In 2018 we witnessed the explosion of augmented reality, platform dominance, interactive advertisements, and artificial intelligence. If trends in digital marketing over the last year showed us anything, it’s that developments are happening daily. If you’re an early adopter, you’re on the cutting edge of some pretty incredible stuff. If you’re a part of the late majority, well, you’ve got some catching up to do. As our marketing 2019 trend forecasting will show, things don’t look like they’re slowing down any time soon.
If you’ve found your way to SimpleTexting then you’re already onto something. All signs point to text marketing continuing to grow as a leading form of digital communication on all counts. Kudos to you!
Getting on board with text marketing however is just one of the many things your business can do in 2019 to elevate digital strategy and content. Because our name is SimpleTexting, not SecretTexting, we’ve decided to share with you our insights for 2019 marketing and customer service trends.
We’ll review what we foresee being the six biggest strategies used by top marketers this year as well as exploring what methods are on the outs. We’ll share some brands who are already demonstrating some cutting edge stuff as well as the tools you must have in your box for the new year.
2018 was the year where many brands found their true voice. Not only did customers come to demand this degree of personalization from companies, but they’ve also raised the bar for customer support expectations and ease of use. To help you align your marketing with these customer expectations, there are six big trends to be cognizant of this year.
Since the first-ever “Hey Siri” was uttered, the game was changed. We’ve been introduced to “Alexa”, “Hey Google”, and a host of other voice-activated characters ever since. Voice recognition has shifted from being the cool new thing to a commonplace feature. People are using voice commands now more than ever to search for answers, order products, and connect with customer support. If you want your products and services to get noticed, you need to make sure they’re optimized for voice search.
For example, create article headlines similar to what someone would ask Alexa. A good headline for the question “Hey Alexa, where can I get Italian food in Charlotte, NC” would be “The Best Place To Get Italian Food In Charlotte, NC” as opposed to “North Carolina’s Hidden Italian Gems.”
A recent study shows that many companies are still relying on first generation personalization methods, despite the increase in customer interest in more personalized content marketing. It’s more than just auto filling names into an email. Customers are trusting companies with their data, it’s up to us to not only keep it safe but to use it to provide better experiences. It’s time brands started harnessing that and sharpening their messaging to cater to and anticipate customer needs.
Well-produced content and live video are in high demand. While this isn’t new information, it has certainly been reinforced by end of the year data from leading marketers. 72% of businesses say that video has improved their conversion rate. 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. While your business might already be utilizing video, in 2019 your brand won’t be able to afford to avoid it.
By 2019 mobile devices will officially be the medium that gets the most minutes in the U.S (dethroning television for the title). We got here by, on average as U.S. adults, spending 3 hours and 35 minutes on smartphones every day. Unlike sitting and watching television, these three and a half hours occur in short bursts throughout the day and night. Checking Instagram, texting, Facebook stalking your ex because you want to make sure their dog is still doing well and getting enough attention. Whatever you’re spending your time doing, you’re only dedicating a few minutes to it each time you reach for your phone. Cue “Micro-Moments”, the consumer behavior trend coined by Google.
Your business has to create ads and content that fits into these micro-moments of attention.
There will be an estimated 2.77 billion people active on social media in 2019. Brands have already begun harnessing that power through the use of influencer marketing and social media spokespeople. However, we believe 2019 will be the year where e-commerce rises. New features will make it easier than ever to purchase goods and services directly from social media. It’s no longer enough to have an influencer showing and telling you how great a product is. The culture of immediate gratification has resulted in the need for direct action to be taken on all these platforms if these leads are to result in any monetized conversions. For example, Instagram now offers the ability to add product links to your posts and stories. Brands that take advantage of these new features will see significantly higher conversions than those that don’t.
Not unlike consumer desires for personalization, the need for brand activism will continue to grow in 2019. It’s not enough for a company to produce a satisfactory product or service, they need to stand for something. With such a polarizing social and political climate afoot, people are purchasing with their principles in mind. Last year Nike put their money where their mouth was, literally, and shelled out a boatload on a values based content marketing campaign in support of Colin Kaepernick. This mic drop set the tone for what we anticipate will be a domino effect of morals-based-marketing efforts this year.
In 2018, according to tweets about what millenials “killed”, it’s their fault we saw a decline in print media, exorcisms, and Applebees (among other things). We choose however to focus on the brighter side. There are three big marketing trends that we proudly assert will fizzle out in 2019.
