What works and what doesn’t in 2019? Read this article to find out what the most critical aspects of Marketing in 2019 are as well as what the newest developments are.

Marketing trends are ever changing and companies need not only to keep up, but be ahead of these trends, especially since today’s consumers are much more tech-savvy and sceptical and well informed than they used to be.

Creating brand awareness and interacting with your consumers is a crucial part of doing business today. Customers expect and revel in a personalized, honest experience, and delivering just that will send you soaring above your competition.

1. Search Engine Optimisation:

Yes, everyone has heard of SEO, but very few people actually understand exactly what it is and how it fits into everything.
Search Engine Optimisation is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. SEO is a long term investment. It takes a while and a lot of engaging content, on-site and off-site, to integrate SEO sufficiently into your digital marketing mix - but it is well worth the time and effort! It is becoming even more critical on a daily basis. Voice searches and image searches are also becoming more popular at a rapid rate, which means that your information and images need to be sufficiently optimised to appear correctly (or at all) within any of these kinds of searches.

2. Interactive Marketing:

Include your audience in your content marketing.
Learn to engage with your audience on a real level, consumers want to feel like they know you, like they are a part of your business and everything that’s happening to it. Don’t be afraid to use Social as a fun, informal outlet to let your brands' personality and character shine through. Just remember that social media is a conversation platform, not a place to excessively sell your product to people. Just now and then. The point of content is to prove your authority, educate people on what you do and how you do it, and create lots of wording that Google would then index and throw up into a search result if people are looking for that particular bit of information that you just may have.

3. Play on Your Consumers “FOMO”

People today suffer intensely from “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out) so don’t waste any opportunities to play on that.
Users move from their computers to their phones, to their tablets and right back around, they would much rather be looking at your awesome vacation in Peru than at their bedroom ceiling. Technology has taken over and it isn’t easy to stand out between the masses of companies that are also trying to capture your audience’s attention. It is, however, possible. Many Social Media platforms have released easy ways to tap into just that. Facebook and Instagram stories, for example, are an extremely popular way of engaging with customers and are becoming more popular daily. The thing that sets stories apart from regular posts is that they are situated right at the top of Facebook and Instagram’s platforms which is prime real estate. Stories also tap into consumers fear of missing out since they “disappear” after 24 hours and should the consumer wish to see what’s new and happening within a business or influencer they have only a limited time to do so. In between the very engaging content, they can be very useful to promote time limited sales campaigns.

4. Empower Your Customers as Brand Influencers

Today's average consumer more easily trusts their peers than they do an industry expert.
Micro-influencers are 6.7% more efficient per engagement than influencers with large followings. Influencer marketing is also a classic social media strategy, however, influencers are no longer red-carpet celebrities, they are real people with relatable lives. By using tools like YotPo and BazaarVoice you can now dub your customers Brand Ambassadors by asking them to be your advocate by sharing information and products of yours on their personal profiles.

5. Utilise Those Testimonials!

Creating trust amongst your potential customers is crucial, especially in this day and age where consumers are much more sceptical.
Unfortunately, reviews have become a heavily abused tactic with fake reviews becoming more and more prominent, especially on Amazon. People do want to hear from real people though! So while you may have reviews on Amazon and through platforms like Trust Pilot, make sure that you have authentic reviews on your website from real people and with their photos as well if possible. People want to know that your business is trustworthy and Real. Unfortunately, there are so many dodgy online businesses these days and consumers find it much harder to trust online businesses that aren’t already well established within their industry. So get real feedback from real clients.

6. User-Generated Content

Consumers crave authenticity from brands.
Forbes held a survey recently that stated that 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they support, and 60% say user-generated content (UGC) is the most authentic form of content. By adding authenticity and personality to your brand you create trust which will assist you in standing out from the crowds and you can thus easily win your customers hearts and wallets.

7. Be Authentic and Transparent

Brutal honesty is a current trend that is getting brands to stand out above the rest.
Marketers can take advantage by clearly stating what their products and services are good at and where they need improvement. These statements can be backed up by objective customer reviews. This honesty translates to brand integrity, leading to trust and sales.

8. Produce High-Quality Content

Quality trumps quantity in today's market - don't make this mistake!
Consumers tend to lean toward low-volume, high-quality content rather than high-volume, low-quality content producers. Don’t post something just to post anything, post something with intent, with reason and meaning to your intended consumers.

