The countdown to 2019 has begun. In the new year, we can expect exciting new technologies and trends to make for a momentous and innovative year for digital marketing. Whether you’ve been keeping up with the latest predictions for the future of marketing or not, we’ve got you covered. Here are four of the top digital marketing trends for which to prepare your business in 2019.
At present, 1 in 5 Google searches come from voice queries. With a projected 50 percent growth by 2020, 2019 is projected to be the year voice search really gets into its stride. For marketers, this shift in search means a few things. The traditional reliance on screens has resulted in specific guidelines for SEO optimization, user experience, and user design. However, with voice search there is no need for screens, therefore making these aspects somewhat obsolete. With the growing popularity of voice assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, marketers need to reconstruct their processes to reach consumers through new methods.
As voice search continues to advance, the answers to queries will likely become more and more targeted, providing just a few or even one answer at a time. This will create a significant change in SEO rankings and placements, so the methods businesses employ to ensure their spot in relevant searches is going to giving optimization a new meaning.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to combat this shift with relative ease. Keeping in mind how people use voice search is the first step, as people speak differently than they type. In fact, Google has reported that 65 percent of all voice searches are delivered in a conversational manner. Envisioning how a friend would verbally ask about your product or remembering the way consumers who call your service line phrase their questions may help you understand how to best align your keyword strategy. Following through with supplementary Google features can also help your marketing efforts. Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing, for example, is a great way to provide Google with useful information about your business such as your industry, address, phone number and business hours.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is no doubt one of the most buzzed-about technologies this year, and as we approach 2019, its capabilities are only becoming more advanced. AI is enabling businesses to interact with consumers in a more effective manner, and AI-powered chatbots, in particular, serve as an incredibly useful tool for solving customer service issues and improving engagement. Through AI technology, these intelligent bots can understand complex requests, personalize their responses and direct customers to where they want to go. Because chatbots have the ability to build deeper relationships with consumers and streamline various processes, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd predicts that 85 percent of customer interactions will be automated by 2025.
This technology not only helps businesses better interact with their consumers; it also provides numerous benefits to shoppers themselves. 65 percent of consumers feel good about themselves and the company when they can handle an issue without talking to a live person, meaning chatbots provide a win-win scenario for all.
Over the past several years, social media has grown exponentially in popularity and capabilities, and there’s no expectation for it to slow down in 2019. There are currently 3.196 billion social media users, a number that will continue to rise and therefore must be accounted for in the marketing world. For digital marketers specifically, social media is the easiest and most effective way to stay close to your customers and up-to-date on the latest trends and opinions.
Social media gives marketers insight into what consumers like or want at the moment, whether that be through direct communication or through secondhand interactions such as likes, retweets, comments, and shares. In our hyper-connected world, people share everything with their social followings. This activity provides a goldmine of statistics to be analyzed and reconfigured to best meet the demands of your market.
Instagram is one of the most useful marketing platforms as far as social media goes, serving as a great channel for content marketing, paid advertising and customer communication. Going forward, digital marketers can expect to gain even more benefits from the application with IGTV, Instagram’s new video platform exclusively for mobile users. Unlike other video streaming platforms, IGTV is dedicated to vertical video playback, making it suitable for marketers targeting a mobile-only audience.
At the breakneck pace at which technology is developing, consumers are all about the latest innovations a company can provide to make their experience more pleasant and efficient. Augmented reality (AR) technology has recently advanced beyond the gaming world and is poised to significantly alter brand experiences in 2019. By enabling marketers to show their brand’s content based on customer location, it’s believed that Instagram and Facebook will soon be integrating AR into their platforms. Experts are also working on advancing AR technology into wearable devices. With major corporations such as Microsoft, Google and Apple backing these developments, implementing advertising into individuals’ daily lives will be more prevalent than ever. With the ability to better engage and interact with consumers through advertisements, marketers will be able to use AR technology to improve their reach and effectiveness.
As our world grows increasingly tech-focused, every industry will have to adjust and adapt, and digital marketing is certainly no exception. These emerging trends will give way to exciting possibilities and opportunities for brands to better connect with their consumers. Here’s to the new year and a new era of marketing!