So you’ve probably read a thousand posts on 2019 Digital Marketing Trends. Personally, I HATE these annual trends reports and posts. Why? Well, they usually contain all the same ideas and honestly, most of these ideas are on the list for years. Some of them come to fruition that year, others take years and others turn out to be a waste of time.
Instead of giving you trends that could turn into a huge time drain and lack of results (and ROI) I thought I’d share with you nine things that will actually work in 2019 for digital marketing. These may not be the sexy AR/VR/Everybody build a chatbot trends that you were hoping for, but these areas will grow your business this year.
Video is EVERYWHERE these days and it isn’t going away. The good news is that informal, live, low-production, fun videos can be just as effective (or more) as big expensive ones. Regardless of your platform, get video integrated into your strategy (Facebook, LinkedIn, Search, Twitter, Email, Website, Advertising). A video is worth a million words – get started experimenting and playing and don’t forget to repurpose across platforms.
LinkedIn is growing in importance and usage. We are starting to see the rise of LinkedIn Influencers and smart professionals are using video to grow their impact. In our testing we’ve found dramatically better results with videos on LinkedIn vs almost any other channel. This may not hold true for every business, but it is worth considering.
If you aren’t playing with Stories yet personally or professionally, START NOW!!!!!!!! Facebook views Stories as the future of the newsfeed and LinkedIn and YouTube are both launching this format more broadly in 2019. Get familiar with what they are and how they work and start experimenting.
4) FOCUS ON FOUNDATIONS
So many businesses want to focus on social media or digital marketing trends or tools when they aren’t even implementing the basics correctly first. Fix your foundations and make sure that the core, proven strategies to success are optimized and working well for you before chasing down the “next big thing.” Most businesses get most of their results from the proven strategies – not the shiny new objects. While you want to be agile and experiment, don’t do it at the cost of the foundations. Email, social, search, video, ads and your website are the foundations of an online strategy.
5) MESSENGER & CHAT BOTS (MAYBE NOT YET)
There is no doubt that Messenger is going to be HUGE and that means businesses will need to incorporate it. That being said, don’t invest too much jumping on the Chatbot bandwagon too early. At recent social media conferences, 50% of the sessions were on Chatbots – yet most businesses aren’t yet generating enough traffic or a good enough experience to get business results. Let your customer experience guide you here – not your desire to test the next big thing. Learn about Messenger and try to offer it as a service to your clients. Chatbots are getting better – test some in your industry and explore what your customers might actually WANT via bot before you invest in one.
6) MOBILE MATTERS MORE
It isn’t surprising that over 50% of digital ads, email, social, search, websites, videos, etc. are video. What IS surprising is that most businesses still make content for computers first. This year get serious about your mobile-first experience and start evaluating everything on your phone first.
7) OUTSTANDING CONTENT
As social continues to be extremely cluttered businesses (even those running ads) need GREAT content to break through and get results. The news feed is more competitive every year and good or mediocre isn’t going to cut it. Make less content and make it really, really, really good.
8) ANALYTICS INTEGRATED
For all the questions about ROI, not enough digital marketers spend enough time in analytics. The ONLY way to know what works and how well is to get into the habit of regular data checks. You don’t need to do complex analysis – just check in with your data regularly to guide your strategy. The TOP CONCERN for marketers with respect to digital is ROI – this means we aren’t doing our job with data and linking KPIs back to business results.
9) CREATIVITY WINS
I don’t mean creativity in content (although that doesn’t hurt). You need to be creative in how you strategically use digital tools to reach your business objectives. For example a client we just worked with tested audiences on Facebook and re-built their entire business strategy. Another business used email re-subjectlining to grow results on a limited time offer by 50%. You need to come up with and experiment with new ways to use existing tools to grow your business. Get creative on how you use proven tools instead of looking for the latest tricks.
I did a 30-minute webinar you can view on our Facebook page to learn more about what will actually work in digital marketing for 2019. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments!