Digital Advertising 2019: Trends and Predictions

“Marketing is not the art of finding clever ways to dispose of what you make. It is the art of creating genuine customer value”, —  

Philip Kotler

The digital landscape is a living organism: it evolves constantly, acquiring new characteristics, features, and traits. The Digital World changes people and vice versa — the mutual influence is obvious. The changes in the behavioral patterns of the consumers put an everlasting pressure on brands; they are required to unleash their creative potential and engage people in every possible way. 2018 has come to an end, and the year was pretty intense, challenging and yet rewarding for native advertising in particular. And there is more to come for marketers this year. In this blog post, we will have a look at projections for 2019 in order to know what efforts should be focused on.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality apart from being pure fun has the power of connecting the humans behind the devices they use. Going far beyond using Snapchat lenses, AR ads can help the customer see how the new coffee table will suit their living room design without even leaving the couch. The advancement of augmented reality technology paves the way for mobile applications with a set of new possibilities — interactivity is a true magic wand for customer engagement.

AR is a game changer in marketing: both advertisers and marketers have a chance to reach out to their audiences in totally new ways. Since AR ads are immersive, they create a valuable emotional connection with the customers, and this connection in its turn is a powerful tool for boosting brand awareness. Augmented reality advertising rocks not only in promoting sales, but also in building brand reputation, as people tend to recall brands they have positive associations with. Ultimately, AR ads offer advanced hyperlocal advertising — the clientele is not only informed about the products, but it is actually guided to them.

Omnichannel marketing

According to Harvard Business Review, 73% use several channels during their customer journey. The growing number of tools at customers’ disposal used for making purchase decisions influences the buying patterns. With the internet, mobile devices, and magazines, to name a few, customers make an entire journey where they interact with the brands in many different ways.

This year’s tendency is implied by providing a seamless experience across all the channels. Shifts in audience demographics along with ad saturation emphasizes the need for new channels to emerge. Omnichannelling is literally where marketing meets ubiquity, which is exactly what the consumers are looking for: people are tripping from screen to store and back as they engage in buying behavior — it is a multi-path purchase experience. Omnichanneling addresses the entire customer experience and enhances customer satisfaction, and deep personalization is the real differentiator in this context.

Landing pages (more of them)

We have mentioned in one of our previous blog posts that top marketers feel the necessity of creating landing pages for each and every marketing campaign, simply because this approach pays off. As per a Search Engine Journal report, landing pages have experienced dramatic growth in popularity during the past few years, and we see this tendency is not changing any time soon. Whitepapers and ebooks are referred to as the most successful types of content, and landing pages are where customers get them.

Landing pages as standalone web pages apply highly persuasive components, whether it is benefit-focused copy or social proof, and they work well in convincing visitors to convert. With this in mind landing pages can be, and are, useful on every stage of the funnel. Landing pages empower a business to nurture prospects all the way through to the bottom and learn a great  deal about them. So if you still have not added landing pages to your arsenal, 2019 is the time for a good start.

Influencer marketing

Using social channels for advertising purposes has become challenging, and the trend is reflected in ad fatigue. An Anatomy Media report tells us that 66% of millennials use ad blockers and are really concerned about their own privacy. Ad fatigue and ad blockers, along with increasing prices and the lack of trust, inevitably affects ROI. And this is where influencer marketing steps in with a vast number of opportunities — there has been no better time to partner with influencers, as trust is crucial in marketing.

According to Fronetics’ stats, in 2018 over 86% of marketers mastered influencer marketing, and 92% of them found it to be effective. Influencer marketing provides direct and unfiltered access to those millennials who appear to be the key demographic. An Influencer campaign increases awareness, engagement, and has around 40% higher retention rates than other advertising forms (Social Coster). Moreover, 92% more trust is attributed to influencer recommendations reliability, even if the consumers do not know the influencer personally (AdWeek). In other words, the audience treats influencers as their friends, and brands should definitely take advantage of this trend in 2019.

AI+automation

The internet as an ever-expanding universe dictates the laws, specifically, for the marketing to be more data-driven. In 2019, the digital advertising industry will be grounded on the advancements of real-time technologies and artificial intelligence. What is relevance? The concept of relevance stems from deep personalization, which in its turn is born out of data accumulation. So relevance means accuracy and precision, hitting in the right spot. Metrics monitoring and data analysis will help to scale the distribution of relevant content by applying accurate targeting.

It goes without saying that digital advertising will get smarter, and so will the AI. Consequently, smarter artificial intelligence seasoned with increasing amounts of data will bring an increased amount of automation. As long as marketing is a combination of science and art, automation of computational and analytical tasks will help marketers and advertisers concentrate on the creative part. Apart from that, automation as a tool is cost— and time-effective. The rise of the new technologies will also give birth to new interactive experiences beneficial for both businesses and their clients.

Focus on mobile first

The tomorrow’s trends are defined by today’s pattern, which is as follows: our life is to a great extent defined by the hand-held capability of our smartphone. Naturally, the world of advertising has to adapt to this reality, as consumer activity on mobile devices is characterized by exponential growth. Many companies established their online presence more than a decade ago, however, what keeps them obsolete is the neglection of mobile-focused strategy. Truly, the mobile-first stance is no longer just an option. It is a must.

The importance of mobile-first content is reflected in the power of video content in particular as it can be seamlessly translated across different devices, whether it is a tablet, or smartphone, or good old laptop. The numbers of mobile users around the world continue to grow, and advertisers would not want to miss out on that market segment. Historically, Google rankings used to apply to all the websites on an equal basis, but these times have changed: now the mobile websites are indexed on their own. Simply put, Google pays attention to mobile sites first before analyzing desktop websites.

Visual and voice

According to Bright Local Survey, 58% of surveyed consumers used voice search in order to find local businesses in 2018, and over 50% of consumers have a smart speaker and use it every day. Growing numbers of people turn to digital assistants such as Alexa to do a huge variety of things, and 87% of B2C marketers claim chatbots and virtual assistants will play a big role in consumer interaction by 2021. So that means it is about time to think of voice and visual search as game changers in marketing. Voice, for instance, flattens menus, completely transforms user interface, and allows brands to get creative and interact with the audience in new ways.

Since the main goal of the marketer is to establish a close connection with the customer, voice will rule marketing, media, and advertising ecosystems. Conversational and gesture user experience will continue to flourish, and brands have to make sure they bring instrumental value through visual and voice touchpoints. Advertisers have to figure out how exactly customers want to find them. Search engines are what people became used to, and previously they had to make an effort to find something in catalogs or libraries. Search has become second nature, the mixture of voice and visual interfaces will have the same fate. And this is the area where marketers and advertisers must start working right now.

The best approach to build trustful relationships with the audience is to give it exactly what it wants and what it likes, and customers are no longer buying products — they buy experience. People want to feel, to empathize, and associate themselves. Marketers are ditching aggressive and intrusive strategies and realize the following: people want genuine storytelling and they want to get it from cutting-edge approaches. Advertising needs to be flexible more than ever before, and native does have this inherent flexibility.