Published 30 January 2019 Category: digital marketing, online marketing, social media, artificial intelligence

7 Digital Marketing Trends in 2019

In terms of online marketing trends, 2018 saw the rise of live video and influencer marketing, as well as the popularisation of chatbots in customer support. These tendencies will carry over into 2019, but the year will also bring some long-awaited innovations and digital marketing trends. 2019, according to marketers, will be the year of artificial intelligence, visual search, and the continued dominance of high-quality visual content. After a few years, we might also see a major shift in the world of social media.

Here are seven digital marketing trends most likely to shape your digital marketing strategy in 2019.

1. Facebook May Be on Its Way Out...

Facebook has had a very tumultuous year, what with the much-talked-about Cambridge Analytica data scandal that erupted in March and the big data breach in October that affected personal data of more than 14 million users. None of this has impacted Facebook’s position as the most popular social network in the world (with 2.23 billion monthly users), but things may be about to change in the coming months.

Namely, experts predict that Facebook’s popularity might finally peak in 2019. This is prompted not only by the recent shifts in the platform’s public image but also by the fact that its users may be too old. According to statistics, more than one-third of Facebook users in the United States are over the age of 45, which is outside of the demographic most marketers tend to target. If you’re looking to reach younger audiences in 2019, other social media platforms might be a better choice.

2. ...But Instagram Isn’t Going Anywhere

Instagram is a good example of one such youth-oriented social media platform. More than 60% of the platform’s billion users are under the age of 35, with more than 300 million in the coveted 18-24 demographic. The trend is likely to continue throughout 2019, especially as Instagram continues to introduce new features to keep their predominantly young user base engaged. If your digital marketing strategy predominantly targets millennials, Instagram is still the place to be.

3. Quality Content Will Continue to Rule

Despite some major changes in the industry, quality content will remain the top priority of online marketers. However, the focus might shift from broad content with general appeal to specialized content targeted at specific industries and niches. This will all be fuelled by increased access to audience insights, as well as the growing interest in highly targeted campaigns with some level of personalisation.

4. Video Is Still the Format to Beat

Video was the most popular format in digital marketing in 2018, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. This applies to both “traditional” video (pre-packaged content posted to YouTube and other platforms) as well as live video on Facebook or Instagram TV. In fact, the latter may become even more popular for the simple fact that they’re easy and cheap to make with higher engagement rates to boot.

5. Artificial Intelligence May Be Creeping Up on Us

The growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is bound to be one of the biggest online marketing trends this year. Almost 30% of marketers are already using AI to recommend relevant products to their users and optimise their campaigns – and the numbers will only go higher.

Right now, AI is equipped to analyse customer behaviour and search patterns using only data from social media and blog posts. In 2019, more businesses are expected to start using machine learning and AI to optimise customer experience, improve campaign targeting, and offer personalised adverts in real time.

6. Chatbots Will Slowly Take Over

Speaking of machine learning, chatbots aren’t going anywhere either. In 2018, many businesses have abandoned live chat support with real representatives in favour of chatbots. While the curiosity factor may have played a part in this trend, the main driving force was the fact that installing a chatbot is much cheaper than hiring three people to work eight-hour shifts to provide round the clock customer support.

Amtrak’s ticket-booking chatbot “Ask Julie” has managed to save them more than $1 million in customer service costs and increase their per-booking revenue by 30% – and all that in just in one year. Add to that the fact that chatbots support up to a few hundred parallel conversations whereas live representatives can only talk to one person at a time, so it’s no surprise that more businesses are turning to machines.

7. Visual Search Is the Next Big Thing

For years, Google has allowed users to search the internet using an image rather than input text. In 2019, visual search is about to explode and three apps will lead the pack. First, Pinterest has come out with Lens, an app that lets users take a photo of any item and shows them where they can buy it online – which could spell excellent news for marketers everywhere. There is also CamFind, which serves a similar purpose and allows you to find out everything about an object seconds after you’ve taken a photo of it.

Finally, there is Google Lens, which allows you to look up virtually anything – clothes, buildings, animals, and plants. It even offers some interesting features, such as the ability to save someone’s phone number to contacts from a photo of their business card or looking up book reviews based on the cover image.

Final Thoughts

Social media, videos (both live and uploaded), and high-quality content are and will continue to be the key aspects of your digital marketing strategy throughout 2019. However, if you want to modernise your strategy, you should also consider incorporating AI, machine learning, and visual search.

Also, just because the online world is so exciting, it doesn’t mean that you should neglect your other marketing channels. Like in 2018 and 2017 and every year before that, adopting an omnichannel marketing strategy is the best way to maximise customer satisfaction and boost your sales.