One aspect of digital marketing that all who are involved with it will know to be true is that it is ever-changing. From the day the first websites were created, through the launch of Google, the rise of social media, and onward to today, where artificial intelligence is the latest buzz within the online world, digital marketing has undergone massive transformations.
The changes we are talking about include not just the strategies and techniques that are used, many of which bear no similarity to those used 20 or so years ago, but also the technologies, tools, software, apps and other resources that can be utilised to plan, create, and analyse a digital marketing campaign and which have developed at an astonishing rate.
For anyone who works within digital marketing, such as SEO experts and web designers, it can often seem as though their roles are changing every week, and these professionals certainly deserve enormous credit for being able to keep their knowledge and their skills at a level where they can give their clients the benefit of the latest digital marketing developments.
Not only that, but they often make predictions and can take actions that account for impending changes within digital marketing. These changes are what digital marketing will look like in the future, and we mean the next five years, not decades from now. To give you a flavour of them, here are seven predictions that most digital marketers agree are going to be significant within digital marketing, with some already having a sizeable impact.
Voice Search Will Rival Text Searching
Even if they do not own one, most people are now aware of voice-activated products such as Apple’s Siri or Alexa from Amazon. Their use has made voice control more mainstream to the point where it is now commonplace to see, or rather hear, people controlling devices by speaking.
This practice will only continue to expand, and we see that with ‘Google Assistant’, which allows searches on the world’s largest search engine to be input by voice rather than typed on a keyword. This has huge implications for SEO as it has to take into account spoken keywords being different from written ones.
Video Will Become The Primary Marketing Medium
It is true to say that online video is nothing new and that online videos are already a widespread phenomenon. However, their use within digital marketing is still at a relatively embryonic stage, given that most videos used for marketing are either on only YouTube or social media.
However, over the next few years, the advance of video technology is going to increase the role of video in online marketing as branding becomes more important, as audiences increase their desire for video, live streaming becomes more popular, and short-form video gains further popularity.
Social Media Will Evolve To Become Even More Influential
One thing you can guarantee about social media platforms is that they will continue to evolve, and you can see that today with Facebook pushing its ‘Meta’ brand and Elon Musk’s almost daily changing of Twitter, neither of which will be slowing down anytime soon. Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay, and its use within digital marketing will become even more important.
However, moving forward, businesses will need to do more to cut through all the noise that can exist within social media so that their brand becomes attuned to their audiences and encourages even greater levels of engagement.
Influencer Marketing Will Rise In Importance
A by-product of how significant social media has become, influencer marketing is also a huge phenomenon that shows no signs of diminishing. This tells businesses and brands that if they want to get their marketing messages through to target audiences, they will need to enrol the help of influencers within that marketplace.
It is crazy to think a simple, two-line Tweet from an influencer with a following that runs to millions can make or break a product or business, but that is the case and will be increasingly so for the next few years.
Artificial Intelligence Will Be Transformative Within Digital Marketing
Has anyone been living in a cave and therefore not heard about artificial intelligence (AI) recently? Rarely has something come out of nowhere to dominate the discussions within an industry as significantly as AI, and that also applies to AI tools such as Google’s Bard, Chat GPT, GFP-GAN, Pictor, and Murph, to name but a few.
In truth, the jury is out in some circles as to whether AI is a positive or negative for digital marketing, but the fact is AI is here to stay, and it will undoubtedly develop further to increase its impact on how digital marketing is implemented, possibly to the point of being transformative.
Personalised Content Will Become Essential
Human beings need to feel wanted, and to a degree, we are all a little yearning for attention. That is why many digital marketers are embracing the concept of personalised content and using it to produce great results. Personalised content allows online users to have tailored experiences, bespoke solutions, and interactions with websites that are unique to them.
By understanding that each member of their audience has unique wants, likes, and preferences, brands will be able to greatly increase conversions and build trust and loyalty.
Use Of Augmented Reality (AR) Will Expand Significantly
Some would argue that much of what we do online is already augmented reality, and they have a point. However, the AR we are talking about takes the products and services of a business and markets them in a way that, just a few years ago, would have been deemed science fiction.
For example, fashion companies can use AR to let customers see how they would appear when wearing a virtual outfit, and homeowners could get to lay out their virtual furniture to see how it looks in their homes. These are just two of the millions of possible scenarios where AR could be used to promote a business.