When was the last time you updated your business’ marketing plan? Your website isn’t the only thing that needs revamping for the new year – your digital marketing strategy may also require a refresh. The techniques that worked over the past twelve months aren’t guaranteed to be just as effective moving forward.
As you know, technology is constantly evolving. This means you need to keep updating the way you market to consumers.
As we head into 2019, now is an excellent time to look at industry-wide trends, and consider how they might affect your long-term strategy.
Updating your digital marketing plan means taking a look at the big picture, and assessing the ways you’re interacting with your audience to determine if they’re the most effective options. For example, video content is starting to dominate social media. This means you may need to think about how to incorporate more video in your marketing materials.
Of course, that’s just one example. Over the next few sections, we’ll look more closely at the importance of video marketing, as well as several other trends you’ll want to be aware of. For each, we’ll discuss how you can integrate it into to your existing strategy, and stay on top of digital marketing over the coming year.
First and foremost, many companies are switching to programmatic advertising. This refers to the use of artificial intelligence to automatically purchase digital ads. Once you set up an algorithm that’s tailored to your needs and goals, the ad-buying software will become better at tailoring your ad purchases and targeting over time by using machine learning.
This is one trend that can end up saving you a lot of time. Although it requires some initial setup, programmatic advertising frees up a portion of the manual labor involved in purchasing ads. That way, you have more time to focus on analyzing data and nurturing the creative aspects of your marketing plan.
There are a number of programmatic advertising platforms that you can use, and which don’t require a lot of investment or technical know-how. You should start by choosing a platform that meets your budget and promises realistic results. Once you have a solution in place, you can put together your first ad.
The programmatic advertising platform will automatically submit your ad to digital advertising networks, taking into account whatever criteria you set. You can then track the results, and tweak your campaign as needed. Once you get used to using this technology, programmatic advertising has the potential to widely expand your business’ marketing reach.
Viral Video Marketing
For a while now, social media has been shifting towards an emphasis on video content. By the end of 2019, in fact, researchers predict that video will comprise the majority of search traffic in the United States. You can reap the benefits of this change by crafting viral videos for your brand.
Viral videos tend to be short, entertaining, and inherently shareable. Viral video marketing refers to creating advertisements that aim to include attention-grabbing elements. These elements help encourage people to watch and share your videos.
One of the most notable examples of this strategy in action is Geico’s video ads. These ads don’t just tell you to buy Geico insurance; they also create meme-worthy characters and slogans that stick in your mind. Whether or not you like the ads, they are undeniably memorable. Insurance may not be the most exciting topic, but the Geico gecko (and other characters) make it entertaining and shareable.
You can pursue viral video marketing for your own brand by considering how to make your ideas larger than life. For example, Blendtec doesn’t just show its blenders making smoothies – it parodies infomercials by blending odd items such as markers and pool cues. To come up with this type of viral video concept, it helps to have a no-holds barred brainstorming session with your team, and to emphasize thinking outside the box.
It’s not enough to focus on driving traffic to your website; you also need to consider what each visitor’s experience is like when they arrive. For instance, it’s crucial to create a mobile-friendly site that is easy to use.
Even though mobile use continues to outstrip desktops, many brands still haven’t put much thought into how their mobile websites function. If your site looks squished or is hard to read on a cell phone, that doesn’t just look unprofessional. It also makes it difficult for your visitors to find what they need. Mobile visitors may even abandon your site if your layout and navigation are poorly designed.
On the other hand, the better the experience visitors have on your site, the higher your conversion rate is likely to be. You can implement mobile-first design by having a web developer build you a responsive site from the ground up, hiring a User Experience (UX) designer to retool your existing site, and even rethinking your content from a mobile perspective. If your current web developer can’t answer your questions about creating a mobile-friendly site, it may be time to find someone new.
Speed Is Everything
Last but certainly not least, Google has started penalizing slow websites in its search rankings. Even a half-second delay could cost you. This means that unless your site is optimized for speed, you could be losing organic search traffic. Slower page speeds can also result in poor UX, causing visitors to abandon your site.
That’s why it is crucial to keep your site as fast as possible. You can check your site’s speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, which is a helpful solution for diagnosing performance issues. If you receive a score lower than 90, you can follow some simple best practices to boost your speeds.
In addition, make sure to also test the performance on the mobile version of your site. Research shows that mobile users can be even more impatient than those on desktop computers. Therefore, you should include optimizing page speeds as an essential part of your mobile-first design efforts.
The online marketplace changes often and quickly. If you’re looking to build a following and attract customers, you need to know what the latest trends are, and adapt your website and content in response.
Do you have any questions about the 2019 digital marketing trends we’ve discussed? Let us know in the comments section below!