10 Digital Marketing Trends of 2019
Marketing has always been a moving target. What works one year is passé the next. In the digital marketing space not only do we contend with visual trends and messaging but also the ever moving advances in technology and changes to way online platforms manage marketing. In 2018 we saw ephemeral videos rise thanks to SnapChat and Instagram stories, data governance grow, the adoption of single customer view and more. Curious about what the near future holds for digital marketing? We anticipate some big changes and believe these 10 digital marketing trends of 2019 will help you stay one step ahead.
(Live) Video is Growing
Mark Zuckerberg was right about videos. Video marketing continues to grow and the introduction of live video streams in recent years has opened up an interesting opportunity for businesses, influencers and individuals alike.
According to an in-depth analysis into the world of video conducted by Renderforest:
- 70% of marketing professionals report video converts better than any other content medium including images and text
- 1200% greater shares are generated by social videos compared to text and images combined
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 40% faster than non-video users
A few things to consider before you launch your camera app. With so many videos produced audiences look for quality. Whether its production, storytelling or something else, your video content needs something that makes it stand out and capture your audience’s attention.
It’s also worth considering that studies indicate people spend 3x longer watching a live video than a pre-recorded one. Live videos such as behind the scenes, product demonstrations/releases and live Q&As connect with customers in ways that were previously only available via TV commercials or placements.
As we continue to spend more time on our mobile devices than TV expect to see the growth in video marketing increase considerably.
Chatbots are Coming
If you downloaded our 2019 Digital Checklist, you’d already know that the robots are taking over. (If you’re a bit behind the trend, you can download your guide to the digital space in 2019 here.) Global research and advisory firm, Gartner predict that 85% of customer service interactions will be powered by a chatbot come 2020 (yes, next year!).
With Europe, in particular France and the UK, leading the way with adaptation, chatbots are very quickly becoming the norm. Customers are increasingly receptive to them and in many cases preferring the efficiency of a bot over human. Businesses are embracing the many benefits such as automating responses, 24/7 accessibility for customers and increased workplace productivity. If Gartner’s prediction is anywhere near true, many businesses are going to explore utilising a chatbot by December. Will you be one of them? If so check out Facebook Messenger Bot, Drift or Intercom as a starting point.
Some businesses are developing their own AI-backed bot to take their customer’s experiences to the very next level. In these cases, some are using chatbots to capitalise on another digital trend of the year (and future) – conversational eCommerce. Conversational eCommerce refers to the ability of a business to converse with potential customers with the purpose of driving sales. Yes, that annoying sales person that follows you around the physical store is coming to a screen near you.
As the year and coming ones continue to unwind, online customers are going to experience smarter online stores through live interactions. Air Jordan, Michael Kors, Tiffany&Co and Under Armour are a handful of businesses already driving more sales with conversational commerce by:
- Sending live messages to users about new arrivals
- Encouraging visitors to recover their cart after abandoning it
- Providing suggestions for other products that match with their previous purchases and existing cart
While many businesses are doing conversational commerce right, some of our favourites examples include:
- Created by Snaps, Nordstorm’s Facebook Bot can answer questions, direct people to relevant products, assist with tracking orders and more. Many other chatbots do that so here’s something most don’t – the Nordstorm chatbot will generate a specifically-tailored selection of gift options for you based of your responses to a series of questions.
Scary – but very smart!
With increasing competition, fake news hype and growing expectations for greater business accountability, being honest, personable and transparent is more important than ever. We are spoilt for choice; locally, nationally and internationally. Start Digital know that better than most – there are 3 different web design agencies on our street alone! If your customers don’t believe your business is trustworthy, they will go elsewhere. Studies show that 9 out of 10 consumers will stop purchasing from a brand that lacks transparency.
Being transparent goes well beyond just sharing social proof and testimonials on your site and social media. In some situations, transparency might involve detailing the costs behind your servicewhile other cases might involve admitting a fault on a bad Google My Business review. For each business, being transparent might look a little different but the result is the same. Your business is forming better relationships and building trust with your audience.
It’s a trend that has been at the top of most digital marketing lists for a few years now but with over 1.2 billion people using mobiles to access the internet, it’s safe to say we’re living in a mobile-first world. Our mobile-first society means that businesses need to adopt strategies which best connect them with customers who live in an ‘always on’ world.
One of the most important mobile-focused strategies of today is developing a mobile-friendly website for your business. Not only is this crucial for enhancing a user’s experience while on your website but a mobile-friendly site is also helpful for ranking. (Since July 2018, Google has placed a preference on mobile-first indexing.)
Of course, simply having a mobile friendly website isn’t a marketing strategy in itself. Creating share worthy, eye catching content that goes the extra yard and differentiates your business from everyone else is just as important. This can be difficult if your business isn’t visually ‘sexy’ but a nothing some out the box thinking can’t fix.
