Digital marketing is an ever-evolving, almost ubiquitous way of getting your attention, securing new customers, engaging with an audience, and nurturing existing clients. As the online world continues to grow apace,  it is clear that digital marketing is not only lucrative, it is also the easiest, and quickest way to maximise the reach of your advertising and message. Even with the newly introduced GDPR regulations in Europe, designed to protect consumers from unwanted solicitation from companies and businesses, the value of digital marketing cannot be underestimated. 

For these reasons, among others, it is quickly becoming clear that it is imperative for companies to adopt the hottest trends, to keep up with the marketplace, and to harness the power of digital marketing, or lose out on the bottom line; customers and profit. 

Marketers, and from personal experience content marketers, spend a not insignificant amount of time attempting to compose, construct and publish marketing messages that are as universally appealing as possible. That said, there is also a another string to the content bow, namely, targeted marketing, and carefully directed content. Whether for a particular demographic, region, financially defined group, or any other variable, it is now accepted that one size does, of course, not fit all. 

Through the use of data analytics, sales figures, marketing campaign tracking and various other measurable information, content marketers can create and develop a clear view of the type of content which will effectively illicit the most responses from each target market. Thus, bespoke content marketing is one of the growing, not slowing trends. 

Another trend is the incredible importance of omni-channel marketing strategies and capabilities. The use of omni-channel content marketing not allow speaks to the number of different devices and platforms used by consumers, it also assists in terms of enabling the analysis and interpretation of large amounts of customer data directly into tangible action points.

Digital marketers should be actively tracking the complete customer journey, and not doing so, has a two-fold repercussion; firstly, it shows that the company is not as concerned as it should be with delivering a superior customer experience and, secondly, it represents a missed opportunity to truly understand a customer base, as well as what may be working in terms of nurturing that business. 

Ultimately these trends, and the other emerging ones, are all to do with marketing success, eCommerce income. If, for example, a customer abandons their shopping cart (a common occurrence, and something that is important to track), email reminders are often  an effective method in terms of reminding them to, (or suggesting that they) return and complete their browse to buy cycle.

Customer data protection is another trend, so to say, as new regulations continue to crack-down on companies that share any data, or contact customers in an unsolicited manner. With measures such as GDPR now in force, and similar law existing, or legislation pending in other nations and regions, the penalties for failure to comply become greater, as the need to develop content marketing strategies to do so also becomes more challenging. 

As consumers become bombarded with what is still a considerable amount of  content, the tendency to become jaded is all to evident, especially if the said content is not targeted, making it all the more irritating and, ultimately, counter productive as a marketing tool. Thus, the trend for delivering superior content marketing to your digital customers and wide audience becomes ever more critical. 

Industry specific content may seem like an axiomatic idea, but the trend for ultra-targeted marketing copy continues to develop. For example, the platforms used can be more useful and relevant depending on the nature of the product or service, e.g. a new gadget, or phone is likely to be more trumpeted on social media platforms, (as well as more traditional platforms), reflecting the age range of the target market and related users of things such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Video content, for example, is something that is more likely to work for the automotive or tech industry, rather than, let's say, the printing industry.

Add to this the geography of that marketing content, and you can see how all these elements can help a company fine-tune, hone, and genuinely focus their marketing efforts towards those who are most likely to follow or buy within that industry. 

And so, to another trend, data-driven content marketing. Data is key, knowledge is power, statistics don't lie, or so they say. Using data-driven content not only contributes to driving and delivering more personalized customer experiences, it also helps in terms of targeting ideal customers with the most suitable recommendations and deals. Ultimately, using content generated from loyal customers is gaining popularity as a trend, something which I am sure many of you can already see and appreciate. 

Among the other trends are aiming content at wearable technology, such as smartphone linked watches, something which some predict will have a huge effect on marketing strategies in the coming years. There's also the growing use of 'Artificial intelligence' (AI) something which is also altering the advertising arena. Whether it's attracting more people to your site, increasing customer volumes for your organization, adding to the spend-per-visit stats of your eCommerce business, or enhancing the brand recognition of your business and products, content marketing trends continue to shape the online landscape in a way that makes the content king. 

Essentially. If your company wants to expand your marketing reach, to engage with a broader audience and, ultimately, turn that content marketing campaign into a fiscally discernible success, following online digital marketing trends is essential. When you're a smaller company with fewer customers, it is, naturally, more straightforward to understand what customers want from you as a business, but as growth occurs, and for bigger, and even the most globally successful companies, digital marketing trends are there to be harnessed, not ignored.  

And so, as content marketing trends towards user-generated, as opposed to generic professional content, the evolution of such marketing continues apace, as does the need to employ and deploy the most compelling and effective of these tactics to drive sales and nurture brand loyalty.

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