Any brand that doesn’t have a specific, comprehensive digital marketing plan is truly missing out on game-changing opportunities. As of 2019, digital marketing is raking in revenue for thousands of brands all over the globe, and this trend is only set to move upward. The quickly changing trends of digital marketing are both a pro and a con for marketers; a pro because of the number of avenues it is opening up, and a con because keeping up with the trends is a tedious, continuous process.
Brands today need to make that extra effort to stay relevant. Social media, email, banner ads, video content – all of this and more are booming in the online market. A significant chunk of the world is active online and looking into multiple sources to make informed purchases. Hence, brands are also tapping into all the digital formats available and drawing up strategies to get and stay ahead of the curve.
The last year saw a lot of new trends and ups and downs in digital marketing. While some brands created a newfound presence online, others were involved in controversy. News on the internet spreads faster than wildfire, which is why every move made needs to be calculated. Instagram saw influence marketing take over some major numbers and create a lot of traffic, while Facebook saw a drop in marketing numbers. Digital Marketing and Web Design companies like Infinity Digital have noted the constant changes in the online marketing wave, and have adapted their strategies accordingly.
YouTube got bigger in 2018, and so did online blogs, podcasts, streaming sites, and direct marketing tools like emails, text messages, and in-app notifications. Mobile marketing is of primary importance now, since most users prefer their smartphones for regular usage over a desktop or laptop. Even websites are now moving onto the mobile domain, trying to make the user experience as compact and customized as possible.
2019 is also proving to be a fast-paced year with many changes in the online scenario. New apps and features are being released almost every day, allowing marketers to explore these features and make the best use of them. When we talk about strategizing, however, some are expected to boom in 2019.
Let’s have a closer look:
AI has been showcased to the world in many forms – through fictional movies and stories, and now through real-time applications. Robotic arms in industries and self-learning equipment have been around for the past few years, but AI in digital marketing is expected to see a spike in 2019.
Will AI replace human minds entirely? The fear is very real, but the answer is no. What AI does is help speed up the process of content marketing, but making it relatable and good enough to sell will still be a human’s job. Recently, many news avenues have been using AI to compile and release content with the intent of getting the news out as quickly as possible. AI is also going to see more applications in the future, like content checking, error management, algorithm formulation, competitive analysis, and so on.
So, digital marketing and AI are going to see a more detailed collaboration in 2019 for sure.
A lot of us have already encountered a chatbot at least once on some online platform, whether we’re aware of it or not. Chatbots are very helpful with customer grievance management, especially on social media platforms. People like quick responses, and with massive traffic and so much data sharing, automated responses can truly expedite the process.
Chatbots are expected to be more relevant in 2019 – finding it way onto even more websites, shopping sites, online discussion forums, direct messengers on social media, and so on.
What will chatbots be useful for?
At the moment, social media and websites are the most used digital tools, but studies suggest that brands will have to make a move towards an “omnichannel” form of marketing to make an impact. This strategy would involve brands employing a singular strategy but executed through all the digital channels applicable to them.
For example, if Brand X has to roll out a launch campaign online, it’s wiser for them to do so on various channels such as social media, e-mails, videos, podcasts, live chats, webinars, all forms of offline advertising (in correlation with the online campaign), AI and chatbots, Stories on Facebook and Instagram, apps on smartphones, and so on.
The idea is to reach as many people as possible, through as many channels as possible, but all to relay the same message.
There are already several programs available that allow singular control over multiple social media accounts. Through these sites, one can schedule posts, with pre-targeted audiences and set budget and timeline. All of this has worked really well for brands that cannot possibly handle all of this manually.
Now, programmatic advertising works under the same principle, but with extended horizons. With programmatic advertising, brands can automate the process of buying and selling ads, which helps with streamlining and consolidating digital campaigns.This would mean both the purchase and execution of ads will be done using AI and algorithms, that will help marketers figure out whom to advertise to and also when, where, and how. This helps with ROI and conversions and would require minimal human intervention once the strategy has been implemented.
In 2019, marketers are expected to rely more on automated advertising channels to save time and also increase visibility profitably.
Video marketing saw a massive surge in 2017, and the trend has only become more popular since. The appeal of video is understandable, but now it’s all about how well marketers can capitalize on this. In 2018, many brands were outsourcing their video content to customers, third-party creators, social media influences, and bloggers.
In 2019, more brands are going to move towards using real, genuine content marketing through videos, instead of just professional-looking videos with Hollywood appeal. The audience today isn’t looking to be impressed by visual effects, but rather by content that is relatable, informative, and driven by a story. Videos that touch the viewer’s EQ and IQ both is what’s going to sell in the coming years, and digital marketers need to make this conscious shift.
Thanks to technology and new algorithms, it’s easier today for brands to have a more in-depth understanding of their audience – what they like, where they go, what they search for, what purchases they’re more likely to make, and so on. This way, brands can focus more on personalized marketing to grab their audience’s attention and drive them towards purchasing.
Personalized digital marketing improves the customer’s experience, boosts brand loyalty, increases revenue, and also provides more and more opportunities for brands to up their game.
What is expected to become more personalized in 2019?
The term SEO has gained massive momentum in the past few years, making brands more aware of the benefits of content that are optimized for search engines. Search engines are the most common starting point in the buying cycle for most customers – this is where they begin, and it eventually leads them to a product/service that matches their requirement.
Google’s search results have become quite advanced, with the algorithm being more customized than it has ever been. Many factors are taken into consideration when a user searches for something – past searches, most visited websites, personal preferences, location, age, and so on. So much so that no two people get the same search results for the same keywords.
Hence, SEO in 2019 is going to be of major importance for digital marketers. Small business will be more focused on local SEO strategies, while larger businesses with more resources are going to invest extensively in global SEO strategies. Either way, SEO is an integral part of the digital marketing equation, and the coming year will be a testament to that.
Digital marketing is anything but static and predictable, but it surely can be assessed and analyzed. There’s no set algorithm for understanding how viable a trend is, or how well customers are going to respond to a campaign. However, with the help of advanced digital tools, brands are going to be more in control of what they are promoting, and what kind of results they can expect.
As we inch closer to 2020, offline advertising is also expected to make a comeback. Recent trends are showing how users haven’t completely shut out offline marketing yet, and integration of both digital and non-digital will prove to be more useful for brands. AI, better user experiences, and customized campaigns – 2019 is going to be an eventful year for digital marketing!