Digital Trends to Embrace in 2019

Digital Trends to Embrace in 2019

Digital Trends to Embrace in 2019

The constantly changing landscape of the digital world demands an ever-changing ability to adapt and grow with what digital users are consuming and how. Several trends that have grown exponentially in the last five years are still in the running but have changed in favor of what consumers demand. With 2018 coming to an end rather quickly, we took a dive into some of the most popular digital trends for 2019 and what they mean for marketers.

Influencer Marketing

This effective marketing tool has exploded due to the growing saturation of social media in consumers’ lives. Popular people on Instagram and YouTube became celebrities and both the content they posted and the volume of followers they had determined if they would be an influencer worth the budget spend.

Though influencer marketing started with using Instagram or YouTube celebrities to promote businesses and/or products, it has since started to take a turn. People tend to trust consumer opinions rather than a corporate spokesperson or celebrity, so influencer marketing is shifting its focus to a new community: micro-influencers. Micro-influencers have a moderate following on social media and niche audiences with whom they have established trust. Because they can be found in almost any sector, micro-influencers are proving to be a dedicated community worth looking at when researching your next influencer marketing campaign.

Personalization

More and more, consumers are bombarded with content. Cutting through the white noise of generalized content is an important (and necessary) step towards connecting with your target audience. Businesses that are built on subscription-based models are already capitalizing on personalization. And thriving. Netflix, for example, shows a banner, carousels and search related content that is all personalized once you’ve logged into your account. Adopting this approach to marketing in content, products and emails can markedly affect the advancement of customer relationships. A study conducted by Marketo shows that personalized emails that are triggered based on behavior perform three times better than (generic) batch emails. Making your target audience members feel special could be the deciding factor for them to choose your brand over another.

 

“Personalization and authenticity will separate successful marketers from those who just contribute to noise.” 

Forbes 

 

Micro-Moments

Google has termed a new “consumer behavior” and it is changing the way brands have to work in order to capture consumers’ attention. According to Google, micro-moments deliver your marketing message clearly and concisely in a way that is of interest to the consumer within a span of seconds. These moments occur when people need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something or buy something.

 

(Source: Think with Google)

 

People spend an average of 3-1/2 hours on their smartphones every day and with mobile devices becoming the medium that gets the most minutes in 2019, these micro-moments are occurring when people turn to a device.

The ability to find whatever someone is looking for on their smartphone has consumers expecting that brands will deliver exactly what they want when they want it. This short span of attention coupled with consumers’ desire for immediate satisfaction demands that brands understand consumers’ needs in micro-moments and meet those needs. In order to capitalize on micro-moments, being where people search for information at a moment’s notice (Google, Amazon, YouTube, etc.) is imperative.

Video Marketing

While video has been around for years and integrating it into a digital marketing strategy isn’t a new idea, the statistics showing the importance of utilizing video are staggering. For example, 70% of consumers say they have shared a brand’s video. Not only is that garnering a stronger connection with the consumer who shared the video, but the video’s reach is now being increased as well as brand awareness. Despite YouTube still being the top-of-mind platform for video, other social platforms are gaining traction with businesses via live video. In an effort to showcase “behind the scenes” footage, product demos and company culture, businesses are turning to live video and limited-availability sharing (via 24-hour Stories) in order to capitalize on FOMO and create a sense of urgency.

Visual Search

This is a game-changer that is still flying under the radar. Google allows users to upload an image to conduct a search to garner more specific results, but they’re not the only platform. Pinterest, which had 250 million active monthly users in 2018, came out with a new visual search tool that will likely change online shopping in the coming year. Users can take a photo of an item and search for where to buy it online, search for similar products or view pinboards of related items. This visual search capability could expedite a shopper’s journey and enhance the shopper experience.

Google Lens is currently available on Pixel phones and certain Android devices, but its visual search engine capabilities warrant a mention. It recognizes objects, landmarks and other things through a camera app. For example, if you take a photo of a landmark or a painting in a museum, you could get details about it. Its integration capability with the rest of your smartphone is also very user-centric. If you take a photo of a business card, you can save the phone number or address to a contact.

