It is already known that online marketing has stolen traditional media’s thunder. First of all, the online is cheaper and it’s definitely more effective, as you get to reach the exact audience you want. If your wish is to reach people interested in the products your company is producing, guess what? With the right targeting you get to reach any audience you might want or think of. Reaching your target group has never been easier, not to mention you can also get to a certain niche. And what is even more amazing about online marketing is that is always on a constant development mode and it helps you rock the trends that modern technology brings along. AI? Chatbots? Stories? All the cool things, the online has it. So, get ready to read more about what is expected of 2019.
Some marketing trends seem to be evergreen, like social media and SEO that seem to ride the wave in this new year, as well, but others are already long gone and needless to say, others are here to guide us throughout the coming year. Knowledge is power, of course, and that is why it is vital for your and your business to prepare for what is coming. Get your strategy ready and get ready to embrace the marketing season of 2019. Here are the most popular digital marketing trends that will rule 2019.
#1 Engagement should be your best friend
Voices say Facebook is getting closer to its death. But if we look at the numbers, Facebook is definitely far from that. Daily active users grew another 18%.
So, Facebook is still shining and it is time for you to shine along with it. Facebook has announced early in 2018 the focus on meaningful interactions as part of their updated algorithm.
In other words, this means that their algorithm has started favouring content that sparks a genuine conversation and meaningful interactions between people. In addition, growing your organic reach has become harder and in order to keep yourself in the game it is highly important to always aim for content that has the 3 Big E-s.
Excellence – and by excellence it means that you need to look at interesting posts that excel in how greatly they are done, focus on delivering great pieces of content;
Excitement – your posts should keep your fans excited and entertained – make your content fun and exciting;
Engagement – your posts should really sparkle conversation and want people want to like, share and constantly talk about the amazing content you have – keep them hooked and talking!
What’s the lesson here? Due to the fact that algorithms are becoming smarter and smarter, there is definitely no shorter way to reach genuine engagement. Engagement bait techniques, such as encouraging people to comment, like and share your post should be a thing of the past, as that is not enough anymore for your reach to grow, not to mention it is not very professional, or useful either. And doing this also puts you in danger of losing your existing reach on the long run. And you wouldn’t want to do that, would you?
So, start thinking of an engagement strategy appropriate for every channel to genuinely reach your followers and always keep an eye on the KPIs. Monitoring is part of the process and there is no better way to do that than using a monitoring tool. Sether, for example, can give you a hand with this.
#2 Social media as a sales enabler
Needless to say how important social media is when it comes to product discovery. Before making a purchase, customers are looking for information about a product via social media channels. And this particular element encourages brands to promote their products, hoping their promotion comes in handy for those particular customers who are getting closer to an acquisition.
Besides awareness and engagement, social media is heading now more than ever towards being an important part in the business funnel.
With 55% of people buying products after social media discovery (as stated in the Mary Meeker’s report of Internet Trends in 2018), focusing on a strong social media strategy is vital. This translates as brands should start devoting a whole lot more time and resources into their social media selling approach. Facebook seems to have been the first channel that people discover products, with Instagram and Pinterest following up. And this selling approach should be authentic. Customers can detect if a brand is not being genuine in their communication. So, just telling your customers to buy something just because your ad tells them so... Not really productive, but rather dangerous, as now social media selling has become one of the most important factors when it comes to a purchasing decision.
What’s the lesson here? With all of the above in mind it seems that brands now have a great opporunity they could benefit from this trend to improve their social media strategy and start selling (more). Of course, this does not translate as integrating a sales pitch within all your messages, as this will not make people trust you or buy your products or even consider you. So, authenticity is without saying a very important aspect of communication. We encourage you to find your own way in which you could tailor an amazing experience for your customers. Take the time to personalize, as this will allow you to enjoy amazing results, and customers will appreciate you taking the time to guide them along this journey.
#3 Stories or how the ephemeral can bring you long lasting results
Visual content in a vertical form that is only available for 24 hours, or in other words – Stories. This little sorcery that is basically everywhere and which has rapidly become a global trend. It first started on Snapchat and subsequently, Instagram, Facebook have started using it. And advertisers know Instagram Stories Ads are succesful and they keep using them.
Also, recently, Netflix has enabled its users to share what they are watching. And with this new feature, Netflix members can now enter the app on their iPhones, simply select the title they want to share, personalize the story with what Instagram has to offer, if they feel like to and then share it as an Instagram story or even to their friends as a direct message. The story remains visible for 24 hours and provides a “Watch On Netflix” link back to the title page within the Netflix app.
