Not so long ago, advertising your brand meant putting your company message into a television commercial, on a huge billboard, or in a magazine, and hoping against hope that it would reach your target audience.
Now, the online world means that businesses of all shapes and sizes can target specific audiences, boost brand awareness, and be far more efficient with their branding budget. It’s no wonder that digital marketing has taken the world by storm.
Although there’s still a place for print marketing, brochure design, and offline solutions within many brands, the truth is that digital strategies for lead generation are now wearing the crown. From email, to content marketing, and even social media presence – if you’re not online, then you might as well be non-existent.
While there are countless articles out there that dive into the latest digital marketing trends, or offer digital marketing ideas based on a perception of what “might” come next in the online world, it’s worth noting that most of our views of the future link back to a few fundamental marketing solutions.
While the developments you make with your digital marketing agency will frequently change and evolve, they often come back to these elements:
Is your digital marketing campaign trendy enough?
Here, we’re going to look at each of these “fundamental” pillars for digital marketing trends, as well as covering some of the most popular solutions to hit the market over the last year or so.
Digital marketing trends: Online advertising, PPC and remarketing
Let’s start with perhaps one of the most “basic” approaches to digital marketing. Though advertising solutions like PPC (pay per click), retargeting, and AdWords might not seem like the most creative digital marketing ideas, they continue to be a powerful force for companies in search of loyal, valuable customers.
Today, the internet marketing efforts that you invest in should be the ones that align best with the way your customers already make purchasing decisions. For instance, Pay-Per-Click remains to be crucial in the world of digital marketing trends, because when people need an answer, they turn to search engines to get it. As a result, 52% of the people who click on PPC ads will follow up with a call to the advertiser.
So, what are the latest digital marketing ideas for people exploring PPC?
Digital marketing tips: The latest PPC trends
When you’re working with your digital marketing agency in London, you’ll find that one of your key goals will be to stay one step ahead of your competition. A good way to do this is to make sure that you’re not just using the “same old” PPC solutions. Today’s trends include:
1. Video advertising
Video marketing has been a huge talking point for much of 2017, as it emerges as a powerful form of online content. As people become more drawn to visual information, smaller businesses are finding new opportunities to connect with their customers on a more interactive, personal level.
2. Lookalike audiences
A “Lookalike” audience is based on shared common interests that exist in your current audience. With “lookalike” audiences, you can target more customers across social media and beyond, by focusing on key demographic factors.
Remarketing isn’t a new concept, but it is something that’s become increasingly important in recent years. Because remarketing gives you a chance to follow the people that are already familiar with your business, and provide tailored marketing messages to them, you can increase your chance of better click-through rates.
Digital marketing trends: Search engine optimisation and link building
SEO is something that’s been around for quite a few years now, but many marketers think that it’s becoming increasingly more effective. In fact, 82% of marketers feel that SEO is becoming a bigger element in their company. The only times when SEO is unlikely to be the best way to boost your share of organic traffic are when:
You have the strongest brand in all the land and drive traffic through direct searches.
You have an incredible social media campaign.
You’ve robbed a bank to pay for your PPC efforts.
So, what’s popular in the world of SEO right now?
Digital marketing tips: The latest SEO trends
For SEO, content marketing will always be a key consideration. As any digital marketing agency will tell you, you can’t rank high for key words and phrases unless you’re creating the content that Google can use to associate those terms with your brand. However, there are a few current trends that you can look at to upgrade your content and SEO strategies.
1. HTTPS is a priority
Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, or HTTPS, is the solution that keeps data safe between you, and a user’s computer. Today’s consumers are far more careful than they were a few years ago, and they expect nothing less than a truly secure experience online. Make sure your website has a HTTPS certificate.
2. Long-form content reigns
Long-form content, meaning content well over 2,000 words, performs much better in the search results than shorter posts. That means it’s not enough to write the same-old short blog posts, you need long, engaging, and relevant content, full of important information.
3. Accelerated mobile pages win
Google is a huge fan of “AMP”. Accelerated mobile pages provide a better user experience, and ensure that customers get more from your website. Since Google are all about giving the best browsing solution to their audience, you can bet that going AMP will help your rankings.
4. UX is essential
Speaking of user experience – everything comes down to keeping your customer happy these days. The more you can provide a top-notch online experience for your customers, the more you’ll benefit in terms of SEO rankings. Plus, a great website leads to better loyalty from your customers too – but we’ll look at that a little later.
