Digital marketing technology and trends are rapidly evolving every single day, with fresh innovations and ideologies becoming the new normal faster than the industry can fully adopt them. Every year, marketers scramble to adapt to the changing times, and often it can be difficult to keep up. As 2019 inches closer and closer, here are some trends to keep you ahead of the approaching curve.
Artificial Intelligence & Chatbots
Artificial intelligence is nothing new, but certain applications of it are taking the marketing industry by storm. AI technology, specifically chatbots, have begun to revolutionize the customer experience; so much so that 85% of customer interactions are predicted to be dealt with by chatbots by 2020. If you’re not familiar with the concept, a chatbot is a computer program that is designed to simulate a how real human being would engage in conversation, allowing the automation of customer service-focused tasks & information requisition.
When it comes to taking user requests and providing immediate information, not only are chatbots exponentially quicker than humans, but they also can be customized to provide a more authentic & brand-centric interaction. Since chatbots can be integrated with websites, applications, and social media platforms like Facebook, they are beginning to see a rapid adoption by a variety of businesses. Chatbots can also help to streamline the collection of user information, which can then be parsed into a customer data platform, or CDP, allowing the information to be accessed in a central repository in a central repository.
Over 3.5 billion search queries are executed on Google every day, and of that number, just about one third of those searched are voice searches. With the rise of personal assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Now, more and more people are fundamentally changing the way they interact with search engines. Unfortunately for marketers, voice search is different from the standard processes on desktop browsers or on mobile phones, and it’s important to know how to reframe your search engine optimization strategy to ensure you’re not missing out on traffic from voice search.
The main difference between voice search and typical desktop/mobile search is that with voice search, Google will only give you a few results (or even just one), while desktop/mobile searches will provide you with thousands. Because of this nuance, SEO has never been more important than it will be in 2019. Another caveat regarding voice search: marketers have always strived to provide the best UX with the best UI, but since voice search removes the tangible screen, these two disciplines become nonexistent. Will this have a lasting effect on how websites are designed? It might, since that by 2020, half of all search queries will be voice-based.
According to Forbes, video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019. With that, it’s important to note that video content is no longer just confined to hosting sites like Youtube or Vimeo. Live video is on the rise, with sites like Instagram and Facebook giving companies a platform to stream interviews, product demos, events, and behind the scenes glimpses into the day-to-day lives of employees. Much like traditional social media, live video provides some much-needed authenticity into otherwise faceless brands. If you’re unsure of whether or not live video is right for your brand check out these statistics from Livestream.com:
- 80% of audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog
- 45%of live video audiences would pay for live, exclusive, on-demand video from a favorite team, speaker, or performer.
- 81%of internet and mobile audiences watched more live video in 2016 than in 2015.
- Viewers spend 8X longer with live video than on-demand
Finally, since 78% of online audiences are already watching video on Facebook Live, incorporating this medium into your overall marketing strategy will be imperative for moving into 2019.
Google and Facebook are often at the forefront of digital advertising, but for B2B companies, it’s important to not forget LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the #1 channel B2B marketers use to distribute content, and with 260 million monthly users (61 million who are in senior level influencer roles), it’s no surprise that this site continues to produce advertising ROI. From an organic reach perspective, there are 9 billion content impressions in the LinkedIn feed every week,and when it comes to paid lead generation, 90% of B2B marketers saw a reduced cost-per-lead using LinkedIn’s built-in forms.