The Future of Digital Marketing

From banners to big data, digital marketing has continuously adapted to meet the needs of customers and brands alike. Today, with increased connectivity and established digital infrastructure, changes are happening much faster.1 The traditional digital marketing landscape of paid media, SEO, content marketing, social media, community management, and more, are experiencing dramatic developments and changes as innovations in technology develop.

Below we highlight innovations happening within traditional digital marketing channels, and explore why marketers need to evolve for a high-tech digital marketing evolution.

Paid search, or search engine marketing, is the marketing practice of generating web traffic by buying advertisements on search engines. Marketers either pay every time their advert is clicked on (referred to as pay per click or PPC) or when their advert is displayed.2 There is generally a dedicated team deciding what platforms to spend on, based on where they believe the advert will receive the most traction.

A probable distribution to this traditional method of paid media is programmatic advertising, a type of paid media that employs artificial intelligence to automatically buy advertising space, using data, to determine which audience the ads should target.

With an estimated $46 billion going towards programmatic advertising in 2018, it’s predicted that 86% of all digital display ads will be presented via automation by 2020.4 This shift towards AI automation provides a more seamless, efficient, and accurate approach to paid media, while simultaneously lowering customer acquisition costs.

With the introduction of Siri, Alexa, Cortana, and Google assistant, the popularity of voice search, whereby the user speaks directly to their device instead of typing a request or manually performing a task, is on the rise. As consumers adapt and begin to use voice assistants more and more, marketers working with SEO should consider optimising their websites to recognise voice search.

The way we speak is fundamentally different to the way we type, and the ease of simply asking a question explains why “72% of people who own a voice-activated speaker say that their devices are often used as part of their daily routine.”7 As the popularity of the technology rises, it is likely this number will increase, and the idea of a permanent, hands-free assistant will begin to feel like second nature.

In 2017, Google announced a 95% accuracy rate on its voice recognition digital assistant, and as this technology improves, so it’s usership will grow.8 It’s growth rate is expected to be fast, with 50% of all searches expected to be voice by 2020.9 To make the most of voice search, long-tail keywords and natural content reflecting conversational language is likely to rank higher.

Following from SEO and voice search optimisation, conversational content that feels personal and authentic remains key to engaging customers. However, in 2019, personalisation is at the forefront of successful content marketing.11

With the evolution of big data and the availability of in-depth consumer information, personalising content is not only accessible, but 96% of marketers believe personalisation improves customer relationships. As customers are drawn to experiences that reflect their preferences, determining what content will be most relevant to an individual is key to customers’ satisfaction and loyalty.

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