It’s hard to believe we’re already at the end of 2018. So far, this year has been all about social media, live video, interactive chatbots, influencer marketing, and using digital search assistants for voice search. What do we have to look forward to in 2019? Here, we offer our 2019 digital marketing forecast!
We’ve written about the rise of voice search, but it’s important to understand just how influential voice search and digital assistants will be in the coming year. How many friends or family members do you know with Siri, Alexa, Cortana, or the Google assistant? You may even have one yourself!
The popularity of digital assistants is on the rise, and you can expect to see more in 2019—especially right after the holidays when people finally get the gifts they’ve been waiting for all year! More websites are starting to optimize for voice search queries, and there are even opportunities for advertising opening up. You can imagine it like AdWords, but you’ll hear them through your smart speakers and voice assistants.
Live Video and Video Ads
Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have all started offering live video services. According to Social Report, in 2016, more than 80% of internet users said that they were watching more live video than they did in 2015. It’s now been a few years, and the stability of live video has only improved, and broadcasts have become even more popular.
There is a wealth of data out there on just how effective live video can be for marketers. For example, 82% internet and mobile audiences prefer live video from a brand rather than social posts. Oh, and 92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others. See why it’s important to consider working live video into your marketing strategy yet?
When it comes to targeted advertising, video ads are also increasing in popularity. Just jump onto Instagram, and you’ll see how effective a gorgeously-shot and -edited ad can be. In fact, video ad spending has broken $5.4 billion, and for a good reason—online video is responsible for almost 80% of global internet traffic, and retail sites with video increase conversion by 30%.
Chatbots Are Here to Stay
Chatbots have become more popular this year. Some people are still uncomfortable with them, while others have become accustomed to them. Chatbots often take the place of a customer service representative to fulfill simple tasks. For example, they may talk to you when you access a page and help answer frequently asked questions. They might help you choose a package or plan from a website. They can even help you book a flight or hotel.
If you’re worried that people hate chatbots, take heart: in a survey of 5,000 people, only 19% said they had a negative perception of the bots. Most were indifferent to the bot or a rep—as long as their issue could be solved.
There’s always a lot to be said about social media. It’s difficult to predict exactly where social will be next year or what kind of new features the platforms will introduce. However, it is safe to say that social media services will continue to look for ways to integrate with other apps. For example, when you sign up for something like Spotify, you can sign up with your Facebook account—that’s integration.
Social sites will also find ways to capitalize on the other marketing trends we just talked about. Facebook loves live broadcasts, and Instagram continually improves the interactivity with stories.
Suffice it to say, social isn’t going anywhere, and you can only expect it to get even more integrated into your marketing plan.
Finally, it’s important to remember that while the “staples” of marketing—for example, social, content, SEO, and reviews—are unlikely to go anywhere, there is always the opportunity for something new and innovative to look forward to. Keep your eyes open, and your team prepared for something unexpected—it just might be the thing that works best for your company. After all, 5 years ago, voice search wouldn’t have been as sophisticated and effective as it is today. Snapchat wasn’t even an idea 10 years ago. But today, these technologies shape the face of marketing and brand interaction across the globe. So it’s always worth it to keep an open mind!