Back in the olden days, when digital marketing was merely a twinkle in the internet’s eye, you could get a website on page one of Google with a few half-way decent bought backlinks and a page or two of keyword-stuffed copy. Now things couldn’t be more different. Here are some predictions for the future.
Predictions for digital marketing trends
Countless millions of people are online every hour. Thousands of new websites arrive online every day. In total around 3 billion of us use a variety of devices to access the internet. No wonder things change so quickly in the digital marketing landscape. Here are some predictions.
- Hearable tech – There will be a flood of new and innovative wearable technology, most of which will fail at the first hurdle. One or two might go mainstream. The next biggie seems to be hearing tech, with sound taking over from the written word. Smart watches never really took off as expected, so will smart headphones and intelligent earpieces manage to fire the consumer imagination?
- Mobile web – Mobile access will keep rising as more people adopt smartphones
- Quality content – Great content will will always win out over poor quality stuff. It has been algorithmically possible to distinguish good quality content from bad for some time, and search engine algorithms will probably get even better at telling the difference. In response fewer marketers will bother to flood the net with rubbish since it’s less likely than ever to deliver results
- Authority backlinks will still matter, another important metric search engines use to establish how popular a website is
- Bye bye search engines – More of us will use alternatives to search engines, making platforms like Amazon and Facebook the starting point of our internet searches instead of Google
- ‘Quality signals’ will continue to drive SEO tactics, and everything from adverts to page copy should improve as a result, great news for consumers
- Truthiness goes out the window – ‘Gut feel’ is becoming a thing of the past in the digital arena, good news when there’s no place for guesswork in marketing. Using instinct to decide marketing actions is just as bad as Ronald Reagan’s famous penchant for ‘truthiness’, where he made all sorts of critical decisions based on how truthful he felt the supporting information was. Long live statistical analysis and empirical evidence
- Knowing the facts – More marketers will start analysing campaign performance. Back in the pre-internet days no self-respecting direct marketer would neglect campaign analysis. It has taken digital marketers a very long time to catch up and actually track and analyse what’s working and what isn’t. Now it’s a growing trend
- AB testing will become more common, a brilliantly simple way to establish which creative treatments and offers work best and something direct marketers have been doing for decades offline
- Joining the online and offline dots – Digital marketing will meet offline stuff like PR, TV, radio, off-the-page advertising and even direct mail head on, joining the marketing dots for the first time and delivering a fully-integrated on and offline, multi-media marketing landscape
- Video everywhere – The rise of video will continue as more marketers adopt a powerful medium that wins friends and influences people at every turn. On the other hand crap video is worse than no video at all…
- Ad blocking will explode. We’re downloading ad blockers in our millions, and some say we’re on the brink of an online advertising crisis. Punters are getting fed up with online adverts that follow them around the web, turning up in spam email, Facebook ads and in-search. The digital marketing community isn’t doing much to tackle ad blocking yet, focusing more on how to overcome blockers than establishing why people dislike some forms of online advertising so much, something that’ll have to change if we want to avoid ‘admageddon’
- Marketers will find it harder to attract people’s attention – The more media noise there is out there, the less attention people can give it. How will marketers make their brands stand out from the crowd?
Digital marketing grows up
It’s great to see digital marketing finally catching up with traditional marketing, adopting essential skill-sets that have so far been mostly ignored.