5. Links and content go hand-in-hand
Finally, the importance of high-quality backlinks isn’t going to change any time soon. Links are still going to contribute significantly to your rank, but rather than stress about securing them from your peers, all you really need to do is create content that’s good enough to encourage shares. Infographics, videos, and detailed case studies often perform better than basic blog posts.
Digital marketing trends: Content marketing and guest blogging
Since we’ve just looked at digital marketing ideas related to SEO, it makes sense that our next stop on the trends train would be in the world of content marketing. For years now, brands have been trying to develop content that connects with their audience in more relevant, personal ways. This devotion to better content isn’t going to emerge with the creation of new technology – but simply from a brand’s ability to tailor content to the needs of their audience.
Most of the time, when you’re working with a digital marketing agency in London, you’ll find that they ask you to develop a user persona that will help to guide your content strategy. By doing this, you’ll be able to blend culturally relevant information, with customer data, to showcase your brand in a more meaningful way.
For instance, consider Spotify’s recent campaign which made posters based on consumer information:
Digital marketing tips: The latest content marketing trends
For most businesses, a great content marketing strategy will start with nothing more than a simple blog. However, as new digital marketing trends emerge that offer innovative solutions for providing information and entertainment to your audiences, it’s fair to say that your approach to content marketing might evolve over time. If you’re not sure where to go next, try discussing these trends with your digital marketing agency.
1. Producing more user-friendly content
The number of people online is increasing on a daily basis, and they’re all consuming more content than ever. This growth has convinced some businesses that the best way to move forward is to produce “more” content, with 70% of B2B companies looking to up the ante in content production. However, it’s not just about creating content, but making that content as user-friendly as possible. Make sure it’s easy to read, access, watch, or share. Give your customers the experience they’re looking for.
2. Brands get more creative
All the best digital marketing ideas come from a little bit of creativity. In the past, content marketing has been exclusively focused on eBooks, blogging, white papers, and other written content designed to generate traffic. While these strategies continue to prevail, it’s a good idea to invest in other areas too. For instance, visual content is likely to grow more important as search engines get better at reading image context.
3. Influencers and micro-influencers
Brands have already relied on influencing individuals in an attempt to boost brand awareness – just think about all the celebrity endorsements you see on TV. However, new digital marketing trends are taking advantage of influencers from new backgrounds – from social media stars, to YouTube content creators when gaining trust from their audience.
4. Messaging becomes personal
As more companies jump head-first into the saturated pool of content marketing this year, it’s important to make sure that your strategy isn’t too broad. A lot of the most common digital marketing trends and digital marketing tips today suggest personalising your content as much as possible to appeal to smaller, more “niche” audiences.
Digital marketing trends: Video blogging and podcasts
While your blog posts, eBooks, and email marketing will certainly still have a part to play in most of your digital marketing ideas, 2017 sparked the video revolution. Written content will help you to optimise for search engines, while visual content enriches your website, engages your customers, and gives you a whole new level of interaction.
From podcasts, to video blogs, people love the concept of seeing and hearing something from someone else’s perspective. Live videos, vlogs, and more can all cater to this desire. In fact, you can even boost your relationship with brands just by allowing them to hear your voice. This is because the human connection is so much deeper than anything produced artificially online, or in text.
So, how can you take advantage of the visual era?
Digital marketing tips: The latest video marketing tips
1. The rise of 360-degree video
Studies have shown that the average percentage of people who view content with 360-degree technology is around 28.8% higher than it would be for the same video, in standard format. The same study also showed that double the amount of people watched the 360-video all the way through.
2. Multi-channel watching (or listening)
As it becomes more convenient to watch videos on your tablet, listen to podcasts on your smartphone, and catch up with content wherever you are, multi-channel access has become significant to digital marketing trends. A Think with Google report found that 85% of adults between the ages of 18 and 49 use multiple devices at the same time, watching TV and YouTube simultaneously.
3. More audience engagement
One thing that your digital marketing agency will always work on with you when approaching digital marketing ideas, is your ability to improve audience engagement. Half of YouTube users today would stop what they’re doing elsewhere to watch a new video designed by their favourite star. Now’s the time to upgrade your video efforts.
4. The growth of live-streaming
It’s safe to say that when it comes to digital marketing trends, live video has taken the world by storm this year. Instagram and Facebook have both implemented new live video streaming solutions into their channels, and countless more platforms are likely to follow suit.
