Digital Marketing Trends and Innovations

By July 15, 2019 No Comments

1. Video

With platforms like Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Facebook Live, video is a big trend online that will continue to grow.
Traditional content that people had to watch on their TV in the past is now available through their smartphones at the touch of their fingertips.
According to Cisco, 82% of internet traffic will be through video by 2021 but you don’t have to wait till 2021, you can start taking advantage of the trend now.

As consumers spend more time on their smartphones watching videos, advertisers are expected to spend $20 billion on mobile video in 2019, up from $2 billion in 2015.

In a 2017 Facebook earnings call, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “I see video as a megatrend. That’s why I’m going to keep putting video first across our family of apps.”
One of the main drivers of the mobile internet video market is creating live, in-the-moment videos. Cisco reports that by 2021, live video is going to make up 13% of total video traffic compared to 3% in 2016.

Here are some reasons why live video so attractive and expected to grow:

i). It’s authentic: In some cases, editing may take the originality out of it and smart consumers know that they are only being shown what the business wants you to see. But with live video, viewers can see events as they occur and there’s no feeling of a “doctored” video.

ii). It’s cheaper: Editing videos and other production costs can eat into your marketing budget through time and labor. With a live video, your only need is a camera and internet connection.

iii). It activates FOMO: With an uploaded video, social media users can always come back to view it. For a live video though, there’s some thrill in watching it live.

There are many ways you can apply live videos for your business. Some are:

i). Hosting an industry event: When your business hosts an industry event, it can be an opportunity to establish your reputation in your industry to prospects and customers by recording it as it happens.

ii). Product launch: This is one way to add glamour to your product launch. You can create more awareness for your product and viewers can see the demonstration of how to use it.

Apart from live videos, there are many other ways to use video for your business. Many website visitors today prefer watching videos to reading a text because it’s easier to visualize the concepts.

Having video versions of your written content gives you an opportunity to reach a wider audience and when you consider that YouTube is the second largest search engine, then it creates a lot of opportunity you can generate for your business.

2. Voice Search

With the improvement in voice recognition, voice searches have been increasingly getting more popular. Smart speakers can be used to order items and control smart devices your home solely through verbal command.

According to a study by OC&C Strategy Consultants, voice commerce was a $1.8 billion retail segment in the U.S. and $200 million in the U.K. in 2017. This value is expected to rise to $40 billion in the U.S. and $5 billion in the U.K. by 2022.

There are many reasons why voice command leads to profits. Some of them are:

i). Voice search is easier: It’s easier and safer for people who are on the move to talk to their phone rather than type. With voice command,you can still type while walking without breaking your stride.

ii). Voice search is faster: People can talk faster than they can type, which means they can also perform a voice search faster.

Now, you may be wondering how these affect your business. Here are a few reasons why you should optimize your website for voice searches:

1) Voice search usage is increasing on mobile: in 2016, voice searches accounted for 20% of searches on Android devices and it’s only getting higher.
2) Smart Speakers are becoming more popular: with the introduction of Amazon Echo a few years ago, followed by the Google Assistant and Apple Home pod, smart speakers are becoming popular household items. According to research by NPR and Edison Research, 39 million Americans currently own a smart speaker.

The same study found that 31% of smart speaker owners have added an item to their cart to review it later to purchase and 29% have researched an item they are interested in.

3) Majority of people using voice search are performing a local search: When people perform a voice search, they’re usually looking to buy from a local business.

To optimize your website for local SEO rankings and voice search, you need to note the following:

– Voice searches are usually longer than typed searches: Since they’re way easier, voice searches tend to be longer than typed searches. Therefore, optimizing your content for long-tail keywords* is important if you’re targeting voice search.

– Voice searches are conversational: Most people perform voice searches like they’re talking to someone else so it’s important to make your website content conversational.

* More about creating voice-command friendly content: Some experts think voice could comprise 50% of 2019 searches. Therefore, this makes long-tail SEO strategy more vital than ever. Why? People tend to voice search with full sentences and questions, not a specific domain name or a few keywords. Factors like loading time and site organization are also becoming more important in an age of quick, on-the-go mobile and voice search.

Think about your own website and its loading time. Is it worth investing in a professional audit and a capable web designer experienced in optimizing for mobile and voice search to stay up with the trends of 2019?

