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Digital Marketing Trends for 2019

The first quarter of 2019 is nearly over, which means taking stock of the year ahead. Some digital marketing trends are already starting to shape 2019, so we took a look at some of the biggest trend you can expect to see throughout 2019.

Posted Monday, July 8, 2019

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Automation, Chatbots and AI:

Smartphone ownership is still continuing to grow. In an article by VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi, active smartphones across the globe will increase to around 48% of the global population in 2021. This means more and more people are connected 24/7 with the world and as such will more than likely expect the same kind of service from their favourite brands and services. However, not everyone is able to operate on this basis which could potentially lead to companies and brands missing out on opportunities. This is where automation and chatbots are able to solve this problem. In 2018, chatbots began to take life and through deep learning have gotten significantly better at delivering services to customers. In 2019, these will continue to develop further as the implementation of AI means that automated services will get smarter and more intuitive. While chatbots can be customised to meet specific needs, the implementation of AI will be able to make suggestions, recommendations and more for each individual customer. Now when companies or brands have offers or new product launches, they can directly target and inform individual customers based on their activities and needs in real-time. Pretty exciting stuff no?

Social Media and native adverts:

Social media platforms are still important in most peoples digital strategies (something we can help you with if you don’t already have it implemented). This will continue to be the case in 2019 however there will be a change in focus. Social media advertisements will change to be more representative of unique branded content. Instead of traditional advertisements, expect to see more blogs, videos, educational content promoted. These will not only target people who are interested in the subjects but also who are actively seeking solutions. In terms of social platforms, expect Instagram to be one of the biggest growing platforms in 2019 and one of the most influential in capturing the younger demographics.

New features:

Following on from social media, expect a slew of new features that will aid advertisers in creating brand new forms of advertising and experiences much easier. Expect things such as AR creation to become much easier. Interactive experiences will start to become the norm regardless of platforms. Ephemeral content will certainly be part of this and will help increase a sense of exclusivity amongst communities. The thing that made Snapchat unique when it first rolled out is now being added to most platforms showing that they too can-do spontaneity.

Social Stories:

Social stories continued to grow with Instagram increasing its features. In 2018, Facebook rolled out stories for Facebook messenger and added additional features to status posts. This was smart as it meant that you could craft a post that would be reflected in stories without having to do things two-fold. The platform has now opened up to advertisers meaning that sponsored posts can now be added to users’ feeds.

It is an exciting challenge to advertisers especially given the vertical video format; however, it is worth pursuing. WhatsApp will start to roll out and show ads in a status version of stories this year. This could potentially be a great platform for advertisers to be creative with native stories for their brands and is worth experimenting with during the year.

Video is coming into its own:

Year on year, video continues to grow. It might sound like stating the obvious as it’s something that has been said for many years but now video is becoming the primary source of online viewing. Cisco has predicted that globally IP video traffic will account for 82% of traffic by 2022. Video is continuing to account for a large majority of internet traffic so its more important than ever to factor this into your 2019 plans. While the written word isn’t going away anytime soon, video can be the quickest and most effective way to develop a connection on your website. Why spend time reading about a product when you can see the product demonstrated in a personable video? The play button itself is one of the biggest calls to action you can have given its simplicity to access. In the Cisco report, 695 of all global consumer internet traffic in 2017 was internet video traffic. In 2019, we will also start to see further integration of geo-located video discovery and sharing. This means that you can develop localised video content further and much easier using tools like YouTube’s Director Mix Tool.

Smart audio searching:

Smart audio devices such as Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa speaker saw massive growth in 2018. This is set to grow even further this year with the number of smart devices that utilise audio searching services have become available growing rapidly. Everything from smart tv’s, tablets, washing machines, fridges, phones., cars and toilets (this are genuinely a thing, we kid you not) are all receiving smart audio searching functionality. For advertisers, this means that they have to be smart in using technology. It is not enough to tell your story through visuals and video anymore. Audio is now an integral part of the design process and brings with it the challenge of engaging audiences’ interest through compelling and captivating sound.

Integrating this into your strategy for 2019 could really see some great pay-offs given that it is data-driven and also the most direct way of a customer speaking to you and your brand (literally). With this in mind, it is worth thinking about and experimenting with your voice strategy which could include producing business specific podcasts and audio blogs. Ofcom found that the number of weekly podcast listeners has almost doubled in 5 years from 3.2 million in 2013 to 5.9 million in 2018. So, as you can see this market is definitely continuing to grow.

Visual Searching:

This is actually a fairly new concept that was released towards the end of 2018. When we refer to visual searching, we aren’t just talking about hitting the image search on Google. Visual searching is a combination of AI and AR utilising a smartphone camera. You simply open the camera and then point it at an object. The AI then scans the object and returns a result that provides information on the object. If it is something that you can purchase, the technology will offer purchasing options. It also works with things such as food and text offering results that show how to cook or purchase the food item or translate text into other languages. This works with locations too, you can point the camera at a landmark or a building and have results delivered on this basis too. This further emphasises why it is important to keep ranking highly in Google’s SEO ranking and ensuring your Google My Business feed is populated with regular content.

These are just a few of the trends that you may have already noticed or are beginning to actively engage with. Knowing the trends means that you know what you can plan for or add to your existing plan. We have plenty of experience in developing the best plans that work to meet your needs.

Contact us today and let us see how we can help you make the most of existing practices and new trends in 2019.