9. Video Content

Image Source: Social Media Today

Video is the best performing content type on social media - it outperforms all other post types on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
For explaining something about your brand, your company or your product/service with  video is immensely more impactful than a thousand word website page.

Video marketing has skyrocketed in the last year. Youtube is now the second most popular platform behind Facebook. Around 100 million hours of video are watched every day on Facebook, over 1 billion hours of video are watched daily on YouTube in 88 countries in 76 languages, according to YouTube’s statistics.

10. Utilise “Native Advertising”

When your brand pays to feature content on a third-party website, you’re investing in native advertising.
Native advertising is a form of advertising whereby a company naturally, organically advertises its brand or product within another environment, such as a publication, video, or graphics. Traditional advertising is designed to stand out and be eye-catching whereas native advertising is a more subtle, almost unnoticeable approach to promote a brand to a new audience.

Native advertising isn’t new, but it’s still just as effective. It shouldn’t replace all content marketing efforts, but it should definitely be added to or upped as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Examples of Native Advertising:

  • The ads that appear in your social media newsfeed (Suggested Posts, Recommended for You posts etc.)
  • Strategic product placement in movies/series
  • The first few suggestions of a Google search
  • Advertising within articles, such as infographics

11. Voice Search

The increasing use of voice search has made it important for companies to rethink their digital marketing strategies in 2019.

  • 50% of all searches will be voice searches by the year 2020
  • 20% of mobile queries on Google are voice searches
  • 25% of all Bing searches are voice searches

Artificial Intelligence is getting smarter and the number of errors made by voice assistants like Alexa, Siri and Google has reduced. The time to start preparing your content for voice search is Now. Remember to optimise differently for voice-search than for type-search., With type search the consumer may search for “Directions to Buckingham Palace” whereas for voice-related searches consumers are more likely to phrase it like a conversation, for example, “Take me to Buckingham Palace.”. Also remember to optimise existing pages for voice searches, not only new pages.

12. Visual Searches

Visual search is taking the user experience to a completely new level.
With visual search, users can upload an image to conduct a search and get more specific results. Google has had an image search function for a while now and Pinterest released Pinterest Lens in 2018.

With either of these features, you can point your camera at any item or choose a photograph from your gallery and instantly find out where to purchase a similar item, see similar images and see similar Pin-boards on Pinterest. With the Mobile App, CamFind, users can search for anything from their mobile phones simply by snapping a picture and this app will tell you what it is.

We are rapidly storming into the exponential age where AI will infiltrate everything in our lives! Somehow, we feel excited and frightened at the same time, but we suppose that’s what people thought of Alexander Graham Bell’s invention!

13. Educate Your Audience

Audiences seek expertise, critical insight and ways to be better at all points of interest.
Experiential and interactive engagement with a brand is the future of consumer-brand connectivity. From live videos, to recorded advice, to content with real-time responses, to contests and beyond, it’s about offering information and encouraging feedback from stakeholders in a way that establishes trust.

14. Make The World A Better Place

Consumers are now, more than ever, focused on what you do, as a company, to make a difference in the world.
Consumers have access to information like never before and companies that are involved in things like animal testing and child labour (how can this still be happening!?) are receiving massive backlash and loss of customers. It’s not only companies involved in scandals that receive attention though, companies that make an effort to be cruelty-free, for example, gain support from consumers with similar beliefs.

15. Messenger Apps Are The Way to Communicate

People are so wrapped up in Social Media and Online Presences that the human-interaction component of Marketing is slowly fading away completely.
Utilize the messenger apps for customer interaction, check out the below statistics to see why you should not be ignoring messengers apps at all:

  • Facebook Messenger sees an average of 2.38 Billion Active Users Monthly
  • 2 Billion Messages Are Sent Between Business and Consumers on a Monthly Basis via Facebook Messenger
  • Whatsapp Has an Average of 1.6 Billion Active Users Monthly
  • 300 Million users send text via Whatsapp Daily

16. Bonus Tip: Be Secure and Trustworthy!

Trust isn’t just given, it is earned.
Massive companies like Amazon and Apple had to work hard at earning the trust of the consumer over their competitors. Once a consumer knows that a company can be trusted, a returning customer is almost guaranteed. Customers that receive great service and feel safe with your company are also more likely to spread the word.

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