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The first half of 2019 is almost over, and some of the marketing techniques you might have employed in 2018 are no longer going to work. It is worth mentioning that 2019 is not ditching all the previous marketing trends; such as chatbots, content curation, and video marketing. These techniques worked wonders for marketers in the year gone by, and are not going anywhere any time soon. However, there are some other trends that are going to set the pace in 2019. You should definitely adopt them as soon as you can if you plan to thoroughly outclass the competition.
Today's world is fast and instant, as everything is just a quick click away. You cannot afford to waste even a second, or you will fail to engage potential customers. What the customer of today expects is creative and innovative content, faster services, less clutter, and perfect customer service.
If you manage to excel in these four departments, you will take the world of marketing by storm. It has become increasingly important for companies to comprehensively and quickly understand what their consumers want. You might have the best content to promote, but you also have to present it to the right people at the exact moment they need it. According to recent research, the average attention span of Generation Z is only 8 seconds. For Millennials, it is 15 seconds. Similarly, more and more companies are embracing change and utilizing new marketing technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Voice Assistant.
You cannot grab the average customer’s attention through lackluster and cliché marketing campaigns. You should strive to personalize the digital experience you offer your customers if you want to have any chance of success. As a matter of fact, more than 70% of people consider impersonal experiences annoying, off-putting and frustrating.
How to Impress Customers in 2019?
There are many things you can do to acquire even more customers in 2019 than you did in 2018. You just need to incorporate any or all of the following trends in your marketing campaign and you are good to go. It is your duty to find out what your customers want and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Here is a list of features you should consider implementing if you want to impress your audience.
Voice Search, Make Your Brand Vocal
Voice search is fast becoming a staple of the internet. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that 50% of people will use their voice to make searches by 2020. In fact, there is a smart speaker in almost 16.5 million households in the United States. 6 million of those families make purchases online with the help of these smart speakers.
Brands cannot ignore the reality that people regularly use terms like Hey Alexa, Hey Siri and OK Google across the globe for their web browsing experience. A quarter of the shoppers already use various voice assistants for their shopping. Moreover, an increasing number of youngsters (age 16 to 24) use voice search on the smartphones to find products they want to buy.
Companies must strive to comprehend current and evolving search trends and habits. For instance, the majority of people nowadays use a conversational style to browse the internet. People are changing and adapting, and you should follow suit to stand a chance in a congested business environment. The first step is to understand the actual context of the keywords being searched through voice, not only the keyword itself, and to try to provide related services fast.
Content Marketing will always Help
You are not going to succeed if you pay no heed to content marketing. Content marketing is a relatively new concept, despite the fact that much has been said and written about it in recent years.
The mistake most marketers make is sharing content for the sake of sharing. Offering only "quality content" is not enough, especially when your competitors are employing all sorts of modern techniques to attract new customers. There is a far more difficult, new and unique challenge you have to take on. In an unprecedented development, an increasing number of companies are trying to establish two-way, mutually beneficial relationships and conversations with their customers.
Personalized communication is the way to go in 2019. "Traditional" methods such as email marketing are still valid, but it is time to step up your efforts. It is not a difficult job to personalize content as well, thanks to the rise of machine learning and artificial intelligence. You can gather as much data as you want with the help of tools like Hot Spot Tracking and Adobe Target. Subsequently, you will utilize the data to generate more personalized content for your consumers.
In the context of the discussion above, content marketing is no longer merely a tool to market your products. It is a tool to build a strong brand image. Most importantly, it will also come to your rescue whenever you run across problems like low website traffic, dwindling sales, and decreasing profits.
The content you deliver should not only be personalized but it should be responsible as well. “Responsible” companies are more sustainable and socially responsible. For example, your chances of doing business with someone increase by a whopping 66% if you offer sustainable parts and products. Your company's official stance regarding a social issue matters a lot as well. You are likely to get business from almost 90% of your audience if you support a social cause or issue. Your client base wants to know that you care, and you have to show them that you really do.
