Consumer trends are sometimes easy to predict, but they can always do a complete 180 and  turn out to be quite tricky — and this is all because of digital marketing! 

That’s why it’s important to study the trends that are occurring in the digital space in order to keep up. Whether it’s new developments in SEO, voice search or whatever Google has been up to, we’re here to make sure you don’t fall behind. 

So which digital ecosystems will your brand be playing in? Not sure? No stress. We got you! 

Here are the five digital marketing trends you need to follow: 

Search engine optimisation

Search engine optimisation, or SEO, was once something that sounded very technical;  something that was reserved for the ‘experts’ only. However, as time went on, marketers began to not only understand this term but also to see the benefits of what it can do for their brand. 

So, what’s the consensus with these marketers? SEO is the future of digital marketing. Why do we say this? Well, it’s one of the most convenient ways for a user on a search engine, such as Google, to find your products or services through search results that are calculated via a clever algorithm. 

You might be wondering, how does this benefit you? Well, using SEO can actually help your brand stand out from its competitors — you just have to do it cleverly. How? Think of yourself as a consumer who is looking for the services you’re offering. Just for fun, let’s say you provide a car service:

As your own consumer, what words would you type into Google if you’re looking for a place to service your vehicle? The first and most obvious thing you’d probably type is ‘car service’, and maybe followed by certain keyword mechanics, such as ‘... in South Africa’. If the first thing that appears in your search results isn’t your brand, then you’ve got some work to do.
Wondering how to best optimise your brand for SEO? Then check out these 15 Tips to whip your website content into SEO shape.
Remember, when people search for products or services, they are looking for ‘solutions’, and most likely won’t even type the name of your company unless they know it. Instead, they’ll search for easy fixes to their problems or interests — and your website needs to reflect results to their plight in order to garner any leads. 

Global connectivity 

Global connectivity is something that consumers are fastly jumping to, and marketers need to take note. This refers to the space where people have access to information from anywhere and everywhere in the world — as long as it’s online, of course. Basically, you’re not just reaching your local customers anymore, so you need to ensure that your marketing strategy aligns to that. 

This new trend benefits both brand and consumer. How? Well, it has expanded the pool of access to products and services, meaning bigger target audiences for brands. This widening of the pool essentially serves as leverage of supply chains — enter e-commerce. 

Retailers and brands, listen up. Products are cheaper when a consumer orders them directly from the supplier or manufacturer.

Although this may increase competition for your brand, this is an opportunity for you to relook at your marketing strategy and make any necessary changes to adapt to the current business climate. 

Google Lens

If you thought that there weren't any alternatives that consumers can use to discover your brand’s offerings, you were wrong. Google has been working on a simple and convenient feature known as Google lens.

How does this complement your digital marketing strategy going forward? Easy! Let’s suppose your product is spotted by someone who’d like to acquire it, but in its current state, it is not yet branded, which makes it challenging for the consumer to know what to search for in order to buy it.

This is where Google lens can assist; all the consumer has to do is take a picture of the product, scan it using Google lens (which then shares it on Google search) and viola! Your potential customer now has more info about your offerings. Pretty cool, huh? 

Just like SEO keywords, the lens feature uses algorithms to determine the ranking of that particular product (image). So the more people post about the product, the more data Google gathers. And, the more data that is gathered, the more easily your brand’s offering will be found.

Voice search 

Nowadays, if you can pronounce it, you can ask your smart device to help you find it. And let’s just say that consumers are definitely spoiled for choice. Between Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, there’s options for everyone. 

With this type of feature, marketers should avoid using complex and words difficult to pronounce in their branding. If a user can’t properly say the phrase or word, chances are that they won’t be able to locate your brand or services on any of the platforms. 

Since voice search is a trend nowadays amongst most audiences, it’s best you go back to the drawing board. To get you started though, we’ve come up with these three ways to use voice search in your branding campaigns:
  • Create content that consists of a natural voice
  • Answer frequently asked questions; this will pick up your responses to whoever is using the voice search feature
  • Consider using colloquial words and phrases. These are great because they’re often used in consumers’  daily communication. For example, a brand that writes “tasty burgers in jozi” will be much easier to pick up as an SEO phrase as that’s how the everyday user would say it to a friend.

Browser Push Notifications

The listing of digital marketing trends wouldn’t complete without the forever surviving feature known as Browser Push Notifications (BPN). 

With consumers spending more time online browsing through content, shopping and learning, it is ideal as a brand to consider adding the BPN feature to your digital marketing strategy. Why?

Well, some consumers tend to be busy at times and forget to complete a purchase or to subscribe. Therefore, a BPN asking them if they’d like to complete a certain activity is ideal to add into your website. 

BPN is definitely transforming the digital space, as it helps both the consumer and brand save time by ‘pushing’ online activity to be completed at a faster and convenient period of time. 

Just make sure your message prompts are not pushy, as this might chase customers away. Keep them simple and friendly. 

Now that we’ve shared with you some trends that are dominating the digital space, was there anything you think we might’ve missed? Let us know in the comments section below. 

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