10 Digital Marketing Trends

The events of 2020 have pretty much shaken the world to its core. No one could really predict tha...

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The events of 2020 have pretty much shaken the world to its core. No one could really predict that life as we know it was going to change as drastically as it did.

For most organisations, going digital was the best bet in order to continue operating amid seemingly perpetual lockdowns that disallowed face-to-face interactions, while some industries had to close down temporarily. This meant that digital marketers had their work cut out for them.

Now that it’s more than a year since the pandemic began, it’s worthwhile to look at some of the top digital marketing trends across the planet. Artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as one of the top technologies transcending multiple digital marketing solutions you might want to incorporate in your digital strategy as you’ll see below.

  1. Artificial Intelligence

AI is quite a robust technology and is helping digital marketers perform a variety of tasks faster and more optimally. This then results in better customer and user experiences leading to increased conversion rates.

E-commerce has become one of the major market segments benefitting from AI. One example of AI-based technology is how it helps to personalise user inputs on search engines or email marketing. 

Another example is AI-powered chatbots that many businesses are now engaging in their digital strategies. More on these below.

  1. Chatbots

The use of chatbots is growing rapidly as they improve customer service response rates. Apps such as Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger use chatbots to respond to user queries or questions in the absence of real customer services agents.

This allows customers to receive responses instantly to any common issue at any time, while also shortening waiting queues of helplines. Any frequently asked questions will have pre-programmed answers, with all difficult ones being deferred to human agents. The market is expected to grow at 35% per annum for the next five years to over US$102 billion.

  1. Virtual assistants

Voice searches via AI-powered virtual assistants are becoming increasingly popular and these are available either as device apps or as standalone smart speaker devices. Currently, the most common virtual assistants are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana.

In addition, the global smart speaker market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 27% until 2025, signalling increasing demand for virtual assistants. Incorporating voice searches in your digital strategy ensures customers have an enhanced customer experience, and ultimately brand loyalty.

  1. Personalised marketing

To create marketing material that is unique and creates a more engaging user experience, personalisation is the way to go. This is being achieved through email campaigns, products and services. One study found that 80% of consumers were more likely to buy a product when the brand personalised the experience.

Rather than doling out generic content to your audience, personalisation uses AI to provide content suggestions based on data points like previous purchase behaviour and seasonality. One of the best examples of this are streaming media service providers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video that give movie and TV show recommendations.

  1. Videos

It’s no surprise that media, particularly video, makes marketing material more engaging, thus driving up conversion rates. With the age of social media, video marketing can lead to content going viral in a matter of minutes, drawing millions of audience to a brand.

Video platforms such as TikTok have grown aggressively over the past few years, particularly due to their primarily Gen Z and millennial audience. Additionally, the video content can be cross-shared on various social media platforms, leading to increased brand engagement. They can also be personalised via AI.

  1. Social media

With most people involuntarily confined to their homes at the beginning of 2020, social media (particularly Facebook, Instagram and TikTok) saw a significant rise in usage as people wanted to stay in-the-know on pandemic news and for entertainment. This trend is expected to continue in 2021 although at a slower rate.

Social media ads are expected to grow to about US$111 billion in 2021, and continue on that path at an annual rate of 5% for the next few years. This is particularly being driven by the 2020 e-commerce boom, leading to the rise of social commerce.

  1. Social commerce

The combination of social media and e-commerce is being used by brands such that purchases can be made directly from social media ads (e.g. on Instagram) without having to use multiple apps for one transaction.

This results in increased online customer purchase completion rates. Several brands are also using omnichannel marketing techniques to provide maximum value to current and potential consumers. 

  1. Content marketing and SEO

The method by which people search for content online is becoming a major talking point. Users are increasingly using visual searches in addition to text and voice searches.

Semantic searches are also seeing increased usage with search engines using AI to find contextual or implied meanings from text; Users do not necessarily have to use exact wording to find useful results. By using similar and related words, content marketers can reach their audience better than from only keywords.

  1. Influencers

The use of well-known celebrities and internet personalities for digital brand promotion has undoubtedly increased in popularity in the past few years. Their large audiences can connect positive views of the influencer to the brand they are promoting, thereby driving brand engagement.

Unlike with traditional ads, users tend to trust the influencer and are more likely to purchase something they are promoting as a result. The influencer market is worth approximately US$10 billion and the number of influencer agent firms has increased, with this trend set to continue.

  1. A/B testing

In marketing, it’s important to test the engagement rate of content to figure out which versions being published produce the highest impressions, and to then push out those. By using SEO analysis tools such as A/B testing, your brand can spend more efficiently for a higher return on investment on ads and maximise conversions.

