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Advertising has certainly come a long way over the last few centuries, decades, and years. Though it might not seem like major changes occur year after year, effectively shaking up the marketing sector as a whole, thanks to all these technological advancements over the years, the entire digital landscape can be revolutionized with a single emerging trend.
We asked a few digital marketing industry professionals about what’s expected for 2019 and beyond — here are the notable digital marketing trends to keep an eye out for:
Strong and Quality Content
Although much has been said about the importance of quality in the SEO and digital sector, for the foreseeable future, content remains king — and quality content is what truly separates marketers and organizations from the rest of the pack. If you’re not including content marketing in your seo proposals, then you’re losing out.
“2019 will be an important year in terms of quality pages. It will be a key factor when it comes to implementing the Google search quality guidelines,” said Bernat Guitart of AppFutura. “Terms like Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness will be key factors to increase our SERPs websites visibility. These factors are specially important if you are in the Health or Finance industry, but applicable to all other sectors.”
“In 2019, the relentless march towards quality will continue; better businesses, better websites, and better rank will continue to converge,” added Ben Carter of Local Adworks. “Businesses that fail to appreciate that will not fail to understand the difficulty of building castles on sand. We expect the combined power of Social media marketing and review marketing to be the essential element of the holistic approach that is now required, voice search will present more longtail opportunities for all businesses and those looking to upset the status quo would do well to focus on it.”
“To put it simply, the most effective SEO strategies (2019 onwards) will increasingly revolve around producing high-quality content and conducting sufficient media outreach,” said Sullivan Geneau of Jelly Marketing. “For content, websites must focus on understanding their audiences and user intent. Content must solve the reasons users came to your site in the first place and solve those problems more effectively than the competition. With quality content, media outreach becomes a piece of cake as everyone aches to link to valuable content. Solve users’ problems and users will come!”
Google Map Listings
National and international searches will likely gain more prominence as the years go by, but local search is still crucial to the industry as a whole. As Google continues to evolve, Google Map listings will become even more important for organizations to get noticed, both in the digital world and the real one, as well.
“Up to 60% of consumers are converting on Google Local Map listings without actually visiting a Local Service Provider’s website,” said Keith Eneix of Fannit. “In 2019 buying habits continue to change due to the millennials greater need for social analytical data to backup a positive buying experience as well as their adaption to the Internet of Things and Voice Search. Local Service Providers will find more competition than ever with SEO driving them to invest in more paid search opportunities with Google, social, and popular directories who provide social proof with top organic positions.”
Video might not seem like it’s a revolutionary new trend, but this technology is rapidly advancing and gaining serious momentum within the digital marketing sector. Whether it’s Vlogging, live videos on social media, or high-tech 360-degree videos, this technology isn’t going anywhere.
“It’s been over a decade since Google bought YouTube, and the importance of online video in SEO increases every year,” said Tim Priebe of T&S Online Marketing. “And 2019 will continue that growth! To capitalize on SEO with video, be sure to create videos based on what people are actually searching for, add value to those topics, be succinct, and publish videos consistently.”
Google My Business Reviews
In order for an organization to garner any kind of success in 2019 and beyond, they must have a strong reputation. After a quick Google search, if customers notice dozens of negative reviews and comments, they might hesitate to do business with that particular company.
“One of the latest trends that are showing a significant boost in SEO and local is regular posting to your GMB,” said Christopher Rismay of Web Design Plus SEO. “Guiding your clients into how to give you reviews that are keyword rich with things like the service, city and experience help your business stand out and get the review featured in the Google search.”
Email might seem like an antiquated approach, as well, but it’s better than ever. Email is still the easiest way for professionals to effectively communicate. Also, platforms like Gmail have revamped themselves and now offer all kinds of digital benefits for both consumers and businesses alike.
“As organic SEO and Social Media gets more crowded, we’re steering our B2B clients towards cold email outreach, which we’ve used with great success,” said Arnie Singer of Onrush Digital. “I think email remains the communication tool of choice for professionals, and their inbox is a great place to try and get their attention. But the emails have to be short and well written to get past spam filters and elicit a response. Email is still the most effective method to reach new clients, with a conversion rate 40 times greater than social media.”
Accountability ties into an organization’s reputation. A company could have the best product or service in the world and plenty of financial backing, but they won’t be able to survive in the competitive marketplace if they are not accountable.
