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The Top Digital Trends in 2018 - We'll See Again in 2019

As 2018 has come and gone, we want to take a few moments to reflect on a few of the highlights in digital marketing this past year. At the same time, we want to offer insight on what trends we see transpiring for 2019. 

Customer Experience Success

One trend from 2018 was the implications in the online/offline customer experience and how it can influence or change your omni-channel marketing. Many firms can speak to how difficult it can be to bring together multiple teams in your business that deal with customers. This is bridging the gap from the marketing team, to IT, to customer service and sales. This past year, Jennifer Chick, VP of Digital Marketing of Hilton Hotels nailed the description: “it comes down to the shared goals and the endeavor to want to chase the customer together so I think it’s not about what department we’re in but it’s about how do we really create the connection and residents of the customer. What are all the places where the customer experiences our brand and how do we bring those things together and then how do we use technology either to enable it or to reach the customer in different ways.” 

Hilton found major success in its online/offline customer experience and as Jennifer explains it’s all about the customer experience at no matter what point of the journey their in: “thinking about all these micro moments you have with your customers where they’re experiencing your brand and how you pull that together so I think for us journey focus is really important and toggling between online and offline and trying to make our relationship with the customer very seamless so that it feels like the same brand every time they experience us no matter whether it’s on a TV add or a digital banner or even on one of properties” says Jennifer. 

Looking forward to 2019, omni-channel marketing will still be a trend for marketers. Consumers, now more than ever, are sophisticated and seek both online and offline and on many channels to find the information they seek. Initially pioneered as multi-channel marketing, it was developed to allow users to communicate with businesses through various channels, it wasn’t a true solution to a user's problem. Omni-channel marketing provides your users a better experience – throughout their journey whether its online or offline – that is seamless and consistent in its messaging and brand across all channels.

Video Continues to Be Overlooked 

Although everywhere you look, video, video and video were pushed as the key marketing strategy call businesses should have adopted for 2018. However, the use of video in marketing is still relatively underrated – or simply not attempted. Now, to all their own, there are many reasons why marketers may not have adopted this tactic (like money or resources) but if you could guarantee that 92% of your content would be shared, would you get into video marketing?  

This past year, we spoke with Allison Abraham Simpkins, SVP of North America for Valtech who felt video would be the most transformative digital marketing trend: "if I look at a trend for 2019, I think video. I think video specifically because customers want to be able to find, consume, and share, really informative and animated content in the fastest possible way, we have short attention spans these days. If you can do that, and people show that video is a faster path to purchase so if you've got a really good video strategy and you're giving engaging content to your consumers and you're driving that path to purchase or whatever your end goal is, I think that's a big win for you. It doesn't mean that things like voice, because we know voice will be the hot topic and is the hot topic, I think they say that statistically, by 2022, 50% of homes are going to have some kind of smart speaker. So, I am not saying you can’t look at those and start strategizing on those but, if you haven’t got a video strategy of how your consumers are consuming animated good content, I think you’re missing the boat.” 

Looking forward to 2019, video marketing will continue to be a trend in digital marketing. With platforms like Netflix, YouTube, Facebook Live, and Instagram Stories, the video trend will continue to see more growth. More and more marketing content will be adopting video, more so users will see an increase of businesses using live video for marketing purposes. 

Did you know: according to Cisco, 82% of internet traffic will be through video by 2021. Don’t wait till 2021, you can start taking advantage of the trend now through live video. Benefits include: 

  • It’s authentic – Users can see and feel the brand in a way different than feeling something edited 

  • It's cheaper – Yes, production of videos can be expensive, however live video can save money and by finding someone in your team who can do it easily  

  • Its’ instant – What's the saying FOMO – live video can give users a thrill or fear of missing out on something live 

Not sure where to start with video? Use it when you are hosting an event or attending an event or use it for launching products. Alternatively, have content that could make a good video – more users prefer watching videos – Pro Tip: ensure you add proper captions so people can still get the content of your video if they can't have audio!  

Ending Notes 

One of the biggest takeaways for me in 2018 when it comes to digital marketing was the increase in automation you are seeing at all levels of the digital journey. Marketing automation aside which has been around for years, and the vergence of AI has been quite impressive as well as the rapid adoption of marketers using it. Second, was truly the upward swing in video adoptions for users and the slower acceptance of businesses to use it for their digital marketing purposes.

Looking forward to 2019, I am excited to continue to write on this topic, discuss the trends and reflect this time next year on my key takeaways and discuss 2019. 

 

Lynette Sawyer

Lynette Sawyer

Lynette Sawyer is a Web Project Manager for Falcon-Software, a digital web agency founded in 1994. For the last 13-years Lynette has been in various digital capacities and her expertise goes beyond Project Management. Lynette brings experience and knowledge in graphic design, marketing communications, project management, product management and engagement.

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