As we approach the new year; let’s reflect on a few business trends – particularly marketing and social media trends that have been a hit in the year of 2018 and are projected to continue to be so in the new year of 2019.
Marketing is an integral element of any business strategy due to this area of business being the only department that is going to bring you profit.This is due to the sales generated from promoting and selling your product to your target audience.
Let’s commence with influencer marketing! This marketing trend has been on the rise this year and will continue to be so. Influencer marketing is essentially about building relationships with influencers (who have used or interacted with the brand) which are most likely to build relationships for you. Typically, an influencer is defined as an individual who has the power, or ‘influence’, to affect purchase decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge or relationship with their audience
Some brands have chosen to go for this form of marketing simply because the influencers are able to tap into their target audience better than they maybe could themselves via blogs, vlogs and their own social media platforms. What brands tend to do is move the focus more to allowing influencers to do the selling for them, the brand just has to provide some monetary (or sometimes non-monetary) incentives. This marketing strategy is popular with advertisers simply because influencers are able to reach a wide target audience without having to do much since most of the time they already have a huge following of potential customers. all they have to do is honestly sell the brands product and/or service.
People these days never tend to try or buy something new without reading reviews. Reviews are used as social proof which is extremely important. For nearly a whopping 9 in 10 customers; an online review is just as important as a personal recommendation. So no wonder why this trend has been popular throughout this year and years to come due to the credibility and trust it makes a business. 72% of businesses say that online reviews make them trust a business more! Not surprising huh? People want to know that your product/service has worked for others before they take the gamble on your business and buy from you. So this is why reviews on your social media pages and Google My Business is imperative! People are increasingly expecting local businesses to have a Google My Business account with all their important information as well as reviews! It improves local search visibility and in return will generate your business website/landing page more clicks.
Live videos such as Instagram stories, Snapchat stories and Facebook live are so much more popular then general posts because of it’s original live format. Holding live Q&A’s, interviews with influencers, live shows etc is definitely what people these days are looking for. I know we sure do at Yahya Consultants. Nearly 2 billion people have watched a live Facebook video, with 150 billion reactions on Facebook live. This means that increasingly personal content is on the rise. It has taken a lot to convince consumers this year and that will be sure to remain the case. Generic, plain stock images just won’t cut it anymore. Videos will continue to dominate the social media industry. This is because the digital era that we live in is so instant and saturated; users will want to see events and performances at their fingertips immediately – preferably in video format. It encourages engagement and awareness for your brand. However don’t forget – it’s not as simple as just going live, you have to be able to deliver exciting, engaging live content that people actually want to see.
With voice search we have been seeing an increase in the popularity of voice search as people these days cannot be bothered to type anymore. They want to be able to speak freely – since most us can speak quicker than we can type. So speaking just makes everything that much more convenient. This is why voice search will continue to be a success amongst the trends of 2019. Did you know that 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day?! Crazy huh? Seeing that it wasn’t such a hit just a couple of years ago. There are 3 types of voice search queries which have made the lives of many way easier! These are: Transactional, informational and navigational. Transactional is for those who want tickets to a movie for example. Informational is for those wanting answers to their questions and finally navigational is if you require the IPA (Intelligent Personal Assistant) to open an app on your phone for you. So due to the convenience and instantaneous nature of voice search it will continue to be a hit.
Everyone knows that having a good customer service process in place is an integral element to the success of any business. However most customers these days are wanting to communicate with companies that deliver 24/7 customer service through chat. They don’t want to be waiting on hold for hours on end just to sort out a simple query they may have.
Chatbots also help improve bounce rate for your website. As visitors are more likely to spend more time on your website. The beauty of chatbots in the marketing world is it’s round the clock service. It is available 24 hours a day – 365 days of the year. Chatbots can be easily accessed by users who are increasingly moving away from traditional phone inquiries (which is almost everyone if you come to think of it) and want everything accessible from their mobile phones. Facebook reported that they now see 100,000 monthly active bots on Facebook Messenger, offering a whole new platform for marketers to connect with audiences. You can find out how to make a chatbot for your business here.
Social media trends
Social media marketing is an essential centerpiece of any businesses marketing strategy. The world we live in is increasingly becoming more and more digital; which is why we recommend that all businesses have a social media marketing strategy due to users moving away from being receptive to traditional forms of advertising and becoming accustomed to online advertising instead as most of us spend most of our time on our phones and not really reading newspapers or watching TV, due to most of being on the go and wanting easy access to the online world – our phones.
Snapchat’s shoppable ads
This has been and will continue to be a hit for e-commerce businesses. The feature on snapchat which allows users/viewers to tap directly onto a brands product/service landing page deems popular. Not only because it makes life easier for the user but it’s also a very savvy, enticing way to market to your target audience. Most of us these days want to make quick and effortless actions which snapchat ads allows. What makes this feature so unique and popular is the fact that users can access a website’s business without leaving the app. It sure is time and money well spent when advertising to Snapchats monthly user base of 180 million +!
Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook stories have led to the popularity of ephemeral content. This type of content is more authentic than your regular post that has beencarefully constructed, edited and posted. Raw, unedited content is popular for a reason & that is because they are authentic and more enticing and we believe that will continue to be a hit with users. What many brands tend to do is use their Instagram and Facebook profile for their best, high quality content and their stories for their real-time content. The FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) element of ephemeral content encourages the user to pay close attention so that viewers don’t miss out on what’s happening due to the content usually disappearing after 24 hours. And so because of the nature of this, it makes followers take fast action and enables a business to gain from it. Obviously, your images, videos and CTA’s should be appealing in order to entice your viewers and encourage interest in order for them to engage and take desirable action.
This has been another hit this year for businesses and will continue to be so. Instagram has introduced a TV feature almost like ‘Social TV’ we like to call it. It’s the opposite of Instagrams limitation of one-minute videos on feeds. Videos can last up to an hour long with IGTV. This feature is used to promote long-form video content. Features such as these will continue to boost Instagram’s popularity amongst users in 2019, opening new avenues of social media marketing as businesses are able to host interviews, seminars, product how-to’s etc. on this platform without being limited on time.
So there you have it! These are just a few trends to look out for as you think ahead for the end of this year and into the next. Remember, there’s not a single “right way” to build a marketing strategy, however these tips can aid you in deciding what elements to consider due to popularity, the current and future trends.