5. Video storytelling
Finally, storytelling has always been a significant part of how human beings communicate. In the future, as brands desperately try to show their personality to the world, it’s likely that storytelling will become even more significant. Telling stories through video is just one incredible way to nurture relationships with customers, motivate an audience, and convey relatable information to your target market.
Digital marketing trends: Email marketing
In a world where AI, VR, and other such technology is becoming increasingly prominent, email marketing can seem a little outdated. However, all the research into email content goes to show that it’s just as powerful as it’s ever been.
Over 34% of the world’s population uses email – that’s around 2.5 billion people at a time. With the right email marketing strategy, and the right digital marketing trends, you’ve got a powerful and vibrant way to really connect with people that are crucial to your brand. Let’s face it – do you know anyone who doesn’t have an email address these days?
Email marketing also represents a powerful, and personal way of reaching out to your target customer. In an email inbox, your brand messages sit right alongside messages from your customer’s family or friends – which is why email marketing is always more effective when it’s personalised.
Remember, your email campaigns should address customer needs and actions, so that every piece of communication is relevant, and appreciated. Speak to your digital marketing agency about the topics you can cover, from updates in your company, to the latest deals on your products. With billions of users – email is here to stay.
Digital marketing tips: The latest email marketing trends
Being successful with your latest email digital marketing ideas means figuring out what kind of content your users most want to see in their inbox. One thing to keep in mind is that customers are always looking for a chance to take control over the information they receive. In other words, you should never force someone into maintaining an email subscription.
Opt-in and opt-out emails are the way of the future, and the best way to ensure your digital marketing strategies don’t come under scrutiny. Aside from that, here are some of the most significant email trends on the market right now:
1. Interactive emails
More than a quarter of marketers believed that 2017 would be the “year of interactive emails“. That makes sense when you think about the fact that customers are increasingly looking for new ways to engage with their favourite brands. Interactive emails might include:
2. Big-data personalisation is key
As we mentioned above, many of the most significant digital marketing trends and digital marketing tips online today focus on “personalising” user experiences. It’s not just about sharing content, but sharing it to the right people, through the right platforms, at the right time. The more you can turn data about your customers into information for “customised” messages, the more you’ll see success.
3. Automated emails
While many brands are currently struggling to make their messages more “personal” for customers, they’re also thinking about how they can take some of the work out of the average email campaign with automation techniques. Even if we haven’t quite perfected automation just yet, brands are starting to see the importance of creating segmented and “triggered” emails for their customers – such as emails that send when someone makes a purchase, or abandons their cart.
4. Omni-channel experiences are key
We’ve touched on the importance of integrated marketing communications before at Fabrik, and today’s digital marketing trends make this technique more important than ever. Consumers expect the brands they work with to treat them consistently across all channels, and give them a “seamless” experience. In other words, your email should link back to your website, and social media pages too!
Digital marketing trends: Social media marketing
Social media marketing has been one of the most talked-about areas in the sphere of digital marketing trends recently – and it’s easy to see why. Brands need to invest significant time and energy into their social strategies to make their online presence, content strategy, and brand affinity solutions more appealing.
By creating a powerful social media marketing strategy, you can start to establish more strength within your brand relationships, reaching out to customers who want to make sure that they feel “comfortable” with a brand before they commit to a purchase.
Digital marketing tips: The latest social media marketing trends
As social media marketing continues to evolve, the same factors remain important to all businesses. For instance, you can’t have a great social media strategy if you don’t have great content to share. Additionally, you need to make sure that you’re active on the right platforms, speaking to your customers in the right tone of voice, and consistent with your posts. With those concepts in mind, you might want to talk to your digital marketing agency in London about these key digital marketing trends:
1. Messaging apps will become more important
If you thought social media was just for sharing status updates and blog posts, then think again. Messaging apps through social media are now used by 4 billion users around the world, creating a tremendous opportunity for brands who want to upgrade their presence. A great way to take your social media solution to the next level, is by offering customer service through your customers’ favourite messaging apps.
2. Social media eCommerce will rise
Want to improve your sales with social media? Why not consider how you can start selling products and services through social media directly? Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are all giving users new ways to purchase products directly from inside of their apps. What’s more, Snapchat have also begun rolling out their own eCommerce features.
