Every marketer wants to keep up with the latest and greatest: the new hot channels, tactics, and trends.  Digital marketing is a fast-paced and ever-changing industry. Oftentimes being first out of the gate with a new tactic or technology, can give you a leg up on your competitors. However, we have all seen how quickly a game changing new idea can become less effective, once the market becomes saturated. So how do you make sure you are discovering new trends and tactics before the crowd? How can you determine which ones can impact your business and which ones are a passing fad?  

How to stay in the loop   

One way to do this is by keeping up with thought leaders through blogs and email subscription lists. A few we recommend, other than the Boston Digital blog, are Neil Patel and Mozz Blog. We also recommend the growing world of marketing podcasts. A few of our favorites are Social Business Engine, Modern Marketing Engine, and Social Media Marketing.  

How do you know if a trend is right for you?  

Obviously not every trend is going to work well or be relevant to your company. It all depends on who you want to target, how much media budget you have, what your industry is, how big your company is, are you B2C or B2B, etc. If your current tools are working well for you, switching back and forth between the latest trends and your company’s usual strategy could cause undue disruption. If you’re interested in something new, you can always allocate a piece of your budget to try it out, as a pilot program. As a company, it is key that you strengthen your tried and true tactics, while also creating a culture of innovation and creativity in your digital marketing approach.   

img

 

What you should watch out for this year

This year’s marketing channels on the rise are Instagram, Display Networks, Voice Search, and TikTok. TikTok is becoming more and more popular, especially with Gen Z and Millennials, but again your success on this platform depends on who you want to target. To learn more about TikTok check out our recent article “TikTok Ads Are Here- How to Make Them Work for Your Business”.

There are also some key tactics emerging this year that have market-staying power including remarketing, retargeting, video marketing (especially live videos and stories), and programmatic advertising. Other digital trends that will play a key role in the year ahead are more live videos, uses of AI, Chatbots, and different forms of influencer marketing on new channels like TikTok.  

When it comes to digital marketing, it’s not necessary to hop on every single trend, you need to evaluate for your own company what is appropriate. Just the same, there are a few things you should consider to be vital components to a modern digital marketing mix. Lead generation and attribution are getting more and more important. Not only do we want to know raw data, but we want to learn as much as we can about the client or prospect. Also, the content presented in a visual way is highly effective today, as most people consume content visually.  

The most important thing is that you keep up with new opportunities, absorb marketing-related content, and have a strong sense of what works and doesn’t for your business. Follow these guidelines, and you should be well on your way to digital success.