There is no denying how much the digital marketing landscape has changed in the last few years. Trends are changing so fast that it’s really hard to keep up.
With the evolution of technologies and the web, winds of change in this sector can be felt strongly. What is the latest can become obsolete within a year or even less! Just having a social media profile does not cut much ice for any business- anymore.
The companies need to have well defined digital marketing strategies to sustain in the competitive market and woo more customers. Not all businesses are adept in mastering digital marketing trends, as it is. Some have managed to grasp the new trends and adapted their strategies accordingly while others are still playing catch up!
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So without further ado, let me tell you about 7 marketing trends to you should be paying attention to in 2019.
It has become a sort of a buzzword in business circles but it is actually more than a buzzword. You can think of omnichannel as multichannel. In a well-defined multichannel marketing strategy, the brands set up numerous marketing touchpoints that reinforce each other for easing the buying journey. For instance, a brand may use social media channels to entice the visitors to the website while using email as its lead nurturing channel.
So, in Omnichannel marketing strategy the marketing touchpoints work together on every channel and the touchpoints are made consistent. The majority of brands resort to social media, and email as the marketing channels. Some channels that can be leveraged by the businesses include:
- Ephemeral videos like Instagram and Facebook stories
- Smartphone apps
- Live broadcasts
- PR and press releases
- Chatbots and virtual assistants
- Direct mails
All these digital channels can help reinforce a brand’s existing marketing strategy or complement it, for that matter. Omnichannel marketing strategy is required for consumer-facing businesses since a majority of people use 3 or more such channels for research before buying anything- nowadays. Bank of America has adopted such a strategy and it has proved to be very effective. The BoA smartphone app lets customers perform almost every banking activity. They can also take help from Erica the virtual assistant. Bank of America also offers helpful content to its existing customers through the app, website, and email. Eventually, having an Omnichannel marketing strategy is not only good for generating new business but it is also beneficial for creating a positive customer experience. That helps enhance the customer retention rate. As per the Aberdeen Group, businesses with a strong omnichannel marketing strategy can retain 89% of their customers and over 9 percent year-on-year hike in their annual revenues, approximately.
It looks like Disney is one such company that has finally managed to make the most of omnichannel experience. It's desktop version features its most popular cartoon characters in an attempt to seize the attention of the visitors at the very first glance. The mobile version of the same website works seamlessly and keeps its focus on the main characters. It contains trailers of upcoming movies and visitors can book a tour directly from its website. Once you have booked your trip, you should go ahead and download Disney mobile app. Once you have reached the park, you can use this app to locate the main attractions of the park easily. This is what an omnichannel experience should look like.
AI is what the businesses are excited about and it is no longer a tech buzzword. AI technologies are being deployed in many industries and the early adoption results are largely positive. AI can also be deployed in enhancing marketing strategies of various brands. Ai can be defined as advanced computer applications that can mimic human analysis and actions and make logical deductions to accomplish tasks. AI can be integrated with existing digital marketing strategies of a brand easily like email marketing for example. While a majority of companies are still using AI for doing basic and repetitive tasks, in future this can change. AI tech is likely to be used in analyzing customer preferences and customizing specific promotional strategies.
Clarifai is harnessing the power of artificial intelligence by drastically changing the concept of eCommerce search. This US-based tech startup is giving the old and boring search an interesting visual makeover. ‘Artificial intelligence with a vision’ is how they describe their product. BY allowing developers to build smarter apps, Clarifai is trying to help eCommerce business owners to build something which is entirely customers centric.
Chatbots are the creation of first-generation AI technology- as it is. They are being used by various types of brands including food companies, banks, online retailers, aviation entities, etc. There is no shortage of companies that offer chatbot automations. Till now, most such brands are using chatbots for enhancing customer support. However, in the near future, these may be utilized for customized marketing needs. They can be deployed as digital concierges by the brands to assist valued customers. The chatbots can be used to assist the buyers in making buying choices and browse apps and websites.
To promote its show Genius, National Geographic decided to use a chatbot to engage with its targeted audience. What is unique about this chatbot is that it interacts with people just like Albert Einstein. It was an amazing idea and well-executed as well.
A brand may have thousands of customers and they can be segregated into various age groups and income groups. Not all customers of a company will have a similar mindset or buying needs. This is applicable even for those companies that target specific types of buyers such as maternity and infant product makers. People who buy products online prefer personalized content- studies have indicated. Marketing personalization can be useful for a company and it brings the below-listed benefits:
- Better customer experiences
- More revenue
- Increased brand loyalty
- Cross-channel product selling opportunities
- Brand consistency
People like it when they realize the brands they are fond of recognize them and care about their needs and experiences. The age of using catchy jingles and Blanket ad campaigns are over- say the experts. The digital marketing campaigns are being personalized like never before. Businesses are using data analysis tools to figure out buying preferences of the valued customers and they offer them relevant offers and content thereafter.
With the help of AI tools, emails are being made to suit the data profile of the customers and the same is true of mobile push notifications. For example, a food delivery service company analyzes the order history of the customers to offer them personalized promotions on personal occasions like birthdays.
