11 Jun Online Engagement: Counting the Clicks
The digital marketing space is forever evolving, as are the longstanding tools and platforms which seem to be unwavering. As the spend on digital marketing continues to increase, here are some trends worth watching to stay relevant and ahead of the curb.
Simply put, chat bots are AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered programmes designed to simulate conversation with humans, and they are in high demand for online customer care. Chat bots allow for instant responses to be sent to customers around the clock responding to common, generic or repeatable questions. As the technology improves, becoming more intuitive and intelligent, chat bots could also be utilised as sales tools. Used not only to resolve customer services issues but generate sales through product recommendations as they learn more about the customers they interact and build relationships with.
Why video? Well, it is the most popular type of content consumed globally, with video getting up 1200% more shares than text and images combined according to Brightcove. Audiences are more likely to watch than to read and retain much higher amounts of the content, creating a more disruptive and effective medium for marketing materials. As a result, the use of video marketing online has steadily grown since the mid-2000’s, seeing a spike in 2007, but it’s expected to account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2019 according to CISCO.
Once upon a time in a land not so far away, there was a generation called the Millennials. The Millennials were blessed with a sense of social responsibility and an inquisitive nature, making them harder to target through conventional marketing. So marketers all around the world sharpened their pencils and started to tell the stories behind their products.
It is human nature to enjoy a good story, so it is no surprise to see more brands incorporating creative storytelling into their digital content, transforming media traffic into customer engagement platforms through social media. This approach is especially effective on millennials who have made it their business to know what brands stand for and where and how products have been sourced and produced.
It is no surprise that the cost of advertising on social media is on the rise, due to the growth of potential targeted audiences these platforms reach. Marketers have been investing more in social media advertising spend to supplement the decline in organic growth of traffic and engagement. Brilliant content has the potential to be wasted if not backed by a substantial social media budget ensuring it goes viral. A small caveat, some consumers are starting to feel more and more uneasy about social media platforms amidst controversial privacy issues, with many users opting out of certain platforms. Make sure the platform you utilise is relevant to your audience before investing.
User-generated content (UGC)
Anything from blogs/vlogs, videos, testimonials to chat forums about a product or brand can be considered as user-generated content (UGC). UGC has become fundamental to the marketing mix as customers are more likely to trust each other’s opinions before celebrity endorsements and conventional advertising, showing a 4x higher hit rate than conventional traffic. Other than the advantages from a sales perspective, UGC is fundamental in customer retention, enabling a 2-way conversation and the customer to become more involved with the brand itself, contributing to hashtags as part of campaigns, promotions and initiatives.
Interactive content is a 2-way conversation with your customer and relies on our human nature to compete, compare, share options and have fun. This approach can prove to be highly effective with a 45% click rate, 60% completion rate and 40% conversion rates according to SnapApp. Static content just will not cut it anymore; customers want dynamic interactions. Assessments, calculators, trivia and surveys make up the basics of interactive content and are easily integrated into your landing page, blog and media.
Don’t panic! We’re not facing the Zombie apocalypse just yet, but Generation Z, born in the mid to late 90’s, is currently entering their early 20’s. Many brands have already begun a shift in their marketing approach to prevent missing out as many others did from the shift from Generation X to the Millennials. Generation Z is the definition of digitally integrated, raised in the era of smartphones, posting record amounts of selfies and buying choices moulded over Wi-Fi. Always connected and they thrive on bite-sized bits of information delivered via social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.