If there is one thing that can be said about marketing, is that it’s continually changing. This being said, if you want to go where your audience is, you need to be online. Digital marketing has been steadily growing and evolving since the late ’90s and this year brings with it its own set of changes and upgrades.
With the absolute roller coaster ride that was 2018 – from GDPR, Facebook’s algorithm updates, fear of “Fake News” – we’re walking into 2019 with a unique set of challenges.
But from the turmoil of last year, there are now tremendous opportunities for Brands to showcase their best side now.
Here are our picks for the top 6 digital marketing trends you need to strengthen your game in to not just survive but win in 2019.
One thing most marketers will agree on is that paid advertising is a necessity. In fact, two-thirds of all B2B marketers used paid ads to distribute their content in 2018. But the last thing an audience wants is an intrusive, impersonal ad.
With a new and improved method of communication, LinkedIn Dynamic Ads is changing up the game. With an aim to foster authenticity, these personalized ads feature your audience’s own LinkedIn profile data, like their photo, company name, job title, and more.
You can even customize the ad based on your marketing objective – build brand awareness, drive traffic, or convert prospects!
The personalization of these ads could very possibly be the first step in breaking down the trust-barrier in the buyer’s journey.
It’s no secret that video is the most consumed type of content. And naturally so, that’s where most brands choose to spend their marketing dollars. A recent report showed that mobile video ad spend will probably hit $16 billion this year, and is forecasted to reach almost $22 billion by 2022.
Given that, on mobile alone in an average week, YouTube reaches more adults 18+ during prime time than any cable network does, brands looking to divert their spends from TV ads to digital video ads have a range of choices to experiment with unskippable, vertical, and 6-second ads among others.
Voice Search Optimization
Thanks to the boom in smart speakers and assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, voice searches made it to most top 10 lists for 2018. This year, we only expect it to grow even further. Back in 2016, Google said that 20% of all their searches were voice based.
This number is set to grow to 50% by 2020. So if you’ve not optimized your site for voice, you’re probably already missing out.
Visual Search Optimization
Visual searches too might be way bigger than we think. When Google first launched Google Lens, it was described as a “search in reverse”. Instead of text to see image results, you point a camera at something and see a text result for it.
Although the visual search technology may still be limited, it’ll be the early adopters that reap the benefits. In fact, a Gartner report predicted that companies that optimize for voice and visual searches can expect to grow digital commerce by 30% in 2021!
According to the Mary Meeker report, the big 5 messenger giants – WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WeChat, and Twitter – have a mammoth 5 billion monthly users. What’s more is that the recent Facebook IQ report stated two stats that tell the story better than any words can:
80% of adults globally message daily.
74% respondents from India and 61% respondents from the US say that are messaging businesses.
79% respondents from India and 69% respondents from the US said that messaging a business inspires confidence and trust.
While the savviest brands are already taking advantage of messenger apps to meet their customers’ needs, it’s the range and creativity with which they choose to do so that really engages the audience.
Starbucks started Viber stickers, Domino’s has a chatbot that helps customers place an order, and H&M offers fashion advice on Kik.
This proves that the messenger revolution is only going to get stronger this year.
Micro Influencer Marketing
As rightly called out by this Forbes article, 2018 was the year that most platforms and brands were trying to clean up the mess from the follower scams of 2017. So what’s the next best thing?
These are those who are experts in their own right but may or may not have the follower count to back it. Doesn’t matter though, because the engagement they receive from their posts is all a brand will ever need.
The trend kicked off in 2018 and is soon going to be riding a high in 2019. The fees are far lower, the talent you can be sure of, and even if you hit a bump and someone drops the ball, it’s not the worst PR fiasco.
In 2019, a lot more companies will stop saying, “here’s my list of 5 influencers,” and more will be saying, “here are my 200 brand ambassadors”.
If you’re looking for micro influencers, few have to look past their own employees. If you’re ready to take the next step, we offer a great employee advocacy program too.
It’s now clear that most consumers are aware of their rights regarding the ethical and proper means of data collection. GDPR, Cambridge Analytica, and other such data breaches of 2018 showed us some major flaws in our collection and management of data that turned out to be global concerns.
Even though GDPR was intended for the European Union, a lot of brands chose to adopt the regulation in good faith. Even if data is used for consumer benefit, in this consumer-driven world one thing is certain. A company, any company, is just one data breach away from disaster.