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We all know that digital marketing is ever-changing. It’s good to be aware of these 5 trends that are gaining momentum moving into 2019 – the Wpromote team is here to keep you updated as the year unfolds and new opportunities arise!

Voice Search & Smart Speakers

Smart Speakers, such as Google Home, Apple HomePod, and Amazon Alexa have made an impact in the consumer technology market recently. The capacity for understanding human speech from each of these devices has improved significantly over time, which helps users get the answers to many questions instantaneously.

Now, here is how voice search ties into digital marketing. Voice search offers a different experience than the typical desktop or mobile search. When typing a search query into the browser, a user sees hundreds of pages of search results. As a company, is not difficult to appear as one of those hundreds of results. When you ask Siri a question, you typically get a few results, sometimes even just one. If your website is one of these few, you can expect to see stronger Click-Through-Rates, (CTRs). In order to earn this top spot, it is crucial to tailor your SEO strategy for voice search. This will likely include more naturally flowing language, rather than focusing directly on keywords.

It is likely that we will begin to see more online publications embrace voice, and publish audio content onto our smart devices – similar to podcasts, encouraging their listeners to tune in daily. This gives the opportunity for more ad space on these platforms as well.

AI / Chatbots

Chatbots are a program powered by AI. With the help of a chat interface, AI provides an almost human like interaction through conversation. This human-like experience is made possible because chatbots are created with a machine learning capability that allows them to react to verbal and textual requests.

With the use of AI, chatbots learn from their experiences and are able to comprehend slang language. Chatbots learn to respond with humor, giving users a personalized experience. Chatbots are also much quicker in their response times than humans, which will prove to be necessary in the fast-paced digital world we live in. Chatbots can be used to make dinner reservations, order shoes, paying bills, or making doctors appointments – all with just the stroke of a key. This is crucial for those who do not have time to wait on a phone queue, though it does take out the true human interaction out of the experience.

Video

Wallet, keys, phone – check! Let’s face it, going anywhere without our smartphones nowadays is practically torture. This world of social media has put high demands on photo and video quality, and smartphone manufacturers have surely delivered. With the ability to produce quality video from our pockets, video marketing is no longer limited to high-dollar industries. From puppy videos, to how-to’s and webinars, our feeds are flooded with attention grabbing content. In fact, a recent trend study expects internet video to make up 80% of all consumer traffic in 2019, making it crucial to use as a form of advertisement.

The use of video is an easy way to grab and keep the attention of an audience. Companies use video in professional trainings to keep the attention of their employees, and to provide consistent messaging. Video training can also be an accessible option for those with busy lifestyles that are trying to learn new skills. Creating engaging video content can be as simple as sharing a holiday recipe (I’m looking at you, Tasty), or showing a behind-the-scenes live look into the setup of your event. This brings us to our next topic, Live Streaming.

Live Streaming, AR, & VR

The desire for live content is undoubtedly growing. Audiences are more likely to trust content provided in live streams, knowing it has not been edited. In 2016, Facebook found that users watch Live Streams 3x longer than pre-recorded videos. In the past few years, we have seen several major brands, like Apple, using live stream to promote new products. Live streaming is more accessible than cable television, in some circumstances – you can watch wherever you are, directly from your favorite smart device. Live video brings a new emotion into the experience – honesty. Live video cannot be edited, and allows for Q&A, making it one of the most personal ways to connect with an online audience.

Speaking of editable content, augmented reality, (AR), brings new excitement to the video experience. Augmented reality layers images or video on top of reality, allowing users to test-fit that new dresser into their bedroom. Virtual reality on the other hand creates an entirely generated experience through the use of a head-mounted device. Though this is typically favored in the gaming industry, other businesses are already embracing this technology to bring awareness for their products. By using augmented and virtual reality tactically, advertisers can provide product experiences far greater than that of imagery alone.

Visual Search

We already discussed voice search, but visual search allows users to snap a picture of an item and find it on the web. Google, Microsoft and Pinterest allow for visual search, and the like.to.know.it app allow users to shop outfits from our favorite style influencers right from their apps. While the technology is still young, we should expect to see growth in demand in the year to come.

Visual search could have a major impact on SEO and paid media, making image optimization especially important. Remember to stick to SEO best practices to ensure your site is optimized for visual search, for example:

  •    Be sure your images have descriptive alt-texts for indexation that include targeted keywords.
  •    Submit your images to an image sitemap.
  •    Ensure your images are optimized for mobile and desktop displays.

By implementing some of these trends into every-day strategies, companies can ensure to stay ahead of competitors, and boost their presence the digital world moving into 2019.

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