(Source: Android Authority)

The growing number of visual search platforms means that there will likely be a shift in focus for users who may have been previously searching keywords. Brands will need to focus on the visual content they have available that could help them appear in visual searches while also looking at the additional opportunities for social media and ad placement.

Sources: SingleGrain, Forbes, NY Times, Think with Google

Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Reckitt Benckiser Professional (RB Pro) Division Product Brochure Series Vision partnered with RB Pro to develop a new brand identity and positioning for their line of professional products that was to be unveiled at an upcoming trade show. The new positioning was...

Do You Speak Digital Marketing?

Do You Speak Digital Marketing?

Quick Guide to Digital AcronymsDigital marketing has changed the way businesses reach consumers. Along the way, the industry has developed its own vocabulary filled with catchphrases, technical jargon, and abbreviations. In order to help you stay up to speed, we’ve...

Award-Winning Design Series: Finlandia®

Award-Winning Design Series: Finlandia®

About Finlandia®: Finlandia is famous for their quality and craftsmanship when it comes to their butter and cheese. Finlandia makes their delicious products using some of the purest milk in the world from small family-owned farms in Finland. These small Finnish farms...

How Marvel Studios and Robert Downey Jr. Went Viral

How Marvel Studios and Robert Downey Jr. Went Viral

How Marvel Studios and Robert Downey Jr. Went Viral

An Example of How to Generate Organic Engagement

One of the biggest players in cinematic history made a bold (and brilliant) marketing move when they decided to announce an early release for the next installment of their franchise. That’s right, we’re talking about Marvel and their announcement that Avengers: Infinity War will arrive in theaters a week earlier than the originally advertised date. The movie is highly anticipated and while the marketing team could have put out a simple press release or given an exclusive to an entertainment outlet that would have garnered excitement, they did something better.

Marvel Studios teamed up with one of the actors from the franchise to announce the new release date on Twitter. We all know that social media has captivated more than just the younger generation. Athletes, brands and even politicians are tweeting about what’s happening on a daily basis. As Robert Downey, Jr. plays Iron Man and has been in seven Marvel movies thus far with Infinity War making eight, he was a phenomenal choice to help let the cat out of the bag. With over 10 million followers on Twitter and his character’s general persona, the marketing team had a stroke of genius in using that platform to make a splash.

It started with Marvel Studios tweeting, “On a scale of one to infinity, how excited are you to see #InfinityWar on May 4th?” and then a conversation via Twitter feeds sparked.

Anything Marvel Studios did would have had a large impact because the fan base is so dedicated to the brand, but announcing the way they did went viral. This playful back and forth gave followers content in which they became invested… and the result was incredible. Instead of paying for an ad or reaching out to a publication to drop the story, Marvel Studios created a conversation that entertained followers and had a more engaging result than if they had simply posted a new movie poster on their account.

This led to a discussion about the power of engaging, organic content. We know our example is talking about movies and famous movie stars, but their actions and intention are what we’re focusing on: organically engaging followers in a fun (and personable) way.

Any time there is an opportunity to generate engagement by creating a fun dialogue with your followers, it should be utilized. Organic content that is genuine, humorous and conversational can increase followers’ engagement as well as their interest in following a particular page/brand. Most people are on social media for entertainment (and to connect/converse with others), so what better way to capture followers than by being a source of enjoyable and entertaining content?

Take a page out of the Marvel Studios’ book the next time you have an announcement or product launch. Create fun, conversational posts in which followers can partake. Be funny and charismatic; people are more likely to follow and engage with a business/brand that has a personable voice on social media. Social media is the place to give your business and/or brand a personality. Content that comes across a feed that is humorous, relatable or seems genuine is a gold mine for people who spend their time on social media.

Capture their attention! Find an angle that works for you on social media and is still true to your company’s values. People crave entertainment and reward genuine authenticity, so quality organic content can be more valuable than spending hundreds of advertising dollars on the same platforms.

Take it a step further.

