In 2019, companies will continue to shift where they concentrate their marketing budget. Forrester Research estimates that most organizations will dedicate 43% to digital marketing. This is a drastic increase from 25% in 2014. But this change is creating a clear message: Digital marketing is arguably the most vital aspect marketing in today’s world. It generates the biggest return on investment. It reaches the widest audience. It is the most monitorable and measurable form of marketing that exists. For this reason, marketers must stay abreast of changes in the field and the digital marketing trends that they need to jump on board with in 2019.
In 2018, mobile advertising fraud rates doubled. At this rate, it’s estimated that ad fraud cost advertisers roughly $19 billion over the course of the year, causing them to lose as much as 80% of their campaign budgets. Much of this fraudulent activity is accomplished through SDK spoofing, where bad actors scam advertisers by making it look like mobile installs happened when they actually didn’t.
In 2019, new technologies that prevent fraud are going to become widespread. Blockchain, AI, and machine learning will likely play major roles, encrypting the advertising pipeline to guarantee that ads get to their audiences and increasing their ability to accurately detect fraud. Marketers that invest in this technology will see a quick return, with the campaign spend more effectively reaching consumers.
Alexa, Siri, Cortana. Voice technology has arrived and it is only going to become more popular over the next year. In fact, in 2018 more than a quarter of the world’s population was already using voice search on their phones and tablets. In 2019, this number will only increase. Marketers will need to adjust.
The best way for marketers to engage with these consumers is through conversational content. In other words, while keywords will still play a role, creating content that connects with how consumers would naturally speak will create the most success.
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: UX is key. There is simply too much competition to not optimize every consumer’s experience on your website, app, and social media pages. Because of all of these various touchpoints, the marketer’s job has become more difficult—it’s not as linear as it used to be. Physical and digital engagements must be meaningful, personalized, and uniform.
Additionally, in 2019, the digital and physical experiences will collide. In-store sensors, augmented reality, and virtual reality will allow consumers to transition from their mobile device to the physical product on a shelf and back again. Microsoft and Kroger are already teaming up to make this happen.
But customer experience isn’t just about advanced technology. It is also about the basics, such as loading speed. More than half of site visitors will leave a page if it takes too long to load—and too long can be just a second or two. Marketers need to go to great lengths to ensure that the simple aspects of their site and platforms work and work well.
With how many times data privacy has been a headline over the last year, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that data protection will be one of the leading trends for digital marketing. And while this was previously viewed as an IT concern, with marketing’s move to digital the responsibility has moved with it.
This move was solidified with the GDPR regulations—marketers must now take special care to track if and how consumers want to receive communications, as well as ensuring a process for consumers to be removed from an organization’s digital records. Additionally, it has begun to put an end to paid email lists and required marketers to safeguard how consumer data is collected and stored.
One way this could massively impact digital marketing is that many businesses may scrutinize the social platforms that they use and decide to opt out of platforms that show a disregard for consumer data security. This is a major digital marketing move and it will send a strong message to consumers about the value of customer privacy.
While traditional radio advertising is still very much alive, it has shrunk and it is mainly being used for local advertising. In 2019, however, radio advertising is going to make a comeback—in a transformed way.
Over the next year, radio advertising and other forms of programmatic advertising will fall under the digital advertising budget line because digital marketers are going to begin zoning in on digital audio services, including everything from streaming radio to podcasts. The reason for this is that audio tasks are now taking up the largest portion of consumers’ ‘mobile time’—52 minutes per day on average.
Anyone with a mobile device is bombarded all day long. They get texts, emails, push notifications. They see and hear advertisements. A good example can be realized by the fact that on average, an office worker will recieve 121 emails each day. Because of this, consumers have gotten good at blocking it out. They are able to quickly recognize whether an advertisement deserves their attention or not. This is where personalization comes in.
In 2019, in order for digital marketers to break through the noise and make sure their campaigns are noticed and engaged with, they will need to concentrate on personalization and customer segment targeting.
To accomplish this, the best marketing campaigns will use everything from mobile app targeting to niche landing pages to analytical customer data. Marketers will need to create in-depth customer personas and develop smart, thoughtful, and engaging campaigns for each of these.
Companies no longer have the power that they once held over consumers. The tables have turned. The wider industry competition and social platforms give customers choices, and one of those choices is to pick and choose the businesses that they buy from.
While there are a number of factors that contribute to consumers’ buying decisions, a major one is communication. Customers are demanding better communication from their brands. This not only means that organizations need to be available via phone, email, or any other number of communication methods. It also means that they need to be available at all times.
This has been a challenge in the past. Companies were forced to either not meet this demand or pay for 24-hour customer support. In 2019, digital marketers are going to see that they can start communicating on this level with customers with more ease. The main two methods for accomplishing this will be through the use of chatbots and continuous social listening and social media monitoring.
Video is already big, so it isn’t a new trend—but it will remain a trend through 2019. Nearly all consumers use videos to make buying choices. Digital marketers will begin to use video from start to finish in every campaign. They will integrate them on landing pages, use them to highlight every aspect of the brand, and harness them to continue customer engagement after a purchase. According to Forbes, video is unparalleled in its ability create social sharing potential, provide a strong ROI, and create unbreakable engagement.
Over the past few years, social media stars and other influencers have changed the landscape of digital marketing. These individuals have millions of consumers following them and engaging with their daily posts. That means, if a brand manages to gain a partnership with an influencer, they automatically have access to a vastly wider audience. This value, however, comes at a cost. For example, YouTube influencers have been known to charge $2,000 for every 100,000 followers that they have—it’s not unheard of for a single video campaign to cost a company as much as $500,000. For SMBs, this just isn’t feasible.
Enter micro-influencers. It’s pretty much what the name implies: An influencer on a smaller scale. Generally speaking, micro-influencers have audiences of fewer than 10,000 people. This means they go for a much lower price. The benefit of micro-influencers, though, is that they are often very niche. Their audiences are specific, which can be ideal for digital marketers who are trying to target a certain customer persona while sticking to a budget.
In 2019, digital marketing will be bigger and better. Marketers will have access to more powerful tools than ever before. They will be able to enhance the customer experience to new heights. To accomplish this, though, digital marketers must keep pace with the latest trends and adapt to changes in the field.