Also, as search engines grow more and more sensitive to user intent, it becomes increasingly vital that every image, video, and piece of content is appropriately tagged with meta descriptions and alt-text. Search engines use these bits of information to promptly categorize and serve up your content to users. Without them, you lose traffic – more so in 2019.

3. Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality

How powerful will your marketing be if your prospects can test your product right now before making any commitment? You can eliminate most of the risk that prospects take when they decide to buy your product for the first time.

Using augmented/virtual reality to release your product ensures that there’s no risk on your prospect’s part and shows that you are ahead of the game.
Here’s a breakdown between the two:

Augmented reality inserts objects into a real-life setting. This allows people to add an item to an environment and see how it will look like when the object is included in it.

Augmented reality

Virtual reality creates a completely new environment that an individual can experience and besides using it in games, businesses can also use it for marketing purposes.

Both technologies have been increasing in usage over the years. According to eMarketer, 48.1 million Americans will experience augmented reality at least once per month in 2018. That figure is expected to rise to 54.4 million in 2019.

Augmented Reality Users in US

Likewise, 36.7 million Americans are expected to experience virtual reality in 2018. That figure will probably rise to 49.2 million in 2019. And Business Innovation Center predicts that the AR/VR technology will reach a market volume of $150 billion by 2020.

Virtual Reality Users in United States

One of the most popular applications of augmented reality is from IKEA.

With IKEA’s augmented reality app, individuals about to buy a piece of furniture can see how it will fit into space they want to put it in. The app got 8.5 million downloads and many potential buyers.

To give people a glimpse of what driving in its new SUV is like, Volvo used the Google Cardboard to take users through a mountain drive in the Volvo XC90 luxury SUV using virtual reality. How nice is it to virtually drive a car before you have to drive it?

4. Native Advertising

People are exposed to many ads on a daily basis. Here’s an example of a native ad on The New York Times website.

But most prospects don’t want blatant selling or feel like a product is pushed down their throats. In some cases, website visitors get pop up ads that interfere with their user experience.

It frustrates the user when ads make it difficult to view a web page in peace which is one of the reasons the number of installed ad blockers have been increasing over the years. In 2016, 24.4% of U.S. internet users blocked ads. That figure is expected to rise to 30.1% in 2018.

Since prospects are already using ad blockers, one way to get your message across is through native advertising.

The main essence of native ads is that they’re not supposed to look like ads. And in most cases, a native ad would be mistaken as normal content on a page if it’s not labeled as an ad.

The most popular way that native ads are used is on social media where users are most receptive. Apart from social media, Amazon is also playing a major role in the growth of native ads.

eMarketer expects native ads to grow faster than the total U.S. display market. The amount spent on native ads in 2018 is expected to reach $32.9 billion, 58.3% of the total display ad spending. In 2019, this is even expected to rise to $41.14 billion, 61.4% of the total ad spending.

They further explained in the report that 77% of all mobile display ad dollars will be spent on native ads and 96% on native social advertising.

Below is an example of a native ad on apartment therapy by the Mindy Project show on Hulu. One thing you’ll notice is that the ad suits the website’s content about apartments:

With the use of native advertising, Toshiba got a 0.78% engagement rate on its ads compared to 0.14% that it got through traditional mobile ads.

5. User-Generated Content

One of the best ways to market your product is to show your prospects how your current customers are using it.

There are 2 advantages that user-generated content has over most of the other marketing channels available to a business:

i). It convinces prospects: With user-generated content, your current customers are marketing your products for you. It’s like a word-of-mouth campaign. Your customers have nothing to gain, but a sense of belonging.

According to Bazaarvoice, user-generated content has an impact on the buying decision of 84% of millennials and 70% of baby boomers.

ii). It’s free: You don’t have to spend on this type of marketing. And it’s more effective than most of the marketing channels you use. In fact, its biggest appeal is that it’s free.

Prospects are persuaded because a consumer who understands their needs is marketing your product.

Tourism Queensland wanted to build more awareness for its brand. It told people to apply for the best job in the world. And it went viral as 35,000 people created video applications. This led to an estimated $368m in media coverage, 8.4 million unique website visits, and 55 million page views.


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