Last word

These are just 10 of the most popular digital marketing trends at the moment, and as we have seen, they are all quite connected in some way, particularly as most of them use AI. 

At Digital Grind, we have the right tools and capabilities to help you build and execute an effective and successful digital strategy, increasing engagements and gaining a higher ROI. Talk to us and we’ll help you jump onto these trends and see your brand grow.

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Brandon Busuttil
10 years immersion in the marketing, events and digital sectors, accompanied by an honours degree in Marketing Management. An unmistakable passion for connecting brands and people, fuelled by an entrepreneurial ‘make–it–happen’ approach to life.

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Unleash the power of UX/UI design to create captivating software applications. Join us as we explore the principles and best practices for success.


In this digital era, creating applications that provide exceptional user experiences is vital for business success. As businesses shift their focus towards user-centric approaches, understanding the significance of UX (User Experience) and UI (User Interface) becomes paramount. Join us as we embark on a journey to explore the world of UX/UI and unveil how it can take your software applications to the next level.

In this blog, we will delve into the core principles of UX/UI design, shedding light on its impact on user satisfaction, efficiency, engagement, and brand perception. By adopting best practices and learning from real-world examples, you will gain insights on how to create intuitive and visually appealing interfaces that captivate and delight your users. So, let's dive in and discover the power of UX/UI design in shaping successful software applications. Get ready to unlock the potential of user-centered design and drive your business towards a competitive advantage.

What is UX/UI?

Let's start by unraveling the world of UX/UI in software development. UX, or User Experience, encompasses the holistic experience that users have while interacting with a software application. It goes beyond aesthetics and delves into the realm of usability, accessibility, and overall satisfaction. On the other hand, UI, or User Interface, refers to the visual and interactive elements that users engage with on the software's interface.

Together, UX and UI form a dynamic duo, working hand in hand to create delightful and seamless experiences for users. UX focuses on understanding user needs, conducting research, and designing intuitive workflows that enable users to achieve their goals effortlessly. UI, on the other hand, adds the visual layer to the experience, incorporating visually appealing designs, clear navigation, and interactive elements that captivate and guide users through the application.

The significance of UX/UI in software development cannot be overstated. By prioritizing user-centered design principles, businesses can create applications that are not only visually appealing but also intuitive, efficient, and enjoyable to use. A well-crafted UX/UI design enhances user engagement, increases customer satisfaction, and ultimately drives business success.

In the following sections of this blog, we will explore the specific benefits of UX/UI in software development. From improved usability and increased conversions to enhanced brand loyalty and positive user perceptions, we will uncover how UX/UI design can elevate your software applications to new heights. So, let's dive deeper into the world of UX/UI and discover the transformative power it holds in shaping exceptional user experiences.

The Benefits of Good UX/UI in Software Development

Let's explore the transformative benefits that good UX/UI design brings to software development. When businesses invest in creating exceptional user experiences, they unlock a myriad of advantages:

First and foremost, good UX/UI design enhances user satisfaction. By crafting interfaces that are intuitive, visually appealing, and easy to navigate, businesses create an environment where users feel at ease. When users can seamlessly accomplish their tasks without encountering roadblocks or confusion, they are more likely to develop a positive perception of the brand and remain loyal customers.

Furthermore, effective UX/UI design improves usability and efficiency. By carefully organizing information, implementing clear navigation, and optimizing workflows, businesses streamline the user experience. Users can effortlessly find what they need, complete tasks efficiently, and avoid unnecessary frustrations. This not only saves their time and effort but also contributes to a more enjoyable and productive experience.

Engaging users is another key benefit of good UX/UI design. Interfaces that incorporate visually appealing designs, interactive elements, and thoughtful animations capture users' attention and entice them to explore further. These engaging experiences create memorable moments and foster a sense of connection with the application, leading to increased user engagement and prolonged usage.

Moreover, good UX/UI design reduces the learning curve for new users. When interfaces are designed with user needs in mind, they guide users through complex functionalities and features, making the onboarding process smoother and more intuitive. By providing clear instructions, visual cues, and interactive elements, businesses empower users to quickly grasp the application's capabilities and become proficient users.

Beyond the immediate impact on user experience, good UX/UI design contributes to a positive brand perception. When users have a seamless and enjoyable experience with an application, they associate that positive experience with the brand behind it. A well-crafted user interface reflects the brand's commitment to innovation, user-centeredness, and attention to detail. It reinforces trust, enhances credibility, and contributes to a strong brand image.

