The past year has brought on some incredibly serious changes, especially when it comes to marketing. With a majority of the populace shifting to online mediums to conduct their businesses; digital marketing has seen a steady rise. According to a report by emarketer, global digital ad spends will reach $389 billion in 2021. While worldwide digital ad spending achieved a modest 2.4% growth in 2021, it’s expected to bounce back with a growth of 17% in 2021.
Considering the changing nature of the global marketplace and its reliance on digital marketing today, it’s baffling to not have a digital marketing strategy for your brand in this day and age. Apart from the fundamental digital marketing tropes which include, inbound marketing, search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, etc, there are plenty of other practices in digital marketing that have arisen lately. These practices are in tune with the current global marketing landscape and following these practices will only help your brand grow substantially.
- Omnichannel Marketing
Omnichannel marketing essentially means marketing across different channels. Mostly used with e-commerce brands, omnichannel marketing includes creating an integrated sales approach for the consumer spread across different channels. These channels include digital mediums such as websites, social media, email, SMS, and even offline channels such as retail stores, and public events. The point is to ensure a seamless consumer experience irrespective of the channel.
What makes omnichannel marketing so essential is its necessity with the consumer today. Harvard business review in a report where they interviewed 46,000 shoppers saw that 73% of them used multiple channels throughout their consumer journey. Thus, it’s clear now, omnichannel marketing is not an option for brands today.
To create a seamless omnichannel marketing experience for your consumer, understanding their behaviour is paramount. You have to understand their needs, wants, and past experiences with the services intricately to ensure a seamless omnichannel experience. Upon understanding their behaviour and expectations, segment the marketing techniques for different channels and create personalized content for different consumers.
Omnichannel marketing apart from giving your consumers a seamless experience provides several benefits for your brand as well. It increases customer loyalty by providing a seamless personalized experience throughout channels. Along with this, ensuring a seamless consumer experience irrespective of the channels leads to a better brand recall which increases the likelihood of better sales.
- Video Marketing
Digital video marketing has seen a colossal rise as the relevance of digital marketing gains traction. According to a report by lemonlight.com, in the United States, digital video marketing is a $135 billion industry. This inherently means that brands now are understanding the power digital video marketing wields over consumers and the enormous impact it creates when it comes to return-on-investment (ROI) for various brands. Wyzowl in a report found that 89% of the video marketers said that video marketing gives them a good ROI, while 83% of them said that it helps them immensely in lead generation.
Video marketing has evolved from the earlier trend of posting informational videos on youtube. Now video marketing has many different aspects. These include:
- Tutorial Videos
- Product Demos and Reviews
- Video Testimonials
- Expert Interviews
- Video Ads
- Vlogs (Video Blogs)
The aforementioned types of videos are suited for many different websites and are not just limited to youtube and similar video hosting websites. All the major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc now allow for brands to post videos as content making it easier for brands to conceive new ideas to market their products and services.
There are several aspects to understanding the key to creating better video content that is suited for your target audience. Primarily, as with any other marketing practice, understanding the target audience is paramount for creating better video content. Only when you research the consumer behaviour towards their likes, dislikes, things that garner their attention the most can you inculcate these characteristics in your videos making them more consumer-centric and helping your brand in the process. Secondly, every good marketing video has a story to tell. Without a story your video is morose and it won’t get any attention from your target audience and you might be expecting it. Every video should introduce a conflict and subsequently follow it with introducing a solution through your brand. A sense of conflict resolution should be key when it comes to marketing through video content. Thirdly, plan your video production well and never succumb to inadequate quality.
Giving your video production more time and don’t settle on mediocrity just to stick to the timeline. In the longer run, only the quality of your video will matter and nothing else.
- Conversational Marketing Through Chatbots
Conversational marketing is one of the most poignant digital marketing practices that has surfaced lately. It includes direct interaction with the target audience and establishing a rapport with them which has its basis in seamless and personalized interaction. Conversational marketing has been gaining traction because of the positive impact on consumer behaviour with a personalized and hassle-free dialogue between the consumer and the brand experts.
One of the best ways to inculcate conversational marketing into your brand marketing strategy is through the installation of chatbots on your brand websites. Chatbots are messaging programs built to engage in an automated conversation with a consumer on a brand website. While mostly the responses of the chatbots are automated and somewhat identical, chatbots are usually programmed to answer differently when certain keywords are used by the consumer. According to a report by aumcore.com, 80% of businesses are expected to have some form of chatbot automation instilled into their company by the end of the year. This means but only one thing, brands have started to realize the potential of conversational marketing through chatbots and the high level of services it provides to the clientele.
There are however some things that you should keep in mind before you put all your hopes into chatbots to turn your business around. Firstly, not everyone on the internet is interested in having a conversation. While chatbots are an incredible tool in giving the consumers a gateway into knowing the services, registering complaints, etc. Your chatbots shouldn’t overshadow the contents of your webpage. It should simply be an addition to the website and should be accessible only through the discretion of the consumer. Secondly, don’t put all your chips into chatbots. While chatbots do help to provide a seamless service to your customers, you shouldn’t pin all your hopes into it for turning your brand into a colossal success overnight.
The marketing practice of conversational marketing through chatboxes should simply be an addition to an already existing digital marketing strategy. While chatbots are an incredible addition to digital marketing practices, your brand should take its time with it, familiarize itself with it, and use it judiciously to make it more effective as a digital marketing practice.
- Embrace B2B2C
With the COVID-19 pandemic severy hitting the world, businesses have been severely affected. With employees remotely working from home and a rising unemployment rate, Business-to-Business (B2B) brands have naturally been distressed. Thus with 2021, one of the digital marketing practices which need to be adopted by brands to cope with the continuous changes is embracing the business-to-business-to-consumer sales approach. Taking the state of the current global market into consideration, the CEO of Versium, Dillana Lim recommended adopting a B2B2C approach by associating consumer attributes with business target lists.
As opposed to B2B or business-to-consumer (B2C) approach, a B2B2C approach inculcates the elements of both approaches to create a holistic approach that helps the consumer as well as your brand. In this approach, your business sells a product or a service to another business, gains customers or data in return to keep and use. In this model, businesses with existing channels to sell products or services agree to sell the products of a different business. The benefits here are threefold; first, the consumer manages to get desired products or services with ease. Second, the business with existing selling channels gets an insight into the consumer behaviour, their likes, and dislikes. Third, the business whose products are inadvertently getting sold is making a regular solid profit.
B2B2C digital marketing approach is essential today because it lets businesses tap into each other’s consumers, it helps consumers recognize your brand even if they aren’t buying from you directly, and it helps your brand get insight into the consumer behaviour which only helps in evolving your brand’s products and services. To sum it all up, the past year has seen some tremendous changes in the way the global market functions and it has increased the necessity and relevance of new digital marketing practices. These practices differ from industry to industry. After understanding what practices you need to follow, the most important part comes into the picture, that is, Execution. It’s the execution that gives results. To give your plan a shape, you can take the help of a digital marketing agency. If you are successfully able to Inculcate these new digital marketing practices into your business will only help your business grow enormously.
Marketing in 2021 is expected to be massively driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies. AI and ML also help in enhancing customer satisfaction as it helps brands know what the customers are expecting.
The scope is wider when it comes to digital marketing. Digital Marketing will remain as the most powerful way of Marketing in the future. But as the dynamics of digital marketing is changing every day, a digital marketer has to be agile, alert, smart and adapt to latest changes.
Content marketing is one of the best online advertising methods because it can support other marketing and advertising efforts, like social media, paid search, and even SEO. That’s why businesses make content a core part of their strategy.