Seeing what an unpredictably, active year 2018 was for online/digital marketing, I cannot in good conscience write about "predictions" for 2019. However, we can call them "trends". What are the digital marketing trends for 2019? This is the first in a series of articles that I hope will guide you in planning your marketing for 2019. Remember, this is a great time to meet with a SCORE mentor -- for free -- to review not only your business plan, but your goals and marketing plan as well. In subsequent articles, I'll cover, the social networks: Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn as well as what's up-and-coming with Websites, eCommerce and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
If you want your marketing messages to stand out, get visual.
A recent survey from Manifest found that people are using YouTube -- 63% -- and Instagram -- 61% -- more than in 2017.
- 65% of us are visual learners
- Colorful visuals increase a person's desire to read content by 80%
- Prospects are 85% more likely to buy from you after watching a video about what you have to offer
- 93% of all communication is visual
- Posts with images deliver more engagment
- Our brains processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text
Let's breakdown your Visual Marketing Options:
A report from Animoto states that 93% of marketers say that video helped them attain new customers. And who doesn't want new customers?!
According to the Animoto study, for video marketing to be effective, you should be creating at least 2 videos a month. That takes some planning. And I bet you're thinking it's going to be expensive. Sure if you have the budget, investing in professionally created videos to put on your website is recommended for branding. Still, with today's smartphones and tablets, you can easily record videos on your own. It's OK that they look casual and impromptu. The important thing is that you get your marketing message across and have a clear call-to-action (CTA) at the end so the viewer will do what you want them to do.
Here are some of your Video Marketing options for 2019:
- Native Video: This is when you pre-record a video and upload it directly into Facebook, LinkedIn, or IGTV -- Instagram's new video app. Prior to this, you just shared a link to the video from YouTube or Vimeo, but the networks give more visibility to native video. On LinkedIn, you can even start recording directly from the mobile app. Facebook now has "Watch" for users to watch videos.
On both Facebook and LinkedIn you can upload videos to your individual profile as well as your business page.
- Live Broadcasting: Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Instagram Live and Twitter's Periscope allow you to broadcast yourself from a mobile device or a laptop as long as you have a good, strong wifi or cell signal. As of now, LinkedIn doesn't have the live feature, but I'm sure they'll have it soon. (Please don't call that a prediction.) On Twitter, Live Feeds get top visibility.
If you have several devices like a laptop, smartphone and a tablet, you can broadcast simultaneously onto more than one network. Do this for a while to see where you get the most response.
After you're done broadcasting on Facebook, YouTube and Periscope, you can save the videos and share them to your followers, even embed them on your website as a blog post.
Instagram Live is similar to Snapchat as it cuts you off at 2 minutes and it disappears in 24 hours unless you save it to your device. Check out these 9 Common Facebook Live Mistakes that really apply to all networks.
- Stories: These are short slideshows or videos on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Basically, you're telling a visual story of your product or business. Facebook now has a way for you to turn still pictures into videos.
- Presentations with voiceover: This may be the simplest way for most people -- especially B2B businesses -- to produce videos. Write up your script in the presenation and rehearse it before recording.
Here are some Video Marketing tips:
- Invest in a tripod with a clamp for your phone or tablet.
- Plan what you're going to say and do.
- Use the free video editing software programs. If you're on a Mac, you have iMovie, on a PC, you can download Movie Maker for free from Microsoft.
- Good lighting is key to all videos. Don't put the light behind you -- you'll look like a silhouette.
- Make the first few seconds compelling enough so the target audience is enticed to watch the whole thing.
- Always end with a clear CTA. Make is easy for people to do what you want them to do.
- Think vertical.
- Check out these short-form videos apps and ideas.
Pictures and Graphics:
If you run an eCommerce, B2C business, pictures are key to selling your products -- especially on Pinterest and Instagram. But what about B2B business like accountants and consultants who don't really have visuals with a wow factor? That's where infographics come in. Simply, they are graphics with information. It's a way to take non-appealing data and make it visually appealing. Like the graphic I used above.
Tips for using Pictures and Graphics:
- Make sure all pictures and graphics are of good quality.
- Don't make the text not too small.
- Always brand them with your logo and website. If you're not paying for advertising on Instagram, links don't work in posts so it's important to have your website on the graphic.
- Put a CTA on the graphic. Tell people what you want them to do.
- Take colors into consideration. There is a psychology of color....
- Use the free graphics tool, Canva.com to create graphics.
Personalized Email Marketing with Videos:
Videos should be an integral part in your email marketing automation. One of the purposes of your website is to convert visitors into leads -- people somewhat interested in what you have to offer -- that's called lead generation. Unless you cater to impulse buyers, more than likely, you're not going to get a sale on the first visit. You need to capture that lead with an enticing CTA -- give them something in return for them giving you their email address. Once you've got that email address, you can send them marketing emails to nurture that lead into a sale. The best way to do that is to ask one or two questions (no more than 3) on the landing page of the CTA offer that will segment your email list. That way, you can personalize subsequent emails with videos based on their responses.
If the mesage in the email is not relevant, you'll lose the lead. They'll unsubscribe in a click. It takes some planning, but once it's setup, marketing automation works all by itself.
Personalized emails can also work well after a networking event or tradeshow.
There's no better customer testimonial than a picture or video of them wearing your clothing or using your product. That's what's called User-Generated Content (UCG). Since Facebook changed their algorithm to give more visibility to users' posts, the best thing you can do to get your business noticed is to have a user upload a picture of them at your shop or restaurant, wearing your clothing or gear and tag your business on it. That's where hashtags come in. Unfortunately, if they're on a mobile device, you can't tag a business on Facebook so it links to your page. You can, however, on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
You can do a contest with a hashtag. Tell customers to post themselves with your product, create a unique hashtag and spread the word. Make sure the rules of the contest are clear.
If you have a brick-and-mortar store or restaurant, the best time to get them is when they're there and are happy. Offer to take a picture of their group in the restaurant or trying on a dress.
There's really no reason why you shouldn't incorporate visual marketing into your marketing strategy for 2019. Have a brainstorming session with your staff. If you're on your own, brainstorm with a SCORE mentor for free. You'll never know what fantastic inspiration may arise.