Movies are now blending reality and fiction. Numerous aspects of artificial intelligence and machine learning are slowly becoming integrated into our lives. This is especially true for online inventories as programs and algorithms continue to improve. Notably, there will likely be more development on optimizing both recommendations based on past actions and purchases, and improving relevant results based on web searches. Amazon, Walmart, and other online storefronts will be prominent companies working on this.
With the many data scandals of 2018, consumers are demanding more transparency around use of their data. No one wants to be exposed for a bad decision they made regarding one New Years Eve party. You know, the one where that person superglued beer cans to their hands and pretended to be a jedi—while yelling at everyone from the roof they had the high ground. However, people do want to know how AI’s and marketing agencies will be using their data to make decisions. Facebook is already going to be rolling out a “clear history” feature later this year based on last year’s breach of data. It will allow users to clear info given by Facebook to third-party apps and websites. Expect other countries to also garner more rules for 2019 around data usage like the GDPR rules in Europe.
Smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home will also be important for marketing and marketing agencies. Because they connect to so many services (and have become much more affordable) they have had a huge rise in popularity. Spotify, Netflix, Google Search Results and more can all be connected to these speakers to more easily link people to what they need. Companies can get on board with advertising through these speakers by optimizing their content and website for voice search and FAQ subject matter.
While it might seem like you need to be posting something every day to stay relevant, good, well-thought-out content stands out more and will keep people engaged. Vast quantities of bland, uninspired writing only drives people away when they realize there isn’t any substance behind it. Posting consistently is also important since it can improve the ranking of your content as well. Expect to see fewer posts by companies (and marketing agencies on their behalf), but better quality content produced by them overall.
While people will typically spend longer on a desktop site than a mobile site, they will more often turn to a mobile device to quickly check something. People want to know how to fix a squeaky door, why millennials are the worst generation (fun fact: they’re not), and if the bread they are eating is actually gluten-free. Smartphone voice search (like smart speakers) is also on the rise. Voice search has increased the use of long-tail keywords (longer keyword phrases used less commonly and with specific intention) affecting how search results are shown. Because voice search is so specialized, marketing factors like meta-descriptions for websites may need to be optimized for voice searches to keep up with this trend.
Video has proven to be a medium not limited to just YouTube and it’s not going away anytime soon. More than any other medium, video content has proven to be the most engaging with almost all audiences; expect to see videos being the most popular form of media for marketing in 2019. With the ability to have access to creating good quality video, even from phones, making marketing content has never been easier. With several social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram’s ability to take live video from anywhere, live-streaming has taken off. Expect to see more businesses going live over video streams during activities, events, and announcements.
Overall, data transparency and optimization of existing technology will likely be the biggest trends in 2019 everyone, especially marketing agencies, will need to stay on top of. Newer platforms are now settling in with their audiences, so this year will likely involve more optimization than innovation. It’s also important to people they understand how platforms are using their data—it will be more important than ever companies disclose how they use customer data to maintain trust in their brand.