Let’s face it, this year has been tough for small businesses’ marketing endeavors. From the privacy and data breaches with Facebook and Google to the emergence of influencer marketing and voice search, it’s difficult to keep up with the constant changes and consumer concerns. But with a new year just around the corner, it’s the perfect time for Bay Area businesses to evaluate the successes and failures of this year’s marketing efforts and develop a strong strategy for 2019.
Here are five trends to start incorporating into your marketing strategy:
Trust & Transparency
In the past, marketing and sales teams have been viewed as deceitful and willing to do or say whatever it takes to close the deal. With false advertising, click bait, hidden fees, and unethical sales tactics, it’s no wonder consumers are weary of flashy ads. Steering away from traditional marketing techniques, customers today are drawn to companies that value honesty, even if it means admitting to a mistake or addressing negative feedback. The brands that show transparency in their products, policies, and corporate dealings gain trust and form long-term relationships with consumers.
With so much technology and automation, consumers are drawn to brands that express a human sentiment in their content, purpose, and interactions with their customers. For 86% of consumers, authenticity is an important factor when deciding which brands to support. People want to do business with people, not machines. This makes it vital for companies to express their personality, share user-generated content, and market the experience customers will receive using the product or service rather than just marketing the availability and cost. Tapping into influencer marketing and sharing reviews and posts from fans generates a more genuine brand.
Video & Voice
Video will continue to grow and act as a compelling way for brands to share content. With the decreasing attention span of consumers, short videos spanning 10-30 seconds will be more effective at engaging viewers. Voice will also become more prevalent in how searches are performed. Currently, there are approximately 3.5 billion Google searches conducted every day, with one third of them performed via voice search. And that number is expected to increase to 50% of all searches by 2020. Optimizing content and websites for voice searches will help businesses increase awareness and drive traffic online and in-store.
AI & Chatbots
While many businesses are wary of implementing artificial intelligence into their marketing tactics, chatbots have proven to be a reliable and efficient tool with the capability of infusing the brand’s humor and personality into responses. And surveys show that consumers don’t mind them either. In fact, 70% of consumers reported a positive experience with chatbots and a further 9% were mutual about the experience. Additionally, chatbots can be used in messaging apps to send automated marketing messages to customers, providing links to products with discount codes or limited time promotions. With an 80% click-through rate on Facebook messenger, there’s a significant potential for new customer acquisition as well as continued customer service.
By now, most businesses have optimized their website to be mobile-friendly but creating a marketing strategy that targets mobile users will be just as important. Consumers are spending 80% of their social media time on a mobile device, and 88% who use their mobile device to search for a local business are visiting the location within 24 hours. Developing a strategy for social media marketing and mobile advertising will help businesses reach consumers where they are spending a bulk of their time every day.
These are just a few of the most prominent marketing trends we can expect to see in the coming months. Contact The Light Digital for help finding the right marketing tactics for your 2019 goals.