Good UX/UI design in software development yields significant benefits. It enhances user satisfaction, improves usability and efficiency, increases user engagement, reduces the learning curve, and shapes a positive brand perception. By investing in creating exceptional user experiences, businesses not only delight their users but also gain a competitive edge in the market. So, let's embrace the power of UX/UI design and create software applications that captivate, engage, and leave a lasting impression on users.

In the next section, we will explore some practical strategies and best practices for incorporating effective UX/UI design into the software development process. By following these guidelines, businesses can ensure that their applications not only meet user expectations but exceed them. Let's dive into the world of UX/UI design and discover how to create software experiences that truly resonate with users.

Best Practices for UX/UI in Software Development

To achieve effective UX/UI design, consider the following best practices:

  1. Conducting User Research and Gathering User Feedback: Understanding user needs and preferences is crucial for creating a successful user experience. Conduct user research, gather feedback, and perform usability testing to gain insights that inform design decisions. By involving users early in the design process, you can ensure that your application meets their expectations and addresses their pain points.
  2. Creating Intuitive and Consistent Interfaces: Consistency in visual elements, layout, and navigation across the application enhances usability. Use familiar design patterns and conventions to ensure users can quickly understand and interact with the interface. Intuitive interfaces minimize the learning curve and enable users to navigate the application with ease.
  3. Prioritizing Accessibility and Inclusivity: Consider accessibility requirements for users with disabilities, ensuring that the application is usable by a diverse range of individuals. Design interfaces that are inclusive and cater to diverse user needs. This includes providing alternative text for images, using appropriate color contrast, and supporting screen reader compatibility.
  4. Iterative Design and Continuous Improvement: Embrace an iterative design process, gathering user feedback and incorporating insights into future updates. Continuously strive for improvement to meet evolving user expectations. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your design choices and make iterative refinements to enhance the user experience.
  5. Incorporating User-Centered Design: Place users at the center of the design process. Understand their goals, behaviors, and pain points to create solutions that address their needs effectively. Involve users in design workshops, usability testing, and feedback sessions to ensure their voices are heard throughout the development process. By incorporating user feedback, you can make informed design decisions that resonate with your target audience.
  6. Streamlining Workflows and Reducing Friction: Optimize user workflows by eliminating unnecessary steps and simplifying complex tasks. Minimize cognitive load by providing clear instructions, visual cues, and error prevention mechanisms. Strive for a seamless and frictionless experience that guides users towards their desired outcomes. By reducing friction and streamlining workflows, you can enhance user satisfaction and improve overall efficiency.
  7. Adopting Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Design: With the increasing use of mobile devices, it's crucial to design interfaces that are responsive and provide a consistent experience across different screen sizes. Mobile-friendly design ensures that users can access and interact with the application seamlessly on any device. Consider the unique characteristics of mobile devices and prioritize touch-friendly elements and responsive layouts.
  8. Usability Testing and Iterative Refinement: Conduct usability testing throughout the development process to identify usability issues and areas for improvement. Gather feedback from users and iterate on the design based on their insights. Continuously refine and optimize the interface to ensure a user-centric experience. Usability testing provides valuable insights into how users interact with your application, allowing you to make data-driven design decisions.
  9. Collaboration between Designers and Developers: Foster close collaboration between UX/UI designers and developers to ensure the seamless implementation of the design. Regular communication, prototyping, and iterative feedback cycles promote a cohesive and harmonious integration of design and development efforts. By working together closely, designers and developers can create a polished and cohesive user experience that aligns with the design vision.

By following these best practices, businesses can create software applications that not only meet user expectations but also exceed them. Prioritising user research, intuitive interfaces, accessibility, iterative design, and collaboration between designers and developers leads to applications that are user-friendly, engaging, and successful in the market.

Now let’s explore real-world examples of companies that have embraced UX/UI design principles in their software development process and reaped the benefits. These case studies will provide insights into how effective UX/UI design can drive business success and deliver exceptional user experiences.

Real-world examples illustrate the impact of effective UX/UI design:

Spotify: The music streaming giant has gained popularity not only for its vast music library but also for its user-friendly interface. Its personalised recommendations and easy navigation contribute to an enjoyable and personalised user experience.

Uber: Uber revolutionised the transportation industry with its user-centric approach. Its simple and intuitive interface allows users to request rides with just a few taps, ensuring a convenient and hassle-free experience.

Apple: Known for its sleek and intuitive products, Apple has consistently prioritised UX/UI design. From the seamless interactions on their iPhones to the user-friendly interfaces of their software applications, Apple has set the standard for exceptional user experiences.

These real-world examples demonstrate the power of effective UX/UI design in driving user engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty. By prioritising user needs, creating intuitive interfaces, and delivering delightful experiences, these companies have successfully captured the hearts of their users and gained a competitive edge in their respective industries.

