We are almost a month away from bidding 2018 goodbye. This is the time when digital marketing teams look back on what and how they did this year. It’s also when they start planning for another year-long run.
If you’re involved in one, as a manager or a member, here’s a quick read regarding trends you don’t want to miss out on in 2019. They’re cross-functional, too, so you can share them with the people in charge of design and sales, among others.
Focusing on topic clusters
It looks like SEOs will have a lot on their plate in 2019. But that’s how keeping up with search engine algorithms go. Consumers are turning to search engines with more complex queries and high expectations. Not long ago, they were typing “Somerville restaurant”; now they are asking, “Where should I go for dinner?” It’s up to search engines to recognize their intent and deliver accurate and timely results.
This is where the topic cluster approach enters. It’s the strategy to use if you want to increase your search engine visibility these days. It’s about owning a topic and being seen as the expert. You have no choice but to shift your focus from keywords to topics.
Dishing out dynamic content
How would you like your content served? Personalized.
Next year, you will want to jazz your content marketing up by putting the customer at the centre of the experience. You’re going to use dynamic or adaptive content, which has been around for years, to do this. Dynamic content changes per user and presents the most relevant information to them. Their experience of a page or content will depend on their past behavior and preferences on your site.
Email remains a popular channel for dynamic content, but there are many others to choose from. And they are all driven by data and examples of machine learning application. For instance, Netflix recommends films and TV shows based on what a user previously watched or added to their list. An app called Flo, which tracks menstrual cycles and pregnancy, gathers user data such as mood, weight, and physical activity to know which health articles to show them.
Enlisting chatbots in customer management and sales
Chatbots have caught the attention of business decision-makers. This automated tool interacts with customers, helping them report problems and errors or look for something they want to buy.
With 80 per cent of business leaders saying they have used or will consider using chatbots by 2020, the tech is seen as a cost-effective alternative to hiring customer service agents and sales reps. For the executives, this solution can bring human resource costs down. That it can affect the funnel, from top to bottom, is another point of consideration.
Serving snackable VR content
The virtual reality experience has inched its way into consumers’ lives via games and entertainment. It’s a niche market that is expected to reach 50-60 million installed bases across mobile, console/PC, and standalone categories by 2023. Despite hardware sales slowing down, bumped only by the shipment of Oculus Go in Q2 2018, there is room to explore what you can do content-wise.
Reaching out to VR users means crafting engaging content. You have to keep them coming back for more (somehow, there’s a case to be made for content creators driving user frequency and, thus, demand).
Take your cue from Studio Zero’s snackable VR concept. Good old countdown timer integrated with a 360-degree view of Byer’s living room took fans of Stranger Things to the show’s world while managing to build anticipation for Season 2. Studio Zero reports around 6,500 unique visitors turning up within three days after the launch. That’s high by the studio’s standard, surprising even, but there’s your technical and creative example of what you can do with “short, shareable, go-anywhere” VR content.
Source: Joana Sinel via the Entrepreneur Blog, “4 Digital Marketing Trends to Watch Out For in 2019”