Digital Marketing Trends to Watch in 2019
Meet the author: Sofia Abdo
ROI, CRM, KPIs, SEO, AI. As marketers, we use these terms every day. And although 2019 leaves little room for assumptions, we feel pretty safe in assuming that each new day brings a new trend in marketing (and thus a new acronym). The list keeps growing as we speak.
This ‘code of marketers’, as we refer to it, can be boiled down to a few key themes, which have remained pretty constant – although the ways which they relate to brands has evolved.
Before the concept of Search Engine Optimization was officially coined ‘SEO’, The Search Engine Journal named several terms people used in its place, such as “website promotion.” But at its core, that’s just what SEO is – an attempt to promote your web content to actively appear in user searches.
Since 2015, aka ‘The Year of Mobile’, we’ve focused mainly on optimizing the mobile experience for users on the go. That was the year mobile searches outranked desktop queries for the first time, so this clear transition to mobile-centric marketing efforts was inevitable.
So what does 2019 hold for the always mobile user?
The Future of SEO
Let’s pause for a second and take a quick look at how SEO is evolving. Just as mobile search overtook desktop in 2015, it’s predicted that voice search will completely overtake manual search by 2020. At this time last year, one billion voice searches were made per month and this year Wordstream predicts the voice recognition market will be a $601 million industry.
While you can’t control how people will search for your products or services, you can control (to an extent) voice search results relating to your business. Recognizing that this method of search has a much more casual and conversational feel than traditional forms is crucial to adopting this form of SEO. (i.e. “Hey Alexa, what should I do in downtown Raleigh tonight?”)
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Make sure the language and keywords of your site aren’t overly stuffy or hard to interpret.
- Generate long tail keywords to include in your pay-per-click campaigns.
- Shape a user’s voice interaction through the Alexa Skills Kit.
At this point, there’s no avoiding the fact that we’re faced with the most digitally driven generation of consumers in history. To meet the modern consumer’s need for instant gratification, many companies have built out online chat functionality and chatbots into their online infrastructure.
The benefit of the AI behind these tools is that the more data they gather through consumer questions, the more comprehensive knowledge base you gain to pull insights from later. You can then address the questions surrounding what your consumers are really looking for and tailor their online or mobile experience accordingly.
This chatbot report from Drift shows the current outlook for online communication and summarizes how online chat tools are reshaping today’s user experience. While the numbers don’t seem to reflect any profound anomalies, chatbot usage is continually on the rise, particularly in 2019.
What can you do to provide instantaneous communication to your customers? The first step is to optimize your online chat and chatbot features. Include auto responses for answers to simple questions, like “What are your hours of operation?” and “Can I chat with a sales rep?” Even though these answers may be located somewhere else on your site, potential customers may not be able to locate them or won’t spend the extra time looking.
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Short and Long Form Video Content
Large and small businesses alike are exploring ways to capitalize on the engaging and shareable nature of videos on social feeds. With the introduction of IGTV, Snapchat and Instagram stories, and the explosion of YouTube’s popularity, video content creation has taken center stage as the marketing medium of choice. Creating unique, short and long form content in the form of YouTube ads and marketing campaigns has many brands realizing the invaluable benefits of increased ad recall and brand awareness.
Long form video can live several places, whether it’s featured prominently on your website or across various social platforms. With the video landscape slowly becoming more and more saturated, it’s increasingly important to generate and maintain quality content that can stand out – and stand alone.
With the video landscape slowly becoming more and more saturated, it’s increasingly important to generate and maintain quality content that can stand out – and stand alone.
10 years ago, 9miles Media starting producing videos for a wide range of companies, from pre-revenue startups to multi-billion dollar national brands. We’ve adapted to video trends by introducing mobile optimized content, aerial drone footage, and event recap videos. This, in combination with our cohesive engagement strategies, has allowed us to explore new creative avenues our clients never thought possible.
Investment into video content creation will become a necessary component of any successful marketing team as we enter the new year.
Where do you first turn for answers, information, communication, or entertainment? If you answered, ‘my smartphone’, you’re in good company – there are over 200 million smartphone users in the U.S. alone. Google defines the current trend towards storytelling through mobile content as “micro-moments”. Giving consumers convenient, on-demand, bite-sized pieces of content, which seamlessly integrate with the online user experience, is essential to your brand’s mobile success.
You can implement all the latest digital marketing trends as they become relevant, but if they’re not optimized for mobile, your efforts are fruitless. The modern consumer wants to be delivered relatable and timely content without having to go out of their way looking for it.
Google’s guide to mastering micro moments states that 40% of mobile users are usually or always in a hurry when completing a search on their smartphone. Furthermore, 61% of users are more likely to buy from mobile sites and apps that specifically customize information to their location. So basically, lightning quick and relevant search results will effectively capture the attention of the mobile user in this digital era.
So what’s the 10 thousand foot view?
People are searching for your business differently and much more often than they were before. They’re consulting their phones, using voice searches, and watching 40 billion hours of video annually. They want smarter phones, more relevant search results, and quicker turnaround times. It’s time to explore how your brand stands out online, on mobile, and in the minds of your consumers.
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