Online advertising is undoubtedly ever-changing and fast-growing. We, marketers, are all eager to find out how we can use data correctly to make impactful decisions that will lead us to success. For this reason, we’ve asked 10 experts to share their 2019 predictions with us.
Read below to find out more and get some useful tips for your business:
The scope of my analysis will be focused primarily on the Cypriot market. What we 've seen over the past 2-3 years is that an ever-growing number of companies have been investing their resources on digital channels, especially Facebook and the Google Network. However, there is still much room to grow as we observe many companies unknowingly wasting their funds on inefficient strategies, low-quality content and poor user experience landing pages. On the bright side, I feel that, for a small market with limited resources, we seem to be capable of adapting very swiftly to new technologies, when compared to other countries and markets.
Among the many new ideas on the threshold of 2019, I will attempt to focus on 5 key trends. (1) Companies will become more conscious of their content, making investments aimed at branding, rather than just sales. (2) Email marketing will decline, shifting more resources to instant messaging platforms such as Viber, SMS, Messenger and WhatsApp. (3) Automation, in the form of bots, will play an increasingly significant role in industries such as F&B as well as digital publishing. For example, it can be used for automatic reservations and new traffic respectively. (4) Influencer marketing will continue to grow, harnessing the power of micro-influencers. (5) Finally, I feel voice marketing will be the next big movement in digital. I eagerly await to observe the pioneers of our industry putting the concept to the test via innovative podcasts.
To conclude, businesses and marketers need to accept the fact that marketing is increasing in complexity and, for better or worse, there is no turning back. The only solution is to try new things, move fast, and learn consciously from each endeavor.
With Social Media becoming embedded in people's lives more than ever, marketers need to be alert of bots and marketing automation increasingly been used in social media pages. In general, automation is increasingly being used in conversational interfaces as well as in companies' customer support services; not just on social pages but also in other digital assets such as websites and apps.
Facebook may still be the most popular platform in the US and Europe, however a large percentage of its users is well above 50 years old. This, combined with its reputation being attacked by data breaches during 2018, will tend to make marketers cautious and judicious who they target by Facebook. On the other hand, Instagram is continuing to grow as an image and video-based platform, more suitable to reach younger generations.
Other important trends to watch out for is Influencer Marketing which will keep Facebook, Instagram and Youtube amongst the marketers' top preferred tools, Voice Search Marketing which will cause new voice recognition technologies to grow and improve, and content marketing which will continue to be a strong voice in creating awareness and engagement.
Social is becoming more like, well, TV.
You must have definitely understood by now that 2018 was the year of video. Big and small brands realised that creating brand stories and experiences that involve more than the sense of sight have a very powerful impact into building an emotional connection. 2019 will be the year where brand promises need to be kept and stories need to be created that go beyond selling a topic. This year will be all about going beyond the brand narrative and building a relevant series of stories that resonate with your target personas.
2. Digital will stop working; until you make it work.
The golden era of 0.02CPC is over. Or is it not? Whatever the case, digital is becoming crowded lately and taking into consideration that 89% of Cypriots are accessing the internet over their smartphones will make things more challenging. Businesses are becoming savvier and taking digital marketing at their own hands but will this be the solution to their problems? What happens when marketing changes by the day? Or when you have to see more than your need to communicate your unique selling propositions? Things are getting tricky and what you will need in 2019 is a fair balance between in-house management of your marketing efforts with next-generation digital expertise. The one that is agile enough to adapt as the world changes.
3. Marketing transforms into Mar-tech-ing.
DMPs, automations, CRMs and full stack solutions that deliver omnichannel experiences. In 2019 Cypriot companies will still be discovering the potential of digital, while mature players will try to be more intelligent and start considering the consumer journey and how that develops with their strategic goals. In order to do that, a combination of marketing, technology and cultural change will need to take place. Being able to break closed silos and enable the free flow of information within and outside the organisations will be the key to start assembling a best in class marketing stack that brings ROI in.
4. Businesses need to meet their purpose.
Important issues such as equality, sustainability, safety or even prevention of tragedy are impacting our lives. This does not exclude our little island. As polarising as it can be to extend your business message into a cause for the common good and even change things in your offering, it is proven that customers are becoming more loyal to purpose-driven brands than just communicating the old way. Now this might sound a little bit expected but changing your business model, your product or consumer experience to be purpose driven needs more than just an advertising message. This is where change agents come into place to revisit the sustainability of a brand, the lifecycle of products and make tweaks that will make your company more purposeful.
5. Social Media are becoming a digital mall.
From Social Marketplaces to shoppable feeds and buyable pins, social media will play a significant role in the online purchasing process. Combining this feature with artificial intelligence tools, expect messages to become even more personalised and payment methods even more seamless. This one might sound a little bit advanced for Cyprus, but the technology is there and available waiting to be used.
In 2019 the focus continues to be on reaching the customer through various touchpoints within multiple channels. However, a consistent message must be portrayed and media budget should be continuously optimized according to each channel's performance.
Programmatic remains dominant as it is efficient and fast. It is a smart way to target relevant and specific audiences with contextual messaging and offers a great range of data and insights.
Looking at Social Media, Facebook continues to be the number one platform. Nonetheless, Instagram is seeing an increase in usage and in advertising opportunities. Stories are growing in popularity as well as live video, so both should be considered in marketing strategies.
Video continues to be of great importance as it comes to the mediums used to reach people - most prefer to watch a video than read a blog post. However when creating videos, imagination and originality makes the difference.
Last but not least, Chatbots are a worthy uprising tool and a great marketing resource. They are custom made to offer the user a personalized experience and can also help gather user information.
Online Ads will continue to evolve and will be available in more places that we can currently find them. We already see many professional video productions and video will remain the most efficient media format for engagement and conversions.
