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Post Info TOPIC: 2021 – 2022 digital marketing trends: 25 practical recommendations to implement
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2021 – 2022 digital marketing trends: 25 practical recommendations to implement
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Customer lifecycle opportunities

The best marketers are constantly looking for new digital marketing trends based on the evolution of technology, and platforms, to identify new opportunities that they can tap into... if they're looking in the right place and know the right questions to ask...

I can help here since I’m constantly scanning for the latest developments to help keep our members content up-to-date and to feature the latest techniques in updates to my books

Each year, towards the end of the year I review the digital marketing trends landscape to help give recommendations on the digital marketing trends marketers should focus on in the future. I like to keep it practical, showing real-world techniques that businesses can apply.

 

At Smart Insights, we support marketers and managers to plan, manage, and optimize their marketing strategies through a data-driven customer-centric approach.

Use the RACE Framework to set and track your marketing objectives at each stage of your marketing funnel and identify new opportunities to increase leads and sales.

Discuss your marketing strategy in the context of the RACE Framework during a dedicated free consultation call with a member of our customer team. Book your call today to get started. 

Recommendation 2. Organic search: Look at opportunities from structured data and the SERPs features.

Experienced SEOs pay close attention to the search engine results pages (SERPs), since Google and Microsoft are always innovating how they appear to help improve their experience and monetise their ads. As marketers, they give us opportunities to engage our audiences better than competitors and attract more visits by increasing clickthrough's – if we follow the latest changes.

For example, in August 2021 Google made this change to page titles which affected the SERPs which is worth reviewing against the impact on your business.

 

The latest SERPs Features summary from Moz shows where you could focus if you are missing out on visits from some of these features such as Related Questions. These have remained important.

Recommendation 3. Organic search: Voice search remains hyped but will deliver little for most businesses

Sorry, I have to mention it since we so often still see the dumb recommendation that Voice search is the number one trend businesses must focus on. If you think back, you may remember the often misquoted 2014 prediction that “voice search will by 50% of all searches by 2020”. Well we're in 2020 and it's still being widely touted and of course, smart speaker use has increased dramatically, but the reality is that voice-based searches on mobile and desktop have a minimal impact on the practical execution of SEO for most businesses.

I agree with the views of Cameo Digital who explain the limited impact of voice search  when they comment that regardless of whether the uptake for voice search increases, the game stays virtually the same for SEOs. They explain that Voice Search involves using a spoken command to retrieve the information you want from search engines with two types of voice search, each differing in their type of output. Only the first of these, however, is relevant to SEO:

  • Type 1: When a user chooses to use spoken voice commands as opposed to typing a query into Google. This is treated as a normal web search, the data of which will be collected in Google Search Console, so SEO as normal.
  • Type 2: When a user chooses to use a spoken voice command in order to receive a spoken answer. This is the case with many smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa. These searches are not logged in Google Search Console and have very little relation to SEO.

So, businesses can tap into any voice-based changes in search behavior by focusing on the fundamentals of SEO such as keyword research, on-page optimization best practices, structured data and creating quality content with high Expertise-Authority-Trust to fit evolving search behaviors, including more conversational queries.

I would add that changes in keyword behavior prompted by rising local voice queries are important to optimize for if you target local buyers.

 

Recommendation 4. Paid search: Assess the use of machine learning optimization carefully

Although our research shows that the vast majority of businesses say they don't use machine learning internally, many will use it as an external service since it is a big part of organic and paid search and in particular offers options in Google Ads. . So, this is a major trend to consider if you are not using machine learning options within your paid media so far.

You may have noticed the 'Smart' prefix being attached to more and more Google Services. The aim is to help businesses manage the complexity of ad targeting to increase ROI, while of course protecting Google's ad revenue. Some of these should be treated with caution. For example, Smart Goals in Analytics assesses what a positive marketing outcome is rather than the business specifying it, which is preferable.

Smart campaigns in Google Ads have been introduced to simplify the complex process of managing Google Ads for small businesses. Yet there are large downsides in reduced insight and control over campaigns meaning that small businesses may outgrow this solution.

In 2021, Google continued to make changes to its bidding including this relatively minor update to Smart bidding in Google Ads.

Some see the application of AI as reducing control and they are right to question the ROI. But my view is that businesses should embrace Machine Learning and develop the skills to understand it. For example, Google’s Smart Bidding can help manage bidding across large product inventories on Google Shopping – but we have to question just how smart is Smart Bidding actually? This article from agency Precis introduces some of the mechanisms behind Smart Bidding for Google Shopping and suggests a practical approach to maximizing efficiency for your inventory. This article from White Shark Media gives further examples of the analysis techniques for machine learning that marketers should master rather than simply treating Machine Learning as a black box.

There are so many opportunities for marketers to apply machine learning, propensity modeling and artificial intelligence to inform their marketing strategy and boost their results. As you can see from our RACE Framework diagram, marketing technology adds value at every stage of your customers' journeys.

If you're looking for new data-driven marketing solutions to prioritize they key channels and journeys that develop high-value customers, why not apply the RACE Framework to your marketing strategy?

Book your free 1-2-1 marketing strategy consultation to discuss your options with a marketing expert in the team. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and discover new opportunities for your marketing to drive the results you need. Book your call to find out more.

Recommendation 5. Ad optimization testing becomes more sophisticated as ad platforms develop

With more than two-thirds of digital ad spend now going to Facebook and Google, optimization on these platforms is becoming ever more important. Yet research by the Boston Consulting Group shows that only 9% of marketers can accurately forecast the impact of a 10% shift in marketing spend.

Using attribution and creative optimization becomes more important to understand complex customer journeys across mobile and desktop devices and different ad placements. For example, on Facebook alone, an ad could appear in a variety of placements, such as in the Facebook News Feed, during Instagram Stories, Reels or within Instant Articles. These Facebook IQ case studies show how more advanced companies are working on ad optimization using Facebook's new ad placement customization to reach their goals.



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Thank you for sharing these trends and recommendations with us! Digital marketing has changed the way of communication between a company and its customers. We rapidly implement digital selling models to reach more qualified audiences. Anton Yudin - you can find more information about digital marketing trends in his blog. 



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