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

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