Hooraaay! I am finally back from my holiday and as everyone else I am returning to my routine, which, thank God, I love! And since I am here full force, I'd like to continue my mission of helping you create and develop a profitable and sustainable business. That's why today I'm taking you back to school with the hottest digital marketing trends for 2019. Actually, why look ahead by only a few months? Let's take this further! A good entrepreneur researches well in advance. What would 2020 likely hold for all of us who care about and use digital marketing?
1. Audio Content on the Rise
Those of you who started podcasts as part of their business marketing efforts are clearly on the right path. Audio content is going to grow significantly in 2019 and 2020. The explanation? People are busy. We have less and less time to read blog posts, ebooks or traditional books. It's easy to listen to good content while you are driving, for example. What should you do: Convert your blog posts to an audio format. This doesn't mean don't write at all! Your website needs that written and optimised content to perform well on the search engine. But provide more options to your audience. That can help you increase your reach by several times! Think of creating audio books too and use them in your sales funnels.
2. Voice Search Optimised Content
Speaking of audio, voice search machines are the new in-thing. You know, Amazon's Alexa, Google's Home, Apple's HomePod and the rest. The trend is serious! According to a survey, 65% of people who own a smart speaker wouldn't go back to living without one. This goes to say you need to be prepared to accommodate the trend.
What should you do: Optimise your content for voice search. What the hell is that? Don't worry. It isn't as complicated as it sounds. In fact, every year we are trying to simplify content more and more to make it more appealing to the digital device users. Whenever you are choosing a title for a blog post or a video and building your keywords and phrases, think about how you would say it, rather than how you would type it. Here's an example:
Likely to type on a search engine: digital marketing trends 2019
Likely to say in a voice search: digital marketing trends for 2019
3. Video Content is Still Going Strong
Those of you who felt uncomfortable in front of the camera and hoped that the video content trend will soon go away, I'm sorry, I'll have to disappoint you. Videos continue to be the most preferred form of content delivery platform for over 80% of all Internet users. Their reach is amazing and, of course, the engagement is much higher than that on a social media status or an image.
What should you do: Best thing you could do is start making use of the live video feature of whichever social media platform you use the most. It's the hottest type of video content as part of the digital marketing trends for 2019 and 2020. It's also free! All it takes is probably pushing yourself out of you comfort zone. But if you can't do that, why are you in business at all? Nonetheless, video ads should also be an important part of your content marketing strategy in the next two years. This can be a bit costly, however, it is certainly efficient. The good news is, video content is so popular these days, that there are more and more people providing video production services. The higher the competition, the more affordable the prices. Or at least, in general. 🤷
4. Internet TV Overtakes Traditional TV
Well, that was expected. I mentioned this trend in my post YouTube Marketing Tips in 2018. Furthermore, I predicted that IGTV will become the best platform for small businesses to make money on. Actually, that post is my best performing article ever and it keeps bringing visitors to my website from both organic search and referrals every single day. Haven't read it yet? Let me help you. 👇 How to Make Money with IGTV Right NOW
And now, only a week ago, Facebook rolled out a new feature, which helps you search videos based on your interests!!!
What should you do: Get your professional YouTube and IGTV channels sorted. Don't forget Periscope too! Start producing videos that will be appealing to your target audience. Get on the Internet TV train before it's packed and make a name for yourself. With time you will be greatly rewarded.
5. The Social CEO is King
One more reason to lock your shyness in your pocket and throw the key in a fast running river. The digital marketing trends for 2019 and 2020 show that people are more interested in engaging in content that is delivered directly from a company's CEO rather than the marketing department. It's a huge advantage for micro businesses and solopreneurs as we tend to be social by default to establish our brand, build trust and increase the credibility of our services.
What should you do: Go on social media and talk to your consumers. Share things from your everyday life with them. Let them peak into your reality as the CEO of their favourite company. Join business networking groups on various channels. Do produce these live videos! Share tips and reveal secrets of your journey to success.