Incorporating best practices in UX/UI design, businesses can create software applications that not only meet user expectations but also exceed them. By investing in user research, iterative design, accessibility, and collaboration between designers and developers, companies can develop applications that resonate with their target audience, drive user engagement, and ultimately contribute to their business success.


In today's digital landscape, prioritising UX/UI design in software development is essential for creating applications that resonate with users. By focusing on user satisfaction, efficiency, engagement, and brand perception, businesses can differentiate themselves from the competition. Embracing best practices and learning from successful case studies, such as those of Airbnb and Slack, can inspire and guide the creation of exceptional user experiences. Digital Grind understands the value of UX/UI design and can be your trusted partner in delivering software solutions that prioritise user-centric design principles. By investing in UX/UI expertise and adopting iterative design processes, businesses can create applications that meet user expectations and drive business success. Don't underestimate the power of UX/UI in software development; prioritise it to unlock the full potential of your applications and connect with your audience on a deeper level.

When it comes to brand visibility, you can’t go wrong with a solid search strategy in place. After all, it involves small tweaks that will help users find you if and w...

When it comes to brand visibility, you can’t go wrong with a solid search strategy in place. After all, it involves small tweaks that will help users find you if and when they need to. Of course, there are other elements at play, like your marketing strategy and specific business objectives, but a universal goal is growth and awareness, and that you’ll find on the search engine results pages - if you know-how. 

Search engine optimization is split up into two main categories in terms of the logistics. The first is on the backend, where the structure of your site and aspects of your code help determine visibility and give Google the lay of the land. Typically SEO specialists need to interact with this backend to ensure that pages are structured and categorized correctly, that duplicate content is marked as “invisible” to crawlers and that the site loads quickly enough for it to be convenient to users.

These are just a few basic and oversimplified examples for context. However, you don’t need to be a fully-fledged tech expert to make a significant difference to a site’s ranking - as there’s a whole nother element to gaining search cred. 

What is on-page SEO?

On-page SEO relates to activities you can do on the front-end to improve your site’s ranking, support link-building strategies and make content more inclusive and easily indexable. It’s also a good place to create mechanisms for users to engage with what you’re publishing and be able to process it all quickly and easily.

Why is this so important? Because it helps search engines like Google and Firefox determine how relevant your content is to a specific search query, which means the people who are looking for your products and services are more likely to find you. In fact, 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. (BrightEdge)

In order to start improving your presence online and making the necessary changes to become more visible, it’s important to master the basics. Here’s how: 

  • Use keywords thoughtfully: Conducting basic keyword research using a keyword planner, can give you a good indication of what users in your segment are searching for, in relation to your brand. You can use the search volumes to determine a list of keywords by priority - primary, secondary and tertiary or thematic keywords.

    These keywords go into the metadata but also have special placements in the copy, on-page. You can show topic hierarchy by using the primary keyword in the title, and first and last 100 words of the page, the secondary keyword in the first subheading, and thematic keywords sprinkled throughout.

  • Get meta: Creating metadata for your pages and posts is a good way to optimise what users see when they search for your brand pages or related keywords. In the CRM you can write custom titles and descriptions for your page, using your primary keyword which is the keyword most searched for by your audience. Descriptions are usually truncated at 155 characters, so keep them short and engaging.

    This way users are more likely to read the whole thing and click through to your site. Plus, it has the added benefit of showing Google and other search engines what the page is about, as their technology indexes keywords. If you don’t create a custom one, it will automatically showcase the first few lines of text on the page. Pro tip: keep your primary and most important keyword close to the beginning of your title and description.

  • Create scannable content for users: Search engines allocate a  readability score to content that determines how easy it is for users to consume. This is based on factors like scannability of content, sentence length, and language use.

    Optimising your pages for better readability
    means formatting your pages with subheadings and bullet points, for example, considering language use and ensuring clean, well-written copy that takes punctuation, grammar and spelling into account.

  • Be inclusive: When uploading images onto your site, you can include alt tags and captions that describe images and give them context. This serves two functions. First, it makes the images more inclusive for the visually impaired interacting with the site, as these tags and captions are read via audio channels. Secondly, it allows search engines to index the images more thoroughly and gives them a thematic context in the same ways as keywords do. From here, they can determine relevance to search queries.

  • Make it meaningful: The quality of your content is what’s going to ultimately keep readers on your page, which means fluff won’t cut it. Similarly, by linking to reputable sources you can up the credibility of your work. The key to great SEO is simply creating genuinely good content that serves a purpose and fits a theme. So allocate the necessary resources to create something that meets needs and offers the reader more than what they expected.

