Have you imagined a match between John McEnroe and Mohammed Ali? Or between Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods? This mix may be hilariously strange, but this is exactly the kind of weird combinations a professional in digital marketing has to conjure to succeed!
The digital marketer has to keep pulling out a variety of ideas to make a dent. It is like making a bouquet out of flowers sourced from Ecuador, Chad, Bangladesh, Sweden and New Zealand. This is the combination of five apparently disparate tactics that I will set out to explain in this blog.
At this blog, I will dig a little into five really strong emerging trends in digital marketing that will assure your business wonderful success. As I begin, I would like you to read this blog, which illuminates 7 Key Trends for Skyrocketing Digital Marketing Success, which will supplement what you are going to learn from the ensuing paragraphs.
These are the 5 Digital Marketing Trends You Can’t Afford To Ignore:
- Digital Audio Advertising: Spotify, Amazon Music, etc.
- Discussion Forums: Quora, Stack Overflow, etc.
- Account-based Marketing
- Pinterest Marketing
- Visual Search: Google Lens, Pinterest Lens
Digital Audio Advertising
One of the top digital marketing trends that we have been seeing for 2020 is digital audio advertising, with Spotify and Amazon Music taking the cake. So, what is it, and what is new about it? Figure it out as the digital version of the age-old radio ads we used to hear when we were tuned into our favorite programs.
The difference, predictably, is in the medium. In the earlier days, we used to have preset ads coming in at the start or end of selected items, right? Digital audio advertising is more or less the same, with a small twist: the medium. With the growth of online audio platforms such as online radio, streaming music, podcasts and apps and the like, what digital audio advertising does is to leverage these to insert ads.
Impressive though these figures in themselves are; there is another, very strong reason for which digital audio advertising is more effective: unlike offline, traditional radios or televisions, these ads are not bombarded and pushed into the listener’s ears. Rather, they are streamed.
This means that what you have is selected, researched streaming that is targeted at people whose activities you know and are aware of. In other words, instead of carpet bombing your listeners with what you want them to listen, you select the message and set the time at which you are sure your listeners will have tuned in, and are certain will be paying attention to the content.
Because of this very important factor, digital audio streaming is a very potent tool for digital marketing. It is well noted that:
- People who listen attentively to a message go on to buy
- Those who listen attentively also, naturally, have a higher degree of brand recall. This prompts them to recommend to other buyers.
Digital audio platforms these days come in these three popular formats for placing ads:
- Recorded: As can be understood, this is a digital audio platform in which ads are placed at a predetermined interval. It is likely that these recorded spots can also carry a visual that can be clicked on digital screens.
- Native ads: We have already seen that digital audio platforms are a rather nonobtrusive medium. But this ad format surpasses this quality of its parent: this is when the host in a program mentions a brand. Cool advertising, isn’t it? This ad format is generally more popular in podcasts, mainly because of its being live.
- Branded or sponsored playlists and channels: This is the simple, digital avatar of the traditional sponsorship stuff. Just like you have brands or companies sponsoring programs, digital audio platforms allow for brands to sponsor select channels or playlists, thereby increasing their brand reinforcement and recall among their audience.
- Branded podcasts: Think of this ad format as the podcast version of the previous point, and your understanding of this topic is rounded.
Don’t all these factors make digital audio advertising an irresistible platform for your digital marketing efforts?
The next flower in our digital advertising bouquet is in the form of discussion forums. Obviously, the first names that spring to mind when it comes to this format are Quora and Stack Overflow.
Quora: If you are one among the 300 million or so active users of Quora, you will know what this platform is. It is essentially a discussion platform that allows its users to pose and answer questions. Appears simple, until you think of the chunk of 300 million potential customers for your brand.
Like most other digital platforms, Quora is an advertising avenue in the form of a discussion forum. But where it differs is in giving a business the rare opportunity of getting right into the heart of what its audience is looking and asking for, and answering their queries. You can position your brand or business as some kind of thought leader who can offer solutions and address pain areas, all the while communicating right with where your market is.
