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Digital Marketing Trends: How Consumer Demand Shapes Strategies

Organizations of all sizes depend on digital marketing professionals to increase brand awareness, create a loyal customer base and ultimately drive revenue.

Today, there is no shortage of where digital marketers can promote goods, services and products – search engines, social media, websites and more. But how do industry professionals prioritize projects, campaigns and strategies? By better understanding what customers want.

For example, a 2017 Hubspot Digital Consumer Trends Report revealed 53% of people want to see more video in the future, as compared to 46% for news articles and 44% for social media posts. According to the findings, branded video is nearly three times more popular than blog articles, eBooks and downloadable content.

Marketers are not only tasked with figuring out how to incorporate video more, but what formats and messages need to be shared on which channel. Marketers will need to evaluate what the final goal is – branding, engagement or lead generation. For example, according to Facebook, live videos garner six times as many interactions than regular videos.

Video is just one growing trend in digital marketing defined by consumer demands. Others include mobile, artificial intelligence, voice search, content marketing and social media.

Mobile

A growing number of consumers are reaching for their smartphones or tablets to click, search and make purchases. According to BrightEdge, 57% of all search traffic in 2017 was on mobile devices. Google reports that 89% of people are likely to recommend a brand after a positive brand experience on mobile.

Creating a seamless mobile experience – from creating personalized emails to launching micro-videos – will only grow in importance. Organizations will need to optimize back-end performance to ensure mobile websites and apps run smoothly and provide the answer people are looking for. For example, according to Entrepreneur, progressive web apps, which load faster and respond quickly, are projected to replace general-purpose, consumer-facing mobile apps by 2020.

Artificial Intelligence

AI can be leveraged throughout many aspects of marketing, including creating a personalized website experience and push notifications, according to The Content Marketing Institute. For example, AI algorithms can help personalize the best offers and content based on data points including location, demographics and device. Other marketing technologies are able to conduct autonomous media buying, such as Albert, an AI marketing platform which helps analyze, manage and optimize paid ad campaigns, CMI reports.

Other popular options include the rollout of chatbots, which are computer programs that “chat” with users to help answer questions or perform routine tasks. According to Hubspot, marketers can leverage this technology help the user make a purchase by answering questions and making suggestions based on user preferences. According to their survey results, 47% of shoppers are open to buying items from a chatbot. Additionally, 57% of people are interested in getting information from bots when browsing a company’s website.

Voice Search

Voice search tools and digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Windows’ Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa are catching fire in the U.S. According to SearchEngineLand, more than 50% of search queries will be voice search. As the technology and algorithms improve, so should the popularity of such voice-enabled products and services.

Marketing professionals will have to work hand in hand with technology counterparts to ensure voice search is optimized and delivering the right content in the right way. According to Forbes, content delivered via voice-enabled devices should be done so in snippets, with a limited number of words – about 45 or less – to optimize the user experience. Such best practices can help users increase adoption and enhance the overall experience by getting the answers they’re looking for.

Content Marketing

Consumers are looking for content – on social media sites, search engines (Google, Bing and YouTube), company websites, emails and more. They’re looking for reviews, how-to videos and general information and notifications about products, services and, of course, cost.

Currently, 86% of B2C organizations use content marketing, according to a 2018 Content Marketing Institute report. Of those surveyed, 5% said their overall content marketing approach was extremely successful, while 23% responded with “very successful” and 50% said it was moderately successful.

As digital marketers design the content marketing strategy of the future, it’s important to note that a balance of different content formats – articles, video, podcasts – is necessary for a successful content marketing strategy.

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