TRENDS TO THINK ABOUT IN 2019
Digital marketing encompasses content marketing, social media, SEO, and more, and it’s seeing a dramatic change in 2019. There are a number of different strategies and trends taking shape in the current internet-connected world, some of which will be necessary for businesses to succeed in the digital era.
We’ve got the scoop on seven key digital marketing trends for 2019, so you can up your game and blast past the competition.
1. The Google Giant
Since Google dominates the search engine marketing world, these trends will focus on this search engine giant. Google has made some changes, such as launching its Google Marketing Platform, changing Adwords to just “Ads,” and more tightly integrating the Doubleclick ad platform and its analysis tools, such as Data Studio and Google Analytics.
On the organic search side of Google, one trend to keep an eye on in the coming year is the Google Speed Update. This update affects slower sites in mobile search results, giving them a lower ranking. As with most Google updates, it’s likely that this speed update will start to affect more and more websites that don’t improve their page load speeds. For more on optimizing page load speeds, read our article The Importance of Page Load Speeds.
2. Social Media: The Rise of Instagram
Social media isn’t going anywhere, and it’s constantly changing with new platforms appearing, apps popping up, and algorithms changing. It can be difficult to stay on top of all things social, but we’ve spotted a few trends to keep you in the know.
There are few trends in Facebook to note going into 2019. The social media platform is likely to stay static or decline for most age groups, with the exception of the 55+ group, who are now the biggest user group for Facebook. That being said, Facebook still has some use for businesses. On the other hand, the use of Messenger has increased, along with its potential for opportunity. Along with targeted sponsored ads, using Messenger for conversations is on the rise.
1.3 billion people use Messenger every month
8 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses every month.
78% of people with smartphones use messaging every month.
More and more people are flocking to Instagram to view amazing pictures and watch Instagram Stories. There has been an increase in Instagram users across every age group, with the largest increase among users ages 25 to 34, followed by the age group of 18 to 24.
It’s likely that ad spend on Instagram will increase along with the increase in usage and better options for advertising. There has been a significant focus on Instagram advertising over Facebook recently, with Facebook ad spend growing 40 percent in 2018, while Instagram grew 177 percent.
“Stories,” such as Instagram Stories, are an increasingly popular way of using social media and is becoming an important part of digital marketing strategies. These short videos can be used to raise brand awareness, promote engagement, show behind-the-scenes action, and let customers know about new products, services, or promotions for businesses.
Snapchat was the first to introduce the concept on the social scene with its “My Story,” followed by Instagram, and then Facebook Stories. YouTube has also released its own Stories, but it hasn’t been released to all users yet.
3. Social Messaging
Use of social messaging apps is also on the rise, and businesses are getting in on the action.
1.3 billion people use Messenger every month
2 billion messages are sent every month between people + businesses on Facebook Messenger
WhatsApp has 1.3 billion monthly active users
Since more consumers are using social messaging apps nowadays, it’s starting to make more sense for businesses to market their services where people already are. These apps can be extremely useful with sending messages directly to customers, offering the chance for more personalization.
4. Email is Becoming More Personal
Email is still a major channel for marketing communication; however, the art of email marketing is evolving. Generic marketing emails won’t work as well as they have in the past. Email marketing has become a combination of personalization and automation. Your email marketing can be much more effective when it is triggered by something specific, like visitors viewing a product. This automated email could then be followed up with a personalized email.
5. AI and Chatbots Aren’t Going Anywhere
Artificial intelligence and chatbots are now being used to improve customer service. Chatbots can be quicker in taking requests and providing data-related answers. They can also provide personalized service to customers at any time, and can be integrated into apps, websites, and social media. For example, Uber uses chatbot technology to communicate with its customers, allowing them to hire cars even on Facebook Messenger or through Google Maps. Passengers can use the menu to make a request, choose the type of ride, track the car’s location, and make payments.
AI technology is now used to gather information about consumers to create better marketing strategies. AI can be used to analyze search patterns and consumer behavior, using data from websites and social media platforms to help companies gain an understanding of how users find their business.
6. Video Will Continue to Explode
Video is topping the list of digital marketing trends for 2019. Last year saw a dramatic rise in video marketing, and video is going to continue to rise this year. The average attention span for consumers is on the shorter side, and the majority of people prefer to watch video than read a blog post.
These statistics show just how important video has become to digital marketing:
72% businesses say video has increased their conversion rates.
70% consumers have shared a brand’s video.
52% consumers feel more confident in their online purchase decisions after watching product videos.
Looking to catch the attention of consumers? You will probably find them on social media. Social platforms, such as Facebook Live, have provided marketers with a chance to get in front of their target audiences. Live video has grown in popularity, with numerous businesses now using it for behind-the-scenes peeks of events or the office, product demos, and interviews among other uses.
Live video is expected to explode even more in 2019, but the focus will be on originality. Imaginative video marketing and interactive video that encourages engagement will likely take over. Consumers become bored quickly, so businesses will need exciting and engaging video to keep their attention.
VIDEO AND SEO
Videos on YouTube and other sites appear in search engine results, making video SEO more important. This can include video titles, descriptions, and file names, as well as closed captions and text overlays.
7. Voice: The Age of Alexa
The rise in voice search to provide the relevant information that people search for is causing companies to rethink their marketing strategies.
Searches expected to be voice searches by 2020
Percent of voice searches on Bing
Percent of Google mobile searched via voice
39 million Americans use smart speakers, such as Alexa + Google Home
For voice technology, it’s important to write your content using a conversational tone and think about the phrases people will speak instead of type. Think of questions or phrases your target audience would ask and incorporate these into your website content, such as on an FAQ page.
2019 will be a year of more personalized customer experiences, AI-powered technology, video, and automation. It’s important to stay on top of digital marketing trends so you can get ahead of your competition and gain more customers. Conversational content will be increasingly important for sharing with your target audience. webSMART can help you make sense of trends and guide you in the right direction.