The first quarter of the year brings with it a new set of challenges, opportunities for growth, and a whole new set of digital marketing trends.
Last year had its lessons, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. There’s no doubt that 2019 will set us on its own path of double-takes and pivots -- especially in the agency world. In testing these new marketing waters, there are many new digital marketing trends and strategies that are evolving in the current high-tech, Internet-connected era, and businesses now need to use them to succeed in their efforts, because what worked for you last year may not work this year.
This year prediction; people will spend more time online than they will spend watching TV.
Take on this year like a champ with these digital marketing trends
Content Intelligence Will Drive Your Marketing Strategy
Content is what people consume, share, and what gets your small business found on the internet.
Whether it’s coming up with content ideas, writing newsletter articles, creating and maintaining a blog, or just thinking of stuff to share on Facebook or Twitter – content marketing comes with certain challenges. Great content is all about catering to what your audience needs. It’s the reason someone visits your website from a search engine or checks out your content in the first place: to learn more about your business and see what you can do to help them.
2019 Email Marketing Strategy
While every business has their preferred way of communicating, email marketing has always been the most effective way to reach out and engage with customers.
A big part of the growth of email marketing in the coming year is the use of marketing automation to send targeted, customized messages to consumers at the right time. Email automation, integration with social, SMS & other channels improving relevance & results from email campaigns also helps you target the users who are interested in hearing from you, cutting down on the unnecessary messages, and focusing in on quality leads. It also works as a successful tool for retargeting.
Experts noted that taking an omnichannel approach to email marketing and using other channels to augment engagement is important to stand out from the crowd. Now more than ever, buyers want to have conversations on their terms, on their channels. Email is not always their first choice, so integrating social, SMS, chatbots and direct mail can help spark engagement and even glean new information on a prospect before starting email reach out.
Integration Of AI In Customer Service & Experience
Chatbots are an AI-based technology that use instant messaging to chat in real-time with your customers or site visitors.
Many brands have started to communicate with their prospects through messenger applications like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Slack. Chatbots are making the process of automating responses to potential buyers’ frequently asked questions even easier by providing them with a better way to search for the product or service they want.
Chatbots also have many other advantages. They can serve clients 24/7, and retain their data. Chatbots can respond to several requests from different customers at the same time, so waiting times are no longer a problem.
The “wow” factor for brands is Image-Recognition systems are one AI aspect that advertisers should be keen on suggesting to their clients. With retailers like Gap and Target already implementing their own systems, we’re seeing the potential for image-based digital payment, order verification, product searching and more.
Video Marketing Is Indispensable For Businesses of Any Size
Over the last couple of years, the scope of video has grown exponentially. As new capabilities like AR, 360-degree video, and vertical content continue to gain importance, video isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
But to keep from spreading yourself too thin, in 2019, focus on live video.
This Livestream study found that 80% of respondents would rather watch a live video from a brand than read a blog, and Cisco estimates video will make up 80% of all internet traffic by 2019. Those two stats paired together form a compelling case for your business to prioritize live video.
More than 2 billion people have watched a Facebook Live, and Instagram’s more than 1 million users also favor video as their most-watched medium. Viewers love behind-the-scenes looks they might not otherwise get. That could include:
- Product Demos
- Interviews with Partner Experts or Influencers
- A peek at a Day at The Office
- Announce Timely Messages
Whatever it is, be sure it’s authentic and not too scripted. Over-planning a live video is a guaranteed way to get some eye rolls, and a quick click of the “stop” button.
Visual Search an Ecommerce Revolution
Along with video search, visual search is aiming to take the user experience to a whole new level. With visual search, users can upload and search with an image for specific results.
Pinterest too has jumped on the visual search bandwagon. They launched Lens, a new visual search tool that allows users to take a photo of an item to find out where to buy it online, search for similar products, or view pin boards of related items.
And they’re not the only ones.
Google Lens is a visual search engine by Google, which recognizes objects, landmarks, and other things visually through a camera app (currently only available on Pixel phones).
Snapchat have also made use of visual search by partnering with Amazon. Users point their camera at a product and hold the screen until an Amazon product card pops up. This takes the user to the product results on Amazon indicated in the image below. As such, this makes it a visual search tool for both Snapchat and Amazon.
It is extremely important that you optimize your images now before visual search properly takes off in order to take advantage of its benefits, otherwise not optimizing your images now will hinder your business when visual search becomes the norm.
Influencer Marketing Growth
The question is no longer if brands should pursue influencers, but how to execute influencer marketing best. Throughout 2018, my agency emphasized the importance of using industry-relevant micro influencers to connect with audiences in an authentic way based on a client’s desired scale and budget. The key is knowing how to take advantage of this ever-growing phenomenon.
The idea is a hybrid of old and new, it takes it from the celebrity endorsement, and configures it with today’s social media-driven world.
Instagram has proven to be the go-to platform for influencer campaigns, with 93% of collaborations occurring on the platform in the last year. We’ve also seen that developing longer-term relationships with a brand-specific network of influencers allows for the most consistent messaging and authenticity.
Influencers, or “micro-influencers,” are people who engage and interact with their followers, who are viewed as relatable and authentic. Micro-influencers tend to be knowledgeable and unbiased, and consumers are likely to trust their recommendations. They’re also are more affordable than enlisting a celebrity as an influencer, or brand ambassador.
Is your marketing plan set up for success this year?
As you consider how to incorporate these digital marketing trends into this year’s marketing strategy, we’d like to offer one more suggestion: don’t forget to add a personal touch wherever you can to create a true one-to-one marketing experience with your target audience.
Maximize Studio is a full-service Digital Marketing & Web Design Firm that takes a holistic business approach to their clients' digital marketing & web designing projects. The Maximize team understands the importance of business principles as well as the latest digital technologies.
Maximize Studio offers every digital marketing service available from digital marketing research and planning to brand development to website and asset creation through social media management and search engine optimization programs - all custom calibrated for both B2B and B2C businesses.
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