Gone are the days of titillating headlines masking vapid, unoriginal copy. Consumers have gotten wise to the warning signs of clickbait and, not only will it result in fewer clicks for you in 2019, it could potentially mar your brand’s image. Platforms like Facebook have already begun phasing it out. In 2018, Facebook announced enhanced plans to punish publishers whose headlines “withhold or exaggerate information.”
Similar to clickbait, we predict that consumers have reached their absolute threshold for brands pushing out fake news. Edelman’s 2018 Trust Barometer Global Report showed that 69% of respondents believed the number one job of a CEO is to build trust in the company. This means consumers are hungry for the truth in 2019. Investments in in-house research are a must.
The reason these are on the list? They’re just not as necessary anymore. Smart marketers are getting their products into their customer’s feeds organically, not forcing them on you like the world’s worst surprise party. These trends are headed to the graveyard because there are simply better ways to do it.
Now that we’ve covered what to be looking out for this year, and what to avoid, let’s put some action to it. How do you build a strategy around these hot topics?
Stay with us, this is more than just a shameless plug. SMS campaigns remain one of the most effective ways to reach your audience with a 90% read rate within minutes of receipt and the highest engagement rates compared to channels like email and in-app messaging. Features like segmentation allow you to personalize your messaging with ease and data collection is at the core of the platform. Okay, that last part was a shameless plug, but someone has to pay the bills and we’ve got plenty of success to back up our claims.
Microsoft’s paperclip man was ahead of his time. Chatbots are very in and integrating one into your digital presence will be a win for you and your customers. For your customers, you’re creating the first line of customer support “defense” to answer their questions as quickly as possible. For you, you’re saving valuable time and effort by automating the customer support process. This allows you to weed out the easy and frequent inquiries and get to higher level requests faster.
Rather than provide merely hypothetical suggestions, we pulled together a list of some marketing leaders who are already knocking it out of the park with some of 2019’s hottest marketing trends. They each stand out for their attention to things like customer experience, content marketing strategy, and video content.
Glossier redefines simplicity with their makeup and skincare products as well as their no-fuss online presence. Since their beginnings in 2010, Glossier has created a socially driven beauty brand with a well-established identity and voice. When it comes to brands slam dunking the e-commerce game, Glossier is the gold standard.
If you’re looking for a company that’s not afraid to get active (literally and figuratively) look no further than Allbirds. They pioneered truly sustainable fashion with an entirely new category of shoes inspired by natural materials, and an ongoing mantra to create better things in a better way. They never falter from their mission and advocate for social causes that demonstrate their values.
This Application Visual Management company is changing the game when it comes to creating visual assessment tools. Their business model has latched on to a need for optimizing user experience and they are wielding their power for good by helping companies to achieve higher level user experiences within apps. They’re a team to watch this year without a doubt.
Hightower is a furniture company simply doing it right. Their glossary of digital assets, as well as product video series, gets an A+ for adapting to customer marketing needs. They anticipate needs to a degree few brands could.
Of course, when it comes to utilizing text marketing we’ve got plenty of success stories we can share to get your creative juices flowing.
We thought the perfect send-off for this piece would be a quick list of some of our favorite marketing tools that will make these marketing strategy suggestions accessible to businesses of all sizes.
Our visual world demands fresh photos, infographics, and designs. The issue, not everyone is or has access to a graphic designer. That’s where Canva comes in handy. The best way to describe it is it’s a more user-friendly alternative to Adobe InDesign. From their pre-set templates to their design tools, it’s a great way to create quick and professional images and PDFs.
SimpleTexting recently partnered with Zapier to bring its workflow technology to our own clients. If you’re a company that has an app or utilizes them, this is the tool you need to elevate your mobile capabilities. Integrate your web apps with existing workflow, automate the information that runs between various programs, and spend the rest of the time you saved innovating new solutions.
There are a lot of social media management tools out there boasting various features and capabilities. On the come up this year will be Sprout Social. Their platform is centric to the idea of using social media to deepen your brand’s connection with people. The platform itself is collaborative and it enables more efficient and strategic communications across multiple social media platforms.
The theme of 2019 is work smarter, not harder. Despite the rising evidence indicating the importance of strategic marketing, some smaller organizations are still stretched thin across marketing teams and public relations departments. This means well-vetted shortcuts that give marketers an extra hand are key. Enter, Haro. Standing for “Help A Reporter Out”, HARO is a space where you can connect with story leads and journalists in need of a quote or pitch. If you’re looking to position your brand as an industry expert, this is a goldmine of resources.
Our proverbial bags are packed and we’re ready to take on whatever 2019 may bring. To those who are already part of the SimpleTexting family, we’re excited to deliver some new and exciting developments in the new year. And to those who are considering coming aboard, we’re excited to work with you and get started!