As a constantly evolving field, online marketing never ceases to surprise with its diversity. While the objective has remained the same, namely, to design more relevant content to attract more customers, the approach has continued to evolve. Indeed, recent years have been marked by many changes in the way marketing campaigns are conducted, gradually moving towards digital. On social networks, applications and information sites, web marketers and community managers have not lacked inspiration.
What consumers are looking for today is a brand that not only sells, but is inspired by their daily lives and interests, and that looks like them, and with values to which they adhere. Understanding the consumer’s mind is the objective of a good marketing strategy. It is therefore necessary to be creative for the customer to recognize himself and to consume.
Between social media, chatbots and the progress of artificial intelligence, the question that keeps coming back remains the question of the future of this digital industry. What are the trends in online marketing for the next three years?
A targeted and sponsored advertising…
For companies with a relatively small digital communication budget, sponsored advertising remains an effective tool. On Facebook, sponsored pages and content are flourishing. At lower costs, they promote the visibility of companies, the popularization of content, and attract consumers. Sponsored advertising is therefore the right tool for targeted visibility (on the first social media platform) and a beneficial investment (at a lower cost). Especially since the content is targeted according to consumer habits, previous researches on the net and according to the time of year.
… Accelerated by the advances of artificial intelligence
A study conducted by Facebook revealed that out of 12500 consumers surveyed, more than 50% prefer to buy a product from a company to which they can send a message, 56% prefer to send a message to a company rather than call it and 61% prefer to receive personalized messages from the brand.
This ease of communication between customers and companies is greatly helped by the arrival of new intelligent tools. For example, chatbots are a perfect illustration because they facilitate the proximity between the company and its customers 24 hours a day. In addition to virtual support, in most marketplaces, the consumer benefits from instant and low-cost customer service. Responsiveness in the event of an emergency for the customer is a loyalty factor, and the brands have understood this well. Therefore in 2019 marketing managers paid great attention to the use of artificial intelligence and this is not about to stop.
Stéphane AMARSY, founder of Inbox and author of ”My Marketing Director will be an algorithm” explains in his work that AI allows marketers to create a new marketing opportunity model in less than 15 minutes. For him, the integration of AI into the marketing process gives marketers the opportunity to better focus on customer needs, identify the relevance of his offer and define the value proposition.
With the arrival on the market of virtual assistants such as Alexa (Amazon), Siri (Apple) and Google Home, new challenges are emerging with the development of artificial intelligence. Internet users now make their requests orally. Unlike a handwritten application, it requires complete sentences, keywords are no longer enough. It is therefore becoming essential for brands to invest in machine learning algorithms and to focus on voice research, and on supervised learning, also known as Natural Language Processing.
Videos to improve brand visibility…
The video format is the trend to follow in the digital marketing strategy. It allows the brand to optimize its visibility and referencing. The American IT company specializing in network equipment, Cisco, in an analysis points out that “videos account for more than 80% of consumer traffic in 2020”. In addition, statistics compiled by the Forbes website show that “64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after seeing it in a video”. In addition, the analysis reveals that “more than 35% of online advertising spending is attributed to video advertising”. Communicating through videos is therefore an asset to attract consumers.
…and broadcast on social networks.
Today’s brands benefit from an asset with enormous potential: social networks. They attract the full attention of consumers and are therefore a veritable source of information and distribution channels. Social networks contain billions of buyers. For example, and very quickly, the perishable videos (story), available only for a period of 24 hours, have generated a real interest among Internet users. This is an opportunity for brands to share personalized content with users that will capture their attention.
For example, we knew Facebook with its targeted and sponsored content, but recently, new consumer trends have emerged, especially with the introduction of advertising on Instagram. For example, in a study conducted by Smartinsights from March 2016 to March 2018, there was a clear increase in purchases on this network and among all age groups. The most remarkable growth is observed among 25-34-year old’s, followed by 18-24 year old’s.
A phenomenon amplified by influencers and micro-influencers…
The digital age is also largely marked by influencers (public figures, stars, artists…) who are proving to be real vectors of diffusion through their presence on social networks. Indeed, most of them feed pages on YouTube, and maintain privileged relationships with an audience called followers, who are ultimately nothing more than potential consumers in the eyes of brands. They are attentive to current events and content disseminated by influencers and seek a sense of belonging to a group or community. The brands have understood this well and are proposing partnerships with the most active personalities to reach their direct targets more easily: followers.
Kylie Jenner is an example, with more than 119 million subscribers on Instagram, she directly influences Internet users in the choice of their clothes. Brands therefore use its popularity to promote their products through sponsorship offers and product placement contracts. In its survey “Year in Fashion 2018” the online sales site Lyst published that “Kylie Jenner has generated more than two million searches for her clothes and accessories among Internet users”. The site also states that “after posting a picture of the pink mini-dress worn on his birthday, the number of searches for “pink dresses” increased by 107% in 48 hours”.
Statistics show us that Internet user activity and consumer behavior change directly influence a company’s online marketing strategy. That said, with technological advances, companies must necessarily adapt to offer consumer satisfaction. The future of online marketing is therefore essentially based on innovation. To stand out from each other, brands will therefore have to integrate the behavioral changes of potential customers in order to position themselves as effectively as possible in a constantly changing market.