As you’re planning your digital marketing for 2019, there are a few trends you should know about and consider incorporating into your strategy.
Thanks to some of the best minds at Dream Local Digital and a little scouring of the internet, here’s our list:
Google My Business
The pending demise of Google+ signals the clear emergence of Google My Business as Google’s top business marketing tool. Registering your business with Google My Business and completing a robust profile gives you a leg up when it comes to search engine optimization. When you add photos, Google posts buttons like “Follow” or “Book,” and Google’s Knowledge Graph generates an impressive card, or infobox, that appears to the right of search results.
Robust Google My Business profiles also can help your business appear in Google Maps and in the “Local Pack” search boxes. Dream Local Digital will be emphasizing Google My Business in 2019 for our social media clients, especially adding regular Google Posts, a sort of mini-blog that can appear in the Knowledge Graph card.
With the emergence of Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Apple’s Siri as common household appliances, using a keyboard to type a search engine query has become, well, so 2017. And because more and more folks are using their voices to search — “Hey Google, who’s a good local electrician” — businesses need to adjust the language on their websites to be more conversational. When it comes to search optimization, if your website text matches the search words, you’re more likely to be found.
A good way to adapt your website text is to brainstorm what people might say when searching for your type of service or product. Then, come up with a list of frequently asked questions — with answers, of course. For this example, you might include text like “How to know who’s a good electrician.”
Including conversational videos that answer questions is another way to match the voice-search queries. Voice search is happening now. “Hey Google” is showing up in the search query reports for some of our Google Ads clients.
Artificial Intelligence & Chatbots
Those great home devices are part of the wave of artificial intelligence that is seeping its way into everyday life, and especially into marketing and customer service. Chatbots are part of the wave, too. Why have a real person answer a common question like “How late are you open today?” when you can have a HAL 9000 do it for you? Maybe the AI from “2001: A Space Odyssey” isn’t the best example, but online customers are finding chatbots easy to work with, and businesses figure to save millions over the next few years by letting computers take care of basic, repeatable customer-service needs.
What “next year’s marketing trends” article would be complete without mentioning mobile? According to eMarketer, 2019 will be the first year that people spend more minutes with their mobile devices than watching television. So, if for some reason you’ve been ignoring all the advice to optimize your website for mobile, build an app, make shopping and buying easy for mobile users, and otherwise adapt your marketing for the smallest screens, it’s time to get cracking. The longer you ignore mobile as an important medium, the harder it will be to compete with those who play well in the mobile sandbox.
If it’s “Live” it must be video. There’s Facebook Live, YouTube Live and Instagram Live. You can even post video on LinkedIn. There’s a reason marketers rave about video — people watch millions and millions of hours of video. Videos are a great way to get personal with your customers and potential customers. Show them how to use your product. Show them who makes your product. Show them how to fix your product. Show them why you make your product. Because so many platforms (including your website) accommodate video, and because nearly every smartphone allows you to record video with passable quality, there’s no excuse for not doing it.