Navigating Key Trends in B2C Digital Marketing

Written by Newspaper Humor Columnist & Social Media Expert

July 4, 2024
Navigating Key Trends in B2C Digital Marketing

For most marketers, our jobs can be pretty straightforward: Figure out new and creative ways to get people to give us their money. But the business-to-consumer (B2C) digital marketing world has changed the traditional methods of broadcast advertising, trade shows, and highway billboards.

B2C digital marketing uses platforms like Facebook and X (the social-network-formerly-known-as-Twitter) and those have been the standards in the marketer's toolkit. But expanding your toolbox beyond the hammer and screwdriver can be a real game changer for your brand's success.

We'll look at ten key trends that are reshaping the digital marketing world, as well as give you some insights and practical tips for navigating this ever-evolving terrain in the 2020s.

1. Video Dominance

Video is the undisputed king of B2C digital marketing, much to the chagrin of my writer's heart. It has captivated everyone with a smartphone or a tablet and drives engagement in every platform where you can watch it.

This isn't new news, of course, because video has been a big deal ever since smartphones first came into vogue. In fact, check out these video digital marketing stats from WebFX.

  • A third of all online activity is spent watching videos.

  • 100 million Internet users watch at least one video every day.

  • More than 92% of all Internet users watch videos online every week.

Not to mention:

  • 82% of businesses say videos help keep people on their sites longer.

  • Users remain on pages with videos for nearly 3 times as long on pages without videos.

  • Blog posts that contain videos get 3 times as many backlinks as posts that don’t.

  • 87% of marketers say video marketing has generated more business leads.

So, video is going to be your very best-performing content in B2C digital marketing. Whether it's YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram Reels, video content is going to let you connect with your customers in a compelling and dynamic way.

As social media companies fight to dominate the short-form video platforms, develop a strategy that will let you post the same video on each platform.

Create a video and then publish the original to different platforms; don't shoot it on one and then re-share it to others. That is, don't shoot it on TikTok and then reshare it to Instagram — video platforms reduce the reach of reshared videos.

Don't focus on just one platform; what happens if it goes away? Right now, there is a battle in the US to force ByteDance, the owners of TikTok, to sell it to a US company or else Congress will ban it. What would you do if you were an American company relying solely on TikTok?



with the discount code


Save Now

2. Personalized Experiences

We're bombarded with information. We see more ads and persuasive messages than ever before. In 2007, a market research firm estimated that people saw 5,000 advertisements per day. Now, the estimate is that we see around 10,000 messages per day.

I believe that number increases if you expand that to "persuasive messages" and not strict advertisements. It also explains why ad blockers are so popular on web browsers.

If you want to cut through all the garbage and noise, the trick is not to do more advertising, because you're just adding to the problem and people will ignore you harder. The trick is to personalize your customers' experiences and reach them where they want to be reached.

Leverage data analytics and AI-driven technology to tailor content and ads to your customers' individual processes, and then create a more immersive experience.

For example, you could:

  • Customize individual email campaigns or create personalized discounts on items they previously purchased. Segment your customer list based on purchase preferences and frequency.

  • Pick a handful of your best customers and customers you haven't heard from in a while, and create personal videos. Address them by name and remind them of what they bought.

  • Create customized dynamic landing pages that will let past purchases and information create the information each person sees. For example, a sports team that features the visitor's favorite player on the home page (plus a coupon to buy that player's jersey).

Personalized content is also going to matter now that AI is changing the way Google displays search results. (Read my article, "7 Reasons Why You Should Use AI With SEO (And 7 Why You Shouldn't)." Scroll down to the section, AI Has Already Changed SEO; You Should Be Worried.)

Basically, Google is taking search traffic away from websites and providing that information in featured snippets. You can win it back by providing more long-tail information that a smaller number of people want because you're not going to out-Google Google.

For the time being, Google isn't trying to provide very specialized information, just general, basic information. By personalizing your web content, you can win those long-tail searches.

