Digital’s no longer the next big thing – it’s here! And because the average person now spends more time online than engaging with television and all other media (newspapers, magazine and radio) combined, it’s little wonder.
Taking digital marketing itself as a given, this month I talked to some of the other experts working in online marketing, and asked them what they think the biggest thing in digital will be over the next 12 months…
Providing marketers with a tool to boost engagement and conversion across different digital platforms, video marketing is just one of the big things predicted to get even bigger in the coming months. “In a nutshell, it’s all about engagement and response,” explains Russell Berg, Marketing Manager for digital automation specialists, Quanton. “The numbers tell the story here; in emails, videos lead to a 200-300% increase in click-through rates; on landing pages, videos can increase conversion by up to 80%; and on a full page ad, a video can boost engagement by up to 22%. Not only that, when it comes to e-commerce, 64% of users are more likely to purchase a product online after seeing it on a video.”
Many would say that video has already exploded, but it’s Russell’s prediction that it’s going to get even bigger! “Video viewing on Facebook has increased from 1 billion views to 8 billion in just one year. Last year, Facebook launched live streaming and 360 video and, this year, they’re continuing to invest in video, which means there’s more to come in terms of video platforms.”
While 500 million people are watching videos on Facebook every day, it seems other places are following suit; YouTube, the original video platform, has over a billion users and Snapchatters watch 10 billion videos a day. Whether mobile or desktop viewing, it is expected that online video traffic will account for 74% of all online traffic in 2017, so get filming.
According to Hubspot, 58% of marketers say their lead generation budget will increase in the following year. And according to sales specialist Logan Wedgwood, it’s thought that those who are focusing on filling this top section of the sales funnel will do so more selectively. “I see the future of digital marketing focusing on lead qualification as a way to maximise time and efficiency,” explains Logan.
“It’s one thing to have leads coming through, but we’re going to see more outbound salespeople and marketers – the ones responsible for actually following up those leads – putting more qualifiers on a prospect to align customer needs with a business’s product set, and help them determine their priority. Instead of customers auditioning businesses to find the right fit, think of it as businesses auditioning customers. As we becoming increasingly niche in our offerings, we’ll also get more selective about who we work with. Digitally, I see this taking the form of requiring the jumping through of digital hoops, or gates – enabling marketers to collect more data – on the way to conversion.”
According to Nick Whiteacre, Founder & Head of Strategy at Calibrate, the biggest challenge facing digital marketers in the next 12 months is likely to be creating authentic content. “Consumers, in particular younger audiences, have grown very cynical and resentful of interruptive, intrusive marketing practices. We’re seeing this drive the explosive growth of native, inbound and influencer strategies in digital and I expect to see this trend continue over the coming year,” explains Nick, reminding us that “this means we need to put even more emphasis on properly understanding our audiences so we can produce content which is relevant and adds real value.”
Nick goes on to add, “I also think the more widespread adoption of marketing automation in recent years has resulted in consumers becoming far more wary of this approach, so brands need to focus on ensuring their programs don’t feel automated but come across as organic and natural.” Again, it all comes down to properly researching our audiences, putting ourselves in our customers’ shoes and building genuinely engaging and authentic digital experiences.
Whichever way you look at it, the digital world is an ever-moving, ever-changing game that is constantly evolving and challenging us to keep up. There’s no doubt though, that with the stats on the amount of time we’re all spending online, it’s definitely worth the effort to get it right. We look forward to seeing more and more of your businesses excel in the coming 12 months and beyond!