2019 Digital Trends

As 2018 draws to a close, we’ve seen a continued growth in augmented reality, video content, and influencer marketing. Now we look forward to see what 2019 holds for digital marketers in the ever-changing digital marketing landscape.

  1. Google Marketing Platform

This year Google announced sound of their biggest changes, many of which, are going to be deployed and evole in 2019. They launched their new Google Marketing Platform, which renamed AdWords to Ads, and the Doubleclick ad platform and analysis tools like Google Analytics, DataStudio, and AB testing through data studio become more tightly integrated.For organic searches, the update to look out for n 2019 is Google’s Speed Update which penalises slower sites. Whilst this will initially only affect the slowest sites, we can expect Google will change the weighting on the algorithm to affect more sites that don’t improve their speed within time.

  • Social media

Ofcom’s Communications Market Review 2018 is a great source for Internet and social media usage data. The government-commissioned report uses data from 2016-2018 and summarises the most recent changes in age-related usage of social networks. In summary:

  • Facebook – Static ordeclining in most age groups except the older (55+ age group) which is now thebiggest group of users
  • Instagram – Increase inusage across all age groups with the largest, the 25-34 age group followed by18-24s.
  • Snapchat – The largest increase and biggest user group is again the 25-34 age group showing thatSnapchat isn’t just for teens. Indeed, there are also increases in users in older age groups which are not far behind the younger age groups in adoption levels.

We can therefore expect that the Instagram ad spend will continue to increase in line with increased usage and offer more of a choice of advertising options on the platform.

Looking at Facebook, the increased use of Messenger is an opportunity in2019. The figures show that 1.3 billion people use Messenger every month; 8billion messages exchanged between people and businesses every month and 78% of people with smartphones using messaging every month. As well as targeted sponsored ads, use of Messenger for conversations is a major trend. It’s certainly something for marketers to look at in 2019.

  • B2B social media

LinkedIn is not included in the OfCom data report. However, for B2B marketers, LinkedIn is likely to grow in importance, The most recent 2018 trading report suggest the growing importance of the platform with LinkedIn revenue increasing 37% and sessions growth of 41%. They now have 562 million users in more than 200 countries worldwide.

  • Content marketing

The Content Marketing Institute summarises trends they expect to see grow in 2019 within content marketing via its research and case studies:

A more strategic approach to content marketing with many businesses now having a holistic content marketing strategy to support audience engagement and commercial goals of leads and sales

Focus on content quality based around deeper understanding of personas

New roles and structure to support content marketing activities as investment increases

Improved measurement of content marketing effectiveness

More Email segmentation

As email marketing becomes a growing force used by marketers and business owners to increase ROI, the process of targeting and segmenting contacts is becoming more intricate, with more data, and smarter strategies being used to maximise profits. When using relevant segmenting and targeting, emails can increase profits up to 18 times more than without (Hubspot). These stats mean that as marketers, we are likely going to be relying more heavily on these practices when creating our email marketing strategies. 2019 will see email marketing becoming even more smarter, with the trends shifting more toward delivering content to the audiences who engage with and find value in it.

  • GDPR & Data Privacy

With the arrival of GDPR in Europe in May 2018, as well as other data privacy acts being implemented and overhauled around the world, consumers are now well aware of their rights when it comes to proper data collection and usage. Combined with the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica case this year, it is very clear that no company can afford a data breach disaster in this consumer-driven environment.  

As data is key to building stronger brands and driving business decisions trust and privacy will be an even bigger challenge for marketers in 2019. Companies will need to continue to refine their approach in handling data and look at the blurring lines between technology ownership such as marketing and sales departments. Data strategies will need to be focused on the individual rather than disjointed and separate channels.

  • The social CEO

In the year of fake news, it’s very now very important for CEOs and top executives to be social. This can help boost your company’s reputation, help build trust with your users, and even makes your company more appealing to job applicants.

In 2016 an estimated 40% of CEOs were active on social media and of those users, 70% only used LinkedIn. However, 2019 is predicted to see a growth in this use in other platforms as consumers want to hear news right from the source – think blogging, tweeting from a personal account or personal Linkedin posts.

  • Live video ads

From 2016 we’ve seen a massive increase in viewers of live video services and it looks set to keep on growing. Like live video, video ads are seeing a big growth too. 65% of ad impressions on Instagram were the result of video content, and this figure is expected to grow even further. Consider adding video to your 2019 social media strategy such as running video ads onYouTube and Instagram, or partnering with an influencer for paid product placement or endorsement in their videos.

So stay ahead of the game and use some of our tips to future-proof your business.

December 16, 2018