2019 Digital Marketing Trends
Marketing trends change quickly. If you aren’t prepared for 2019, digital marketing may have already left you behind. Here is my advice on what digital marketing trends you need to be all over for success in 2019.
- Build a great brand
- Create content of value
- Take an Omni-channel approach – Email, social/live, web, display, search
- Use marketing automation & AI
- Drive word of mouth
Hot Tip: Link-building is so 2016 – if you are going to do it, focus on quality over quantity, get small to medium sites to link to you, and make sure the links are from relevant content.
Build a great brand
There is a well-known phrase in marketing that states that one of the most critical elements in the psychology of sales is that people buy from people that they know, like, and trust.
It starts with the first impressions: What does your brand look like?
And ends with your product and support: Is it a great product, and what support did I get along the sales and aftersales process?
There’s a lot that goes on in between as we all know. What’s important is that the overall sales experience is a positive one that adds to the user experience, and makes them want to:
- Come back for more; and
- Tell all of their friends about you
Some have linked ‘Know, Like and Trust’ to as far back as Mark Twain, although it is not clear if he coined the phrase, or just adopted it. There are also some that counter that there are other effective sales methods that rely more on the consumer being challenged rather than coerced, although this method is difficult to replicate in the digital realm.
In 2019 the former will be the one that stands to be true, from a digital aspect at least. Here’s why:
Google rewards trusted brands
In 2018 we have seen search engines give added value to recognised brands. Google is giving up valuable real estate in its search results to provides answers that it thinks will solve the user’s question in the first place. Try typing “How to decorate a Christmas tree” into Google. What do you see?
I gave it a go and here is what I got:
So how does Better Homes and Gardens in the US take up the prime spot on my search results in Newcastle, Australia? Because they have built a reputable brand that not only their users trust but just as importantly Google has identified as being a trustworthy source of information.
These results are known as Featured Snippets, where Google tries to match your webpage with a users search query. It’s almost like another step along the AI highway, where Google will look to be able to answer your questions at the click of a button, or a “Hey Google”.
Hot Tip: To get your website to appear in Featured Snippets, it is important that your content is structured in such a way that makes it easy for Google to present. Get your SEO guru to help you out if you’re now sure.
Create content of value
We’ve all done it. Created content that is more about filling space and helping our SEO rather than actually engaging with our users and leading them down the conversion pathway.
Sometimes it is a legitimate method. Build some traffic before worrying about putting too much effort into making the content truly engaging. For 2019 try changing things up a bit by making sure you aren’t creating placeholder content, but that you are creating content that adds to the user experience.
There is so much to choose from when it comes to content, and it can be effective in two ways:
- Drives users to your platforms
- Gets users to convert
Content that drives users to your platforms
Getting users to your website or your social media profile is different to content that convinces customers to use your product or service. When you are looking to drive traffic, your content doesn’t have to be all about the sell. To keep your bounce rates down, content should still be engaging, and relevant to your industry, but it doesn’t have to be a sales pitch.
Think of things like:
- Live video
- Interactive content
- Downloadable content
- Virtual tours
- Product reviews
- How to guides
- Newsletters and Blog Posts
- Giveaways and competitions
- Industry News
3D Virtual Tours
I thought this was pretty cool when I saw it at a marketing conference this year and think it is worth its own mention. What if you’re selling a product (let’s say a caravan) to a customer who isn’t in the same physical location as you. Let’s also say that there is nowhere nearby that the customer can go and test your product out? How can you give them the confidence in your product to lead them along the buying pathway?
This is where 3D virtual tours come in. Using 3D software, the user can put on a Virtual Reality (VR) headset and be immersed in a world where they can view and interact with your product. They can open doors, turn on lights, operate the entertainment system and more. Pretty cool eh?
While the uptake on VR headsets isn’t at the tipping point yet where this type of content can be considered for mainstream appeal, as more people get access to VR, you will see this content appear more and more.
Be the guru
Think about making your brand the wiki of your industry. You want to provide expert advice, support and industry news that make a user want to come to your site.
Also, think what you can give your users that isn’t going to cost you anything (except maybe your time). Doing this builds on your branding and encourages word of mouth. In sales terminology, it is filling up the bucket at the top of your funnel. The next step is to make sure whoever is in that bucket is ending up as a customer.
Hot Tip: When creating downloadable content, or value-added content that a user might have to pay for elsewhere, make sure you are getting something from the user in return. It could be to sign up to your newsletter or receive a call about a product or service you offer.
Content to get users to convert
Once you’ve got traffic, then you need to know what your conversion pathway is and build content that supports that. It can be imagery, video, discounts and offers, testimonials, product or company ratings and many more things.
