Posted by Paladin on October 04, 2018
As we enter the fourth quarter of 2018, many digital marketers are thinking about industry trends as they plan their campaigns for the upcoming holiday season. In this fast-paced business, trends often develop quickly. Staying on top of new digital marketing opportunities can help companies increase awareness of their brands, drive sales and maintain a strong relationship with their customers.
Consumer behavior and preferences, new technologies and the ongoing evolution of digital marketing platforms all play a part in influencing marketing decisions. With that in mind, here are five marketing trends to watch.
Sponsored User-Generated Video
Social influencer campaigns are hardly new. But this form of user-generated content (UGC) is proving to have staying power — and new developments in the social media space, like the launch of Instagram’s IGTV, are making it more relevant than ever.
According to eMarketer there were more than 1.5 million sponsored posts on Instagram in 2017, nearly twice as many as in 2016. IGTV, a video platform that launched earlier this year, offers an opportunity for brands and influencers to produce compelling video content. Reports indicate that some branded IGTV content is generating between 200,000 and 500,000 views. With additional influencer-friendly platforms like Facebook Watch, Snapchat and YouTube at their disposal, marketers can capitalize on the appeal of influencer-endorsed content.
AI for CRM and Marketing
No longer the stuff of sci-fi movies, artificial intelligence is factoring into customer relationship management (CRM), marketing analytics, digital advertising and more. Some brands are using AI-powered chatbots to offer a convenient means of reaching them, interacting with customers on platforms like Facebook as well as their own websites. While others are using it to mine and make sense of customer data to create more personalized and relevant messaging.
One study conducted by Salesforce found that about half of marketing leaders are already using AI. Survey respondents also said they believe their use of this technology “will grow more than 50 percent over the next two years, helping them deliver more targeted campaigns, smarter personalization and higher ROI.”
Research company BIA/Kelsey report that local mobile ad spending in the US will reach $19 billion this year as brands continue to recognize the value of reaching on-the-go consumers with location-targeting mobile ads. BIA/Kelsey’s SVP and chief economist Mark Fratrik writes that “Mobile has become a preferred platform for the advertising dollar because of its ability to capture audiences of all ages based precisely on where they are and what they are doing, at any given moment.”
With location-targeting, marketers can send store coupons and restaurant specials to consumers when they’re already physically in the neighborhood. And even deliver ads for sunscreen and ice-cold drinks when the weather in a consumer’s area is hot and sunny. The ability to reach this level of customization makes the location-based mobile trend especially hot.
Smaller Screens and Vertical Viewing
Mobile marketing is on the rise in general, with mobile predicted to surpass TV in terms of ad spend this year. Internet traffic from desktop computers and even tablets is dropping as smartphones become the go-to screen for consumer media consumption.
The same can be said for shopping. Last year, 46 percent of retail site traffic between November 1st and December 31st came from smartphones.
In addition to more mobile ad campaigns, expect to see more vertical videos from brands. With consumers watching video content on their mobile devices, and apps like Snapchat encouraging vertical mobile video viewing, brands are making the switch from traditional horizontal video to vertical. Which feels more natural to consumers due to the way they hold and interact with their phones.
Today’s consumers pay closer attention to brands than they ever did before. Many of them are well aware of your company’s mission and values, and take these into consideration before making a purchase.
Research shows that nearly 90 percent of consumers will make a purchase because a company “advocated for an issue they cared about.” On the other hand, 76 percent “will refuse to purchase a company’s products or services upon learning it supported an issue contrary to their beliefs.” Taking your customers behind the scenes at your company with live video, image galleries and blog posts that demonstrate your commitment to the environment, the local community and so on can go a long way toward building long-term loyalty and trust.
As you craft your holiday media plan, consider exploring these fast-growing trends. When applied effectively, they can improve the marketing experience and help boost your customers’ affinity for your brand.