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4 Digital Marketing Trends and How Brands are Using Them


4 Digital Marketing Trends and How Brands are Using Them

Digital marketing is a constantly evolving field. Social media channels are changing, evolving and being replaced by others, streaming services are taking over and artificial intelligence is advancing. Keeping up with the latest trends and strategies is crucial for digital marketing success. In this blog, we’re taking a look at some of the current digital marketing trends and what marketers need to know.

What is Digital Marketing?

Blond woman recording video at WVU.

First, let’s start off with a definition. Digital Marketing is creating a dialogue with today's modern audience that builds a community around a brand or organization. It's all about building trust and providing customers with long-term value so that they become advocates who bring you more customers. Digital marketers must have a thorough understanding of search engine optimization, organic and paid search, display marketing, social media marketing, marketing automation, multi-channel analytics, always-on campaigns and desktop and mobile user experiences — all to get the right messages to the right people in the right places.

Knowing where to meet your customers takes being data-driven and knowing your customers, but knowing the trends is a helpful step in reaching your target audiences. Here are just a few of the top trends you need to know.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Every day it seems like a new tool has launched or a new feature is available in AI platforms. ChatGPT has a GPT-4, exclusive to Plus users, apps have plug-ins for Zoom where you can summarize a meeting, the options are endless.

According to Forbes, “AI is becoming more sophisticated and being integrated into many digital marketing tools. Using AI, you can analyze data and gain valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, which can help you improve targeting and personalization efforts and create more effective marketing campaigns. You also can use AI to automate repetitive tasks.”

The main thing to keep in mind when working with AI: use it responsibly (AI was a popular topic at Integrate 2023, check out our recap to see what you missed!)

2. Short Form Video

Video continues to rule the digital landscape. People have a short attention span, which is why short-form content in TikToks and Reels meets their needs. You even have YouTube Shorts, a minute or shorter video on what has been known as a long-form storytelling platform.

Duolingo's mascot Duo at Barbie premiere for their TikTok account

One brand that has dominated TikTok is Duolingo. They’ve focused on creating funny and entertaining content utilizing the app’s mascot, Duo. The brand is also always on top of using trending sounds and topics while they are still hot. You know Duolingo was on top of the Barbie social media trends. The mascot showed up at the Barbie premiere dressed as the main character of the film.

However, don't just create content for the sake of creating content. Make it creative, entertaining or informative. And don’t wait too long on a trend, you can easily miss your opportunity.

3. Influencer Marketing

Charli D'amelio, a current micro-influencer for Dunkin.

Influencer marketing has evolved beyond celebrities and those with large followings. Micro- and nano-influencers are gaining prominence because of their smaller, niche followings and more authentic presentation.

For this to be successful, you need the right influencer and the brand’s relationship with them must be authentic and long-term. It’s co-creation and collaboration. Just like Charli D'amelio’s relationship with brands such as Dunkin, Hollister, Morphe Cosmetics and Invisalign.

4. Interactive and Immersive Experiences

Brand goodr's virtual try on for augmented reality marketing.

With tools like AR and VR, brands can create immersive experiences with their customers or add interactive experiences into something that used to only be static content. Sunglasses brands such as goodr allow you to virtually try on their sunglasses, Amazon let’s you see how a piece of furniture will fit in your house and real estate offices will let you virtually tour their property. By utilizing these technologies, brands can boost their engagement with interactive experiences.

Fiona Green discusses her team's recent immersive augmented reality experience with Vox Media, The Museum of Modern Ads.

Fiona Green, M.S. IMC, is the Head of Branded Content for Amazon Ads where she oversees the digital content strategy for Amazon’s advertising division, helping to build global brand awareness and consideration within the industry. In 2022, her team was awarded the ShortHand award for “Best Business Story” for ‘A Marketer’s Guide to Twitch’ with Adweek and delivered a first-of-its-kind immersive augmented reality experience with Vox Media—The Museum of Modern Ads. Learn more about her campaign and how she applied IMC to the project.

The Strategy Behind Digital Marketing

Woman taking a selfie.

Being on trend is just one component of digital marketing. There is a lot of planning and strategy required to know what trends are right for your brand and customers. How do you use the existing and emerging media channels to reach the audiences living on them? WVU's completely online master's degree in Digital Marketing Communications gives you the strategy and the skills to be the best in this growing field.

Why WVU Digital?

  1. Built-In Certifications. Employers want to know that you have both the strategy and the skill. Certifications from major platforms like Google and Facebook are built into the Digital curriculum. It's an added layer of proof that you have the skills to execute a digital marketing strategy.
  2. One-Year Option. A structured, accelerated option allows you to complete the ten required courses in just one year. Or spread courses out to balance life, work and family. Either way, there are zero in-person commitments and you have the flexibility to make a change to your schedule on the fly.
  3. The Capstone. You’ll use all that you’ve learned in a rigorous and comprehensive capstone course where you will develop a thoughtful and professional digital marketing communications campaign for a real-world client.
  4. The Faculty. WVU's Digital faculty are leading teams at major agencies and for national clients. They understand the importance of a digital strategy and how to implement one because they do it every day.

Understanding these digital marketing platforms, and using the data they provide to develop more impactful marketing campaigns is central to the WVU Digital Marketing Communications degree. Learn more today.

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Meet the Author

Stefanie Moore

Stefanie Moore
Marketing Manager

Stefanie is a marketing manager in the Marketing Communications Online Programs through the Reed College of Media at West Virginia University. She is an alumna of WVU's M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and has been working in marketing for over 6 years after beginning her career in the newspaper business. She's a marathon runner and she recently ran a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon.

Marcom Today

Marketing Communications Today is a collection of resources for marketing communications professionals filled with industry research, marketing trends, and career information about integrated marketing and data-driven communications. Learn industry insights through the Marketing Communications Today blog, podcast, as well as Integrate Online.

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