It’s not always possible to tell what will be the next most efficient method of connecting businesses with consumers in the world of marketing. Once it seems that marketers they’ve finally understood what the audience needs, some innovation comes and turns the tables once again.
That said, it makes sense to look back and reflect on the trends we saw last year to discover the patterns that might either create new trends or reintroduce the old ones. So, here’s the list of ten most promising trends to keep an eye out in 2019. Let’s see what the future of digital marketing looks like.
Digital marketing trends
Speaking of digital strategy development as a whole, the main trend would be digital transformation programs that keep gaining popularity. A relatively large number of businesses are planning on transforming this year, and some of them are already making progress.
Apart from that, companies are also interested in implementing integrated digital marketing strategies spanning over multiple channels. Digital transformation programs result from the difficulties concerning digital silos in businesses that failed to introduce digital integration across a company.
Transforming digital marketing into multichannel and omnichannel marketing
One of the new marketing trends is the increased involvement of “omnichannel communications” directly related to the customer to better explain marketing strategies that reach beyond the travel and retail sector the term “omnichannel” comes from.
The first part of the word, “Omni,” has derived from the Latin word “Omnis” which basically means “the whole.” It perfectly stresses out how important it is to find a way to reach out to customers through all possible channels. It makes the approach to interacting with audience forensic, requiring different budgets for different channels.
Omnichannel marketing is how you view the experience through the customer’s eyes, guiding their experience through any channel, making sure it stays seamless and consistent. Competently organized omnichannel should anticipate that your audience may begin interacting with your business via one channel and switch to another in the process. And they should be able to do this easily.
Search marketing trends 2019
Obviously, Google provides the most of what companies get from search engine marketing, so the next few paragraphs focus on Google. A lot of changes were made in the company in 2018, a large portion of which will start working in 2019. The most noticeable of them is, of course, the introduction of the Google Marketing Platform with AdWords being renamed to Ads and various tools, including Google Analytics and Data Studio being integrated more tightly.
When it comes to organic search, a key 2019 trend is Google’s Speed Update. While, at first, it will penalize slow sites with poor optimization, it would be reasonable to expect Google to tinker with the algorithm to affect websites that don’t work on boosting speed.
One more change to check out this year is the improved Google’s search snippets:
Here, you can see the important features integrated into the organic SERPs. The chart shows that featured snippets and images remain quite important. This, in turn, helps to realize how crucial it is to understand and answer the questions your customers ask as we observe the development of a conversational search through mobile devices and smart speakers.
Latest social media trends
Let’s turn to the annual Communications Market Review to compile some data on social media usage. Recent reports clearly show the latest changes in age-related usage of the world’s popular social networks between 2016 and 2018:
The chart summarizes the recent changes that have occurred on the three main websites:
- Facebook. Almost all age groups showed a slight decline, except for the older group (55+) which occupies a leading position now;
- Instagram. This social network saw an increased usage among all age groups, with the youngest ones (25-34 and 18-24) showing the most active growth;
- Snapchat. The 25-34 age group again shows a vivid growth, proving that this social network isn’t solely for teenagers. Older age groups don’t fall behind as well, demonstrating almost the same growth rate. It should be mentioned, though, that this compilation doesn’t take the frequency of use into account.
There are no reasons not to expect that Instagram ad spend keeps increasing together with more active usage and improved advertising options. Compared to Facebook ad spend which showed a 40-percent growth year over year in the second quarter of 2018, ad spend on Instagram reached a whopping 177 percent at the same time.
As for Facebook, more active use of Messenger is one of the new social media marketing trends. According to the recent statistics the company presented, Messenger gained some importance: around 1.3 billion use it monthly; users and companies send 8 billion messages every month. Together with targeted sponsored ads, using Messenger for conversations is a hot trend.
Content marketing trends
If we look at top digital marketing trends 2018, we’ll see that content marketing was way ahead of others, and the same can be expected in 2019:
Content marketing won’t lose its importance due to the backlinks and exposure business owners can get for their brands. Creating catchy content and sharing it via influencers is a profitable strategy in digital content marketing. You basically help people whose content is based on products or solutions you provide while they help you promote your brand among those interested in it.
The main content marketing trends are:
- Making the approach to content marketing more strategic. Now that many companies have a holistic content marketing strategy to engage more customers, they get much better feedback;
- Focusing on the quality of the content through a better understanding of the target audience;
- Forming new structure and roles to back up content marketing activities as investments begin to increase.
