With each passing year (or it can sometimes feel like each week), there are new trends and tactics in the marketing world.
How are you to know which ones to pay attention to and implement and which ones to hold off on? What are some of the most important updates in the land of Zuckerberg and email marketing providers?
Answering questions like these is what we’re here for, of course! We’ve scoured the research on the latest trends and paired them with our actual experience to bring you the top marketing predictions for 2019.
We’ll start with the ones pertaining specifically to social media and email marketing.
- Leverage social storytelling – This will continue to be huge. One thing that some brands seem to get backward, however, is they try telling their story. They end up making it all about themselves, thus leaving out the real hero of their company … their customers. Social storytelling is about allowing your audience to feel invited and immersed into a narrative that describes their experience and addresses their core desires, whether real or aspirational. It’s important that you really understand their values, pain points, and journey thus far, in order to present a compelling solution with your products and/or services. You will want to leverage this in your social media captions, your emails, your website; everywhere your audience interacts with your brand! 
- One word: Instagram – The social media popular kid is here to stay and only getting warmed up. Brands that have been slow to take notice, are finally starting to catch on, and even older demographics are getting on board. Although, it’s worth noting that Instagram’s hyper-visual nature might not make it right for every business. If you’re in plumbing or construction repair, Instagram might not be the most fitting place for you to showcase your offerings and stand out. Whereas, retail, product-based, and creative or design-centric businesses or brands would thrive on Instagram. Large or small, product or service-based; plenty of brands can successfully represent their offerings and build community by incorporating this channel into their social strategy in 2019. 
- Show and tell it with video – As if you haven’t been hearing this for a year now, video will continue to be a dominating force in 2019 and a content format that all marketers need to focus on. Some are even claiming that 80% of what we consume online will be comprised of video content. And it’s not just video content, but live video content like Facebook Live Broadcasts – which there’s already been more than 3.5 billion of in a short two years. Largely, audiences are demanding that social media feel more, well … social. Live video is one way of accomplishing that. 
- Transparency and authenticity … (they’re more than buzzwords) – Consumers want to see, hear from, and engage with brands that are genuine. They’re more attracted to the companies that provide honest responses to customer questions, own up to their mistakes, listen to their feedback, and share some of their practices from pricing to manufacturing to marketing and business performance; rather than the ones that feel like a stiff, untouchable corporation. Brands that figure out how to do this, don’t just build a following of numbers, they build a community of people that become their biggest advocates.
- Getting personal with email – Consumers now also have higher expectations for how they’re being marketed to. As email marketing providers have gotten smarter with more advanced features, it’s now possible to tailor your emails and delivery based on how they interact with your content and even your website. It’s wise to look into personalization, segmenting, tagging, targeting and other automations that help get your content to the right person at the right time. Not surprisingly, this helps to increase profits and your ROI. (And yes, email is still largely the highest ROI earning marketing tool for businesses of all sizes.) 
- Data privacy legislation is in motion – A less fun thing worth noting is the increasing legislation surrounding data privacy. If you haven’t paid much attention to GDPR yet, now would be the time to, as some are claiming that we will see a US data privacy bill as early as this year. Europe has blazed the trail on this one, putting the pressure on U.S. Congressional committees to get the laws in writing. Which brings us back to #4, which still applies here. Transparency trumps trying to grow a big list overnight. Let people know what they’re signing up for and why, and then provide a whole lot of value. 
- Mobile-friendly, simplified email design – Given the number of marketing messages we’re all exposed to on a daily basis, coupled with our on-the-go culture, mobile optimization of email marketing messages is critical. Most emails are opened on mobile first, and 23% are opened again later. Most experts have also found that plain-text emails help combat landing in spam boxes and often feel more approachable to audiences who are usually inundated with graphic-heavy designs. Focusing on strong copy and interactive elements helps your content to feel more like an email from a friend than a marketer. By further leveraging storytelling (as mentioned in #1), you can further the relationship building aspect that ultimately leads to your prospects making a commitment, as in a purchase decision with your company. 
Here’s a peek at the design of one of our recent “R&A Updates“:
There you have it – our top 7 predictions and insights for starting your marketing off on the right foot in 2019. Looking for more guidance and a personalized plan of your own? Get in touch for your Free Marketing Analysis and get started today.
-The R&A Team
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