When was the last time that you made it through a week without hearing something about digital marketing? It's hasn’t been a long time, has it? This shouldn't be all that surprising considering how much progress it has made. The days of one-sided communication over TV and newspaper Ads are slowly ending; because marketing in the digital age won’t work like that. As a brand, you need to be conversing with your audience, educating and nurturing them. Digital marketing keeps evolving and you need to know the trends and the future of digital marketing in this tech-driven world if you want to stay up-to-date. Digital marketing is not something exclusive for businesses with a lot of money at their disposal. Small businesses can use it too. Most digital marketing channels like social media, email marketing, and paid search, to name a few are quite affordable. One thing to mind about digital marketing is that it is volatile. New approaches to existing methods and whole new methods come up every year, and this year is no different. What digital marketing trends should you as a small business owner cash in on this year? Read along to find out.
#1 Voice Search and Local SEO
You’d agree that it is much easier and less time consuming to say “Find restaurants near me” to your phone than to type the same. This is the age of ‘OK Google,' ‘Siri', ‘Alexa’ and whatever is yet to come. Voice Search is here, and it is here to stay. 40% of adults now use voice search once a day and 1 in 6 Americans now own a smart speaker. Small businesses need to leverage the growing popularity of voice search with local SEO. This is one way to use the internet to get more footfall to your brick and mortar business. Optimizing your local business’s Google My Business Listing is the best bet. Do this by taking advantage of everything that Google has to offer; Google Posts, Videos, Photos, Messaging, etc. to make sure that you claim your business listing. Getting your business the coveted Featured Snippet Listing for relevant search queries can do wonders for your small business. Start out by focusing on long tail searches and Q&As because most voice searches are phrased as questions. Most people don’t focus on long tail keywords because of the low search volume without realizing that they are generated by people who are in search of something specific. If you answer these queries the right way, they are most likely to convert.
#2 Live and Branded Videos
By 2021, videos will account for 82% of consumer internet traffic, and according to a recent study, 4 in 5 consumers claimed that videos demos are helpful and three quarters believe that product video descriptions are essential. Video marketing is no longer static and is now more engaging than ever. Two of the most popular ways this is done is using branded and live videos. Branded Videos are a lot more engaging that basic text and they convert better because they deliver a lot of information within a short amount of time – while also building trust with your audience. As a small retail business owner, you can do the same for your business. The most important part of the video should be the story you build around your customers. For example, if you run a tax consulting business, the video can be an animation of how time-consuming and stressful tax filing is and how your business can do it for them. You cane even create these animated videos yourself online. Animaker, for example, is a tool that has plans starting at just $12 per month. Live Video is relatively new but is expected to be 13% of all video traffic by 2021. This is probably the best video marketing tool if you want to build a great relationship with your customers. You can actually interact with them by answering any queries live or even ask them to join the live video by calling in. For example, if you are a restaurateur, a live video can show how food is being prepared, sourcing food from the market or garden, customers enjoying food at the table or take viewers through a recipe.
#3 Interactive Content
93% of marketers believe that interactive content is very useful at educating buyers vs. 70% for static content. Polls, infographics, games, and quizzes are some of the most widely used interactive content on the internet. They do better than static content because of two reasons. One; people love to test themselves, compete, compare and share opinions, and two; it brings the dynamism and persuasiveness of human interaction to a website, email, blog or anywhere else. Adding interactive content to your small business’s content strategy will make it easier for you to reach out to your audience, educate them and compel them towards a buying decision. Let’s take quizzes for example. If you are launching a new product and want to get the word out, you can make a fun quiz with relevant answers leading back to your website. Quizzes are also a great way to build your email list and collect data about your audience. Even better, customized coupons and content can be sent to the email IDs collected based on the answers. Other types of interactive content include calculators, contests, games, infographics, configurators, and eBooks. These have to be used depending on what stage of the buyer’s journey your audience is in. Contests and games add