As countries slowly ease on their pandemic restrictions and businesses begin to reopen, we can all agree that one thing’s for certain — that this ‘new normal’ is here to stay. And along with this uncertain nature of the pandemic are the need for new digital marketing strategies to meet the changing consumer habits.
With the pandemic changing the traditional consumer behavior, here are our top 5 digital marketing trends for the new normal.
Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends
1. Brands With a Purpose
Brands with socially conscious values are usually rewarded by their customers, with consumers being more likely to purchase, protect, and champion purpose-driven companies. While this isn’t exactly new, the coronavirus crisis has only accelerated this trend.
Nowadays consumers expect brands to take positive action for the social good. Brands seen to be operating purely out of their corporate interests are likely to be singled out by consumers who will react by switching to a competitor, avoiding future purchases from the said brands, or discouraging others from purchasing from those brands.
This means that brands will need to plan and align their operations with a clear and authentic social purpose so as to build loyalty and longevity with their consumers. And while it’s important for marketers to communicate this strong sense of purpose, it’s as equally important to walk the talk as well as countless brands have faced huge public backlash due to their inauthentic messages.
All in all, brands will need to fully dedicate to causes they vocally support or risk suffering the financial consequences from being cancelled by their consumers.
2. Augmented Reality (AR) Experiences
The disruption caused by the pandemic has forced many businesses to shift their operations online, with physical meetings being cancelled in favor of virtual events.
With augmented reality technology, prospective customers can try out a wide range of products without heading to the physical store. From IKEA’s virtual reality showrooms, to LÓreal’s virtual makeup filters, the restricted bricks-and-mortar retail experience can be enhanced by an expanded offerings of unique AR experience.
And this new digital phenomenon is likely to stay, particularly as social distancing restrictions remain the norm for most countries.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Chat Bots
Chatbots are the future and chances are, you’ve probably seen them on some eCommerce websites.
These computer programs mimic conversations with consumers through a messaging interface. Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), these chatbots help companies to interact with their customers in an automated manner. And while this technology is still somewhat in its infancy, many key players such as Facebook and Google, have adopted them into their operations.
You can create a chatbot to answer frequently asked questions with specific responses and help consumers narrow down their customer service issues before directing them to an actual person for further inquiries.
And while chatbot marketing is a powerful tool, it’s crucial that the automated process is used in a supplementary manner without fully replacing the human touch.
4. Video Content
As Bill Gates once stated, content is king on the Internet. And among the different forms of content, it seems like video has become a dominant contender for the top spot. The rise in video content-focused platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat has shown a preference for interactive or visual content over traditional static media, particularly with the younger generations.
And it’s not too hard to see why video is the dominant form of online content these days. From full-length documentaries to amateur home-made videos, videos are undoubtedly much more entertaining and attention grabbing than other content formats. Experts have predicted that internet video traffic will account for over 80% of all traffic by the year 2021.
With people spending more time watching videos online, it’s clear that marketers should start to introduce video content into their digital marketing strategy, if they haven’t already.
5. Social Shopping
As consumers increasingly work and shop from home, it’s important that brands provide them with the easiest and quickest way to shop online. When it comes to modern shopping, having a streamlined purchase journey will undoubtedly help to reduce abandonment and improve sales.
And as people spend more time on social media apps, it’s an indisputable fact that social commerce will remain a key market driver for many participating brands. From product discovery to the checkout process, social shopping enables brands to sell products directly through social media platforms. This creates a frictionless, omni-channel social commerce approach that can effectively capture the attention of consumers and boost online engagement.
Some social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, have already integrated checkout features to let users shop without ever leaving the app, with many more industry players working towards this goal as well.
Rethinking Digital Marketing For the New Normal
While we don’t yet know the full extent of this new normal, we can all agree that life will not go back to the way they were. In this period of uncertainty, businesses will need to fully experiment with new digital marketing strategies and tools to revamp their digital presence in this new world and stay ahead of their competitors.
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