3. Ephemeral Content

The temporary nature of platforms like Snapchat and Instagram Stories lets brands engage with their audiences by tapping into FOMO — the fear of missing out. By creating short-lived content, they can create a sense of urgency and exclusivity.

This temporary content can motivate users to take immediate action if they want to stay in the know and "be in the cool kids club." You can create special offers and announce surprise events like pop-up parties or food truck specials.

B2C marketers can use this temporary content to showcase:

1. Limited-time offers and flash sales. "Use the code 'VERPEX0524' to get a 10% discount at checkout."

2. Live events and product launches. Drop videos and photos of your product launch to make viewers feel like they're right there.

3. Interactive polls or question-and-answer sessions. Even a 24-hour Twitter poll counts as temporary content.

4. User-generated content contests. Ask your users to send in photos of them using your product or attending your event.

5. Behind-the-scenes looks at special events. Give people an idea of what was happening at your concert, conference, or product launch.

6. Behind-the-scenes looks leading up to special events. Tease viewers with glimpses of the preparations for those events.

7. Day-in-the-life stories. Follow employees around and showcase their important work. Humanize your brand and make customers feel emotionally connected.

8. Exclusive access to VIP content. A good way to create FOMO and get more people interested in being in the cool kids club.

4. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has become a critical part of many B2C digital marketing strategies. This lets brands tap into the trust and authority of influencers rather than trying to build that trust themselves.

That's not to say you shouldn't work to build that trust, but customers think "You're supposed to say that; influencers want to say that."

Plus, building up that kind of trust will take months and years. Successful influencers have already built that trust and are perceived to not have the same ulterior motives that brands do.

You can work with macro-influencers who have millions of followers to micro-influencers who have just a few thousand. Just remember to work with influencers who are aligned with your values and target audience.

Read my article, "Leveraging Micro-Influencers for Business Success," to get a better idea of how to choose influencers to promote your brand, and how to choose the right influencers for your budget.

5. Voice Search Optimization

As smart speakers and virtual assistants grow in popularity, optimizing your content for voice search has become more important for companies that want to improve discoverability and their users' experience.

Voice search optimization means understanding natural language search queries and creating content that provides direct, concise, and relevant answers to those questions. Focus on the long-tail keywords (see above) and conversational phrases, and write content that centers on those.

Create web pages and blog articles that answer your most frequently asked questions. Better yet, develop a voice app that works on the different smart speakers, Google Home, Apple Home, and Amazon Alexa if you have content that people need regularly.

You can also optimize for local search by providing the latest information on Google Business and other online directories. Use location-specific keywords on your website and link your Google Business listing to your site.

6. Social Commerce

Social commerce is a definite B2C digital marketing trend — you just don't see it in the B2B world. No one thinks, "Hey, that's a cool forklift. I think I'll buy one!" But people will see their favorite celebrity or influencer pushing a piece of clothing or fun item, and they'll buy it right there.

As social media and ecommerce converge, brands can now sell products directly within social media platforms. You can shop right on Instagram, Facebook has in-app checkouts, and even YouTube and TikTok let you subscribe, support, and buy right from your favorite influencers.

By integrating e-commerce capabilities into your social media offerings, you can shorten the path to purchase and increase conversions. No more sending people to your website or Amazon page with a link. Show them an item in your Instagram feed and they can buy it at that moment.

7. Data Privacy and Transparency

Admittedly, this is not a sexy part of B2C digital marketing. But consumers are worried about their data privacy and whether brands will abuse that information. As I have often said to people, "Big Brother" isn't the government, it's the corporations."

Brands need to prioritize transparency and accountability of their data practices. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) give consumers more control over the personal information that businesses collect.

But consumers are also more vigilant and wary about how their personal information is being handled. They want assurances that their personal data is being handled responsibly and securely. This is a non-negotiable for many customers, and if you violate this trust, you'll lose them forever.

As marketers, you have an important responsibility here. You need to openly communicate your data practices and obtain consumers' permission where it's required. Prioritizing data security isn't just a legal requirement, it's the cornerstone of your customers' trust.

Customers expect brands to follow the ethical standards and legal obligations to protect their personal information. By demonstrating transparency and accountability, brands can build lasting trust with their audience.

