9 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out for in 2019
Published on 03 Jan by Arielle Azmon
Each year, we see new digital marketing trends that seem to stand out for the whole year. In 2019, we may have to say goodbye to some of our favourite strategies and hello to new ones. Which digital marketing strategies will be trending soon?
It’s best to be prepared as soon as possible.
It also doesn’t matter if you work in the industry or are solely an interested client, 2019 will be an interesting year for all. At Xi Digital, we have done extensive research into the matter and have summarized what we believe will be popular this year. We hope these trends excite you just as much as they excite us! However, before jumping into 2019, let’s take a look back at 2018. What was trending last year? What worked well for us as a digital agency?
Our Favourite Digital Marketing Trends From 2018
“The Google Guarantee is remarkable. It’s my new favourite addition to Google. What I love most about it is its ability to give users more trust in your company. It’s a great way to build credibility and give your clients peace of mind. The insurance also gives companies more motivation to work harder in order to satisfy their clients. This is one of our main missions at Xi as we want all of our clients to be 100% confident in our services.”
- Mark Soer, CEO
“Working at Xi Digital over the past year has really opened my eyes to the power of video in today’s digital landscape. I have come to notice that video is now more engaging than ever. From what I’ve experienced this year, videos even lead to higher CTRs! In addition, ranking well on Youtube is less challenging than Google’s search results. In 2019, we will definitely concentrate more on improving SEO rankings through optimizing video content.”
- Jessica Bennett, Director of SEO
“In today’s world, people are always on the go, always on their phones. In fact, more than half of the overall website traffic comes from mobile devices.That is why, in my opinion, mobile optimization was one of the biggest trends in 2018, and will definitely continue into 2019. Having a website that reformats itself based on the screen dimensions and is light enough to work well over mobile internet is crucial for any business owner!”
- Tetiana Sitiugina, Digital Strategist & QA Specialist
“I’ve learned a lot about digital marketing this year. I’ve come to see the large role content plays in making or breaking a business. In my opinion, one of the best performing strategies in 2018 was email marketing. If done properly, an email campaign can have a huge influence on your audience. From writing engaging subject lines, to using images and great copy, emails can transform your business. As much as I loved creating and running email marketing campaigns, I’m excited to see what’s new in 2019!”
- Arielle Azmon, Digital Strategist & Social Media Manager
"My favourite digital marketing trend this year was Facebook Ads. The amount of people you can reach and leads you can generate with simple messages and images is absolutely incredible. This strategy will continue in 2019 and many more years after that thanks to Facebook’s massive audience."
- Raffaello Cardinaletti, Graphic Design & UX/UI
Our Predicted Top 9 Digital Marketing Trends For 2019
1. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence
In the new year and many years to come, we will see an increase in AI use. For instance, AI is getting even better at profiling buyers. From retargeting to click tracking, and customer segmentation, AI is becoming especially useful for digital marketing as time goes on. Not to mention, some agencies are even using AI for content creation - to create headlines, slogans, etc.! A study by BlueShift shows that 43% of marketers are using AI for audience expansion and 39% are using it for audience targeting. They also predict that in 2019, there will be a 64% increase in AI use! Chatbots are also increasing in popularity. In 2018, Leadpages started using a chatbot to greet online customers and saw a 36% overall increase in conversions.
At Xi Digital, we’d still like to think that human interaction is still required to produce quality content. Though, we are excited about the shift to using AI to get to know our clients’ audiences better
2. Quality Content is Still King
The reason content will still always reign is because its power to increase online traffic. All online users have the capability to see your content, from blogs to social media posts. However, not all online users can see your ads. Online ads may even be a thing of the past as a result of ad blockers. Business Insider estimates that about 30% of online users will be using ad blockers in 2019. Overall, this just means that you have to strengthen the content that users will see.
In addition, after many quality updates with Google this year, we have learned that Google is focused on providing the most relevant results per search query and matching query intent! This means that Google’s algorithm will rank quality content over anything else, especially in 2019. As its algorithm keeps improving, so does the need to produce better quality content.
3. Vlogs Over Blogs
This year saw a rise in popular video platforms like, Netflix, Amazon, Facebook Live, Instagram TV, and more. It only makes sense that video platforms will continue to dominate in 2019. Cisco, a networking hardware company, predicts 82% of all internet traffic by 2021 will be video. It sounds a bit unfathomable now but marketers are even expected to spend $20 billion on mobile video alone in 2019. In addition, in the next few years, Tubular Insights predicts that about 80% of all digital content will be visual.
Live video is another phenomenon that will soon trend. It is expected to make up to 13% of all video traffic online. The reasons for this may be because:
It’s Authentic: These videos are live and therefore unedited - making them feel more real.
It’s Less Expensive: The editing and post production process can take hours and days making non-live videos much more pricey.
It creates “FOMO”: If videos are live, consumers are more willing to watch them now instead of later as they fear missing any thrills.
4. A Mobile-Optimized Future
In 2018, the share of people browsing online from their mobile phones increased up to 52.2 percent of all website traffic. This isn’t surprising, considering the continuing growth of smartphone market over the past few years. If you are among these 52 percent, you probably know how frustrating it can be: endless scrolling, tiny links and buttons… In today’s world, people are always stressed out, always in a rush, - they simply won’t wait for a slow site to load, neither will they spend hours trying to figure out how to pay for the product. You don’t want to lose potential clients simply because your website is not optimized for mobile devices!
