As we approach the end of another year, we all tend to look at everything we’ve accomplished during the past 12 months, and then see how we can learn from it into the new year. 2018 turned out to be a big year for marketers with big shifts in effective practices that have kept people on their toes. We’ve closely studied the trends of 2018, and now make predictions for marketing trends into 2019.
Take a look at what you can to apply to your own marketing plans to ensure a very happy new year.
Voice Search Will Reign Supreme
In 2018, the future arrived in the form of accurate and at-home voice assistance. Smart speakers have been around for a while. But they dominated the 2018 at-home device market with more and more people now relying on the convenience that comes from just asking a question out loud. In fact, the Smart Audio Report from NPR and Edison Research showed 65% of respondents would NOT go back to life without a smart speaker. This report shows that 90% of people use a smart speaker to listen to music, 87% say they like to ask questions without needing to type, and 77% say they like to use their smart speaker to get information or news.
Into 2019, online publications will start to gear their content to an auditory audience, instead of just a visual audience reading the content. It’s important not to ignore the wave of voice search technology because this is one trend that will not go away. Audio content, and optimizing for voice search will give your organization a huge step up in 2019. It’s also important for everyone to ensure SEO strategies also include voice search. Getting ahead of the competition in this sphere will mean more followers come to you for information that they can’t get anywhere else.
Emphasis on Authenticity
2019 will welcome with it an era of increased authenticity. People want something real. Real experiences, real exchanges, and honest brands that don’t try to pull anything. People don’t respond anymore to disingenuous marketing and advertising campaigns. So therein lies the challenge for marketers. You must make your brand authentic by creating genuine content and experiences. Ads can’t feel like ads. They need to feel trustworthy. Millennials and Generation Z is powering this change and emphasis on authenticity as that demographic dramatically changes the marketing landscape more and more every year.
2019 will see the necessity of being sincere with your customers and your audience in every marketing tactic you use. Make sure your marketing has a purpose and see your message as your audience would see it. The use of honesty and authenticity will help you stand out from your peers in a world where so many voices try to stand out with sensationalized messaging.
Influencer marketing will continue to increase in popularity and in power. 2018 saw the rise of influencer marketing, and 2019 will see those influencers dominate. I include influencer marketing under authenticity because people relate to influencers. They see them as someone they aspire to be. Influencers are genuine and know their own personal brand holds power. Influencer marketing has that authentic and honest feel to it that people will be more and more drawn to.
Learn more here about influencer marketing.
Live & Unscripted Video
In recent years, video has taken the digital world by storm. Everything from viral advertising campaigns to live video platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram TV, and Periscope. These types of videos continue to grow in popularity. And that won’t stop into 2019. Live, unscripted videos give that necessary, authentic experience that can showcase a brand or a company. Live videos are convenient and personal, but also affordable. They give consumers a new type of experience that feels like they’re being brought right into the experience. It creates an active engagement channel for you to connect directly with new potential customers.
If you don’t think you have the technology or the skill level to create live videos for your brand, you’re wrong. These videos could be shot on your cell phone and shared through social media channels. They can be live Q&A sessions, webinars, webcasts, demonstrations, unboxing videos, or live from a trade show or event. The possibilities are endless!
Don’t think that no one will want to see your content. Potential customers are watching. And 2019 will see a jump in brands using live videos to connect with their customers.
Increase in Video Across The Board
While live video will dominate the trend, there is something to be said about videos in general. Cisco predicts that video will account for 82% of global internet traffic by 2021. That’s a lot of videos! Engaging video can be one of the best resources for your business. But you have to play it correctly. There are all kinds of videos of people doing ridiculous things on the internet, that’s not the point. The continued growth of video will come from smart, witty, and personal videos that showcase a brand. People will continue to post ridiculous things. It wouldn’t be the internet without it. But smart brands will take the attention-grabbing perks that come from video, and take it in their own direction in order to bring in new customers. Video advertising and promotions will not go away anytime soon.
Click here to learn more about how to use video in your marketing plans.
Personalized, Account-Based Marketing
Account-based marketing takes a more targeted and personalized approach to specific customer needs. Industry-wide marketing generally isn’t targeted enough to appeal to existing customers. But in 2019, a trend to account-based marketing will strengthen current customer relations to expand current business. This is not to say that traditional marketing tactics will go away. But like many other trends, a personalized perspective will help your organization to grow.
It may seem daunting to offer personalized service for every account. And that’s the reason many organizations don’t take this approach. But a personalized approach helps establish better relationships with customers. Better relationships create higher conversion rates and more revenue for a business. Account-based marketing also improves content shared, which means better SEO. It’s all connected, and a personal approach to marketing will help your business grow in 2019.
The Economist called data the “world’s most valuable resource”. But because data is so valuable there seems to be a data breach a day. And in 2019, privacy concerns between organizations and consumers will be top of mind. These organizations will strive to prove they securely store information, and not act maliciously with data from customers. This means big changes for digital marketing in a world where organizations need to be much more mindful that they have been about how they use consumer data.
Largely because of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal from earlier in 2018, people want more control over how their information gets shared. A Pew Research study shows some 80% of social media users say they’re concerned about how advertisers and businesses access their data, and 64% said the government should apply more regulations.
Many companies are using things like privacy dashboards that can easily be accessed by visitors and make their own decisions about their data. It’s also important to know about partners and others who use your customer information to learn what they are doing with it. 2019 will not be a forgiving year for companies who sell customer data and claim ignorance on what is being done with it.
Greater Emphasis On Content Marketing
Content marketing continues to be a very popular and IMPORTANT trend for 2019. Into the new year, count on spending more time on your content marketing strategies and planning. Long-form content (generally 2,000 words or longer) will be one of the most important types of content because search engines are rewarding lengthier posts in the results rankings. These longer posts show your expertise in your own field and will be rewarded by consumers looking for trustworthy and authentic sources. But remember that a content piece shouldn’t be long for the sake of just having more words. It’s important for readers not to feel like you’ve wasted their time and that you can back up what you’re saying with data.
I’ve mentioned a few times that 2019 will be a year of personalization and authentic interactions. And that goes for content too. Consumers want content that is interactive, almost like a conversation and says something they can relate to. Consumers are already rejecting marketing tactics that feel irrelevant or self-serving. And 2019 will see more content marketing efforts that build authentic relationships between businesses and their customers.
All these trends moving into 2019 mean one thing for marketers: the need to be creative. The old tried and true methods of marketing are dying because consumers see through them. Marketers need to get the creative juices flowing to make new connections for their brand. But in a way, having to come up with entirely new strategies is almost a marketer’s playground because it means the sky’s the limit!
So as 2018 starts to wind down, pour yourself a well-deserved glass of your favorite holiday beverage, kick your feet up, and get those creative juices flowing into the new year! It’s going to be a wild ride.