Digital marketing has been going through a massive phase of change, as with almost everything in digital things move incredibly quickly and that tool or gadget you think is the latest and best today could be completely outdated before tomorrow morning dawns!
People will no longer put up with poor quality products or services, and in fact many solutions can be quickly overridden by anyone who chooses to do a better job.
User Experience is Key
It is unclear whether user experience is a direct Google ranking factor, it is something that many SEO professionals debate over constantly. But one thing is clear, customer experience will indirectly or directly impact the effectiveness of any website.
Cross device compatibility is now essential. Screen sizes vary from very small smart devices such as watches with a less than 1 inch screen, all the way up to massive smart screens and even private cinemas.
Speed and ease-of-use are now essential, Google do now publicly admit speed is a ranking factor.
Integrating Digital with Traditional Channels
Whilst the focus may be on digital right now traditional marketing channels still work and are likely to for the foreseeable future. The important thing is to make sure digital and traditional marketing channels are integrated as much as possible.
Things like printed brochures, leaflets and printed menus for restaurants can utilise QR codes (a small barcode) and larger items can integrate an NFC chip (similar to the one used in your bank card for contactless payments). Posters can also effectively use QR codes.
Black Hat Methods
It is now very difficult to get ROI on black hat methods. Big companies have made it so the cost of a spamming approach mostly outweighs the cost of proper white hat methods. (And yes I know I’m going to get a bunch of people come and tell me that spamming still works, and yes it can sometimes for a short space of time, but it has got a lot more expensive nowadays and mostly the cost in time and/or money outweighs the benefits).
New legislation is the biggest thing at the moment. UK and Europe have just implemented GDPR, even if you are not in any of those two areas you still have to comply if you are storing details of any person within UK/Europe.
Google is trying to boost paid advertising. For a while now Google has been serving four ads instead of three at the top of search results.
Online advertising targeting methods have improved drastically and most of the big players enable you to target very precisely.
Challenging Times in Automation
Social networks are making it harder to use bots/automated methods including things like HootSuite.
Marketing automation is going through challenging times, things like legislation and big tech companies limiting the ability of their API’s are making it harder to automate processes.
Professional Video is Now Accessible to Everyone
High quality pictures and videos are now accessible to anyone that has a modern smart phone, they capture pictures in extremely high quality and many of them have excellent editing apps built in as well as a host of third-party apps which are low-cost or even free.
With the way that the Internet, especially social media, has evolved the barriers to market entry you are lower than they have ever been. Additionally with so much content being created even newbies can find answers to complex questions very quickly.