Get With The Times. Digital Marketing In 2019.

Digital marketing allows businesses of any size to grow and thrive. Your audience is online. As a Digital Specialist, I have seen the positive impact online technologies can have for an array of businesses first hand.

According to eMarketer, U.S adults spent an average of 3 hours, 35 minutes per day on mobile devices in 2018, an annual increase of more than 11 minutes. By 2019, mobile will surpass TV as the medium attracting the most minutes in the US. The digital landscape is constantly evolving, shifting from traditional mediums to new technologies catering to user behaviors. It is important to stay up to date and adapt in order to reach your target audience.

via GIPHY

Over the next year there will be a noticeable shift in user behaviors, built on progressions made over the last few years with the rise of voice search and accessibility to the internet from seemingly anywhere. The following areas will be making waves over the upcoming year as technology advances and marketers adapt to reach customers.

Voice Search

Smartphones are now a staple in everyday life. With people leading busy lives, there is a need for devices to have an ease of use, making functions more straightforward and returning quick results. Voice search has risen in profile with Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, Microsoft Cortana and Google Home all becoming much more widespread in people’s lives.

The shift to voice search will continue throughout 2019 as the technology powering devices improves and becomes smarter, understanding users voices and questions and delivering more accurate results. This is great news, particularly for me, as most voice search devices have no idea how to decipher a thick Irish accent.

Klick estimates that by 2020, 30% of web browsing will be done without touching the screen. In addition to this, 50% of search will be conducted through voice commands.”

via GIPHY

Voice search has affected how users are searching the Internet. Instead of typing basic keywords or short-tail phrases into a search engine, user queries are now more conversational as if asking a person a question. This has led to an accelerated learning curve for voice search programs. The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, devices focused on voice search have evolved to become much more user friendly. With each voice query, technology becomes more refined and understanding of the query allowing a more accurate result as an output.

ComScore predicts that 50% of all searches by 2020 will be voice searches.”

If you haven’t taken voice search into account, now is the time to consider optimizing your website.

  • Any content creation should use a conversational tone
  • Use conversational keywords (action words)
  • Include a FAQ page on your website
  • Further define information by using schema.

Artificial Intelligence/Bots

Artificial Intelligence will allow for the personalization of messages on a huge scale. AI is already in action and we see it in our everyday lives. The notification you receive from Netflix suggesting a show to watch or the playlist offered by Spotify, are powered by AI and machine learning by analyzing patterns of behavior.

AI is being put to use through bots, which have become much more prevalent online within the past year, and we can expect this trend to carry on in 2019. Powered by AI, bots are becoming smarter, with the ability to converse with the end user and provide highly relevant information and answers to specific questions without the need for human input. Bots can be a valuable tool for businesses since they can be used as a bridge in the sales funnel, providing further information to the user quickly. Bots can be used in place of people to answer customer inquiries and create a smooth process where the customer has access to additional information immediately.

According to Gartner, 25% of customer service will use chatbot technology by 2020, up from less than 2% in 2017.

For customer service purposes, bots can be active 24/7, providing valuable information to the user and hopefully turn leads into customers. Bots, which have been made with conventional user experience in mind, can offer excellent user engagement and boost conversion rates. According to Mindshare, 63% of people would consider messaging an online chatbot to communicate with a business or brand. There are multiple plug and play chatbot applications you can utilize such as BotEngine, Clare.AI and Twyla. In the long run, they will serve as a great supplement to current customer service efforts. 

Video Content

Video is set to be the leader of online content in 2019. People want short form information, delivered to them in digestible, bite size chunks. Video provides that and offers higher engagement.

Smart phones provide instantaneous access to video content. With so much content to decipher and the busy lives we lead each and every day, video content is much quicker and easier to digest, providing insightful, efficient messages.

Sean with GoPro attached to head.
Me with my trusty GoPro on a recent shoot.

Live video streaming through media such as Facebook Live and Periscope allow businesses to show users what is going on at that exact moment. This encourages engagement and interaction directly with the user which allows a feeling of authenticity.

Video content is being used across all touchpoints; internal communications, customer support, IT marketing, and sales. This will continue to grow throughout 2019 with Tubular Insights predicting that 80% of online content will take the form of visual representation in 2019. Producing more video content will engage users interested in your products or services, allowing you to highlight any main points in a creative manner.

Personalization

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you must have a defined message which is personalized at the individual level. This means more personalized content, products and emails. The amount of data that can be gathered related to individuals makes personalizing content easier than ever before. (Yeah, I’m talking to you, stop skimming and read the post!)

Get out in front of competitors with personalized emails sent to prospective customers related to what they looked at on your website. Including their name and an offer can also go a long way to closing a customer and maintaining returning customer rates. By personalizing the content each user sees, you make a connection and earn a sense of trust.

According to Internet Retailing, 69% of consumers want an individualized experience. People are used to brands reaching out to them in personal ways, think DM’s in your Instagram inbox or emails tailored to you with your name and recently viewed products. Create trust with your customer with personalized communications; it will take you a long way!

Stay In The Know

The world of digital marketing changes on an almost daily basis with new algorithms, updates and technologies being rolled out consistently. We believe that the four areas outlined above will be vital parts of a broader marketing plan. Improving your online presence involves a lot of moving parts including search engine optimization, a strong social media presence, and inbound link structures to name but a few. By looking towards the future and incorporating these techniques, you can get out ahead of the competition and make a splash to attract new customers and keep regular customers coming back.

In need of assistance with your marketing plan, strategy, or simply looking for advice and guidance? Drop us a line in the comments section, fill out our contact form or pick up the phone. Unfortunately we have not yet mastered chatbot technology which answers in small doses of humor and sarcasm!