At the end of 2022, it was reported that the world’s population had reached a whopping 8 billion.
Out of these 8 billion people, 5.16B are internet users, and 4.76B are digital media users.
So, safe to say: regardless of whichever industry you operate in, there’s a high probability your customers are mainly online and are going to use online resources to buy your products.
As such, knowing the highs, lows, and trends of digital media should be an essential part and parcel of business operations.
In this article, we’ll share some insights and predictions for the future of digital marketing.
Let’s dive into the trends to look out for to create a lasting impression in front of your customers.
Let’s start with the basics — artificial intelligence.
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Over the past few years, there’s been a steady increase in conversations surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) and what it can do for small and big businesses alike.
Some experts believe that the AI technology that we currently have (e.g., ChatGPT, MarketMuse, Flick, AI logo makers, etc.) is the peak of what we’ll see.
Whereas others believe that such technologies have only scratched the surface of what the future of marketing could look like.
If the predictions of the latter set of marketers come true (which is likely, btw), we very well might be able to do the following tasks with AI in the future:
- Develop data-driven personalization
- Optimize social media campaigns (either through more insights or predictive analysis)
- Know more about customer behaviors and better analyze purchase drivers
However, even with the N number of jobs AI can do, businesses will soon need to decide how to create a delicate balance between using AI and incorporating the human touch.
“The future of digital marketing is indeed expected to be influenced by AI, voice search, and other emerging technologies. However, an essential trend that businesses should be aware of is the increasing importance of incorporating the real customer voice to counterbalance AI-generated messages.
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Buyers are increasingly seeking genuine human experiences and insights from previous customers to inform their decisions. This can be achieved by emphasizing user-generated content and fostering authentic customer engagement, which will help create a more human touch in the digital marketing landscape.
By striking a balance between advanced technology and genuine human connection, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and deliver more meaningful experiences to their audience,” says Joe Kevens, founder of B2B SaaS Reviews.
Another trend most marketers experts anticipate is a boom in video and audio content.
“The future of digital marketing is going to be video (and maybe audio). ChatGPT has commoditized written content. Consumers and businesses will catch up to the fact that they can't trust the written word anymore. What can’t be faked — at least, thus far — is video (and audio), making it an effective medium to build trust,” says Rafael Sarim Oezdemir, founder and CEO of Zendog Labs.
This insight aligns with what Joe mentions, sensing that more and more consumers (who are ultimately humans at the end of the day) will require a human touch in their marketing communications.
Side Note: Humans requiring human connections is a phenomenon that’s been reported by credible scientific publications like PsychCentral, too, and it’s not something marketers are making up!
Predictive models show that the influencer marketing industry has a compound annual growth rate of 33.4%.
Another study shows that 83% of marketers who have invested in influencer partnerships found them effective.
Combine these two data sources, and we can safely assume that there’ll be more influencer partnerships in the next few years.
And because nano and micro-influencers see the highest engagement rates (2.53% and 1.06%, respectively), we expect more businesses to partner with this set of influencers.
However, more than anything else, brands will be on the lookout for partnering with influencers who are genuine and have a better connection with their audience. And that’s mainly because millennials and Gen Z prefer to follow influencers who seem knowledgeable, relatable, and/or funny, as opposed to someone who has a large follower count.
For example, if a brand wants to promote its 3-day diet centered around detoxing, the best results will yield from a micro-influencer who already has a presence in the health and nutrition space, like @ketowithcrystal.
Even though Crystal has a much smaller follower count than, let’s say, mega-influencer Kim Kardashian, she’s the best fit for the campaign.
Why? Partnering with Kim Kardashian solely for the “shiny” appeal and follower count is expensive. And Kim’s fans don’t follow her for nutritional advice. It’s almost like throwing money into the wind by targeting the wrong audience.
So choose wisely when picking the right influencer for your brand. And consider using hybrid work software or other collaboration tools to build efficient workflows around campaign approvals and timelines.
Why work harder when you can work smarter? Plus, your bottom line will benefit from increased efficiency by getting campaigns up and running faster.
“Omnichannel marketing is the new wave of tomorrow,” said every alternate marketer.
And that’s possibly because omnichannel marketing will help create a synchronized customer experience.
For example, if your customers see an ad on your Instagram with an offer, they expect your landing page to have the same offer too.
And if there’s a disconnect between the offers on your landing page and your Instagram page, it’ll create a poor customer experience (CX) — which might cause some trouble because 73% of customers place CX as an important factor when making a purchase. So make sure the Instagram feed plan aligns with your landing page in terms of content and functionality.
Imagine a world where you can know how your social media posts will perform before you even post them.
Well, companies like Apple, Rare Beauty, and United Airlines already have access to these insights because of technologies like Dash Hudson that show predictive insights.
With the boom of AI in recent years, it’s entirely possible that every small and large business will have access to these insights too.
Such technologies will either get integrated into social media platforms or will soon be available at an affordable rate.
Voice search is one such technology that’s divided marketers. Some believe there’ll be no boom vis-a-vis voice search, and others believe that it’s going to see better years.
We agree with the latter set of marketers, and that’s mainly because:
- Work-from-office has picked up again, which means those who drive to their office will need voice searches to navigate roads or pick up phone and video calls.
- People now prefer consuming content via audio (Exhibit A: there are now 464.7 million podcast listeners globally).
- Accounts on TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms play voices in the background when showing their content (e.g., Siri voiceover with the text-to-speech feature).
- The market for smart speakers is steadily increasing.
- Spoken word media consumption has increased by 214% among Gen Z (aka, the new generation that’ll become the primary workforce and will hence make money and purchasing decisions).
- 50% of U.S. consumers use voice search daily.
Consider healthcare brands that ask you for your skin type and preferences before giving you the ideal products based on your results.
When you come across these quizzes, do you find them annoying, or do you think of them as an interactive way of personalizing your experiences?
Our bet is on the latter because these quizzes usually have an impact on personalization and provide better experiences to their audience, which is why we believe more marketers are set to use it later down the line.
“Interactive content like quizzes, polls, and surveys will be more popular as customers seek personalized experiences with brands. This attracts and retains customers while collecting data for future marketing strategies,” said Milo Cruz, CMO at Freelance Writing Jobs.
Many businesses are now placing importance on not only building the personal brands of their founders and CEOs but also of their key stakeholders.
This is because a personal brand comes with multiple benefits — the most important being credibility and trust.
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And when these stakeholders advocate for your products, this would, in turn, lead to a rise in your brand’s publicity, trust, and sales.
Because this strategy is so organic and effective, we imagine more and more marketers will jump on the bandwagon to employ it in the near future.
It’s safe to say that the marketing industry is always changing. But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You just need to keep your pulse on the latest trends.
So, although you’ve learned the trends of tomorrow, you still might need to learn the trends of the day after, the day after that, the day after that, and so on…
To help you keep up with the ever-changing marketing trends, follow the Ranktracker blog — we post guides, resources, and valuable articles to help you master your marketing communications.