Successful Instagram Stories ads are the ones that offer helpful, cool content and don’t push the product or brand too much. They come right into the user’s life as something they might need or use. Take a look at this these cool examples of Instagram stories here.
What’s the lesson here? You should start putting things in place for your business. Befriend Stories and they will start befriending your audience.
#4 Mobile and Website optimization are not nice to have, but mandatory to have
In theory, you know you should have these in place for your business. But maybe you are not aware how important this step actually is for your business. On March 26, 2018, Google has begun rolling out their first mobile-first index. In other words, Google is ranking your site based on your mobile site and not on your desktop site.
So, with this in mind, you not being mobile-friendly could actually damage your business, as maybe your competitors might be doing it already and they will steal your thunder and also customers.
From 2016 to 2017, the percentage of visits from mobile devices has experienced a considerable growth - from 57% to 63% in the US only. Also, nearly 60% of online retail sales worldwide came from mobile in 2017. That number is estimated to increase to 72.9% by 2021 (see chart below).
What is the lesson here? You have to ask yourself a few questions and make sure the answer to all of these questions is yes. So, is your website mobile-friendly? Are your customers able to embark on a successful purchase journey? And these are the keywords that should describe any mobile purchase journey: simple, intuitive and also, friction-free. You do not want to lose your conversions on the way, so, start doing things the right way.
#5 Video is King – be part of its Kingdom
For starters, let’s take a look at some important video stats that might just convince video should be part of your marketing strategy.
From a business standpoint, numbers say:
94% of video marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.
84% of marketers say video has helped them increase traffic to their website.
81% of marketers say video has helped them generate leads.
80% of marketers say video has increased dwell time on their website
From the customer’s side:
87% of people would like to see more video from brands in 2019.
79% of people say a brand’s video has convinced them to buy a piece of software or app.
And then, in case you were wondering how to video, here are a couple things you could do. So, if you wish to attain higher engagement with your video marketing, you can make a video post or start a live broadcast on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. Youtube is not the only place for video, that is a fact.
And most definitely ”going live” is gaining popularity, with a large number of businesses using it for interviews, product demos, “behind the scenes” glimpses of events, snippets of life at the office, presenting team members, etc.
And 360-degree video content, which allows for a more interactive experience, is also on the rise and given the fact that it enables its viewers to control the perspective it accounts for a more immersive experience.
Take a look at Nasa’s 360-degree photos, with its rover named Curiosity, Mars Science Laboratory mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the Red Planet.
Going 1:1 with is another video opportunity, which means that business make use of videos to send personalized video messages instead of calling or sending email and this solely nurtures a healthy and fun customer communication. I mean, wouldn’t you love to receive a cool, fun message from a brand you love or from a brand you have just met? Talk about creating a bond and a long lasting relationship. It’s all in the way you communicate. Moreover, you can use it to follow up on a customer’s inquiry, you can deliver support, you can send happy birthday messages, simply say thanks and the options are infinite. You just have to think of ways to integrate it within your line of communication. And you can then reap the benefits.
Also, due to its powerful ability to stir attraction and engagement when it comes to audiences, video is amazing for Search Engine Optimization. As a matter of fact, videos, when published, have tags and metadata which the two largest search engines (Google and YouTube) use when providing the most relevant results for a search query. Subsequently, another SEO ranking factor that plays an important role in determining which results appear within Google is Bounce rate. So, if your videos are engaging enough, viewers will spend more time on your website and this will let search engines know that your content is good, keeping you in the run when it comes to the results for that particular search term.
What’s the lesson here? As you have seen, video is King and you should be part of its kingdom. Don’t waste any more time and get things going.
These are the 5 trends that took a step forward and we chose to present, that will rule the marketing world in 2019, trends you should really keep an eye on. And also, please keep in mind that social media marketing is heading towards a focus more on ROI, new technologies, building a trusting and meaningful relationship with your customers approach and the only way to survive in this hectic journey, with emerging technologies, new platforms, new formats is to make sure you are always reviewing your social media marketing strategy and monitoring the results, adjusting it and improving it along the way. And make sure you allocate time and budget for new tools, new technologies, experiments that could tremendously benefit your company. Keep track of what works in order to be able to invest yourself more into getting to know and understand your audience and the golden rule – build trusting and meaningful connections with your customers.