The business world, like the natural world, is competitive, and new businesses are often springing up then disappearing. As with natural selection in the animal kingdom, the businesses that can adapt best to the changing environment have the best chance of survival while those that can’t adapt, are likely to die out. With that, here are four digital marketing trends that business owners need to be aware of if they want to adapt and keep up with the competition.
Social media marketing
Many business owners turn up their nose at social media as a marketing channel because it’s non-traditional in the sense that you don’t usually see an instant boost in sales from a social media campaign. Social media is a long-form marketing channel. It can take months of consistently building a social media presence before businesses can reap the rewards of a good social media campaign. Something to keep in mind with social media marketing is that self-promotion isn’t the number one goal. In addition to posting about products and services, businesses can use social media to engage with customers and let others know what their brand is all about.
In 2016, Facebook announced that their Messenger app would not support chatbots. Chatbots are computer programs that can chat with humans in a way that resembles an online chat between humans. Since then, thousands of businesses have launched chatbots on Facebook Messenger and other social/chat platforms. Chatbots are a great way to automate and speed up your customer support since customers can go straight to your chatbot any time of day, any day of the week to ask questions. Chatbots can even walk customers through an entire ecommerce transaction from narrowing down products according to preferences to processing the payment.
Businesses are discovering that they don’t necessarily need to spend thousands of dollars on professional video production to make use of video marketing. Social media platforms have been prioritizing video content of late and rewarding pages that upload video content. Creativity and authenticity matter a lot more than high production value and professional video editing.
Smartphones have changed the way we do just about everything, including shopping. Today, 90% of consumers who go to a brick and mortar location to shop do so with smartphone in hand. They’re using their smartphone to look up further information beyond what’s on the packaging right in front of them. They may check out the price of the same item on an online retailer’s website and complete the purchase online instead. To avoid lost sales opportunities, forward-thinking, tech savvy businesses are using the built-in geolocation technology in smartphones to integrate digital and in-store marketing. First, push notifications can alert customers of nearby sales when they’re out and about. In-store signage can then direct smartphone users to additional product information through their online store so that they’re not finding and purchasing the product elsewhere.