Marketers keen to evolve their marketing stack love to keep up-to-date with digital marketing and social media related trends. Mary Meeker‘s latest insights into the latest social media and internet trends is typically comprehensive and in-depth. If you haven’t watched it yet, you can see her full report here.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the latest internet stats.
- There are 3.8 billion internet users in the world
- We already have 50% global penetration, so new growth remains hard to find
- Internet growth across all platforms is slowing – only 6% growth in 2018
- Internet growth on mobile however increased 7% in 2018.
Here’s some insight into current online advertising trends.
- Online advertising platforms dominating the market continue to be Google and Facebook. Platforms improving market share include Amazon, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest.
- Ad share gain drivers include:
- Facebook – targeting: better audience customisation
- YouTube – machine learning: automatically time-editing clips
- Pinterest – e-commerce: shoppable catalogs
- Twitter – high relevance (promoted tweets).
- Customer acquisition costs are rising in competitive sectors globally
- Reality: customer acquisition costs can’t exceed Life Time Value for very long
- Mobile device usage surpassed television for the first time
- YouTube and Instagram are gaining the most attention
- People watching short form videos (on Facebook Platform) is up 2x
- Voice medium i.e. podcasts listeners, has grown 2x in last 4 years.
1. Marketing Trends On The Rise
In today’s digital space, the most efficient and effective marketing is where the focus on one’s own product + happy customers + recommendations.
Here are some trends that have seen recent success:
- Free trial or free tier
- AI driven – when shopping online for example, you might pick out a pair of shoes and then once you add it to your cart you’ll be shown socks that style well with your choice. These suggestions are based on machine learning, ie data that has been compiled and analysed from other purchases that mean there’s a statistically proven chance that you will also purchase the socks offered.
- Human driven – machine learning doesn’t provide context, so human intervention allows human instinct to come into play. Say for example, there’s chat function at the checkout. Human interaction can up-sell the sale, talk about colours or style of shoes that best suit the customer.
2. Sharing Images and Video
The rise of images and video content is important to break through the noise and attract the customer’s attention. If you’re not utilising this medium, the trends report highlighted the following:
- Customers consider it a more personal and relevant way to communicate
- It’s like communication has come full circle, given that images are the oldest form of transportable communication
- The idea of promoting image and video over written content is to by-pass the one-on-one target and push it out one-to-many
- Smart phone functionality and internet speed gives image or video creation greater chance of reach and engagement
- Platforms continue to optimise for image sharing and engagement. For example, in 2006 on Twitter, you could only text. In 2019, Twitter has over 50% of impressions are images, videos or other forms of media
- Instagram is the leader in image sharing, followed by Pinterest
- Google is leading with visual text id, image identification and AI
- Growth in telling stories has exploded via Instagram, Canva.
“People have always been visual, our brains are wired for images. Writing was a hack, a detour. Pictorial languages are how we all started to communicate – we are coming full circle.” Kevin Systrom, Instagram Co-Founder
3. Interactive Gaming Opportunities
Interactive Gaming is an increasingly popular way to communicate. Gaming users are up 6% year on year. It’s real time. Play and talk. Play and text. Play and watch. Social in nearly all ways. “Hard-core” gamers spend hours at a time immersed in that space, it’s definitely a platform worth testing if your audience has an interest in gaming. Discord and Twitch are possible platforms to investigate.
4. Freemium Offers
The explosion of freemium offers over the last few years has seen a rise in businesses leading with a free offer then quickly up-selling once the customer has tested the platform.
This is a great way to alleviate buyer’s remorse when people are interested in your product but are not sure they can achieve a ROI.
Freemium Business models continue to grow and scale. It’s still considered to be early days in the enterprise/consumer market, with the gaming sector leading the way.
The Freemium Business concept involves:
- Starting with the free user experience: enables more usage / engagement / social sharing / network effects
- Up-sell to premium user experience: drives monetisation and product innovation.
It started in gaming and is now moving to enterprise and consumers.
As a digital marketer, you’re bound to have at least more than one of these in your marketing stack:
- Freemium gaming : Runescape (2001) and epic Fortnite (2017)
- Freemium enterprise: Google G suite (2006), Zoom and Dropbox
- Freemium consumer: Spotify (2008) and Canva (2015).
5. Reviews and Recommendations
Reviews and recommendations are geting a murky in the market.
We need to work hard to ensure we have quality, independent reviews on Google My Business to counteract those Facebook or Website reviews that fall into the trap of the three F’s: family, friends and fake. We need to help the legit ones rise and not risk them getting lost in the mix.
Online reviews boost multi-sided accountability. Consider this quote below from Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb. While one might think that the main principle of Airbnb is to provide convenient, quality accommodation, he says the main principle at Airbnb is safety.
“Safety is our number one principle at Airbnb, the whole thing only works if you feel safe. … 70% of guests – when they stay on Airbnb – leave a review, which means we’ve built a system, that allows the community to review properties on Airbnb and build trust.” Brian Chesky, CEO Airbnb
What is the main principle at your business? How do you want your customers to feel once you have completed a purchase or experienced your service ? Of course, you want them to feel happy and satisfied with the work – but what is this based on?
- Get value for money
- Save time
- Feel like they were in expert hands
- Trust you and feel they made a good decision
- Feel satisfied that the product/service was everything they wanted and more
- Want to share their experience with friends and recommend your product/service.
As marketers we don’t want people to walk away thinking:
- I got a cheap deal – and I got what I paid for
- I could have done that better myself
- I’ve made the wrong decision
- I wish I had looked into this further
- I’m going to share my bad experience with friends, family, colleagues.
So What Does All Of This Mean For Digital Marketers
It’s important to look at these overall trends and insights to work out what we can do to break through the noise our competitors create. Key takeaways for Australian digital marketers are:
- Be visible on social platforms – whether it’s paid or organic, make sure you are active on a number of channels. Facebook and Instagram would be the must-haves. Depending on your target customer, you can also consider Twitter, LinkedIn and even Pinterest.
- Keep your website updated and mobile friendly – the continual rise of mobile over desktop usage means that customers or potential customers are looking for your business during their leisure time. They’re on mobile frequently. They want fast and accurate information. Keep your content timely and relevant.
- Ask Customer For Reviews – your customers are your brand evangelists. Give good service, get great reviews!
Need Help With Digital Marketing Activities?
We often hear from marketing managers that they wear many hats within the business, therefore time management and productivity isn’t optimal.
If you’re looking to free up your time, or need help with strategy or implementation then get in touch with us today.
Here are a few blogs that can help you keep on top of your busy schedule:
NOTE: You can view Mary Meeker’s 2019 Internet Trends report | Code 2019 in full here.