You’re aiming to post quality, engaging content on your page. Good job! Now, take your business/brand to the next level on social media by engaging with your followers. Respond to their comments, tag them in a response, double tap when they tag you in a photo or like/retweet them when you can! Spending time engaging with your followers is time well spent. Being responded to by a business or a brand makes followers feel heard (and somewhat important). We’re not talking about writing a book-long response to every comment that pops up in your notifications, but a simple “Thanks for the love, @____!” or “We’re glad you liked it!” response can go a long way and keep your followers wanting more.

Keeping with our Marvel theme, the directors of Avengers: Infinity War were kind enough to have provided a perfect example. The Russo brothers (directors at the helm of Avengers: Infinity War and the movie to come after it) responded to a fan that tweeted concern about the mysterious title for the next Avengers film that won’t be announced until after Infinity War has hit theaters. The Russo brothers promptly responded and the result went viral. Again. Nothing flashy, no long dialogue; just a short (yet impactful) response that has been liked and retweeted thousands of times. 

People want to be a part of the brands they’re following and feel like their voice is heard; so when you have the opportunity to respond, retweet/regram or like their comment or post, take advantage of it! The result could start trending.

Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Reckitt Benckiser Professional (RB Pro) Division Product Brochure Series Vision partnered with RB Pro to develop a new brand identity and positioning for their line of professional products that was to be unveiled at an upcoming trade show. The new positioning was...

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Do You Speak Digital Marketing?

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Award-Winning Design Series: Finlandia®

Award-Winning Design Series: Finlandia®

About Finlandia®: Finlandia is famous for their quality and craftsmanship when it comes to their butter and cheese. Finlandia makes their delicious products using some of the purest milk in the world from small family-owned farms in Finland. These small Finnish farms...

The World of SEO Has Changed… Have You?

The World of SEO Has Changed… Have You?

The World of SEO Has Changed… Have You?

As marketing has gone beyond print and collateral pieces, everyone has heard the buzzwords “SEO” and “keywords” in the discussion surrounding websites. With the evolution of digital marketing, the roles these factors play in boosting your website have changed. Google has made updates over the last five to ten years that have changed the way search results are served and this has affected what people are seeing when they search, as well as marketers’ ability to measure campaigns.

Google has gotten smarter and keywords aren’t the center of the SEO universe anymore.

Finding the right keywords and capitalizing on them to drive traffic to your website used to be at the center of any good SEO campaign but with Google’s updates, that’s no longer the case. Keywords can still help you, but they aren’t the heavy hitter they used to be. The analytics for keywords and their rankings have changed as well, so they are not a good yardstick for measuring your success. Making the tracking tools for keywords vaguer seems to be an attempt to get marketers to focus elsewhere.

This is largely due to Google’s drive to create a better user experience. They’re focusing on what people want to see, and keywords aren’t a good guidepost. If the most popular search engine in the world is delivering results that are personalized based on users’ previous searches, location and the devices they’re using, everyone should get on board. People are being served search results based on implicit query factors. Technical jargon, we know, but Hubspot gives a great example of what this means:

A simple search for “Boston restaurants” will arm Google with a whole lot more information than before. They’re able to see which device you’ve searched from, where you’re located whilst you’re searching, even if you’re currently on the move.

Let’s say that you searched on an iPhone and you’re walking around in the center of Boston at 11:30 am. Here’s what this query would actually look like to Google:

“Which restaurants are currently open for lunch within walking distance of my current location in the center of Boston, MA?”

This means Google is digging deeper than those trusty keywords to find valuable results for searchers. You’re probably wondering, if keywords aren’t the bread and butter of SEO anymore, what is?

Content. Content is king.

Google is focused (more than ever) on the content on each individual page throughout your website. While dated websites were previously able to hide behind high keyword rankings, it’s not plausible anymore. The content on your website directly correlates to your SEO, which can/will impact your organic traffic. Algorithms have changed to favor topic-based content, so it’s not just what is on your site but also how it’s connected. Interconnecting relevant content is what search engines are starting to look for and you need to get ahead of the curve. When you create links between content you are creating “relationships” on this same topic. This information then gets signaled to search engines that your website contains a wealth of content on that particular topic. Increasing the amount of internal links on your website can achieve higher placement in search engine results pages.

