By David Gutierrez.
As of June 2018, 4.2 billion people had access to the Internet—in other words, about 55 percent of the entire population of the world. And this percentage is growing with every passing year, which means digital marketing should be at the forefront of any promotional strategy because it is universal, affordable, and will only grow in importance.
Engaging in social listening means going one step further than merely maintaining the presence of your brand on social media. It means that in addition to having a presence and engaging with your customers on social networks, you also use monitoring tools to actively crawl the web and social media platforms looking for any mentions of your brand.
You should be watching not just for @ or hashtag mentions, but to all instances where somebody drops the name of your company or product in conversations, on blogs, news websites. etc.. Such mentions may have different value—from signaling the interest in buying your product to expressing dissatisfaction with the way you do business.
Currently, social media is primarily used for customer service (i.e., you notice somebody complaining about a problem, and your customer support immediately responds offering a solution), but other applications are going to grow in 2019 significantly.
Personalizing the Customer Experience
Every customer and prospect is unique. In the past, it was okay to divide them into groups based on age, gender, income, and other factors, but it was always done with understanding that any division of this kind is artificial by definition.
In reality, no two people interacting with your business in any way are entirely alike. Some are genuinely willing to make a purchase or find out more about your company; others want to make money online fast reviewing your product/website or to taking your survey; still, others want to compare your products with those of other companies. Now it’s finally possible to differentiate between visitors on a deeper level, making personalized offers based on the history of prior interactions between you and the customer.
Video content has been dominating the web for years, and its popularity continues to grow as broadband and cellular network speeds increase. However, in 2019 we are going to see even greater attention paid to live videos.
These have been fairly popular on YouTube for a long time, and now this trend moved on to other social media, such as Facebook and Instagram—to the extent that many platforms these days notify us when this or that person of interest goes live.
Live video feeds add authenticity and trustworthiness to a brand image because they are perceived as more natural than pre-recorded ones . What’s even more attractive about them from the point of the content creator is that the audience tends to be fairly forgiving about quality issues in live videos; people understand they are spontaneous and unpolished.
Influencer Marketing Going Micro
We all know social media stars with hundreds of thousands of subscribers who play essential roles in their respective industries. These top–tier influencers have already become a well-recognized part of the digital marketing ecosystem. However, with their insane popularity come insane pricing of their advertising, putting the cost out of reach for many small to midsized businesses.
That’s why many smaller companies are turning to so-called micro-influencers. Unlike major influencers, they have much smaller audiences—often less than 10,000—but these audiences are often highly engaged and are interested in everything such influencers have to say.
Customers are no longer satisfied with waiting for hours or days to receive an answer to their queries. Success with digital marketing and online business generally now depends on real-time communication, achieved through 24-hour customer support, chatbots, and constant monitoring of social media. For now, clients are impressed with a rapid reaction—but in 2019, near-instantaneous response is likely to become the norm.
These are, of course, not the only trends to watch in the coming year. But they are a good place to start.
David Gutierrez started his career as a web designer in 2005. In 2012 he founded a creative design agency. Now it serves clients all over the world across multiple industries with a specific focus on FMCG and Fin-Tech.