Have you ever found yourself thinking something along the lines of “Marketing has changed more in the past two years than in the previous 50”? Adobe’s Digital Distress Survey 76% of surveyed marketers agreed to this exact phrase back in 2013. Skip to 2019 and digital marketing trends seem to be accelerating rather than slowing.
Everything from business operations to the web itself is in a dynamic state of progress. Artificial intelligence has opened the doors to personalized campaigns and marketing automation, which have become standard practices. Consumer needs, wants and desires are naturally shifting. The ability to integrate CRM systems and other backend systems with tools like Zapier are creating inexpensive, powerful marketing stacks for smaller businesses. lAs a result, digital marketing trends continue to disrupt the marketing industry.
In today’s competitive marketing landscape you can’t afford to ignore the latest digital marketing trends, no matter how small your business is.
5 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2019
Evolved influencer marketing
As the focus of social media marketing shifts to engagement rates, more authenticity, and transparency, it’s time for brands to rethink their influencer strategy. Influencer marketing in 2019 is not about numbers and big names – it’s all about finding the right person that is considered an expert within their niche, whom your audience can trust and relate to.
Micro-influencers are not only gaining ground because it has been proven that those with smaller follower counts have higher engagement rates. Consumers have grown weary and untrusting of big celebrity endorsements. Smaller influencers’ services are still much more affordable than those of mega influencers, which has opened the doors of opportunity to smaller brands and even local businesses. If you haven’t yet done so, now is the time to jump in on the opportunity and explore how you can borrow someone’s influence to build your online presence, strengthen your brand image and earn your audience’s trust.
Temporary social media content which self-destructs after 24 hours naturally sounded counterintuitive to most marketers at first. But as we head on further into 2019, it’s clear that ephemeral content is a powerful marketing tool. Brands of all sizes need to be using this type of content to boost visibility, engage audiences and build trust and authenticity. Stories features are available on Snapchat, Facebook and of course Instagram, which reigns supreme among ephemeral platforms with 500 daily active users worldwide.
Ephemeral content works well because it tends to be viewed as more authentic and genuine. Even YouTube is jumping in on the game and rolling out its own Stories feature. We have yet to see how YouTube’s latest endeavor will develop but it certainly carries a lot of potential impact on content marketing strategies.
With the developments in AI and machine learning, it’s becoming increasingly common to see chatbots as customer service and sales representatives on business websites. Chatbot technology is growing more sophisticated and according to Gartner, 25% of customer service is expected to be using it by 2020. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg of an evolving practice that’s fundamentally changing the customer journey: conversational marketing.
Conversational marketing aptly refers to the growing practice of fostering one-to-one personal conversations with leads and customers and it’s one of the most important digital marketing trends. This type of marketing comes in the form of personalized support. This means providing guidance at whichever time and via whichever channel suits the customer best – whether it’s social messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, email, text messaging, phone calls, or even the postal service. Companies rely on chatbots, live chat agents, social media monitoring and the use of CRM systems to provide personalized customer journeys and simultaneously connect marketing, sales, and customer service. The combination of genuine conversations with modern-day technology and the omnichannel approach to marketing is making a big impact on how business will be done in the future.
Voice search optimization
Currently, voice searches make up for 20% of mobile queries on Google. There are plenty of catchy numbers regarding the state of voice search and the famous “half of all searches will be voice searches by 2020” prediction surely hasn’t skipped you.
There’s justifiable debate around the validity of such pompous interpretations of statistics and this is not a novelty as the “voice search revolution” has long been anticipated. Nevertheless, it’s undeniable that the prominence of mobile search – and consequently the rising prominence of voice search – is strongly affecting digital marketing right now. As Google adjusts its algorithms to better detect and respond to voice search queries, marketers will need to polish up their content to be more conversational and focus on voice search optimization.
The appetite for video content across the web in recent years has given wing to video marketing – which is by no means a new trend, but it’s certainly one of the defining practices of modern-day digital marketing. And it’s only set to grow bigger in the future, as surveys show 43% of consumers want to see more video content from marketers.
It all clicks together in an intertwined relationship of cause and effect among trends and possibilities in the digital landscape. Creating and distributing video content is easier and more convenient than ever. Instagram’s latest addition dedicated to long-form video content, IGTV, only goes to prove further the fact that audiences are craving video, and platforms are making it easier for brands to meet their consumers’ desires. In short, if you haven’t yet leveraged video marketing, now is the time to do it.
Digital marketing has gone a long way from that first clickable banner ad that emerged back in 1993. The ability to discern which digital marketing trends need your urgent attention is crucial. While there are many exciting opportunities to contemplate it’s important to look over your shoulder every once in a while and see where your current digital marketing efforts could use an update. Consider the trends in this article when developing your strategy – and always keep a close eye on how these practices are unfolding as we move further into 2019.