Certain digital marketing trends are creating huge excitement right now. Think virtual and augmented reality; the rise of social media marketing; and artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots.
Three digital marketing trends driving leads:
1. Augmented & Virtual Reality
Augmented and virtual reality experiences like Pokémon Go have represented the cutting edge this past year but we are all learning from the creativity and progress of the big brands.
McDonald’s Australia recently ran a digitised version of its Monopoly promotion. Available on the Macca’s app it included an augmented reality feature, showing game cards in the physical world. Mobile users could collect their cards and prizes in a digital wallet to use in store.
What marketers need to know is that half the challenge for brands that adopt augmented reality as part of customer experience is to ensure it highlights the product and not the technology.
Ikea’s AR app
Ana Javornik, a lecturer at Newcastle University Business School in the UK, carried out experiments to gauge how customers responded to AI. In one experiment, participants had to look for their preferred model of sunglasses or furniture, either using an AR app (Ikea or Ray-Ban) or an app that allowed a similar activity but without AR features.
The results showed the augmented experience resulted in positive attitudes toward the application and willingness to use the app again and talk about it to others. But these effects didn’t seem to extend to the products themselves or the brands, just the technology.
However, another study showed this might change depending on how the app is integrated into the consumer journey. The second scenario allowed consumers use AR to “try on” makeup in a store.
“We found that using this AR mirror in the store helped the consumers decide what to buy,” wrote Javornik in the Harvard Business Review.
2. Social’s coming of age
My second digital marketing trend for 2017 is the rise of social media marketing, not merely as a way of positioning brands and broadcasting to social natives but as a means of educating buyers, engaging mobile consumers in sharing, and closing leads.
Mobile has posed a range of barriers to lead conversion until now but the way marketers have adopted video and visual messaging will help to break through the mobile barrier.
According to Hyperfine Media’s round up of video marketing statistics, 50% of executives look for more information after seeing a product or service in a video and 39% will call a vendor after viewing a video.
With the help of live messaging and chatbots, social media platforms will capture and engage customers via video content, provide interactive customer service and close deals.
3. Bots are coming
Having Artificial Intelligence in the mix will also be a defining digital marketing trend in 2017.
This year the Guardian quoted veteran developer and Twitter hashtag inventor Chris Messina on what he called conversational commerce … “you and I will be talking to brands and companies over Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, and elsewhere before year’s end, and will find it normal”.
Screenshot of available Bots on Skype
He also said it won’t matter if the conversational service is provided by a human, bot, or some combination thereof. “Over an increasing period of time, computer-driven bots will become more human-feeling, to the point where the user can’t detect the difference, and will interact with either human agent or computer bot in roughly the same interaction paradigm”.
So be prepared to find yourself chatting to brands the way you might chat to friends. “Have you seen…”; “Can I help…”; “Shall I book you in…”; “We have only a few in your size…”; “Will you be travelling this summer…”. “Thanks for booking, can I arrange your transfer…”.
Combine these three digital marketing trends with lead generation strategies for the best chances at higher conversion rates in 2017. Download the free guide to lead generation and build an unstoppable marketing campaign for your brand.