As we prep 2019 marketing plans, here are 4 trends to keep an eye on:

  1.  People are putting their trust in people they know and reputable content.  Pay per click is no longer the end game! Experts predict that more money will be put into content marketing in 2019. Online reviews, which represent the opinions of their peers, will continue to be extremely important. Consumers can smell an ad 100 miles away. They don’t want to be sold. They want to come to a decision to purchase on their own accord.

What does this mean for your marketing? Use social media to have an active dialogue with your biggest fans. Be the one they Know, Like, and Trust. Provide them with information that is of value to them. Focus on content – on social media, on your website, through email marketing or blogs – that makes you the one they Know, Like and Trust.

2.  Creativity will win. Consider creative distribution tactics that focus on ways to engage an audience.   There are so many new ways to get in front of your customers. OTT, programmatic video buying, retargeting, map pack ads, Video SEO, even cable TV (which now allows for digital stream buys), are just a few examples of new ways to distribute your message.

Extreme example – some businesses are once again having huge success with direct mail! Why? Because it’s used so much less frequently now! People rarely get an ad they can actually HOLD. Direct mail now cuts through the clutter. I am not suggesting we all need to work direct mail into our 2019 plans, but we do need to get creative with distribution.

3.  Understand how your customers communicate, and be there. My 14 year old daughter is very uncomfortable on the phone. She and her friends would rather Facetime or text than have a direct voice conversation. Many Millennials (ages 22-37) feel this way too. Don’t discount Millennials. They are new parents, buying homes, and climbing the corporate ranks. They are the future. Can they find the information they need on their terms? Through your website or social media pages? Do you respond to email social, or chat messaging quickly? Do you offer text updates? Do you offer chat? They don’t want to call or come in until they’ve made their decision. You have to be available on their terms, and their timeline.

4.  Be helpful and authentic. In an age of automation, personal connections are more important than ever. You can automate your marketing for efficiency, but make sure the human experience and the messaging are personal. Humanize your messaging. What matters to your customers? How can your product or service make their lives easier?

Recap – items to pay attention to in 2019:

  • Have a Mobile Friendly website
  • Use social media
  • Embrace communication methods Millennials prefer
  • Content, Content, Content!
  • Humanize your messaging
  • Use video to tell your story – on your website, in social media
  • Get lots of 5-star reviews – on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other applicable review sites
  • Updated Google business listing