Cell Phones will Rock the Marketing World
Smartphones generated more than 50% of all internet searches in 2018, 52.2% to be precise. This trend also provides brands with a valuable opportunity. Adapting marketing strategies for ultra-small screens can pay rich dividends. It is not all about creating a responsive website for your business. What we mean here is that the consumption habits of the customers change as soon as they switch to smaller devices. Keep these smartphone facts in mind when planning your marketing strategy:
- People can access your content anytime from anywhere in the world.
- Session times are getting shorter and shorter.
- Users are searching for content in a clearer, quicker and more entertaining way than ever before.
11 Marketing trends in 2019
1) Video is the Queen of Marketing
If content is king of marketing, then video is definitely its queen. Video has totally revolutionized the way brands market their products. The advent of programmatic purchase of advertising and streaming television have opened the doors to endless opportunities which you shouldn’t miss out on. No matter how big or small your brand is and what your budget is, video will always help you make the most of your marketing efforts.
You can benefit a lot from different types of videos such as tutorials, reviews, vlogs or blog posts and product promotions. Video marketing has the capacity to outshine every other marketing method and trend in 2019. This is evident from the fact 72% of businesses already believe that video has improved their sales and profits. 70% of consumers end up sharing their favorite brand's videos on social media. Similarly, almost 65% of people complete the purchase after watching a video on Facebook.
Creating a video for your brand or products is a brilliant way to convey your message while staying up to date with the latest marketing trends. Instead of making a dull commercial, go for exciting stories and anecdotes. Convert these stories to irresistible CTAs (Calls to Action). Telling a story also enables you to leverage the short attention spans people have these days. Finally, making videos is the best way to show your positive and humane face to the world.
2) Fast and Reliable Content
As content consumption habits are changing, so are overall content dynamics and characteristics. In 2019, you will only win over customers if you have something new, unique, interesting and reliable up your sleeve. The only way to separate yourself from the rest is to work on your originality, not once or twice, but on a regular basis.
What you need to do is to sharpen all the tools at your disposal, and unleash some creativity. Content personalization is your greatest ally when it comes to retaining your customers. Spend some time to understand your audience and their needs. Your database deserves special attention as well. Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is still an excellent method to entice people to buy your products and find out more about your business..
3) Content Marketing, Leverage the Power of the Moment
Gone are the days when you could market your products through pushing unrelated content. Search engines have become smarter than you can imagine. People have also come to expect and demand more honesty from brands and companies. Companies have rightly begun to focus on moments, commonly referred to as micro-moments.
Google defines these moments as "when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made, and preferences shaped".
A person's mind is clearest during these moments. This is also a time when one wants to learn about a product, and ultimately buy it. A clear mind also prompts a person to make instant decisions. It is absolutely necessary for you and your company to capitalize on these moments. Give potential clients exactly what they are looking for at the moment of need and you will secure sales.
Email marketing is a proven way to gather all the data you need about your consumers. This may include their purchasing power and habits, the social media accounts they use and their online behavior. Similarly, you can obtain this information directly from your clients through surveys, questionnaires, and opinions.
Social Profiling is another tool which is growing in popularity among marketers across the world. Social profiling is an in-depth analysis of users' social profiles, enabling the brands to get to know their customers in great detail. Almost all the big brands are using this tool to customize and personalize their content according to the requirements and habits of their target audience.
4) Visual Search
Google, Samsung, Microsoft and all other big names enable people to visually search the internet. The feature allows users to take a photo and search for any related information. For instance, you can take a photo of a friend's purse and find out where you can buy it. Visual search is still very much in the developmental phase but it has already caught the attention of brands like Google, Microsoft, and Pinterest. All these companies are devising a framework to include this feature in their future SEO algorithms. According to a research by Gartner, incorporating visual search in your websites will help you increase your e-commerce revenue by 30% by the year 2021.
5) Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots
Most customers already know what they want and why they want it. They also have a good idea of how and when they want to get it. Marketing experts have identified a new trend in which people want products of the highest quality delivered to their doorsteps "right now." According to Hubspot, 90% of people prefer to do business with companies that respond to their queries immediately, or almost immediately.
You can outshine most of your competitors by using artificial intelligence and chatbots. Stephen Hyken, a New York Times' bestselling author and a CX expert says:
"Your customers no longer compare you just to your direct competition. You are being compared to the best service they have ever received – from any company or any person."
There are many things an artificial chatbot can do for your business. It can automatically route queries and question to the relevant customer services' agent. As a result, you will be able to eliminate customers' frustration and reduce the response wait time. This is particularly beneficial and economical for companies with a limited budget. The chatbot can become their permanent 24/7 support option, helping them save a lot of money which they can spend on actual marketing campaigns.
There are a number of companies that already use chatbots to answer certain queries and Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs). The bottom line is that you can provide added value to your customers by using chatbots. For example, a customer can directly ask a chatbot a question instead of going through all of the FAQs or talking to an agent to find the answers.
To learn how artificial intelligence improves your marketing strategy, watch the video.
6) Predictive Analysis
Predictive Analysis has quickly found a special place in the hearts of digital marketers around the world. Artificial intelligence, data mining, predictive modeling, and machine learning form the backbone of predictive analysis. It is the process of predicting future events based on the data extracted from current and past events.
A large number of businesses, 23% to be precise, are using this technology to forecast their future sales and revenue. Almost 90% of companies believe that predictive analysis will be an integral part of their marketing strategy in times to come. Currently, only a quarter of all companies are using this technology, but it is just a matter of time before other companies also get on board.
Better customer segmentation is one of the biggest advantages of predictive analysis. In addition, it greatly reduces your churn rate and boosts your automation efforts. You can also pre-qualify your customers by using predictive analysis, which gives you a definitive edge over your competitors. Companies develop better lead scoring systems with the help of all the algorithms and software that are associated with this particular technology. Obviously, you will generate more conversions once you are able to prioritize your leads and identify your top customers.
7) Content Clustering
Keywords once ruled the world of internet marketing. However, search engines, especially Google, are increasingly using content clustering to rank websites. Therefore, it is essential for companies and marketers alike to understand what content clustering is and how it works.
A pillar page is at the core of every content cluster. The pillar page explains a broader topic, for example, car insurance. As their name suggests, a number of "cluster pages" surround, or cluster around the pillar page. Cluster pages are essentially just variations of the central pillar page. “Best car auto insurance in the United States” and “best car Insurance in Virginia” are a typical example of cluster pages.
Websites normally use the same hyperlinked keyword to link the main pillar page to its surrounding cluster pages. In our example, each cluster page will contain the keyword “best car insurance" which would be hyperlinked to the main pillar page.
Content clustering offers a number of benefits to both websites and marketers. First and foremost, it is the perfect implementation of the "one for all and all for one" theory. The greatest benefit of this technique is that the pages grow in popularity simultaneously. A low performing page can be visible higher up in search engines due to the high quality of its cluster pages. Clustering also informs Google that it should give priority to the pillar page and all other pages are there to support it.
Find out why content clustering is fast becoming a pillar of content marketing in this short video.
8) Social Commerce is the Way to Go
Almost all the major social media platforms make it easier for people to shop socially, a trend commonly known as Social Commerce or Purchase. The number of people adopting and using this practice is constantly on the rise.
It is the right time for brands to understand that social media is no longer a place to only showcase what you have to deliver, but rather a hub for electronic commerce. All the social networks are jumping on this opportunity to totally reinvent themselves, especially by providing their followers with electronic commerce functionalities.
You will have to improve your social media presence in order to survive and subsequently thrive. You can accomplish this difficult but important task by using apps like Workplace Social. Although you can drive sales from almost any social network, the one you must focus is Instagram. Instagram's format is simple yet very effective. No other network can match its "Electronic Shopping" feature in terms of quality, simplicity, and ease of making a transaction. Many of the world's biggest brands have started to use it and have made it an indispensable part of their marketing strategy.
