As 2018 draws to a close and the festive celebrations gather momentum, December is also traditionally the time of year when conversations centre around how fast time is passing us by – before we know it, we’ll be ringing in 2019!
Whilst others are busy putting off until 2019 what they could be doing right now, you can get one step ahead of the pack by thinking about your marketing strategy whilst the mince pies are still warm. This doesn’t mean you have to flesh it out in tiny detail, but by reflecting on your successes and areas of improvement, you can better position your company for success. An essential part of this exercise is identifying what your objectives are as this will enable you to plan the best path to reach them.
We all know the pace at which the world moves these days and trying to keep up (let alone get in front), can seem daunting. In an industry built on originality, predicting marketing trends can be tricky. There are however, some which we can confidently make for 2019 to help with your campaign planning.
1. Content will become more concise
Traditionally, long blog posts were considered very effective for SEO but with social media driving more and more traffic and engagement, unnecessarily long content is in fact doing your business a disservice. Instead, focus on shorter blogs, videos, memes and infographics to get your message across.
Knowing your audience will also assist you for example, Millennials tend to prefer videos whereas Generation X stereotypically, are more interested in white papers and case studies. Having a blend of content on the same topic or product will help bring each audience along for the ride.
2. People will become choosier about what they engage with
To stand out from the pack, you need to get creative. Don’t copy what your competitors are doing or take the ‘that’ll do for now’ approach. With so much jostling to reach your audience who have an ever-shrinking attention span, you need to make your content work harder.
There are also other ways you can achieve this such as remarketing via Google and Facebook’s display network. Be the business who keeps popping up everywhere but make sure your messaging and artwork is the best it possibly can be. It’s a fine line between being too much, and not enough. All businesses are different which is why planning campaigns properly and understanding your audience, is essential.
Think print is dead? Think again. What would you rather receive – a hard copy Christmas card in the mail, or an e-card in your junk mail? If you’ve received one of our Forte Marketing cards, you’ll understand.
3. Live streaming and video advertising will grow
Video marketing has exploded into the world of social media marketing with many sources reporting over 80% of businesses implementing it as part of their strategy. What’s interesting here is that whilst the professional promotional videos are of course useful for many companies and are still an important resource, audiences these days are just as interested in less polished pieces.
Short stories on Facebook and Instagram for example, are a quick, cheap and easy way to engage with your target audience. Live demonstrations or simple events such as unpacking the latest shipment for your shop, can also work well if approached correctly.
Facebook Live and Instagram stories continue to grow in popularity as a method to educate and engage your audience about your products or services in one take. No clever editing or smoke and mirrors required. To get the most out of this marketing tool, make sure you are well presented, you are in an area with minimal noise, and that you aren’t squinting into the sun. Have an idea of what you are going to say and keep it short, to the point and relevant to your product or service.
We also expect video signage to become more popular so if you want to really stand out, this could be the way forward for your company.
4. Marketing automation will dominate
2019 will also see a continuation in the rise of behaviour-based engagement plans. As technology moves forward and more of us live our lives online, so too does the information available on what we do when we are there.
By building an engagement plan to specifically target your customers based on their actions, you will be able to streamline your marketing budget and at the same time, provide more opportunities for your customers to hear about you.
You will no doubt have noticed the rise in the use of Chat Bots (automated conversational marketing software) as a tool to save your business time. By programming them to suit your business needs, they can respond in a similar way to a human, learning to adapt their replies to fit the situation.
Chat bots can be useful for simple marketing campaigns such as competitions, booking appointments, or buying basic items, but less effective for more expensive or complicated purchases which require a conversation with a real person.
But it’s not all about marketing – integrating your website with other business systems such as CRM (customer relationship management) and accounting software, will also deliver greater efficiencies to your business operations during 2019.
5. Let’s talk numbers
Numbers talk and understanding how your marketing is performing, will help determine which marketing campaigns or channels are more effective than others. Armed with this knowledge, you can refine your marketing strategy to suit and make your budget go further.
Through monitoring and regular reporting, you will be able to measure your success and return on marketing investment with confidence, evolving the conversation from ‘likes’ and ‘clicks’ through to leads and revenue generated. Contrary to the stereotype, marketing people do numbers too!