There was a time when online marketing was just an extra way to market your business in addition to traditional advertising methods such as commercials, print ads, billboards, and radio spots. Today, digital marketing has become so much more essential.
As the years go by, technology continues to advance and digital marketing trends continue to change. 2018 introduced some new trends in digital marketing that have changed the way businesses create content and engage their audience.
In this post, we will cover the biggest 2018 marketing trends and how you can utilize them in 2019 to grow your business. Let’s begin!
Why Is Digital Marketing So Important?
Digital marketing is a necessary way to attract more traffic to a website. As a business owner, you want to know how to better connect with your customers and figure out the best way to reach out to prospective clients. Digital marketing is especially important for small businesses who may not be able to afford flashy traditional ads. It gives them a way to be competitive without going bankrupt.
Whether you have an e-commerce store or a blog, several benefits come with marketing your business digitally. If you don’t stay up to date with trends, your company will be left behind and taken over by competitors. Utilizing these trends will benefit in so many ways, some of them including:
- Increased visibility
- Larger reach
- More traffic to website
- Increased revenue
As we’ve mentioned, digital marketing helps level the playing field for smaller businesses. Huge companies like Walmart, Starbucks, and Amazon have taken over huge swaths of the market. Hundreds of local mom-and-pop stores are being wiped out.
Digital marketing provides hope for these small businesses. It allows them to hold a top-ranking position on search engines among hundreds of other similar businesses. Of course, in order to do so, business owners need to inform themselves about how digital marketing works and stay up to date with trends and innovations.
So without further to do, here are the 2018 marketing trends that had the greatest impact.
1. The Integration of Augmented Reality in Social Media
Every year our smartphones and social apps better integrate with augmented reality (AR), giving us a great way to better engage with consumers. The perfect example of an AR experience is Pokémon Go, where users can see their favorite characters jumping around in their own hometown.
Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are all being taken over by AR. On Snapchat, users can add filters to their photos or play games with other users. The app also allows brands to promote themselves through the new Shoppable AR feature.
Launched in April of 2018, Shoppable AR lenses allow brands to do one of three things. They can prompt users to install an app, watch a video, or view a product or website. For example, an Adidas Snapchat lens let users’ snap pics of their faces covered with a cool, Tron-like grid while prompting them to visit the Adidas online store.
Without a doubt, AR is a digital marketing trend that will continue through 2019. It’s not a good fit for every business, but it works well for retailers trying to target young adult audiences.
2. Influencer Marketing
There are 3 types of influencers that you want to be aware of. These are celebrities, bloggers, and micro-influencers. It will be difficult to get a celebrity to advertise your business. Bloggers are much more accessible. You will be surprised at how active some bloggers are on social media and the number of equally active followers that they have.
Say you have a friend who is a fitness blogger. This happens to be related to your business, which sells running shoes. Ask them for a shout out or to review your products on their site. Bloggers have loyal viewers who will try out a new product if they say that it’s worth it!
Influencer marketing is here to stay because consumers are becoming skeptical of brands. They might not trust you, but they will trust their favorite YouTuber, blogger, or Twitter account.
3. Live Video
When done right, this tactic can be great for your business. Videos are more engaging than text or static images, and 2018 saw a surge in the popularity of live video. Not only are live videos easier to make and less expensive to produce, but your audience can interact with your content in real time.
Facebook Live is one of the best live streaming tools for businesses. You can host an AMA (ask me anything), show live footage of an event, or give your audience a behind the scenes look at your business.
4. Personalization is Here to Stay
We are talking about personalization within all stages of sales. You want to customize landing pages according to your viewers. Email marketing is a great place to start. When you enable this digital marketing strategy, you’re making future messages sent to your customers more personal.
For example, if someone bought a dress from your online fashion store, you could add them to an email segment called “Customers who purchased dresses”. Now, you have an idea of what they like and can tailor future messaging to increase your chances of another sale.
Emails are also a great way to make subscribers aware of an upcoming promotion. People look forward to these emails since there are usually discounts that they’ll want to take advantage of. Giving your messages a personal touch is a great way to better connect with past clients and reach out to prospective ones.
5. Search Engine Optimization
SEO will never get old. You need it to attract new leads to your e-commerce site and rank higher up on search engine results pages. Learning the right strategies and guidelines within this industry will bring new visitors, leads, and conversions. Since the rules of SEO are always changing, you need to keep up with trends to stay on top of your business.
Aside from optimizing your site, there are some other ways you can market yourself. Here are some additional digital marketing techniques that were popular during 2018 that are here to stay:
- Google AdWords – This needs to be in your digital marketing strategy if it isn’t already. This is perfect for businesses that want to display ads on Google. It is largely focused on keywords. Training in digital marketing to learn Google AdWords is worth considering if you want to see significant growth in your business’s revenue.
- Chatbots – This feature has gotten a lot of hype in 2018, and for good reason! A chatbot is an easy way to answer customer questions and comments. They are used to engage as well as solve customer service issues. If you set up the bot correctly, it’s very difficult for customers to tell if they’re talking to a real person or a bot.
- Surveys – This is another trend that is here to stay. Surveys are one of the best ways to obtain feedback from customers. They can be given out in person or digitally, whichever you prefer. To ensure your clients complete the survey, offer some type of discount that they can use on their next visit.
- Online Reviews – Encourage customers to leave an online review. This will make your business more credible. Positive reviews will only keep traffic flowing to your store. If you get a negative review, reach out to the reviewer to find out how you can fix it.
Catch Up on Digital Marketing Trends for 2019
With everything moving so fast, it can be hard to tell what trends are meaningful and what ones don’t have long-term value. Imparture marketing training can help you stay caught up in this fast-paced industry. It can also make you better able to spot promising new tactics. If you’re not very tech savvy or familiar with digital marketing at all, there are courses you can take advantage of to learn.
During a typical digital marketing workshop, you will learn how to stay on top of the latest developments and use them to your advantage. Instructors are experienced and know what they’re doing, so make sure to ask plenty of questions.
Just starting off? Don’t worry about your skill level. Absolutely anyone can benefit from a digital marketing course. Most providers offer both traditional classroom settings or online webinars so that anyone can take advantage of training in digital marketing and grow their online presence.
As you can see, the opportunities that digital marketing presents are endless! We hope these digital marketing strategies have given you a better idea of how you can further grow your business this upcoming year. There are so many ways to give your business that boost it needs. Try starting with some of these strategies!
Tom is the techie running a digital agency offering online marketing consultation to companies such as Imparture, based in London. With over a decade working in the SEO industry, what he doesn’t know about SEO isn’t worth knowing. His experience ranges from working with leading agencies, leading client consultations and affiliate marketing.