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Ten Digital Marketing Trends to Pay Attention to in 2019

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Digital marketing had a standout year in 2018. You can expect that trend to continue in 2019. In fact, a recent Forrester report shared that by 2021 (2 short years), marketing executives will be spending $118 Billion dollars on digital marketing alone. Generally, you can expect an increased focus on quality over quantity - as technology and marketers become more sophisticated, the ability to highly target will help companies move toward more personalized, multi-channel experiences. Here’s a look at some of the trends that are going to account for that spend.

PPC is Here to Stay

Paid search will continue to take up the majority of ad budgets, but the fading limelight of Google ads will restrain search advertising to an 8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

However…..Expect A Shift to Audiences from Keywords in PPC

To secure the best performance, audience-targeting will become more important than specific keywords. The ability to segment and implement audience data to target the most relevant customers will set companies apart. Taking things a step further, utilizing remarketing to reach top-of-funnel audiences is a key part of a comprehensive strategy.

AI, Automation, and Predictive Behavior

Automation isn’t the future - it’s the present! Experts are saying that search engines are using automation more than ever. Google believes that automation makes it easier for a broader range of businesses to be successful search marketers. People in the know suggest leaning in to the Google automation tools. True digital experts will have the best processes to leverage machines to impact their business.

Enhanced Account Management

As mentioned above, AI will continue to transform the way marketers manage various digital strategies. As people become more comfortable with specialized tools and machine learning, they will be able to leverage testing, reporting, and measuring to get their company the best results. Knowing how to utilize automation for processes like new-market analysis, cross-channel strategy, and complex competitor strategies will be increasingly important.

Cross-Channel Advertising Experiences are the New Baseline

While building out multi-channel and multi-device campaigns continues to become easier, reporting on those results and attributing properly remains a challenge. No single attribution model makes sense for every business, so you’ll need to test a few different reporting structures to see what works. Cross-channel advertising is here to stay, so your best bet is to work cohesively with your data or analytics experts to determine attribution models that help you understand campaign performance.

Ads Aren’t Going Away

Actual ads and the messages users see are obviously as critical as ever. Spend time curating unique selling points and testing various headlines and descriptions, and focus on the cohesion of your messages. Display advertising, which includes digital video ads, will follow close behind paid search and receive the second-largest increase in ad dollars with a 13% compound annual growth rate.

Video is Vital

Several studies have shown that content with video is interacted with at a much higher rate than content without. The above mentioned Forrester report shares that online video budgets have grown 114% since 2014 and 72% of media buyers will spare television budgets for more online video. Even if you don’t want to put ad spend into video, consider expanding your YouTube efforts. Video has now emerged as a top type of mobile content - it needs to be part of your digital strategy.

Remember Remarketing

For the past few years we’ve heard about the importance of remarketing. Experts suggest investing here because these ads are likely to have higher CTRs and conversion rates. Investing ad spend here will gain you a higher ROI.

Brand Loyalty Requires Building

If you’re like most firms, you have a heavy focus on ROI for your ppc efforts. Going into 2019, try to remember that part of a digital strategy is building awareness for your brand and cultivating brand loyalty. It’s not necessary to make every click profitable if you know that some of them are providing useful segmentation data or building your overall brand.

Keep your Eyes - and Mind - Open
As technology advances, so do the ad types, reports, and tools that are available to online marketers. You can expect more new advertising functionality, extensions, and features in the tools and platforms you’re already using.

If this seems like a lot to take in, that’s because it is! It can be hard for even the largest marketing team to manage effectively in each of these areas. If you think you could use more resources at your disposal to execute on your 2019 plan, reach out to me. We’d love to discuss your plan and how we can work together to make it a success!