Furthermore, with Google’s new mobile-first index, which first looks at the mobile version of the site for ranking purposes, having a functional and engaging mobile version of your site is more important than ever.
However, it is important to understand the difference between “mobile-friendly” and “mobile-optimized”. A mobile-friendly website displays accurately between you computer and a mobile device, even though it may appear smaller on the phone or tablet. Features that make a website mobile-friendly include large buttons, “light” images, and text-based phone numbers that can trigger a call from your mobile device.
While a mobile-friendly website can be perfectly functional on mobile devices, 2019 is going to be all about mobile optimization. “Mobile-optimized” means that the website will reformat itself based on the device it is viewed on. Simplified navigation menu, resized images, and re-formatted content will lead to better engagement of mobile audience, and, therefore, higher conversion rates.
5. Voice Search: The Google Mini, Siri & Alexa Domination
The rise of smart speakers is one of the most interesting digital marketing trends by far. With the latest advancements in voice automation and the increase in popularity of devices like Alexa and the Google Home Mini, voice search will have a large impact. Currently, a lot of people are not that enthusiastic about voice search. Our current devices make a lot of mistakes and still have trouble learning or remembering information. However, in 2019, marketers are expected to use voice search to the best of its ability. Most importantly, voice search leads to an increase of sales, especially retail sales.
Why is this the case?
It’s easier: For people who are always on the move, voice search is necessary. With voice command, there is no need for typing. You can get what you need with the sound of your voice.
It’s quicker: Voice searches can be made much faster than typed ones - as you talk faster than you can type.
In a study by the NPR and Edison Research, close to 40 million Americans have a smart speaker. They also found that 29% have used one to search for products and 31% have use one to add products to their cart. In addition, according to ComScore, by 2020, 50% of search queries will be done by voice command. Amazing, right?
In 2019, you can expect marketers to optimize their webpages for voice command & search. In addition, SEO specialists will have to make sure their rankings are being recognized by these smart speakers. Overall, this digital marketing trend will make a huge impact on the way marketers think about consumers.
6. New Advancements in Ecommerce
It’s no secret that ecommerce isn’t new. However, in 2019, we will see a lot of new trends surrounding it. For instance, there will be a shift to image shopping - where users can simply point their cameras at products and see them available for purchase in an online store. Digital marketers will have to get even more creative here. They will have to come up with strategies to get users to not only go to these online shops, but to move forward with the purchase.
In addition, we will also see more analytic tools for measuring ecommerce conversions. These tools will track the way users interact with 3D images and even highlight their points of interest. That being said, we will be able to gather more audience data using these tools. With this data, marketers will be able to improve their strategy when it comes to design, user experience, and engagement.
7. The Efficiency of Programmatic Advertising
The truth is no one really knew what programmatic advertising was until recently, including digital marketing professionals. However by 2019, it’s expected to be incredibly popular. Toronto companies that focus on programmatic advertising, like StackAdapt, are growing rapidly. According to CMO, two thirds of digital marketing will be programmatic this year. Programmatic ad spend will also increase by 19% globally.
Why are digital marketing companies moving towards programmatic advertising?
Transparency: Marketers can track consumer information and see exactly where their ads are showing, all in real time. There is no delay or lack in information.
Real-Time Data: Programmatic advertising is incredibly efficient. You don’t have to wait until a campaign is finished to receive data. Since it’s programmatic, you get results instantly.
Relevant Impressions: With programmatic advertising, you are less limited to opportunities and the digital ad space you purchase will only be shown to relevant consumers which will minimize overall costs.
8. An Increase in Likes, Shares, and Comments
User-generated content will be one of the top digital marketing trends in 2019. Why? It’s free and easy. When users like, comment, and share your posts, they are doing the work for marketers. They are basically increasing your marketing initiative - and marketers are not paying for it. The only thing marketers have to consider is creativity.
They need to get more and more creative each time in order to see a spike in user engagement. Social media contests will only become more popular as users will be forced to engage with posts in order to win.
Most importantly, the more user engagement a post has, the more prospective customers the brand will get. According to Bazaarvoice, 84% of millennials are likely to buy something based on the amount of user-generated content. Overall, when posts go viral, popularity and conversions increase.
9. Google’s Shake up of SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
With multiple quality, core, mobile, security and video algorithm updates this past year, Google has shown that it isn’t afraid of change and shaking things up. Traditionally, Google would show Google Ads at the top of your screen, followed by Google Maps listings, then organic listings and finally, more sponsored ads at the bottom of the page. Now, Google is playing around with SERP features and giving the most relevant results, the spotlight.
Just clicking on an organic link is no longer part of the consumer journey. Google is giving consumers more visuals to find the answers to their search queries. For “how to” searches, videos are showing up in a row above organic listings. Even news articles are being featured for searches like “Nylander Leafs”. Google has also reintroduced featured snippets and explained how to develop them for users. Snippets or Quick Answers (previous name) are a featured position above all organic search results - also called, position zero.
Interested in Stepping Up Your Marketing Game in 2019?
Xi Digital is Here to Help!
It’s normal to be a bit overwhelmed by this list of digital marketing trends to look out for. Not sure where to start? No problem - Here at Xi Digital, our team of marketing experts will guide you through the process. We will inform you of all of our strategies and give you a breakdown of what we can do for your business. 2019 is definitely the year your business hits all of its goals. At Xi Digital, we can help make that happen. From search engine optimization to web development and sponsored advertising, we’ll create a strategic plan for your business. Visit our services at https://www.xi-digital.com/digital-marketing and fill out a business assessment form for more information.