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Trends + What to Expect in 2019

Here’s what we see coming in the world of marketing for 2019.

1. Micro Influencers

The fall of the dominant influencers was inevitable. Don’t get us wrong, powerhouses like Tammy Hembrow, Huda Kattan, and Kayla Itsines aren’t going to lose their millions, or their endorsement deals anytime soon — BUT — consumer perception is changing. Brands have been pushing for influencers with quantity, but the quality of their audience is fading. When Instagram pushed back on influencers who didn’t identify their kickbacks, trust with their followers faded. In a world so fully saturated with advertisements, people are looking for what’s real. As users begin to shift from accounts that preach about the wonders of Flat Tummy Tea and post only airbrushed photos of themselves sitting outside in the California golden hour sun, there is only one community left to go — their own.

Some brands are already on board with this shift. MVMT watches uses a combination of both macro and micro influencers; They target those who follow friends, and those that look up to their favourite blogger. These micro influencers may have only a couple thousand followers, but their photo engagement will be high. Greater trust = more sales. Move over Tammy, we’re looking for fresh meat.

2. Organic Image Content

For many, this trend is a no-brainer. Many brands that had previously seen success from their product stock photography saw a downtick in their social engagement levels through 2018. So what is performing? Raw, organic, user-generated content. By using image series that feature less edited, more real photos, users are more easily able to see themselves with the product or service. Traditional advertising strategy focuses on creating an idealized version of the consumer. When we use images on social that feature real users, and other organic content, brands can relate more closely to their audience, and further assimilate into their newsfeed.

3. Mobile Specific Ads + Sites

With so many new features popping up on social sites like Instagram, brands have more of an opportunity to sell their product than ever before. With the swipe up option on stories for accounts with 10,000 or more and the tap to view products on timeline photos, users can jump to the brand site within the native app. This has not only changed the formatting for ads, but it’s also affected the way brands are building their websites. For many, with such a high volume of site traffic coming from mobile, brands have begun designing for mobile first, and their desktop view second.

Overall in 2018, 44% of all website traffic in North America is from mobile or tablet devises, compared to 39% in 2016, and 31% in 2014. Knowing your consumers’ preference can make your brand more accessible, and more popular.

4. Video Content

This trend isn’t new. Back in 2016, we knew that video content, on average, performed 30% better than image or text only content. But what we didn’t know back then how seamlessly it would integrate with our social apps. Stories, especially on Instagram, have proved to reach more people and drive higher conversion rates than their news feed counterparts. Studies have shown that this use of stories can result in 44% more users reached, and up to 23% higher conversion rate.

Especially when it comes to advertising, best practice is to use both formats to maximize your reach and results. Facebook makes it as easy as checking a box when developing your campaign — all that’s left to do is optimize your creative and you’re well on your way.

This trend also serves to better protect the organic reach of your page from the dreaded algorithmic updates that may interrupt the order of posts, but not stories.

5. Bots & Customer Service

With more and more new brands using build it yourself websites, like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and Shopify, bot and automated chat plugins are getting increasingly sophisticated. While employing a person to stay on the web chat may lead to a more dependable exchange between you and your potential customer, the overhead costs are high. Not only are bots becoming more intelligent and programmed, they also allow a large volume of site visitors to be serviced at one time – decreasing both response time and manual labour.

Chat bots aren’t just being used for sites, we’re now seeing them being applied to Facebook pages. Regardless of your business, when your customers or clients are trying to reach you, time is of the essence. Especially with the features on Facebook pages indicating Response Time, if your competitor can process a request faster, you might want to look into bots.

And there you have it. A few trends and a few tips to keep you savvy and in the know as you plan for 2019. And hey, if you need a little help, give us a call or send us an email. We’ll be happy to jump right in.

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