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Forecast of the Biggest Marketing Trends for 2019

Nigel Graber
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For those of us who still have an appetite for following the emerging trends in digital marketing, we’ve compiled a list of ten hot topics to watch out for in 2019. But first, how can you possibly hope to keep up with the fast-moving world of digital marketing?

How to keep up with trends

1. Devour blogs

There’s a certain amount you can pick up about the latest marketing trends on social media but, to truly stay ahead of the curve, you’ll need to read more than 280 Twitter characters.

Find the best blogs on content marketing, social media and SEO and keep them in your favourites. Content Marketing Institute is the thought-leader in its field, while The Marketing Profs is a great resource for trends in digital marketing. And The Moz Blog is a leading voice in SEO insights.

Get your finger on the pulse of the industry with just a quick scan of the headlines every few days. You’ll begin to figure out which voices you should be listening to.

2. Meet your peers

As well as gobbling up full English breakfasts over social networking, you should also meet your peers to talk about their perception of trends in digital marketing.

You could form your own small group that meets regularly to talk about the latest in digital marketing. Or just make a point of having a chat with those in the know as your week unfolds. However you play it, don’t try to go it alone. Business is done by people – so meet them as often as you can.

Top view of men and women having common work at desk. Guys are shaking hands.

3. Get the best tools

You wouldn’t use a rusty old saw to cut wood. So don’t rely on old, outdated Internet-marketing tools. Check online.Take a look at Google Trends, for example. Type in keywords relevant to your sector to discover what Internet users are looking for. You could also create a Google Alert for various topics. You’ll get an update in your inbox every time something new appears online.

4. Watch the big boys

Watch what the big brands are doing. If you notice a few leading brands taking a new approach, act on it.The key thing is not to get left behind. Trends in digital marketing become obsolete as quickly as they become relevant. So, what can we expect to become the hot new digital-marketing strategies in the next year or so? Here are ten ideas to look out for.

Top digital marketing trends in 2019 for small business

1. Content clusters

Just for a change, Google has recently changed its algorithm. Keywords are out. What you should be aiming for is to link content to form ‘clusters’ around topics (‘pillars’) relevant to your category.

These pillars are pages that give an overview of a topic. For example, ‘clothing for dogs’. The clusters would home in on relevant long-tail keywords, such as ‘When to vaccinate your dog’, ‘How to house-train your dog’. The pillar links to the cluster pages, which link back to the pillar.

2. Snack ads

Snack ads are aimed at today’s incredibly short attention spans. They’re bite-sized videos that last no more than ten seconds. It’s all down to stats – videos of this length engage 89% of viewers. On a 60-second ad, the figure is down to just over 50%.We’ll stop there. In case you lose interest.

3. Chatbots

Chatbots mimic human conversations, to help with simple tasks such as making appointments, calling for a cab or checking in for a flight. Experts believe that by 2020, 85% of customer interaction will be through chatbots.

The good news is that 70% of consumers report a positive experience with chatbots. The really great news is that many of them, such as Snatchbot, are free to use.

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4. Influencer marketing

What’s influencer marketing? In short, it’s a sort of word-of-mouth marketing that involves paying influencers to get your brand message out there.These influencers could be a celebrity on Instagram or a well-known YouTube star. Maybe even bloggers or journalists who can build your brand through their social channels.

Influencers discuss a brand that they love and use and their audience laps it up because they trust them. Nearly two-thirds of consumers say they trust online consumer opinions. Maybe that’s why influencer marketing brings home 11 times the return on investment of other types of digital marketing.

One company that’s reaped the benefits of influencer marketing is H&M. The fashion brand has a huge Instagram following. Much of that is down to its influencer campaign with women who reflect the brand’s style.H&M partnered with fashion blogger Julie Sariñana and model Ela Velden in 2017. Sariñana loved the clothing and promoted it heavily on her Instagram account. The result was 31% follower growth in 2017.

The trend now is for brands to forge long-term relationships with influencers so that the endorsements become more ‘organic’ and prevent the influencer from jumping ship.

5. Honesty

There’s been a negative vibe around advertising and marketing for as long as it’s existed. The battle for the media-makers has always been to get consumers to trust the product promises on offer and not to see their sales techniques as unethical.

So, it’s always been pretty hard to impress consumers. And today, there’s also plenty of information and independent reviews out there to base decisions on, with research easier than ever, thanks to the Internet.

That’s why companies are getting more transparent. They’re happier to concede that their products or services don’t do everything, or to come clean about faults. They’ll also directly address negative feedback (the TripAdvisor effect). Expect more of this in 2019.

6. Smartphone marketing

The rise of mobile marketing has been relentless. With 1.2 billion people around the world using smartphones, it just makes so much sense. There are one or two other stats that add up as well:

  • People use mobile on average for 2.8 hours a day, against 2.4 hours on PC
  • Mobile accounts for 80% of social media time
  • Nearly 90% of users who look for a local business on their phones visit it within 24 hours
  • Apps account for nearly 90% of mobile time
Woman Working In Kitchen With Smart Speaker In Foreground

7. Smart speakers

Yes, that’s right. Smart speakers. We’re talking about Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomePod. These devices have become big news in the consumer tech market of late.It seems they’re popular, too: 65% of owners say they wouldn’t want to go back to surviving without their smart speaker. (Even if it does tell you ‘everything will be all right’ when you cry.)

But what’s all this got to do with trends in digital marketing? Well, it’s highly likely that many more online publications will jump on the voice-selling bandwagon, with more adverts on these platforms. Amazon, Google, and Apple might even create their own advertising channels – like a voice-based Google Ads.

8. Internet versus TV

In 2019, experts tell us that the Internet will catch up to TV viewing in the number of hours watched. Next year, people are predicted to spend a daily average of 170.6 minutes online against 170.3 minutes watching TV, according to measurement company Zenith.

So it seems likely that businesses will shell out less on TV adverts and more on web video, social media, and web ads in 2019. What will your strategy be?

9. Live video

Modern streaming services are getting pretty slick. So it’s little wonder YouTube, Facebook and Instagram’s live video services have made such an impact over the last three years. The big breakthrough year was 2016 when 81% of Internet users watched more live video than in 2015.Live video is big news. Did you know that 67% of live viewers say they’re more likely to buy a concert ticket if they’ve watched a similar live stream online? And a further 45% would pay money to see live sports events on an online stream.

10. The growth of Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is a messaging app and platform, and another emerging trend in digital marketing. It lets you send messages and swap photos, videos, and audio. You also get to react to other people’s messages and interact with bots. Messenger also supports voice and video calling.

For businesses, this rising popularity of Messenger is an opportunity. Latest Facebook stats show that 1.3 billion people use Messenger every month, sending eight billion messages. And 78% of smartphone owners use Messenger every month. Targeted, sponsored ads are a major opportunity on Messenger.

Embrace emerging marketing trends

So, there we have it. Ten good reasons for your business to embrace emerging trends in digital marketing. And if you really can’t get your head around this stuff, for goodness’ sake pay someone who can. Good luck.

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