Posted: 10 Oct 2018 Contributor: Matthew J Fritschle
What Are the Top Digital Marketing Trend Predictions for 2019?
Digital marketing can be likened to a building. A building with a revolving door, that is.
Why is this, you ask?
Because digital marketing, more so than other fields, is particularly sensitive to changing trends that seem to come and go like the seasons.
For the most part, this is due to the digital part of digital marketing, as we’re in the midst of a digital revolution that’s bringing us countless new technologies that all impact marketing in their own unique way.
For example, the popularity of smartphones and digital assistants like Siri made voice search SEO a part of most digital strategies. Along similar lines, smartphones also gave rise to visual search, which, while not as popular as voice search, is still a worthy contender, especially for fashion brands that are highly visual.
The point being that, like a revolving door, digital marketing trends are constantly coming and going.
To illustrate, take a look at some of the top digital marketing trends for 2018 below, and compare to the trends we’ll cover shortly that are sure to be part of most Top Digital Marketing Trends 2019 posts floating around this time of the year:
Small Business Trends
Whereas 2017 was marked by debates on whether offline marketing was dead or not, 2018 brought us an answer in the form of a surge of local businesses marrying online and offline strategies to compete with bigger businesses that dominate the online world.
Veering to the digital, many these typically smaller businesses also started dipping their toes into artificial intelligence to attach a chatbot to their business and website, allowing them to serve customers 24/7.
Design trends in 2018 favored geometric patterns that lend a futuristic and technological look to blend the line between simple shapes and elegant designs that draw users in. Alternatively, as many dropped minimalism and monochromatic color schemes in 2018, they took up vibrant palettes that are bigger and bolder.
Social Media Marketing Trends
Within the social world, the popularity of visuals translated into a big jump in platforms like Instagram and Snapchat (despite a back and forth from constant changes and updates), and a slight slowing down of Facebook, which saw a slew of controversies.
Going off of visuals, if 2017 was the rise of video, 2018 saw it completely dominate other forms of content, with 10 million videos being watched on Snapchat daily, Facebook feeds being nearly all video, and Instagram stories garnering an astounding 250 million daily active users.
With social media’s popularity soaring in 2018, social media influence marketing saw a similar increase, as it’s not only able to bypass barriers enacted by ads, but also deliver tailored content to bigger audiences that were previously unknown. These brands were then able to brand themselves as authority figures within their industries in the bargain.
With that fresh in our minds, let’s see what’s coming in digital marketing for 2019.
1. The Rise of Smart Speakers
Whether you prefer Amazon or Google, or even smaller brands like Sonos and HEOS, one thing is certain: smart speakers are infiltrating home after home at a rapid pace.
With the ability to not only play what you want through simple commands, but also control smart appliances around your home with similar commands, and even scour the internet to find answers to your queries, smart speakers are becoming a staple of the modern home.
Even better, brands with smart speaker offerings are now introducing models with screens, such as the Amazon Echo Show and Google’s upcoming Smart Displays, for improved capabilities and added visual features.
2. Voice Is Becoming the Ultimate Search Tool
Like smart speakers that allow us to “talk” to digital assistants (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, etc.), smartphones with their own assistants like as Siri and Bigsby are doing the same exact thing.
In other words, as more and more devices are bundled with these assistants, we’re able to do more and more with the sound of our voice.
Case in point, search.
Apart from the simplicity of asking Alexa or the Google Assistant what the weather will be tonight as you sit on your couch, voice search is especially useful when on-the-go, as when you’re driving and want to find a restaurant near you.
All it takes is a simple, “Hey Siri, where’s the nearest sushi restaurant?” and you’ll get an answer without having to unlock your phone or open a single app.
3. Chatbots Are Becoming the Norm
Conversational commerce in the form of AI-powered chatbots that reside in an application or website at all hours of the day, acting as 24/7 customer service representatives that are always ready to help someone out, are quickly becoming the norm.
Whereas chatots used to be reserved for bigger brands who could afford to actually program them, improvements in AI are making it so practically anyone can join the party and make use of chatbots too.
4. Social Media’s Integration into Other Services
As social media adoption increases around the world, so has its integration into other services.
For example, by integrating eCommerce into social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, brands are able to sell directly from there, creating a one stop shop for browsing, discovering and purchasing.
Alternatively, the back and forth nature of social media is allowing customer service to extend to channels like Twitter, whereby users can vent or praise, and brands can respond accordingly.
5. Live Video Is Growing and Growing
Back in 2016, Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's VP of European, Middle Eastern and African operations, said that in five years, Facebook "will be probably all video.”
Well, it’s been two years and, if you’re logged into Facebook recently, you know that that prediction seems to be coming sooner than expected… with an added real-time twist.
Look at it this way. With smartphones practically everywhere, paired with channels like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube that allow you or me to go live at a moment’s notice, the growth of live video seems to be one of the inevitable digital trends 2019 will bring.
For one, live implies real-time, which means that whatever you’re watching is happening in that exact moment. In other words, it’s not overly cut or produced; it’s real and it’s now.
Second, live video allows brands to conduct activities like interviews, Q&As and product demonstrations with direct audience input in the form of comments, which allows for more engagement.
6. Interacting with Multiple Realities Is as Real as It Gets
While virtual reality allows us to enter completely virtual worlds, augmented reality combines the real and imaginary, and mixed reality does a little something of both.
Putting it together, virtual reality, augmented reality, or mixed reality, the reality (pun intended) of the situation is that we’re interacting with different realities with increased frequency due to devices like the Oculus Rift, and applications like Snapchat and Pokemon Go, which is paving the way for brands to market and advertise to their users in new and, in many cases, improved ways.
Let’s Take a Second Look at What’s Coming in 2019
Whether we’re talking about marketing or advertising trends 2019 is going to bring, it’s clear that technology is a big part of their inclusion in this list. Let’s take a second look:
- The Rise of Smart Speakers
- Voice Is Becoming the Ultimate Search Tool
- Chatbots Are Becoming the Norm
- Social Media’s Integration into Other Services
- Live Video Is Growing and Growing
- Interacting with Multiple Realities Is as Real as It Gets
Best of luck preparing for these digital marketing trends 2019 is sure to bring!