2018 has not really been a great year for digital marketers.
For one, it turns out video is not really as hot as everyone thought it was. Blame wonky Facebook data for that.
Then, a number of influencers were discovered to be inflating their fan numbers – bad news for brands that paid big money for authentic engagement.
Oh, and trying to build organic reach is like climbing a greased pole – the more marketers flail, the further down it slides.
With all the bad news, you’d think we’d be quite depressed. But the reason why we’re not sitting in a circle with our heads in our hands is simple – we knew this was coming. This is an inevitable effect of the supersonic growth of digital marketing, and the old ways don’t work anymore – not without significant tweaking, at least.
2019 is going to be an interesting year for digital. Here are some of our hints, tips and observations to survive and thrive in the next 14-odd months.
Chatbots were never going to be the one-size-fits-all, greatest-thing-since-sliced-bread solution some hyped them up to be. But they are great assistants, and brands that incorporate them in their website live chats and Facebook messengers will have a clear advantage. Check out this blog where we go into greater detail why we feel bots are a still a game changer.
What does this mean for you? It means that you, the marketer, need to set up a chatbot on at least a couple of channels. The algorithm behind chatbots become smarter with use, so the sooner you implement a chatbot strategy, the better it will serve you in the long run.
Digital privacy has been a hot-button issue for a couple of years now. The modern consumer is a lot more aware of how their data is used. They are still willing to share but want real value in return, which is where personalization comes in.
According to the “State of the Consumer” report by Salesforce, 57% of consumers polled said they are willing to share data as long as they get personalized offers and discounts in return. Another survey by SmarterHQ focused on millennials and discovered that they are even more comfortable with sharing data. 70% of respondents said they would prefer to receive personalized content based on data they provided.
What does this mean for you? It means you need to take another look at how you collect and use data. Focus on the quality of newsletters you send out. Create more granular ad campaigns. Make sure you create as many segments as you practically can, and create unique content for each. That’s how you get attention.
We love social media, but it’s become a tough playing field. Both Instagram and Twitter are simply firehoses of content, and it’s better to hire a town crier than depend on Facebook’s organic reach. Yes, social media is largely paid to play, but brands that stand out will successfully claim the oh-so-precious audience attention. For this, you need content that stops thumbs on their tracks.
Thumb-stoppers are content that pop. Gimmicks like 360-degree photos and videos, or Facebook’s new 3D photos are great for this. Yes, they will get old with time, so it’s important for marketers to see what these platforms are offering and be agile to platform changes.
What does this mean for you? It means you need to consciously make a place in your content calendar for these thumb-stoppers. The quality over quantity rule still applies, but don’t be afraid to repost content that does well. You also need to monitor platform changes closely and move fast when they occur.
Half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Mobile penetration in economies like Europe and the Americas is hovering around 75%. Yes, you probably already have a mobile-optimized, responsive website, but have you considered speed?
Here’s how important speed is. Nearly half the people in a recent survey by Gomez.com and Akamai said they expected a page to load in 2 seconds or less. And if it takes more than 3 seconds, 40% respondents said they simply abandon the page.
For every second delay, the conversion rate of a page goes down by 7%. Now load your page up on a mobile device with a crappy connection, and do a bit of mental maths. That’s how much business you are losing out on.
In 2019, users will have even less patience for websites that are slow to load. Search engines will also continue to be harsher on such pages. On the web, speed matters, and every second shaved off the load time results in increased customer happiness.
In part 2 of the blog, we will discuss, the elephants in the room – Influencers, paid media and video. Meanwhile, talk to us for your digital marketing needs. That way, you can completely ignore this blog and let US handle all the hard work.