The numbers below explain why video content was among the most popular marketing trends 2018 and show why you should involve video content into planning your marketing strategy this year:
- Around 72% of businesses reported an improved conversion rate due to video;
- Product videos helped 52% of consumers become more confident when making purchases online;
- Product videos make 39% of executives call a vendor.
Video marketing isn’t tied to YouTube only. To achieve maximum engagement with video content, you can also try video posts or even live broadcasts on various social media. Apart from that, live videos are getting more and more popular, as an increased number of companies started to use them to demonstrate their products, film interviews, or introduce staff to the audience.
With video production and equipment costs decreasing all the time, and the quality of even the simplest cameras becoming better, some businesses switch to personalized video messages instead of phone calls and letters.
As videos have got their own section in the SERPs, video SEO began gaining importance. This includes using closed captions and text overlays together with description, title, etc. In addition, 360-degree videos providing a brand new interacting experience are on the rise, promising the next level of customer involvement.
The talks about artificial intelligence are all over the Web, but only a few people understand how it works. Picture a lot of computers connected together to analyze stuff quickly. Processing the data, they understand customers’ behavior better. That’s what AI is all about.
With the help of AI, you can scour the databases and provide your employees with insights. For instance, you could make AI search through posts and comments on social networks to gather some info on your competitors.
Social messaging apps
Messaging apps aren’t just for keeping in touch with your friends and sending emojis, and these numbers prove it:
- 1.3 billion people use WhatsApp every month;
- Every day, 55 billion messages are sent through WhatsApp.
Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat combined have more users than YouTube or Facebook.
This chart shows that messaging apps are used more and more frequently, for business purposes as well. Since users began to spend a large portion of their time messaging, it seems like a nice idea to start marketing your businesses products or services where so many of your potential customers hang out.
Apart from that, messengers are great for sending direct messages to your customers, making them personalized (which is another trend). Or you can simply use chatbots for that purpose.
Chatbots and current marketing trends
Chatbots were already one of the marketing trends last year, but the technology keeps evolving, so it will stay in demand for years to come, although companies are still a bit hesitant in terms of adopting it. However, by 2022, the estimated sum of money chatbots will help save will reach $8 billion per year.
Chatbots are perfect for dealing with customer service tasks and answering simple questions, such as “When will I get my package,” “How can I get to you,” and so on.
In addition to that, you can use bots for warming prospects, helping make purchases, and scheduling sales appointments. Actually, they can be used for a variety of tasks that usually involve human interaction. By adding a couple of emojis to standard bot answers, you can make them less generic, looking almost like they were written by a living person.
When decided whether to invest in a chatbot or not, think over how you’d want to use it, as the technology fits not only for customer service. This way, you’ll have the idea of what you need most for your goals. But there’s one thing one should take into account: chatbots aren’t going to replace complex conversations. Sure, they’re somewhat helpful at the moment, but the technology is still far from perfection.
Today, the average time people spend interacting with their phones every day is 3 hours and 35 minutes, and by 2019, we should expect this number to increase, surpassing television in the US. This means that companies must work on new ways to capture people’s attention.
“Micro-moments” is a consumer behavior which makes sure that the marketing message is delivered exactly in a way the consumer is interested in. The main trick is to deliver the message in just a few seconds in order for the audience not to lose interest and shift attention towards something else.
Voice search and smart speakers generate new digital marketing ideas
The use of voice search has increased so dramatically over the last year that many businesses began rethinking their digital marketing strategies for 2019. Here are some numbers:
– By 2020, the share of online voice searches will be around 50%;
– Nowadays, voice searches account for 20% of mobile queries on Google;
– 25% of all searches on Bing are voice searches.
Voice search has become a very convenient way to get the info you’re looking for via audio content since AI got smarter, and voice assistants began making fewer mistakes comparing to 2017 and 2018.
Micro-Influencers as one of the new marketing trends
With constantly improving influencer-tracking technologies, brands gain more assets to manage large networks of micro-influencers with a small number of followers but a high level of engagement. Soon, these networks will allow companies to cut campaign costs thanks to avoiding larger influencers.
Transparency as a way to win new customers
With all those new tools and features technology gives us it’s easy to forget that without human beings, there’s no conversation. Basically, businesses are just small groups of people trying to communicate with larger groups: their audience. This means that one of the 2019 marketing trends would be transparency that will help win customers attention and loyalty.