Time has flown by this year with so many changes happening, it’s normal to overlook the shifts happening in different areas of our lives. Nonetheless, change is here, especially in digital marketing. Augmented reality, 3D advertising, storytelling, short-form videos, email marketing, social commerce, and unique offers are on the rise, while discounts and third-party data are about to disappear. Would you be able to tell me what digital marketing trends your business should continue to follow and what it should cut out?

  1. Social Commerce.
    Nowadays, Instagram is more of a shopping site than a content consumption site for me. As a result of online shopping becoming so ingrained in my life, I may need someone to supervise my spending. Over the next few years, more businesses will have an online presence, reducing the time between discovery and conversion. Therefore, invest in live-stream commerce on your most engaging social platform.
  2.  Adding Shortform Videos.
    Ever found yourself hooked on either Instagram Reels or TikTok videos when you are on your 10-minute break from work or studying? The storytelling and videography aspects are what gets us hooked. Take the recent collab between Joy Kendi and Frank Itom(Content creator). First of all, the transitions were on point, the music was sick! and the outfits desirable. It’s the perfect example of how to use a short video to market. So check out both of them for inspiration.
  3. Augmented reality & 3D advertising.
    Have you come across short clips of 3D billboard ads on either Instagram or Facebook? Over the last 3 years, companies are using 3D digital billboards to advertise their products for a more immersive experience. Japan has the most surreal billboards. Like in March when Nike unveiled a tribute ahead of Airmax Day for sneakerheads. Check it out here to get a better idea of how beautiful 3D advertising is. I realize it will take time for Kenya to reach that level, but if you shift your focus, this could be a lucrative opportunity for investors, considering how many companies would require this type of content. What’s the harm in having the first-time advantage?
  4. Influencer Marketing.
    As a result of the lockdown during the pandemic, influencers have risen like phoenixes. We now get more dance challenges on Tiktok for new songs, discount codes, relationship shenanigans, lifestyle vlogs, educational content, and let’s not forget funny memes to get us by long, bad days. A good reference is a collab between Joy Kendi and Showmax Kenya. You can tell I’m a fan of hers, but logically speaking, she is good at what she does, which makes her an interesting case study. Anyway, her ad about binge-watching using ShowMax is very relatable. When was the last time you stayed up all night watching your favorite series?
  5. Unique Offers.
    Discounts are a great way to attract customers, however not a great long-term strategy to retain them and also for your bank account. Businesses have found unique offers such as free shipping and in-store experiences rack up more brand value compared to discounts. For example, Glowsecret offers free consultations online and in-store on skincare coupled with end-of-month sales. TIP: Think about your unique selling point. How you can use it to show brand value as well as increase conversions?
  6. True Membership Program.
    Spotify’s premium package falls under this tactic. They got the student, individual, and family package to suit any age group looking for a good music platform. The triggers that motivate people to opt into the premium are the ads, no offline listening, and the limited number of skips that are in the free package. No one wants their playlist interrupted by ads. It just disrupts your jamming session, right?
  7. Sustainability.
    As consumers become more environmentally conscious, businesses have to rethink and strategize their products to meet the new demands. Start thinking about switching to biodegradable, recyclable, and compostable options. It’s a win-win situation as you make a significant humanitarian effort and improve your brand and reach.  TIP:  Think about your brand package material, environmental causes you can support, and the delivery system.
  8. Gender Neutrality.
    People have changed and will continue changing so it makes sense to make marketing gender-neutral so as not to alienate any customers. More brands will continue to shy away from the traditional concept of gender roles to authentically reflect a range of different backgrounds in their marketing. So, what type of inclusivity can you offer?

Summary.
Pair social commerce with unique offers or storytelling with influencer marketing to improve your brand. Pair any of the 8 trends, and let me know what changes you spotted.

Last but not least, remember that the future is filled with endless possibilities. Practice, test, and implement each trend listed above. In the end, luck is the result of your practice meeting opportunity.

By Grace Mwarania.

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