Every December and January, you’ll find articles on wrap-ups of the year that just ended and predictions for the year ahead. It can be rather overwhelming when you read through so many digital marketing trends and technologies that your head begins to spin. To wrap my head around the digital marketing trends that took place in 2019, I grouped them into categories to make them easier to understand. You won’t find everything here—no chatbots or Artificial Intelligence (AI) or programmatic ad buying. However, you will find what’s currently in demand by consumers today: more voice, more video, more personalization and more seamless experiences — and they want it all as fast as they can get it. Consumers are live in the moment and they expect brands to keep up. In fact, their expectations are so high, they are willing to drop a brand that can’t keep up. Experts say customer experience will be the key competitive differentiator by the year 2020. In this article, I’ll share three easy-to-understand categories on voice, video and visual, otherwise known as the three Vs and share ways in which you can evolve your digital marketing to stay current.
The First V: Voice
Have you held up your phone and asked it to find something for you, whether it is the score of the big hockey game or the closest Thai restaurant? If so, you’ve used voice search—and it’s becoming much more commonplace. Remember, consumers want things easy and they want it now. Plus with in-home virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri, they are getting used to using their voices at home, on their phones, on the road—any time all the time. As a marketer, view this from the consumer perspective: Voice search is much faster than typing into a search bar! People don’t have to stop what they’re doing to do voice search and it fits with the consumer’s in-the-moment behavior who want instantaneous results. The question is how popular will voice search be? It’s predicted that 50 percent of searches will be voice searches by the year 2020. That’s next year! For you to keep up with this trend in 2019, you’ll need to understand that voice searches change how search queries work—and how you should approach your SEO to adapt to this change.
The Second V: Video
You probably already know consumers love video—and that marketers should love video because it is so much more engaging. In fact, people spend 5 times longer on video than static content. Cisco predicts video viewing will account for 82 percent of all IP traffic by the year 2021. When it comes to digital marketing trends in 2019, video will play a big role. Some trends we’re seeing video include:
- Making video part of your marketing strategy: Video is an effective way to engage consumers and get content shared. On YouTube, over 1 billion hours of content are viewed every day, and consumers are more likely to buy plus more likely to spend more money after watching demonstration videos. They are also more likely to share: Viewers share video content 1,200 percent more than text and images combined.
- Treating YouTube like the search engine it is: As a search engine, YouTube is second only to Google in size and traffic, but it works differently. You can rank well on YouTube without ranking well on Google. The key takeaway here is to make video part of your SEO strategy by using YouTube – and optimize your videos for Google as well. You’ll get two different types of results, for double the results.
- Going live on Facebook: Live videos on Facebook have an engagement rate of 4.3 percent compared to 2.2 percent for non-live videos. Users will spend three times longer watching live video compared to not live. If you’re doing video on Facebook, consider going live.
- Using video on Instagram: Instagram has increased the duration of videos posted to their platform to meet consumer demand for video. If you’re already using Instagram for marketing, consider adding video to your strategy.
- Using video for B2B marketing: Don’t think video is for B2C marketers only! Almost 70 percent of B2B marketers are using video, and 82 percent say it works.
- Using immersive or 360 degree video: With immersive videos, the whole 360 degree view is filmed at the same time, and the consumer can use their mouse or finger to see the whole view. I imagine this could have huge implications for the entertainment, travel and real estate industries!
The Third V: Visual
People are visual creatures, as the increasing popularity of video shows, and we absorb visual information much more quickly than we do text. That visual preference shows up in searches and according to Search Engine Journal, almost 27 percent of searches on Google were for images. And yes, visual search is a digital marketing trend you should be aware of and integrate into your digital marketing strategy.
Visual search is not new, but it is increasing in capability. Pinterest is a decided leader in this arena. If you’ve been on Pinterest and seen little dots show up on a picture, letting you click to see similar items for sale from online retailers, you’ve seen the feature known as “Shop the Look.” Pinterest also offers Lens, letting consumers take a picture of something in the real world, then find related pins. Although Pinterest is dominating the visual search arena, Google and Bing are in the space as well, and major brands are already using it. The takeaway he is if you’re a retailer, you should be looking at visual search capability.
There is so much more going on in digital marketing that you see summarized above, but sometimes we need the onslaught of information simplified and delivered in neat little packages we can wrap our brains around and comprehend… without having a panic attack. Taking a broad view of just these three categories—voice, video and visual—helped me get a handle on what to expect as a digital marketer in 2019. I hope it helps you as well!
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