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Posted On 21 Aug 2018
Marama Carmichael

Would you like to gain a competitive advantage in your industry or niche? Of course, you would. Who wouldn’t? Well, an important part of gaining a competitive advantage is the ability to recognise and act upon trends before everyone else does. Here are 6 digital marketing trends for 2019 that, if acted upon, can place you well ahead of your competition.

1. Generation Z will be a new area of focus.

Generation Z, the population group that was born after the year 2000, will become a new target of social media marketers starting next year. The reason is simple. This group begins “coming of age” in 2019. They’ll be old enough to start getting real jobs and making their own buying decisions. That will open up a whole new market demographic. Smart marketers will begin developing tactics and strategies to reach this new demographic.

2. Use of Smart Speakers will continue to grow.

Smart speakers like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomePod have become increasingly popular over the past few years. What this means for digital marketers is they will need to publish more audio content to these devices, the goal being to earn a spot on the listener’s “Flash Briefing”. The growing use of smart speakers will also lead to audio advertising opportunities – kind of like having audio AdWords.

3. Virtual and Augmented Realities will bring marketing content to life.

The advent of virtual and augmented realities took gaming to a place beyond the next level. It was just a question of time before marketers began tapping the potential of this technology as a marketing tool. A pioneer in using augmented reality as a marketing tool is Ikea, the Swedish furniture giant. They began experimenting with augmented reality in 2012, and now have an app called Ikea Place where prospects can see what a piece of furniture will look like in their home. Smart marketers will begin exploring ways to incorporate AR and VR in their marketing strategy.

4. Voice will become the preferred search-marketing tool.

Estimates are that, by 2020, 50 percent of all search queries will be voice-based. Add to that the growing popularity of smart speakers and the fact that voice recognition technology will only get better over time, and it’s easy to imagine that 50 percent number skyrocketing. Smart marketers will begin analysing the differences between how people might verbalise a keyword search term compared to how they would type it into a search bar, and adjust their SEO strategy accordingly.

5. Use of video will evolve – again.

It’s no secret that video has been the marketing elephant on the web for years, and that will continue to be the case in 2019 and beyond. Having said that, how marketers use video will necessarily evolve. The key going forward will be originality. Publishing video purely for motion’s sake, which was the idea when video was supplanting still imagery as the most effective online marketing tool, will no longer have maximum effect. Instead, video marketers will need to produce video content that fosters user engagement.

6. Chatbots will become normalised.

For some, the gut-level reaction to the idea of using a chatbot to communicate with a business may be a bit negative. Yet, surveys indicate that the use of chatbots will continue to grow in 2019, and become normalized. In 2018, 64 percent of survey respondents said they like the 24-hour service they get with a chatbot, while only 43 percent said they prefer dealing with a real-life assistant. As the specific uses for chatbots continue to grow beyond basic customer services like complaint resolution, their popularity among consumers will also grow and they will become a normal part of the digital landscape. Smart marketers will explore more creative ways to employ chatbots in their business before they become the expected and preferred form of communication between businesses and consumers.

Conclusion:

Marketers who get better at recognising and acting upon trends before they become widely recognised and acted upon are the ones who will consistently stay ahead of the competition, and maximise market share. We encourage you to consider the trends we’ve outlined here, and take action. We also invite you to contact us today for more on coming trends.

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