As the year draws to a close we can start to look ahead at the ever-changing world of online marketing and see what trends could prove to be popular in 2019. 2018 saw all the major social media platforms make significant changes to ever improve the user experience, such as Facebook changes to the newsfeed which introduced more personal content to the consumer and less advertising, to Instagram introducing the ability to follow hashtags to improve the content shown to users. 2019 will be no different in the number of changes happening and the ability to adapt to these changes will make or break marketing strategies. Below we look at some of the predictions for the new year and suggest how businesses can use these opportunities to grow.
Video popularity increased throughout 2018 and this trend does not seem to be slowing down in the run-up to 2019. By the start of 2019 video is predicted to take up 80% of all internet consumption and this figure will keep going up. If marketers can jump on the back of the original content that is now being produced they will see increased engagement and will strengthen the relationship between the consumer and the brand. Live video will be ever more popular going into 2019 with brands choosing to show the human face of their business with content such as behind the scene videos and live streams from product launches, there is a massive opportunity for companies to increase brand loyalty through live streaming the real people behind their brand. Consumers now want to see things as they happen and not wait for an edited video to be published, so if companies can create live content that showcases their brand, they will be shown to be more authentic and consumers will have more trust in the brand. As more and more devices and platforms support video, it is very important that brands have a strategy in place for video content
The stories feature has become very popular this year and its popularity will continue to grow next year. With Instagram stories reaching 400 million active daily users and millions of daily views on Facebook stories and Snapchat, utilising stories for marketing will be an important part of an ongoing social media marketing strategy. This generation of stories consumers live on instant short-lived content, where their views can be fed back to the brand in real time. As mobile phone usage increases and attention spans for content decreases it is important to market your content appropriately and stories ability to target consumers fear of missing out has a lot of potential. With Facebook stating that stories will overtake the news feed for content consumption during 2019, it is important that brands start to think about the personal side of their brand and how they can get the human aspect of their business across to the consumer. The trick is to try new approaches to stories and see what works best for you and the fact that the content only lasts for 24 hours limits the potential damage of getting something wrong.
Chatbots and Communication
The next big focus for brands in 2019 will be real-time communication. This will be implemented through AI and chatbots and will allow businesses to instantly reply to customer questions or feedback. Social media never sleeps and consumers now expect replies from businesses straight away. Even when your business is closed consumers continue to buy your product, mention your brand and discuss your companies performance. Your ability to catch these ongoing communications and use them to your benefit will mean you will improve consumer confidence and increase the chances of a conversion. If a potential customer on Facebook asks a friend for a recommendation on a certain product, through active AI and chatbots you could steer them towards your own brand. This massively increases your reach and the potential to target customers who are enquiring about a product in your area is very exciting. The ability to also instantly answer a customer query also shows that as a company you care about your customers and will give consumers increased trust and loyalty towards your brand. In an instant world where everyone wants everything now, it is important for your brand to be able to respond accordingly.
These are just a few examples of trends to look out for in 2019 and if 2018 is anything to go by there will be more changes to all of the major platforms to keep up with the ever demanding consumer trends. Getting your social media strategy right can be tricky but if done correctly can show massive dividends. So the best place to start is to seek professional help and we have Social media experts on hand to help with any of your marketing needs, contact us for more information on our services.