Digital Marketing is constantly changing, and with numerous industry updates already confirmed this year, the future looks exciting. Keeping up with current trends is thus essential if you want to keep your audience’s attention and gain traction in the marketplace.
Below we look at some of the key trends that could change the digital marketing landscape in Australia going forward.
1. Artificial Intelligence Chatbots
Artificial Intelligence allows us to perform heaps of different tasks with amazing speed and accuracy. There are many ways AI will be helping a business to effectively cater for their clients. We’ve already seen how chatbots have become so sophisticated that customers rarely realise that they’ve been interacting with AI tools.
Application of this technology is already evident in website support pop-ups used on ecommerce and local business websites throughout Australia. The challenge ahead is how the marketing community will leverage chatbots to get more customer conversions without much input from the client side.
2. Visual Search
The ability to search for similar items using images has been around for a while. This however has not been used directly for commercial purposes until now.
Google Lens already has the ability to recognize clothing items from an image and suggest similar items from ecommerce platforms. Pinterest has also since jumped on the bandwagon, introducing Lens, a search-tool that allows users to capture images to search for the stores they want to buy from. Even though both these applications are limited, the commercial value of the technology could be huge for ecommerce.
3. Speed Wins
When the leading search engine company makes a distinct effort to emphasize something, then it’s probably a good idea to listen. Slow loading websites is ranked one of the most annoying aspects of online browsing and a major reason for customer drop-offs at entry.
Just a look at websites developed by leading developers in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney makes you realize just how far web design has come in terms of speed and UX. Yet many brands bloat their pages with conversion add-ons that slow the experience down for users, especially on mobile.
Speed optimization tools that aid website caching, file compression and delivery time are common for most brands as they optimize to make the user experience as painless as possible.
4. Local Influence Marketing
The advent of the World Wide Web led many marketers down the path of world domination. Campaigns spent targeting large amount of customers generally have the highest levels of waste.
Implementing Local SEO best practices like adding location pages to your website, claiming your Google & Bing Maps listings and refining add targeting to attract local clients has all helped but more can be done.
One key area is the increasing use of voice assistants and understanding how users communicate with these to satisfy their needs. How businesses use that data remains a conundrum that will only be solved by marketers willing to connect with their clients in new ways.
5. Facebook Still Dominating Social Media Marketplace
Digital agencies in Australia are slowly adding more specialized social media services to their product offerings. With a large user base, Facebook continues to dominate the Australian social media marketplace with brands spending big on advertising to reach their target audiences.
The intense scrutiny regarding the platform’s questionable sharing of user data hasn’t sparked the exodus just yet. Facebook clearly has a plan to retain users on the platform not just for social interactions but commercial gain. In the past, early adopters of Facebook Ads benefitted greatly for their foresight, what’s clear is that Facebook will be at the forefront of social media advancements for a good while yet.
6. Content marketing
Good content fuels all digital channels, making it a must-have digital marketing tool. And together with Artificial Intelligence, marketers can collect more data about their audience and their preferences so as to deliver the type of content these audiences actually want to see.
With search engines getting a better grasp of search intent, content creation has become a fine balancing act for many marketers. Gone are the days of simply adding target keywords in certain places, content marketers have shifted focus to providing answers to customer needs to get conversions.
Consumer data allows you to monitor your customers’ purchasing history and to check out the links they clicked etc. Customised content is so critical for building strong relationships with customers.
Customers want to feel valued before they make a purchase. By monitoring customers, a business can create content with good information, personalise email marketing campaigns and then recommend certain products based on the buying-preferences history of customers.
8. Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing is all about providing an integrated shopping experience. Your business has to ‘become the customer’- knowing precisely what different mediums customers are using and making 100% sure customers are finding the services and products you offer and not those of your rival companies.
An omnichannel experience takes into account each platform a customer uses to interact with the company. This knowledge ensures an integrated experience for customers throughout their purchasing journey with the brand.
9. Data Privacy
With more data breaches occurring on well known platforms, more brands are having to explain just how much personal user data they collect and how it gets used.
Disclosures now require deeper thought and the use of developers and in some cases, legal teams to get these compliant. Brands will have to behave more ethically to garner the trust of their customers, with negligence not a valid excuse. Impact will be felt with marketing reach but data privacy is here to stay.
Digital marketing trends have a short lifespan which means that brands and marketers need to keep in the loop with what’s working, whilst always remembering the goals and targets that are important for their brand.