2019 is just around the corner. And with it comes the usual round of predictions – the products, approaches and technologies we’ll need if we want to keep pace with a rapidly-evolving marketing landscape.
How do you pick out the nuggets from the noise? Here we’ve done the hard work for you, focusing in on the digital marketing trends you really need to know about. Read on to keep one step ahead over the coming year.
A real buzzword, and not just in marketing. Themes of transparency and trust are evident across business, possibly nowhere more so than in financial services. The recent launch of the Cost Transparency Initiative, with its planned templates for communications on fees and charges, is just one example of the ways that trust is becoming central to marketing compliance.
The benefits of using storytelling to create compelling content are well known. Authenticity is absolutely central to this. Who is going to believe your stories if they come from an inauthentic place? Your brand needs to stand for something.
Smart speakers are changing the nature of search. Voice search is exploding – a report this time last year included a prediction that by 2020, half of all searches will be voice searches.
How does this affect your marketing? Well, first, the nature of voice searches is different to written ones. You may need to think about the phrases and terms you want to rank for, to make sure they keep pace with changing search behaviours.
Second, you need more than ever to be at the top of the rankings. Whereas Google may show dozens of results for every search query, Siri will only show a small number. If you are not among that top few, your site may as well not exist. Make sure your site includes the high quality content that’s so important in the era of SEO and revisit the 6 SEO factors you need to think about to improve your rank.
While AI may not be used to its fullest extent in B2B, there are definitely signs that things are moving in this direction. So-called robo-advice in financial services is probably the clearest example of this.
Consider whether there are ways you can adopt AI in a way that genuinely helps your customers. Remember, usability is key – introducing technologies for the sake of it is counter-productive. But with customers driving much of today’s digital disruption, if AI is something your customers truly want, look at whether you can make use of it.
Hardly a trend, you might say – social media marketing is pretty much embedded into almost every firm’s marketing strategy. But today’s world no longer means pinning your colours to the mast of a single platform. You need a multiple-platform strategy, to reflect the different users and expectations of the various channels.
Someone will look for different content on Twitter than on Facebook, Linkedin or Instagram. You need an omni-channel approach to ensure you’re posting the best content on the most appropriate platform.
If you’re using influencer marketing, make sure you’re compliant with the new CAP rules. And whichever platforms you use, ensure you make the most of the data your social media strategy gives you to optimise your content strategy.
What’s micro-content marketing? It relates to the growth in searches – vocal and traditional – for ‘how to’ content. I want to know… I want to do… I want to buy.
These very specific searches can be a real boost to marketers. If you can tap into consumers’ desires for targeted content, you’ll fulfil a genuine need. ‘How to’ guides, videos, podcasts – all content you can produce to answer your clients’ and customers’ questions.
Our guide to creating compliant videos and podcasts has good tips if you want to go down this route.
Search continues to evolve
Google continually refines its approach, aiming to give users a better search experience. In 2019, its Speed Update, launched this year, will continue to be a key development for marketers.
‘Digital experience’ – another identified trend – has speed at its heart. People expect to see their web requirements fulfilled quickly, whether that is the speed the site loads or the speed at which they can complete a transaction.
Factors like whether your site is mobile-friendly also determine the experience your users have – and therefore how well you rank in search. You can read more here about how Google ranks your content.
Get your digital ducks in a row for 2019
With professional services marketers often seen as being behind the curve when it comes to digital transformation, is 2019 the year to up your game? If so, our resource library has lots of downloadable content to support you. For starters, why not read our 10 ways to make your website mobile-friendly, to get you a step ahead in search engine rankings. You can download a free copy here.
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