We’ve come a long way. We, as marketers. Marketers who’re ever obsessed with starting a conversation with that audience we think wants (or needs) to hear our message. From a time in the past when we thought a billboard was the best (and the only) way to tell a story, today, we have a hundred ways to reach to our beloved customer. Oh, and thanks to technology for playing a pivotal role in enabling us to reach those hundred touch points of our customer. There’s no doubt that digital marketing plays a magnanimous role in the success of every business – small or big. You can delay relaying your focus in digital, but you can’t skip.

While we all know digital marketing is (awfully) dynamic and progressive, we need to stop and ponder over what’s in store over the next 5 years, what’s the future of digital marketing. Here’s a quick checklist elaborating the future of digital marketing. Keep this handy to be better at your job 🙂

1.Integrated Campaigns

Your marketing efforts can no longer run in silos. All your campaigns need to align together towards a common goal for the brand’s success. Your internal team needs to talk and share.

2. Omni-channel Presence

An often asked question is – can I only survive with digital marketing? Short answer – No. You need to be available in the real world too. This doesn’t mean owning a billboard or distributing flyers. It rather means talking to real people, participating in events, impactful presence online as well as offline.

3. Conversion Rate Optimization in Focus

The smallest neglected element on your website could act as a big turn off for your customers. Are you monitoring where your customers drop off? Conversion rate optimization involves a proactive focus on identifying the top issues (using multiple professional tools) that could lead to a loss in the opportunity of conversions.

4. Voice Search

Have you optimized your website for conversational queries yet? People are talking to their Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Home & what not! Though quite slow, voice search is growing and it will.

5. Mobile Hero

Experts have been relentlessly elaborating on the importance of a mobile optimized website. There’s a ton of data online to prove this right. Whenever you begin a new project, quit exploring the business via a desktop. Start using mobile and figure out the smartest way to use content and elements for a flawless mobile journey.

6. Good Story Telling Wins

Don’t just write content for the heck of it! Seriously, brands need to stop doing that. With every passing algorithm update, search engines are improving their intelligence and soon enough they’ll be laughing at your face for all that faff a few brands churn out on a regular basis, just recycling already existing content on the web. Don’t write for spiders, write for humans.

7. Local & Social Reviews

Online reviews matter. A LOT. Make sure you have good reviews on Google, Facebook and places relevant to your business. No reviews are worse. Don’t worry about a few negative ones you’ll acquire when you start fetching reviews, people understand you can’t be all good (and that people are unreasonable sometimes).

8. Organic Reach Dies (for Most)

Bad news, but true (again). If you’re actively posting on social media, rethink! Make sure you have some good budget to disseminate the content as well. Needless to say, stories still go viral but practically you can’t always have a winning story for your brand. Hence, keep some budget parked for promotions.

Also read: Top 5 Skills to Excel in a Digital Marketing Career.

9. What’s Your Story?

Are you still posting photos as posts? The user behavior has already changed from looking at the story section first and then the feed. Make sure you’re uploading real-time stories that help your audience understand your brand better.

10. Chat-bots

A buzzword that’s spoken about in every marketing seminar I attend. Don’t be haunted by them, your focus should be to utilize the power of bots to simplify your CRM or purchase cycle.

11. Video

Open any social platform and you’ll see it flooded with videos. There’s a reason to it, people love videos! Don’t worry about releasing high-end production quality videos, the key is to start. Most of those viral videos out there in your YouTube trending list are average in quality but have some good content.

12. Analyze & Strategize

Start spending at least a day a week with your analytics tools. Data is the key to your brand’s digital success. Strategize your moves basis the short term and long term data from your web store and also from the ones available on the web from reputed sources.

13. Stricter GDPR implementation, fake news detection

Be wary of using your customer’s data. Great marketing never needed spamming. As soon as you realize you’re pushing it too much to get the word out, remember your idea has failed.

14. User Engagement overpowers Followership

The top platforms today are prioritizing user engagement over how many followers your channel has. If you create crappy content and have generated a million followers inorganically, don’t expect Facebook to serve you with a good engagement ratio

15. Speed Speed Speed

Does it even need a mention? Well yes! Apart from the mere sign of a fast loading website, you need to evolve with the latest technologies – AMP, PWAs and what comes in the future.

16. Personalization is Sexy

Use advance tech to personalize the web experience for your visitors. Use cookies to drive users to your thank you page in the least number of clicks.

So yes, these are some quick pointers you need to be mindful about to keep up with the future of digital marketing.

Also read: #5 Common Mistakes Small Businesses Should Avoid in Online Advertising

You’ve got any more to add? Drop in the comments below.

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