Smart Marketing Tips: 5 Marketing Trends That Will Explode This Year

The new year is here. For marketers, that means it’s time to plan your content strategy, schedule your campaigns, and, of course, salivate over all the new trends that will radically transform marketing in 2019.

Below we share our top predictions for the marketing channels and trends that are going to explode this year. We tell you everything you need to know, so you can brainstorm how to work them into your own marketing mix.

1. Chatbots

The past few years have witnessed the rise of chatbots. Chatbots have become so ubiquitous, that the majority of consumers now prefer speaking with a chatbot over a human! By 2020, Gartner predicts chatbots will represent 85% of all customer service interactions.

Chatbot technology is so easy to use and implement, there’s no excuse for your business not to be taking advantage of it. Chatbots can reduce the burden on your staff members, enable your business to be available 24/7, and, most importantly, give customers the immediate response they expect. Implement chatbots on your website to book appointments, answer customer service questions, and help customers purchase from you.

Expand your chatbot strategy to social media as well. Many brands are using Facebook Messenger bots to give their customers what they want, precisely when they want it—without forcing them to leave their favorite social media app.

2. Voice Search

Unsurprisingly, voice search allows people to search using only their voice. All they have to do is ask a question out loud, and Alexa, Siri, Cortana, or Google Assistant will answer it for them.

What is surprising about voice search, however, is the swift growth in popularity it has enjoyed. One in six Americans already own a smart speaker. By 2020, experts predict 30% of all online searches will be performed via voice.

If you’re not already optimizing for voice SEO, you’re behind. Revamp your keyword research to focus on conversational queries. People tend to speak full sentences or questions to their voice search assistants, as opposed to the phrases they would type online. Develop FAQ content that targets these high-volume question queries, and create localized content to reach nearby shoppers (nearly a quarter of voice search queries are local in focus).

Finally, focus on ranking for featured snippets. These are the snippets you see at the top of Google, and they’re often where voice search assistants source their answers.

3. Blockchain

In 2017, blockchain skyrocketed. In 2018, the market stabilized. This doesn’t signify a lack of enthusiasm for the technology. Rather, you can take it as evidence that the technology is here to stay. Blockchain isn’t just a trend anymore.

The security blockchain promises has a lot to offer brands. Data privacy continues to be a top concern among Americans—particularly on social media. 2019 may see blockchain seep into social networks and change the way social advertising works today.

Instead of relying on social networks as a middle man, where they bid for their ad to reach groups of people, brands may be able to directly bid for their ad to reach individual consumers. Likewise, consumers themselves may opt to sell their own information, in order to allow brands to target them for advertising. Either of these scenarios can result in stronger leads for your business.

4. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is changing the face of commerce, both online and off. For years, retailers have been introducing AR into the shopping experience, with beacons that help shoppers navigate their store, mirrors that allow them to virtually try on products, and more.

Now, thanks to the widespread availability of Apple’s ARKit, as well as built-in AR features on platforms like Facebook and Snapchat, that technology is available to way more brands than ever before. By 2020, Gartner predicts 100 million consumers will shop using AR technology.

AR-enabled advertising campaigns claim triple the click-through rates of traditional advertising, and 800% longer dwell times. The consumer appetite for AR apps has steadily grown ever since they entered the Apple Store, which now boasts over 13 million installs.

How can your brand develop an AR app that helps customers do more with your business, improving their lifetime value and satisfaction with your products? If developing an app is out of your budget, start small with AR ad units on Facebook and Snapchat. Allow customers to virtually try on your products or film themselves using a branded AR lens.

5. Vertical Video

Speaking of film, the largest social media trend that’s going to take over in 2019 is vertical video. More than half of all online videos are now viewed in the vertical format. This is thanks to the growth of live social video on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Stories content, and live streaming apps like Twitch. Vertical video is even beginning to show up on Spotify for featured artists.

As your team develops video content in 2019, it’s essential that you create versions that display well on vertical screens. Widescreen video isn’t necessarily going away, but there’s a specific time and place when it makes sense. For your social content, you need to ensure you’re providing a quality viewing experience, and in 2019, that means a vertical experience.

Pro tip: Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks mute videos on mobile by default. Ensure the messaging of your video will come across, even if the viewer can’t hear the speakers’ voices or sound effects.

From Trend to Reality

Ready to turn these trends into reality for your business? Learn how to incorporate them into your 2019 marketing strategy with Your Marketing People. Remember to subscribe to our blog to keep up to date with more marketing tips, tricks, and trends throughout the year.