Digital Marketing Trends for 2019
Matt Haran, January 17, 2019
For years, digital marketing aficionados have been deluged by blog posts espousing the mantra “content is king”. “In 2019, this may not be so much the case,” states Webimax CEO, Ken Kwisneski. “Over the past several years, content has become such a widely utilized commodity, the value for digital marketing campaigns may have been cheapened or weakened.”
The focus is now more centered on well-developed strategy that includes quality link building, relationship outreach, voice, mobile, and the ability to capture attention from “influencers”
1. Influencer Marketing is the act of hiring social media users who hold “follower clout” to spread the word about your brand. Influencer marketing will continue to trend upward in 2019, so hiring influencers to help spread the word about your brand to their own followers could prove to be a pathway to great success.
With the launch of Instagram business profiles, came the addition of native shopping, or making your Instagram page “shoppable”. As well, users were given the ability to get some key audience statistics. Taking advantage of this native shopping platform and promoting your products or services through an influencer campaign should become a dynamic sales tool in the upcoming year, especially when it’s combined with user-generated content.
(UGC) is perceived as the most authentic and therefore, the most influential form of building customer confidence. Online consumers consider authenticity a critical factor in their decision-making process. In order to stay ahead of the competition, forward thinking organizations will continue to encourage customers to share their experiences with their company.
To get the most out of your influencer spend, be as specific about details as you can. Determine due dates, number of posts, mandatory mentions, hashtags, and specific topics to be addressed. Then, keep an eye on things to ensure the agreements are being respected, since you'll likely want to repost the content to your own channel.
2. Voice Searches will continue to increase in number as more and more people use smart assistants, like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Assistant. Voice searches have been projected to approach 50% of all searches by 2020. In turn, voice search algorithms have become much more intelligent in recognizing human speech. Taking this trend into consideration, SEO marketers will have a lot more on their plate. Voice search is shaking up the digital marketing world significantly, calling for digital marketers to tailor their SEO strategy to suit long-tail keyword, question-oriented voice searches. With the prominence of mobile, and voice search, site speed has never been a larger factor. Slow sites rank poorly, so for good results it’s imperative that sites load quickly.
3. Artificial Intelligence will continue to be a great asset in assisting marketers to target audiences and purchase ads more efficiently. This process is extremely data driven; however, with the right amount of data, AI will reduce customer acquisition costs and improve the chances of a marketing campaign’s success. In 2019, AI will gain even greater prominence in helping digital marketers who aspire to deliver the right message to the right user at the right time. With the correct AI analysis this could be a verifiable reality soon.
The emergence of chatbots is the most widely-used form of artificial intelligence. New-generation chatbots are capable of providing people with faster and more personalized answers than ever before. They also collect valuable user data that can help tailor marketing strategies.
Artificial intelligence not only helps marketers in executing their marketing strategies, it’s also being used to formulate those strategies. In 2019, digital marketers will rely more on AI to inform them on new market analysis, cross-channel campaigns, and complex competitive strategies. PPC strategists will increasingly rely on AI for bidding, ad testing, and even serving re-targeted ads. Additionally, campaign troubleshooting, analysis reporting, and projections will all be handled by AI. That being said, PPC experts will find that the best online advertising process will be to leverage machines to automate tracking, reporting and bidding, while they concentrate on ad copy and overall campaign strategy.
4. Video Marketing will continue to be the favorite way for consumers to digest information. In the upcoming year, video marketing is expected to dominate social platforms. Facebook’s instant storefront automatically generates a video that promotes products personalized to users. With more and more mobile consumers taking to their cell phones to purchase products, multi-channel social specific videos are expected to become the top form of mobile content. Personalization is the key element as platforms like Pinterest offer personalized product recommendations and Facebook and Instagram present re-targeted ads to specific targeted audiences on their “shoppable” platforms. A profound 82% of consumer internet traffic is expected to be comprised of video by 2020.
5. Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR) is expected to skyrocket to over $200 billion in the next three years. Considering that today’s consumers demand more exciting buying journeys, it is no wonder that multi-national companies like (VW, Starbucks, Quaker Oats, and IKEA) are using VR and AR to boost engagement, create brand awareness, and deliver enhanced consumer experiences.
I would be remiss to not mention interactive advertising. These are ads that enable consumers to click on or use the touch screen to access additional information. These advertisements have been gaining momentum for the past three years and will continue to be a stable for cross-channel marketing campaigns in 2019.
6. Machine Learning:Visual search is becoming a powerful competitor to interactive SEO and giant brands like Pinterest and Google are already presenting personalized product recommendations to their users. If buyers increased use of virtual assistants creates tremendous marketing potential, one can only imagine the marketing possibilities of visual search. When a consumer conducts a visual search, they use an image with a desired item in it, and they are provided with other pictures related to their initial search. This is done via machine learning, which is fully capable of recognizing an extensive array of patterns, sizes, shapes, and colors the way our human mind does.
The above tactics will most definitely disrupt the normal workflow of digital marketing professionals as they navigate through the integration of technology and creativity. Marketers will have to work with their clients to more precisely define the personas of buyers so they can deliver the precise type of content each buyer is looking to digest. The bottom line is a customer-centric view of information that caters to the way that consumers search, learn about, and eventually purchase new products or services.