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Smart Spots: 5 Favorite Marketing Trends for 2019

Listen in as we share a few of our favorite 2019 marketing trends.

If you do a quick search on marketing trends for 2019, you’ll discover that many of them are carryovers from the years before with new ones sprinkled in. While trends do continue to evolve, the interesting thing about marketing is that you can’t really abandon one channel for a new one that has popped up. In other words, you should strap yourself in and be prepared to spread yourself a little thin(ner).

A word of caution: Before you pull the trigger on something new and different, please invest in a marketing strategy. If you don’t really understand what you’re using, and more importantly, why you’re using it, take a step back and make a plan first.

1. Online Reviews

This is one of those “not new” trends but is becoming more and more important. Having online reviews for your business, product or service is critical in 2019.

  1. For brick and mortar locations where there is foot traffic, consider asking for Google reviews as well as Facebook. This can be as simple as sending an email or text message asking how you did and if they would be willing to leave a review online.
  2. Maybe you have a service business or healthcare software company, Google reviews are important, but so are reviews on G2 Crowd and any affiliate websites where potential clients can go to search for companies like you.
  3. If you have an app, be sure to ask for reviews in the app store. People do pay attention to those.

OH - and here’s an important tip - when (not if) someone leaves a negative review, it’s imperative that you respond to it. If they had a bad experience they are very likely to share it with as many people as will listen. If you respond to their comments in a positive way and show that you are willing to resolve the issue it will go a long way with anyone checking up on how you stack up against the competition.  

2. Sales & Marketing SLAs

I guess you could say this is a marketing AND a sales trend but it’s one that is long overdue. Instead of sales and marketing fighting amongst themselves, we are finally beginning to see both departments come to the table together. Developing a service level agreement between the two parties not only brings them to the table, it keeps them there by holding everyone accountable.

While it takes a little work on the front end agreeing on the definitions of a marketing qualified lead versus a sales qualified lead, it is well worth the time invested. Teams that we work with that have incorporated the SLA are having much more productive weekly meetings and a lot less finger-pointing.

3. Content Marketing

While content marketing is not new, the thing that continues to change here is what is considered content as well as the standards by which that content is judged. Here are a few examples:

  1. Videos
  2. Podcasts
  3. Webinars
  4. eBooks
  5. Infographics
  6. Blog posts

By the way, you could leverage all of these formats by creating one really good online event. For example, is there a particular issue in your industry that you just happen to be an expert on? Hold a live 30-minute educational webinar with time for questions and answers at the end - and don’t forget to record it!

Once it’s over, use the video recording on your website and transcribe the event for use as an ebook. That Q&A session? It will make a great blog post! You can even use the audio recording of the webinar as a podcast. So one well-planned event will provide you with a rich source of content for your website.

4. Conversational Marketing

This truly is my favorite marketing trend! If you’re uncertain as to what, exactly, conversational marketing is in the first place, check out this comprehensive explanation from Drift.

In a nutshell, think of how you communicate most often with family and friends or business colleagues. More often than not, instead of making a phone call or visiting in person, you’re probably texting a friend, “Slacking” or “Skyping” a colleague, and tracking an order or customer service issue through Facebook Messenger or chat through a website. In other words, if this is your go-to form of communication, chances are it is for your clients and customers as well.

Utilizing chatbots on your site is an easy way to provide service 24/7, especially when you don’t have the staff available to answer questions around the clock. I realize not everyone loves chatbots as much as I do, but regardless of whether you personally enjoy interacting with them, it’s time to get on board with using them to convert traffic on your website. A bot can answer a simple question such as “what are your hours?”, provide a calendar link to book a meeting with a sales rep, recommend an article related to a technical support question, or hand off to a human counterpart if the conversation becomes too complicated.

Remember that conversational marketing is just what it sounds like - a conversation. Not a sales pitch. It’s personal. It’s one-on-one. 

5. Video Marketing

According to WordStream, 59% of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video. (Did you watch the video that went with this blog post first or did you read the text? ...I rest my case.)

People engage with videos, whether it's on YouTube, Facebook, or another platform, we’d rather watch a short video than consume content any other way. I’m not saying you should abandon all other marketing channels and go all in on video but you should definitely work on a video strategy as part of a well-rounded digital marketing strategy.

By the way, all of those engagement analytics that we’ve come to know and love for all of the rest of our marketing efforts, are available for video too. Plus, it’s possible to add forms, a call to action, and other conversion tools directly into you video so you can skip the landing page altogether. In fact, be on the lookout for a Smart Spot on video platforms soon!

Obviously, this isn’t a comprehensive list of marketing trends for 2019, it’s just a few that we feel are important. Trends in marketing, much like the weather in Alabama, change almost on a daily basis. If you need help navigating the field of possibilities for your own marketing strategy, we would love to help (and, we won’t even mention the weather).

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