12 Digital Marketing Trends to Look Out For

CareerFoundry contributor Dr. Anneke Schmidt

Digital marketing trends are more than just fashionable new tech and marketing tactics. Knowing what’s ahead and acting on those trends can be transformative for businesses, allowing them to reach new heights and gain a competitive edge.

But industry trends are equally important for digital marketers themselves, as they can use them to stay ahead of the curve, adapt to changing customer expectations, and acquire new digital marketing skills.

So, whether you are pursuing a career in digital marketing or looking to leverage the latest trends for your business, you’ll want to stay abreast of the top digital marketing trends to watch out for.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of ongoing developments and new trends that will shape digital marketing in the months and years ahead. Feel free to use the clickable menu to skip to the sections you’re most interested in!

  1. Top 12 digital marketing trends
  2. Where to learn more about digital marketing
  3. Summary and next steps

Working in digital marketing is an ever-evolving task. What works today may become ineffective tomorrow, and things you haven’t even heard of suddenly catch on and become the new norm.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, the field has become even more versatile as the digital marketing industry has had to adapt and develop around the new reality.

An early study on the impact of Covid-19 on digital marketing found that the global behavioral shift toward digital platforms and digital content created significant opportunities for marketers and brands to connect with their customers in unprecedented ways. This has provided digital marketing professionals not only with better economic opportunities but also with the chance toact mindfully and be socially responsible while implementing digital marketing strategies.” 

In other words, marketing is no longer just about selling a product or service: it’s also about marketing the company and its values.

So, let’s start by considering the top digital marketing trends with the impact of AI on digital marketing.

1. AI-based automation

It’s no secret that AI has taken the digital marketing world by storm. AI automation in particular can help marketers save time and money by automating mundane tasks, such as email campaigns and paid ads. But in addition to streamlining marketing processes, AI-based automation also provides valuable insights into customer behavior and can be used to target the right people with the right messages.

This is particularly useful for businesses looking to maximize their digital advertising budgets and get the most out of their campaigns. As AI-based automation continues to evolve, it will become an even more critical part of the digital marketing landscape.

2. AI content creation

The digital landscape is set to be a whirlwind of personalized experiences and hyper-targeted content. And AI content creation is poised to be savvy digital marketers’ secret weapon.

Imagine generating high-quality blog posts within minutes, tailored to specific audience segments. AI tools will churn out engaging product descriptions, social media captions, and even video scripts, freeing up precious time for marketers to focus on strategy and analysis.

But it’s not just about speed; AI can craft content with laser-sharp precision, analyzing real-time trends and customer data to ensure each piece resonates deeply. This personalized touch will be the key to forging stronger connections, boosting engagement, and driving conversions in a market saturated with generic content.

But AI isn’t a replacement, it’s a powerful collaborator. It can handle the heavy lifting of content creation, allowing marketers to focus on the human touch – the emotional intelligence, the strategic nuance, and the creative spark that AI can’t replicate. This dynamic duo will be unstoppable, churning out a symphony of data-driven content that speaks directly to the hearts and minds of target audiences. So, buckle up, digital marketers—the AI content revolution is here, and it’s time to ride the wave!

3. Customer-centered personalization

This second digital marketing trend focuses on creating customized experiences for customers. Companies are now using AI and machine learning to analyze customer data (such as purchase history and interests) to deliver customer-specific product recommendations and personalized marketing campaigns.

This focus on user experience (UX) helps companies to build customer loyalty and differentiate their branding from competitors. Companies can also use customer data to create tailored customer journeys and anticipate customer needs, making the buying experience more interactive and human-centered.

4. Content segmentation

Content segmentation is the practice of dividing content into smaller, more targeted pieces to maximize engagement and reach. This involves analyzing customer data such as demographics, interests, and behaviors to create content that resonates with each target audience segment. 

Content segmentation is especially important for social media marketing as it enables companies to tailor their social media strategy to reach different social user groups. That way, social media marketing teams can create content that appeals to the interests of each target segment and drive engagement with their social campaigns.

5. Story-driven content marketing

Another trend gaining momentum in digital marketing circles is story-driven content. One of its key benefits is that it helps to create a human connection between customers and the brand. Suppose a company sells eco-friendly products. In that case, it can use storytelling techniques to showcase the values that drive the company and how its commitment to sustainability is helping it to make a difference in people’s lives.

