by Donna Amos | Featured Contributor
What does the future of marketing hold for this year and beyond? Are new trends worth following or are they simply passing fads? Marketers don’t need to pull the trigger on a trend just because it’s shiny and new. We need to make sure it’s actually the correct move for our marketing and brand. The majority of trends do fade away after a short period of time. However, when a new trend does come along, and it’s clear it’s here to stay, that is when we need to sit up and take notice.
Here are three vital aspects of marketing that businesses need to focus on in 2019 and beyond. I don’t see these as fads, but as the coming wave of marketing that marketers and companies should adopt as major parts of their marketing strategies.
Ever since video marketing made its way onto the scene, its popularity continues to grow and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Marketers and consumers alike are hooked on video. Take a look at some of these video stats:
- 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video.
- 72% of businesses say video has improved their conversion rate.
- 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions.
- 65% of executives visit the marketer’s website and 39% call a vendor after viewing a video.
The following trends in video marketing are growing, and smart marketers will get on board.
Video is Going Live
Live streaming services are growing in popularity on Facebook, Instagram, and other popular social media channels. Research indicates live streaming encourages more audience engagement and retains viewers longer than prerecorded video.
Video is Going 1:1
Given the ease of shooting videos with smartphones, marketers are discovering the value of lead nurturing and customer communications by sending personalized video messages instead of calling or sending email. Using a personalized 1:1 video is great for following-up on an inquiry, offering content, delivering support, simply saying thanks, or practically any application.
Video is Getting Search-Friendly
Artificial Intelligence and the use of closed captions are making video content more searchable. AI can transcribe the audio on tracks of video with voice recognition to make video searchable. Google even announced the addition of video previews to the video carousel that appears in search results.
Smart Audio Marketing
From a purely data-driven standpoint, we know that smart speaker shipments are up 137%. In fact, 100 million smart speakers will be sold next year. Gartner predicts that 30% of searches will be done without a screen in the next two years. In addition, 28% of smart speaker owners buy things with them.
Whether it’s Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, or Bixby, voice assistant technology powered by smartphones and/or smart speakers removes the necessity of typing, navigation, and more. It’s an incredibly natural and intuitive way to interact, connect, and work with technology. Smart audio is the technology that all brands must focus on right now.
How should marketers and businesses prepare for using smart audio in their marketing strategies? Think through the following questions as you work out how you will prepare your content and marketing methods to take advantage of smart audio technology.
- What will the voice of your company be like?
- How can you advertise so that your company is the top (or only) result when a consumer uses voice search to locate your products or services?
- How can you augment existing content with relevant audio?
- How will smart audio move beyond home assistant devices and smartphones to automobiles and even public spaces? How can you be prepared?
Social Media Marketing Focused on the Social
All too often, the social media experience has been relegated to the advertising column of most businesses. ‘Social’ is now just ‘media.’
- Conversations gave way to broadcasting only “content.”
- Social media became an IT function and was automated to the point of being soulless.
- Humans with personalities and names were replaced by corporate personas and branded voices.
- Success was measured in clicks and likes rather than relationships and loyalty.
In 2019, businesses will need to take social media marketing back from the IT department and drive a truly human-centered approach to customer relations. Social media can be a vital and effective channel, but only if it is used as it was intended:
- Provide relevant human connections
- Form reliable and trustworthy communication channels
- Express shared values
- Display human emotions like compassion, understanding, and empathy
- Create unique and entertaining experiences
- Demonstrate active involvement in local issues
- Offer a dependable way to respond in a moment of customer need
It may require companies hiring a person who becomes their sole voice on social media in order to provide the truly social connection that consumers seek with the brands they choose to follow. Engagement, relationships, and quality customer service are what is needed. And the companies that return to that dynamic over social media will see success.
What do you see in the future of marketing? Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments below!