By Anna Chertkova
December, 6th, 2018
Excerpts of an original Forbes article by Michael Tasner initially published here.
“Every year, new technologies come out, existing technologies get smarter and prospects get savvier and more bombarded with marketing.
This will continue to happen every year at a faster pace. That said, the goal of marketing — and digital marketing, in particular — has always been the same: getting and keeping your audience’s attention. The only changes that will continue occurring are where the attention goes, and that’s what you need to be leveraging.
Without further ado, here are five digital marketing trends for 2019:
1. Artificial Intelligence
Everyone talks about artificial intelligence (AI) but few understand it. Think of AI as a bunch of computers that can analyze things rapidly. They are able to better understand behaviors and patterns by going through data.
You can use AI for tasks like scouring your databases and providing insights to your team. For example, you could leverage AI to find prospects who look like your existing customers or scan social media conversations to provide you with real-time intel on your competitors…
… Chatbots can help with customer service tasks and tie into your various systems to answer repetitive customer questions like: “When will my package be delivered?” “What time is my appointment?” “Where are you located?” …
…One thing to keep in mind is that chatbots are not meant to replace complex human conversations. They can help, but they are still evolving and improving.
3. Smart Speakers And Audio
… To capitalize on this trend, I suggest optimizing your website for voice search. To do this, you must understand what your prospects are searching for. Keep in mind that audio queries are conversational and longer…
… The second step is to incorporate those questions and phrases throughout your website. Build a FAQ section and answer all of those questions you discovered. You could also write blog posts on the various topics and questions, but the best way is to naturally incorporate the particular phrases…
4. Local Influencer Marketing
… While influencer marketing is not a new topic, the focus on local influencers is. Unless you run a massive global brand or an e-commerce business, chances are your marketing is mostly local.
While it’s “cool” for an influencer or celebrity to endorse your product or service to their millions of social fans, it can be short-lived. Try partnering with local influencers and put together long-term campaigns and promotions.
Make a list of the top influencers in your market. Check out podcasts, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram and other platforms. Follow them first, and learn about them and their brand. Then, reach out with a casual message and start a conversation.
5. Live Video
Video is still at the top of content marketing. The only thing better is live video. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What would you want to experience from your company? Think behind-the-scenes tours of your office, product demos/releases, live Q&As, etc.
There are two key action steps to move the needle with live video. First, it’s important to create a robust content strategy…
… Keep in mind that video should be your starting point, but these assets can be leveraged across multiple platforms and turned into other forms of content (audio, blogs, white papers, infographics, social media, etc.).
Step two is to pick the platform you want to focus on — Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Instagram Live, Periscope, or even Livestream.com…
… The three best ways to stand out from a crowd are to build your brand, tell a great story and provide helpful, authentic content. Do those three things consistently and leverage the latest trends and it’s game over (in a good way) for you and your business.”