Machine learning, influencers, voice search… we hear about these trends a lot as many a marketing commentator puts them in the ‘emerging trends’ bracket each year. Well, it’s about time we saw some of these things mature and become effective, measurable marketing tools.
More than ever, I think we’ll see a hybrid of tactics being used to drive awareness and help generate sales in an increasingly digital and mobile space. Many of these trends are evolutions of recent developments, but all of them have a significant role to play in the continual development of modern marketing channels. Here’s what I think you’ll be hearing much more about in 2019…
1: Vertical Video Content
We know about the rise of video content. We know about the rise of video using mobile devices. We know how widely it’s used in landscape format on mobile devices for the ‘maximum’ experience. Yet, it’s vertical video that is the marketing ploy you should be investing in. Mobile sites and apps are so tailored to vertical scrolling, that with a bit of creative thought, marketers can develop a video that’s every bit as compelling in square or long format as it is in traditional horizontal screen mode.
2: March of the Micro-Influencers
Influencer marketing has been on the agenda of marketers for the last few years, but quite rightly questions are being asked about long-term ROI and how paid influencers are now being negatively perceived for apparent lack of authenticity. Enter the micro-influencers, socially prominent individuals that have an emphasis on high engagement with a niche following, rather than boasting big follower numbers. Micro-influencers also help when brands are faced with a lack of authenticity by recruiting big name influencers. The micro-influencer has built up a loyal following and stays close to the topics they have become known for. They also don’t want to risk losing their high engagement, so will only partner with a brand when it makes sense for their audience.
3: Social Media 'Stories'
As social media networks have grown, individual news feeds have become noisier and it’s increasingly harder for brands to get their posts seen. Well, the growing popularity of social media stories is a strategy worth trying for digital marketers.
First Snapchat came out with the concept of 'My Story', then Instagram and Facebook Stories were introduced and are being widely used. More recently YouTube unveiled its own story format, Reels. Since stories disappear after a set period of time, this is a great opportunity for marketers to make good use of FOMO (fear of missing out). What can you do with stories? Well, feature your employees in the stories, show the story behind the brand or even ask for testimonials from customers.
4: Segmented Social
While brands talk about customers and audiences, the reality is that most businesses will have multiple audiences, that could cross over. Segmentation is the process of organising your audience into manageable groups so that you can tailor your messaging and communications to each group.
Making assumptions about your audience and lumping them all together limits your ability to reach people more widely. So, the more you know about your audience and the various groups that make them up, the better you can adjust your messaging and narratives to fit each segment.
"With a bit of creative thought, marketers can develop a video that’s every bit as compelling in square or long format as it is in traditional horizontal screen mode."
5: 5G roll-out
Sure, the next generation of mobile data technology is a tech trend rather than a marketing one, but what 5G should enable, and make ubiquitous, is the consumption of vast quantities of data in the blink of an eye. That means mobile experiences, streaming of HD or 4K video and even processing of martech data (CRMs etc) will be near seamless. Granted, 5G’s roll-out won’t be until the end of the year and initially focused on just a few major cities but it’s the start of a reality that will further blur the lines between online and offline marketing and advertising. It will also spur on near instantaneous voice-search on mobile, which is a growing area. Related to this is my next trend, the move towards what’s being called Progressive Web Apps.
6: Progressive Web Apps
Mobile has been talked as the next big thing for years, but we’re now in an era where up to 53% of web traffic is mobile and two thirds of all ecommerce purchases are from the smartphone. Progressive Web Apps are a way to bridge the gap in experience when moving online and offline – something many apps currently get interrupted by. They launch instantly even when offline, don’t require traditional app updates and are responsive for all screen sizes and resolutions. Unlikely to replace paid-for apps as they can’t be part of an app store but expect many ‘app versions’ of websites to be replaced by PWAs.
7: Objective-Based Targeting
Digital marketing platforms from search engine marketing to paid social have largely moved towards objective-based campaigns, aimed at getting better results by tweaking algorithms towards goals such as website visits, leads or sales. The maturity of all these platforms, coupled with advances in AI and machine learning, has led to a simplification for the user, achieving better results through automated data analysis. Whilst this is great for low-cost, quick campaigns, it doesn’t cater for the detailed campaign strategy required for a more bespoke approach to a business’s unique needs. At TBT Marketing we always profile buyers in detail and plan a content strategy which fits the unique traits of that buyer and their degree of intent to purchase. That’s hard to get with these automated methods, even if the networks want you to use them.
Fingers on the pulse...
Here at TBT we never rest on our laurels when it comes to the latest marketing trends. We can help measure your brand performance on social, weighing your brand up against competitors and planning the right content strategy, as well as put into place the right strategy to profile and gain the attention of buyers at the right stages.
Give us a call on +44 (0)1373 469270 or email us at [email protected] to see how we can help you in 2019.