Each year the landscape for digital marketing evolves, with key platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter setting new benchmarks in some cases, and in other cases brand new channels such as SnapChat take the world by storm.
Audience development and targeted campaigning form a huge part of this, and with advances in algorithms and especially Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning meaning that as digital marketers your work is really cut out for you.
So what does 2019 hold? Well, as with each new year, there are evolutions, creations and new kids on the block that you’ll need to wrap your head around! Let’s take a look….here are our 7 key media trend predictions for this year:
1. Changes in Social Media
Not all social media channels remain useful for all audiences, even if you’re segmenting your campaigns.
Facebook’s UK-based users aged 24 or younger diminished by 700 000 in from 2017 to 2018, with over 55-year-olds making up the second largest demographic of users last year.
The trend shows no signs of slowing down, as younger social media users defect to less permanent and restrictive user platforms such as Snapchat.
All is not lost, however, as Facebook’s other company Instagram offers an alternative that still has youth appeal, and paid media campaigns can be targeted to one or the other, or both channels within the Ads Manager functionality.
But the message is clear – if your audience sits within a younger demographic, take into account that you may be missing a trick if you’re not considering alternative channels outside of Facebook.
2. Content remains king...
...and even more importantly, authenticity that resonates with the target audience and engages with them remains the most important aspect of content creation and marketing for 2019.
With the evolution of audience targeting and segmentation using Machine Learning and refinements in data tracking (within GDPR regulations), it has become even more important than ever to ensure that the content you’re presenting to your now even more refined target audience is not generic nonsense that patronises them.
Achieving ‘audience buy-in’ through honest, open, engaging and useful content will be the clear difference between you and your competitors, but this means paying a great deal more attention to how you’re creating that content.
3. New leading content formats
The ‘Stories’ features across social media (particularly Facebook and Instagram) will overtake other formats as the leader in the way that content is consumed across these specific platforms.
Facebook Stories (modeled on the same function launched in 2017 by Instagram) allows users to develop richer narratives (usually video based) that combine a number of posts to give those interested in seeing the information a deeper, more connected and more interesting event timeline that lasts just 24 hours.
For businesses, this means re-defining content marketing to suit this new, preferred consumption model, forcing a more intelligent, creative and innovative approach.
4. Vertical video will continue to grow as the predominant format for video creation and consumption.
Video has been the fastest growing media over the last five years, with consumption due to grow exponentially in 2019.
But it’s the format that’s interesting – usually marketing videos are shot in landscape to give the ‘widescreen’ effect, but the trend this year points to a steep rise in vertical (portrait) format.
The seemingly more limiting aspect is certainly no competitor to landscape when it comes to shooting planned, edited, distance-based video, however, to create a deeper and more authentic connection with the consumer, the vertical format forces a narrower crop which replicates a more intimate ‘selfie-style’ format that we all use (whether we admit it or not!).
It is, to all intents and purposes, a replication (in content creation for marketing purposes) of a habit that we’re all doing anyway – and that gives a far greater authenticity.
5. Chatbots are on the rise!
If you’ve got a website that encourages engagement and daily use, you’ll need to take Chatbots seriously – algorithmic improvements have given these virtual friendly faces significantly more natural response capability over the last 6 months, with more and more online users both expecting to and happy to interact with Bots when they encounter them.
6. Voice-based searches and interactions are here to stay.
Voice-based search has grown exponentially since 2008, with an estimated 41% of adults and 55% of teens using the functionality on various devices and services every day.
What does this mean for you? Well, in terms of SEO it means that reviewing metadata is no longer just a text-based task – do your site’s keywords read well enough when spoken out loud?
7. Omni-channel marketing
Campaigns that uses multiple touchpoints to engage consumers will be the most successful form of marketing.
How well do you know your target audience? Where will you start your journey with them, where will they want to go and are you able to go with them or guide them there?
And by there, we mean from App to website, text to video to game console, Google Home or Alexa to smartwatch or mobile…
So what does this all mean for you? Here are some questions you need to ask:
How integrated is your marketing campaign? Do you allow interactivity across all the channels from television and radio to website and social media? If not, that’s where you’ll need to be focussing your planning and strategy for 2019… your consumers are already consuming their media and content this way, meet them on their terms!
For help planning your 2019 digital marketing strategy and content, contact Realnet today on 01223 55 08 00.