What will be the most influential marketing trends of 2019 and which will be right for your business?

Drawing on our 17-years’ experience as a Digital Media Agency in Lancashire we’ve put together 8 digital marketing trends that will help you and your business keep ahead of the curve.

1. Smarter Chat

There has been a lot of buzz around the rise of Chatbots over the recent years and this is even more prevalent in 2019. A report carried out by Grand View Research shows that 190.8 million in 2016 with continual growth more recently.

This growth shows that Chatbots now play a crucial role in improving the customer experience and it allows marketers to communicate better with their audience. They offer real-time assistance to the visitors of your site and once programmed they can give support and intelligent answers when asked specific questions.

Chatbots have multiple uses but most commonly they are used to pop up at the bottom of the screen and they offer the user to interact and get support at times when you aren’t able to.

Another popular trend we have seen is the use of WhatsApp for Business. We are now in a time where convenience is key so having your business visible on as many platforms as possible is a great and smarter way to capture those valuable leads.

2. Understanding Micro Moments

Due to the surge of technology and those powerful little devices we carry around in our pockets, the expectations of customers have skyrocketed. The key to a successfully converted customer and winning business is convenience, it’s that simple.

Whenever a potential customer searches online for something, looks for a nearby place to eat or search for help to complete a task, these are known as ‘micro-moments’ and can be utilised as a very powerful marketing tool.

In the micro-moments world there are 4 main areas that you should get to grips with:

1) I want to know moments – When someone is searching and exploring but are not yet in purchase mode

2) I want to go moments – When someone is looking for a local business, place to eat or wants to visit a certain type of place.

3) I want to do moments – When someone wants help completing a task or wants to try something new

4) I want to buy moments – This is when someone is ready to purchase but may need questions answering before the commit.

Understanding which moments your customers use is vital to implementing an intelligent marketing strategy. For instance, if you are a brick and mortar store (a high street shop or store) you should take advantage of those customers who fall within the ‘I want to go moments’ category by linking your marketing strategies with Google’s ‘near me’ search feature.

The more intelligently you use micro-moments, the better results you will see from your online campaigns.

3. Live Videos & Stories

If you use Instagram, Facebook or YouTube, you have probably noticed the surge in live content and streaming. Live streaming is so powerful because it’s free, it’s quick to produce and is easy to digest.

Live video is the best way of indirect marketing, meaning it is a way of reaching your audience with engaging content that feels more organic and less like a hard sell or spam and can drastically increase your engagement comparatively to published posts.

4. Augmented Reality Marketing

Augmented reality marketing is a way of providing the customer with a way of trying the product through intelligent virtual reality programs.

For example, Dulux have developed an app that helps the customer visualise the colour of paints by taking pictures of the area they want to paint, and the app does the rest. There are many other companies who have taken advantage of this feature such as Michael Kors, IKEA and L’Oreal allowing customers to have a fully immersive experience with their products.

With the increase of animated filters across all social media, we predict that we will see a rise in the use of AR marketing in 2019 and beyond.

5. Voice Search Optimisation

In 2018 we saw the unimaginable growth in the sale of voice-activated smart devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. As well as this, more people are using mobile services such as Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana to find answers to their questions through voice search.

Voice search presents a huge opportunity to businesses, specifically those on the local front. Recent research highlighted that 58% of searches were voice searches used to find local business information, many of these searches were used to make reservations or to request quotes.

6. Communities

We live in a time where customers are increasingly overwhelmed with advertising and standing out from the crowd can be challenging. To add to this online trust between businesses and consumers is at an all-time low.

Although we have seen huge leaps in technology and digital marketing, customers no longer spend as much time in brick and mortar stores. This leaves them with the desire for real connections and interactions and if not addressed can leave them feeling a sense of mistrust.

Building strong communities is one way to build trust and turn casual shoppers into your brand ambassadors. This can be done by creating a Facebook page or an interactive part of your site that your customers can share their stories and love for your products.

A strong community can do wonders for your brand and is seriously worth putting your energy into.

7. Visual Search

Images play such a huge part in the way we consume content these days, so it’s not surprising to see the popularity of visual search functions such as Google Lens and Pinterest Lens.

Visual searches have gotten so advanced that applications can now bring up specific details of any product just by taking a picture of it. If you take a picture of a:

1) Book: you can get details of the author, a synopsis or places to purchase it

2) Business Cards: You can auto save the contact info into your phone

3) Landmarks: You can get more details about it and its history

4) Items of clothing: You can get a list of a retailer who stocks the items, with further info on variations, sizes and prices.

The point to take away from this is 2019 is going to see savvier companies capitalising on visual searches to get their products appearing in even more results.

8. Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing is a hugely effective marketing tool used to attract more customers. Influencers can be anyone from celebrities, YouTube stars or well know bloggers. Getting the right person to advocate your products can help build trust and reinforce your brand.

When looking for an advocate you should establish that have a large social following and that their audience is connected to your products and vision. For example, if you are a company promoting healthy eating you may want to target celebrity chefs who share your core values.

If done correctly, your influencers audience becomes your audience, this can vastly help with gaining a wider reach and can greatly improve your sales.

As a Digital Marketing Agency based in Lancashire, we’re always happy to chat with businesses locally or further afield about ways they can improve their marketing strategies.

We’d love to hear from you so please contact us by email here: info@dandmcreative.com or give us a call on 01282 685 370. We’re ready and waiting to discuss your business and what you’d like to achieve over this next 12 months.