Voice Search is Getting Louder
According to PwC, 65% of 25-49 year old’s speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once a day. Those actions might involve asking a Sonos Speaker to play J Cole, Siri to ring someone or Google about the best nearby burger joint. Our growing interest with voice integration is changing how we can interact with the internet and online businesses.
Comscore and Forbes predict 50% of all online searches will be driven by human voices by 2020, it’s time to refine your SEO and marketing strategy for the use of long-tailed keywords and conversational queries. Much like the non-voice search it’s important to start considering how to optimise your site so it can be discovered by voice searches.
Without knowing it we change our phrasing when using voice driven search. If you are searching for a restaurant using a keyboard, you might enter “Best Lunch in Perth.” When you use voice search you’ll ask the same question in a different way; “What restaurant has the best lunch in Perth?” or “What restaurants are open for lunch today?” To be discovered for voice search we need to consider this phrasing change. It’s subtle but has the potential to have a huge impact. Start thinking about it now.
Content Marketing Rules
A common cliché in the marketing world is content is king. Whilst this is largely true the real truth is that engagement rules. Any business can release a slew of content but if the content isn’t engaging will it convert to paying customers?
Content marketing involves developing and sharing engaging, relevant, insightful and value-add content to a target audience and, importantly using this content to turn them into buying customers. In order to successfully implement a content marketing strategy a business must have a deep understanding of their target audience. Content marketing strategies can be achieved through an email newsletter, a series of blog posts, video content and much more.
With 72% of marketers saying content marketing increases engagement and 72% also commenting that content marketing increases their number of leads, it’s worth considering how you can create high quality, engaging content to help build better connections and online relationships in 2019.
Getting Personal with Data
From phones and desktops through to smart speakers and the internet of things (IOT), we collectively create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data every day. Nope, we’ve got no idea how big a quintillion is either but we’re guessing it’s quite a lot. At in individual level this data reveals insights into interests, behaviour, patterns, location.
Online businesses and individuals alike have been at an interesting crossroads in recent years. Studies indicate we like having relevant products and services promoted to us, and targeted advertising and remarketing campaigns have proven to be very successful. However, the capturing of personal data is still a relatively new concept and until recently some have believed it crosses the privacy line. This appears to be changing. As we become more familiar with the benefits of sharing data, and it becomes an integral part of a personalised online experience, we’ve become more accepting. A 2018 Acxiom survey (PDF Link) indicates 62% of consumers believe that sharing data is part of the modern economy.
From a business perspective utilising data helps build a deeper connection with their audience and encourages repeat or (with permission) impulse purchases. Importantly data allows businesses to make smarter, more informed decisions.
In 2019 we expect to see businesses and consumers become more reliant on personalisation strategies and using data in more effective ways.
Automate Your Marketing
It’s fair to say that automated marketing platforms have ‘crossed over’. Most small businesses will be aware of platforms such as Mailchimp and Hootsuite to help nuture leads through social and email marketing. In 2019 and beyond we expect to see automated activity move beyond nurturing leads and into customer retention and ongoing relationship management. Of course, this ties in with smarter use of data and understanding how to get the best from the information we ‘capture’. One of the biggest benefits to automation is the convenience of minimising if not completely eradicating, tedious tasks. Platforms such as Campaign Monitor and Buffer alongside Mailchimp and Intercom are continuously looking for ways to differentiate their services and, more often than not, this difference is driven by their capabilities to manage and interpret data.
We’re also expecting many businesses to test and experiment with full-suite marketing automation platforms in 2019. By consolidating all digital marketing activities such as emails, social media, nurturing customers through the buying cycle and more, businesses can better position themselves to optimise all of their marketing efforts.
AI enables machines and computers to simulate and augment human intelligence. Yep, science fiction is becoming a major part of our reality. According to a 2018 study on AI systems, global spending on artificial intelligence (AI) will reach $35.8 billion in 2019, a 44% increase over the previous year. By 2022, spending on AI systems is expected to more than double to $79.2 billion. That’s a lot of coin. It’s expected that Retail will lead this spend with Banks running a close second. From automated customer service (Chatbots) and product recommendations through to fraud analysis and compliance the potential is huge – and it’s not limited to large corporates. Small business can use AI to assist with recruitment, streamlining productivity and data analysis. Want to know more? Ask us how.
While we’re anticipating these digital marketing trends to emerge strongly in 2019, we’ve been working online long enough to know something new and exciting is always off the radar/around the corner.
From developing mobile-friendly websites, conducting market research, chatbots all the way to crafting content marketing strategies, Start Digital can help your business best leverage all of these digital marketing trends of 2019. If you’d like to explore what we can do for your business, please contact Start Digital at (08) 6144 3710 or here.