The digital marketplace is highly competitive, and major advancements in technology have changed the way brands and marketers can reach audiences. With access to endless information in the palm of our hands, and the rise of social media, the possibilities for promoting your message are constantly changing. Here we look at which digital marketing trends are making the most significant impact and how you can utilize them to connect better with your audience.

1. Interactive Content + Live Video
Interacting with your audience not only fosters a greater sense of community, but it’s also a highly effective way to promote your brand, educate your audience, and uniquely spark conversation. Live video has quickly become one of the most popular types of interactive online content, especially on social media—think Snapchat, Instagram Live, YouTube Live and Facebook Live videos. There are also platforms available that can take your live video and stream it easily and effectively to multiple channels with a single click. As audiences look to connect with brands they believe in, utilizing these platforms is key to humanizing your brand and interacting with customers. 

2. AR / VR
If you’ve ever used a filter on Snapchat or Instagram, then you’ve seen how much augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have made their way into mainstream applications. The use of this technology has grown rapidly over the past few years, with no intention of fading. In fact, the economic impact of both AR and VR is projected to reach $29.5 billion before 2021. With the introduction of 5G technology, brands will only have more potential to integrate three-dimensional, interactive experiences into their marketing efforts. Marriott capitalized on this trend by creating virtual getaways that transported users to some of their most exotic locations and gave them a realistic glimpse of their stay.

3. SEO for Voice Search
As more people use Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant to control apps, search for information, and even ask for recommendations, voice search is becoming a viable part of e-commerce. That’s why optimizing your brand’s website SEO for voice search is vital. The first way to do this is to ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Google can recognize whether a site is mobile friendly and rank you in searches based on this factor. Implementing SEO and more conversational content will direct more traffic to your brand’s website and help you benefit from voice search. 

4. Social Commerce
With more consumers spending their time at home and online, e-commerce through social media is growing. In short, it brings shopping functionality to social media platforms, labeling itself as social commerce. More brands see the benefits of selling products via social media by providing the ability to directly purchase products within the app versus directing users to an online store. From increasing customer engagement and retention to driving traffic and tracking metrics, social commerce is bringing new ways to enhance the online shopping experience for brands and consumers. 

5. Hyper-targeted Personalization

According to a study by IBM, 56% of consumers feel the communication coming from brands is irrelevant or unimportant. Another 86% said that personalization has an impact on what they purchase. For this reason, successful marketing integrates hyper-targeting and personalization strategies into the content. By tracking your digital engagement metrics and collecting user data on your website, you can apply that information to create a more effective experience with your consumers.