As 2018 draws to a close, and 2019 hangs eagerly in the balance, it’s time to look to the year ahead and start thinking strategy. With marketing trends galore, it can be hard to decide which ones you should be paying attention to, so we’ve made things a little easier and drawn up this list of 5 trends for 2019 that you need to take into consideration…
With the growing popularity of smart phones, and the increasingly large number of people owning and using them, tech like MACs and PCs are no longer the most used devices. This year, Ofcom reported that an astounding 76% of adults own a smartphone, compared to only 64% for laptops and 58% for tablets. This means, if mobile optimisation is not something you’re already taking into consideration, you could be losing out. Think what people will be viewing your content on, and ensure that it is suitably sized for a mobile device. If you spend your time working from a laptop, you should remember to send content through to your phone for viewing, to make sure that it is still readable and effective on a smaller screen. Also, where your website and SEO is concerned, you will be automatically demoted on page rankings if your site is not mobile ready, as the majority of people will be searching on a phone, which sites like Google are aware of.
It’s probably not escaped your notice that chatbots have been popping up left, right and centre. Anyone who spends a considerable amount of time trawling Facebook will have seen the message box appear on almost every business page you visit. Intended to improve the user experience, Facebook introduced message prompts such as “I have a question. Can you help?”, which shortens the length of time your customers spend making enquiries. With chatbots predicted to take charge of 85% of all customer service interactions (estimated by Impact), and the appeal of 24/7 functionality, it’s time to jump on the band wagon. Set up your instant replies and message prompts in Facebook settings, and take advantage of Instagram’s Quick Replies feature to shorten your response time. Sites like Botsify or Chatfuel allow you to add appropriate bots to your website, meaning a better customer experience on every platform.
By now, you will all have heard of popular voice search technologies like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant, and chances are, you’ve probably had a go at talking to one of them. With a significant increase in the number of people owning such devices, it’s little wonder that the next big thing is predicted to be voice search, with an estimated 50% of searches being done through voice commands by 2020 (according to Forbes). To take full advantage of this, it’s important that you write your copy in a natural tone of voice. Take into consideration how people will be interacting with their devices, and what phrases they may be using. When it comes to your SEO, you should shift your focus onto local search, and make use of long-tail keywords to increase your chances of being found.
If it’s not something you use already, video marketing is something you definitely need to be using. With 78% of people watching videos online every week, and 55% watching them every day (according to HubSpot), it is clear that video content is where it’s at. Remember, where video is concerned, it’s best to keep things short and sweet. Shorter videos are proven to have a higher completion rate, meaning the content you put out there is more likely to be seen in its entirety. If you’re considering posting a lengthy video, Facebook Live or Instagram TV is worth a look. These features allow you to post longer content, whilst keeping your viewers engaged and able to participate in liking and commenting in real time.
Great for providing your audience with interesting, real-time content, both Facebook and Instagram stories have been busy growing in popularity throughout 2018, and will continue to do so in the new year. With the advantage of having a high priority placement on news feeds, where they can be seen before everything else, stories are a great way to get your brand noticed and start attracting the attention of new and existing customers. Take advantage of their functions to help provide a more interactive experience for your viewers. Use the hashtag and mention features to draw in an audience from further afield, and use their poll and questions features to encourage audience engagement. The Giphy feature works well on still images, and adds a bit of movement while attracting attention. Stories can also be used to help improve your sales, and the product tagging element allows you to tag in items for a quick and easy shop visit.
Hopefully your 2019 content will be a little more on-trend now, and you can rest easy knowing that you’re doing what you should be doing. Bear in mind, while paying attention to these factors should help improve your content and audience engagement, this is only the tip of the iceberg. What other marketing trends have you spotted for 2019 that you’ll be incorporating into your strategy for next year?