Most businesses use social media, search, and email as marketing channels. An omnichannel strategy is your company’s best way to build a one-of-a-kind customer experience for your customers. Which channels are your customers using the most? That’s why more and more companies are trying to let AI take it over. Programmatic advertising is a process that uses AI to buy and place advertisements based on targeting algorithms. By 2020, over 86% of all digital display ads will be purchased through automated channels. Expect to see more of the following: Personalized product recommendations Personalized social media messages Personalized video messages Targeted and triggered emails Advanced email personalization Automated contact segmentation Personalized digital advertising Web content personalization Those businesses that prioritize creating an individualized experience for their customers will reap the rewards. Video Marketing Video marketing has been an important tactic for big brands for years. Marketers can use video for several strategies, even for advertising. Here are some types of marketing videos any business can make in 2019: How-to videos Product walkthroughs Influencer interviews Customer testimonials Behind the scenes videos (such as employee and brand stories) Company culture videos Event videos Webinars Of course, one of the easiest ways to do video marketing is to use a webcam.
At this point, the digital marketing landscape has been disrupted so much that what was effective just a few years ago is now old hat.
Posting content to social media was once all you needed to grow a following. Today, customer interactions come at a premium. If you aren’t wowing your customers with personalized content or starting a real conversation with them, you’re falling behind the curve.
While some businesses are on the cusp of the latest marketing trends, many others are still playing catch-up to what was hot a few years ago.
If you still feel like your head is spinning from 2018, 2019 promises to be even more disruptive. And it isn’t just new technologies that are changing the game.
Here are 7 of the most important digital marketing trends to watch out for in 2019.
1. Omnichannel Marketing
“Omnichannel” is a term that gets thrown around a lot. But it’s not just a buzzword. The best way to understand omnichannel is to compare it to the term “multichannel.”
In a multichannel marketing strategy, you set up various marketing touchpoints which reinforce each other to ease a customer through their buying journey. For example, you may use social media as a channel to attract visitors to your website and email as a channel to nurture leads.
Omnichannel is similar. But it’s more universal.
The combining form, “Omni,” means “all,” “of all things,” or “in all ways or places.” Simply put, an omnichannel marketing strategy means you create marketing touchpoints that work together on every available channel. At the very least, you create consistent touchpoints on all the channels your customers use.
Most businesses use social media, search, and email as marketing channels. Although social media is still the top digital marketing channel according to 81% of marketers according to a survey by Clutch, customers (especially consumers) aren’t just engaging with brands by commenting on Facebook posts.
Some channels you should investigate are:
- Ephemeral video (such as Facebook and Instagram stories)
- Smartphone apps
- Live broadcasts
- Live chat
- PR and press releases
- Offline ads (they’re making a comeback)
- Direct mail (it’s also making a comeback)
- Offline events
- Chatbots and virtual assistants
All these channels can reinforce your existing marketing strategy – what you might call “traditional” digital marketing, at this point.
Omnichannel is particularly important for consumer-facing businesses. That’s because 70% of consumers use three channels or more to research a purchase. An omnichannel strategy is your company’s best way to build a one-of-a-kind customer experience for your customers.
Take Bank of America, for example:
With the free BofA smartphone app, customers can do all their banking on the go. The virtual assistant “Erica” can even answer customer questions and help customers make financial decisions.
Bank of America serves up helpful content to existing customers through email, their app, and their website. They also send new product offerings through direct mail and through their app.
Omnichannel isn’t just important for generating new business. It’s a necessary strategy for building a positive customer experience that increases your customer retention rates.
According to the Aberdeen Group, companies with a strong omnichannel marketing strategy have seen a 9.5% year-on-year increase in their annual revenue and retained an average of 89% of their customers.
Are you ready for omnichannel? Which channels are your customers using the most?
2. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is considered the cutting edge of technology by many. But in a few years, it may be as standard as smartphones are today.
Divorced from all the implications of popular science fiction movies, AI is a computer or robot that can gather facts about a situation through sensors or through human input. It can then use this information to solve problems or perform tasks.
More specifically, AI is a computer system that can perform a task which normally requires human intelligence. This is also the primary reason people fear AI.
AI has numerous potential applications in marketing. But in 2019, you’ll mostly see AI deployed for content marketing, customer service, and advertising.
Before you start worrying, know that AI isn’t currently positioned to make every content marketer’s job obsolete. AI is mostly used today to identify trends, drum up data, and do competitor research.
(Image Source: GrowthBot)
However, AI-generated content is already here.
In 2016, Gartner predicted that 20% of all business content would be “authored by machines” by 2018. While the accuracy of this prediction hasn’t been tested yet, most people are already reading AI-written articles in one fashion or another (whether they realize it or not).
AI is particularly good at creating data-heavy news briefs about business and sports, for example. These articles may not have the same panache as human-written ones (yet), but they save news organizations vast amounts of time and money to get the word out.
In the future, AI will likely originate much of the content on the internet. But inbound content, which relies on personality and authenticity, is not its strong suit. AI may generate some initial reporting, but it’ll be up to a human to make the content relatable.
Chatbots are showing up everywhere, from business websites to mobile apps and social media newsfeeds. They can serve a variety of purposes, but most often they are used to answer simple questions or help a user accomplish a simple task.
Some of the most advanced chatbots are deployed by enterprise companies as virtual assistants or even digital concierges.
But new uses for chatbots are emerging all…