Posted on Jul 2, 2018

4 Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2019

It’s only summer, but savvy business owners and influencers are already looking ahead to 2019. Why? Marketing trends changed so dramatically in the past few years that, without some well-informed anticipatory thinking, it was nearly impossible to keep up.

Marketers and other industry thought leaders accurately predicted widespread consumer acceptance of voice searches, enterprise dependence on artificial intelligence and algorithms, and increasing customer disdain for traditional forms of advertising. Now, as 2019 approaches, they’re pointing to these four trends. Pay attention and keep up with the next best way you can reach your target audience.

1. Augmented Reality Will Become More Accessible to Consumers and to Brands.

Often confused with virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) projects computer-generated images into the user’s physical location. It is, in effect, a kind of visual overlay instead of a complete immersion experience. The users typically wear glasses, goggles, or another wearable device, and they control the AR experience with a voice command or touchpad.

Formerly rooted in gaming and entertainment, AR has expanded into shopping applications, architectural and interior design, and the construction industry.

Brands are experimenting with AR applications, using it as a means to project a couch in their living room, a new outfit onto the user’s body, or different paint colors onto a wall in their home. AR provides consumers with more product information, giving them the opportunity to test out and try on a variety of products at home instead of at a retail location.

Brands with stronger tech and bigger marketing budgets will skip AR offerings and use VR immersion experiences instead. Most notably, the global furniture brand, IKEA, has been experimenting with VR and helping customers imagine a particular room or their entire home being furnished with different IKEA products.

2. Referrals, Reviews, and Reputable Content Will Replace Ads.

Arguably the most talked-about marketing study in the past three years, Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising: Winning Strategies for an Evolving Media Landscape reported that referrals from friends and family members are the most trusted form of advertising. Of the 30,000 study participants in 60 countries, 83% said they will completely or at least somewhat trust a word-of-mouth referral from someone in their inner circle.

The second most trusted form are branded websites, a popular kind of native advertising that provides digital audiences with useful information in unique formats.

The study claims that consumer opinions posted online are the third most trusted kind of advertising with two-thirds of participants saying they believe and make purchases based on online reviews, testimonials, and consumer brand advocacy examples.

What does that mean for your business and its marketing methods? Instead of dropping money into a substantial paid advertising campaign, your business will get more leverage out of customer surveys, testimonials, referrals, and custom content. Look for influencer programs and consumer advocacy to grow your brand awareness and build your reputation among prospective customers.

3. Machine Learning Applications Will Continue to Personalize and Improve the Customer Journey.

Data-driven marketing is one of the industry’s biggest buzz terms right now. As marketers, advertisers, and ecommerce brands began to focus on analytics, they sought new ways to track their audience’s buying behavior and suggest products and content that audience might like.

To do this efficiently, they rely on a group of artificial intelligence algorithms commonly known as machine learning. These applications automate the tracking of the customer journey and then provide suggestions based on their interests. Certain machine learning applications also offer chatbots, allowing retailers to outsource and streamline the customer service requests. The result has been a highly personalized customer experience and, subsequently, high levels of customer satisfaction.

Despite machine learning’s widely understood success rates, most businesses outside of the ecommerce sector are just experimenting with it. That’s poised to change.

In 2019, expect machine learning applications to become a ubiquitous technology. Even smaller businesses will benefit from its automated customer service features and customer profiling.

It’s also likely that these AI algorithms will become much more sophisticated. Specifically, watch for them to start anticipating and suggesting more relevant marketing and support content and to infiltrate other industries outside of the retail sector, such as insurance and banking.

4. Video Content and Voice Searches Will Dominate Written Content and Type-In Search Queries.

In 2015, Cisco forecasted that video content would overtake all other forms of content by 2020 and exceed 80% of all Internet use. Those numbers are heavily skewed by the prevalence of Internet video streaming services like Netflix, HBO Now, and Amazon Prime.

Despite this figurative thumb on the scale, the forecasted numbers do provide a critical indication to marketers: that people would rather watch an online video than scroll and read an article.

To capture your audience’s short attention spans, create high-production, short video clips that provides them with helpful information. For example, try live streaming events or focusing produced clips on insider tips and behind-the-scenes knowledge about your products.

Just like consumers don’t have patience to read a web article, they don’t have the patience to type keywords into a Google search queries. Audience perform searches while they’re driving or multitasking. As a result, they’re increasingly turning to voice searches.

Industry thought leaders are predicting that voice searches will comprise half of all search queries by 2020. This shift may radically change how you optimize your website with keywords. Spoken searches typically include colloquialisms, questions, and casual language. Be prepared to publish content that’s more conversational and to utilize more casual long-tail keywords.


Don’t DIY Your Marketing. Get Help from the Experts.

Without expert guidance, you risk sinking hundreds of hours of labor into an ineffective marketing campaign. Connect with your target audience, give them useful content that informs, and watch your conversion numbers rise.

The marketing and design team at iPage can help you with ongoing search engine optimization, monthly analytics reports, pay-per-click advertising, and Google AdWords. These proven marketing tools and the aforementioned trends will leverage every dollar in your ad budget and promote content that lands with your audience.



Feature Image: Pixabay