When writing about the future, it’s important to look at the past. Which trends were we supposed to watch in 2018? Apparently the future of marketing was going to be about Live Video, Augmented and Virtual Reality, and my personal favourite: Influencer Marketing.
As with a lot of things ‘gurus’ predict, it sometimes takes a (very) long time for trends to take off. So far in 2018 everyone is still watching TV on a normal screen, I haven’t seen many VR helmets (remember what happened to 3D glasses?), my fridge doesn’t have WiFi yet and none of my clients have asked for an Instagram ‘star’ to promote their product.
So where do I think 2019 will head? Well, after watching and working in digital marketing for the past 10 years, this is what I think (and hope) become the realistic trends for marketers in the next year.
Back to basics
After doing ‘a bit’ of social, ‘a few’ cool video and ‘some’ content pieces, the trend should be to tie these all together in a strategy and create an annual plan to use all those pieces in a coherent way that delivers quantifiable results. Many marketers are focused on how things look, instead of thinking about what results it can deliver and more importantly: how these results are measured.
Facebook just reported record earnings of $17 billion USD, with a solid 2.3 billion users worldwide. I don’t think they are going anywhere soon, but how people are spending their time on Instagram, Facebook and Messenger is changing. There’s been a steady decline in sharing pictures on the News Feed. Now it’s all about the Stories, and the group chats/apps. The recent revamp of Facebook Messenger and the upcoming rollout of WhatsApp payments indicates this trend will continue.
Video has been listed as a trend since 2016 and although there is a lot video being consumed, the big trend will be the video formats. The quick rise of Instagram Stories (now at 500M users per day) will further shift the format from the traditional landscape, to the mobile friendly portrait format. Some research shows 94% of us only watch videos vertically. And with short form music app TikTok knocking on our doors, the shorter – the better!
Keeping it local
This is a trend Google started with their hard push of their Google My Business pages (some of the now closed Google+ tools are now rolling onto these pages). With mobile traffic now reaching an all-time high and GPS location getting more accurate, local based marketing offers and micro geo targeting will soon become a staple.
I’m pretty sure in 2020 someone will make fun of my predictions.