2018 has been a great year for the digital marketing and the realms that embrace SEO, PPC, SMM and content creation continue to shift and evolve dramatically.
Now that it draws to a close, businesses and marketers not only need to know these trends but how to translate them into strategies that pave the winning path.
1. LIVE VIDEO
With over 50% of consumers saying that video marketing has contributed positively towards an online buying decision, what used to be thought of as a gimmick is now a powerful tool.
But it’s important to note that YouTube isn’t your ‘be all and endall’ with video, especially with today’s smartphones. Live video and 360 video content have grown in leaps and bounds, especially across Facebook (Watch/Live), Instagram (Stories/IGTV) and LinkedIn. With the potential for more instant personal connections to be nurtured and interactive experiences to be delivered, businesses and brands are doubling up as entertainers, not just providers of their product.
Content such as Q&A’s, live demonstrations and a running visual commentary of events, launches and announcements facilitate greater insight. Not to mention storytelling, where the backgrounds of employees, customers, and product development can be displayed.
The AI-centred technology utilises instant messaging to chat live, 24/7, with current or prospective customers. With almost 1.5 Billion people having interacted with a chatbot, up to 90% of all businesses are expected to use them by 2020.
Consumers are finding that upon communication, chatbots are more receptive, provide answers more quickly, correctly recall all previous encounters (questions/purchase history) and can tolerate customer frustration more effectively. Through their ability to offer exceptional service, ensure expectations are met and automate otherwise monotonous tasks, businesses can then reprioritise their time and budgets.
If you want to excel in 2019, personalising your onlinemarketing approach is a MUST. From the products you offer to the emails you send and all the content in between, personalisation has never been more crucial, especially when considering the access to customer behaviour data that we now have. Through personalisation, you’ll be more effectively targeting and satisfying key customers and audiences, building deeper and more intimate relationships with them, and showcasing your own identity to the world.
Think of Netflix; A family with multiple users may share oneaccount, yet each has their own customised profile and caricature. Each user receives different banners, designs, carousels and recommendations, making it seem as though they’ve been immersed in a world designed for them.
4. VOICE SEARCH
Thanks to digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, talking is growingly seen as a more convenient method of interacting with our smart devices. Businesses and brands must align themselves with this notion, as voice not only facilitates a new way to search, shop, and discover, but a new way to market and advertise.
Like any form of digital marketing, the key challenge to overcome will be the short attention span of consumers, more so in this sense because glazing over search results on a screen is still much quicker than listening to them being read out. This could mean that SEO tacticsneed to be optimised to suit the change in consumer response and ensureattentiveness. For example, website meta-descriptions may need to sound more informal and personal to resemble a natural conversation rather than traditionally dry text.
5. MICRO-MOMENT MARKETING
The online battle for a consumer’s attention, love and cash can be both won and lost in micro-moments, a term coined by Google to describe the specific behaviour we portray when we instinctively grab our devices to act on an impulse. It could involve checking the time, texting, scrolling, searching or watching, however the micro-moments most valuable to marketers can be broken down into the I want to know, go, do and buy moments.
These intent-richmoments of browsing, typing, swiping and tapping are where preferences areformed, decisions are made, and customer journeys are built. In these micro-moments, our expectations are higher than ever. Brands and businesses are expected to not only tell us what we’re looking for, but to fill us in on what we might not have even thought of yet, before someone else does.
The switched-on digital marketing players of 2019 will have a well-crafted plan for understanding and delivering on the needs of consumers in these moments.