Each year brings rapid changes to the digital marketing world, and 2019 is no different. It seems that every month, a new marketing tool is introduced aimed at connecting better with potential customers, building brand awareness, or gathering data for future marketing efforts.
While 2018 saw a rise in video content, social influencers, and AI for marketing efforts, 2019 will bring even more advances to the table in the race to beat the competition. If you’re looking for ways to get ahead of the game in 2019, read on for information on the latest marketing trends and predictions for how business technology will evolve over the coming year.
1. Content Marketing
According to Hub Spot, 47% of buyers viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep, and 70% of people would rather learn about new products through content than traditional advertising.
That means that when you introduce a new product or service, creating ads to spread across platforms isn’t going to cut it. You need to tell the story of this launch in an engaging way. Video content still claims the top spot for reaching customers these days, and showing just how awesome or innovative your new product is with some real production value will draw people in and pique their interest.
A great example of this is a video advertisement from ‘ma-ka-rohn’, a company that sells all sorts of unique and themed macarons. A media producer called Insider shot a behind the scenes video of how they make their cookies, with text overlaying the video describing the company’s background and what it provides. There is no talking in the video; when you unmute it, all you hear is a light-hearted instrumental that complements the video’s visuals. The idea not to include a voice over was likely done quite deliberately, as video ads on Instagram are muted by default, and most users are put off by jarring audio while they’re scrolling through their feed.
This sort of business storytelling is one of the most effective ways you can reach your customers in an organic way that feels less like an advertisement, and more like a news feature. Even the product company’s name, “Insider”, sounds more like a news and media company sharing an insider secret, when in reality, it’s just a marketing firm that provides video content advertisements to businesses.
This trend means that curating content for your marketing purposes is more important than ever. Writing frequent blog posts with aesthetically pleasing images, creating more compelling social media posts and investing in having the most interesting content on your website is the key to conquer content marketing in 2019.
2. Influencer advertising videos and streaming
It’s no secret that popular accounts on social media influences their followers purchasing decisions in a big way. Remember Fyre Festival, the “luxury” island music “experience” that was touted as the biggest upcoming party of the decade, before it all came crashing down the day the festival was set to begin? The hype around that event exploded almost entirely due to several supermodels appearing in a promotional video and creating a single Instagram post with an orange box and one sentence about the event. Those models, a few other social influencers and one Instagram post by socialite and model Kendall Jenner (perhaps you’ve heard of her?), caused the Fyre Festival general admission tickets to sell out after just 24 hours.
Businesses can capitalize on this influencer culture without the disastrous consequences of the failed music festival by paying a popular blogger, YouTube personality or social media icon to promote your product, and ensure that the influencers disclose they are being paid for the promotion, as influencer marketing is regulated by the FTC. Appearing in a short video touting the benefits of your product, or even a live streaming event that includes a demonstration, can be your ticket to a lightning fast influx of customers who want your product or service. Just don’t be like Fyre Festival and make sure you’re advertising a legitimate product or service that brings value to your customers. No cheese sandwiches and FEMA tents if you’ve promised celebrity chefs and luxury villas!
3. Focusing on customer loyalty
These days, customers demand ethical business practices, quality products and being treated like a human being above all else. If you can’t deliver those things, you better believe they’ll find a company who will in a hot second. You need to effectively communicate to them that your business values the same things, and be able to prove it. In the age of information, a quick Google search on a company’s business practices can tell any consumer if you are true to your word.
Find the data that shows what’s important to your customers, and be the one to hone in on those needs. Do your customers want a 24-hour live chat functionality for customer service, rather than needing to phone a call center overseas during business hours only? Provide that, and advertise it heavily. Do they want to know where your products are sourced? Create a behind the scenes video of your production plant, and feature some of your employees who can show customers how their products are made and why they’re special.
Personalize your customer’s experience across as many platforms as possible to show that you care about their individuality and want to reach them personally. One way to make targeted emails more likely to be opened is to personalize them. There is definitely a psychological difference in the brain of a consumer when they read two different email subject lines from a place they used to shop. What sounds more appealing to you?
“Today only! 25% off sale for returning customers”
“Amanda, we miss you! Come back today and get 25% off!”
I’ll be the first to admit that based on the subject lines, I’m going to open the second one and likely ignore the first. Get in the mind of your consumer and deliver your message in a way that resonates and feels personalized. Reward your returning customers to show them why brand loyalty still matters.
2019 is going to be a fascinating year for both marketers and consumers, as the traditional avenues of B2C advertising are constantly evolving. Make sure your business is keeping up with the latest trends to stay ahead of the competition this year.