Trends to look out for in 2019
Year on year, the digital marketing world changes and advances. 2018 was no different to this, with new trends arising and old ones growing. Looking into 2019, we can expect to see even more digital marketing trends emerging...
A trend that is expected to become more common is the use of MVP (minimal viable product). MVP is a product that provides enough features to satisfy the customer but also allows for feedback to be gathered to plan for future development. According to The Drum, MVP is expected to become ‘the acceptable way digital is done’. Also referred to as ‘continuous delivery’, MVP allows for companies to constantly release new online features and functionality as and when they are ready to be released, which in turn allows for a steady flow of data to be measured and a development path to be determined. A major benefit of the acceleration of MVP, is that it allows a company to test whether an idea will or will not be accepted by consumers before it is released on a larger scale, allowing for necessary action to be implemented based on the results.
To Test Market Acceptance of the Product
A second trend that has been on the rise throughout the year and can certainly be expected to continue to increase is the use of a personal approach in advertising. Several studies have shown that people relate more to emotional adverts and campaigns than ones based purely on information. The aim when using a personal approach, is that a deep emotional response (be it fear, pity, happiness, excitement etc.) will be elicited in the consumer, encouraging them to act upon these emotions, resulting in them purchasing/using the product. The perception someone has of a product usually comes from the information they know about the brand, as well as the influence of others around them. With this in mind, it is important that a company attempts to adopt a personal approach so the perception of the brand is one that the consumers can relate to.
Over the past few years, multiple brands have adopted the personal approach and benefited as a result. For example, Spotify released the below campaign which consisted of them gathering user data to create personal, humorous headlines. By doing so, they opened up the possibility to evoke an emotional response from the consumers, leaving a positive lasting impression of them as a brand. In recent weeks, Spotify adopted a personal approach again when they released ‘Spotify 2018 Wrapped’. This showed listeners their year in music, including how many hours they have listened to a certain artist, and how many minutes of 2018 they have spent using Spotify.
When a brand focuses more on stats and facts as oppose to the true story behind how they came to be who they are, the interest from consumers decreases. This is because as humans, we crave to know the story behind something, which if given to us by a brand, allows for a more personalised picture of them to be painted, thus gaining our trust. With online competition continually on the rise, brands must use alternative techniques to engage with consumers. Effectively, they need to create and build a presence and personality that will intrigue. This can be done in a range of ways, from posting original blog content or unedited, behind the scene videos that show the consumers WHO and WHAT the brand truly are about. It is also becoming increasingly popular to use external sources to produce content for the brand, such as journalists or professional storytellers. A brand can benefit from this greatly as the well-researched content released will build the brands authority and give the consumers a unique understanding of them. Although this may not seem like the most traditional route to go down when creating key material, it is a necessary move if a brand wants to compete with the ever growing and extending competition they are faced with.
Airbnb have been particularly successful at using content marketing as a platform to tell their story - well, not just their story, but the hosts and travellers too. The unique approach has had a vast amount of positive feedback, which outlines the power of storytelling through a brand.
Last year saw the major increase of brands using influential people as part of their marketing strategy… and it seemed to work so has since been on the rise. The influential people range from micro to macro celebrities or social media stars, but they all have one thing in common - they are admired and respected by many people. So, by brands using them to promote their products or work, they are also gaining part of that admiration and respect. When deciding which platforms to use influencers on, it is important to consider them all. Although Sprout Social found during a survey that ‘Instagram was the no.1 platform for 92% of influencers in 2007’, it is important to not rule out other social media platforms as influencers are also active on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Youtube and even Pinterest.
In terms of the content an influencer should be posting, it should always be genuine and authentic. Basically, just not scripted! The viewers/consumers want to see that the brand being promoted is one that the influencer genuinely likes and isn’t just promoting because they have been told to or paid to. This therefore means that whilst the content should link to the brand or product, it should be done in the influencers own style to appeal to the consumer. It is also detrimental that the influencer used has a link to the brand in some way, otherwise their following will not appreciate or be interested in what they are promoting. A key focus should be on building a strong relationship with the influencer, as they will then put more effort into promoting the brand.
H&M use influencers to promote their products and brand, such as Julie Sariñana, a fashion blogger, as shown in the picture below. The simple yet informative caption of the picture shows how easy influencer marketing can be, but more importantly, the volume of likes and comments shows how useful it can be too!
VR in sports
Although virtual reality (VR) is a relatively new concept to the marketing world, it has definitely entered with a bang! Through the introduction of VR, the sports industry has, in particular, benefited. It can be used for a range of things, such as showing 360-degree tours of stadiums, or transporting someone into the middle of a team huddle in a football changing room. VR allows fans to experience sports in a way that they previously thought was impossible, but more importantly, provides marketing companies with the platform and the position to engage with these fans. From this, campaigns and advertisements can be released using VR and in turn, will raise brand awareness. This is further strengthened as VR gives brands the freedom and opportunity to personalise its content and connect with individuals on a deeper level.
Going into 2019, we can expect to see a range of these existing trends continue to rise, as well as new trends attempting to make a breakthrough in the digital marketing world.