Digital marketing is constantly evolving with advances in technology. While technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning may power the tools of digital marketing, the focus of any marketing campaign will remain on the customer. Here are some broad trends that are emerging in the field of digital marketing that entrepreneurs may use as a guide for their own strategy.

Customer experience is a high priority

As any business owner knows, excellent customer service is essential to maintaining loyalty. In digital marketing, this translates to providing a better user experience for the customer who will see the marketing campaign on their smartphones or other devices. Together they form what is known as customer experience. This unites the business aspects such as easy payment options, easy-to-use apps, and those that come under the purview of marketing such as a seamless mobile experience and personalization of content.

Today, customers are more likely to discover your business via their phones and the internet, rather than a walk-in. Customer expectations have also changed in the recent past with the availability of a wider variety of choices. If they find the slightest inconvenience in navigating your brand’s digital touchpoints, or if they feel that it lacks personalization, they are likely to drop your business completely. So, it is necessary to have a well-designed digital touchpoint and marketing strategy to back it.

Customer Lifecycle Marketing

Customer engagement leads to improved sales, customer loyalty, and more business via referrals. To achieve this, large enterprises already have customer relationship management (CRM) systems in place, but increasingly, it is the smaller and medium-sized businesses that are actively working on CRM with the help of marketing tools.

The new goal is to engage with the customer or client from discovery to purchase and beyond. A digital marketing communications strategy will integrate the various marketing channels and experiences to inform, engage, and assist customers throughout the customer journey.

Marketing automation is one way to help with the business plan and implement a well-coordinated communications strategy by connecting and engaging with customers and prospects through various channels. This could include automated retargeting via the broad range of social media platforms or ad retargeting via Google Ads Display, as well as automated email messaging from initial contact to nurture and win back customers and incentivize referrals.

Content matters

Good content is at the heart of a great digital marketing strategy. Google has been evolving its search engine algorithm steadily over the past year to help it gauge which site offers accurate and insightful content that is useful to users as indicated by their search queries. This is what is

called semantic search, and much of SEO strategy will revolve around this. Useful links, speed, and relevant content now are more important in search engine rankings than mere buzzwords.

Use of analytics and AI in marketing

Big data and predictive analytics enable businesses to get more granular information about their customers and likely audiences. This information is useful while creating a more personalized marketing communications strategy to nurture leads and prospects which is more effective than a broad-based strategy. AI can further help reduce some of the repetitive tasks of customer services, as seen in chatbots and voice search, for example. This in turn, leads to a better customer experience.

Omnichannel marketing is necessary

Customers are likely to forget about your brand if you do not engage with them consistently. Omnichannel marketing which involves implementing a cohesive marketing strategy across channels like mobile phone apps, email, social media, and website blogs helps businesses to connect more often with customers. Data shows that the omnichannel approach delivers more engagement and higher-order values and frequency of purchases than a single-channel approach.

Personalization wins the heart

Today the customer has a wide array of choices for every single product or service. Usually, the brand that resonates more with the customer is likely to be the winner in this race for the customer’s attention. One way that businesses can connect more deeply with their customer is through personalized marketing communications. Now businesses have plenty of data that they can dig deeper into to analyze their customer’s needs and preferences. Using that data, digital marketing can be customized and fine-tuned to send out a message that shows the customers that they are valued. These communications can, of course, be automated to continually engage with the customer and encourage repeat business.

Digital marketing trends will continue to evolve through the next year with the rapidly changing customer expectations and the advances in technology. Small businesses can take advantage of the various digital marketing tools and strategies to implement a cohesive and comprehensive marketing plan that will equal the reach of their larger rivals.