into online shopping platforms and apps. For example, in a fashion online shop a customer can put together a desired look or ensemble and the AI can search the online shop for items that recreate this look. It won’t be long until integrated AI technology rolls out permanently.
There is a twist in AI ads that some find somewhat sinister, and that is the presence of ads that seem to follow users around the Internet from site to site. Users often find this unnerving at first, especially when the AI picks up browsing history and displays related items.
Often, people feel that this is a breach of their privacy and suspect ‘listening in’ activities via their mic. However, as ad trends move on and familiarity sets in, the more unsettled users will likely become accustomed to AI ads and even see their benefit.
The meteoric rise of video ads
Consumers spend more time watching videos on their mobile phones than any other device: fact. According to research conducted by Chiefmarketer, in 2018 65% of ad impressions on Instagram were from video content and the figures are expected to further increase this year. Video is expected to account for 85% of total internet traffic in 2019.
This is a channel that businesses are jumping on and making sure they are a part of. In fact, videos highlighting brands and their products tailored to specific target audiences have moved in to take significant bites out of marketing campaign budgets.
Video ad creation and use are expected to grow in-line with the potential for consumer exposure and conversion. It’s fast becoming a key component of marketing strategies and something not to be overlooked when planning a campaign.
Chatbots enhance customer service
Businesses invest a lot of money in customer service, allotting manpower for customers with queries and complaints. People want to interact with someone when they have a question to feel valued. In today’s online world, responses to queries are expected quickly if not instantly. Good customer service demands an investment of both time and money.
This is where chatbots have made significant inroads. Chatbots are a trending feature that help users navigate pages, answer common questions, and improve customer service response time. Other means of communicating with customer support are still effective, of course, such as email, private chat, social media direct messages, and phone.
Chatbots serve to streamline customer contact processes and they enable faster and more personalised responses to users, especially when compared to older methods such as recorded telephone messages.
See also: The Tech Trends to Watch This Year
Upcoming trends in the offing
Social media, email marketing and voice-activated searches help provide consumers with what they need. But, more change and further developments seem likely in the near future. Live videos are gaining traction with businesses starting to explore streaming services for example.
Influencers are being increasingly tapped for their industry-specific resources and abilities, including live streaming. Employing a well-known personality to un-box products and trial them can serve to significantly boost promotions.
Streamlined and personalised
The constants of online branding remain: social media, email marketing, web copy, SEO, professional blogs, and voice-activated searches.
The focus of online marketing trends has shifted, and the new direction is heading towards customers wanting a more personalised experience minus the more drawn-out and arduous processes linked to traditional marketing.
First published on Medium on 1 March 2019
Revised and published here 10 May 2019
Updated 21 May 2019