If you want to take your business to the next level in 2019 and execute a marketing strategy that is precise, relevant, engaging and competitive, then you must be at the top of your game and embrace new industry trends.
Below, we’ve put together five of the biggest trends in the world of digital marketing, to help you get ahead and thrive as we head into the New Year.
Use content, not advertising
Traditional advertising is on the decline, with reviews, editorials, branded websites and recommendations from friends and family topping the list as the most trusted advertising techniques.
Banner ads and pay-per-click still serve a purpose in some markets, but with the news that 30% of all internet users now use ad blockers when browsing the web, brands must be more strategic and focus on content marketing rather than traditional advertising.
Content marketing, whether that be blog posts, videos, social media content, influencer campaigns, paid reviews or case studies, is key to adding more value to your marketing strategies and getting more back from your audience.
Invest in quality, relevant and truly useful material that not only promotes your business but positions you as a key player in your niche and offers value to your audience.
The average Joe isn’t going to share an ad on your services with their friends, but they might share an article packed with tips and tricks.
Speak like your audience
When was the last time you sat down with one of your customers and got an insight into their lives and the way they communicate?
In 2019, brands still have to work harder to speak with their audience in the ways they choose.
Get to grips with customer preferences and try out popular tools like WhatsApp Business, iMessage Business Chat, and Facebook Messenger so that your brand is appearing in places where your customers are already hanging out.
What’s more, you should stay up-to-date with the latest trends, like adding relevant emoji and GIFs to your posts, adopting a genuine and relatable brand voice that’s used across all of your marketing materials, and embracing technologies like voice search, which is set to power 50% of all searches by the end of 2020.
You cannot afford to run and hide or stick with your outdated knowledge base and email tickets – you must invest in technologies that help you speak like your audience, and communicate on their terms, rather than your brand’s.
Technology has changed the way we interact with brands and businesses – we now choose to complain through social media and live chat rather than call a helpline, and even interact with chatbots to resolve our issues instead of speaking to a human.
There’s seemingly no stopping to automation, and whilst these technologies allow businesses to scale and save money, demand for authentic, engaging and human interactions has never been higher.
Indeed, utilising automation will help you to grow your business and deliver a consistent level of service, but you should still remember to add a personal touch to your marketing and to one-on-one communication so that consumers know you’re human, and that you care.
Consider hosting Twitter takeovers with members of staff, who can offer a behind the scenes look at your operations; add customer advisors’ photographs to live chats so people know who they’re talking to; and remember that genuine, authentic marketing always works best.
You can only rely on AI and analytics for so much – adding a human touch is important.
Consider video advertising
In 2019, the average individual daily consumption of TV will be overtaken by internet content consumption for the first time, with consumers watching more material on YouTube, social media, and through streaming services.
As such, marketers will be spending more of their ad budgets on digital advertising than ever before and as a result costs per click could increase.
On the flipside, if you’ve ever considered an advert on local television, the costs could fall as demand tails off, although you should weigh up the pros and cons of traditional television advertising before making an investment.
Indeed, an ad on a local TV programme could work wonders for your brand awareness, particularly amongst the older generations who are more likely to be sitting in front of their television sets, but you may be better targeting them through more affordable means, like through pay-per-click or direct marketing with leaflets.
Subscription businesses are on the rise
Subscription-based businesses have been on the rise for a number of years now, but in 2019 the industry is set to hit new heights.
Whether it’s boxes (like Graze), services (like Netflix), or software (like HubSpot), we Brits are obsessed with subscriptions.
According to Parcel Hub, UK consumers spend more than £2 billion a year on subscriptions, with 9 in ten of us now subscribing to at least one product or service, spending on average £18.49 per month.
In 2018, we’ve seen major new subscription services enter the market, the most notable being YouTube Premium, which offers ad-free video streaming and exclusive content for £10.99 per month.
In 2019, Disney and Apple are set to launch their own video streaming services (Disney Plus will bring together content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, whilst Apple has spent more than $1 billion on its own Netflix rival.)
Whether you run an e-commerce business, offer services to businesses or you have an app, changing attitudes to subscriptions could make it easier to offer subscription-based services and enjoy reliable revenue streams for your business, or even add a ‘Premium’ offering for a fixed monthly fee.
Experiment with techniques and measure demand before getting started.
With 2019 just around the corner, now is the time to strategize and plan your marketing campaign for the year ahead.
If you’re looking for assistance with content marketing, search engine optimisation, app development, web development or pay-per-click, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the digital marketing experts at Zudu on +44 (0) 1382 690 080.
From everyone at Zudu, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.