Your business needs to reach as many clients as possible in order to maximize your profits and grow. To do that, you’ll have to keep up with the latest digital marketing trends.
But which trends are worth pursuing? How can you know which tools you should invest your time and money?
That’s where White Peak comes in. We’ve developed a list of four essential digital marketing trends for your business to keep an eye on in 2019.
While you do not have to do them all, we recommend picking one or two to focus on this year and implement into your marketing strategy.
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1. Live Streaming Video
High-quality videos continue to grow in popularity. Over 500 million people watch videos on Facebook every day according to Forbes Magazine. And Facebook’s Q4 earnings report shows that the site’s users consume 100 million hours of daily videos.
On Twitter, 82% of viewers watch video content.
And YouTube viewers consume a billion hours of video each day.
It’s not hard to see why so much video is being consumed. There is no piece of content more eye-catching than a well-made video.
Whether you’re marketing on social media or your own website, video content will be super important to your digital marketing strategy for 2019. This is especially true for live streaming video. In fact, studies show that viewers watch live stream video three times longer than a prerecorded video.
Where can you live stream?
Plus, social platforms like Facebook and Instagram automatically promote your live videos. How many times has a notification popped up on your phone that one of your friends started a live video?
Live streaming video also helps create an engaged audience. All the big social platforms are making it easier than ever for your customers to engage with your live videos, giving you real-time feedback.
And as we’ve said before, it’s easier to convert sales with an engaged audience than it is with passive followers.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
When you hear the term “artificial intelligence,” you may conjure images of sci-fi movies like The Matrix and Terminator. But the truth is, you’ve probably interacted with some early AI configurations.
Google Maps analyzes traffic patterns and detects lane closures or accidents to tell you the fastest route to work. Your email program scans incoming mail for terms like “additional income” and “Nigerian prince,” then filters those messages to spam.
These are both examples of everyday AI that almost everyone has used.
AI presents tremendous opportunities for digital marketers too. Businesses can use AI to develop a personalized website experience that could dramatically increase your sales potential.
Website Personalization Tools to Check Out
With website personalization tools, marketers can examine a user’s history on their website to reveal where the person is in the buyer’s journey. This information helps the tool determine relevant content to present to that user.
For example, your site would present each new visitor with introductory information. Over time, your above tools learn about each user’s preferences based on the pages of your site that they’ve visited previously. Then, using AI, they promote new content to your users based on past experience. Amazon and Netflix are both great at this.
If you purchase or even view a product on Amazon, the next time you visit, the site will automatically direct you to other similar items you might want to purchase this time. The same can be said for the videos you watch on Netflix.
Schedule Meetings with AI
One of our teams favorite AI tools to use deals with scheduling meetings. We use x.ai to interact with clients and schedule meetings with them at their convenience.
This not only saves us from playing tag to get a meeting set up, but it saves us time so we can focus on growing our clients business.
AI is also a fantastic tool for generating email campaigns. Gone are the days when companies would simply collect email addresses and send a generic newsletter to all customers each week.
Now, you can target customers who have opened previous emails, clicked on specific links, or purchased from you in the past.
You can remind customers about abandoned carts, or send coupons for items that they are most likely to purchase. All of this is possible with AI – it’s a digital marketing trend that won’t be disappearing any time soon!
A chatbot is a computer program that converses with people using a messenger program.
Chatbots are easy to use, and many customers prefer them over calling the customer service phone line because they offer immediate answers rather than a long hold time.
Chatbots are becoming extremely popular with a lot of online businesses. Companies are using them for user engagement, customer service, and even sales.
Chatbot Tools to Check Out
So how do they work? Customer types or asks a question. Chatbots then comb through massive amounts of data to choose the best answer. The bots are able to use the customer’s words to personalize the interaction.
If you set them up correctly, the AI on these chatbots is so sophisticated that it’s hard for users to tell if they’re talking to a person or a computer.
Why is this important to your digital marketing strategy? Studies show that an engaged audience is more likely than a passive one to read, click, or buy.
Chatbots offer someone for your users to engage with, and they can do it with thousands of users at a time. And the bots can use your customers’ questions to generate new product recommendations or service solutions. They can set up appointments for your business or add a user to your mailing list.
They’re like a personal shopper or a concierge, and your customers will likely take their informed recommendations.
4. Build a Community of Influencers
A Sector Intelligence survey of 16 Fortune 500 companies found that 86% of these big brands report that communities provide insight into customer needs. From Facebook groups to blog comments, people everywhere now have the power to tell brands exactly what they like and don’t like.
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Every community member has the potential to be an influencer or ambassador for your brand.
When it comes to marketing a product or service, influencers can be an outlet to get the word out at the right place and time. If they are talking about your products, mentioning your brand, and tagging you across their accounts, there will be more eyes on your company.
Glossier is a Manhattan-based beauty company that went from zero to cult classic practically overnight. How did they achieve this success? Through an army of “regular women” promoting their product online.
Glossier worked hard to engage their fans, and now their loyal followers share new product news, events, and brand messages with all of their online followers.
Research shows that micro-influencers (people with audience sizes between 1,000-100,000) are more likely to get post engagement than people with millions of followers. For Glossier, engaging these micro-influencers paid off in a big way.
This digital marketing strategy could be something to consider for your brand this year.
How do you reach influencers?
When someone posts favorable content about your product online, follow up with them. Encourage engagement with interesting content that asks for feedback.
Don’t just post links to your products on your social media pages. Ask questions. Solicit feedback. Or just post fun stuff. Be social!
“What’s the funniest thing your kid has ever said?”
“Caption this photo for a chance to win a free product.”
“Tag a woman who needs to hear she’s beautiful!”
Any one of these posts is more likely to generate engagement than a simple product link.
Once you’ve got some engaged users, work on building your relationship even further. Consider these passionate micro-influencers as a way to reach potential consumers.
They like to post about niche topics and they have loyal followers. Get them to fall in love with your brand, and they’ll reward you with a broader audience. (And more potential influencers!)
Another option is to pay bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers to discuss your products and services.
A blogger with 1,500 followers who gets a bunch of genuine comments on each post is more influential than a blogger with 90,000 followers but zero comments. You want to find influencers who will drive traffic to your site, and an engaged audience is essential to that goal.
Once you’ve identified the right influencers, simply email them and ask for a price.
Paid or unpaid, building a team of enthusiastic ambassadors online will have lasting benefits for your brand.
Focus on Trends
These digital marketing trends are great to keep in mind as you plan out the rest of 2019. But remember, you don’t have to invest all of your time implementing all four of these strategies.
Pick one or two strategies that you feel you can successfully implement into your marketing. Although they are labeled as “trends”, we have a feeling these strategies will only become more prominent in the years to come.
If you’re looking for help when it comes to creating the content that would be used in any of the above recommendations, get in touch with us. We’re happy to help!