In the ever-shifting digital marketing landscape, swiftly adapting to current trends is an absolute necessity, or you’ll risk lagging behind the competition. And digital marketers have to be more alert than ever before, responding to major shifts and social media feature roll-outs. Here are some top trends that you’ll need to pay great attention to in 2019 if you want your brand or company to really stand out!
Phone usage is increasing every year, with 96% of users worldwide spending 1-7 hours daily on their phones (the majority, 29%, spend 3-5 hours) creating an abundance of what is now known as ‘micro-moments’. Google defines micro-moments as moments when a user turns to their phone to satisfy an immediate need: to buy something, to go somewhere, to do something or to get information about something.
You need to identify and anticipate these high-intent moments so your company and brand can be both current and useful. Have you perhaps spotted that a given user has been searching for a Cyprus vacation over the weekend? It’s then very likely that they’ll look up more information on Cyprus the next day. If your client is a hotel or any other hospitality enterprise in Cyprus, you need to grab their attention with a targeted ad when the user is expected to check his/her phone.
Other examples of ‘micro-moments’ are the brief windows when people wake up (people usually get up at around the same time every day and are expected to check their phone within 15 minutes after they wake up), downtime at work, and during their daily commute. Work in identifying these moments for your target audience and watch your online engagement soar!
Take a moment to think about one of the main issues with traditional TV ads. You have very little control over whether or not they will reach your target audience, while you also to compete with a wide array of other companies that have paid for ads in the same time slot as you. Social media, chiefly Instagram, gave rise to a new venue for advertising via influencers, who can push your brand to a more specific audience. But much like advertising on TV, Instagram influencers grew too big for their own good, as marketers now face the same problem they once did with television.
Enter the micro-influencer. An account run by a person that is not usually famous and has far fewer followers. They are also, more often than not, focused on a single subject (makeup, cooking, tech, movies etc).
Micro-influencers are perceived as more genuine, and therefore, more trusted by their follower base, who are more likely to react to posts. Identify local micro-influencers that are ideally active in a field that serves your company and employ them to push your brand. Properly utilizing micro-influencers will lead to more engagement with your company or brand, for far less money.
- Social media stories
Visual content is becoming more popular than ever, which is why almost all social media platforms now offer a ‘story’ feature. This casual feature, allows for more relaxed content as the videos posted disappear after a 24-hour window. The sense of urgency, to watch and interact with the video before it disappears, also works in favour of the marketer as it translates to a much more engaged audience.
In a 2018 study, Block Party estimates that there are currently 970 million accounts on Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger that post stories, daily. The same study shows that there’s a surge in ‘stories’ posts; an astonishing 842% increase from 2016. At the moment, 50% of businesses are publishing ‘stories’, with an average of 2.9 ‘stories’ published per week. Brands and companies that are very active on Instagram go as far as having the same number of stories as actuals posts.
Experiment with the feature and incorporate your brand identity into your stories for consistency. Strive to engage your audience by regularly posting engaging or entertaining stories on various social media platforms, and add a personalised touch to leave your mark.
- Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Digital technology is advancing with huge leaps, and while marketers were once reluctant to employ AI in their digital marketing plans, this is seriously set to change. Artificial Intelligence now boasts a great number of applications in the marketing industry, mainly in the form of chatbots and algorithms that identify trends and give businesses a time competitive advantage over competition.
Chatbots – computer programmes that can carry conversations with users based on keywords offered – are ideal for users looking for basic services and information, or even e-commerce sites. Chatbots can offer quick responses and clear instructions to users, without the active involvement of a human rep. According to Global Market Insights, the Charbot market will grow to become a $1.34 billion market by 2024.
AI can also help with buying cheaper digital real estate for your ads. Programmatic advertising helps marketers buy ad space quickly and efficiently, bypassing the RFP process, human negotiations and manually sending insertion orders. Allowing a programme to buy ads cuts down on cost and makes the process much more efficient. Investing on expanding your digital technology is a must for 2019.
Nike took social media by storm back in September, when it released an ad that touched upon a hot button issue in the US, as professional athletes protested against police brutality. A deeply divisive issue, the ad pushed brand mentions for Nike up 135% in the first week, although not all of them were anticipated by the company. What Nike executives didn’t expect was that their ad would gain second wind by becoming a meme! Users were taking the ad and replacing the campaign slogan “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything” with funny or nonsensical slogans to mock other public figures.
Entertaining your audience through humour is a surefire way to get noticed and raise awareness about your brand as users respond and engage more with humorous posts than with corporate ones. Funny memes, reaction GIFs and other video based content can be used to convey a humorous message, and is especially well received, particularly in the younger demographic. Be careful though. Much like comedy, humorous posts are all about timing and context. Do your research don’t be too hasty to jump on the bandwagon, or you’ll risk a public relations disaster like the one that befell DiGiorno pizza back in 2014, when they accidentally made fun of domestic abuse.
The experts at Action Digital are on hand to help you best utilise the latest online trends in 2019 to take your business to new heights!