2019 Digital Marketing Trends

The new year is here, and, as new digital marketing trends and strategies continue to evolve, is your company prepared?  You can’t dismiss these trends as gimmicks from the latest science fiction film. You must be ready and willing to compete in this high-tech, Internet-connected era.  What worked for you last year will probably not work for you in the coming year.

Here are eleven digital marketing trends that you need to keep your marketing strategy moving forward.

  • Personalization

If you want to make more of an impact in 2019, personalize your marketing.  Given the simplicity of finding available data, custom content has never been easier.  Purchase history, consumer behavior, and links clicked provide you with the information that you need to personalize content, products, emails, and more. When you log on to Netflix or Amazon you see the power of personalization evidenced by banners, carousels, artwork, text, and search, all personalized for you.  The majority of marketers know that personalization improves customer relationships.

  • Video Marketing

With the ever-decreasing cost of film equipment and the improved quality of smartphone cameras, businesses and marketers are moving in the direction of personalized video messages rather than phone calls or emails.  Don’t think only YouTube. You can increase your engagement with a video post or live broadcast on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn; and, for a more interactive experience, use 360-degree video content.

  • Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is simple.  Instead of marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you pay influencers to get the word out for you.  This can be a very effective word-of-mouth marketing tool that focuses on key leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market.  Influencers can be anyone from Instagram celebrities or YouTube stars, to well-known bloggers and journalists. But because many people trust consumer opinions over corporate statements, some companies may abandon celebrities in favor of real people, thus tapping into a community of micro-influencers.

  • Visual Search

With visual search, you can upload an image to conduct a search, providing more specific results.  CamFind is a visual search mobile app enabling users to search from their mobile phones by simply snapping a picture.  No need to type queries into a search engine; you can directly search through images to find similar images, price comparisons, and local shopping results.  Two other apps to check out are Pinterest Lens and Google Lens. Jump on the visual search trend to get the edge on your competitors.

  • Artificial Intelligence

AI uses data from social media platforms and blog posts to help businesses determine how users and customers find their products and services.  AI offers information and tips to consumers by getting into conversations. For example, Facebook messenger bots can help you automate and enhance your customer service. According to Gartner, by 2020 25% of customer service will use chatbot technology.  To provide a perspective, less than 2% used this technology in 2017. Adopting AI will enable costs savings and growth acceleration.

  • Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is the use of AI to automate ad buying, enabling you to target specific audiences.  Examples of programmatic advertising are real-time bidding and auctions. This means higher conversions and lower customer acquisition costs.  As stated by eMarketer, by 2020 close to 90% of digital display ads in the U.S. will be programmatic.

  • Chatbots

With 1.4 billion people interacting with chatbots, 80% of astute businesses are using, or plan to use, this technology by 2020.  This AI technology uses instant messaging to chat in real-time with customers and site visitors. When implemented correctly, many customers enjoy interacting with chatbots as they are responsive, answer promptly, recall entire buying history, and never lose patience. It is predicted that by 2022 chatbots will help business save over $8 billion annually.  

  • Social Messaging Apps

Social messaging apps are for more than sending cute pictures of your pets. You can actually market to customers using messaging apps, allowing for personalization and an enhanced user experience.  Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion monthly users and 2 billion messages sent between people and businesses every month, and WhatsApp has 1.3 billion monthly active users and 55 billion messages sent every day.  WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat have more combined users than Facebook or YouTube.

  • Micro-Moments

Google has termed “Micro-Moments” as a new consumer behavior that delivers your marketing message clearly and concisely in a span of seconds.  In today’s world, people typically make instant decisions about what to eat, which restaurant to choose, what to purchase, and where to go. To be the business that takes advantage of micro-moments in 2019, be where the consumers are searching in the moment—Google, Google Maps, Amazon, YouTube, and anywhere else that people instantaneously search for information. Otherwise their attention is lost, and they are on to the next article.

  • Voice Search and Smart Speakers

Presently, 20% of all mobile queries on Google are voice searches. By 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches.  Smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home are on the rise and 65% of Americans say they wouldn’t go back to life without them.  Voice search plays a significant role in providing relevant information that people are searching for through audio content. Companies will produce audio content to gain brand awareness, and ads are likely to follow soon.  Alexa will give you the answer to your question along with “a word from our sponsor.” This means that businesses will be able to purchase voice ad space, like Google AdWords, but for home speakers.

  • Social Media Stories

To promote engagement and brand awareness, it’s important for marketers to consider the story format in their digital marketing strategy.  Initially, snapchat created the “My Story” concept, then Instagram and Facebook stories were introduced, and finally, YouTube presented the “Reels” format.   You can feature your employees in the stories, show the story behind the making of a product and ask for reviews about your services. You can get as creative as you want to.  As stories disappear after a set period of time, this is a prime opportunity for marketers to make good use of FOMO (fear of missing out).

The coming year is all about improved customer experience, personalization, automation, and AI powered technology. To stay ahead of the curve and increase conversions in the coming year, you’ll need some ground-breaking, custom, conversational content—particularly audio and video—to share with your targeted audience.