2019 is now here so it’s timely to bring up the likely online trends in digital marketing for this year:

Chatbots

It’s the one feature most (small) business owners seem loathe to install on their site but it’s something they have probably used themselves on other websites and never realised they’re talking to a chatbot!

I’m not a fan and always feel cheated if I think a bot is serving me online but if it frees you or a staff member up handling enquiries via your website then from a business sense it’s worth the investment.

I think the trend for using chatbots – even on small business websites – will gradually increase in 2019.

This site has a useful guide for more information on chatbots (though you will need to hand over your telephone and email details to get it)

Voice Search

I still see many people using their fingers and thumbs whilst Googling on their smartphone and watch them stumbling trying to fix their typos…. Such a waste of their time… if only they started using voice search… they’ll find they are in a search that much faster.

People I talk to still have a privacy issue letting Google monitor them via the microphone on their phones, likely due to previous bad press. On the other hand, Amazon sold out of Alexa’s over Christmas which is generally only controlled by voice, so this may lower people’s resistance and encourage them to make greater use of voice search.

With the increase in popularity and usage of products like Alexa. Now is the time to consider what you can do to optimise your website for voice search.

Video for Websites

I thought that online video would have seen demand really take off for many small businesses in 2018 but for many of my smaller clients, I am still finding a perceived high ticket price for creating a video a serious barrier to entry. We had a small number of customers take up video for their websites using third-party producers in 2018, but for many, their marketing budgets couldn’t accommodate the quotes they were getting.

With the improvement in video quality on smartphones, I also felt business owners would be keen to have a go at creating their own (live) videos and post on social media. This trend did not seem to emerge either.

However, the clients of ours who did have a go at creating video experienced the results, with an explainer video receiving over 1,500 views on social media. This was a perfect way to increase brand awareness and demonstrate expertise.

I’m going to stick my neck out and say for those who can offer videos for around £1500 will do very well in 2019, but in my experience, video’s coming in at this price are either very basic or not as well produced. It is still a case of you get what you pay for (very much like websites in the end).

But don’t forget there are low-cost alternatives if you are willing to put in the time.

Has Facebook Peaked? Will LinkedIn Gain More Popularity?

Facebook is still proving popular to communicate with potential customers, I have however seen some clients ask to move their budget for Facebook over to LinkedIn though only based on their perception there is more going on in terms of professional user activity.

At the end of 2018 LinkedIn announced they had redeveloped their business pages. The changes now allow people to engage more as a business. These changes are likely to help improve the performance of LinkedIn business pages making them an effective choice for businesses, especially those in the B2B sector.

Facebook though still dominates, certainly when marketing to consumers, but with all the recent privacy issues and data breaches in 2018 I feel more people will spend less time on the social media platform… I know I do.

Instagram is increasingly popular, with over 1 billion users, so some companies may head to advertising on this platform BUT choose where you want to advertise carefully, it does seem Facebook is more popular with older users (who may run businesses, be decision makers or have more cash)

Tell us your thoughts

Let us know what your thoughts are on digital marketing trends for 2019!

If you are thinking about how you can incorporate digital marketing into your 2019 marketing strategy and plans, then get in touch with our team on 01793 766040.

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