The pace at which the advertising world is changing, it is nearly impossible to keep up with trends. Tech companies are bringing out new innovations rapidly, completely disrupting the way marketing is done today. By the time you feel like you’ve got the hang of one innovation, there are 10 new ones to grasp. It’s like a mythological, multi-headed monster, only in a good way. Maybe.
Perhaps 2018 went by too quickly, but you still have 2019. Use the next few weeks to plan your strategy for the coming year keeping in mind some of the trends that are showing promise. Here are the top 5 trends we suggest you watch out for in 2019.
#1 Authenticity, at all times
Let’s face it; customers distrust advertising. And they can smell dishonesty from miles away. It is therefore critical for brands to be authentic today.
People would rather trust humans than brands. Which is why influencer marketing has been riding high for so long. Customers will ignore an ad, even be blind to it, but authentic content, generated by a real fellow customer, will grab attention immediately.
Encourage your customers to share their experiences with your brands. (And this includes positive and negative experiences.) Other customers are more likely than ever to believe that content created by a user is more authentic than one created by the same brand.
Look at what GoPro has managed so beautifully. There are nearly 5000 videos posted online every day with the GoPro hashtag – from skydiving and cliff diving to wildlife videos and eco-friendly initiatives. While their competitors talk about product features, GoPro talks about human emotions like passion, inspiration and awe. It’s all User Generated Content which has found a spot in their customers’ hearts and wallets too.
#2 Voice search is getting popular
Did you know that nearly one third of the world’s 3.5 billion Google searches daily are voice searches?
And that personal assistant devices are leading the way?
As Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant get better at recognizing human speech, they are exhibiting their potential to improve searching for information on the Web. How is this related to marketing?
Let us show you.
A voice search is quite different from a typical desktop or mobile search. When you ‘Google’ on your browser, you get hundreds of pages of search results. And being one of them is really a piece of cake now, pure hygiene, in fact.
Things get really interesting when you ask Siri a question: the results are few; often just one. And if that result is you, then the chances of CTR go through the roof. It is estimated that by 2020, nearly half of all search queries will be voice-based. But it requires work. You need to customise your SEO strategy to include voice search. And this is why you need to start planning for 2019 right now.
#3 Visual search is not far behind
It’s not just voice search that’s rising; it’s got competition.
While several big businesses have been focusing their marketing strategy on conversational queries, others, like Google, Pinterest and Microsoft have been quietly working on developing a stronger competitor in interactive SEO – visual search.
But how does this really work? You could say it’s like a search in reverse. Instead of typing your search query, you just point your phone’s camera at an object to get back text-based information.
What visual search does is that it identifies objects in the image and then searches for related images online. Say you point your phone at your bed. Visual search will give you back information about where you can shop for a similar piece of furniture.
Incredible, isn’t it? This technology is still in the developmental stage as there is a lot of machine learning yet to be done. But it is definitely something that you must keep an eye on.
#4 Have you heard of Micro-Moment marketing?
Despite consumers spending 3-3.5 hours on their smartphones every day, brands are having a tough time getting their attention. Blame it on the overabundance of information today – ads, content, emails, offers, push notifications and the rest. And it never switches off.
Maybe it’s time for micro-moment marketing to step in. What’s that, you might wonder.
Micro-moment is a new type of consumer behavior which usually occurs when a person turns to a smartphone to want to know something or to buy something. Some typical micro-moments are I-want-to-know-something-moment, I-want-to-go-somewhere-moment, I-want-to-do-something-moment or I-want-to-buy-something-moment. It seems users (that’s us) experience ‘micro-moments’ no less than 150 times a day! That’s an opportunity waiting to be tapped.
These are moments when people make snap decisions on what to buy, which restaurant to go to, where to go, etc. which gives a brand few precious seconds to get their attention. Micro-moments are successful when (if) they can offer the consumer the right information right when she needs it.
#5 Not just social media, but re-purposed social media
Man is a social animal, which is why there are 3.196 billion of us worldwide, that’s 3.196 billion global social media users! Social media cannot be ignored; it is a basic marketing requirement.
The most popular social media trends today are video, automation, and influencers. But they do not operate in silos; they should not operate in silos. You cannot afford to be the leader on Facebook but ignore YouTube, or vice versa. The key to success is not just social media content, but re-purposed social media content across multiple, relevant platforms.
Marketing trends will come and go, no doubt about that. Some will make a resounding impact, and some will fade away. It is up to you to know when to take notice of a sticky trend, and then to quickly, adapt.