The personalized digital marketing campaign of a company may encompass:
- Personalized product recommendations
- Personalized video message
- Personalized social media posts and messages
- Automated contact segmentation
- Web content personalization
- Targeted and triggered email
Iberia Airlines launched an interesting marketing campaign in 2016 holiday season. It started sending emails to its customers asking them – “If you could visit any vacation destination, what would it be, and who would you go with?”
Now, in order to answer this question, the users would have to click on a particular link and once clicked, they would get redirected to a microsite where they would have to fill out some fields along with the email id of the person that they want to travel with. Once the form is submitted, the friend of that person would receive an email with a holiday greeting. This is an amazing advertising idea that fully utilizes the concept of enhanced personalization to deliver an outstanding outcome.
More Focus On Video Content
Video content usage is not exactly a new concept in the digital marketing scene. However, the abundance is noticeable and how it is used is also changing with time. This is partly fueled by the availability of cheaper and faster internet connectivity- across the globe. 4G LTE networks are now widespread and 5G is on the horizon-promising superfast internet connectivity. So, the consumers are also leaning towards video content like never before- whether it is for ads or how-to guides!
The consumers prefer watching videos that look well shot and deliver useful content. It is only these videos that go viral. It is not necessary to use expensive software to produce a video for digital marketing- there are plenty of online tools that can be used. Creating marketing videos is not as hard as it might seem. Digital marketers can make use of different types of videos to woo customers and retain existing ones.
- How-to videos
- Influencer interviews
- Product walkthrough
- Behind the scenes videos
- Customer testimonials
- Company culture videos
- Event videos (like trade fair)
You have most curtained watched the famous The Epic Split featuring Van Damme. That was incredible right of course it was and the soundtrack had given it a new dimension altogether. It did help Volvo Trucks grab the attention of the audience. But most people are not even aware of the fact that the Volvo has gone extra miles to raise awareness among its targeted audience about its truck by launching a series of video contents. It had launched video content on a wide range of subjects. FAQ videos, Product videos, Case Study videos, Video documentary, educational videos, branded films, etc; they had done it all.
Voice Search Optimization
In 2018, the usage of digital assistants (voice-guided) became very popular. The number of devices supporting Alexa and Google Now - two popular virtual assistants shot up significantly. The consumers are now discovering the benefits of using such digital assistants. Latest data shows the number of people using such virtual assistants for finding products and doing research online is on the rise. Some brands have taken note of this trend and they are deploying Voice Search Optimization. This will ensure the consumers get accurate results when they use Voice Search to find resources or info on the brands.
In an era when the buyers are being bombarded with ads and promotional offers 24x7, making content or ad stand out can be tedious. Irrespective of the technological advances in digital marketing, the buyers ultimately prefer connection and interactions with the brands. That is why the online community of buyers is a popular concept. Building communities around a company can bring a number of benefits. This boosts feelings of loyalty in the consumers and helps create an emotional connection with the company. Jeep has done it well with Jeep wave community. Communities also make customers stay connected with brands after buying products. This also leads to scopes of repeat buying and online referrals. Starbucks has done it effectively with Leaf Rakers Society.
Again, this is not a radically new concept in the digital marketing arena. With the ad blockers and GDPR norms making it tough for the brands to reach out to target buyers, many are opting for influencer marketing tactics. Once it was the choice for bigwigs like Nike.
There are many benefits of involving influencer marketing in the digital marketing strategy for a brand - regardless of its niche.
It helps in developing trust in a brand- more so for those new into online shopping. It works on those customers who are cold to typical marketing messages. It lets the companies utilize the relationship they have with the influencers and the impact on the target audience.
Influencer marketing is highly targeted in nature. The brands can reach out to specific types of consumers using this method amongst others. It also delivers results without delay.
The companies that have tasted success with influencer marketing will take it as a long-term professional alliance in 2019 - say the analysts. They will not use it as a one-time strategy to get more customers.
Influencer marketing is not restricted to sales at all. Companies are using it for increasing brand visibility and for increasing brand awareness. To help Somalia deal with a historic famine and drought, Jérôme Jarre, the famous Snapchat star decided to partner with Turkish Airlines. Interestingly, Turkish Airlines is the only internal airlines that had a direct flight to Somalia and it was delivering humanitarian aid to the people of Somalia. Jérôme shared this news on his Instagram and Twitter accounts and it instantly went viral. It was liked 58,000+ times on Instagram and the story was retweeted 83,000+ times. He managed to raise a whopping 1 Million US Dollar in just 24 hours which is a remarkable achievement by any standard. Though Turkish Airlines did not gain anything monetarily from this, there is no denying the fact that its image got a huge fillip from this.
Summing It Up
Digital Marketing is changing fast - beyond doubt. It is going to usher in technologies that are now deemed as futuristic but will become more mainstream in the near future. It is important for the brands to deliver quality service and content to the customers through digital marketing to sustain in the rat race.
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