Digital marketing never stands still for long. It’s one of the hardest parts of a digital marketer’s job – staying up to date in an evolving marketplace, and keeping your eyes peeled for the next big thing while making sure your fundamentals are sound, while still staying within budget.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled this list of things that should be on every digital marketer’s to-do list in 2019 – some are brand new, some have been around for a few years, but they’re all worth some attention, and all built on solid foundations that will add value to any digital marketing campaign.
As viewers continue to shift from TV to YouTube, and as online video continues to be a powerful audience engager, video is becoming a must for any digital presence. Luckily, as traditional TV advertising becomes less important, TV advertising dollars are being converted to digital. That means more resources that can and should be put towards the many good uses of online video:
- Marketing videos
- Case studies
- Product videos
There’s video, and then there’s personalized video, also known as dynamic video, which started breaking out in 2018. Year-in-review videos on Facebook and Spotify, animated using pictures and playlists from the viewer's own feed, were widely-shared sensations. And why not? Who wouldn't want to see and share a customized video made just for them?
Rich Media loves personalized video - we were early adopters, and have been on the forefront of personalized video technology for years. Among many other things, you can:
- Put a user’s name into a video
- Draw and animate a real graph with real data
- Explain and illuminate tool or calculator results
- Show only the portions of a video that are relevant to the viewer, preventing information overload
- Change a video over time, without having to remake it
Given how popular video continues to be and how strongly viewers connect with relevant, customized content, personalized video is sure to continue to grow in popularity in 2019.
Interactive tools & calculators
The great feature of the internet as a medium is its interactivity. Television can only be watched – the internet lets you take an active, personal hand in what you see. For example, while TV can perhaps show you how mortgage payments work, an interactive online calculator can let you experiment with different payments for yourself to see the best scenario for you.
The best digital properties know this. Interactive calculators, tools, and questionnaires are often the most popular elements on a site. This popularity translates into better SEO, strong lead generation, and increased engagement. In 2019, as in any year, good digital marketing lets people do, not just see.
Mobile is now a part of all digital marketing, and many marketers have moved to mobile-first. However, web technologies have advanced, and smartphone web usage continues to grow, and many existing sites are in danger of becoming out-of-date. Also, though we don’t like to admit it, many of us still have well-loved tools and content that never made the switch – Flash, anyone? – and many sites don’t take advantage of today’s phones’ capabilities for micro moments, smooth performance, and animation.
Being mobile-first means making your mobile experience the focal point of your digital presence – or, put another way, meeting your audience where they are. Mobile should still be your bread-and-butter, so make sure you’re putting something good on the table. Google’s SEO now considers mobile first, so mobile friendliness is a must.
Personalized content built to support targeted campaigns
Personalization is the great challenge of marketers, and the great opportunity of the internet. Providing the perfect content for each viewer is achievable in a way it isn’t in traditional media.
There are plenty of tools at your disposal. We’ve already mentioned personalized videos and interactive tools, but there’s more. Sites and ads can be built to change based on the user – with products sorted based on the user’s predicted preferences, and videos customized to their demographic. With personalized video and other new methods, native advertisements in social media can be much more than just static images – one ad can do the audience targeting of twenty.
This year, millions of households brought home a voice assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, and the next big digital frontier opened up. It had been a long time coming. Now, the era of the conversational interface, no screens required, has begun.
Voice apps offer a totally new way to connect with customers and offer your services – a brand new ecosystem where anyone can be first. This is a chance to get in on the ground floor of a new market – all it takes is an idea. Voice apps like virtual advisors, personal shopping assistants, and basic financial tools are just the beginning – new ways to engage new audiences are yours for the taking.
You might notice that these trends are a mix of old and new, and you’d be correct – some trends that have been around are still hot! If it seems like things have slowed down, it’s just because the arrival of mobile broke so many rules over the past decade that we’ve almost come to expect things to be obsolete within five years. If you’ve been dragging your feet on anything – like updating old Flash tools, or kickstarting that new ad campaign, or getting that widget juuust right – 2019 should be the year you finally get off the fence and commit to a little spring cleaning.