When creating that content, you need to think “is this going to help my customer to make the purchasing decision?” I’m not saying everything on the page should be about the sale, but your content should be leading the user down the pathway to conversion.
Well placed call to actions, with supporting ratings, reviews and testimonials help to reinforce the buying decision.
Hot Tip: Don’t try to sell the whole cow from that outset. What I mean is, don’t over complicate the buying decision process by trying to sell a full suite of products when the user is only looking for one component. Instead, use the upsell and cross-sell to allow buyers to upgrade along the way.
Crazy Domains are great at doing this when you buy a domain. Once you have selected what you want, they take you along a pathway that recommends additional services that will add value to your purchase.
Take an Omni-channel approach
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to your marketing. Whereas in the past you may have been able to rely on Google Ads, or Facebook Advertising to drive users to your product or service, this is a high risk and expensive approach.
The risk is that if you are removed from that platform for any reason, then it has a massive impact on your business. Get blacklisted on Google? Goodbye traffic. Booted from Amazon? Goodbye sales.
The reason it is expensive is that if it is so easy for delivering business for you, then it is likely a platform that is a source of business for everyone as well. Once everyone starts using it, then it becomes more competitive and harder to rank (unless you have deep pockets).
By taking an omnichannel approach and sharing your traffic sources across multiple platforms, you will find new and affordable channels that you can exploit, and you are also getting your brand out to more and more users.
Utilise marketing automation & AI
I think one of the things I like the most about digital marketing is that more often than not, it is about working smarter, not harder.
Enter the marketing automation and marketing AI worlds.
Software that automates your marketing based on the actions of your users has been around for a few years now. In its simplest form it can be a series of emails sent to a user at various steps along the conversion pathway, for example:
Basic Email Automation Example
- Abandoned Sale
A user lands on your website and enters their email address as part of the purchase process, but then abandons the sale;
- Reminder Email
The user receives an email reminder that there are still products in their cart and asks “would you like to complete your purchase?”. If they do, then they drop out of the pathway, but if they don’t then;
- Discount Offer
The user receives a second email telling them if they come back and complete the sale, you will give them a 10% discount on the purchase;
- Sale Offer
If they still haven’t completed the purchase, then down the track they receive information about a sale that has just started and that their product and others like it are now 50% off.
This has been a highly effective program for shopping sites and has seen marked increases in conversion rates. But this is automation midway through the sales process, and not actually driving new leads into your sales funnel.
Content Management Tools
This is where content and lead management tools come in to play.
Tired of having to man your chatbot 24/7 and want to set up some automated responses. Too easy, Facebook (and most chatbots) are all over it.
Want to transform your blog post into a great looking video that you can use across multiple platforms in seconds? There’s a tool for that. (lumen5.com)
Want to have your content broadcast to online influencers across your market? There’s a tool for that. (quuu.co)
Want to find out more about the businesses visiting your website? Well, there’s a tool for that too. (clearbit.com).
Hot Tip: You always need to make sure that you are adhering to the rules that ACMA sets in place in Australia around data and privacy, but there are more than a few useful tools out there that you can use.
Artificial Intelligence or AI is pretty exciting. Imagine not having to create your own content, or figure out which audience you should be targeting.
Using a lot of computer power and copious amounts of user data, AI can now target users that are more likely to convert, create blog articles at the click of a button, and optimise your content in real time to ensure you are sending the right message at the right time.
There is even a product called Appier, that will predict what your user is going to do next so that you can tailor your sales experience to them.
There is a long list of products in the market, and reasons that you can utilise them. In 2019 you will find that many big brands are using AI to get a competitive advantage in competitive markets.
Drive word of mouth
Lastly I want to cover the oldest marketing tool in the book, Word of Mouth. Your Word of Mouth marketing is closely aligned to your Brand Marketing, because good word of mouth is pretty much a direct reflection that your users know, like and trust your brand.
By building a brand that users know like and trust, you are building a brand that can go viral all on its own. Back in the early 2000’s a vodka brand called 42 Below released a series of YouTube videos that went global. Their brand was getting massive exposure, and not a cent was being spent on advertising. In 2006 42 Below, which started out as a guy making Vodka in his garage in suburban New Zealand, was sold to Bacardi for $138 million.
So word of mouth is kind of like a collection of all the best bits that I have outlined in this post:
- Start with a solid brand
- Create awesome content content that everyone want’s to talk about
- Share that content across your platforms
- Use automation and AI to track and target users
- Sell your business for millions of dollars.
Okay, so that last part might be a little ambitious, but we all need a goal right?
NewyMedia is a digital marketing company based in Australia. If you need help with your digital marketing, then we are here to help. You can contact us here, or sign up below to join our mailing list for more great tips and advice.