The Top Digital Marketing Trends for 2019
Updated: Mar 13, 2019
Back in 2013, Adobe published survey of marketing professionals that found that 76% of respondents felt that “marketing had changed more in the past 2 years than in the previous 50.”
Three years later they repeated the survey. This time, they were able to solicit responses from more than 7,000 marketing professionals. The results showed that not only did the landscape of the marketing industry change from 2013 to 2016, the rate of change actually seemed to be accelerating.
Anyone who works in this field or runs their own business can attest to the truth of this- even if you feel like you’re on top of your marketing strategy, the next minute your numbers have flatlined and you’re desperately playing catch up. Data-driven marketing, which was the top priority of 53% of respondents in the 2016 survey, continues to be a key tool that we can use to help understand the user experience and bring a personal touch to our marketing initiatives.
Using These Tools to Understand the Customer Experience
The introduction to the 2016 survey results made sure to note that “tools, technologies, and even innovation itself are only as useful as the processes to put them into the field.” This means that it’s not enough to get the data- it needs to be used to fuel the creation of excellent content that’s centered around the customer experience.
What I learned from this survey was that digital marketing (like the rest of the world) continues to move towards automation, but needs to stay focused on the customer experience. Here are some more takeaways that will help give us insight into the landscape of digital marketing for 2019.
AI are here to stay
The rise of AI will continue into 2019, changing the landscape of digital marketing as it moves forward. A study from Blueshift found that 28% of marketers are now using AI to give customers product recommendations, for audience expansion, audience targeting, and campaign optimization. 64% of survey respondents said that they planned on increasing their usage of AI in the coming months.
Even though the use of AI is only growing in popularity, there are a lot of companies that are lagging behind in their use of this tool. One easy tip for companies that aren’t yet ready to make the leap into fully AI-powered social interaction (more on that next) is to focus on the alt-text attributes of all your website images, so that they’re ready to be crawled and indexed by machines in the future.
Bring social interaction to your website with a chat support system
A chatbot or a chat support system allows your customers the opportunity to interact with your website on their own terms. As we’ll see later, it’s not enough that multiple channels for communication exist- they all need to speak to each other and work collectively to solve your customer’s problem. My website uses a chat support system that allows potential clients (and sometimes my dad when he’s feeling tech-savvy) to send me messages at any time of the day or night. When I get a message, I respond right away.
I first saw one on Kathryn Meisner’s website- she’s a Toronto career and salary negotiation coach, and I was trying to sign up for one of her courses when I realized I needed a question answered right away. I was able to type a quick message, and have it answered by her (actually her, not a machine!) seconds later.
For larger companies, the use of an automated chatbot that can automatically generate answers to customer inquiries will continue to rise. 37% of people surveyed for The 2018 State of Chatbots Report said that they would be willing to use a chatbot to get quick answers to a query in an emergency. The #1 benefit that survey respondents appreciate about chatbots is the fact that they’re available 24/7. Customers get answers, any time of the day or night, on their terms.
Omnichannel marketing beats multichannel marketing
In 2019, it’s not enough to have a website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and a YouTube channel. All of these marketing channels need to be able to work together to bring your customers an experience that’s interactive but never repetitive. Cardinal Digital Marketing calls this ‘omnichannel marketing’ and defines it as “seamless and consistent communication process to prospects and customers across all channels.”
The average person has multiple social media profiles, and if they’re seeing the same information repeated over every channel in your marketing arsenal (and worse, getting multiple push notifications saying the same thing), it’s boring at best and infuriating at worst. Omnichannel marketing involves a single overarching strategy that allows your customer to get involved on any platform, and have their details and preferences tracked throughout every subsequent interaction. Invesp found that companies with omnichannel marketing strategies retained 89% of customers compared to the 33% retained by companies without omnichannel customer engagement.
AMPs and PWAs will get more popular
AMPs (accelerated mobile pages) and PWAs (progressive web apps) are two types of hybrid web pages that offer a quicker response than the traditional web page, especially on a mobile device.
PWAs are used by many companies to help people browsing on their mobile devices- they load faster than traditional websites, but are available to people who don’t wish to download a mobile app. Not everyone who is browsing on mobile wants to download another app, so a PWA gives them the same functionality with less commitment.
AMPs bring websites up faster, and although their use hasn’t been officially confirmed by Google to affect rankings, they do love to see fast speeds with lower bounce rates. Learning how to create content to match these lightning-fast speeds will be a challenge worthy of taking on in 2019. Especially since at least 60% of search engine hits are coming from mobile devices.
The category with the highest percentage of mobile searches is, unsurprisingly, food and beverage. If you’re dealing with hungry customers who just want your website to load so they can find your hours, it definitely pays to check out options for an AMP or PWA.
Every business owner, no matter how big or small, just wants what’s best for their company. Part of that means engaging in efforts to bring in customers and acquire new business through custom-made marketing plans.
Let me help you make a content marketing plan that’s right for you. Get in touch with me here to learn more about how I can help you navigate the changeable landscape of digital marketing in 2019.