A lot has changed in ten years — even in the past two years. Today's digital landscape is constantly evolving, and we're learning what's changing and what aspects of marketing and advertising are becoming more or less reliable. As we are exiting a global pandemic, Americans' preference to shop online has only increased, leaving brick-and-mortar retail out of money and with nothing left to do but go out of business. In its place, e-commerce has taken the stage as the new retail powerhouse. What does this mean for marketing? It means that marketers need to be present where their audiences look to contact them, and now, that's online (RIP Yellow Pages). It also means that traditional marketing techniques are more important than ever to build your brand into a household name. While social media adds credibility to a well constructed brand, extending the narrative of your offline messaging, your website is the true lynchpin for converting leads into prospects. As we move into a new era of marketing, it's important to not only keep up with the new digital marketing landscape but also have an impenetrable strategy that allows your business to stand out from the rest, online and offline, with a single unified front. In this article, we'll explore the latest line of evolution in marketing and what it means for your business.
Digital Landscape of the Digital Era
The digital landscape is essentially the digital universe that all businesses operates in. It is made up of digital assets and channels through which leads, prospects, and customers can be reached. These digital channels consist of email, websites, social networks, mobile devices, videos, and more. Marketers leverage these channels to create digital marketing campaigns that promote their brand, product, or service. The digital landscape is constantly changing and evolving as new technologies and channels emerge, so it's important for businesses to stay up-to-date with the latest digital trends in order to remain competitive. With the right digital marketing strategy, businesses can reach a wide audience of their target market and build strong relationships with their customers. Want to get started on optimizing today's digital landscape? At Wizard of Ads®, we know how important maintaining a powerful online presence is in the digital age. Book a call to learn more about our digital marketing services today!
Components of a Digital Landscape
Now that you have a better understanding of what a digital landscape is and how it can be used, let's take a closer look at some of the individual components that make up a digital landscape. The marketing landscape consists of the numerous digital tools and techniques used to market products or services to customers. It encompasses everything from email marketing, content marketing, SEO, and even crosses over into the social media landscape. The most important thing to remember is that all of these elements are meant to do one thing and one thing only — drive them to your website and convert them into an appointment.
Social Media Landscape
The social media landscape includes all of the social media platforms that exist for users to interact with one another. This can include everything from traditional platforms like Facebook and Twitter to newer ones like TikTok and Instagram. These platforms tend to have a wide variety of users, which can make them ideal for marketing purposes. Their distinctive landscape means that social media users can be segmented into different groups based on their interests and behaviors. However, since each function separately with different userbases, a business should consider what its target market is before investing too much into any one social media platform.
The Internet of Things Landscape
The Internet of Things is made up of the various hardware, products, and tools people use to access the internet. HVAC systems can tell you they are experiencing a power fluctuation. Hot water tanks can alert you of a leak. And your fridge can order more food when you run low automatically. Some of these tools might also be applied to certain marketing efforts, but the Internet of Things landscape still generally young and interesting as to where you can take it as it matures and evolves.
The paid media landscape is the all-encompassing ecosystem of news and information where advertisements make their home. This includes all of the backlinks to your website, including directories, content sites, and search engines. Some of these you pay for, like PPC, and others are free, like Google Business Profile. As the most challenging landscape to accommodate, the most important thing to remember is that everything you are trying to do is to get them to your website (or a landing page) that converts them from a lead to a prospect, and in many instances, a buyer.
How is the Digital Landscape Evolving?
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the digital landscape is rapidly changing, and falling behind will be detrimental to your business’ success. That doesn’t mean you have to do everything. I’ve curated the following list of the newest emerging digital landscape trends to make note of, not because you need to be doing them today, but because you will eventually be stepping into them as the digital landscape evolves.
