We may be halfway through 2019, but there are still plenty of ways to up your digital marketing game. At the beginning of the year, a flood of thought leaders had opinions on what the most significant marketing trends of the year would be. Most of them were spot on.
Developing a successful marketing plan requires being open to experimentation. You don’t have to hop on every trend bandwagon, but it is essential to know what other brands are doing that might resonate with your customers.
As we look back at the first six months of 2019, there are some clear trends in marketing that are working for brands. These trends not only capture the attention of the consumers, but they generate useful data and position brands as leaders in their space.
So, what are these trends, and how can they help your business succeed?
One of the most popular forms of digital marketing right now is content marketing. Brands are acting as a publisher to build compelling content channels across their various platforms. Why is content marketing so important?
In today’s market, being looked at as a thought leader builds trust in your brand and gains you more recognition in the marketplace. When customers start to look at you as a resource they can rely on, it keeps them coming back.
More than 51% of digital marketers have reported that they’re going to increase brand publishing this year, according to a recent survey.
So, what are some unique ways you can use content marketing to increase your brand recognition?
Chatbots are on the rise. They’re a great way to communicate with your customers when they’re already in the process of seeking out information. They also help you gather feedback about your customer.
You can set up surveys at the end of a chat or as an initial way to gather customer information. One great example is ChatConnect’s ability to allow businesses to conduct surveys when their customers log on to shared WiFi connections.
The customer opts in for a quick survey in order to get a WiFi connection and the brand gets more insight into their use case.
Ready to be your own publisher? It’s one of the simplest ways to build your reputation as a thought leader. Whether you set up a stand-alone site where you publish newsworthy information, or you’re simply running a blog, brand publishing is a growing trend.
Some of the brands that do publishing well turn their news and successes into compelling thought pieces that resonate with their audience. Here are just a few examples of brand publishing done right:
Whatever form of content marketing you decide to pursue, making it part of your overall marking strategy can generate you more web traffic, build trust in your brand, and delight your audience when they least expect it.
Last year, AI and Machine Learning were beginning to gain traction as a unique marketing tool. In 2019, the stage is set for them to become essential aspects of any marketing strategy.
AI gives brands the data they need to reach their audience where they already are. The information collected by AI allows for more accurate customer profiling and guarantees more insight into what your customers want from your brand.
Beyond giving brands an upper hand with their messaging, AI and machine learning also allow for the automation of many successful marketing practices. Automated algorithms for everything from paid advertising campaigns to social media posting can help brands reach whom they want when they want.
You don’t have to be a huge brand with a major marketing budget to use AI in your marketing strategy; you just have to know what platforms and SaaS options are available to you. Do your research and find a data-driven solution that will help take your marketing campaigns to the next level.
If your business isn’t optimizing for mobile, you’re missing out on a massive audience. Mobile searches on Google surpassed those of desktop searches in 2018. That means mobile is the leading way that consumers are accessing information.
So, how can you make sure that your marketing campaign is mobile-friendly? You need to have your website, and any platforms where you engage with your customer, optimized for mobile consumption. These are a few things that will guarantee a searchable and mobile-friendly experience for your customers:
- Fast speeds
- A page with crawlability, indexability, and validations
- Responsive designs
- Rich schema editing and entities
- An APM and PWA powered mobile-first experience
There’s a reason influencers are flocking to Instagram TV and YouTube more than ever — video matters. Consumers watch more videos than they do read blog posts or emails. Video is a fast way for brands to capture attention, convey information, and engage with users. More importantly, it’s one of the fastest growing subsets in marketing.
Embedding a video in landing pages can increase lead conversion by up to 80%, while adding a video to your email marketing campaign boosts click rates by 200-300%, according to Hubspot. What does that mean? If you do not include video in your marketing strategy, you’re hurting your ROI.
If you’re serious about boosting search results and generating leads, it’s time to make video marketing part of what you’re doing on a day-to-day basis. To take your brand even further, look into leveraging AMP stories.
Augmented reality is the wave of the future. It’s one of the new trends in marketing that is capturing attention. While it’s mostly an option for brands with larger budgets, it’s still something to think about as you continue to grow your company.
Augmented reality is a memorable way to connect with your customer. Companies like Wayfair and Overstock have been using augmented reality to help shoppers see pieces in their home before they buy. Customers open the app, and the piece appears in their living room.
Other brands are using augmented reality in experiential marketing. Recently, HBO used a bit of augmented reality magic to celebrate the final episode of “Game of Thrones.” New York City users were able to open their Snapchat and watch in real time as an Ice Dragon landed on the top of a Flatiron building.
While it’s still new, augmented reality is a marketing avenue every growing brand should consider as they grow.
Digital marketing is continually evolving. When you look back just ten or fifteen years ago, it’s apparent the tools and platforms we use have changed dramatically.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners have to be on top of changing trends and exciting innovations. The easiest way to get lost in the competition is to not stand out at all.
No matter what your budget is, there are ways to participate in the trends hitting the marketing industry. If you don’t have the funding for an extensive augmented reality campaign, use your content marketing to talk about the trends in real time. Alternatively, use AI generated data analytics to target your paid advertising and social media outreach better.
The important thing is to be aware of what’s happening around you and remain open to trying new things. Marketing is experimentation. If something doesn’t work, keep trying until you find something that does.