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Digital marketing is perhaps one of the most important things for businesses in all kinds of industries. That’s why so many professionals young and old are eagerly learning digital marketing. It’s a field that is still developing but has already become a major part of any company’s long-term success.
But before you jump to conclusions and assume that digital marketing is easy to master, you need to understand just how complex certain aspects of it can be. That being said, you can still break into the field once you have the basics down. Hence, here are the three digital marketing trends you should get acquainted with and the skills you need to get started.
Why Should You Understand Trends?
First and foremost, it’s crucial that you understand why you need to know these trends and know how they work. It’s not enough to blindly follow whichever technique is currently being used by every business in their digital marketing campaigns. That will only result in disaster for you, especially if you are a beginner in digital marketing.
Understanding trends is more than just knowing how to apply them. It’s also about knowing why they work. If you understand the logic behind them, you will be able to apply them to your own strategy in the most effective way possible. Moreover, you will be able to use them in an innovative way that nobody else uses them in. This can give you a significant advantage over your competitors.
Of course, all of this is possible only if you know what the latest trends are and if you understand how they work. The best move is to start by acquainting yourself with the major trends and then move on to more niche developments. Without further ado, here are three major digital marketing trends you should know:
#1 Conversational Marketing
Just as its name suggests, conversational marketing is a method of marketing that largely relies on having conversations with your audience. This can be done in a variety of ways, but all of them lead to a more immersive and personalized experience for your customer. It’s a way for you to get more engagement by actively reaching out to your audience.
Joshua Grapes, an expert from a website that provides reviews on writing services, explains, “Conversational marketing is perfect for businesses that want to show their human side. It’s also a way for you to provide better customer service and improve both your user and customer experience.”
At its core, conversational marketing is directly connected to AI as it utilizes innovations from this field to provide customers with customized experiences. A good example of what conversational marketing looks like in practice are chatbots. When a potential customer visits your website, your chatbot immediately greets them and asks them whether they need help. Thanks to the fast response times of conversational marketing, you can increase your engagement significantly and potentially convert more leads in less time.
#2 A Bigger Focus on AI
Another major trend in digital marketing is a much bigger focus on AI than before. AI-powered optimization has been around for some time now and has impacted vastly different fields, but it’s gaining even more momentum now. Besides marketing, AI is also impacting other aspects of business such as sales and customer support.
Something that many people don’t fully understand about Artificial Intelligence is that its power is limited. It’s true that AI integrations can make your job much easier and can reduce the expenses of any kind of business. However, AI still can’t work on its own which is why highly skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced human employees are still needed to operate AI-powered tools.
AI’s primary purpose in digital marketing is to give marketers more insight into how they can improve their strategy. Businesses can better understand their audience and adapt to its needs and preferences appropriately. AI can also help businesses automate many of their processes thereby streamlining the work process. Common examples of AI in use include behavioral analytics, customer profiling, content and product recommendation, etc.
#3 Interactivity in Marketing
The third major trend you should study is interactivity in marketing – more specifically, interactive content marketing. Similarly to conversational marketing, interactive content marketing aims to engage the audience and provide customers with a more immersive and personalized experience.
Kathleen Cosgrove, an expert from a site that reviews the best websites for college papers, says, “Interactivity is definitely big in marketing these days. From virtual tours to AR-integrated product pages, there are so many examples of it on every level. Even simply using polls on social media can be considered interactive marketing, so you don’t really have to go all out with it.”
To some extent, interactive marketing is so common now because businesses tend to rely more on visual content in their campaigns. And what’s more effective than an ad that lets you play a game, for example? Once the prospect is hooked, it’s much easier to lead them on through the sales funnel.
Which Skills Do You Need?
Now that you know which digital marketing trends are on the rise right now, it’s worth thinking about the skills you will need to be able to use these trends. As a beginner marketer, you should start by developing the most common digital marketing skills and only then move on to more specific ones you will need for these trends. Here are some skills to start from:
- Search Engine Optimization: SEO lies at the core of most digital marketing campaigns as it helps businesses achieve a wide variety of goals. The main reason why you need this skill is that it will help you generate more organic website traffic which is essential for reaching customers, increasing conversions, and so on.
- Social Media Marketing: Though technically social media marketing is a part of content marketing, it’s worth singling it out. Social media platforms are perfect for businesses of all sizes to reach their audiences and grow a strong follower base. That’s why so many brands rely on social media marketing heavily.
- Content Marketing: Content marketing is an umbrella term that refers to pretty much any activity you have going on with content. Email marketing, social media marketing, blogging, guest posting, etc. – all of it is content marketing. Remember that SEO is crucial for content marketing but there’s still more to it than just that.
- Copywriting: Often confused with content marketing, copywriting actually has a somewhat different purpose. While content marketing usually aims to educate, inform, or entertain an audience, copywriting aims to sell a product or service. In other words, it’s actually closer to advertising.
- Branding: Branding is crucial for any business that wants to establish itself on the market which is why you will need this skill to become a successful digital marketer. It’s also a good idea to look into audience building as the two are closely related to each other.
- Data Analysis: To understand who your audience is and how to approach it, you will need to have at least some sense of what data analysis is. This way, you can utilize the right tools (mostly AI-powered ones) and then use your findings successfully.
- Project Management: Project and task management might not be directly related to marketing, but they are crucial for you to do a good job as a marketer. This includes everything from your organizational skills to time management.
- AI and Machine Learning: While you will definitely be using automation in your marketing quite a lot, you still need to be knowledgeable about AI and machine learning to integrate even more innovations of such kind into your campaigns.
- Data Security and Privacy: Customers value their privacy while businesses value their data. This is why data security and privacy should also be on your list when you start learning the skills necessary to become a digital marketer.
SEE ALSO: Trends on the Horizon in SEO
Once you have mastered the skills above, you can move on to more specific skills and knowledge you will need to utilize the three trends listed earlier:
- Conversational Marketing: The main skills you will need to utilize conversational marketing effectively include customer onboarding, data analysis, and marketing automation. You will also need to have experience with APIs, CRMs, and chatbots. It’s also a good idea to get acquainted with such tools as MailChimp and Klaviyo.
- Artificial Intelligence: Obviously, you will need to have a good grasp of what AI and machine learning are, but there are still more things you should learn. For example, topics such as AI-related privacy practices, qualitative research, and maybe even a bit of coding.
- Interactive Content Marketing: Because you will be aiming to maximize interactivity, UX will stand front and center for most of your decisions. Consequently, think of such skills as data-driven UX roadmap development, UX management, A/B testing, SEO, and analytics.
At the end of the day, breaking into digital marketing is definitely possible. Master the basics and use the information in this article to help you get a grasp on the most important digital marketing trends as well as the skills you need to develop to break into the field.