2018 introduced us to a more advanced era of marketing trends starting with augmented reality, innovative video content, higher influencer marketing, and voice search… So what does 2019 have in store for us?
Here are the top digital marketing trends to catch our eye this year:
1. Facebook Changing Its Design
Facebook has been the leading social media network for the last couple of years, until recently when they were outranked by YouTube and moved to position 2. To keep and grow their audience Facebook is launching a new homepage look and feel which intends to make the platform faster to use and easier to find what you are looking for.
It’s also introducing a number of features like Marketplace, Meet New Freinds, Gaming tab, Facebook Watch, Health Support groups, and Job groups.
Job Groups will have a template where employers can post job openings so that people interested can message and apply for those jobs directly on Facebook.
The Meet New Friends feature helps people start new friendships with people within the same communities such as your local workplaces or schools.
Facebook is also adding an appointment booking tool to Messenger which you can use to combine with other calendars so that your schedule is synced.
The new design makes it easier for visitors to separate things that are public and private with the use of the Groups tab. Facebook will now use this tab to personalize your feed across all your groups. The best part is the discovery tool that helps you to find groups that you’re more likely interested in.
2. Voice Search
Voice search comes in two forms:
The first is in smart speakers. Microsoft introduced Cortana, Google introduced Google Home, and Apple wowed us with its Homepod. These smart speakers give people searching the web an immediate voice answer to their questions.
The second are those that are installed into our desktops, and smartphones such as Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri. Both of which display written search results.
But what effect does this have on businesses and marketing experts?
For businesses, top brands have already begun investigating how they can deliver their customers a unique experience by using voice-enabled actions. Not only are devices with voice search affordable, but they offer unique capabilities as more visitors are using voice search as a way to interact with these brands.
For marketing departments, experts are starting to focus their efforts on using voice engine optimization for optimal search engine optimization visibility. This means that they are required to think about exactly what their target audience may use in their voice search questions. This also means they need to focus on long-tail keywords because people searching are more specific when asking a question.
For example, someone may request information about the price and location of a product. Marketers will use this as an opportunity to deliver content that is more targeted and specific which will lead to an increase in their click-through rates.
3. More Chatbots
You’re probably wondering what this is?
When a visitor lands on a website, they are now more frequently contacted with a pop up called a chatbot that asks whether or not they require assistance or what information they can be helped with.
If the visitor chooses yes, they are asked a number of automated questions. These automated questions that are asked by chatbots play a critical role in improving the customer experience as its a great way to provide interactions between business and consumer to understand the real problem.
They allow marketers a way to better engage with their audience without doing a lot of work and they offer real-time assistance and support. Speak to your website designer to ensure that they include this on your website if you see that it will be valuable to your business.
4. Instagram’s hidden ‘likes’
Business Insider revealed that Instagram is now testing out the idea of hiding users’ likes on the newsfeed. This will stop users from seeing like counts on photos and videos posted by others, although users themselves will be able to see their own metrics if they click on specific posts.
You’re probably aware that more and more people are becoming obsessed with the number of likes their posts are getting and translating this into a measurement of their self-worth.
The goal is to create a less pressurized environment where users feel comfortable enough to express themselves without the added pressure of comparing themselves to others.
Instagram is testing out this theory because they want users followers to focus on the actual photos and videos they share, and not on how many likes they get. It will be interesting to see what type of impact that this change will have of influencer marketing, where many local and international celebs are paid to market brands content, products or services to an engaged audience.
5. Live Videos
People everywhere and on every platform are using more and more live videos to reach their audiences. Why? Well because it’s free. It takes a short time to produce and it offers a way to engage with people in real time.
Live streaming means marketers get to engage with their potential clients in a way that almost instantly builds a real connection or relationship with them. This leads to increased followers and boosts the traffic to their social channels.
6. Browser Push Notifications
Last but not least, push notifications are moving up in the world of web browser tech and are one of the most popular web trends for 2019.
Companies online are using browser push notifications to reach and communicate with their potential customers in a much more effective way.
These notifications remind customers to do something which has shown a positive improvement in conversion rates. Companies that are E-commerce based use these browser push notifications to retarget shoppers who have abandoned their shopping carts for whatever reason in order to persuade them to come back and complete their purchase.
The new Facebook design, Voice search, and Chatbots give visitors a more efficient process while Live videos will bring businesses closer to their audiences.
Instagrams ‘hidden likes’ takes away the pressure placed on audiences in relation to their self-worth. For brands the focus will be on posting amazing content. Brands should utilize browser push notifications more will be good to use as a reminder to visitors. Combine all of that together and the future of marketing is becoming a paradise for consumers.
Over to you
What trends have you noticed this year and which do you intend to incorporate into your marketing efforts during 2019? Feel free to reach out to us should you require any help getting your brand up to date on digital marketing trends.