Advertising technology and digital marketing are changing rapidly, with exciting new opportunities arising daily. Some of the dominant trends you can expect to see in 2019 are:
Video is still top of the content marketing list, and the only thing that beats it is live video or streaming. According to HubSpot, adding video to a landing page or email boosts conversions by 80% and up to 300% respectively. Video captures viewers’ short attention spans, while live streaming connects people directly to products and services. For the year ahead, originality will be critical to making live video effective.
Use it for: Interviews, Q and A, product demos and explainer videos, glimpses of what happens behind the scenes, and how your products are made.
Machine learning and AI are driving data analysis, predictive lead scoring, and content personalization, which help to improve customers’ experiences. In 2019, expect to see complex, trigger-based campaigns and deeper, more dynamic content. According to Gartner, AI chatbot technology usage will reach 25% by 2020—an increase of 23% since 2017.
Use it for: Identifying ways to inform the digital experience, combine collaborative filtering with chatbots to start conversations, and understand how consumers source solutions.
Sticking with the video trend, Instagram TV (IGTV) and Instagram Stories are expected to ride the wave for the next couple of years. With 400 million active users visiting Stories every day, IGTV gives users the ability to make longer-form footage that delivers a stronger message.
Use it for: Creating video content such as vlogs specifically for mobile, for viewing comfortably on a vertical screen.
The use of voice for communicating with virtual assistants has led the way for voice search, which now makes up 33% of Google’s daily search numbers. As AI and machine learning reduce the margin of error and improve results, we expect overall voice interaction to increase exponentially.
Use it for: Tailoring SEO for voice search or planning advertising strategies that incorporate voice optimization. These could include sponsored results for Siri and Alexa, or featured snippets.
Email marketing is enjoying a return to popularity, possibly as a result of stricter anti-spam legislation. Personalization of email content and offers triggered by the user’s browsing activities are believed to advance customer relationships by 96% of marketers.
Use it for: Delivering dynamic content to users in real-time, such as eBay does with its ‘Handpicked for You’ emails, which changes content at the time of opening to keep emails highly relevant.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in 2018, and while it’s a European Union construct it will affect U.S.-based businesses. During 2019, we expect states to increasingly require companies to make changes to privacy policies and data handling processes. Consumers will gain the right to demand companies disclose the data they gather, refuse to allow their information to be sold, and to take legal action against companies that don’t comply.
Use it for: Getting the ball rolling on improved privacy and data protection in your company, so you can be ahead on the issue.
Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH)
DOOH advertising is the convergence of traditional outdoor media such as billboards, on-car ads, and bus-stop shelters with digital technology that enables geofencing, tracking, retargeting, personalization, lead attribution and measurement. We expect 2019 to deliver personalized billboard ads as targeted customers pass, changing messages dynamically depending on time of day, weather and other factors.
Use it for: Reaching audiences outside the virtual environment with all the data-driven features of digital advertising.
Omnichannel marketing is now a core strategy brands use to engage with customers across multiple media channels. In 2019, we expect omnichannel analytics to finally become integrated with all aspects of business, ask “what if” questions, and get possible answers based on data.
Use it for: Creating data visualizations that allow executives to exercise swift decision-making, which will enable rapid improvement in customers’ experience.
Addressable or advanced TV advertising got off to a rocky start, but by December 2018 achieved reasonable scale. It’s still expensive compared with other digital advertising, but by allowing households to view messages customized to their specific tastes and lifestyle it delivers highly-targeted ads without waste. We expect to see advanced TV format grow in 2019 as users watch video more often, both on mobile devices and smart TVs.
Use it for: Targeting specific households you want to reach, then measuring your ROI through engagement, brand lift, and conversions.
As we head deeper into 2019, we’re also expecting changes in the world of programmatic ads, increased integration of print and digital environments, a rise in streaming audio and, hopefully, an increased enforcement trend to combat the rise of ad fraud. One thing that’s certain—the advertising landscape will look very different by year’s end.