The rise of the internet and the increasing penetration of smartphones has made it necessary for businesses to take the digital route. However, it can be challenging to stay a notch above the competition amid changing customer expectations, Google algorithms, and the emerging digital marketing trends.

Without doubt, digital marketing helps new businesses be where their customers are, putting them on the fast track to success. Consequently, startups are striving to attract and engage their audience using various digital channels like websites, blogs, social media, video marketing, direct mailing and messaging.

If you are a startup owner, you cannot afford to ignore the hottest trends in the digital space. Here are the latest trends in the digital marketing domain, enabling you to create a solid marketing strategy that generates leads and drives business profitability.

1. AI Will Power Customer Segmentation

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing digital marketing by offering innovative solutions that help businesses understand customer needs and preferences, and deliver customized experiences.

No wonder an increasing number of startups are introducing AI to their marketing intelligence systems. In fact, a recent study revealed that 64 percent of firms want to deploy AI this year to drive their algorithms and marketing campaigns.

Apart from offering chatbots and recommendation engines, AI applications such as voice search, image processing, smart report generation, predictive customer behavior, and digital advertising are helping young startups enhance customer experience and stay ahead of the competition. For instance, AI can track customer habits and shopping behavior and make personalized suggestions, giving the users the impression that the product is specifically designed for them.

Programmatic advertising is another trend within the AI space that enables businesses to automate ad buying and reach a specific audience. It is estimated that by 2020, nearly 86 percent of all digital ads will be powered by AI.

AI remains the most cost-effective solution for boosting the productivity and profitability of businesses, making it an indispensable tool for the success of digital marketing campaigns.

2. Demand for Accelerated Mobile Pages Will Increase

With nearly 60 percent of Google search queries coming from smartphones, businesses will have to work on reducing their mobile websites’ loading time in order to improve the SEO ranking and reduce the bounce rate. Customers expect a webpage to load in less than two seconds, failing which they may leave and never return. Refer to the infographic below to know why faster websites can help you boost your profits.

According to Google, more than two billion accelerated mobile pages cover over 900 thousand domains. In fact, the tech giant is moving towards using factors such as mobile-first indexing, accelerated mobile pages (AMP), and progressive web apps (PWA) to determine website ranking.

Startups cannot afford to lose customers due to slow page loading. As people increasingly use digital platforms for searching content and shopping, the demand for AMP will skyrocket.

3. Micro-Moments = New Consumer Behavior

Statistics shared by Digital Trends reveal that Americans spend an alarming 4.7 hours per day on their mobile devices looking for products, interacting on social media, or reading content. Moreover, customers are experiencing ‘content shock’ due to the constant bombardment of ads, tweets, messages, push notifications, and content.

Consequently, new businesses need to think of innovative ways to reach their high-tech customers. Lately, Micro-Moments has created a lot of buzz in the digital marketing space as it helps businesses learn about consumer behavior and deliver marketing messages that are tailored to the customers’ interests (all within a few seconds).

The Micro-Moments feature allows you to be on platforms where your customers are searching ‘in the moment,’ allowing you to increase your visibility and conversion rate. These platforms include Google, Facebook, Amazon, Google Maps and YouTube, among others.

4. This Is the Year of the Video Revolution for Marketers

Videos are on the growth trajectory within the digital marketing space, with 76 percent of business owners believing that video marketing can give them a good customer conversion rate and ROI. In fact, studies show that 68 percent of customers prefer watching an explainer video as against calling the customer service team for assistance.

Unlike plain content, videos build trust, which is the basis of conversion or sales. Moreover, videos increase the visitors’ time on a website, thereby boosting its SEO ranking. Statistics confirm that websites with videos are 53 times more likely to feature first in Google’s search results.

Video marketing is a hot trend in the digital world. Consequently, startups should develop an appropriate video marketing strategy to increase their website traffic and customer conversions.

5. Live Videos Deserve a Special Mention

Whether you use Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, or Facebook, live videos are growing in popularity. Social media stories are one of the most profitable techniques used by marketers to promote their brands and improve customer engagement.

The fact that these stories disappear after a specific period makes it easy for marketers to take advantage of the FOMO (fear of missing out) factor, creating a sense of urgency among the target customers. No wonder live video is estimated to grow 15-fold between 2017 and 2022, and will account for 17 percent of the total internet traffic by 2022.

This free-to-use effective marketing tool is definitely a must-try for all startups.

6. User-Generated Content Is King

Users trust insights, reactions, and testimonials from real customers rather than promotional pitches. According to Neilson Consumer Trust Index, 92 percent of customers trust user-generated content (UGC) over traditional sales pitches.

Apart from being a cost-effective marketing technique to generate unbiased content, UGC boosts customer engagement, builds customer loyalty, and maximizes business returns. UGC plays a critical role in instilling trust in the target audience and boosting conversion rates. Hence, new business owners will depend on influencers (not necessarily celebrities) to endorse their brands and create engaging and authentic content across digital marketing channels.

Digital marketing has come a long way in changing the manner in which businesses connect with their customers. In order to stay competitive and drive business profitability, startups should be aware of the latest trends in this domain and use them to their advantage.

The 2019 digital marketing trends shared in this post will help you create a solid online marketing strategy for your startup, positively impacting your customer base and bottom line.