Digital Marketing Trends: Digital Forward
Digital marketing is constantly evolving. The rate of new technology impacting marketing is speeding up and changing the digital marketing framework. There’s an abundance of marketing opportunities. Fresh algorithm updates are impacting brands’ online presence.
Amidst all of that, there is one constant. Digital marketing allows you to reach your customers and potential customers effectively. Perhaps, the founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar, said it best: “We have technology, finally, that for the first time in human history allows people to really maintain rich connections with much larger numbers of people.”
How you use that technology and execute your digital marketing strategy will allow you to harness those connections.
This year’s digital marketing predictions all share some key components. Let’s dive into eight of the biggest digital marketing trends that should be on your radar and in your marketing strategy.
8 Digital Marketing Trends Right Now
1. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
AI is the no. 1 thing happening in digital marketing right now. I’m not going to dive too deep into the subject. We tasked freelancer Nora Caley to examine how restaurants and pizzerias can harness AI capabilities to enhance your marketing program in an upcoming issue. To give an overview, AI’s marketing power lies in data. It would not be a spoiler to say that AI has the capacity to sift large amounts of databases and data hubs to help you better market to customers. Think purchasing patterns to better equip you for personalized offers. AI can also be used in customer service, graphic generation and copywriting. Many of the services available are in the exploratory phase so AI will be the marketing tool to watch.
For the past few months, there has been an explosion of conversations surrounding AI applications like Chat GTP and its copywriting potential. It was developed and launched by OpenAI in November 2022. According to OpenAI’s ‘How does ChatGPT work?’, “ChatGPT is fine-tuned from GPT-3.5, a language model trained to produce text. ChatGPT was optimized for dialogue by using Reinforcement Learning with Human Feedback (RLHF) – a method that uses human demonstrations and preference comparisons to guide the model toward desired behavior.” The service has caught on so quickly that it has become the fastest growing user base. As of March, ChatGPT had amassed more than 1.6 billion users.
There are also AI graphic generators like the one built-in the popular Canva, an online graphic design tool. AI images have become so sophisticated that an AI-generated image recently won a category in the Sony World Photography Awards to which its creator rejected the prize.
The balance between personalization and privacy is hot-button issue right now. New privacy standards have changed how marketers approach personalization using first-party data that you acquire through your POS system, loyalty program, online ordering and customer-facing WiFi. The great news is that customers want a personalized approach. Epison research found that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.
Search Engine Optimization continues to be a vital component to your restaurant being selected as hungry people search for what to eat. This is an area many operators have chosen to outsource to website design, development and management consultants so make sure your consultant is executing an effective local SEO strategy. Enlist friends to Google your restaurant, the type of pizza in your area and pizza restaurants in your area. If your business isn’t ranking high in the searches, your consultant has work to do. A key SEO tactic trending is updating content. How long has it been since your website content was updated? Think mobile responsive, relevant keywords, text-based menus instead of image or PDF menus, schema markups and on- and off-page optimization. You may not know these terms, but your consultant should be harnessing them to lift your brand up in search results.
4. Voice Search
This sounds far out but many of us have shouted “Hey Siri” or “Hey Google” to ask questions. I asked the question recently, “Where can I find a Detroit style pizza in Louisville, Kentucky?” Bam, three responses direct to either their Google Business Listing or a map to the restaurant. Voice searches are designed to provide the top three results. Voice search continues to gain steam. According to the Google Mobile Voice Survey, 41 percent of U.S. adults use voice search daily. Similar to SEO, there are many factors that go into increasing your visibility in voice search, such as your Google Business Profile, the pizzeria’s website’s SEO optimization, positive reviews, updated and current information and more.
Video continues to gain ground and is quickly becoming the go-to content online. A staggering 65 percent of Internet traffic is video, according to Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Report. There is variety in trending video length. Short-form video led by TikTok and other social media platforms that followed suite are still red hot. Going live is resonating with viewers as they get a real-time, inside look at restaurants.
The automation process frees up staff or consultants from basic tasks. Automation software simplifies and streamlines the execution of common marketing campaigns. Automation goes hand and hand with advances in AI. Chatbots and AI voice assistants handle general customer service leaving the more complex customer questions for the pizzeria’s team.
7. Shoppable Content & Ecommerce
Pizza has long been in the Ecommerce game with online order. Expect that to continue to grow and evolve as technology advances. An area that is picking up steam is shoppable content on social media. Statista reports estimated that $1.298 billion in sales will come from within social media platforms this year.
In addition to sales, transactions can also be made on social to create social fundraisers for your local causes.
8. Influencer Marketing
The Influencer market is huge and it is set to reach $21.1 billion this year, according to The State of Influencer Marketing 2023: Benchmark Report by the Influencer Marketing Hub. Its survey data revealed that accounts preferred working with nano (39 percent) and micro (30 percent) influencers while macro-influencers and celebrities accounted for 19 percent and 12 percent respectively. On an initial look at an influencer strategy, pizzeria owners often notice the hefty rates of major influencers. Pizzerias can better benefit from micro, local and regional influencers that are priced far less than influencers bombarding national and international feeds.
The hottest platforms for using influencer marketing is TikTok at 56 percent, followed by Instagram at 51 percent, Facebook at 42 percent and YouTube at 38 percent, The State of Influencer Marketing denoted.
Denise Greer is the Executive Editor of Pizza Today.