As we enter 2019, the ever-changing digital landscape is expected to evolve once more as it welcomes smart new developments in technology. Marketing is one of the sectors most impacted by the digital revolution, and with this, comes the need for marketers to constantly be alert and ready to adapt to emerging trends.
Whether it be in SEO, PPC, social media, or content marketing, businesses will have to re-evaluate their strategies and marketing efforts to cater to this new wave of internet marketing. From the rise of artificial intelligence to the dominance of video, here are the top digital marketing trends to keep an eye out for in 2019…
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming an increasingly prominent feature of the digital world, and this trend is certainly going to continue to grow in 2019.
AI can assist marketers by analysing and responding to user interaction. For example, it can be used to track and analyse consumer search patterns and buying behaviours; providing valuable insight into how best to target and convert customers through carefully planned campaigns.
According to a survey by Narrative Science, 61% of businesses now adopt AI technology - a big increase from just 36% in 2016. What’s more, 77% of businesses said Artificial Intelligence has made the biggest impact to their marketing activity.
VP of content marketing at McAfee, Lisa Matherly, states how marketers can use AI to “understand what content a potential customer is consuming” in order to create a more personalised customer experience.
Understanding the customer journey is crucial, and AI helps marketers do exactly that. That’s why harnessing the power of AI technology is an absolute must for businesses that wish to stay one step ahead of their rivals in 2019.
Chatbots are another form of artificial intelligence that helps brands to improve customer service and interaction. What’s great about chatbots is that they are far less expensive, and far more efficient than humans. Call it the start of the robot revolution, but chatbots have become the go-to model for streamlined user communication.
In addition to enabling a 24/7 conversational interface, faster answers to user queries, and a personalised customer experience for website users, chat bots also capture vital user information and data that can be used to direct future customer acquisition strategies.
According to a report by Grand View Research, when it came to their preferred customer service channel, 45% of end users actually prefer to use chatbots over human interaction. Digital experts also predict that chatbots will be implemented on most websites in 2019 - as ‘conversation as a service’ (CaaS) will be a big part of the future.
In recent years we have seen an enormous spike in the use of video for marketing activity. With video consumption rapidly on the rise, it makes sense for brands to cease the opportunity and target audiences through popular platforms such as Youtube, Facebook and Instagram.
By creating unique and exciting video content, brands can encourage engagement with online users and express brand personality that helps them to connect better with their audience.
Whether it be promotional, informative or just plain fun, businesses can share video content that significantly enhance brand awareness; resulting in increased website traffic and those all important conversions.
Moreover, videos can be tracked with metrics that provide marketers with valuable user data such as views, shares and comments - all of which allows businesses to assess how their brand messages are being received by their target audience.
Video really is king. In fact, video on social media generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined, and businesses that utilise video marketing experience 41% more web traffic from search engines than non-users do.
A crucial element of any digital marketing strategy, video is something that brands should be placing video at the very top of their priority list for the year.
Live Video Streaming
Live video is fast becoming one of the most popular ways of generating online engagement. With the development of smartphone cameras, live video streaming presents a much cheaper and convenient method of video marketing. Also, when used in unison with social media platforms and influencer channels, live videos can really amplify the reach of a brand’s messages.
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn all provide live broadcast facilities that allow businesses to share live video content including: product demonstrations, interviews with staff or clients, expert tutorials, company news updates, and behind the scenes style snippets of events and life in and out of the office.
By enabling easy brand-user interaction, companies can connect with large scale audiences in a way like never before. A lot of businesses are now beginning to realise the potential of live video and offering smart responses to consumer demand.
A recent survey by streaming platform Livestream found that 80% of people would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog. What’s more, 82% of all internet traffic is expected to be driven by video streaming by 2020.
Given it’s huge growth potential and consumer consumption habits, live video is a trend that brands can simply not afford to ignore in 2019.
2018 saw influencer marketing gain some serious traction, so much so that is now the fastest growing online customer-acquisition channel.
In 2019, it’s expected to . The rise of social media and live video streaming comes hand in hand with the rising popularity of influencer marketing; brands are starting to realise the power influencers can have in reaching out to large audiences.
Influencers are essentially modern day celebrities. By tapping into the vast amount of followers they have on social media, businesses can advertise their products and services to thousands, if not millions, of target consumers through just a single post upload.
For digital marketers, this presents the opportunity to exploit influencers on platforms such as Instagram and YouTube as a way of amplifying brand messages and building brand awareness.
Due to the ease of communication and interaction, 70% of teens trust influencers more than traditional celebrities. This gives marketers the confidence that influencer endorsements will be well received by their followers, as long as they fit the identity and image of the brand. Building relationships with influencers should therefore be a key focus for businesses looking to grow their brand in 2019.
Voice search is another wave of artificial technology that has rapidly burst on to the scene. Enabling quick and convenient access to information and entertainment, it’s no surprise that smart devices such as Google Home, Amazon Echo and Siri are now being used once per day by over 40% of adults. With the use of these devices continuing to rise, 2019 could be the year that sees voice activated search takes over.
Those working in SEO will therefore need to consider adopting a more voice search friendly approach in order to meet these types of search queries. In what will virtually be a ‘stick or twist’ scenario, marketers will have to decide whether to optimise their meta titles and descriptions for either speech or text; with the possibility that prioritising the visibility of one will be to the detriment of the other.
This being said, it’s been predicted that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be made via voice search. While this may appear a little far fetched, it’s certainly the way we’re heading and marketers will have to prepare for this.
Considering voice search tends to focus on the very top SERP results, it’s now more vital than ever for businesses to secure those top spots. In order to avoid losing traffic, small details like alt-text, alt-tags and meta-data will need all need to be finely tuned.
If you’re interested in learning more about digital marketing, or would like to enquire about our range of digital marketing services, please get in touch with the Champions Digital team via [email protected], or by giving us a call on 08453313031.