Ultimately, prioritizing transparency into your data practices is more than a legal requirement, it's a strategic imperative. You can build stronger relationships with your customers.

Other Areas to Consider in B2C Digital Marketing

Think of these as best practices, rather than trends. They've been around ever since digital marketing first launched more than 15 years ago.

1. Cross-Channel Integration

You already know there's more to B2C digital marketing than the social-network-formerly-known-as-Twitter and Facebook. Depending on where you live, there are other popular social networks that younger people are using.

Here in the U.S., TikTok and Snapchat are popular with younger people, but Facebook and Pinterest are favorites with their parents. Tencent QQ is huge in China; Viber (from Israel) is big in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Philippines, and Greece; and VKontakte is popular in Eastern Europe.

Find the networks that are popular in the countries you serve and cross-post your content to each network. Be sure to tailor it to that country's experiences, language, and customs.

2. Measurement and Analytics

Analytics is critical to B2C digital marketing, especially if you're selling dozens, hundreds, or thousands of units per day. Pay attention to click-through rates and conversion rates, and watch the customer journey. Tools like Google Analytics and marketing automation software can help.

Understanding your customer data lets you uncover trends, patterns, and opportunities. This lets you refine your targets, messages, and platforms to reach a greater audience. Constant A/B testing lets you experiment and find the best version of each of these.

3. Customer Journey Mapping

Understanding the customer journey helps you identify touchpoints where customers interact with your brand. Knowing these touchpoints can help you deliver personalized experiences at each stage.

Customer journey mapping includes knowing their stages of awareness, consideration, purchase, and post-purchase. How did they find you? What path did they take? When and how much did they buy? By analyzing each stage, you can identify the pain points and chances to improve.

You can also A/B test the different personalized experiences to see what works for you. Tailor content and messaging to address each person or group and measure the responses you get. You should constantly tweak your messaging to reach optimal results.

During the awareness stage, measure the performance of your informative content and educational resources. In the consideration stage, you should offer personalized recommendations and social proof of your products.

This way, you can guide customers through their journey, rather than letting them stumble around and find their own way. This will not only improve your conversion rates, it will create long-term loyalty and advocacy.



with the discount code


Save Now

Final Thoughts

B2C digital marketing is constantly evolving, thanks to new technology and the younger generations of buyers who adopt it and push its growth. From the dominance of video content to the rise of influencer marketing, it's important that you keep up with new trends to engage your audience.

Ephemeral content is a powerful tool, and transparency and accountability are essential to building trust. And most importantly, personalized experiences throughout the customer journey will drive engagement and foster the long-term loyalty you want.

By keeping up with the latest B2C digital marketing trends, you can deliver meaningful results and growth for your company.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can businesses optimize their B2B marketing strategies for digital platforms?

Businesses can optimize their B2B marketing strategies for digital platforms by creating engaging and informative content tailored to the preferences of their target audience. Using social media channels, search engine optimization (SEO), and targeted online advertising can enhance online visibility. Implementing data analytics tools helps businesses track user behaviour, allowing for continuous optimization of digital marketing efforts for maximum impact.

How can businesses effectively integrate traditional and digital B2B marketing channels?

Effectively integrating traditional and digital B2B marketing channels involves creating a cohesive and omnichannel strategy. Businesses can leverage traditional channels such as print media, direct mail, and industry events alongside digital channels like social media, email marketing, and content creation.

How can businesses adapt their B2B marketing strategies to changing consumer behaviours?

Adapting B2B marketing strategies to changing consumer behaviours requires businesses to stay attuned to shifts in preferences and expectations. Conducting regular market research, collecting customer feedback, and analysing data on user behaviour help businesses identify evolving trends.

How can being your own boss and having freelance clients in freelance writing improve your marketing strategy and help you earn more money?

Being your own boss in freelance writing allows you to choose clients and projects that align with your skills, enhancing your marketing strategy by showcasing specialized work. This targeted approach attracts higher-paying clients, leading to more income.

Jivo Live Chat