2018 saw most businesses that committed to long-term investments in digital marketing reap the dividends of it. At least that’s what data shows.
According to Search it local, SEO in 2018 increased conversions by 14.6% as to the 1.7% conversion rate of traditional outbound strategies such as cold-calling.
And search engine optimization wasn’t the only area where the digital marketing landscape witnessed a shift.
Inventions such as chatbots, voice search, and AI and Blockchain technologies made a huge impact in the digital marketing arena too.
But remember, what worked in 2018 may very well not be as effective in the successive years.
The key is to anticipate trends, monitor customers’ behavior in lieu of these changes, and adjust your strategies to accommodate these updates.
As we head on into 2019, here are some of the top trends to look out for:
1. Artificial Intelligence
Every year we hear how AI and machine learning will break now ground in the marketing space, health care, ecommerce and other verticals. Each time, it meets and beats our expectations.
And we expect nothing less in 2019.
The truth of the matter is, as long as AI can offer to industries what humans can’t, its influence on our world will only continue to grow.
In fact, research by IDC has predicted that in 2019, 40% of digital transformation initiatives and 100% of Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives will be AI supported.
This reports all but backs Gartner’s report that 30% of companies will incorporate AI in their sales process by 2020.
And it makes sense.
Think about it, Netflix saved a whopping 1 billion dollars in revenue in 2017 just by using machine learning to make personalized recommendations to its customers.
And, since then a lot of other big corporations have been brainstorming on how best to deploy this technology to their operations.
In fact, the Economist intelligent unit (EIU) survey shows that a lot of these businesses are losing sleep on the matter.
The survey revealed that 44% of existing businesses are concerned that a delay in the deployment of AI technology might tip the scale in favor of new and disruptive startups.
All these data only imply one thing:
That AI will be everywhere in 2019, and marketers who are quick to adapt and ride on the waves will reap the rewards.
2. Live Videos
Video is the icing on quality content, and more businesses are beginning to realize that.
Over the years, online video boom has been responsible for the surge in internet traffic.
In fact, 73% of marketers created not less than 2 videos a month to promote their businesses in 2018, and 93% of these businesses reportedly multiplied on their visitors.
But what is better than videos?
According to social media today, viewers will spend thrice the time watching a live video compared to a prerecorded one.
Livestream conducted a survey with New York Magazine to see how their audience felt about live videos and here are some of the results:
- 80% prefer to watch a live video from a brand than read a blog
- 82% would rather see live videos from a brand than see social posts
- 56% prefer breaking news content in the live video format
- 67% of people who watched the live streaming of an event purchased a ticket for a similar event the next time it occurred
- 87% prefer to watch behind-the-scene contents online than a standard TV broadcast.
- 45% of audiences would pay for a live video.
And with streaming services like Facebook and Instagram growing in popularity, marketers are sure to cash in more in 2019 if they create more live streaming experiences along the way.
3. Voice Search
Hear me out; voice search is on the rise.
Since the launch of voice search technology in 2018, voice search queries have now grown 35 times larger.
With smart assistants like Siri and Alexa becoming increasing popular, voice search has come a long way and is expected to become even more popular in the coming year.
While traditional search application still remains to be beaten, consumers are already beginning to use voice search in their quests as 58% of them used it to find local businesses in 2018 alone.
Just as artificial intelligence continues to grow, the use of smart assistants is expected to increase.
For marketers, this could mean a whole new challenge as every business will want to be the top result that matches the customer’s voice, especially since voice search only gives the top result that matches the query.
4. Social media
Do you know that almost every Canadian adult is on social media?
If you haven’t given much thought to your social media strategies, then you are not yet prepared for 2019.
Social media already penetrate 42% of the world’s population, and if that don’t place it as ‘very important’, then I wonder what will.
As social media has continued to grow over the years, a lot has changed.Now, dominating only a single platform just doesn’t cut it. You must realize that your leads on Facebook are probably not on LinkedIn, and those on LinkedIn may not be on YouTube. The way to go is to create content in ways that will fit across the multiple platforms.
Content created for your blog is simultaneously shared on social media. Of course not everything created for social media finds a place on your blog. But your blog largely does it for your social media stuff.
If you have seen the movie ‘The hunger game’, then you already have an idea of how business in the digital space looks like.
It is a bunch of marketers fighting for their businesses in a constantly changing environment. You either adapt to the changes or your business dies off.
However, you must realize that while predictive trends are valuable, they are not cast in stones. A lot of them will come to pass, but some might still fall short.
If you are serious about growing your business in the coming years, chasing trends alone will not cut it.
Research, experimentations, as well as constant engagement with the top performance in your space, should fuel your strategy as we head into 2019.
Sam Zaman –
Sam Zaman loves to write on technology and related stuff. E-commerce, mobile and internet marketing equally drive her interest. Likes gardening and experimenting with new recipes. An avid reader and absolutely mad @bout donuts She has long been associated with Mofluid.