“I think customers are going to start demanding more accountability from their SEO companies,” said Donna Duncan of B-SeenOnTop. “Google has become much better at understanding what searchers really want when they type in a search query and who, among the competition, is best able to deliver. The vast majority of ‘black-hat’ (unsanctioned by Google) cheats, tricks and shortcuts no longer produce sustained results. SEO customers are becoming savvy to the trend and will no longer accept ‘SEO is a process that takes time’ as an excuse. They are going to want to see evidence that tactics adhere to Google guidelines and SEO best practices, and produce sustained and compounding value over time.”
According to CTIA, 6 billion SMS messages are sent each day in the United States. That’s over 2.27 trillion messages each year. Organizations will certainly find ways to take advantage of the popularity of texting now and in the future.
“There are a lot of digital marketing trends becoming popular especially for Millenials nowadays one is using messaging app, making a short true-to-life human stories, local search and another is gaming,” said Ronnie Mabalot of Pinoy Bisnes. “These are ever-changing trends that marketers should focus on in coming years. They should create content that are original, informative, engaging and making the people better.”
Podcasting has become extremely popular across the United States. As of June 2018, Apple confirmed that there are over 550,000 active podcasts offering content in more than 100 languages. It might be a little difficult for a digital marketing podcast to reach the top 10, but organizations can certainly get creative with this medium.
“I see more and more people subscribing to and really listening to podcasts,” said Keri Jaehnig of Idea Girl Media. “Content subscriptions are getting good attention. And live video. Brands that find a way to make those marketing channels work for them will find wins with customers and potential customers. For those hesitant to try those options, most will have Facebook Pages where it would be easy to experiment with Live broadcasts on-Page and in Stories. These videos can then be embedded into your business blog. Which keeps moving content on your blog, gets good attention from your audiences, and contributes positively to SEO.”
AI was once a distant dream, only talked about in science fiction circles, but it’s gaining some serious momentum nowadays. Researchers and innovators are working tirelessly to develop new ways to utilize AI across all industries, not just digital marketing.
“Recession is coming in 2019; the legal pie is shrinking, yet becoming more competitive,” said Richard Jacobs of Speakeasy Marketing. “Artificial intelligence is becoming critical to maintaining top rankings in Google search for attorneys.”
Mobile First Indexing and Long-Form Content
You’re already aware that content is essential, but companies are shifting and focusing more on longer pieces rather than short, concise posts. Additionally, since just about everyone over the age of 2 years old possesses a smartphone, mobile first indexing is a must, as well.
“The biggest change in 2018 was mobile first indexing, and although it was expected, we see a lot of companies still playing catch-up in 2019. How your website is designed on a mobile device is the first thing Google looks at when determining rankings. Also tied to that is Page Speed, which continues to be weighted more each year,” said Jennifer Suárez of Department of Marketing.
“Another trend we’re seeing is the shift in content from short-form blog post to long-form pieces with multiple photos and outbound links. Businesses need to create thoughtful and useful posts instead of churning out entries just to have content.”
Earned Media and Strong Links
This trend isn’t exactly a revolutionary breakthrough since strong links have been essential for years, but its importance should not be overstated. Strong, legitimate links need to be found not just on sites but within content, as well.
“The value of earned media and the strong links they deliver can no longer be ignored. We recommend personalized outreach to the authors and editors with a short, concise description of your client and various ways we may be able to help,” said Todd William of Reputation Rhino. “For example, we can offer an exclusive interview, an expert quote or analysis for an upcoming article, or simply provide background for a story. It is particularly important to understand the number of unsolicited pitches these individuals encounter daily and articulate clearly why our client is unique. #MeToo may be an effective awareness movement, but for public relations, it is a certain way to get your pitch ignored, so be unique and offer something no one else can. It is also helpful to develop a communications strategy that segments your target market so you can reach out to publications that serve that market. For example, developers and programmers may be interested in a certain kind of content, but investors something entirely different. One-size does NOT fit all.”
Trust ties together under all above-mentioned trends. An organization needs a strong reputation, quality content, and, above all, trust from its followers. Without trust nothing can be achieved — not even in the high-tech world of digital marketing.
“The number one digital marketing trend for 2019 is Trust,” added Riley Kearl of CMO4Hire. “Increasing customer trust through their sales funnel journey. By providing trusted content and engaging through multiple touchpoints will give you the trust outcomes and sales you are looking for.”
Some of these changes will have much more significant impacts on the marketing industry as a whole, but they are all worthy of note. This is an exciting time for technology, for consumerism, and for digital marketing.