The state of digital marketing is of interest to a great many businesses in this country, because it will have a major impact on how they reach out to potential customers, and in turn, how those customers will then make purchases to keep those companies in business. The current situation with digital marketing is likely to be improved significantly in 2019, as major technological improvements gain traction, and more advanced methods are used. Here are some of the most exciting and innovative trends which began in 2018, and which will definitely be continued during the upcoming year.
Instagram has recently launched a competitor to the video social media giant YouTube. Called Instagram TV (IGTV), this is a long-form type of medium, which has a permanent place on the Instagram platform, and which can record videos lasting an hour in duration. This is in stark contrast to its Instagram Stories, which disappear within 24 hours, and the traditional Instagram videos which only provide the capability of recording one minute of video.
Instagram TV appears poised to establish a major presence in the digital marketing landscape, perhaps seeing strong usage as a vehicle for sharing instructional videos, or for featuring interviews with the major players of industry. In any case, IGTV is seen as a medium for companies to use so as to generate meaningful engagement with their followers, as well as to stay relevant in the rapidly changing environment of social media.
Advertising via connected TV more than doubled its revenues from the previous year, completely overtaking mobile advertising by accounting for 38% of video ad impressions, compared to 30% for mobile. Since cable subscriptions are now declining and connected TV viewership is on the rise, CTV now offers a legitimate vehicle for media consumption, with vast opportunities for increasing reach, and for creating more precise targeting. In the coming year, this trend will definitely continue, as more advertisers seek to target their desired consumer demographic using methods which are not available with traditional television advertising.
Augmented reality (AR) advertising
Everyone loves shopping online for its convenience and for its ease of comparison, but there’s one thing that has always troubled online shoppers, and that’s the fear of buying something which ends up being a poor fit. This can relate to either clothing, furniture, or just about anything else, and once you’ve made an inappropriate purchase, there’s always the hassle of having to make a return, if that’s even possible.
With augmented reality advertising, this can become a thing of the past, because it allows shoppers to visualize what the product will look like in the setting where it is intended. For instance, using augmented reality, you can see how a new sofa would fit in your living room, or you can see how a particular shade of lipstick will highlight your facial features. Augmented reality advertising allows users to overcome the last big reservation about online shopping, which means it will clearly find greater usage in the coming weeks and months.
Chatbots and artificial intelligence
More than half of all marketing leaders are already using artificial intelligence in some way, and another 25% of marketers say they intend to incorporate AI in their 2019 strategy. This is no wonder, since AI provides advanced analytics which can significantly improve marketers’ planning, as well as the campaigns which they develop. Some of the specific areas where AI will make a big impact in 2019 are in segmenting and tracking current campaigns and in keyword tagging.
Artificial intelligence will also improve the capabilities of chatbots, which are already heavily influencing the way customers associate with specific brands. Chatbots already answer queries and provide significant assistance to consumers, and offer a personalized experience, while all the time learning how to improve their own interactions with callers. Expect chatbots to become a dominant form of user assistance by the end of this year.
Visual search is one method of conducting a search which has been gaining traction with users during the past year, because it allows them to search for desired products with their smartphones. Once they’ve located items which are similar to photos used in the search, they will have the option to choose from among the search results provided to them.
As an example, if you see a particular dress which just dazzles you, you can take a picture of that dress, and search for it in your favorite online store, after which you will be provided with a list of possibilities and an option to purchase. Only in its infancy, it’s easy to see how visual search might develop some very powerful features, and become of immense value to shoppers who are looking to find items for sale which are similar to real-world objects they’ve already discovered.
if you had any doubt about the popularity of voice advertising, all you have to do is look around at the millions of people who already use voice devices to ask for information, place orders, and create shopping lists. Advertisers have taken notice of this developing popularity, and it is now estimated that more than half of all searches will be conducted by voice as soon as 2020.
This means that the more innovative marketers are probably already hard at work developing creative voice campaigns which make use of clever jingles, distinctive phrases, and possibly even influencer voices which are very recognizable. Marketers will also appreciate the fact that voice advertising provides them with greater context relative to a user’s needs. Text queries by contrast, are generally much shorter, and are comprised of one or more keywords, which leaves them far less effective. This means that advertisers will be able to customize their landing pages and their ads to the specific information being sought by any user.
There is no doubt that all of the above methodologies will enjoy increased usage and popularity during the coming year. As a marketing professional, you would be well advised to make use of some or all of these trends, so you can stay relevant and competitive in our fast-changing business world. Those who fail to adapt to these changes in digital marketing might well be left behind, whereas those who embrace the coming changes in digital marketing, might well reap the rewards that these innovations have to offer.