If you’re not sure where to start with SEO, take a look at your website and the content you already have. Ask yourself:

Do you have a variety of content? How is your content showcased? Are there pieces of content that relate to each other? If so, are they connected? If not, is there content you could add?

 

Sources: hubspot.commoz.comresearch.hubspot.com 

Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Reckitt Benckiser Professional (RB Pro) Division Product Brochure Series Vision partnered with RB Pro to develop a new brand identity and positioning for their line of professional products that was to be unveiled at an upcoming trade show. The new positioning was...

Do You Speak Digital Marketing?

Do You Speak Digital Marketing?

Quick Guide to Digital AcronymsDigital marketing has changed the way businesses reach consumers. Along the way, the industry has developed its own vocabulary filled with catchphrases, technical jargon, and abbreviations. In order to help you stay up to speed, we’ve...

Award-Winning Design Series: Finlandia®

Award-Winning Design Series: Finlandia®

About Finlandia®: Finlandia is famous for their quality and craftsmanship when it comes to their butter and cheese. Finlandia makes their delicious products using some of the purest milk in the world from small family-owned farms in Finland. These small Finnish farms...

Friday Five

Friday Five

Friday Five

Every week, we share our favorite links from across the world wide web. Find something you want us to see? Share it in the comments section!

Five things you cannot miss this week:

Add GIFs to your Facebook polls for an exciting new way to to engage.

Reddit has a lot to say about net neutrality.

Our guide to December “holidays” will help you build out your content calendar for the month.

Just how many characters, hashtags and emojis should you use in your social media?

Get ready for Social Media, 2018.

 

 

 

Image credit: pixelfit | Getty Images
Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Reckitt Benckiser Professional (RB Pro) Division Product Brochure Series Vision partnered with RB Pro to develop a new brand identity and positioning for their line of professional products that was to be unveiled at an upcoming trade show. The new positioning was...

Do You Speak Digital Marketing?

Do You Speak Digital Marketing?

Quick Guide to Digital AcronymsDigital marketing has changed the way businesses reach consumers. Along the way, the industry has developed its own vocabulary filled with catchphrases, technical jargon, and abbreviations. In order to help you stay up to speed, we’ve...

Award-Winning Design Series: Finlandia®

Award-Winning Design Series: Finlandia®

About Finlandia®: Finlandia is famous for their quality and craftsmanship when it comes to their butter and cheese. Finlandia makes their delicious products using some of the purest milk in the world from small family-owned farms in Finland. These small Finnish farms...

December Holidays For Your Company’s Social Media

December Holidays For Your Company’s Social Media

December Holidays For Your Company’s Social Media

Ho Ho Ho, December is (almost) here, which means a brand new batch of fun “holidays” to leverage in your social calendar this month. Let’s jump right in!

 

Santa’s List Day – December 4th

It’s the day Santa checks that naughty or nice list – which list is your audience on? Be sure to ask them!

Recommended hashtags: #santaslistday #santaslist #checkingittwice

 

Letter Writing Day  – December 7th

What better day than this one to send out those Christmas cards! It’s a great day to send a “letter” via email to your customers, too.

 

National Cotton Candy Day  – December 7th

If your brand has anything to do with food, this could be a cute day to use! There are desserts and cocktails that feature cotton candy, so you could leverage those items. Or just give permission to your fans to eat cotton candy for no other reason than that it is National Cotton Candy Day!

Recommended hashtags: #cottoncandy #cottoncandyday

 

Pearl Harbor Day  – December 7th

If this is brand appropriate for you or relates to your staff or brand story in any way, it would be okay to acknowledge this day in social media. If not, we recommend staying away from it so as to not seem trite.

National Brownie Day  – December 8th

Share those brownie recipes! Do a round up, share on a dedicated Pinterest board, have a guest Pinner share a recipe, have a blogger create a recipe for you, ask for your audience’s favorite recipes and photos! You can even ask if your audience likes the ends for the crispiness or the middle for the chewiness.

