If someone told Mad Men from the fifties and sixties that the future will bring them huge database with several billions of people and all of their interests, likes and dislikes that can be used for marketing purposes, they will call him nuts, and offer him a glass of whiskey to come to his senses.
Now when we have all that, some people still consider marketers who follow new trends to be a little bit deranged. They don’t realize that marketers always need to be up to date, because in the dynamic world of today, our strategy can easily become irrelevant if we don’t adjust it to the emerging tech trends.
Marketing Strategies in Decline
To fully understand fast-changing digital marketing trends we need to start from humble beginnings of this concept. First digital ads were sent to potential customers on floppy discs. Soon floppies were replaced with CDs and when internet became popular we finally had a chance to see digital marketing in its current form. Some of the internet marketing forms that were insanely popular, but are now sparsely used or their popularity is in fast decline are:
- E-mail marketing – Golden age of e mail marketing is long gone, although this type of advertising is still present. It changed from times when we believed that magic spam e mail will whisper a name of a winning stock, or the way we can enlarge certain parts of our body. Now all this spam gets deleted, without us even noticing it. E mail marketing can still attract customers. DMA National Client E Mail Report for 2015 says that it brings $38 per $1 invested on average. This percentage is not easy to reach and it requires sending well-designed newsletter, filled with top quality content.
- Banner ads- Clickable graphic ads came in 1993 and 1996 was the year when the term banner advertising was coined, after several popular websites offered ad spaces for companies to ad their banners. During the next two decades we have witnessed a banner ads’ renaissance, with ads becoming more responsive, interactive and smart, but the code written in 2002 by Henrik Aasted Sorensen, changed everything. Since the first ad blockers were introduced, banner ads’ effectiveness has been in constant decline. In spite of that banner ads still exist. Some of them are very creative and include various types of media like: text, images, parallax, graphics, videos etc. Until the last internet user installs an ad blocker, banner ads will stay relevant and effective, especially when used with advanced behavioral analytic tools, provided by platforms like AdWords.
SEO and Content
SEO and content marketing are closely related. Only companies whose websites offer good content will be able to use them for promotional purposes. Same goes for social media pages. Importance of search engine optimization will grow in the future, due to increasing number business websites, but the whole concept of SEO will dramatically change.
All SEO techniques that aren’t founded on providing good quality content will be forgotten due to Google algorithm improvements. The time when we could use ‘Google bombs’ and other similar techniques to improve our website’s visibility are long gone, which means that only good content and design will drive our website analytics’. This was also confirmed by last year’s Moz survey, which singled out these important ranking factors for future SEO:
- Mobile friendliness;
- Page’s perceived value;
- Quality and quantity of instant answers;
- Usability/readability, etc.
Social Media Advertising
Social networks’ popularity is growing since the introduction of Friendster and MySpace, but in the last decade internet users’ attention was mainly shifted towards: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram etc. These networks also saw a large scale growth of advertising on their pages and in the attempt to turn promotional opportunities they are offering into company’s revenue, networks like Facebook and Instagram introduced paid social media advertising concept.
In simple terms this concept enables marketers to purchase targeted audience’s attention, with the use of social network’s newsfeed and side bars. Today, all companies advertise their offers on Facebook, which is the biggest and the most popular social network in the world. Also many experts like Stephen Esketzis, see Facebook advertising as one of the most effective marketing strategies.
The ad forms are quickly changing. While in the beginning most Facebook ads included only text and images, today video ads rule on consumer’s news feeds and effectiveness charts. Fast internet brings possibilities for more graphic advertising. This trend turned out to be hazardous for small businesses, that don’t have enough funds to invest in development of good-quality video ads. At this point small companies already have problems with measuring ROI of their Facebook ads, which is confirmed by studies done by Manta Small Business Directory and Social Media Examiner. Increasing quality of Facebook ads and large sums big businesses are investing in this type of advertising can seriously damage advertising strategies of small business on social networks.
What the Future Holds?
It is hard to guess in which direction digital marketing will develop from here. By complex analysis of digital marketing past and present we gave a few predictions:
- Behavioral targeting will become more advanced- Big data and its analysis enables marketers to create better analysis of consumers’ browsing history. These insights can be used for smarter ad placement. Since big data is currently one of the hottest tech niches, behavioral targeting will definitely become more precise and advanced.
- VR is the new black- Virtual reality is completely new media concept and marketers are already figuring out how to use it for advertising;
We hope that in this article we proved to you how new trends can influence and change marketing campaign’s results. That is why marketers need to closely follow both marketing and tech development and include new elements from both niches into their strategies, to keep them fresh, up to date and effective.