With 2019 not far off, business owners and marketers the world over are witnessing the evolution of the digital marketing industry before their very eyes. The nascent but blossoming Artificial Intelligence industry, voice search and smart speaker technology, and video and influencer marketing are all making waves in the scene, and they are getting too big to ignore.
For those looking for new ideas or those simply trying to stay on top of the latest trends, here are the top three digital marketing strategies and trends that you can’t ignore in 2019.
1. Artificial intelligence
Whether we’re talking about digital marketing, the IT job market, or just about any other industry — or even facet of that industry — A.I. is on its way to changing everything. In fact, one of Pepperdine University Online’s infographics mentions that not only have Google, Facebook, IBM, Tesla, and Qualcomm committed to A.I. implementations, but that A.I. is making its mark on the sporting industry, higher education, and even world governments.
In the realm of digital marketing, the advent and adoption of A.I. allow businesses to analyze partners about their consumers and catch trends that the average human being might miss. The writers for the Adext blog posit that A.I. will take over in the areas of creating and generating content, email marketing, acting as chatbots, and, of course, predictive analysis.
More specifically, Shane Barker with Hackernoon writes about five specific ways that A.I. can provide a competitive edge to digital marketing efforts:
- Helps you understand your audience better, specifically by analyzing data to predict buying behaviours and decisions of target customers.
- Improves user experience via data garnered and analyzed by AI processes.
- Makes marketing more effective with less guesswork and more data-driven analysis.
- Increases productivity with automated tasks, saving both time and money.
- Increases ROI with better-performing content and more effective offers pointed to detailed customer profiles.
The uses, it seems, will be endless, and this is one technology that will likely disrupt beyond your industry on a global scale sooner, rather than later.
2. SEO, visual & voice search
Most digital marketers are already in-the-know when it comes to SEO — it’s essentially the hidden backbone of the industry. However, there are certain specific nuances that must not go unnoticed in the coming year. For example, in July of 2018, Google began to put a lot of emphasis on mobile-first content strategies. If you did not adapt to this in 2018, you’re already behind.
Even fresher are the nuances regarding voice and visual searches. According to Thee Design, approximately 3.5 billion searches were performed on Google alone at the end of 2017. That number is only going to continue to grow. ComScore estimates that by 2020, half of all searches will be voice-based.
Another development beyond voice search is visual search. Kristopher Jones, writing for Search Engine Land, believes that we’re nearing an era where one will be able to snap a picture of a restaurant and tell you the name, location, peak hours, and even menu specials for the night.
“With the rise of voice search and natural language processing (NLP) accompanying this trend, this technology could help kick-start the trend of interface-free SEO,” writes Jones.
The point is that, while traditional SEO within digital marketing used to be reserved for what we can read — content marketing and page optimization — the future of SEO will also include what we see, hear, and say.
3. Messaging platforms
Manish Nepal, writing for the Freshchat Blog, mentions that, while many companies insist on implementing live chat support to interact with new and existing customers, forward-thinking companies are engaging more meaningfully with customers through modern messaging platforms.
“[These forward-thinking companies] find messaging apps more useful for the personalized and context-driven customer experience they offer,” he writes. “Messaging apps help businesses feel customers’ pulse by directly interacting with them and improve on areas they fall short at. Live messaging platforms help businesses bring customers closer to their brand, fight off churn, and create brand stickiness.”
Messenger marketing is a growing trend and has been called “the next big frontier for business growth” because messaging apps “give users substantial control over who can send messages to them,” writes Beerud Sheth, for AdWeek. “Businesses need user permission before communicating with them, and users can opt in or out at any time.”
In 2019 and beyond…
The old adage that “change is the only thing that’s constant” has never been more apparent. Year after year, new technologies, trends, and strategies disrupt the digital marketing norms, meaning that those who are adaptable are best prepared to survive the tumultuous future.
The tip here is that you shouldn’t get married to any one strategy or technology, because chances are it won’t be around forever — and if you’re not adaptable and open to change, you won’t be either.