Did you know that 4.66 billion people are active internet users worldwide? That’s nearly 60% of the global population. And not only that—nearly 93% of those users access the internet via mobile devices. When it comes to the future of digital marketing, the need for innovative approaches to social media, search engine optimization, content marketing and other types of digital marketing campaigns is both large and urgent.
As people, brands, and companies connect online, the marketing landscape is shifting in several ways. From corporate Twitter accounts that interact conversationally or humorously to email segmentation that groups and targets consumers according to their online behaviors, digital marketing trends are continually rising in importance, intricacy, and impact.
In this post, we’ve identified five digital marketing trends for marketing professionals to keep an eye on in the months and years to come.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (the application of AI) improve, their potential for being a highly useful marketing tool will continue to grow tremendously. Gone are the days of spammy chatbots who can’t really help a customer or potential customer. Now, 56% of shoppers say that they would prefer to have their questions answered via instant messages than the phone, and many of those questions can be answered through artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence empowers heavily trafficked social media platforms like Facebook to serve ads to the customers most likely to be interested in them, leading to increased conversions. Machine learning can be leveraged to improve user segmentation, combat ad fraud, and implement dynamic pricing, among many other functions.
As companies of all sizes continue to leverage AI and machine learning, the digital marketing possibilities will only increase as well. The more artificial intelligence can provide marketing professionals with meaningful data, and the more machine learning can apply that data knowledge, the brighter the future of digital marketing will be.
Personalization—the practice of tailoring a company’s approach to a customer or potential customer according to their needs and preferences—has been proven to increase revenue in several ways:
- A personalized experience with a brand will lead to 44% of consumers into becoming repeat customers
- 20% of marketers say that their company’s sales increased after they began to practice personalization
- Personalization helps marketing departments keep costs low as advanced personalization is said to have a return on investment of $20 in return for every $1 invested, and it decreases the cost of acquiring customers by 50%
Decibel reports that 72% of consumers will not respond to marketing messages if those messages have not been personalized to them. As brands and companies continue to lean into this growing digital marketing trend, it will only become more important that marketing professionals prioritize personalization and respond to customers’ unique needs in creative ways.
Social Media Stories
Many of today’s most popular social media platforms offer a Stories feature, which shares content from users that are only up for a short period of time, typically 24 hours. Facebook reports that more than one billion people share stories across their apps: Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Accounting for 500 million daily Stories users, Instagram says that:
- 50% of users who use Stories have visited a website to make a purchase because they saw a product or service advertised in Stories
- The completion rate for brand Stories is 86%
- Stories ads shot on mobile phones outperform ads shot in studios 63% of the time, underscoring the importance of emphasizing the personal, feels-like-real-life approach in the future of digital marketing. This is also great news for smaller businesses and companies looking for accessible ways to keep up with digital marketing trends.
The explosive impact of short-form videos on social media platform TikTok function like stories as well. TikTok users spend an average of 52 minutes per day on the app, which presents an incredible opportunity for marketing professionals looking for entry points to reach their target markets.
SEO A/B Split Testing
Chief Executive Officer and founder of Mattress Insider Jonathan Pritchard says that if you want to convert regular website visitors into paying customers, you have to leverage SEO A/B split testing. A/B split testing allows marketers to see which content and messages resonate with their audiences best and lead to a higher return on investment.
For example, in the case of a website landing page, some viewers will see one version of the page while others will see a different one. Marketers can then analyze the data on those viewers — were visitors more likely to make a purchase on one landing page rather than the other? Did visitors stay on the page longer on one landing page than the other? Did one lead to visiting other pages on the website more than the other? The answers to these questions can help marketers make data-informed conclusions about which landing page they choose to use going forward.
Adoric Technologies identifies several ways that A/B split testing benefits marketers as they seek to create and execute successful marketing campaigns. A/B split testing:
- Saves money
- Increases profits
- Helps identify issues
- Improves content
- Makes analysis easier
- Leads to higher engagement
As more and more marketers use A/B split testing to increase traffic, lower cart abandonment rates, and increase add-to-cart, marketers intent on thriving in the future of digital marketing will add this tool to their toolbelt.
Content marketing reaches out to customers and potential customers in the places where they already are—places like social media, blogs, and podcasts. Content marketing doesn’t just promote a specific product; it promotes that product’s brand and ethos.
The team at all-in-one SaaS platform Core dna says that digital marketing professionals should keep their eyes on the following content marketing trends:
- Topical authority will replace keyword research
- Value-driven content will rise to the top
- Original research will be popular
- Content will become more interactive, engaging, and (hopefully) fun
- Increased adoption of AI
- The user experience will be the differentiator
- Content templates will thrive
- Machine-generated content will be a thing
- The advent of content atomization
- The arrival of Google’s core web vitals
The best digital marketing professionals know that the possibilities for success in content marketing hinge on providing value to consumers before they are encouraged to purchase a product. Visual content like infographics, interactive content like quizzes, and engaging content like short videos are great examples of content marketing that’s likely to positively impact companies and consumers.
Is Digital Marketing a Good Career?
In short, yes! You might even say it’s a great career after looking at the employment predictions on the digital marketing career path.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates marketing research analyst and marketing specialist roles will increase by 18% between 2019–2029. The projection for all careers is just 4%, so marketing professionals are looking at a very positive future. Digital marketing professionals who are interested in management positions have excellent possibilities as well—the BLS projects that, between 2019–2029, marketing manager roles will increase by 7%.
Take a look at the midpoint salaries for several in-demand digital marketing roles:
- Marketing Coordinator: $51,000
- Social Media Manager: $60,250
- Content Strategist: $74,500
- Creative Services Manager: $86,250
- Marketing Director: $109,000
- Chief Marketing Officer: $165,000
The future of digital marketing is looking bright. Marketing professionals who put in the time and effort to understand digital marketing trends and develop their skills accordingly will find themselves choosing from several digital marketing career opportunities.
Prepare for theFuture of Digital Marketing with a DMDA from Emerson College
The Masters of Arts in Digital Marketing and Data Analysis (DMDA) from Emerson College is designed specifically to equip graduates for the future of digital marketing. Our forward-looking coursework emphasizes real-world applications like digital campaign creation, brand storytelling, and consumer insights. Not only will you learn the strategies and approaches to marketing that will lead to a successful, creative career, but you’ll also become certified and trained in several tools that will play a key role in the future of digital marketing.
- Google Analytics: Google is expected to control 29% of digital ad spends in 2021
- Hootsuite: Hootsuite was founded in 2008 and is now used by over 80% of Fortune 1000 companies
You’ll be trained in:
- SAS Studio and Enterprise Miner
- Microsoft Excel
- Stukent Digital Marketing Simulation Platform
- Many other SEO and text analytics tools
Our 100% online program does not require a GMAT or GRE and can be completed in as little as one year. You’ll graduate as a data-savvy visionary who is ready to enter the world of innovative marketing professionals.
Step into the future of digital marketing today by downloading our free guide to the online Master’s in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics from Emerson College.