  • Share it: The more traffic that goes to your site, the more likely it is to rank higher in the SERPs (MTU Edu). A good way to drive traffic is through sharing your content on social channels. By adding social icons, you can also encourage users to share with their audiences, helping you generate a larger readership on your site.

All told, basic on-page search knowledge is a must-have for any marketer or creative working particularly in the digital copywriting space - but it’s also an important part of your content strategy.

Without at least some consideration for search queries, you won’t get the most value from your site, which means wasted resources, missed leads and simply taking up space online. We can help you formulate better on-page strategies and drive new business to your digital doors. Speak to us for more information.

We’ve seen that the use of data and analytics is absolutely necessary for any successful marketing campaign. By taking time to use data to understand your customers fu...

In 2021, oil is no longer the most valuable commodity, but data is. Each day, humans produce 2.5 quintillion bytes of data, and post over 95 million photos and videos shared on Instagram.

While this sounds interesting, it’s not enough to simply have data in your possession. It’s much better to be able to draw insights from that data for it to be useful. With data, you can create more effective marketing campaigns that are targeted and personalised.

One of your aims with data-driven marketing techniques should be to find out what your audiences are interested in, who they interact with online, what your competitors are doing, what's worked in the past, and so on.

Your return on investment is much more clearer when data is used, while you gain a better understanding of your customers and their behaviour. This gives you insight into what makes them convert or complete a purchase, taking the guesswork out of it.

Know your customer

All customers are not created equal. They vary in their likes, dislikes, opinions and tastes, among other traits. Before venturing off on a campaign, ensure that you have a good sense of who they are, where they are based and other metrics.

If you’re able to figure out which of your customers are likely to purchase or a repeat purchase of a certain product then you’ve hit the jackpot. Together with data on purchase history and buyer behaviour, you can determine which strategy to use on which customers.

By breaking down your customers into segments using this information, you can discover which of them will convert, allowing you to focus your marketing segments more on those. You can also draw insights into each customer’s potential lifetime value spend. 


Using data gives you the opportunity to target your messaging using personalisation. Customer relationship management software can help to track this data as you send out informed responses rather than via a blanket approach.

One survey found that up to 91% of consumers were more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provided a more personalised experience, giving relevant product offers and recommendations. On the other hand, 83% of customers were found to be willing to share their data for a more personalised experience.

Using behavior-based marketing techniques connects you to your customers better. If a consumer browses through an e-commerce website, for example, and does not complete their purchase, you can send them a nudge email to remind them that they left something in their basket. This can increase conversion.

Timing is everything

Using send time optimisation can assist you in getting a sense of what time your customers are likely to engage with your campaigns. This a data-driven tool that tracks when your audience is likely to open an email, for example, and automatically sends out one at the appropriate time.

Send time optimisation is particularly useful when you have customers in several time zones. You wouldn’t want them receiving an email in the middle of the night and risk them not viewing it among a huge pile of various emails in the inbox when morning comes. 

One study found Fridays to have the highest clickthrough rate, while Tuesday had the highest open rates. This shows the importance of timing in marketing.

In the greater scheme of things, timing is also important in making sure you don’t send out email campaigns at the wrong time of the year. An example of this is sending out certain campaigns during Lent or Ramadan seasons when your customers are observing religious practices and cannot partake in your product or service. 

The subject line is your point of entry

Subject lines are the first thing your audience sees, and what the title says will determine whether or not they will open your emails. They should attract the attention of the reader with only a split second to make a decision.

You could use data to determine which subject lines will be more effective with proper punctuation and whether or not you should use emojis. You could even make use of split or A/B testing to determine which subject lines will have higher open rates and push those.

It would be quite unfortunate for a carefully curated campaign to end up in your recipients’ email trash folders. Customers have short attention spans and therefore, subject lines need to be short but able push a sense of urgency on the reader for faster conversions.

Re-engage with your customers

Having collected a lot of data about your customers through various data points, you may find that some of them have slightly or completely withdrawn from your brand. This usually occurs when they have an interest in your product but haven’t decided to take the next step and convert.

Using this data, you can re-engage with your customers through a clear strategy of how to recreate that interest in your product, or convert existing interest into a purchase. Always keep a step-by-step strategy on what to do next using drip campaign techniques.

We’ve seen that the use of data and analytics is absolutely necessary for any successful marketing campaign. By taking time to use data to understand your customers fully and putting a considerable effort into personalising their experience, your business can realise increased engagements and conversions.

At Digital Grind, data is a large part of our business intelligence expertise. Contact us to start a data-driven marketing campaign that will keep your customers engaged and coming back for more.