The new year brings a ton of new trends. We are almost two decades into the 2000s (crazy right?) During these past 20 years, we have seen technology explode, trends come and go, and marketing evolve into a new more customer-centric beast.
But, as marketing continues to shoot forward at an increasingly rapid pace, we must remember just how fast you can get left behind. The incredible pace and scope of rising technologies can make or break your business.
So, to start off the new year, we are going to look at a few of the latest marketing technology trends — so you can stay ahead of the competition and implement strategies to help your business succeed.
There is a reason that 47% of digitally mature businesses have an AI strategy — they work. As AI creeps towards industry dominance, marketers who fail to adopt a significant AI strategy are going to run into a wall. Not only is AI great at segmenting customer populations, automating marketing strategies, and finding prospects in an increasingly crowded market — AI also breaks the shackles of repetition for marketers. AI gives marketers the power to focus on soft skills and improve their KPIs across-the-board.
Did you know that there are over 300,000 active chatbots on Facebook? That’s a ton of bots! Why? Well, chatbots have some spectacular benefits for marketers. They help you reach customers faster, engage them longer, and build loyalty seamlessly. You can even spice chatbots up with unique on-brand personalities. Let’s look at some statistics that will highlight the growing importance of chatbots in 2019.
- 63% of people are already willing to talk to chatbots.
- 37% of customers are willing to make a purchase through a chatbot.
- 80% of businesses want to start using chatbots by 2020!
Out of all the digital marketing technologies, chatbots should be the marketing technology on the top of your list.
This is more of a warning and less of a trend. Voice search was here years ago. If you don’t have a voice strategy TODAY, you’re in trouble. In fact, 50% of all searches will be voice driven by 2020 (1 year away!) Of course, the rise of voice search rise is directly related to the rise of assistants (Cortana, Siri, etc.)
Google is getting good at discovering user intent via voice searches, and focusing on keywords, tones, and structures that rank for search is critical. To be clear, voice search is a must for every marketer. But, if your business is local, it’s do-or-die.
Want to know where voice search headed? Check out this WordStream.com post!
Why should you focus on video in 2019? How about these facts:
- 2/3 of shoppers say that video has directly influenced their purchasing decisions.
- 51% (over half) of marketers say that video marketing has the single best ROI.
- 64% of people make a purchase after watching branded marketing videos!
- Videos generate 1,200% more shares than images or text.
- Video content drives a 157% increase in traffic!
Seriously! Sure, video marketing may not be a new technology in digital marketing, but it is growing year-over-year. Make sure that you have a video strategy.
Social Media Stories
Every social platform seems to be rolling out a “stories” element at this point. YouTube announced Reels, Facebook has Facebook Stories, Instagram has Instagram Stories. What’s so amazing about “stories”? They give marketers the opportunity to get scrappy, leverage live video, and create hyper-engaging content on-the-fly. Since stories disappear after 24 hours, they are a great place to run A/B tests, experiment with new campaigns, and put out low-budget content that’s extremely on-brand.
Walker predicts that brand will overtake both products and price as the key differentiator for marketers. Stories are the perfect place for marketers to start branding.
You get crazy creative by utilizing Stories. You can even start promoting user-generated content campaigns that are time-gated, which makes them interesting, engaging, fun, and unique.
Influencer Marketing 2.0
We’ve all known that influencer marketing has been a big deal for years now. However, influencer marketing is changing. It’s no longer about who can throw the most money at the biggest name — it’s about finding hyper-specific influencers and leveraging them to deliver organic ad placement. As influencer marketing continues to get more saturated, marketers who leverage micro-influencers are going to have a distinct advantage. They are cheaper, and their userbase is more engaged.
Micro-influencers are like pocket word-of-mouth machines. You can ensure that they are promoting your product correctly while leveraging their incredibly active audience as a lead source. There are even influencer marketing platforms popping up now.
This year 2019 is going to be the most competitive marketing year to date. In fact, 40% of B2B marketers already plan on increasing their budget this year.
These are the marketing technology trends that we think will dominate 2019. Don’t let the year overtake you and your marketing team. Every single technology on this list can be adopted without huge bucket purchases, and you don’t need an expensive tech stack to get started.