Recommended hashtags: #brownieday #brownies #brownierecipe #baking

 

National Pastry Day – December 9th

Share an easy pastry recipe for Christmas morning, have a blogger create a recipe, curate a board on Pinterest, etc. You can leverage this day very similarly to National Brownie Day!

Recommended hashtags: #pastries #pastryday #baking #pastrydough #pastryrecipe

 

Channukah  – December 12th

Be sure to wish your audience celebrating the holiday a Happy Channukah!

Recommended hashtags: #happyhannukah #happychannukah #channukah #hannukah #8crazynights

 

Poinsettia Day  – December 12th

Ask your followers for pictures of how they decorate with poinsettias! If appropriate, remind your audience the plant can be poisonous to dogs.

Recommended hashtags: #poinsettia #christmasdecor #christmasdecorating #poinsettiaday

 

National Chocolate Covered Anything Day  – December 16th

What things are your audience’s favorite to cover with chocolate? Ask them! Run a promotion, share some ideas, put up some pretty photos, have a bunch of chocolate covered things in the kitchen for your staff and share a photo of it!

Recommended hashtags: #chocolatecovered #chocolate

 

National Bake Cookies Day  – December 18th

Leading up to this day, you can host a cookie recipe contest! If you own a store or bakery, have it be a contest to have the cookie produced in your business. You can also ask users to submit photos and recipes, pick your favorites, have the community vote on your top choices and then award the winner with a prize (a KitchenAid mixer, grocery gift card, a year’s supply of chocolate chips, etc.).

Recommended hashtags: #nationalbakecookiesday #bakecookies #[cookie emoji]

 

National Go Caroling Day – December 20th

This sounds like a day just primed for some great video content. Serenade your audience! Host a live caroling session with a local choir. Use the day to do something fun and different for your audience!

Recommended hashtags: #carolingday #gocaroling #singing #singinginthestreet #christmasmusic #christmassongs #holidaymusic

 

Winter Solstice  – December 21st

First day of winter! Who is excited? It’s also technically the shortest day of the year – from here on out, our sunlight will last longer!

Recommended hashtags: #firstdayofwinter #winteriscoming #wintersolstice #winter #bringonthesnow

 

Festivus  – December 23rd

Festivus – for the rest of us.

Recommended hashtags: #festivus #fortherestofus #festivusfortherestofus

 

National Egg Nog Day – December 24th

A perfect day to ask about holiday traditions and whether or not your audience enjoys egg nog. Nothing like a divisive drink to get that chatter going!

Recommended hashtags: #eggnogday #eggnog

 

Christmas Day  – December 25th

Be sure to wish your followers a Merry Christmas!

Recommended hashtags: #christmasday #merrychristmas #happychristmas #santa

 

Bacon Day  – December 30th

Oh, the possibilities are endless. Refer to National Brownie Day, Cotton Candy Day and Pastry Day for some thoughts!

Recommended hastags: #baconday #bacon #breakfast #givemeallthebacon

 

New Year’s Eve  – December 31st

Reflect on your year, share your brand’s biggest moments, etc. Wish your followers a Happy New Year!

Recommended hashtags: #newyearseve #happynewyear #happy2018 #goodbye2017 #peaceout2017 #welcome2018

Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Award-Winning Design Series: Reckitt Benckiser Professional

Reckitt Benckiser Professional (RB Pro) Division Product Brochure Series Vision partnered with RB Pro to develop a new brand identity and positioning for their line of professional products that was to be unveiled at an upcoming trade show. The new positioning was...

Do You Speak Digital Marketing?

Do You Speak Digital Marketing?

Quick Guide to Digital AcronymsDigital marketing has changed the way businesses reach consumers. Along the way, the industry has developed its own vocabulary filled with catchphrases, technical jargon, and abbreviations. In order to help you stay up to speed, we’ve...

Award-Winning Design Series: Finlandia®

Award-Winning Design Series: Finlandia®

About Finlandia®: Finlandia is famous for their quality and craftsmanship when it comes to their butter and cheese. Finlandia makes their delicious products using some of the purest milk in the world from small family-owned farms in Finland. These small Finnish farms...