New Digital Channels Are Emerging
A great example of the evolution of digital marketing is the incline of new digital channels. In the year 2000, a whopping [50 percent of online ad spending](https://www.bus.umich.edu/KresgePublic/Journals/EmarketerReports/2002/Online Advertising Statistics, Strategies, Projections, and Trends Report March 2002.pdf) in the U. S. was for banner ads alone. Compare that to today, where banner ads are small potatoes in the grand scheme of digital ad spending. HVAC companies used to simply buy a newspaper ad and call it a day. Today, our digital advertising has opened a plethora of possibilities for how we connect with our audience. Now, they can use Google Ads to specifically target people searching for “heating and cooling near me" or post an edutaining video on TikTok that speaks to a wider audience — and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Frequent Updates on Tracking, Targeting, and Privacy
Are you up to date on the recent adjustments in tracking, targeting, and privacy? Long story short, brand goliaths Google and Apple are cracking down on these activities due to consumers' concerns about data privacy. Google will be phasing out its support of third-party cookies with an interest-based advertising model called Topics API while Apple is requiring app developers to get explicit user permission before tracking them across apps or websites owned by other companies using Apple's Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA). What does this mean for you as a business owner? Well, since you're relying on cookies to track user behavior and collect data for targeted advertising today, you'll need to find another way to do so. The sooner you do that, the further ahead you’ll be tomorrow. For instance, you can retarget ads to users who visit your website or try focusing more on building brand awareness by engaging deeper with your audience. This will encourage first-party data collection, which will be more reliable and valuable in the long run as it builds a loyal customer base.
Machine and AI Learning
There's no doubt that the future of the digital marketing landscape will involve more and more AI machine learning. This is because machine learning will help marketers automate tasks, leverage consumer data, and target ads much more quickly and efficiently than humans can. With the data they collect, AI can identify patterns and correlations that humans would likely miss. This allows businesses to target ads and content to consumers based on their likelihood of being interested in it. AI can also deliver SEO insights, such as which keywords are being used most frequently by consumers and which content is most popular. This helps businesses to create content that is more likely to be seen by consumers. This means removing control from people, and more control for computers who will choose your copy for you, and charge you more for the service.
Rise of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
Augmented reality (AR) is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are "augmented" by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, or GPS data. It has become a more prevalent digital presence in marketing campaigns as it's used to enhance consumer engagement by bringing the product or service to life in an interactive way. Virtual reality (VR) is a simulated experience that can be similar to or completely different from the real world. VR is achieved by providing users with a headset and graphics that replace or augment their vision and hearing. Some common marketing VR applications are product visualization, trade show demonstrations, and customer experience simulations. For example, if you are a home renovations company, you could use VR to let potential customers experience what their home would look like with your products without having to actually do the work. AR and VR are two technologies that are quickly changing the digital landscape. With the rise of mobile devices and wearable technology, consumers are now more accustomed to having information at their fingertips than ever before.
Possibly the latest technological advancement when it comes to today's digital landscape is the metaverse. The metaverse is a term that takes the virtual world and reality and blends it into one singular digital experience. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, is one of the driving forces behind mainstreaming this new digital landscape. And since its debut, this new channel has been a hot topic for what can be possible in the future with digital marketing. So what exactly can you do as far as marketing on this platform? We advise you to start small and "buy" virtual billboards to advertise on. You can also create digital experiences for people to come and explore. These experiences can be in the form of a 3D tour of your product or an exploration of what it would be like to use your service. The metaverse is still in its early stages, but that doesn't mean there isn't potential for marketing here. So if you want to get ahead of the curve, start exploring how you can use metaverse marketing to your advantage and see what sort of results you can get.
Embrace Change and Adapt to Evolving Digital Landscape
In a rapidly changing digital landscape, it's more important than ever to embrace change and adapt to new technologies and trends. And if you don't know where to start, there are a lot of tools available to help you get up to speed. Creating a digital playbook for your team is a great way to make sure everyone is on the same page and knows how to use the latest tools and technologies. And online training can help you and your employees stay up to date on the latest digital trends. Don't be afraid of change — embrace it, and you'll be able to stay ahead of the curve in the digital world. Spinning too many plates? No problem. At Wizard of Ads®, we can help you manage your digital marketing so you can focus on running your business. We help residential home service companies build brilliant and disruptive household brands that customers love. Book a call with us today to learn more!