Every year, new technologies come out, existing technologies get smarter, and prospects get savvier. The beginning of a new year is usually the moment when marketing experts and enthusiasts turn their attention to the latest digital marketing trends. By reading this post about the Digital Marketing Trends of 2019, you will discover that some of the trends have also been announced a year ago, but continued to evolve (so we have included them in the Digital Marketing Trends of 2019 list as well), while other trends may represent a novelty for you and give you a glimpse into how your online marketing strategy should evolve in the upcoming year.
The goal of marketing — and digital marketing, in particular — has always been the same: getting and keeping your audience’s attention. It is the methods used to attain these goals that have changed,though, and things have evolved a great deal since the era of print catalogues and direct mail. The essence of marketing techniques, either old-fashioned or cutting-edge, is unchanged: getting your prospects to know, like, and trust you. Let’s see what the latest approaches are when it comes to promoting your products and services online:
Artificial intelligence is becoming a bigger and bigger part of our lives every day, having applications in a variety of fields. Once a topic in science-fiction movies, AI is nowadays enabling us to perform laborious work with incredible speed and accuracy, predict what a user will do,and make rational decisions without emotions and human errors. There are multiple ways AI can help businesses cater to their prospects in a more effective manner:
- Finding new qualified prospects
For example, you could leverage AI to find prospects that look like your existing customers or scan social media conversations to provide you with real-time intelligence on your competitors.
- Sales forecasting
AI can tell whether or not a prospect is ready for discussion by relying on data and will help answer the most difficult strategy questions.
- Understanding your customers
AI allows you to know precisely what your customers are feeling about your brand at a given moment by analysing social media and other content created by consumers; a talented marketer will make use of these data and adapt messages and branding strategies for maximum effectives.
- Influencing buying decisions
AI identifies relevant conversations from social media and other open forums and can identify prospects at decision-making moments; this enables brands to interact with consumers at the right moment and close more sales.
- Improving customer experience and support
Machines can orchestrate every aspect of attracting customers and selling your products to them, but can also help you serve them better by extracting the data your need to devise better customer experience strategies.
AI is the first in our list of Digital Marketing Trends of 2019 because it basically allows you to match your messaging and content to customer reactions and interests, an accomplishment which would be impossible given the massive amounts of consumer data.
Chatbots were also included in our Digital Marketing Trends of 2018 post and we are mentioning them again as the trend is still evolving. Bots can help with customer service tasks, be used to warm prospects, schedule sales appointments, and help make purchases.
A simple definition of bots from Hubspot is: “nothing more than a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a user through a conversational interface.”
The simplest bots function based on a list of if –> then statements and will simply do the boring part from the job of a customer support representative. There are also advanced bots which are powered by AI and which can understand more complex requests and personalize responses. Response speed is one of the main advantages of chat bots – these programs provide customers with the information they need almost instantaneously, eliminating the need to navigate through cluttered email inboxes and website content.
This literally means optimising your website for voice search. To do this, you must understand what your prospects are searching for and also use the latest technologies.
Smart speakers are some of the most common smart devices and people are using them for more than playing music from their smartphone – they also look up the weather, change channels on their TVs, or perform audio searches on websites visited rather than scrolling through every page until they found the desired information.
Voice-based search is the new thing, and it has been estimated that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020 and that 30% of searches will be done without a screen also by 2020. This prediction is definitely not to be neglected – it means that you have just one year left to be able to respond to the shift in behaviour of a large part of your prospects.Keep in mind that audio queries are conversational and longer – they are a lot like speaking to another person and asking a question.
Local Influence Marketing
Unless you run a massive global brand or an e-commerce business, chances are your marketing is mostly local. This means you shouldn’t waste time and money on communicating to a general audience and focus on local marketing instead. Our advice on how to promote your business online in a given geographical area includes:
- Partnering with local influencers and putting together long-term campaigns and promotions
- Implementing local SEO best practices, such as adding your business to Google Maps, adding location pages to your website,ensuring name, address and phone number (NAP) consistency everywhere, and attaining reviews.
- Creating custom landing pages for every campaign
- Using Facebook Ad targeting to attract local prospects
- Using Call Now ads in your campaigns
- Creating locally-focused content
- Making time-sensitive offers
- Using AdWords’ geo targeting options
- Including directions and store hours on your website
- Promoting customer reviews on Facebook
- Showing approximate distance from store in your mobile social ads
Video is still at the top of content marketing and a prominent item among the Digital Marketing Trends of 2019. The only thing better is live video.
If you feel live streaming has a bad reputation, this is because some people don’t do it right. If you don’t provide value or help through your live videos, you are streaming for the wrong reasons and can even damage your brand. Live footage should be performed after carefully crafting a strategy and we recommend avoiding sloppy and unplanned videos, which may have a negative effect on your business and its reputation. Live streaming strategy tips include:
- Creating a teaser
- Writing a rough script
- Avoiding a direct pitch and salesy content
- Suggesting through your video why your brand isthe best choice for prospects
- Offering incentives like deals and special discounts through live video
- Capturing a feeling and creatingemotionally-driven content
If you don’t know what should go into your live videos, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What would you want to experience from your company?Think behind-the-scenes tours of your office, product demos/releases, live Q&A’s, etc. Also consider using social media stories features and create short videos that highlight your business and have a strong impact on your audiences.
Content is Still King
And it will always be.
In 2019, it is predicted that people will further put more trust in reputable content instead of relying on advertisements. Content marketing is almost the opposite of traditional advertising and self-promotion and is about providing free, informative, and entertaining content that creates value for consumers. As a result, the audience genuinely wants to engage with the brand and buy from it.
There are multiple forms that content can take: social media posts, blogs, info graphics, videos, podcasts, email campaigns, and so on – all with the purpose of offering online prospects useful and relevant content that enables them to solve their problems.
Content is crucial for increasing brand awareness and winning the confidence of your buyers – great content inspires trust because when your content is engaging and educational, audiences start to see your business in the same positive light.
From the previous Digital Marketing Trends of 2019 our readers might think that advertising is no longer considered an efficient promotion tool, but this is far from the truth.Businesses need to discern between traditional advertising and the way great advertising is done today – experts have been talking for the last several years about programmatic advertising among other trends.
Programmatic advertising has changed the marketing landscape in the last 5 years and will continue to evolve in 2019. It is a process in which automation technology is used to buy and sell online media. This replaces human methods such as proposals, tenders, estimates, and negotiation, and display space is instead purchased with the help of machines and algorithms.
The widespread of programmatic advertising doesn’t mean that humans will be replaced from the advertisement environment – people working in the field will be less busy with ad buying and will be free to focus more on planning, optimisation, targeting, and creation. Some systems also allow monitoring campaigns and finding areas that need improvement. More than anything else, programmatic advertisement systems help saving time and resources – it is successful because it increases efficiency.
Compared to digital trends we have predicted for 2018, new additions on the list are artificial intelligence, live streaming, programmatic advertising, and local influence marketing, while the rest of the trends have already been announced a year a go but have evolved and taken a clearer, more distinctive direction in the last 12 months. We are excited to find out what the future holds and to include these upcoming digital marketing tools in the campaigns we create for our clients!