What better time than the end of a year to look toward the future?
Throughout 2020 and 2021 the pandemic has brought countless challenges. But it’s also created tons of opportunities, led to awesome innovations, accelerated technology trends, and led to a total transformation of the way brands and customers interact. The future of marketing may be unpredictable, but one thing’s for sure: it won’t be boring.
You don’t want to miss these 6 exciting statistics that point to what’s coming next for marketers in every industry.
Let’s dive in!
- Nearly all online experiences begin with search. Brands must have ranked content in order to be visible to their target audience.
- Video is fast becoming the most in-demand type of content.
- The majority of consumers prefer to make queries with voice search over typing.
- Consumers are willing to pay more for brands that provide a better experience.
- Most brands prefer to partner with micro influencers who have smaller followings but higher engagement.
- Podcast consumption is on the rise and presents a cost-effective opportunity for brands to showcase their expertise.
6 Stats that Point to the Future of Marketing
93% of all online experiences start with a search engine
This one isn’t totally new. Forbes reported in 2017 that 93% of all online experiences begin with search. The thing is, if you haven’t taken search engine optimization seriously yet, it’s time to start. The world has become overwhelmingly more digital over the past few years. Brands who don’t focus on driving traffic through organic search will likely just become invisible — if they haven’t already.
Recent brand behavior shows that marketers, for the most part, are seeing the critical role content plays in their strategies. A 2020 survey conducted by Statista found that the large majority of marketers indicated they have increased their reliance on content like social media posts, blogs, and videos since the start of the pandemic.
Consumers, more than ever, are looking online to find information about brands they want to interact with, and they’re starting with search. I’m not saying offline strategies will become irrelevant (they aren’t), but brands that want to be most successful at gaining new customers will need to make sure people can find them on Google.
Video will account for 82% of all online traffic by the end of 2022
If content is king, video is the crown that sits upon its head. According to Cisco, 82% of all online traffic will come from video by the end of next year. Video content is also the most preferred by consumers.
Exciting video marketing trends are emerging in response to consumer demand. Live video, social media stories, vlogging, and smartphone-produced videos may not be new for Gen-Zers or influencers, but for brands marketing to customers? It’s a whole new world.
The exciting thing about video is that it gives brands the opportunity to become more relatable to customers, and to highlight their brand personality more than ever before. Even the most traditional (dare we say kind of boring?) brands can use video to humanize their products and show potential customers why they’re valuable.
Take industrial giant, 3M, for example. In May 2020, they launched their Science at Home series featuring 3M scientists, engineers, and product developers who walked through science experiments kids could do from home during the pandemic.
Kids watching exciting content from a brand that specializes in the likes of PPE and insulation materials? The magic of great video marketing in action.
71% of consumers prefer to conduct queries by voice rather than typing
Hey Siri? We all joked about it a decade ago when Siri first made her arrival. Would people really start walking around everyday talking to a smartphone bot?
Well, here we are in 2021 — talking to our cars, TV remotes, in-home speakers, and of course our smartphones. In fact, nearly three-quarters of consumers today prefer to make queries by voice rather than typing.
So, what does this mean for content marketers? And what does it mean for the future of marketing?
Brands will need to optimize their content for voice. Here are a couple of ways to do it:
- Target question keywords – “How” and “what” are the top two voice search trigger words. In your keyword strategy, target questions that customers might ask when they’re looking for products and services you offer.
- Make content conversational – People search like they talk when they’re making a voice query. Align your content with this style of searching by using filler words like “the,” “to,” and “for” to make complete phrases and sentences.
- Use long-tail keywords – People get more specific when they use voice search because it’s quick and easy to do so. Using long-tail keywords that are longer and more detailed can help you rank for these types of queries.
86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience
The future of marketing will belong to brands that commit to providing a complete, optimized customer experience. The pandemic has accelerated trends that have led to more options, better convenience, and deeper interaction than ever before for consumers. Omnichannel commerce, AI-powered customer support, and uber-personalized communication are just a few of the ways brands have upped their game when it comes to a winning customer experience.
Now that its here, customer expectations are only going to continue getting higher.
Today, 86% of buyers say they have no problem paying more for products and services that come with a better experience. This means brands that have traditionally leaned on competitive pricing as their main advantage will need to think smarter about how they’ll retain customers.
65% of influencers are micro influencers (and 77% of brands prefer to work with them)
We’ve all spent a lot of time at home recently, but unless you’ve been truly living under a rock, you know that TikTok is no longer just for teenagers. In fact, more than half of the platform’s 1 billion+ users are older than 30. Brands are now smartly using TikTok to connect with customers while influencers are making big bucks promoting their products.
While you might assume that celebs and other influencers with millions of followers are where the money’s at (and much of it is, certainly), the most trusted influencers are those in the micro category — just a measly 100K followers or less.
Micro influencers have a significantly higher rate of engagement with users than their mega influencer (1 million+ followers) counterparts. Brands are taking note — 77% of brands prefer to work with micro influencers because they’re much more engaged with and relatable to their audiences.
Micro-influencers exist on every platform, but nowhere more than TikTok, where product promotions are seamlessly integrated into video content in genuine ways. In a world where online users can spot an ad in seconds (and usually keep scrolling), it’s clear why brands are leaning on micro influencers for a new approach.
One-third of Americans regularly consume podcast content
For a long time, podcasts lived just outside the media mainstream. Then they gained traction with heavy-hitter series like This American Life and Serial, which told stories. Now? People listen to podcasts covering just about any topic — true crime, sports, religion, politics, news, and more.
Brands are getting in on the game now, covering topics that showcase their brand authority, expand their reach, increase visibility, and build a loyal audience. HubSpot’s The Growth Show is a great example — it’s a weekly show that explores inspiring ways people grow their businesses.
Podcasts are fairly cost-effective, too. High-end podcast production certainly exists, but a computer and a microphone are all you really need to get started and produce a show with high-quality audio. Most importantly, if you’re covering great topics that are in demand, your customers won’t expect you to be NPR. Like any kind of content, it’s all about the value.
Launch a content strategy that delivers
We may not know exactly what the future of marketing will look like, but one thing is clear: brands need to be publishing consistent, creative, optimized content in order to grow. At Marketing Insider Group, our team of writers and SEO experts can deliver you ready-to-publish content every week for a year (or more!).