By Felicia Guthrie
With January begins a new year and new trends in marketing. Here are 3 trends that will dominate the digital marketing landscape for the upcoming year.
Trend #1: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be beneficial to both brands and consumers. With so much data available, AI enables brands to analyze consumer search patterns and behaviour to discover how consumers find and interact with their brand.
Chatbots allow consumers to chat at any time and at their convenience, optimizing customer service. Ultimately, this helps to improve your target audience’s relationship with your brand. For example, consumers are able to begin a conversation, picking up tips and learning new information by a method that is quicker than a human on human interaction. With each interaction, chatbots can also gather information from users to improve and target future marketing strategies.
Chatbots, programmatic buying, and other tools of AI create a unique learning opportunity for both consumers and the brands that will be embracing it.
Trend #2: Voice Search
Devices have become a key component of our daily lives – we have become more connected than ever. As technology changes, the way that your target audience searches changes as well. Typing a search in an engine can bring up a host of endless results and you can be buried on the third or fourth page of results. Although consumers still type into search engines, many are using voice search, a much easier option.
Media measurement and analytics company comScore estimates that by 2020, half of all searches will be done as voice searches. With voice search, virtual assistants like Alexa or Siri offer a more condensed list of possibilities and a new way to purchase goods making it easier for consumers to get what they want, when they want it. With this change in search behaviour, brands can optimize how they are found and how consumers make transactions.
There are several steps you can take to optimize your business for voice search. You need to imagine yourself as your target audience, what questions might they ask virtual assistants like Siri to find you? Make it conversational to mimic how someone searching for you may speak and pose their questions.
Another way to optimize your business for voice search is to ensure your SEO is optimized to pick up relevant keywords such as streets, neighbourhoods, business type, and more. Once you’ve completed these steps (and possibly a few more!), it’s important to test it. Ask potential questions to see if your business pops up in the search results! From there you can continue to test in order to see what works and then optimize it as you go.
Trend #3: Social Media Evolution
Social media is, was, and will still be a powerhouse in marketing throughout 2019, offering many opportunities to grow your brand and gain visibility. Let’s break down a couple of the ways that you can utilize social media in 2019.
Embrace E-Commerce. Platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram have begun making it even easier to purchase goods from posted content with only a few simple clicks.
Another dominant feature of social media is the presence of influencers – particularly on platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. Consumers value user generated content because it feels more authentic than an ad. While influencers have more visibility than every day social media users, they bridge the gap between every day users and brands. Their content is seen as more reliable and trustworthy. Influencers have many followers, sometimes even reaching millions of users, so when a brand works with them, they can help create hype. Consumers aspire to have what influencers have – the feelings of FOMO (fear of missing out) kick in. They want to emulate the style and lifestyle of influencers and begin to use the products that they swear by and enjoy.
Of course, there are other trends in digital marketing such as micro moments, virtual reality, and artificial reality. These are simply a few of the major trends for the upcoming year. It’s important to analyze and embrace the trends that can fit your brand identity and messaging in order to stay relevant and to maximize your impact.
We want to know: Which trends do you find the most fascinating? What are your favourite ways that companies are beginning to connect with consumers? Sound off in the comments.