As far as the world of marketing goes, we’ve come quite a long way since “Where’s the beef?” in 1984.
It’s clear that the best way to market to consumers these days is through digital technology: a vast array of devices, apps, and social media avenues that literally engulf us for hours, daily. So of course it makes perfect sense to market products and services through what’s dancing in front of our eyes the most.
We’re all familiar with online marketing. If you’re ever online at all, there’s simply no way to escape it. The annoying ads that clutter up the screen while you’re trying to play Words with Friends; the items you recently searched for on Amazon popping up mysteriously on your Facebook feed; those little boxes that appear as soon as you click over to a website, trying to get you to sign up for things.
But the thing is: online marketing doesn’t have to feel this invasive, and is getting to the point where it’s not. In fact, it’s becoming more usable and innovative, making users actually want to pay attention and utilize it.
In an age where marketing is now harder to do than ever, and the ever-present question “What’s new and hot?” is constantly looming, companies have a lot more to worry about than if their product is demandable and if their ads look good. It’s about engagement and capturing attention in an ADD world.
Here are some up-and-coming or growing online marketing trends that are making waves right now.
#1: Prepare for an Instagram shopping takeover.
Instagram users—especially the very first users—have all noticed the slow-but-sure advertisements appearing in their feed. Not too long ago these advertisements were limited to a select group of Instagram partners, but now, Instagram ads have become available to all marketers. We predict not only lots more marketing through Instagram, but other apps that will allow users to purchase things directly from Instagram, too.
#2: “Target audiences” is getting a lot more personal.
Everyone knows about pay-per-click marketing and how it targets those who have clicked on a specific ad. However, less known is the next step in this area: Identity-Based Pay-Per-Click Marketing. This allows companies to direct ads or content at individual people based on their email address or phone number. This results in companies being able to satisfy a user’s need or want instantly.
#3: The cinematic pin surge.
Pinterest has always been aggressively creative in their marketing techniques—and that deserves some applause. Not surprising at all is their new promoted pin that they’re calling an “animated cinematic pin”. Pinterest has been using “Buy It” buttons since 2015, which was a brilliant marketing strategy all on its own. However, with this new animated cinematic pin innovation, brands are able to target an individual based on their engagement with it. The cinematic pins move (are animated, that is), and are set in motion when a user scrolls, but as the user stops scrolling, the motion stops, too—leaving the user in control of whether they watch the video or not. This idea enables enhanced marketing for companies and brands while giving control to the Pinterest user. Huge brands such as the Gap, Nestlé, and LÓreal have had huge success with this type of online marketing.
#4: Hello, Siri. Hello, Cortana. Hello Vokul, Evi…
Digital marketers are all familiar with getting websites seen by thousands through search engine optimization and pay-per-click methods. However, a new kind of search optimization has begun to unfold. While people have obviously been using digital assistants like Siri for years, there has been an untapped world of opportunity in utilizing them for search purposes. However, this is now becoming more and more common for businesses and advertisers. Because digital assistants “ask” traditional search engines for their information to give to users, many marketers have found success by making sure that their information is easily accessible to digital assistants. These digital assistants use “semantic search” which allows them to analyze the intent behind a user’s query, and find the most appropriate results. These digital assistants’ hosts (like Apple) are constantly upgrading them to have more and more sophisticated search powers.
#5: Facebook as the new Google.
Did you know that Facebook is currently working on their own search engine and plans to launch an online shopping platform? Soon, users will be able to search in Facebook (just as they would search in Google), and will also be able to make purchases through Facebook’s messenger app, similar to Amazon. Through the instant messenger app, consumers will be able to purchase items, receive order notifications, and share what they bought—all on Facebook. This is big news for companies who have already been investigating marketing through Facebook, and Twitter is sure to be quick on the heels of this breakthrough.
#6: We all scream for streaming.
Marketers have long looked for the best way to apply live video streaming into a solid marketing strategy. It’s a great thought, since live streaming really involves users and captures attention. Live video streaming experiments have been around for awhile with apps such as Periscope and Meerkat, and are only gaining more power. When it’s as easy as pressing “stream” and immediately your video has eyes all over it, there’s no way to not market with this type of technology. Companies can use live video streaming for Q&A’s in real time, new product release announcements, and plenty of other exciting things.
#7: Selling health.
Grabbing people right where they are typically most concerned—their health—is an obvious area for marketers to latch onto. By figuring out a way to incorporate their marketing efforts with health, companies can (and have) hit a true goldmine. Whether it’s data gathered from health apps that circle back to target users; paid-for videos showing up in your feed that alarm or interest users enough to click on them; or even apps like FitBark, which allows you to track and monitor your dog’s health, information can and will be generated from these technologies.
#8: Omni-tastic marketing abounds!
Omni-channel marketing creates an entire marketing experience for users, and it’s extremely beneficial for marketers as well. The omni-channel strategy is a seamless experience for users where they are able to engage with a company in a physical store, on an online website or mobile app, through a catalog, or through social media. For example, take Starbucks. Their customers can easily check and re-load their Starbucks card balance via their smart phone, on the Starbucks website, or even if they’re inside a store. Their balance changes are updated in real time and across all channels, allowing customers to remain in the loop no matter what device they’re using. With omni-channel marketing, each piece of the consumer’s experience should be consistent and complementary. Basically, it this marketing targets users with the right message at the right time in the right place. Omni-channel marketing also allows marketers to “walk in consumers’ shoes”, measure what and why they’re purchasing, and develop content and other strategies that address what they have learned. Massive corporations such as Chipotle, Sephora, Bank of America, Crate & Barrel, and of course, Starbucks have integrated omni-channel marketing into their branding.
With the ever-changing sea of technology, marketing will always and constantly be changing, too. This is great news, since there’s nothing more exciting than discovering what the world responds to.
At Marqana, we are on top of the latest trending tech and marketing topics. Be sure to follow the Marqana blog to keep an eye on what we’re talking about.