With the new year comes a bunch of new trends in digital marketing. But they don’t happen overnight; it can take years for a tool or method to be adopted en masse. When a new trend starts to seriously spread, it can impact the work digital marketers and advertisers do every day. It can even change the entire industry. That’s why it’s so important to know what’s shaping up to be hot in the next 12 months.
This year, we are seeing an interesting mix of technologies and people-based approaches. So we’ve got chatbots and programmatic, together with real-life influencers and storytelling. Read on for a brief review of the 9 trends that will remake digital marketing in 2019. And check out the quiz below to see whether your marketing efforts are ready for the new year.
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It’s the new wave of online sales and support: using automated chat tools to interact with customers. Based on artificial intelligence, chatbots will only become more human-like and sophisticated, opening up a new lead generation channel that continues to work for you, even when the last employee has gone home.
Keyword clustering (SEO)
Keeping up with search engine algorithms is a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it! The hottest new trend in SEO is keyword clustering. Instead of Googling “New York events”, people are more likely to search “what is happening in New York today?”. It’s all about targeting topics that people are searching for, rather than keywords.
In 2018, programmatic accounted for 75% of online advertising spend. By 2020, it’s predicted to hit 80%. Advertisers everywhere are using programmatic to scale their campaigns while enjoying even more control over targeting and placement. And, when programmatic meets native advertising, your CPMs will thank you.
Real life influencers
This year, actual people are taking center stage in influencer marketing. It’s all about authenticity. Consumers are twice as likely to want to purchase a product recommended by a friend, rather than a celebrity.
Therefore, businesses everywhere are increasingly using their own customers and employees in their influencer campaigns.
Did you know over 40% of people who use a voice-activated speaker say they feel like they are talking to a friend or person? Voice search is undergoing rampant growth, with the industry expected to reach $600 million in 2019.
When it comes to online search, one thing is clear: the world is heading towards hands-free and screenless surfing.
Who doesn’t love a good story? Stories have been around as long as humans have been there to share them. Now, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are offering Story format posts, the digital form of the story around the campfire.
This year, brands and advertisers will turn to stories to kindle their marketing success.
Speaking of storytelling, the long-form video gives advertisers the space to tell much more compelling brand stories. With longer video formats, there’s room for a beginning, middle, and end, which makes for a more developed narrative. In 2019, when it comes to video marketing, go long, go strong!
Forget virtual reality – the next big thing is augmented reality. AR overlays digital elements on real-world experiences, using a smartphone or tablet. Remember Pokemon Go and Snapchat World Lenses? Those were just testing the AR waters. Be prepared for a boom in AR as retail brands create more ways to integrate this strategy into their digital performance marketing activity.
In one study, predictive analytics were shown to double the capacity of marketers to locate high-potential customers online. New tools, such as Outbrain’s interest targeting, mean that marketers and advertisers can leverage predictive data to focus their targeting on users’ true interests, reaching a much more qualified audience. It’s no longer about analyzing historical data; it’s about using advanced AI to predict what customers will do in the future.
With each passing year, marketing technology is becoming more sophisticated and accessible. Even so, the human side of marketing is not going away. On the contrary, we are seeing technologies becoming more people-oriented, whether it be through chatbots that mimic human speech patterns, or SEO strategies that target people rather than keywords. In 2019, tech and emotions will go hand-in-hand as performance marketers look to win over customers in an ever-more competitive marketplace.