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Digital marketing and its trends in 2019

Over time, marketing has undergone profound transformations. Blanket campaigns and catchy jingles may be well and good, but consumers are increasingly looking for brands which “get them”.

Marketers, on their part, are striving to innovate services, products, and content that appeal to the individual sensibilities. This, in turn, immensely enhances the customer experience.

In this context, despite the inherent focus on analytics and optimization, creative content is still the main ingredient in the potent potion that we call digital marketing. Now, standing halfway through the year here’s highlighting some trends ruling the digital space in 2019 and quite likely to be relevant in 2020.

User-Generated Content

Sounds too good to be true? It does. Yet, the content generated by real users of a brand (for free!) is one of the biggest trends this year.

For instance, consider Amul which recently launched its butter cookie. Claiming to be the only cookie that has 25% butter, while others use vegetable oil, Amul’s viral campaign asked buyers to share pictures of other butter cookies, and mention their butter content.

Such user-generated content influences around 84% of millennials, and is arguably more effective than most paid marketing channels. The ingeniousness behind this is multifold.

  • It convinces prospects about the product with little or no active persuasion from the brand’s side. This, in turn, creates a sense of belongingness among the campaign’s target audience, enhancing their brand loyalty.
  • It’s both extremely cost-effective and, at the same time, engaging. In fact, here the existing consumers act as indirect, yet organic marketing agents for the brand.

Artificial Intelligence

The recent developments in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are here to stay. Obviously, marketers are doing all they can to leverage it. And, why wouldn’t they?

Although, presently, only 28% of marketers have adapted it for product recommendations, 64% intend to increase the use of AI in their marketing campaigns by the coming year.

Also, the same percentage of marketers believe that, by 2020, AI will be able to deliver personalized advertising creatives in real-time, enabling brands to run more user-centric campaigns.

Among other things, AI implementation in digital marketing, and the ensuing personalization, would significantly enhance a brand’s Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) to Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) conversions.

Owing to such upsides, AI is already being implemented for campaign optimization, customer service, retargeting, and even content creation. Moreover, as the marketing industry is relying more heavily upon AI, the latter is estimating a 40+% annual growth.

Push notifications

Slated as the new re-marketing tool of 2019, push notifications are small messages that pop up on a mobile or web device, even when the corresponding app is not open on the user’s screen.

Remember the times when a notification read, “You forgot five items in your shopping cart”? This is a perfect example of a push message. In effect, this urges you to make a purchase, by reminding of the items you wishfully added to cart.

Presently, push notifications have emerged as a trusty way to reengage and retain customers, strengthened by AI and large content platforms like Facebook. Facebook, in fact, published that web push notifications increased active user engagement by more than 20%.

Somewhat universally, click-through rates on push notifications are going up by leaps and bounds, with the highest average click rate being 11.4% at 11 pm.

Of course, the fact remains that marketers must pay heed to the content of their push messages. Ideally, it must add value by being relevant, meaningful, and precise. Here, it’s imperative to note that a piece of content, especially in this form, might easily become a “spam”. And this, in turn, leads to a dwindling subscriber count, uninstallations and eventual failure of the brand.

Voice Search

According to ComScore, 50% of all search queries will be voice-based by 2020. And, thanks to Alexa, Cortana, Siri, and other smart devices this isn’t a surprise anymore. Apart from anything else, this further broadens the horizons for digital marketers.

Primarily, the benefits of voice in marketing lies in the fact that it facilitates the use of “natural language” SEO (Search Engine Optimization), leading to more intimate and reliable brand-consumer interactions. Now, one might ask how? For our purpose, here it’s adequate to note that voice searches are often more conversational and longer than typed queries.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

This isn’t really new. Right. But, 2019 is definitely the year Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) when came into their own.

Faceapp, which saw 14 million downloads in July alone – uses augmented reality to show users what they will look like in old age. This may well be regarded as a testament to the technology’s growing popularity.

According to studies conducted by eMarketer, 48.1 million Americans experienced AR at least once per month in 2018. And, the number is expected to rise to 54.4 million in 2019. Alongside, around 49.2 million Americans are expected to use VR in 2019.

Allowing customers to ‘test’ products even before making a purchase, brands are increasingly implementing AR & VR in their marketing strategies. Primarily, this helps in reassuring the customer both of the brand, and its offerings.

For instance, IKEA’s AR app, with 8.5 million downloads under its belt, allows users to see how a piece of furniture they’re considering to buy will fit into their space.

Video

By now, the reach and the potential of the cinematic mediums are beyond all doubts. True to its essence, video-driven digital marketing techniques produce astonishing results. And, this is probably why it repeatedly features on lists such as this one.

As HubSpot points out, simply adding a video to an email increases click-through rates by 200-300%. When used on landing pages, videos enhance conversion rates by 80%.

Not wanting to lose the potential competitive edge, brands aboard this bandwagon to create a range of video content. Behind the scene, 1-2-minute teasers, and live streaming of events are some of the many ways in which marketers use video content.

On the other side of the coin, video content is experiencing rising popularity. According to Cisco, live videos will make up 13% of the entire video traffic by 2021.

Ad Spends

As marketers continue to pour more resources into social media and other digital marketing methods, the global spending on Ads is expected only to rise in the future.

According to expert speculations, online advertising’s net worth will reach $329 by 2021, accounting for 49% of global ad spends. Among other things, this includes spending on native ads, AdWords, and Facebook Ads.

Conclusion

So far, 2019 has been a year in which personalization and quality content have emerged as the keystones to digital marketing.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and push notification are some of the many ways of achieving personalization. Yet, quality content – be it video, audio, AR/VR or just plain blogs – continues to be an essential component of digital marketing.

This is further reinstated by the fact that while there are countless people putting out content, consumers will only respond to only the engaging and exciting among those.

In all, it’s rather safe to say that in 2019, the perfect digital marketing plan is no easy potion to brew, and marketers may have to use a pinch of data and a smattering of creativity to arrive at that secret formula.

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