How to Nail Your Digital Marketing Strategy in 2019

The one thing we can be certain of is that the world of online marketing never stands still. As users evolve, your strategy shouldn’t waiver if you want to have a fighting chance of being found. Here are our predictions for the trends in online marketing you need to watch out for in the new year so you don’t get left behind.

1. Know the Changing Face of SEO

Gone are the days when you could make a list of keywords, write your content to include those words, and watch your page climb up through the search engine rankings. Because it’s harder and harder to rank at the top when customers are poised to buy (particularly in popular niches), it’s becoming more and more important to find customers when they are doing their research and scoping out future purchases. Establish a relationship with your future clients at that point, capture them in your sales funnel, and then nurture those leads until the customer is ready to click that Buy Now button.

2. Embrace Chatbots

There’s nothing quite like getting your question answered at 3 am by a friendly, polite, and knowledgeable chatbot. No, chatbots can’t replace human beings in all situations, but they are a godsend when it comes to answering simple questions, making it easy for customers to communicate with your company, and providing an easy way to get a fast response, even during peak periods or off hours.

3. Integrate Predictive Analysis

As more and more data is collected on clients and customers, our ability to predict behavior is getting better and better. Knowing when a customer is ready to buy, how much they are likely to spend, and what sort of long-term relationship we can expect makes it so much easier to accurately score leads and make the most of our sales teams. The efficiency and effectiveness of predictive analysis combine to maximize ROI and as more data is collected and we are better able to process and understand that information, expect predictive analysis to become more important to marketers.

4. Prepare for the Growing Role of Voice Recognition

Watch for the proportion of voice searches, ordering, and other online interactions to continue to grow. Technologies like Alexa and Google Voice Search have revolutionized the way we interact with the virtual world and smart marketers are responding with voice-optimized websites that recognize how people ask questions when they don’t have to worry about texting or typing.

5. Mobile-Responsiveness is Non-Negotiable

With mobile access to the web now surpassing desktop, you know you need to optimize for mobile. Yesterday. Your customers are using their devices more and more and you need to respond accordingly. Don’t torture users with slow-to-load images or banners that obscure important information or designs that make it impossible to easily navigate via a touchscreen.  

6. Be Part of the Integration of Online and Real Life

The fact that smart devices are everywhere means that we’ll be seeing more overlap of our online and real-life worlds. Apps that send push notifications to phones when a customer enters your store make it easy to deliver a special offer to shoppers. Strategically-placed beacons communicate via Bluetooth when a customer comes close, making it possible to get very specific with your target marketing. A customer picks up a putter in a pro shop, for example, and the beacon in the display can fire off a coupon that can be applied in the clubhouse dining room. The possibilities on this front are endless.

7. Create Quality Content

Great content will continue to lie at the heart of the best marketing campaigns. To keep up you will need to produce long, valuable, engaging, and useful content for customers at all points of the purchasing process. That content needs to be yours – material that’s unique, current, and relevant. Heading into the new year, there is no room for copycat content!

8. Video, Video and More Video

From live webinars and on-location broadcasts to traditional, pre-recorded and edited video, HUGE amounts of content are being distributed and consumed in this format. If you can’t (or won’t) produce your own video content, partner with influencers who do. Watch for the new variations on the video theme like 360 video and interactive video. As new formats appear, so too will new methods for distribution. IGTV (Instagram’s new longer-format video distribution option) is just one example of a new platform where smart marketers are engaging with their audiences.

9. Do the Old Stuff Better!

Sure, AI, augmented reality, and marketing automation are all hot new tools to add to your marketing toolbox, but you won’t be able to ignore all the stuff you’ve been doing to date. Backlinks, great web design (fast page load speeds, optimized image size, lean, clean and mean code) and knowing your customer are still essential pieces of the marketing puzzle. The most successful marketers going forward will be those who use the new tools but still utilize tried and true principles and strategies.

10. Commit to Brand Building in 2019

Even though you have more options in terms of marketing tools and strategies at your disposal than ever before, it’s still tough to build a brand. If there’s one piece of advice that holds true no matter what your niche it’s that you need to do your own thing. Don’t copy what everyone else is up to. Be brave, bold, and innovative. Yes, it’s a crowded online world and getting more crowded every day, but the one thing nobody else can do is to be you.

11. Share Widely, Be Generous

It may be a cliche, but sharing really is caring. Go find your audience and be generous as you share your insights. Be genuinely helpful, participate in online discussions, and always be kind. Don’t steal other people’s stuff (make your own memes–it’s not that hard) and become the expert or authority in your field – whether that’s bed linens or blockchain. This type of thinking will continue to grow in importance as the online marketing world gets more crowded and competitive.

12. Make your Paid Ads and Organic Traffic Work Together

The best online marketers know how to effectively leverage organic traffic to get the most out of paid ads and how best to use paid ads to leverage the power of organic traffic. Social media platform algorithms are constantly shifting, but at the heart of all of them is a desire to connect users and generate engagement. Understand this fundamental principle and it becomes easier to see how best to use these powerful tools no matter what the end goal is for your online marketing campaign (lead generation, brand development and recognition, loyalty-building, sales conversion, etc.)

Come Talk to the Experts at Evolve!

There’s no doubt about it. The future of online marketing has never been more exciting – or more complex and challenging. If you’d like to chat about how best to develop and implement your marketing strategy in 2019, get in touch with the experts at Evolve and let’s see how we might be able to work together.