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7 digital marketing trends you can’t ignore in 2019

We live in an age of robots, machines, smart speakers, self-driving cars and other emerging technologies. Because of the rapid advancement of technology in all industries, it is important to keep abreast of the latest trends. Especially in digital marketing. The following trends will play an important role in the digital landscape this year. While many of these innovations are already gaining traction in the U.S., acceptance in European countries has skyrocketed in recent years.

1. Our camera as a tool for information discovery

In December 2018, Google published an update describing the future of visual search through its machine learning app called Google Lens. This photo recognition tool can look up words from images and has the ability to identify more than 1 billion objects.

As the text becomes increasingly saturated, it is no surprise that all the tech giants are jumping on the visual bandwagon. After all, humans are visual creatures. Thanks to companies like Google, we have access to billions of images. What if we could use this data to simplify people’s lives? This technology makes searching for answers easier.

A picture says more than a thousand words. Sometimes it’s easier to rely on visual searches when you can’t find the right words. Visual search options are endless. Consider the following innovations that may become a reality in the future:

  • Scan business cards and automatically add contact information to your contact list
  • Point your camera at a marketing book and get more information about the author
  • Take a selfie with someone you met at a marketing event and automatically send them a connection request on LinkedIn
  • Receive personalized in-camera image ads or shoppable videos

Many of the above may seem far-fetched, but they are probably coming. There are already useful videos, by the way. Companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, Pinterest and many others are all working on visual search solutions. This technology is still in its infancy, so it will be a few years before it becomes part of our marketing plan.

2. Build trust by having conversations

While 2018 was entirely devoted to GDPR, 2019 may offer marketers an opportunity to restore confidence. Consumers have changed and they are more concerned about their privacy than ever before.

Let’s discuss a few innovative ways to gain your customers’ trust this year:

1. Create a community

Communities are (online) places made up of like-minded professionals who share common interests. Creating an engaging online community takes time but is absolutely worth it in the long run.

A community brings your brand closer to your target audience and creates a place to learn. This is also called education-based marketing; a strategy that creates trust and credibility with your fans.

How do you do that?

For example, in many Facebook groups, people share tips & tricks on digital marketing, invite experts to #dmbvoices series and help others whenever possible.

This is a strategy you can use for any type of business. Just create a place to learn, provide value and help. Good things will happen.

2. Provide real-time support

People want to get answers and they want it fast. Thanks to instant gratification, people expect to receive feedback as quickly as possible. Technology makes this possible. Messenger apps like Facebook Messenger have gained a lot of traction recently.

More than 1.3 billion people use Messenger each month, according to Statista. And did you know that about 1.5 billion users use WhatsApp on a monthly basis? This year will see more one-on-one, real-time and authentic conversations. More conversations will result in more messenger ads and probably an invasion of smart chatbots to nurture conversations. Conversational marketing will be a buzzword in 2019. Instant messaging is here to stay.

3. Voice searches are just around the corner

Especially in the U.S., voice search is taking the industry by storm. The market is mainly dominated by Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home, according to Voicebat. Sales in Europe are rising, but the U.S. has the largest market share.

Currently, smart devices are mainly used for streaming music, searching for information (e.g., weather), looking up historical facts, watching news, setting alerts/timers. Or are used just for fun, says a recent Nielsen study.

In addition to allowing users to access information faster through smart speakers, voice search plays an important role in SEO. Optimizing your page for voice can be done by including question phrases, because search by voice is different from regular searches, says Neil Patel, an expert in the field. This way you optimize your site for user intent. Of course, this is just one example of the many tactics you can adopt. Along with visual search, voice search will radically change the way we search for information online.

4. The explosion of video content

Wave video, Lumen5, Reevio, Magisto and Adobe Spark. What do these video tools have in common?

They enable marketers to produce high-quality videos on a low budget. Making videos used to be difficult. Not anymore. Creating videos remains a very lucrative business for agencies. In my opinion, most companies still think that high-production videos perform better than low-budget videos. That’s not true. High-quality videos created with your camera are more authentic and will appeal more to your target audience.

5. New ways of advertising

In recent years, many social platforms have changed their algorithm. Facebook, for example, has moved toward “meaningful conversations” and has dramatically reduced its organic reach, especially for corporate pages. As a result, advertising on this platform has become more expensive as more brands pay for clicks.

It feels like we are constantly moving toward a pay-to-play economy. Of course, there are many differences between social channels. To give you an idea, LinkedIn allows people to reach thousands of impressions for free, while Facebook’s organic reach is very limited.

It is amazing that still only a small percentage of all LinkedIn users produce content on LinkedIn. Today, LinkedIn is the go-to platform and you get a lot of impressions for free. Use your personal brand to boost your business. LinkedIn is the perfect place for that.

Overall, content production is increasing as Google processes 3.5 billion searches a day. And more content means more advertising. Thanks to all these changes, new ways of advertising have emerged. Consider Google’s new visible display ads, for example. Or Netflix’s downloadable video promotions. Creativity is the key to standing out in this noisy world.

6. Enhanced personalization for a unique experience

If you’ve been watching movies on Netflix lately, you’ve probably received multiple personalized emails with similar subject lines. Data allows Netflix to create unique experiences and recommendations. This goes beyond standard segmentation.

No more emails based on demographics. The next level of personalization will be driven by artificial intelligence and smart data by combining different elements, such as behavior, context (weather), location or your customer’s beliefs.

Possibilities are endless. Imagine receiving personalized winter clothing recommendations from your favorite store when the weather forecast looks dire. Rapid technological advances and machine learning will enable marketers to create unique experiences for individuals.

7. Stories everywhere

Stories, a ephemeral type of content originally introduced by Snapchat, are increasing rapidly since the recent newsfeed algorithm of forced marketers to change to discover new ways to gain traction.

During a January 2018 conference call, Facebook said stories will become more popular than regular posts: “Stories are on track to overtake posts in feeds as the most common way people share across all social apps.”