Our world today is unlike the world from thirty years ago. We might not have flying cars or time-traveling devices, but the landscape has changed significantly largely because of one thing: the Internet. As internet accessibility increases, people from all over the globe can communicate and discuss all manner of things. Both mundane and critical discussions happen on the internet, and it is in this method of communication where the world of the 21st century differs greatly from the last.
An industry directly affected by this increase in capacity for communication is marketing. It has greatly empowered the field of advertising, giving it a new platform- and new trends. Below are some of the most popular trends employed by many marketers.
Marketing with Memes
The marketing industry is not one to avoid trends, in fact, it will most likely take advantage of them. Enter memes. While the idea behind is not new by any stretch, it has taken a new form on the internet. Often using images superimposed with relatable text, memes are used by internet users to convey humor and relatability. As both humor and relatability are part of what makes advertisements effective, companies are keen to take advantage of the popularity of memes.
However, not all companies are fit to make use of meme marketing. Humor and relatability rely heavily on the context and premise of the industry. Smaller business seems more fit to utilize such methods of advertising, since many of their interactions are personal and direct, unlike major corporations where communication between customer and company are filtered through layers of departments and bureaucracy. But as millennials and Gen Z continuously increase their buying power, advertising using popular memes is becoming popular and there are no signs of it changing soon.
Communicating with Chatbots
If you’ve used a service provider’s website in recent years, you might have encountered a small chat box at the bottom corner of the screen. Taking its visual cues from the social media giant, Facebook, many websites now employ a readily available chat box at the side. However, as you might have noticed, it’s not exactly manned by a person on the other end most of the time, it’s artificial intelligence.
Chatbot, as it’s often called, is a program that emulates a regular human conversation, looking to answer questions from curious customers. The prompt response, round-the-clock availability, and accurate answers make it a great way to service customers without having to sacrifice manpower. Major brands are already taking advantage of chatbots, and experts say that it’s about to take over customer service. As the years go by, the technology behind chatbots will improve, perhaps making it more efficient than an actual customer service representative- although the desire for human contact might prove otherwise.
Social Media Shops
Everyone has a social media account at this point. Be it Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, social media has become a necessity in many people’s lives. Not only does it provide idle entertainment, but it also connects people to the family from distant locations. It also allows one to access the latest local and international news. But for businesses, it offers another thing entirely: a new platform that allows actual purchases.
The two major social media websites, Instagram and Facebook, both allow direct selling. They have integrated a shopping feature into their system, making it easier for both customers and vendors to buy and sell products. From branded clothing to independent clothing lines, from whey permeate products to home fitness equipment, social media not only advertises but provides a marketplace-like format for transactions to happen in. With people using the internet more, this trend of both buying and selling through social media platforms is most likely to develop and flourish.
Rise of the Influencers
Advertising through word-of-mouth has long been a wild variable, often uncontrollable and difficult to trigger. But with social media, video streaming websites, and discussion forums all encouraging discussions and communication, it has become a viable strategy for marketers. And as with any gathering of like-minded people in one platform, personalities and community leaders form and spring out from the masses.
Dubbed as ‘influencers’, these individuals usually hold considerable influence and reach throughout their respective communities. Companies leverage this switching out their traditional format of using celebrities for advertisements to having influencers either review or directly advertise this product. And it works, around 65% of consumers trust the opinions of influencers enough to be swayed to purchase the product, or at the very least try it.
With the many pocket communities the internet holds, and the countless niches that develop from larger subcultures, influencer marketing is a great way to reach out to an intended audience, making it an efficient and effective form of marketing.