9) Include Messenger Apps in Your Marketing Strategy
Businesses around the world are slowly but surely realizing the importance of including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and other messenger apps in their marketing campaigns. The number of smartphone users in the world is approximately 2 billion. 224.3 million people use smartphones in the United States, whereas this number exceeds 150 million in countries like Pakistan.
Almost all smartphone owners use various messenger apps on a daily basis. These apps have grown into big brands themselves. Moreover, they offer a great opportunity for other brands and companies as well. Of all the messanger apps out there, the one that really stands out is WhatsApp Business. Your company can use WhatsApp Business to deliver highly personalized services to your clients. It helps you establish close and long-lasting relationships with your customers.
10) Social Responsibility and Marketing
The concept of impact investment on society is still in its infancy, but companies are already leveraging this idea to establish goodwill with their audience. The modern world is facing many social issues such as global warming, poverty, hunger, wars and refugees crisis, water shortages and many more. It is high time for socially-minded businesses to emerge and contribute towards resolving these issues. It is expected that many such businesses will come forward in 2019 and join forces with government and private agencies to tackle some of these issues.
Participating in socially beneficial activities will make your business much more visible to the public compared to other businesses. The world is in grave danger, and any help you can provide in this regard will be highly appreciated and duly rewarded. There are many companies that are already exemplifying this strategy. One of the most noticeable of these companies is Harper Wilde.
Harper Wilde only sells bras, and have achieved unprecedented success by doing a great deal of work for a social cause: empowering women. "Lift up the ladies" is their slogan. It is no doubt witty, but it is the perfect description of what their products do, as well as a clear reference to their socially conscious mindset.
Social responsibility definitely enjoyed great success in 2018, but it is bound to take center stage in 2019. Companies that are actually investing time and resources in social responsibility projects are more likely to be successful. This video explains the impact of sustainable and social responsibility marketing on businesses.
11) The Revival of Offline Marketing
There are many reasons why digital marketing has become a big thing in such a short time. It is fast, reliable, and enabled businesses to reach a wider audience without spending money on television and newspaper ads. In addition, you can customize and adapt your marketing strategy according to the current needs of your clients. It was something new and refreshing and everyone wanted to get a piece of it.
There is no denying the fact that digital marketing has immensely helped business promote their products and make millions in the process. However, everything gets old with time and the same goes for digital marketing. In 2014, business earned only $1.3 trillion through e-commerce, but the number will increase to $4.5 trillion by 2021. The obvious outcome is that most businesses have totally forgotten the virtues of offline marketing, providing a tremendous opportunity to smarter companies.
Instead of digital marketing, it is offline marketing that has become "uncommon." People are so obsessed with their screens that they seldom read newspapers or watch television any more. Therefore, offline marketing is a great way to add a personal and a refreshing touch to your marketing efforts.
There are many companies that have adopted this approach to totally wow their followers. One such company is Mainstream ROI. It is a digital marketing company that surprised their customers by sending them printed newsletters. The strategy was so successful that they now send them printed marketing material every month, and to great effect. As digital marketing has become so mainstream, printed brochures, newsletters and similar marketing efforts have become a welcome and refreshing change.
Now that you have a full grasp of the trends that will dominate digital and traditional marketing in 2019, it is time to take action. To begin with, determine your objectives and your budget, and develop your strategy based on both of these factors. Invest in mobile marketing, video content, social responsibility, AI, and video search; as well as content clustering and messenger apps.
Mobile phones continue to grow in popularity. You have to take maximum advantage of this extraordinary medium of marketing. In order to reach more people, you should give preference to paid ads compared to organic marketing. Last but not least, do not hesitate to create videos. Channel all of your creative efforts into making meaningful and engaging video content. Above all, be aware of the power of stories and grow and nurture yours.