New Year’s resolutions have a reputation of being short-lived. Make a resolution for 2019 that you’re sure to keep—a commitment to marketing your business better! These 5 trends are on our radar for the coming year. Incorporating any one of them into your digital marketing strategy can help 2019 be the best year yet for your business.
1) Keep Creating Killer Content
Advertisements used to rule the marketing world. But consumers today are skeptical: 42% of Americans believe brands are less trustworthy than they were 20 years ago.
This doesn’t mean you should stop using ads altogether. It does mean your business should maintain a focus on creating content that is less ad-heavy and more information-based. The more informative, engaging, and helpful your content is, the better. According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing generates 3 times the leads of paid advertising.
If you’re already a content marketing king or queen, keep up the good work! If you don’t know a lot about content marketing, or want to up your game, try one of the following:
- Start a blog page, sharing content about your industry, how customers can make best use of your products, and related topics
- Develop a social media strategy to post more regularly
- Begin using video marketing
- Start a podcast
- Add email marketing to the mix
2) Video Marketing
If you’re on social media regularly, you’ve seen that video tends to dominate our news feeds. Videos regularly outperform content that is just text or a mix of text and imagery. This is because videos have high entertainment value, and as a result tend to be more engaging than a text-heavy article (though those are effective, too!)
A 2017 study reported that 64% of consumers were influenced in their purchasing decisions from viewing a marketing video on Facebook. And, 75% of millennials watch video on a social media site daily. Video is a major opportunity to get your brand in front of a large audience, with the potential to have a significant impact on sales.
If you’ve never created a video before, don’t be intimidated. Working with a professional video production company can be an effective route to take. But even simple content can be engaging. If you have a smart phone, you can easily take short videos of what’s going on with your business. Live video is growing in popularity, allowing you to easily stream from any location at any time. Or, you can take a personal approach and speak directly to the camera about a new development you’re excited about or helpful tips you want to share.
Take a look at this infographic and article for helpful information on how video marketing will be used in 2019.
3) Voice Search
I’ve recently begun to use voice search, and I’ve got to say, it’s handy. It’s certainly faster than typing in a long search query. And, my phone will read the result to me, so I can keep working on whatever I’m doing while getting the information I need.
It’s estimated that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches. That’s huge, and it’s important for marketers because a voice search reads differently than a text search. If I want some sushi, I might type into Google, “sushi restaurants Burlington.” But, in a voice search I might say to my device, “Hey Siri, what sushi restaurants are near me?” or “Okay Google, where can I order sushi now?”
Voice searches tend to be longer and take more of a conversational tone. That wording difference is a big deal for SEO. If you’ve optimized for keywords that people type into a search bar, you may not be optimized for words that would be used in a voice search.
To fix this, think about the phrases a potential customer might speak when voice searching for your product or service. Then, work to incorporate those phrases/words into your website, whether through meta content, blog posts, or a FAQ page where you can type out those questions in full.
When it comes to a business, nothing beats having a face to face conversation with an employee. But in some cases, when your customers are regularly ordering online and you’re receiving a lot of orders, chatbots can be a solution. A UK research group, Juniper, estimates that chatbots could help save businesses up to $8 billion annually by 2022.
A chatbot acts like a human but is not meant to be one. It can be used to answer repetitive, data-based questions, schedule appointments, and find products, among other tasks. The intention of a bot is meant to make each website visitor’s experience more personalized, as well as smoothing the path to a sale. Thought not yet at the level of human communication, bots are improving quickly, allowing them to connect with potential customers in an increasingly conversational way.
5) Artificial Intelligence
Last on our list, but certainly not least, is artificial intelligence. Chatbots are a form of AI technology, but artificial intelligence has abilities that go beyond chat functions.
When we hear the phrase “artificial intelligence,” we may envision a futuristic world where robots live alongside us, performing many of the tasks we do currently. But AI is already at use in many areas of our lives. Think of Amazon’s Alexa, a personal assistant that understands what we say and learns our preferences—over time, assistants like Alexa come to anticipate our needs. And, ever heard of Tesla? The self-driving cars are another example of AI.
So, how can AI be used for your business? One helpful way is by analyzing data. An AI program can be used to examine a set of data or a customer list, identifying similarities and indicating which individuals you should market to. It can also look at data from social media, blogs, and internet searches to give you a better understanding of how customers are finding your business, what they are searching for, and how they interact with your marketing content.
While certainly not the only trends to keep an eye on in 2019, these 5 are getting increasing attention, with results to back up the hype. Follow the Paw Print blog for tips on keeping your marketing fresh in the coming year!