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It’s not uncommon for businesses to apply the spaghetti noodle test with their marketing — throwing ideas at the wall to see what will stick. This also is the most common way to waste time, money and resources for little return. We scoured our favorite marketing resources and gurus for information on 2019 marketing trends that will stick. Here’s what we found.
The Information Source Matters
In 2019, more companies are investing in content marketing, influencer marketing and referral partnerships that give high value to customers. Studies show that consumers pay attention to information they trust from friends, brands they know, editorial sites and, of course, reviews, according to this Forbes article. Today’s audience does not trust paid advertising, and, in fact, 30% of all internet users are expected to use ad blockers.
However, paid advertising still has its role to play in marketing. Because people are no longer committed to single-source platforms, only using pay per click Google Ads or Facebook ads may is not as effective as it once was.
The question is: How do you create ads that offer value for your audience? The content and message of your ads are critical to its performance. The content (including headlines and descriptions) should also take into account the different marketing channels (social media, Google, email) and devices.
Garner the Most Engagement with Videos
It’s no surprise that engaging content ranks No. 1 on marketing professionals’ list of 2019 to-dos. But what type of content tops the list? Videos.
Users want a break from written text with videos that are easily digestible and often entertaining. Videos also must be convenient for the user — easy to share with the ability to post on many platforms and channels.
What type of videos will resonate the most with your audience? They could be educational, interviews, an emotional connection, demo videos and product reviews. According to Vimeo, 80% of users would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts. Live videos tend to have a down-to-earth quality that is spontaneous and authentic.
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Search Engine Optimization Isn’t What It Used to Be
If a digital marketing agency promises page 1 in Google search results, it’s OK to laugh. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a moving target with ever-changing algorithms. However, SEO should still be part of a holistic digital marketing strategy to capture that coveted organic search traffic your website needs to succeed.
Enter semantic SEO — meaningful content that serves up information your users really need, not a simple query. How many times have you asked Siri, “What is the best restaurant near me?” Or have you ever asked Alexa, “Where’s my stuff?” or “What is the news today?” Voice search has grown 35 times since 2008 and 41% of adults (and 55% of teens) use voice search daily.
Real information and high quality content targeted for the user is so important that Google began using RankBrain in 2015. RankBrain is an artificial intelligence machine learning system that process web content to provide more relevant search results for users. RankBrain will analyze each webpage for relevance and rank it between 1 and 10, with 10 being the most relevant and likely to be a strong and safe page. It focuses on how long someone spends on your page (Dwell Time) and the percentage of people that click on your result (Click Through Rate).
Your business can get ready for this trend by planning for topics, not keywords. Start planning and writing cornerstone content, also known as pillar pages. In a nutshell, this type of content includes incredible, thoughtful, well-researched articles that links to other multiple pieces of content.
The Rise of the Micro-Influencers
The days of paying social media influencers hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, are coming to an end. Brand strategists have quickly caught on that while the audience of large social media influencers might be enormous, these hordes of followers are unlikely to engage with a particular brand let alone become customers. Major influencers are notorious for purchasing fake followers and fake engagement.
The 2019 trend is shifting to the use of micro-influencers rather than social media stars. A micro-influencer has less than 10,000 followers and targets a highly specified niche with a highly engaged audience. These smaller influencers are considered to be more relatable, more trustworthy and more in-touch with their audience. They also cost significantly less with highly effective returns.
Marketing Automation Saves Time and Money
Lift the administrative burden of your staff by implementing marketing automation software, technology which can set repetitive marketing actions in motion so you don’t have to manually apply them. Marketing automation has seen the fastest growth of any Customer Relationship Management (CRM)-related segment in the last 5 years. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship without talking to a human.
All-in-one marketing automation platforms such as Hubspot contain customer CRM, email marketing, social media, chatbot and lead-generating analytics. It organizes the data their prospects share, then uses that data to provide those prospects with the right content and the right interactions at the right time to help close sales.
The ideal marketing automation means the customer gets a simpler, more consultative sales process, and the business gets a more efficient and more affordable sales process that results in better customers.
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