In addition to giving the business the chance of reaching thousands of people, literally in minutes, Quora also offers you the opportunity of placing your website and other sources like blogs, so that you can inform your audience better.
Stack Overflow: You can think of this as the tech version of Quora, although it is preposterous to say so, since Stack Overflow preceded Quora. Yet, they are both question and answer platforms, with Stack Overflow being one for tech enthusiasts and programmers. Businesses can advertise on this platform and earn revenues the way they do on say, Google. They can advertise openings in their organizations, and, by this method, can get the right fit for their technical openings, something that is more rewarding and profitable for businesses than ad revenues!
Another of the interesting tactics, aimed at boosting your digital marketing is account-based marketing. Let us understand account-based marketing this way:
- You create a sales campaign for your product, say, furniture, and blast out a mass mail to some 10,000 prospects
- Out of these, let us say 500 responded, asking for more information. This becomes the cream among your prospects.
- You send out more information about your product to these 500 prospects, follow up with them with mails or calls, and keep them warm till their purchase
- Of the remaining 9500, after adding some splash to your campaigning, let us say you have another 500 responding
- You keep granulating the list till you finally arrive at say, 1000 prospects who have shown interest in your furniture.
You would go all out to keep this group, or this account, well-informed about your product, because, after all, your customers are your best brand ambassadors.
Finally, this group of 1000 accounts will define your market for that geography. How you nurture this group is where your skill as a digital marketer lies. Once you master the art of account-based marketing, you:
- Are in close contact with your market
- Know what it wants and how it is going to grow
- Understand the needs of the nucleus of your market and expand this base to the universe of your market
- Know what it takes to keep ahead of the competition.
So, finally, how does account-based marketing differ from traditional marketing? It sharpens and hones the exact fit your product or service has for your market. Since you have tailored and personalized your product to its needs, you are in real control of what it looks for.
Ah, think visual marketing, think Pinterest. This, in short, is the key differentiator between Pinterest marketing and most other modes of digital marketing. Where Pinterest differs from others is in its being a prime platform for visually suitable products and services.
Pinterest has evolved over the years from being a site for home decor items and recipes to being the undisputed platform for visually oriented products or services. This perhaps gives you some idea of how to approach this platform. At its barest, the visual element of your marketing is what makes it suitable for Pinterest; so, whatever efforts you put at Pinterest marketing should be done keeping this point in mind.
No prizes for guessing what I am going to be talking in this section. It is an elaboration of the previous digital marketing point.
Google Lens, at its simplest, is a technology that helps recognize objects around us. It does this using neural networks, and throws up relevant information. This gives a hint about how Google Lens is a powerful tool for digital marketing. This is, after all, a product from Google, and hence, not difficult to understand when it comes to its working:
It recognizes objects when users point it to them, and, in line with Google’s way of working, suggests similar products. AI enables it to pack vital information about products and offer it to you, the consumer.
Pinterest Lens is more or less what Google Lens does, but pins these objects to a Pinterest account. What these two platforms do is to expand and widen the options for consumers. Naturally, they are a powerful digital marketing tool. The digital marketer who knows the dynamics of these technologies can leverage them for highly improved results.
Digital marketing is mainly about how to use technologies and trends smartly to do better at the market. The list of trends that we have talked about here in this blog should give you some idea of what it takes to stay abreast of the latest changes and happenings in the sphere of digital marketing.
Which of these you will implement will depend on factors such as what your product or service is, who your target audience is, your buyer persona, and so on. It is all a matter of how judiciously you use either of these or a combination of these. These should neither confound nor confuse you. The only confusion should perhaps be which sports the medley of sportsmen mentioned in the intro will choose to play with each other!
We hope you found this information helpful. Please write back to us, both if you like this blog, and if you feel that there is scope for more including more information relating to what I have detailed here. We love to hear from you!