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4 Digital Marketing Trends That Small Businesses should invest in for 2019

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As a marketer, I get it. Our time is precious and it is usually split between various efforts that range from customer acquisition to budget management.

However, I’ll never forget what a coach told me: a business without customers (or clients in my case) isn’t a business. It’s a hobby.

Initially, that was a hard pill to struggle but now serves as inspiration for the moments when I want to become laxed with my marketing efforts.

With that said, I’d like to highlight 4 digital marketing trends that you should keep top of mind as you plan for 2019. Some of these may already be in rotation, but if they aren’t, do your research and decide if it fits your business marketing model.

1) Chatbots

If you are in the retail space, then I recommend that you look into chatbots. Chatbots are similar to instant messaging, which allow you to interact directly with your customers to find out how you can help them.

Many customers actually prefer to interact via chatbot because they are responsive, more personalized and use artificial intelligence to keep track of the buying history (usually via chat archiving).

The majority of my clients already have chatbots installed on their websites and so far, my favorites are Zendesk and Tidio. Be sure to do your research and ensure that integrations are available between your website host and the chatbox.

Examples of businesses who have Chatbots:

AllDemShades

Mel Sharell Paper & Company

Why this matters: With 1.4 billion people interacting with chatbots, 80% of savvy businesses are already using or plan to use chatbots by 2020. Don’t get left behind!

2) Influencer Marketing

Think about the latest product you tried. How did you find out about it? Did you google it or did someone tell you about it? If the answer is the latter, then you can classify that as influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing that focuses on using key leaders (i.e. influencers or ambassadors) to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. As such, instead of traditional marketing that may come directly from your business, you instead pay an influencer to promote your product or service for you.

With more than 81% of people using the Internet to make purchases, it’s pretty clear that people are seeking some kind of proof or assurance that your product/service will be of good quality and/or a good experience, which is why we rely on what other people say about it. One of my clients, a travel-based startup, has been able to gain a large influx of customers due to influencer marketing.

Influencers include celebrities, Instagram or YouTube stars, well-known bloggers and journalists. These differ by industry so be sure to do your research before you reach out.

Examples of influencers include:

Tonya Rapley, Creator of My Fab Finance

Lita Lewis, Creator of ThickAthletics Apparel

3) Personalization

In a world full of automation, personalization feels like a taste of magic.

If you want to stand out in 2019, you need to personalize your marketing – and that means personalized content, products, emails and more.

This can be done in a variety of ways, but utilizing your data is key.

With your data, you can segment your subscriber list to send trigger emails which range from empty cart reminders to feedback requests after each purchase.

Personalization can also extend beyond email and into website optimization. For example, if you are running a social-based campaign, create a custom landing page that tells customers more about your offer that was originally promoted on social media. As a bonus, you can create custom tracking codes so you can measure how effective your promotion was.

Example of business who utilizes personalization:

Side Hustle Pro (she’s currently promoting her “Your First 1,000 Downloads” Masterclass)

Why this matters: 96% of marketers (including me!) believe that personalization advances customer relationships. Don’t get left behind!

4) Video Marketing

Video is a versatile and engaging content format that not only gives a real-life picture of what is going on, it’s also easy to share across multiple platforms. Consumers like it because it’s easy to digest, entertaining and engaging, and you, as business owners, should like it because it can give a potentially huge return on investment (ROI) through many channels.

One of my clients has been on the fence about doing Instagram stories weekly, but the numbers don’t lie. When we look at the top posts from the week, our videos receive the most engagement. As such, she has committed to “showing up” once a week.

A few ideas that make for great videos include:

  • How-to’s (great for products)
  • Behind the scenes footage (great for new launches)
  • Q & A sessions (great if you want to offer a new product or service; or make changes to an existing one)
  • Takeovers (great if you are a lifestyle brand – think Essence – and want to build buzz prior to an event)

You may feel pressured to go out and buy a bunch of equipment, but here’s my advice: don’t. Instead, pull out your phone/laptop and start there. Use video marketing to show your authenticity and personality. That’s what consumers are looking for anyway.

Popular video platforms include:

  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Facebook

Why this matters: 70% of consumers say that they have shared a brand’s video and 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions.

What are some of your predicted digital marketing trends for 2019? Comment below!

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