Congratulations, you’ve made it through the first few months of 2019! How’s business? If you feel like you’re not being heard, I’ve polled some of the brightest marketing minds in the Lehigh Valley to offer their best advice on trends you may want to consider to stand out. Listen closely because the marketing tactics you succeeded with last year may not work this year.
It’s not so much a trend as a need — a need to stop trying to utilize each and every digital marketing tactic known to the universe. Organizations feel pressured to participate in all the world’s latest! Hottest! Best ROI?! Digital marketing channels (“Let’s, uh, do a podcast about our Twitch stream”) when, in fact, many of those channels or tactics aren’t helping connect with potential or current customers whatsoever. You’re just, well, you’re kind of there. Instead of checking off the “post to Twitter” box if it doesn’t make sense for your business, spend time thinking — thoroughly — through what you as a business, an entrepreneur, a marketer, a volunteer, a whatever, want to achieve. Dig into how people behave. Be brave in how you present your product or service, but you better do it in an authentic manner. Some of the best marketing I’ve seen comes from local businesses who ensure their websites are solid, their Google My Business listings are clean and up-to-date, and their Instagram accounts are engagingly cool. It really can be that simple.
VP, Strategic Communications, SWBR
In 2019 we are going to see that websites are no longer about static content, but the personalized experience. Content personalization is not new, but it is gaining ground. Studies show that by utilizing content personalization on your website, you can significantly increase engagements and conversions. Security is going to be another major topic in marketing this year as marketers are being forced to understand security on the web across many channels. Forging a stronger tie between marketing and technology.
General Manager, Partner, CITRO Digital
2019 will see social media consumption continue to shift from desktop to mobile. More importantly, stories – on the fly, disappearing vertical videos – are growing 15 times faster than feed-based sharing. Instagram and Facebook prominently feature stories at the top of their mobile feeds. To remain relevant, it’s important for companies to perfect these in-the-moment, smartphone filmed experiences. Overwhelmingly visual and creative, they are most successful when personal and real. Now is the time to experiment with your content and engagement. While your best stories can be saved, as you discover what works best for your organization, most will have a 24-hour shelf-life…so be adventurous and have fun!
President, Social T Marketing & PR
Within the shifting landscape of communication and marketing, video and digital media are experiencing a revolution. As social media races to the front of the line for peoples’ attention, companies are seeking new ways to reach their audience. Gone are the days of a single “who we are” video on a website. Creating content to use across various platforms is critical for success in our noisy, digital world. Companies that take the time to invest in a long-term plan will lead the pack. Among the largest national brands, dollars are shifting from traditional advertising to digital storytelling. Video is no longer a want, it is a need, and it’s important to partner with a production team that offers strategies to maximize budgets and keep the content coming. But don’t be fooled – while quantity is important, quality will always prevail.
Ashley S. Russo
President, Executive Producer, ASR Media Productions
We agree with Ashley. We are also seeing more and more companies, large and small, embracing video. It’s actually a trend towards multiplatform use of professional video. We will work on a project for a website video that runs around a minute and a half long but then create shorter versions for social use. Businesses are recognizing the need for well told, branded stories that go beyond phone videos you can shoot yourself. We are also seeing a surge in the use of infographics. Each is a customized and branded graphic that features an FAQ designed to sell your expertise or services on the social platforms of your choice.
President, Countess Communications
One word for the trend for 2019 and the immediate future for iHeartMedia is DIGITAL. In fact, this year, the money spent on digital advertising in the United States will surpass that on traditional ads for the first time.
Media consumption has spread across so many platforms and content providers. It’s hard for any single brand message to build scaled awareness and impact. iHeart Media has embraced this, evolving from radio to embrace a cross-platform approach, including offerings on social media, targeted audio, and most recently OTT (Over the Top) video ads targeting cord cutters.
Believe it or not, cord cutters and cord-nevers are projected to increase by 79% by 2019! That’s the way the new generation views TV.
Robin Joy McNeely
Sr. Account Executive/Digital Consultant, I Heart Media
At Lehigh Valley Style, we see double-digit growth in digital advertising as clients seek to complement their print campaigns with our online offerings. Targeted digital display – including site retargeting and geo-fencing – are just two of the tactics driving great results. Sponsor content has also become a major trend – advertisers are eager to create digital content that our readers will use, share and save. Our most successful clients are using video to share their stories – and are seeing huge pageview numbers, shares on social media and new customer acquisitions.
Publisher, Lehigh Valley Style
I know it is an old idea, but new for 2019 is just keep it simple. In an age of post this, blog this, tweet this, concentrate on your mission to elevate you above the rest. Go back to your core beliefs. Network Magazine concentrates on its readership consisting of the professional service market which appeals to advertisers trying to reach that target. Stick to what you know and don’t overreach. Once you start over complicating your message and the way you get your message out, then you just create confusion not only for your readership but also for your advertisers.
Editorial Director, Network Magazine
2019 will bring some exciting things to the world of marketing and how people brand themselves to convey their brand.
I believe you will start to see BOLD fonts and BRIGHT colors to make brands POP out in the mainstream of marketing. While the simplicity of ideas and information will make it look more organic and spacious.
With everyone trending into the social media and digital marketing spectrum in 2018, 2019 will also bring back printing in the way that it needs to be part of the complete marketing package. It has always been said that the more you market to your ideal audience, the more you will get noticed. Digital printing with data-driven marketing will be the trend in getting the complete package for brand marketing in 2019.
Owner & Designer, Berner Design
Marketing may seem like a moving target for business owners, but with savvy professionals tracking the trends, behaviors and new technologies (like artificial intelligence and visual search), there is help to find out what works for you and your business. My thanks to all of those who were willing to provide some insight into the state of the marketing world today.