2018 was an incredible year for all things digital. Instagram hit the 3 Comma Club with more than 1 Billion users on the platform. Children and adults asking inanimate objects in their phone to do favors for them. We’re listening to talk-shows again via podcasts, and we didn’t even have to spend $48 at the movies to see Miss Congeniality in Bird Box.
We have a new year ahead of us complete with a laundry list of fitness goals, career aspirations, and of course, a list of trends in the world of digital marketing. While I was planning out my marketing strategy for Blue Light Media’s clients and myself, I thought I’d answer some of the most frequently asked questions about digital marketing leading into 2019.
Is it time to delete Facebook?
Despite the troubles that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook suffered this year, brands should still prioritize their advertising efforts on the platform. Your friends may have claimed to delete the platform, but let’s be honest — they didn’t.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) may have forced Facebook to alter some of it’s targeting capabilities, but it is still, by far, the most advanced advertising platform available to marketers today. In fact, e-commerce clickthrough rates have tripled in the last two years, and Facebook posts account for 19% of consumer purchase decisions, making it the most influential social platform. (yeah, we were surprised, too).
So should you delete Facebook? Yes, if you plan on deleting your business this year.
What’s the deal with LinkedIn?
The once looked-over professional networking app got a makeover that has users flocking to the platform to start expanding their digital reach. Scrolling through your feed will remind you a lot of Facebook, with updates in the video, photo, and written form from 500 million users. In fact, LinkedIn is responsible for over 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs.
If you’re building a personal brand and not doing it on LinkedIn, you’re doing it wrong. According to Brittany Krystle, the personal branding expert of celebrity-CEOs, the algorithm is in your favor, you can gain massive reach with text-based posts, and right now the benchmark for quality content is set quite low.
Despite having some user-experience flaws and some very spammy Inbox messages, (seems to almost be a feature of the social network), LinkedIn is a very cool place to start, or continue, building your personal brand regardless of the industry you’re in. In fact, if you want to get a free-training on building your brand on LinkedIn, just click here.
Do I really need to be using Influencers?
Did you know that 70% of millennials said that they are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions? What about the fact that 49% of consumers rely on product recommendations by influencers? (via Collective Bias)
Yes, influencer marketing is something that should not be ignored in 2019, but your approach may need to change.
Consider using a dozen micro or nano influencers (under 50K followers) instead of putting all your eggs in a macro influencer’s (500K+ followers) basket. In our experience of vetting hundreds of influencers, those considered as micro or nano have the depth in their engagement that brands seek to create measurable results.
Do we care about IGTV?
If you’re not familiar with IGTV, the platform was released as a standalone app by Instagram earlier this year with the idea of cornering the long-form vertical video space. On its surface this was a brilliant play against Snapchat who introduced original content in long-form video, however, it was poorly executed its design and user experience.
In our opinion, everyday users aren’t ready to watch long-form videos in a vertical format either. The combined flaws led to an underwhelming release without anyone really getting too excited about it. Even Gary Vaynerchuk, the social media and personal branding guru, releases his videos in a horizontal format on the platform prompting users to ‘turn their phone’ at the beginning for his videos.
So do we care? Yes and no. Although we believe that this might have been a premature release, don’t be surprised if the app pops off in 2019.
Is search engine marketing still effective?
According to Internet Live Stats, over 3.5 billion searches are made per day on Google alone. The direction finding, problem-solving, dinner-table trivia validating site is still a staple in our day to day lives.
Here are a couple of scenarios for you.
- Someone sees your Facebook ad 17 times, but can’t remember your name. They go to Google and type in keywords they remember you by. What happens when your competitor shows up?
- John has a problem that your product or service solves. Where does he go to learn more about solving his problem?
- You just applied for a job, and the recruiter Google’s your name. What do you want them to see?
- See above and replace recruiter with your latest Bumble match.
- Jane is looking for a unique team building experience for her marketing department. Where does she look?
Google, who owns 71% of the search market share, is an incredible way to market and advertise for your brand. On average, business investing in Google Ads enjoy a 200% return on their investment, So yeah, Google is definitely still effective.
Should I start a podcast?
This year, 124 million Americans listened to a podcast, up 12 million from 2017, according to an article by Convince and Convert. The same article boasts that over a quarter of Americans listens to podcasts daily, and ⅓ of Americans between the ages of 25–54 listen to podcasts monthly.
Does that mean you should start a podcast?
Why the hell not. They’re relatively easy to start , and in my own experience, it’s been the easiest and most fun way to create content. Keep in mind that it’s still very difficult to get accurate data on the growth of your podcast, but if you play your cards correctly it can be an incredible networking tool.
If starting a podcast isn’t your thing, consider searching for podcasts within your niche, (with over 600,000 podcasts on iTunes, there’s bound to be one), and contacting the host to be a guest on their show. With the massive growth podcasting, you want to make sure your message gets heard.
“Hey Alexa, what’s the best sushi restaurant around here?”“Hey Alexa, how can I lose 15 lbs in the next 90 days?”“Hey Alexa, play me the best inspirational podcast. ”“Hey Alexa, order me the best vegan protein supplement.”
Although it’s nearly impossible to predict the ‘next big thing’ in marketing but the fact that 47.3 million Americans have access to a smart-speaker kind of speaks for itself. In my opinion, Alexa-search optimization is going to be a new skill that we’ll all have to learn.
Mikhail Alfon is the co-founder and president of Blue Light Media , a digital marketing agency based in Orange County, CA. If you have any questions about digital marketing or would like to collaborate, please email [email protected]
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