3. Virtual and augmented reality will grow
We’ve already begun to see the potential of augmented and virtual reality solutions for business, in the forms of apps like Pokémon Go, and marketing techniques that allow people to virtually “try” products before they buy them. As this technology becomes more efficient and effective, it’s reasonable to assume that VR and AR will find their place in social media.
4. Ephemeral content will find its place
Finally, “ephemeral” content is becoming increasingly popular lately as brands look for ways to give customers more “exclusive” social experiences through temporary content. Snapchat started the trend of disappearing content, but it’s something that other platforms have quickly adopted, such as Instagram’s disappearing video features.
Digital marketing trends: An incredible website
Last, but not least – it’s hard to take advantage of all the latest digital marketing trends, digital marketing tips, and emerging ideas, without an incredible hub for storing your content, and directing customers towards your products. An effective website continues to be one of the most important investments any business can make.
Unfortunately, even though we’ve been relying on business websites to showcase brands for several years now, many companies still have no idea what they’re doing or why. Remember, if your website looks appealing, feels professional, and is a joy to use and navigate, then your potential clients are going to consider your brand more favourably.
Think about it – no-one’s going to want to invest in a brand who hasn’t bothered to invest in themselves with the right design or navigational strategies.
Digital marketing tips: The latest website design trends
Of all the digital marketing trends we’ve covered in this article, website design ideas are probably some of the most fickle. After all, over the years, we’ve seen countless different iterations of the “perfect” website – from sites covered in flashing images and text, to minimalist designs that focus on putting user experience first. Just some of the latest digital marketing ideas relating to web design include:
1. The appearance of cinemagraphs
Cinemagraphs are high-quality GIFs or images that run on a continuous, smooth loop. They’ve become a fantastic way to add some visual appeal to otherwise-static pages. For instance, check out this beautiful looping imagery on CP+B Copenhagen’s website.
2. Simple and straightforward navigation
As most digital marketing agency experts will tell you, even if you’re going to go a little bizarre with your web design, you should always make sure that your website is clear, simple, and easy for people to use. The last thing you want is for people to have no idea where your contact page is, or how to browse your products. Simple navigation has become a staple of today’s digital marketing trends.
3. More card and grid UIs
Speaking of simple navigation, many of today’s websites have begun using new UI patterns that include card-based solutions for navigation. Basically, this design works by allowing users to flick through the different content on a website with the greatest of ease.
4. VR and 360 videos
Although designers are still playing around with the possibility of VR and 360 videos in website design, some companies are beginning to take advantage of the new trend. For instance, the Peugeot 208 promo campaign was all about VR technology. If you can use the latest tech, and do it well, then there’s nothing wrong with exploring some new ideas in your web design.
5. Authentic imagery
Since studies have begun to show that images featuring real people are generally more likely to convert traffic into customers, there’s a good chance that digital marketing trends in the future will use a lot of real, authentic imagery. After all, as we’ve mentioned before, today’s customers are looking to build a connection with their brands. Authentic photography is a great way to set yourself apart from your stock-photo-using competitors.
Using a digital marketing agency in London
Feeling a little overwhelmed by all the digital marketing trends we’ve covered in this article?
It’s not surprising.
The digital world might be something that today’s brands need to get used to if they want to thrive in their chosen marketplace, but that doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly complicated. As new digital marketing ideas emerge on an almost-consistent basis, you’d need to be a marketing genius to keep up with all the changes.
The unfortunate truth is that no matter how hard they try, most brands simply can’t stay ahead of the different digital marketing tips and suggestions appearing online every day – and they shouldn’t have to. The rise of the digital marketing agency is a testament to the fact that today’s companies don’t have the time, or the resources to fight back against irrelevancy in the online space.
Using a digital marketing agency in London, for instance, can help you to make sure that you don’t lose customers to your competitors, when your target audience finds that other people are targeting their content more exclusively to their needs. With a digital marketing agency, you can make sure that you’ve got the right branding, the most compelling messaging, and the best ideas to keep your audience on your side.
Digital marketing trends are constantly changing and evolving. What’s popular now might be old-news by this time next year. While it’s important to stay current with the changes in your industry, the easiest way to do that, is to make sure you’re not going it alone.
A digital marketing agency is your solution to addressing the countless changes in the digital marketing space, and implementing the new trends that are best suited to your business.
If you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy these too:
— Digital marketing campaign ideas to whet your appetite
— Web design trends with examples to get you thinking
— Why you need a dedicated social media strategy
— How vlogging is changing the face of communications