Welcome to 2019! This is the year to embrace change and drive your small business forward. How you ask? There are several trends that reared their heads in 2018 that can no longer be ignored in 2019.
Our experts go through each trend and see how we can apply them to small businesses – no matter your niche!
So, Here we go!
1. Artificial Intelligence
When people talk about AI, everyone shudders and thinks about robots taking over their jobs! We are not there yet, promise!
It can however, make your life a lot easier in terms of simplifying mundane jobs such as scheduling social media posts or sending bulk emails.
It is also so much more than that, it can analyse customer behaviour and search patterns using data from social media and blogs and it can help small businesses understand how customers are finding their products & services.
Facebook Messenger can also help you automate your customer service (but more on that later)
Did you know: 25% of customer service will use chatbots by 2020 – that will be up from 2% in 2017!
2. Programmatic Advertising
What? What does that even mean, I hear you say. It is just a fancier word for ad buying, but it is done by AI.
In a nutshell, Programmatic Advertising uses AI to automate ad buying so you can target more specific audiences making your PPC and display marketing more efficient & faster with higher conversions & lower acquisition costs.
Our team of experts will point you in the right direction if you are new to the PPC space, so drop them a line and we will gladly help.
Talking to robots? Whatever next? Think of it as a more streamlined version of Alexa or Siri. It is there to help your business answer any customer queries, and the best part is that it often does a better job.
Many customers actually prefer interacting with chatbots as they are responsive, give answers promptly, can accurately recall your entire buying history and never loses patience!
Chatbots offer outstanding customer service and meet customers expectations – all by automating repetitive tasks – how can you avoid this gem!
Personalisation started making the rounds in 2018 but if you want to stand out in 2019 – you need to jump onto the personalisation band wagon!
Did you know? 96% of marketers believe that personalisation advances customers relations!
96% is not a small sample either to it makes sense to start personalising those emails and direct messages that you send out.
Not sure where to start – we have a team of email marketing experts who can assist with crafting the perfect personalised email marketing strategy. Contact us here
5. Video Marketing
Video Marketing is increasingly gaining popularity and in this day and age when customers have less time to do anything, how do businesses gain their attention?
Is Video marketing that effective? The below stats paint the picture:
Video Marketing is no longer just YouTube, its creating behind the scenes videos, its creating live broadcasts on your social channels and more. Video Marketing makes for more personalised marketing and customers respond better and faster to it.
YouTube clips and other videos are often displayed within the SERPs so now more than ever it is important for videos to become a part of your strategy.
How? Don’t we need fancy equipment? In fact, the opposite – if you are planning on doing quick social video posts, a new smartphone will work just fine for a 30second to a minute video. Planning on creating a masterpiece production – then you will need to invest in equipment.
6. Influencer Marketing
Scrolling through social media, we have all seen the posts that have #ad or someone punting the lastest trend, but little do you know this is the latest marketing trend that could make or break your business (especially if you are a B2C business)
Customers are more than likely going to buy from you if a customer like them is reviewing the product. How many times before you have purchased something have you read all the reviews?
That is what your potential customers are doing – why should they buy from you?
Influencer marketing is the 21st Century version of Word of Mouth Marketing. It is utilising your ultimate ‘customer’ to talk about how great your products are and why people should buy it. It can be anyone from celebrity endorsements, to the local blogger making a name for themselves. If they have a following and are known for being associated with your product or similar then creating a relationship with them allows you to reach a more targeted audience of users who are more than likely your exact customer.
One tip with influencer marketing is try not make it too sales-orientated – you want people to see the human element to the brand, if they are just getting product forced down their social feeds they will turn off. Work with your ‘influencer’ to create a story on why people should invest in your brand.
7. Social Messaging.
Social Messaging is not just about sending the latest meme or GIF.
With over 1.3 billion active monthly users on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp it makes sense to directly target your consumers via Direct Messaging. It allows for another level to personalisation as they know that you are aware of them being their and are not just treating them as a number.
Did you know? WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat have more combined users than YouTube. Therefore avoiding this trend would be a mistake in growing your customer loyalty.
Not sure how to implement? Our social experts will guide you in the best way to get the most out of social messaging and how to succeed in targeting your customers are the right time.
8. Visual Search
If you are a visual brand, dealing with a product range that needs to appeal to customers, you need to be looking at visual search.
It takes the user experience to a whole new level. A user can get more specific results to their query when the upload a similar image. Pinterest and their Lens have allowed users to upload an image and find out exactly where they can purchase those items or similar items.
Google Lens (only available on Pixel mobile phones) allows for the app to identify objects, landmarks and more!
Obviously if your business is selling software, visual search is not a priority, but should you sell products or are even a salon, visual search might aid in your customers finding you whilst they search for similar items.
9. Micro Moments
A what? The latest in marketing buzz word from Google, Micro Moments is a new consumer behaviour where your marketing message is delivered clearly and concisely and in a way that is of interest to your customer. This happens all within a few seconds – or else they move on.
With customers spending an average of 3 hours and 35 minutes a day on their smartphone we need to target customers at exactly the right time!
The below image will show you what we are talking about!
You have to start thinking like your customer in order to target them at the right time with the right page / product.
If you are not sure where to start with this – our experts can do a full analysis of the best keywords and phrases to target your customers and when to use them – get in touch for more information.
10. Voice Search & Smart Speakers
Alexa? Can you play Planet Rock?
Hey Google? Can you find me a recipe for pancakes?
The increasing use of voice search has made it important for companies to rethink their digital marketing strategies in 2019.
By 2020, over 50% of all searches will by voice and currently 20% of mobile queries on Google are voice search.
Those who have adopted the smart speakers and voice search have said they would not go back to life prior to their voice-controlled assistant.
The way that small businesses can adopt this trend is to think like their customers, how are customers going to be searching for you? How would you search for your business or products?
11. Social Media Stories
No matter what platform you use, Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat there are stories, short snippets of almost behind the scenes video that offer another level to your brand.
These little short videos can also be used to interview certain members of staff, giving a face to the brand that your customers have started to love but also cements yourself as a thought leader in your niche.
Since these videos are around for 24 hours or less, you can target the FOMO-element (Fear of missing out) so you can generate excitement around product launches, offers and more and therefore target customers at the right time within the buying cycle!
So 2019, for businesses big and small businesses personalisation, AI and social media messaging and stories are the big trends that need to be adopted in order to nurture more loyal customers.
Adopting new trends as a small business can be a daunting prospect, especially if you do not have expertise in the area. That is where our team of experts will assist and ensure your 2019 digital marketing strategy is bespoke and to your needs.
Get in touch today to find out more about these digital marketing trends that you can no longer ignore