Gone are the days when digital marketers could afford to plan annual campaigns.
In 2019, the best marketers will iterate their digital strategies every few months. This way, they can constantly analyze the results to focus on the trends yielding positive results and to not waste their time and resources over the lesser effective approaches.
To help you determine what works for your marketing team, we’ve covered five digital marketing trends that you can watch out to enhance your marketing strategy and achieve the desired result.
1. Augmented and Virtual Reality
Brands are using AR and VR to improve brand engagement and influence the purchasing decision of a buyer by bringing the product experience to life.
Let’s talk about a brand who has tasted success with AR and VR:
In February 2018, Coca-Cola launched an AR campaign to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The message was delivered in the form of augmented reality via the Chinese payment app Alipay. Alipay has over 520 million users in China; within two weeks, more than 6.6 million people viewed the animation and received small monetary gifts through the app.
By strategically implementing virtual and augmented reality, you grab the unique opportunity to provide consumers with in-depth pre-purchase information, while minimizing their efforts. This is one of the most remarkable trends of 2019. According to Statista, the size of the global AR and virtual reality market is expected to reach $ 209.2 billion in just four years.
2. Voice Search
According to Comscore, by 2020, 50% of requests will be based on voice search. People are increasingly using voice search on their smartphones to search for content. From finding answers to their queries to discovering various products and services, they’re using voice search as it’s easier than typing. The convenience of voice search lies in the fact that people can find what they are looking for, instantly.
Consumers generally use two main types of voice search:
- Smart speakers (such as Amazon Echo, Microsoft’s Alexa, and Google Home) which provide users with an immediate voice answer to their questions.
- Siri and Google Voice Assistant, which work on smartphones to show written search results.
Brands are planning to offer their products on voice-enabled devices in 2019 as they are affordable and they get a higher return on investment.
Domino’s is a perfect example of this: they’ve partnered with Amazon Echo to allow customers to order pizzas with smart speakers.
Voice search will play a major role in SEO this year and marketers will leverage this opportunity by delivering more targeted, voice search optimized and specific content leading to an increase in click-through rates. According to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, one-fifth of the Google queries is voice search. The voice search market will be a $601 million industry by 2019, as per Technavio. Optimize your articles and search queries as per voice search models.
Chatbots are answering customer service queries everywhere, from the websites to mobile apps and Facebook. According to Grand View Research, 45% of businesses prefer chatbots as their primary means of communication for customer service.
Along with offering 24/7 customer support, they can simultaneously interact with hundreds of users and there is no wait time. In an age where more than 50% of people stop making a purchase mid-way when they encounter bad customer service and 75% of buyers spend more with companies who have a history of providing positive customer service, chatbots will serve instant answers to simple questions.
By integrating the chatbot with your website, the customer won’t have to wait for the representative to answer their call or respond to their emails and messages.
Spotify’s Facebook Messenger bot allows customers to search, listen and share music. As you get started, it suggests a recommended playlist customized for you.
Chatbots are also used for:
- Lead generation
- Shopping assistance
- Website guidance
- Talent recruiting
There are numerous third-party AI chatbots such as Bold360, Watson Assistant, LivePerson and Ada that you can leverage to answer a visitor’s questions and move them towards the next step of the purchase funnel.
4. Video Marketing
As 43% of consumers want to see more video-based content than a regular blog post, plug-in informative or entertaining videos on your website. Given the affinity of your online audience towards videos, this practice will continue in 2019. Harness the power of videos as they increase the conversions on landing pages by a staggering 80% as compared to text and audio clips.
The benefits of using video content on the website and in the marketing campaigns are:
- Places the product on the center-stage
- Inspires trust among the customers
- Persuasion impacting the purchase decision
- Accurate explanations reduce disappointment and thereby reduce returns
- Greater convenience than reading text
- Virality is the key with storytelling
The commonly used marketing videos that help you in boosting your website conversions are:
- How-to videos
- Influencer interviews
- Product walkthroughs
- Customer testimonials
- Brand Stories
- About-us videos
- Event videos
Adidas used emerging technology for the 2018 Boston Marathon to create custom videos for all 30,000 runners for their shoe launch. For the campaign, they created a microsite, live event videos, influencer videos, and Twitter videos to drive engagement.
5. Big Change in SEO
Last year, Google released an update for “Google PageSpeed Insights”. This is just one among many search algorithm updates that alerted digital advertisers.
With this update, Google now recognizes the user’s intentions better than ever. Their algorithms can identify the context of the user such as the location, search history, and other information in the search equation.
In addition to the algorithm updates, Google stated that it will prioritize fast loading sites and rank them better in the search results as compared to slow websites. The search equation for people has also changed. Now, most people use their mobile phones as the primary browsing tool.
Local and image search have become an exciting way to search for information. According to a survey by Google, 30% of all mobile searches done are location-based and 46% of all Google searches are local searches. Companies serving local customers should focus on their local SEO strategy in 2019.
Here are the best SEO practices that a business should focus in 2019:
- Build a website with user intent, not for the search engines
- Integrate various types of media into each page
- Execute white hat backlink techniques
- Optimize Website speed
- Use schema markup
- Create website sitemap
- Focus on video marketing
- Create more long-form pillar contents
- Optimize website for local search
Businesses that fail to adopt the new marketing innovations will be left behind.
Digital marketing in 2019 will include a mix of innovations and tools to make these campaigns more efficient and measurable. Focus on the marketing trends that matter the most to your audience and are relevant to your industry.