I predict that during 2019 we will see more video ads, and in a more “native” way. Users will keep communicating through more Webinars, Facebook Lives and YouTube & Instagram TV episodes. Every platform benefits the use of a video, so more people should focus on video production if they want to get maximum exposure.
Since everybody has their very own Social Media channels, they will run more social videos through which they will aim at soft-selling or indirectly promoting their products. I believe we will watch more long videos on platforms like Youtube and Webinar rooms (minimum 20 minutes), and more short videos on Facebook and Instagram (up to 10 minutes).
By using their own channels, the users will be able to better show their expertise, thus selling what they have in a more engaging way.
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With the New Year around the corner, speculation on the SEM trends of 2019 is on everyone's mind.
Here at Nest, we believe that the upcom?ng year will see a sharp rise in the development of new and exciting uses of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the marketing industry. We're talking about features like predictive analysis, dynamic pricing and chatbots. Without a doubt, voice search will be a tool that is expanded and more broadly implemented in 2019.
AI and voice search have already forged ahead in the business world. Efficient and effective features such as personal assistants and voice search commands are now integrated into the modern consumer's day-to-day, with Google showing that 20% of Americans use AI as a matter of routine. That said, we believe that AI's potential is far from being fulfilled. We expect great things to happen over the next 12 months.
In SEM, we are used to deploying a range of mediums to reach target audiences. Our experience in the field has shown that, in order for a business to succeed, it is vital to have a smart digital strategy with clear goals in place. Saving on unnecessary spending and identifying the right methods to reach key audiences remain the two great challenges for search marketers. Artificial intelligence can only be a great support in these efforts.
2019, beyond the buzzwords, is all about being laser-focused on personalisation and adopting a customer-centric approach with the help of digital tools.
Implement those technologies that will help you build a more personalised communication bridge with everyone interacting with your brand. Brands should be in position to apply micro-niche targeting approaches and break down their big campaigns into thousands of smaller ones.
Furthermore, your Customer Happiness team should focus on every single touch point so that each interaction from the first enquiry all the way to the after-sales experience generates happy customers. These happy customers are influencing others to buy your product and that is your greatest asset.
By harnessing the Voice of the Customer (VOC) with centralised solutions you can break silos by collecting, analysing and sharing data across the company that will inform not just your marketing efforts but your decision making in every department of your company. This way you are building more agile and dynamic decision-making capabilities.
2018 has been quite a busy year in the space of online marketing tools. Successful companies should not only keep abreast of the latest technologies in this space but they should also incorporate the learning from their customers into using their current toolsets in a more efficient way.
Digital Marketing and online advertising in general brought extraordinary results in 2018.
More and more companies felt the need to invest in this evolving marketplace.
Either because they understand the power of modern Internet, or due to the upcoming “trend” and because “everyone” are investing.
What is the key factor that differentiate serious agencies from those that jump onto the “trend wave” of 2019? The answer is simple. The right content.
Content can be called a good-looking text or a stunning photography. But what about videos especially in modern times?
Video is a powerful tool that is evolving drastically nowadays and will play one of the most important roles in strategic marketing of companies in 2019. Companies that will succeed in standing out with original videos & concepts will experience more engagement from potential customers in the next year.
Video is a tool that can enhance the quality details of every company and make her stand out more against her competition.
2018 saw a number of digital marketing changes, data privacy changes being one of the most memorable. As a digital marketing expert, I expect data privacy is here to stay.
Another important prediction for online marketing in 2019, is the improvement of creative visuals, as marketers are understanding that visuals are more important than words, and thus the importance of this will rise in the digital ecosystem. This will allow for more interesting branding opportunities.
With the introduction of YouTube's 'live video' feature in 2018, catching up to Facebook and Instagram, we can definitely see this as a tool that will be used more and more in 2019, amongst all three platforms.
Finally, we expect chatbots to continue growing in 2019, making it a norm of online marketing – for marketers, and for the consumers. People want fast answers, and chatbots are the way to give them this – to order their pizza, book a hotel room or even choose a mobile data plan.
One major shift in marketing that I’ve noticed this year is that customers want to feel the humanity shine through a company’s messaging and content. Throughout 2019, we’ve seen marketing trends that prove this, from branded social media accounts talking to their audience through irony and memes, to influencers becoming a more powerful way to reach people online. It all comes down to one thing: making content that’s high quality, engaging, and optimized for the current Internet landscape.
As marketers, business owners, and Internet users at large, we’ve known that one of the most important factors for a digital marketing strategy is content marketing. Even in SEO, the quality of content is beginning to outshine strategic use of keywords and backlinks, because search engines like Google care about user experience now more than ever. Blog posts and articles are still important, but it’s not just the written words that matter; embedded videos, multimedia elements, mobile-friendliness and interactive content are becoming crucial for keeping audiences and customers engaged with your brand.
Customers are increasingly desiring a personalized and “real” experience online, meaning that typical automated chatbots or robotic-sounding emails aren’t going to cut it. This desire for human interaction goes hand in hand with the major emphasis on connecting with your audience on social media, because customers, more than anything, want to feel like they’re being heard and catered to on an individual basis. This has already been true for marketing, but the way to accomplish this best is evolving as online communities continue to become a necessary part of running a business.
We are reaching a point where simple online marketing no longer gives companies an edge. Today’s most competitive companies use marketing automation tools that can anticipate exactly what will influence someone and deliver it at exactly the right time. Luckily though, marketing automation finally began making a name for itself thanks to faster internet connections and the ability of servers to handle heavy-duty data.
While the classical online marketing might feel safe, you have to be willing to let it go in favor of software that can learn and grow with your company. For me, marketers will fall into different teams: those who’ll see the train coming, those who’ll jump into the train just in time, and those who won’t notice it until it passes them by.