By Erica Sunarjo
Digital marketing is changing incredibly fast, making it more difficult for online businesses to create and optimize promotional content that corresponds to the latest industry requirements.
The first two months of 2019 showed that some of the digital marketing strategies that were effective last year might not be as good as they were, so businesses need to follow the latest trends to avoid wasting precious time on something that won’t increase conversions.
By doing so, they can discover emerging technologies that will help them thrive this year and beyond. Since there’s so much going on in the world of digital marketing, here are four industry trends to help you put your business ahead of the competition.
The number of people using this new and exciting way to search the Internet is rapidly increasing, and businesses will have to optimize their content, website, and advertising to meet the needs of these users. We know that because there’s no shortage of surveys and studies on the usage and growth of voice search.
For example, The Voice Search for Local Business study by BrightLocal found that 58 percent of consumers have used voice search to locate the information about a local business in the last 12 months on a smartphone, and many more used other voice-first devices.
Apparently, people prefer voice-only search because it allows finding answers online without having to scroll through websites, which may be especially daunting to do on mobile devices. Besides, speaking to a device instead of typing a search request is much more user-friendly, so it’s safe to assume that the age of voice search is here to stay.
The sales of voice-first devices support this. According to Voicebot.ai survey, 57.8 million U.S. adults had at least one smart speaker in September of 2018, which meant that the sales of these devices were up by 22 percent since January of the same year. That’s pretty good.
For businesses, the rapid adoption of voice-first devices and increasing use of voice search means one thing: optimization. Since most of the voice searches are done on mobile devices (even Google has made a move to improve the experience of mobile voice searchers by releasing the mobile-first indexing update last year), online businesses will have to meet these optimization requirements:
- Minimize website loading time
- Optimize the content to reflect the voice search requests, i.e. more conversational language
- Write a summary of content in no more than 29 words to get a chance to make featured snippets
- Invest in local content by focusing on keyword phrases containing “near me” and having your own Google My Business page.
Chatbots are machine learning-powered apps that can hold a basic conversation with human users. These are also gaining more popularity among online businesses because they allow them to meet a number of important business goals such as improving customer support and enhance the effectiveness of content marketing.
The 2018 State of Chatbots report claims that businesses expect chatbots to simplify communication with customers by allowing instant communication through a website or a social media page as well as providing these benefits.
Since consumers crave immediate response from businesses, using chatbots will be a must for those willing to up their customer support game.
Also, chatbots will be a major player in advancing content marketing. Specifically, customers will use them to get regular updates from businesses, so it could be said that chatbots will play the role of a content delivery system that provides additional conversion opportunities.
And there’s a great chance that chatbots will do great in this because they can provide users with relevant content through enormous data volumes they receive and analyze from the user.
Hyperpersonalization and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Hyperpersonalization is a new technique in marketing that leverages AI to take personalization one step further. Online customers want more personalization and relevant offers from businesses, so this technique will soon become essential for every business that aspires to thrive in the long-term.
Even though personalization has been a buzzword for many years now, only about 6 percent of marketers give themselves an A when asked to grade their personalization efforts. These were one of the surprising findings from Evergage’s Trends in Personalization Survey that showed that marketers still have a long way to go in this area.
Even though the wave of hyperpersonalized content has not hit the Internet, 2019 will be a critical time to become an early adopter and meet increasing personalization needs of consumers. Since Hypersonalization is enabled by advanced AI-powered tools, the business will have to find and learn how to use them to maximize the benefits.
For example, if content marketing is the primary goal of your digital marketing strategy, then you’ll need to define the most suitable AI-enabled content generation and analysis apps to ensure excellent content personalization.
Even though for content localization you’ll still need to go to translation tools like The Word Point, AI can help you to take care of such things as understanding customers better through the analysis of their content consumption and improving content performance.
Since only 9 percent of marketers are ready for hyperpersonalization, your business has a pretty good chance to become an early adopter and use advanced solutions to analyze data and provide relevant content to gain a competitive advantage.
With the amount of content around, customers are turning more to videos rather than articles and other content types. The reason for this is simple: video combines all other content types to maximize engagement.
That’s why the share of video in the online traffic in 2019 and beyond will continue to increase; in fact, some sources predict it to reach 82 percent. Social media video will comprise a major part of this share because this is the place where most online shoppers prefer to watch it.
The businesses looking to increase their conversion rates and enhance online presence will have to produce videos that their target audiences find relevant and interesting (vlogs, tutorials, video testimonials, product demos, reviews etc.) to capitalize on this trend.
Live video deserves to be mentioned here, too. With social media platforms giving priority to live videos in users’ video feeds, your business should also consider using live broadcasts of interesting events, tours, media/influencer briefings and others to increase engagement.
According to 2018 Live Video Benchmark report, 78 percent of companies agree that “a deeper interaction with audiences” is their primary goal for live videos. Other goals identified by the companies shown in the image below.
Source: 2018 Live Video Benchmark report
These potential benefits of live videos are worth pursuing, so make a plan to engage in live video marketing to stand out from other businesses.
In modern on-demand, fast-paced online business environment, your business needs to protect its share and remain ahead of the curve by embracing and learning the latest industry trends. The trends that we just listed show that the digital marketing world will be dominated by AI-powered tools, engaging video content, and voice search, so it’s highly recommended that you use them to advance your online business.
About the Author
Erica Sunarjo graduated from South Texas College majoring in Marketing and Creative Writing. She used her knowledge to make a difference in the realm of business copywriting and invested heavily in traveling and language learning. Find her on LinkedIn and Facebook.