Source: Forbes

As 2019 kicks off, businesses are looking for new competitive advantages and ways to connect with more customers. Digital marketing has no signs of slowing down or stopping, which is why business owners are focused on strengthening their digital marketing efforts for the upcoming year. With that being said, here are five digital marketing trends you can expect to see take shape in 2019.

Social Media Will Get Conversational

Businesses should no longer be viewing social media posts as one-way conversations. Instead, 2019 will see brands using social media to engage with audiences and gauge their wants and needs. Effective social listening and paying attention to conversations about their brand and competitors’ brands will help businesses learn what type of content performs better for their target audience. Additional steps that companies can take to develop a more personal relationship with their customers include:

• Asking and answering consumer questions

• Creating and posting engaging subject matter

• Having a quick response time of 24-48 hours

Continue to have conversations on social media through user posts and comments. And personalize the user experience by utilizing user-generated content that resonates with customers. This can help businesses increase brand awareness, gain consumer trust and strengthen brand loyalty.

Videos Will Be Refined For SEO

SEO helps business owners understand user behaviour Since search engines are constantly updating to make sure user-friendly and engaging sites are being shown to users, businesses need to adapt to the changing algorithms to keep their rankings intact. This is where the video comes in.

This year, I predict that businesses will be focusing more on optimizing video content to improve SEO rankings. Ensure that keywords are added into these three aspects of your video:

• Video title

• Description

• URL

Keywords for videos will vary depending on your industry. You might want to make the title of your video a question, or the answer to a question that viewers tend to search. Closed captioning can also be added to your video. Include high-volume keywords in your video script so that Google can read what the video entails and rank accordingly. Optimize video content so that it is timely, relevant and engaging. When done right, this can help increase social media engagement, generate solid leads, create a more effective call to action and increase sales.

Businesses should also be focusing on improving their SEO for the sake of getting to know their audience. The more precise your SEO strategy, the closer you can get to your target audience.

Geo-Marketing Will Expand

Businesses have been incorporating geo-marketing into their strategy for a while now. But the need for more precise and accurate results has led to new technologies, such as geo-fencing, to get businesses one step closer to their customers. Geo-fencing has evolved the way location-targeting is done by allowing companies to attract competitors’ clients or create awareness for their own brand. One way to take advantage of geo-marketing is to focus on areas that have a heavy saturation of your target market.

Serving digital ads to mobile users within a predefined geographic area is another way to capitalize on geo-marketing. For example, businesses can create and launch a geo-mapping ad a quarter-mile radius from a competitor’s store. Every time a customer walks into that targeted location, they will be served with an ad for your business, potentially sparking interest in your store and brand. These targeted notifications are a great way to produce high engagement and brand awareness for your business.

Email Marketing Will Get Personal

Consumers are more concerned with personalization now than ever before. When it comes to connecting with brands, consumers realize that it’s the little things that matter. Which is why taking the extra step to personalize emails can result in more loyal customers and more conversions. When creating a personalized email marking campaign, be sure to:

• Create specific emails based on your different market segments

• Choose to promote products and services that are interesting for those customers

• Craft short but memorable and impactful content

• Curate creative that is engaging and represents your brand

Not only will emails become more personal, but more businesses are going to focus on making emails more accessible to mobile devices. According to research, nearly 84% of survey respondents said they use their smartphones as their preferred device for personal email.

Making sure your email content is personalized and optimized is extremely important for generating leads and capitalizing on this highly mobile market.

New Technologies Will Rise

During the new year, I believe businesses will begin to integrate new technologies to improve their marketing efforts and enhance their customer experience. Artificial intelligence and augmented reality are two technologies expected to improve a business’s customer service and marketing strategies as a whole.

In order to stay on top of the technology game, be sure to dedicate a certain amount of time each week to become familiar with and understand what’s happening in the digital landscape. When new opportunities like ad platforms or social listening tools arise, it’s important that you are aware of their abilities. One way to stay up to date and ahead of your competitors is to subscribe to RSS feeds and Facebook Pages of information websites. These sources will keep up with new technology and announce the latest and greatest trends available to assist you in your overall marketing objectives.

As companies move into the heart of 2019, it is crucial to keep in mind that implementing one of these trends is good, but incorporating all them cohesively across digital initiatives will lead to even greater results.

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