About 88%, or 29 million, Malaysians are smartphone users in 2021. The numbers is estimated to raise to 29.46 million. Having access to the Internet and apps on your fingertips means that a digital shift is inevitable – this includes digital marketing. Digital marketing is an evolving area influenced by consumer behavior, consumption, and technological trends coupled with local interests. With that said, digital marketing trends change periodically. Embarking on this as your business function requires you to stay abreast with advancing and new platforms emerge, businesses must stay ahead of the trend and adopt the latest digital marketing strategies.
Here are seven digital marketing trends to keep an eye out for!
1. Live Stream Commerce
Live Streaming Market is became popular following the lockdown measures in 2020-2021. It is expected to reach a $4.26 billion market value at a CAGR of 22.4% from 2021 to 2028. Malaysians are no different as we turn to various platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Among the top six products that utilised the trend is clothing and fashion like Wafiy Collection. Another category of consumer products which benefit from Live Stream Commerce is personal care, health, and beauty products. During live streams, the marketer can engage with viewers and take their questions. It also allows a them to demonstrate how to use the product.
2. Conversational Marketing
Today when consumers engage with brands, they expect interact with another person. Overly scripted responses from bots often leaves a bad taste in their mouth. Conversations are mostly organic; it does not mean that they are random without recurring queries.
In addition to that, queries are almost always time sensitive requiring an immediate response. Well scripted chatbots may handle the FAQ-like questions. When it reaches a stage for human intervention because the questions require customized responses, products, or services, it may be transferred to an agent.
Like many marketing activities, employing conversational marketing requires time and experimentation. It cannot be immediately left to the chatbots. As the responses library builds up, you will need less human intervention.
3. Programmatic Advertising
Believe it or not, programmatic display ads have been around since the mid 90s! Modern programmatic advertising automated most of the tasks with artificial intelligence (AI). Imagine real-time bidding at a rate four times faster than an ordinary blink of an eye. Furthermore, publishers are enabling native ads on their websites and apps – especially games and social networking sites. Through better targeting, businesses will get to optimize their marketing campaigns. Needless to say this allows programmatic advertising to be popular among marketers and advertisers with eMarketer reporting that about 86.5% digital display advertising is for programmatic advertising.
4. Automated & Personalised Email Marketing
Email marketing is touted to yield an average return of investment (ROI) of USD36 for every USD1 spent. It continues to hold its place as among the most form of marketing because personal emails are now being opened on mobile devices – just as text messages are. Some marketers are not fond of platform advertising because they don’t have the prospect’s contact details. However, they will use these platforms to collect them when users submit their contact details in response to an ad.
Another point which needs to be considered is the behaviour of users towards unsolicited, promotional emails. Consumers – like you – stop responding to mass promotional emails because it leaves them feeling like they were spammed. Personalized emails, on the other hand, will get their attention because it speaks to their current circumstances and situation.
The key is to make your consumers feel special. By using automated and personalized emails, emails to customers are sent based on triggers or schedules you set designed to correspond to the customer’s milestone or behavior. More advanced platforms may like these triggers with your customer relationship management (CRM) software which tracks their in-store behaviour.
5. Engaging Micro-Influencers
Micro-influencers are influencers with a follower count between 1,000 to 100,000. Often seen as a celebrity, micro-influencers usually focus on one niche, such as fashion, food, photography, etc. Because of the low follower count, microinfluencers can build an authentic relationship with their followers. In turn, microinfluencers can become the preferred advocates and influence people with their experience and emotions.
6. Video Marketing
Video plays a vital role as a marketing tool. Based on Impactplus’ research, 68% of consumers learn about a new product or service through short videos. Brands can use a pre-recorded video marketing to showcase product demos or enabled their followers catch-up to webinars, and live video events. Over time, brands and businesses can build an archive of reference materials which prospective customers can refer to when doing their research.
The key, when it comes to video marketing for businesses, is to maintain fresh content, addressing the consumers’ wants, and still adhering to the brand’s voice. With the proliferation of platforms like TikTok, Reels, and YouTube, businesses are presented with more options to reach out and educate their target audience. It is important to keep in mind that this exercise is a business function with a business objective – not merely an exercise to jump on trends. After all, if everyone is hopping onto the same trend, how can you distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack.
7. Content Marketing
Content marketing is a strategy used to attract, engage, and retain your audience by producing or sharing relevant articles, videos, podcasts, and other media. First and foremost, this approach establishes your expertise, promotes the awareness of your brand, and keeps your business at the top of mind when it is time for your customers to make the buy. Content marketing remains an essential tool in a small business’ marketing arsenal. Following Google’s Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformers (BERT) 2018 update, content marketers can focus on producing articles and pages that deliver a great experience to the user without simplifying it to make it easy for search engines like Google. This shifts the focus away from the search engine to the users themselves.
Looking at the trends above, some will last long, while others evolve into different iterations. It’s crucial that when you adapt to these trends, you don’t neglect the marketing fundamentals associated with communicating, marketing, and sales. These digital marketing trends are conduits that can only deliver when there is clarity in vision, message, target audiences, and their needs. Digital marketing trends allow your business to better navigate the ever-changing consumer behavior by connecting with your audience about how and where they want to be reached.