2010 wasn’t just a big year for South Africa hosting the Soccer World Cup, it was a big year for the world of digital marketing. This is the year that catapulted most of the technology we run with today. The world became smaller and closer and more visual than ever. In 2010, digital marketing was a small element in a marketing campaign. Today, a marketing campaign focusses on digital marketing as its main element. Digital marketing may be 3 decades old but the last decade has seen more growth in digital marketing, that the world has literally changed from it.
Over the last decade, people have become more attached to their mobile phones using them as payment methods, a map, an alarm and a friend – among many other things. It’s easier today for customers to know the ins and outs of your brand because they can easily interact with it at their fingertips. There are more people online today than ever before and that is because of how digital the world has become.
The evolution of digital marketing
- Social media platforms see growth –In 2010, Instagram was launched and a social media influencer did not exist. Today, a lot of brands hang their entire marketing campaigns on social media influencers. Video content became the trend and that has influenced social media platforms to integrate video into their application. With the growth of social media platforms, everyone in the world had the power to make their profile a brand. Some people would use this brand to associate with a corporate brand that fits well with their personality. Brands could now see who their market really was, what they really think of their products or services and what they enjoy doing in their spare time. People started being able to reach close friends or family across the world in real-time. The world was in the palm of their hands.
- What the blog is it with content marketing –Content marketing is about saying the right thing, in the right place, to the right people to get the desired effect. Blogging has become more than an article on a site. With more people now looking for their own content online, high-quality blog posts have become very popular. Although podcasts and vlogs weren’t much of a thing a decade ago, today’s busy person enjoys them a lot. People have become multi-taskers so, audio content helps them take in what they want, without having to sit down on their phones or on their computers.
- The maturation of search engine optimisation –In 2011, Google launched Panda which is an algorithm update. This is something that filters websites with thin content, duplicate content, low-quality content, lack of trustworthiness, high ad-to-content ratio, among other unsavoury characteristics. The more value you provide your customers, the more rewards you get. SEO has become about content and when you have high-quality content, you win a top ranking with Google.
- Getting mobile-friendly –A mobile phone is in more hands today than ever before. We use our phones for absolutely everything now – paying, communicating and even opening the gate at your home. People are now exposed to more advertising than they were when traditional mediums were the go-to. Businesses have, therefore, made adjustments to their websites, making them mobile-screen accessible. With Google’s mobile-first indexing launched in 2018, Google looks at the mobile version of any website as the primary version of the site.
- Getting personal with consumers –Personalisation is the name of the game and encourages ongoing interaction between a brand and its consumers. The most effective way that people want to be spoken to these days is on a personal level. Sharing content consumers post about a product is one of the ways brands give that personal touch.
- Let your consumers see right through you –Gaining the trust of your consumers is the most important marketing strategy in today’s digital era so, transparency is key. Privacy has become very important to everyone online – we want to know that whoever we share our personal information with doesn’t pass it on to a third party. Having access to information as easily as we do these days has made consumers more intelligent than ever. With consumers enjoying as much control as they do today, brands should engage with them transparently so they can reap their brand loyalty.
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