Statistics show that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of digital services peaked all over the world. Because human contact became grossly restricted, digital services proved to be essential as they allowed individuals, small businesses and organizations to explore new ways of offering value to their customers remotely. This led to the compulsory incorporation of digital marketing as a strategy to acquire new customers and harness existing ones.
As the use of digital services increased, so did the search for digital marketing experts. Microsoft carried out research on the skills in high-demand by organizations in the “new normal.” Just as expected, digital marketing emerged as one of them! As a result, Microsoft invested $25 million in crafting out LinkedIn Learning Pathways – playlists of courses on those high-demand skills including Digital Marketing. Lead Resources, the first innovation hub in Ogun state, Nigeria, also created an internship programme for youths who seek mastery in these skills.
This proves that Digital Marketing can and will evolve. The aim of this article is to create an awareness of the changes that are possible in and through digital marketing, and why you should harness it now.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE FUTURE CHANGES OF DIGITAL MARKETING?
- AI and Automation
- Micro-Influencer Marketing
- Voice Search and Visual Search
AI AND AUTOMATION
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming dominant in business. It is taking over the execution of many simple jobs such as communication, product recommendation, email personalization, etc. This will persist till it becomes the norm. Therefore, it is important for all persons, particularly digital marketers, and organizations to become familiar with AI by engaging it in their everyday tasks. Integrating AI will accelerate growth, reduce staffing costs and give one’s business the edge to stay atop.
Automation is not new in digital technology however it has become germane in running digital campaigns. In the long-term, it will be beneficial for digital marketers who embrace it now.
Influencer marketing is not a new concept and it remains a great way to market your product to customers through someone that you trust. However, due to its high success-rate, influencer marketers charge much more for their services such that it has become very expensive for small and medium-sized businesses to hire them. As a result, micro-influencer marketing was born. Micro-influencer marketing refers to brands partnering with medium-sized influencers (influencers who have 7,000 – 30,000 followers in their niche) to promote their products to their followers using organic advertisements. Medium-sized influencers are popular but are not loaded with sponsorships hence, they offer more affordable services.
Vlogging is more popular than ever. It has a personal feel and gives room to empathize with one’s audience on a deeper level. However, vlogging can also be a practical marketing strategy. For example, vlogs can be used to live-stream special business events, share posts of business conferences, etc. Vlogging can assist in creating a strong brand image, making solid business-to-customer relationships and getting better engagement from your target audience.
VOICE SEARCH AND VISUAL SEARCH
With individuals owning voice-enabled devices and virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri, optimizing your digital marketing content for voice search is one of the best things you can do.
As regards visual search, Google has taken things to a whole new level. Google has introduced LENS, a visual tool that allows users to take a picture of an object or landmark to discover things such as where to find the object or landmark.
Things that can be recognized by Google LENS include:
- Home goods
- Business cards
- Landmarks or building
- Event flyers or billboards
This will ultimately revolutionize the way we search. Do you agree to the list above? Drop in the comment section what other changes we may see in Digital Marketing.
Bizsites, The Future of Digital Marketing, 2020.
Itua Emmanuel is an Associate Solutions Architect at Lead Resources and a Digital Marketer and Product Manager at Lanepact Ecosystems, a tech solutions organization that aids individuals and organizations to build sustainable solutions. Itua Emmanuel is also a business enthusiast and during his free time, he watches anime or reads a book.