Updated: Aug 19
Businesses are constantly looking for new competitive advantages, and the relatively new force that is digital marketing shows no signs of slowing. Instead, the landscape of digital marketing is constantly in flux and evolving, and becoming more essential for business owners to focus their marketing efforts on in order to become or remain relevant to their technologically savvy customer base. Take a look at five of the biggest digital marketing trends to watch out for in 2019.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be playing a bigger role in automation and personalization of marketing tasks. From broader marketing applications like campaign optimization, to specific tasks such as customer segmentation, click tracking, push notifications, etc., AI will be utilized in increasing and more complex ways to help businesses grow and reach target consumers. While it is entirely possible that AI will someday become as ubiquitous as smartphones, for now we will mostly see AI deployed for more automated and personalized advertising, customer service and content marketing.
Human Relationships With Customers
As AI continues to grow more widespread and intelligent, consumers are also conversely seeking direct, human relationships with businesses, and vice versa. Social media will get more conversational, with more direct commentary and response between customers and companies. Marketing tactics that highlight the human experience and interaction are seeing a rise in 2019, such as more frequent use of social messaging apps, user generated content, customers as “brand ambassadors,” live videos, and real life events and experiences.
Omnichannel Marketing (vs. Multichannel)
Multichannel marketing has become “traditional,” with most consumers doing their research on 3 or more different channels before purchasing from a business. As an example of a multichannel marketing approach, a potential customer might peruse your Yelp photos and reviews, skim your website, and stop by your brick and mortar store. Businesses have been using this multichannel approach for quite awhile now, setting up multiple ways for prospective consumers to communicate with and find information about their business.
Omnichannel marketing integrates these separate channels, providing a more seamless, consistent and convenient experience for the prospective customer while allowing businesses to easily keep track of their customer interactions across all channels at once. Strong omnichannel marketing strategies allow customers to have several connected avenues of engagement with a company, rather than multiple unconnected engagements. “Companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to customer retention rate of 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement,” according to Invesp.
According to Cisco, 82% of all internet traffic will be through video by 2021. With video recording equipment decreasing in cost, smartphones continuously increasing in quality, YouTube being the second largest search engine, and video streaming services continuing to crop up and be more widespread, it’s no wonder that video is a big online trend that will only continue to grow. Advertisers are expected to spend $20 billion on mobile video this year, a drastic increase from $2 billion just 4 years ago in 2015. Video marketing is also trending towards more live video, with live broadcast options on giant platforms like Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, and on a wide range of topics such as product demos, behind-the-scenes glimpses, interviews, etc.
Voice Search and Smart Speakers (Voice Assistants)
58% of consumers used voice search to find local business information in 2018, and that number is growing rapidly. Though screens and text have been and will continue to be integral to digital marketing strategies, voice search and smart speaker usage is increasing rapidly as the technology and AI behind them improve. Consumers are utilizing voice search more than ever because it has become easier and faster to talk rather than type, particularly when they’re on the move. The majority of people using voice search are using it to perform a local search on businesses and services nearby. The rapid rise of voice search has made it very important for companies to rethink their digital marketing strategies to accommodate these unique customer queries in 2019.
2019 digital marketing strategies are trending towards better, more personalized customer experiences and increased efficiency through automation and AI powered technology. Focus on producing custom, conversational content geared specifically towards your target audience, pay attention to the marketing innovations and tools that matter the most in your industry, and consider an expert digital marketing company that can help you implement those tools, so that your business can stay ahead of the curve and thrive in 2019.
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