2018 was a colossal year in the marketing universe, catapulting the industry into the new dawn of digital – and predictions for 2019 are ready to follow suit.
In this new age of marketing, staying ahead of the trends is going to be the driving force in the ultimate success of your overall business goals. A clever blend of influencer marketing, native advertising, data-driven creativity, voice search SEO, and video content will set the trailblazers apart from the laggards.
Without further ado, here are the top 5 marketing trends you’ll see in 2019:
1. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing skyrocketed in 2018 – and for good reason. At one billion active monthly users, Instagram remains the largest platform for influencer marketing. An influencer is a person who is viewed as a trusted source within their respective online community. Instagram influencers assist marketers with tapping into new audiences, gaining brand loyalty and brand credibility. In 2019, we will see this emerging trend go mainstream in advertising. Yielding major campaign results, companies will increase their budget to make space for influencer marketing, which Adweek estimates to become a $10 billion industry by 2020. The return on investment from using influencers are showing profitable results for brands, big and small. MarketingCharts published a statistic stating that 22 percent of Instagrammers in the 18-34 age range made a large purchase after seeing an online influencer endorsing a product or service. By allowing brands to strategize with micro or macro influencers, companies add an entire realm of human-to-human connections through this channel. This will quickly become a more cost-and-time-effective method to reach target markets and potential customers.
2. Native Advertising
Contrary to the traditional form of display advertising, native advertising (also known as sponsored content or in-app ads) are placed in a form of paid media where the ad experience follows the natural form and function of the user experience. Ads are placed in mobile apps and website pages, such as social media networking feeds, mobile games, and media sites (click here to learn more about the differences between display and native advertising). A recent report by App Annie found that the number of apps using native advertising will grow by 60 percent in 2019 as advertisers increase conversion rates with mobile app users. This forecast displays a tremendous growth rate, especially considering the anti-ad sentiment amongst app developers. With global spending on apps and in-app purchases to exceed $122 billion this year, it looks as though those feelings of resistance from app creators are going to be a thing of the past.
3. Data-Driven Creativity
Whether you’re a seasoned advertising pro or first-timer, it’s easy to fall into the mindset of creating content that conforms with whatever the competitors are doing. As the methods for effective advertising grow, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stand out of the over-saturated crowd. More than ever before, marketers and advertisers are having to earn the audience’s attention and business. Data is vital in helping us understand customers and create a good customer experience, but a great customer experience comes in the form of creativity combined with intelligence. “A data-driven approach to creativity helps marketers work more productively, create the right content faster, and deliver that content to the right customer, across the right channels, at the right time,” says Stacy Martinet, Adobe’s VP of marketing strategy and communications. She explains to CMO.com that the most forward-thinking companies are all following one same tactic, and that’s having a unified perspective of the customer by pulling data from many different sources. By integrating creativity with analytics and hard data – it will help better engage customers and design the best possible experience. A McKinsey study found that companies who collaborate their creative teams and data-driven teams will perform two times more than companies who have the same capabilities but handle both business functions separately. The research also states that the most innovative companies are aiming to hire individuals who are both left-and-right-brained – looks like 2019 will be the year for the data-driven creative.
4. Voice Search SEO
It’s predicted that 50 percent of all searches will be conducted without a screen by 2020. This means that users will receive half of their information from the world’s most beloved voice robots: Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana. Voice search allows users to browse the internet without having to type a query, scroll through and actually read the site. This audible technology may be the critical key to success for brands in the near future. Voice search is changing the way people are using the web by making searches faster and simpler. While voice technology increases its accuracy rate from 95 percent to 99 percent, the use of voice search will also continue to increase as it becomes even more efficient and smarter. It’s important to note that voice search SEO and website SEO are not the same. Factors that impact traditional SEO may not affect voice search SEO, and vice versa. Keep in mind that people don’t typically speak the same way they type – therefore, investing in voice search optimization will be a key differentiator for brands in 2019.
5. Video Content
With consumers spending more time on mobile, advertisers are predicted to spend $20 billion on mobile video ads this year alone (rapidly growing from just $2 billion in 2015). Video content, including both live and pre-recorded video ads, will account for 85 percent of the Internet’s total traffic in 2019. Video content is a staggering 1200 percent more likely to be shared than text and images combined. With the consumption of video ads rising at a prolific rate, marketers must learn to incorporate high-quality video content in their 2019 marketing strategies. Emarketer projects 187.7 million smart-phone video viewers will watch an average of 30 minutes of video per day by 2020. The top players in social are already rolling out video ads at a record pace – this includes Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, all of which plan to be the best platforms for video ads. To stay afloat this top marketing trend, it’s safe to say marketers will have to follow where the eyes are going.
As the industry leaps into the new year, it is essential for marketers to understand the current state of digital marketing. Implementing influencer marketing, native advertising, data-driven creativity, voice search SEO, and video content will set your company apart from the rest. Being familiar with these top 5 emerging trends will help businesses achieve their goals for the long haul. Let’s ring in the new year with eyes and ears wide open!