No matter where your business is located, it is helpful to examine your company’s current marketing strategy and marketing plans for 2019. In all likelihood, your business is getting more competitive. Marketing is just one component of your business’s overall strategy. Still, it is critical to understand upcoming marketing trends and how you can best leverage them to your advantage.
Therefore, here are five marketing trends that Georgia businesses must closely monitor in 2019. Paying attention to these trends will allow you to alter or modify your own marketing strategies to gather more market share and increase your bottom line.
Social Media is a critical tool in any marketer’s toolkit. This is for good reason. You can canvass virtually any statistic on social media to see that it has become a complete juggernaut. For instance, total social media usage around the world is up to 3.196 billion people. That is a 13% increase from 2017. The average American spends over two hours per day on social media apps and websites. It also attracts a young demographic. 88% of 18-29 year-olds say that they use social media.
In light of those statistics, one of the more exciting trends in social media marketing centers on video content. Particularly live video content. Experts predict that by 2021, video will comprise approximately 80% of internet content. While we aren’t there yet, the rise of video tools on social media—including the ability to go live on Facebook and Instagram—represent a new way for organizations to connect with their customers or fans. Social media giants like Facebook emphasizing live video in their algorithms provides even more of an incentive to go live on your social media pages. When going live, be creative. With so much content out there, you will need to exercise your creative muscles in order to stand out.
In 2019, business isn’t simply about maximizing the bottom line. Businesses have taken more of an active role in expressing their values and principles to their customers. Whether that is based in the business model itself (as with Toms Shoes or Warby Parker) or in the marketing copy itself, values-based marketing has become more commonplace.
Values-based marketing isn’t without risks, though. By being more vocal in advocating your company’s values, you may inadvertently offend some customers. That said, having a deep understanding of your customers will mitigate some of this risk. By being extremely clear about the values that your organization holds dear, you can build an even deeper connection with your customers, generating more loyalty and more sales.
Chatbots have received much hype in recent years—specifically for their potential ability to provide automated tasks at scale. That said, increasingly sophisticated chatbot technology also promises to serve your organization’s marketing efforts. One way that chatbots can help is by strengthening your company’s relationship with already-existing customers. Chatbots can follow-up with customers, asking them whether they are satisfied with their purchase and whether they are interested in other items to supplement their initial order.
Along with this benefit, chatbots can also gather data that you can use in your marketing efforts. If, for instance, a particular type of customer purchases a certain item from the chatbot on a recurring basis, you can use that data to further market that product to that certain subset of customers. In an era where data has become the new oil, obtaining this valuable customer data from chatbots may present unique insights that you would not otherwise obtain.
The past several years have been the rise of influencer marketing. Small and large businesses would partner with influencers to advertise a particular product or service. The idea is that businesses could leverage an influencer’s trust and cache within their follower base to generate leads. While large influencers like Kylie Jenner continue to command large advertising sums, 2019 will represent the rise of niche and micro influencers. These influencers, while having smaller follower counts than others, have built up trust and a significant following in a particular niche.
Your business or organization can take advantage of this trend. First, you will need to identify the micro influencers within your particular niche. This may require some research. One quick way is to find hashtags within your niche and search for individuals with the highest engagement. From there, you can approach the micro influencer and see if they would be interested in a potential partnership. No matter how you approach it, a marketing campaign with a micro influencer may be one additional tactic to increase sales in 2019.
The internet has made business even more competitive. Because of this, it is becoming increasingly critical to develop a deep, close relationship with your customers. 2019 will represent a continuation of this trend, as organizations will leverage old tools (like email marketing) and new tools (like content strategy checklists) to build tribes with their customers. Instead of treating customers like customers, you want to treat them like insiders, granting loyal customers unique access or pricing arrangements to the awesome product or service that you offer.
However you choose to do it, content is a key component of building a tribe. Instead of simply selling your product or service to customers, you will want to treat customers like members of your family. Try to extend value in every interaction with customers, whether that is responding to a nice (or not so nice) comment on social media or responding to customer service phone calls. The goal is to turn a first-time customer into a loyal one. One of the best ways to do this is to make that customer feel like an insider to your business.
While these are just five marketing trends for 2019, it is clear that there are new, exciting tools that you can use in your marketing efforts. Using any or all of these tools doesn’t guarantee increased sales or profits; they require patience, creativity, and persistence. That said, they can be used to propel your business into the new year.