Due to the pandemic and its ensuing lockdowns and closures, businesses all over the world have had to adapt, pivot and refocus on many aspects of marketing: how to engage with customers online, how to address different audiences, and how to create a loyal brand tribe.
While it may seem that the worst is over, some of these trends are here to stay. Some have been around for a while, but this past year has accelerated their adoption.
Sadly, not a lot of businesses and companies are making full use of these (wherever applicable), and that may mean a loss in brand recognition, customer loyalty and most importantly sales conversions.
Here are 5 key trends you just can’t ignore at the cost of business success.
Personalization: the action of designing or producing something to meet someone’s individual requirements. Think of it as being Customization 2.0 derived from segmentation – marketing to individuals on a one-to-one basis, delivering individualized product offerings to customers.
The best examples of personalization are Amazon and Netflix – with recommendations and product images that are different based on your unique personal tastes.
According to Instapage, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company or brand if it offers personalized experiences, with 63% of them negatively rating generic advertising messages.
Best strategies for personalization can be figured out by talking to customers if you’re a small business, or using advanced data analytics if you have thousands of clients.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Let’s be real. Beyond the science fiction element of robots taking over the world, AI is here to stay, and is at the crux of the next-gen industrial revolution.
AI can swiftly and efficiently analyze customer behavior, search patterns, where and how they click, and use data from social media platforms and blog posts to help businesses understand how customers find their products and services.
Artificial intelligence will soon be the driving force behind many services and, it is already being implemented in such areas as:
- Basic communication (through chatbots)
- Product recommendations
- Email personalization (list segmentation)
- E-commerce transactions (fraud detection)
- Content creation (the Luban tool from Alibaba Cloud can create about 8,000 homepage banners and product banners using AI.
In the last 7 years, advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) models as well as voice conversion technologies have meant that language recognition and processing are much more enhanced and adept at providing chatbot based customer service.
Compared with human customer service, chatbots have many advantages.
- Thanks to processing speeds, AI chatbots enable businesses to deliver a “one-to-many”, providing support to large numbers of customers in real-time, even in different time zones.
- Chatbots don’t rest, so they can answer customer queries around the clock and are always on. Not only does this make them highly efficient, but they can augment customer service and support outside of business hours, improving the overall customer experience.
- Due to entire language sets being available for chatbots, it is very easy for customers to choose a language according to their needs, allowing a brand to deliver localized service across the globe.
Some examples of chatbot platforms are ManyChat (widely used for Facebook pages), PandoraBots, Chatfuel, Sequel, and SAP Conversational AI. And let’s not forget Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant – the voice-based chatbots that are smart assistants.
- Video Marketing
Video marketing is a top marketing trend today and likely for the next 5-10 years. These numbers below by Impact+ show the importance of incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy in 2021:
- 70% of consumers say they have shared a brand’s video
- 72% of businesses say videos have improved conversion rates
- 52% of consumers are more confident in online purchase decisions after watching product videos
- 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video
Video is by far the most popular way customers learn (or want to learn) about new products.
And video goes beyond YouTube. With more and more platforms incorporating videos, there are myriad ways to drive higher engagement with video marketing through Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
With videos, brands and companies can present lengthy information in a format that works perfectly regardless of the device.
If your site includes video, it’s 50X more likely to drive organic search results compared to text. Why? Because people find video content more compelling, Google ranks pages with videos higher in search results.
- Visual Search
As with many other areas in digital marketing, advances in AI and processing power have meant that visual search is here – it may not be perfect, but it is evolving and getting better as more and more companies invest in it. The benefits are a tremendous impact on online sales, particularly for fashion or home category businesses, or even location based services.
Visual searches are done by using images, not words, which requires consistent efforts and a lot of groundwork, but the results can be highly positive.
The biggest name in visual search is Pinterest, and an eMarketer study in 2019 showed that over 60% of millennials are comfortable using visual search in their digital shopping experience.
While the technology is not as polished as regular search, brands and companies need to invest in it today, to start reaping benefits before the competition.
At Beespoke, our Digital Marketing strategies can help your business adapt to the latest and evolving marketing trends, and give you better quality sales prospects and leads for conversion. Our specialists in digital marketing and social media management can do a deep-dive audit your digital presence and give you expert advice on how to up your online marketing game.
Get in touch today to find out how we can take your business online to the next level.