Our thoughts on Digital Marketing Trends for 2019
New challenges keep arising in the digital marketing landscape due to the fast pace at which new technologies are introduced in the market. This has tremendously influenced how people behave and communicate. People are now used to engaging through real-time communications and have free access to an incredible amount of content from the palm of their hand. People are tech-savvier and, as outlined in a Forbes article, getting and keeping their attention is increasingly challenging.
Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms have been trending and changing human behaviour for many years, all of which has been widely reported on. The DMI Digital Marketing Institute reports on other social trends for this year, but in 2019 we are going to continue to see the use of disposable content using stories to share moments that are only available for a limited time. Younger people’s behaviour has changed, they are very particular on what they share on their profiles, that will last forever, compared to the increased disposable content that lasts for 24h. On one hand this drives people to be on the platforms more often to not miss out, but also limits the amount of the people that will see what they are sharing. This has in turn caused further anxiety of FOMO and increased the need for digital detoxes.
AI provides useful and valuable real-time insights, it represents the ability of computers or computer-controlled robots to rapidly analyse data and complete tasks adapting the strategies to changing circumstances – as an intelligent being would do. In 2019 companies will continue and get better at exploiting and enhancing the way they listen and serve their customers, by continuing to replace small processes with AI. Brands will improve how they target and listen to customers, thereby improving their communication towards their target audience as well as benchmarking with competitors.
For instance, Netflix widely uses AI to provide users with relevant and tailored recommendations based on their preferences rather than what they watch. Statistics show that this platform’s recommendation system delivers effective insights to the audience such to lead to an astonishing 80% of the TV shows watched relying on these recommendations.
This trend continues to grow, helping businesses save time and money on customer service tasks. Specifically, chatbots are exploited into various business systems to answer repetitive consumer questions or for sales purposes. The conversation generated with customers sounds more natural since emojis and other human conversation features are replicated and leveraged within the digital interactions. The massive use of chatbots reflects the switch of customers’ preferences from call or online forms to type and text-based communication. This happens as although verbal interactions are still possible, the majority of consumers keeps opting for instant response systems and feel more comfortable by using them.
Smart Speakers and Audio
The increasing use of mobile devices as well as virtual assistants (Siri/Alexa/Echo) are switching consumers’ preferences to voice search for a number of needs from making reservations, getting prices, to finding local business info. In order to get the best out of this tool it is essential to identify the most likely product/service-related questions and optimise the website for voice search by integrating those questions and the most consistent answers to them. The optimization process is complex as conducting a voice search is harder than typing a query: a verbal reply may provide just one choice whereas a typed one will show multiple pages of results. However, businesses need to work on and keep improving this digital marketing tool as consumers increasingly rely on it.
Local Influencer Marketing
Partnering with local influencers is a fast-growing way for rolling out promotions and long term campaigns. These people are well known in the area and sharing their influence ensures businesses to increase exponentially the brand awareness, customer base and affection as well as to drive more local traffic on their website/store. Local influencers rely on a smaller but more loyal audience of followers such that they can reach customer engagement rates 60% higher than others with a higher follower base. We came across an interesting case study of a small Australian lingerie brand, Carys Martin, that clearly points out the effectiveness of a well-planned local influencer marketing strategy. The brand, who had never engaged in digital marketing, reached 212,980 consumers through over 90 pieces of content generated by 36 influencer partneships. The increased brand awareness alongside the local fashion influencers led to a remarkable social media growth, content creation and increase of direct revenue and sales referrals.
In 2019 we will continue to see the increase in live short video, instant, and unedited, allowing businesses to keep expenses low. Another change is that brands are being brave and letting go of the controlled mentality, encouraging UGC (User-Generated Contents) especially from millennials that love being the protagonist of their stories and share them with their peers.
80% of people surveyed by Livestream and New York Magazine, state that they would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog or social posts. 67% purchased a ticket to a similar event after watching a live video.