6. Content from Experts vs Ads
In 2019, people will rely more on content provided by industry experts or social influencers. It's the best time to get that collab with the girl from Instagram right now. Ads, especially paid search ads and traditional pop-ups won't be the best direction to take for the bigger part, if not the whole of next year. Remember, the consumer is looking for value! Ads can hardly provide that, which is why content marketing has been such a strong segment over the past half a decade.
Before you fully scrap any ads from your digital marketing plan, let me tell you this. Well targeted ads do work and will continue to work. Facebook has the capability to profile consumers almost to a perfect level and that shows in the conversions. Also, Google AdWords are currently undergoing a total revamp. By 2020, the platform is expected to provide detailed targeting and smart display.
What should you do: Give yourself a break from Google ads in 2019, unless you want to improve your SEO (and that's only for brand visibility purposes, good and timely content will do the rest). Focus on creating valuable posts, videos and materials for your consumers. Partner with influencers and build some referral relationships. Facebook ads still got the green light, but don't overdo them! In 2020, plan some more money for the new and improved Google ads, which are expected to help businesses achieve high ROI.
7. More Data Sharing
You would think that the GDPR and all the regulations around data sharing would make it harder for businesses to reach their ideal customer. Nope, and thank God! Facebook and LinkedIn will start integrating with a lot more third party apps and websites in the next 2 years. This means more and more businesses will have access to the invaluable profiling data these social giants hold of 1/3rd of the world's population.
What should you do: Develop an app or create a members' area on your website with exclusive features your consumers would like to access. Then look into the option of integrating your product with Facebook or another big social media where your ideal customers spends a lot of time.
8. Consumers Want You to Know Them
Now more than ever, people want to see only the things they care about when they log on anywhere. Knowing what to post is only part of what a brand is expected to achieve in 2019 and 2020. Any business should also know (and know it well) how do their customers prefer to communicate. Do they still use emails to receive information or they'd rather get a text message? Is it ok to send them a brochure in the post or would they be keen on joining your Facebook group where you share news about your brand and products/services? Speaking of social media, where exactly do they hang the most?
What should you do: You really need as much data as possible about your target audience. Do your market research. Also, do think about the opportunity in the trend above. If you can afford it, hire a data analyst to help you with understanding and visualising the raw data. If not, give yourself some time to study the behaviour of the people you want as clients.
9. Automation is a Must
Whether you are a fan of the chatbots or not, they are a part of the digital marketing trends for 2019 and 2020. The truth is, if set properly they can provide great and instant help to your customers and save you a lot of time and resources. Automated posts, as we have discusses before, can be a blessing to the busy entrepreneur's life. However, too much of anything isn't good in the end. Keep in mind you need balance.
What should you do: Look into the option of introducing chatbots as part of your customer service. If you aren't very techy, most virtual assistants and social media managers can do that for you, for a fee of course, unless they already work for you. Use scheduling tools to make sure you are always publishing new content without having to spend the time every day. Always make sure you add a personal touch to your communication with customers and target audience.
10. Print is NOT Dead
I tried this out quite early in 2018 for a client who works in the cleaning industry. Our campaign was one of the first campaigns that reverted from digital to print marketing communication and is now forming a whole new trend expected to last in the next couple of years. In January this year we prepared a sales email and a newsletter which we didn't send out electronically. Instead, we sent printed versions by post to specifically targeted audience. My client called me a couple of weeks later and she was absolutely exalted. She was fully booked for a month and a half ahead. While I was doing my research for this article, I read on Forbes that another company used the same approach and the campaign was "extremely successful".
What should you do: This example and trend just goes to show that all you need to do is think outside of the box. Just like in fashion, old practices become new trends after some time passes. If everybody else is doing the same thing, dare to be different, even if it means going several years back and adding your unique feature to what we know from before.
Let me know if you found this post useful. I've planned similar topics with lots of insights on digital marketing, website design, and starting and managing your own business for September. The best way to make sure you won't miss any of them is by clicking the blue "Subscribe" button on this page. I love reading your comments, so don't be stingy with them.