Digital marketing is an unusual phrase because, if there isn’t a digital aspect to your marketing strategy in the modern era, then you’ve got some problems. So, in a sense, digital marketing is simply marketing. That being said, as we head through 2019, it is becoming increasingly clear how many more innovative and exciting digital options there are for marketing and the powerful results which can be garnered through taking advantage of them correctly. It’s an exciting time for digital marketing, but also a dizzying one with new tech falling in and out of fashion very quickly.
Mostly, digital marketing tools offer you the ability to connect with your target audience more and more directly with increasingly tailored marketing campaigns. But this end goal is achieved through a variety of methods, some of which include the use of technology which has only just been introduced into the consumer market. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the basic principles for successful digital marketing in 2019.
The demands of digital marketing pertain pretty directly to the activities that real people engage with on a daily basis. The upshot of this from a marketing perspective is that it draws the people doing the marketing closer to the audience they are trying to target. Now, more than ever, marketing requires the professionals behind it to engage with the platforms, technology, and media that real people use for a variety of things, practical use to entertainment.
This is the fundamental principle behind social media marketing, something which will discuss in a minute. By ‘media vigilance’, I refer to the fact that a successful marketing team will always be on the lookout for new forms of media and the ways in which they are being used. Spotting the marketing possibility in the commercial availability of Virtual Reality headsets, or the soaring figures of streaming sites like TwitchTv, for example.
There has to be a sense in which a marketing team has their finger on the pulse of the contemporary digital field, ready at any given moment to take advantage of some fresh opportunity to connect with real people connecting with technology. It can require creativity and it certainly requires connectivity, but the end result of staying on top of these sorts of things is potentially extremely valuable.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence has played a role in the past, ever since its introduction for practical use. However, it is now, more than ever, an absolutely vital tool for any marketing team looking to power ahead of the competition. One of the most essential elements that rely on Artificial Intelligence is the chatbot mechanism. Chatbots offer marketers a sort of hidden way to market to potential customers.
Usually, chatbots are there to help customers with FAQ related problems, but by using artificial intelligence you can now, far more efficiently, make product suggestions or prompts (in other words you can market to) the customers all in the little chatbot window. For example, if a customer has questions about a product or a service an AI chatbot can make a judgment and give direct links to customers in the chat to enhance their likelihood of making a purchase. It’s like a digital nudge, from the bot itself, to encourage consumers to make the purchase that they were considering.
What’s more, the speed and ease of assistance is a sort of pseudo-marketing tactic, since, with efficient AI at the helm rather than inefficient humans, customers feel encouraged to engage with the company and make purchases.
3. Machine Learning
This relates directly to the aforementioned Artificial Intelligence. Machine learning is one of the building blocks of Artificial Intelligence, but they have their own life in a behind the scenes capacity for digital marketing. Where AI feature as the leads, the Siri/ Alexa/ Bixby/ Chatbot/ futuristic side to the operation, machine learning is what allows marketers to spot trends, or rather have trends shown to them, which should inform their marketing.
For example, just imagine a company that sold household goods. For some reason, as shown across 100,000 different instances, customers who have put a certain brand of a television screen in their basket frequently look at a few different television stands but rarely purchase them. A machine learning computer can process this data into a definitive trend which can then inform the marketers of this pattern in behavior.
Their reaction might be to drop the price of the stands or create a deal where you receive money off the stand if you purchase the television as ways of trying to push through the sale of the computer stands. What a machine learning computer offers to a marketing team is enhanced vision and understanding, vision and understanding which no human could have without weeks of statistical analysis, which a computer can complete in minutes.
If machine learning is a building block towards the shiny sci-fi appeal of Artificial Intelligence, then data make up the cellular level of the two. Data is absolutely vital for marketing in 2019. Its emergence as a valuable resource, the digital equivalent of the oil or gold rushes, is as exciting as it is challenging and risky. The risks and hazards of data (the losing or misuse of it primarily) have been subject to a sudden influx of the Government regulations as they, rightly, have tried to keep a leash on companies who want to take advantage of data but are in fact breaching privacy.
However, you can stay within the law and make extremely valuable use of data, not least of all as the food that you feed to your machine learning computer. Data collection, a field which has historically been most embraced by industries like health care, is now in everyone’s minds, not least of all for marketing, since data is information and information is understanding. If you want to market effectively, you have to understand your target audience and data allows you to do just that.
5. Social Media
Social media has been in the sights of marketing companies for a few years now but the ways in which it can be used have never been more varied or appealing. For example, the rise of the influencer, anyone with a lot of followers and consequently has a powerful platform, can be used by companies as a really easy way to market products.
If a social media star appears in a photo or video with a product and espouses its quality to their millions of followers you’ve got yourself a very understated, very effective form of marketing. Furthermore, social media sites now allow you to market natively, meaning paying for advertising to appear in between posts on users’ feeds. This is an excellent tool for marketers to connect more directly with their target audience, whilst retaining the relaxed and fun atmosphere that social media has.
Overall, digital marketing is all about taking advantage of the tools available. In 2019 the range of digital tools is larger than ever and, subsequently, there is far more for marketers to use. However, it requires research and awareness to stay in step with the trends and make the most of the opportunities.
Feature Image by Mudassar Iqbal from Pixabay