The only thing that’s constant about marketing is that it always changes. With the latest technologies coming out every year and existing technologies getting smarter, the goal of digital marketing has always been the same, i.e. grabbing and holding the audience’s attention.
As per the predictions by Forrester, digital marketing spends for companies are expected to hit the $118 billion mark by 2021.
To gain competitive differentiation in 2019, you will need to emphasize more on creating the favourable brand experience, customer experience (CX) and in-store experience by developing a successful digital marketing strategy.
A robust digital marketing plan will help you develop new ways to grow your business, generate more leads and improve relationships with the existing customers.
What are the top trends that must be a part of your digital marketing plan this year?
In 2019, the digital marketing trajectory is heading towards rising in voice searches, video marketing, and chatbot utilization. So you’ve got to focus on them.
Also, micro-moments, artificial intelligence, and machine learning must be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy.
Are you excited to learn more?
Here’s a sneak peek of the top five digital marketing trends experts think are worth investing in the year ahead.
1. Voice searches will be on the rise
This year, you can expect consumers to start using voice search more than the conventional type in. Gartner has predicted that by 2020 more than 30% of web browsing sessions will be voice-based and done without a screen.
Statistics indicate that over one-third of the 3.5 billion searches performed on Google each day are voice searches. This rise in voice-based search has made it essential for the companies to rethink their digital marketing strategies in 2019.
Voice search differs considerably from the typical mobile or desktop search. When you type your queries in the mobile/computer, you frequently see hundreds of search results. However, when you ask a device to conduct a search and device replies verbally, it may only give you a few choices, and quite often, just a single result. And if your website is one of them, the CTR (click through rate) can potentially be much higher.
To stay ahead, you need to tailor your SEO strategy for voice search. This means you need to write in a conversational tone, put efforts to get featured snippets on Google and think of keywords that people will speak instead of typing.
2. Chatbots will offer what humans can’t
Chatbots can help brands improve customer service while keeping a check on budgets. It’s estimated by Juniper Research that by 2023, chatbots will help businesses save over $11 billion per year. Bots can be employed to answer repetitive customer queries to elevate the customer experience. In fact, by 2020, 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without an agent.
Chatbots can also help to make purchases, warm prospects, or schedule sales appointments. These bots are quicker than humans in answering any data-related questions and taking requests. They have personali0ties, humour, and can offer personalized service to customers anytime, anywhere.
Bots can be easily integrated with an application, website and even with a social media platform. They can also be leveraged to gather user information which can be later used to tailor marketing strategies.
The chatbot trend is going to stay in the digital marketing industry and is all set to make its mark in the coming years as the AI research improves. However, one thing that you must keep in mind is that chatbots are not meant to replace complex human conversations. They can help, but they are still improving and evolving.
3. Video marketing will dominate
The video will be an ideal go-to-digital marketing tool for your audience engagement and lead generation in 2019. The numbers too, show the significance of videos, with over 72% of businesses reporting that video improves their conversion rate.
Videos can help in presenting the marketing message to have maximum impact while entertaining the viewers. The videos with apt audio playbacks can go a long way in accelerating your company’s brand growth and allocating USP (unique selling proposition) across all platforms.
Apart from creating a YouTube video, you can consider sharing a video post or live broadcast on various social platforms to drive higher engagement with your video marketing. At present, live video is skyrocketing in popularity, as numerous organizations are increasingly using it for product demos, interviews, glimpses of events, life at the office, etc.
With film equipment becoming more affordable and increasingly high-quality smartphone cameras available readily, marketers and businesses are heading towards the 1:1 video approach.
This approach involves sending personalized video messages instead of emails or phone calls to customers.
4. Artificial intelligence will completely redefine marketing
AI is all geared up to pull its weight in the marketing world this year. Artificial intelligence is capable of powering customer segmentation, retargeting, push notifications, click tracking, and other limitless possibilities. It’s even creating content now!
According to a recent survey completed by Blueshift, 43% of marketers are using AI and machine learning to expand their audiences today. These technologies are also used for audience targeting, product recommendation, and campaign optimization.
AI and machine learning are also driving more efficient data analysis, enabling marketers to deliver hyper-personalization to the customers, which includes personalizing the content and creating unique customer journeys.
In 2019, more marketers are expected to deploy complex trigger-based campaigns, set-up predictive lead scoring, and invest in dynamic content to serve customers at each phase of their journey.
5. Micro-moments will take over customer journey
Research by eMarketer shows that consumers in the US spend over 3 hours and 35 minutes on an average on their smartphones each day. And these customers are constantly bombarded with ads, content, emails, offers, push notifications all the time and have reached a point, where they can’t process any more information.
Brands and marketers are finding it challenging to capture their audience’s attention and keeping them engaged. This is where micro-moment marketing steps in.
Micro-moments is a new consumer behaviour type that occurs when people reflexively turn to their mobile device to act on a need to do something, get to know something, buy something or need to learn something. The various micro-moments are I-want-to-go, I-want-to-know, I-want-to-buy, and I-want-to-do moments which are loaded with context, intent and immediacy – which are the decision making triggers.
The four micro-moment types
So, why are micro-moments important? As people usually make instant decisions on which restaurant to choose, what to eat, or where to go, this gives you only a span of a few seconds to capture their attention. The micro-moments work as they offer customers the right information exactly when they need it.
To utilize the potential of micro-moments, be available where your customers search for information at the moment, like Google, Google Maps, YouTube, Amazon or anywhere else.
Though there are numerous other tactics, I’m focusing on these five trends in 2019. That being said, trends can’t replace good marketing. You can leverage automation, personalization and AI-powered technology to create better customer experiences.
To stand out from the crowd and increase the customer engagement in the year ahead, you’ll need to get better at producing custom, conversational content, especially video and audio content to share with your better-targeted audience.