The new year is just around the corner, and if you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about your digital marketing strategy for 2019.

Digital is always evolving, so keeping up with the latest trends will allow you to make more informed strategic decisions, as well as provide you with a better return on your advertising investment. For the upcoming year, there are several marketing trends to watch and even implement into your campaigns to keep your business ahead of the curve.

Capture More Organic Search Through Smart Content Strategies

Organic search itself is growing in new ways with the addition of voice and visual searches. Of course, ensuring the basics are in place for your traditional search engine optimization (SEO) through a strong content strategy is the first and most important step. Consumers are still searching on mobile devices for where to buy specific products which is a huge opportunity for those selling products online. Your content should speak to your users, invite them to learn more, and keep them coming back for more.

Taking organic search a step further, you should work to keep up with the rise of smart speakers, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Be sure your website offers a seamless way for those using voice search to make a call, get directions to your location, or even check if you have a product in stock.

Visual search isn’t necessarily something to be ready for in 2019, but it is on the rise, so keep it in mind too. Visual search is when consumers are using apps and mobile capabilities like reverse image look-up, facial recognition and Google Lens. In the future, there may be tactics that will have your information populate when a search with these tools is performed, but for now, this technology is still in learning stages with users.

Better User Experience

The young professionals are becoming the dominant consumers, and they demand better experiences in the buying process. Over the next four years, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are projected to grow tremendously as the technology becomes more affordable. Businesses can use these to demonstrate products, create immersive walk-throughs and tours, and more.

While AR and VR are still evolving, the best way to involve your customers in a great experience is by providing a stellar online interaction. Digital competition is stiff, so if your website capabilities and information are lacking, consumers will simply find a different option. Don’t lose customers with clunky digital forms, ineffective online ordering, or non-mobile-responsive websites. Be sure the technology you are using is beneficial and simple for users, not just what works for your company.

Expand your Marketing with Traditional and Non-Traditional Methods

Implementing specific product tactics into your marketing is going to be extremely vital in 2019. One of the most important is ensuring you are utilizing video. Google itself gives priority to video content, and YouTube is currently the second largest search engine due to the fact that watching videos provides consumers with a unique “window shopping” opportunity without leaving the house. For the most part, users are watching video at the beginning of their shopping journey as they enter the buying funnel, making these informative pieces a great addition to your campaign.

Video Trends Continue to Grow

Taking a step forward in video, provide your audience with live videos. According to LinkedIn, in 2016, 81% of internet and mobile users watched more live video than in 2015. We see this trend continuing to grow. It has been shown to be more appealing to users, as 80% prefer to watch video than read a blog, 82% prefer live video to traditional social posts, and 87% prefer viewing online video over traditional television. If you haven’t started using video, now would be the time, as by next year, it is projected that video will make up about 80% of all internet traffic.

With video trends on the rise, check out marketing tactics such as Connected TV – which will be vital to marketing strategies as users move away from traditional cable and satellite providers and opt for streaming services. Not only can viewers watch shows, movies, sports and more from smart TVs, but the services can be viewed anywhere with internet connection on phones, tablets and other OTT devices.

Social & User Generated Content Still Make an Impact

Continue thinking about your social strategy in 2019, and focus on content and the impact of engagement and user generated content. More consumers are looking to those they know and trust for reviews and thoughts before making a purchase, so encourage user-generated content on your social media pages as well as review sites, blogs, photos, and more. This can be done on your own website or through other channels, but simply making it easier for customers to participate will have you gaining this valuable content in no time.

While there are many new technologies constantly emerging, digital advertising will continue evolving, providing new ways to get in front of customers with better user experiences and more seamless interaction. Keeping your business relevant within the digital realm requires knowledge of new and upcoming trends, but it can be a lot to manage when you also have to attend to other business matters. Our team will help ensure your digital marketing strategy is implemented using the tactics that work best for you and your company. If you are ready to get ahead of 2019, contact us today to get started.