In an age of algorithmically-generated content, story-driven content stands out because it conveys a more authentic message. This can help brands differentiate themselves from their competitors and build customer trust.

6. Short video content

TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts have gained traction as marketers recognize the potential of short video content to engage audiences and increase brand awareness.

There are many reasons for this digital marketing trend. Reels and Shorts, for example, are particularly effective for reaching younger audiences, who tend to be more active on these platforms.  Additionally, short video content is easy to create and consume, making it ideal for various marketing objectives, including product demos, tutorials, brand awareness campaigns, and even entertainment.

7. Voice optimization

With voice search becoming increasingly popular, voice search optimization (VSEO) is a must for digital marketing. VSEO involves optimizing content for voice search devices, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple’s Siri, to ensure that it is discoverable when users use voice search. This also requires adapting content to the natural language format used by these devices and crafting it in an engaging, conversational tone.

By optimizing content for voice search, digital marketers can ensure that their brand is visible when users search using voice-enabled devices. 

8. Programmatic advertising

Next on the list of digital marketing trends is programmatic advertising, which is the automated buying and selling of digital ad space. This technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to match advertisers with potential customers in real time.

Programmatic advertising has become popular in recent years as it helps marketers to target their ads and optimize campaigns for cost-effectiveness. Additionally, this technology can be easily integrated with other digital marketing channels, such as social media and email, to deliver more personalized campaigns. It’s a great way for companies to get the most out of their digital ad budgets.

9. Conversational marketing

Conversational marketing is a customer-centric marketing approach  that focuses on building customer relationships through chatbots, messaging apps, and other interactive tools. It provides a more natural and personal experience for customers, as chatbots can be programmed to respond instantly with pre-programmed messages.

This trend is beneficial for companies looking to build brand loyalty. With chatbots and messaging apps, customers can ask questions, get answers quickly, and even chat directly with customer support representatives. Chatbots also create personalized customer experiences by gathering data on their interests and needs. This data can then be used to provide customers with recommendations and tailored product offers.

10. Employee activation

Apart from traditional digital marketing channels, businesses are beginning to recognize the potential of employee activation. This involves leveraging the power of employees’ digital networks to drive brand awareness and engagement.

Employee activation campaigns encourage employees to post content about the brand on social media, share customer stories, and be vocal about their experiences working at the company through employee testimonials and interviews. This marketing strategy, too, has proven to be an effective way to drive brand loyalty and reach potential new customers.

11. Social commerce and responsible consumerism

The responsible consumer movement is gaining traction, driven by consumers who want to make ethical purchasing decisions that positively impact the environment, society, and the economy.

This has led to the development of social commerce, which uses digital marketing tools and platforms such as social networks, messaging apps, and influencer marketing to bridge the gap between traditional retail and ecommerce. 

Thus, social commerce combines the convenience of online shopping with the social aspect of traditional retail to enable customers to make more considered purchases while connecting them to a broader community of like-minded shoppers.

12. Push notifications

The last of the digital marketing trends to look out for is push notifications. This technology enables marketers to send targeted messages directly to a user’s device, whether it be a mobile phone, tablet, or computer.

Push notifications are handy for businesses looking to re-engage customers who have not interacted with their brand for a while. Notifications can be used to send personalized offers and discounts, promotional messages, or important updates about the company. 

Not only do they keep customers engaged, thereby increasing brand loyalty, but they also have a higher response rate than email or social media.

2. Where to learn more about digital marketing

If you’re interested in exploring digital marketing further, there are different ways to get started. Here are some of the best resources to help you on your digital marketing journey:

These are just a few options to get you on the path to mastering digital marketing. No matter which route you take, stay up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques, as this will increase your chances of success in this field.

Interested in what CareerFoundry’s CMO, Ed Wood, thinks about digital marketing trends? Check out the following video!

3. Summary and next steps

Few industries have been as profoundly impacted by new technological developments over the last decade as digital marketing. And this trend has only accelerated since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This presents a massive opportunity for those looking to get into digital marketing, as companies have become increasingly aware of its potential and are, therefore, keen to attract new talent.

So, if you’re looking to stay ahead of the digital marketing curve, keep an eye on these trends, giving equal attention to people-centered strategies, such as conversational marketing, and tech-based solutions, such as AI-based automation. The future looks bright for digital marketing, so now is the perfect time to start.

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