Digital Marketing is an ever-changing playground and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest global trends.

I’ve been researching trends on multiple platforms (YouTube, Pinterest, Google and LinkedIn) and trends differ depending on who’s sharing the information, however, there are a number of trends that stand out.

This information was presented in Cape Town on the16th May 2019 at the Social Media and Marketing Conference in Cape Town held by Ayihlome Training Projects.  I’ve uploaded the files to Slideshare and I’ll add a video as soon as possible.

In this post, I’ll share 8 of the most prominent Online Marketing Trends today.

  1. Video Marketing
  2. Content Clusters
  3. OmniChannel Marketing
  4. Influencer Marketing
  5. WhatsApp Marketing
  6. Storytelling
  7. Live Chat and Chatbots
  8. Voice Search

As we go through each of them, I’d like you to keep this question in the back of your mind:

Which of these trends do you see as your BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY in 2019?

Digital Marketing Trends Question

1. Video Marketing

Video is seen as a MEGATREND.  There are 3 main reasons you’ll want to get into Video. 

1.  Videos are HUGELY Popular right now.  Wouldn’t you rather watch a video than read an article?  That’s exactly what your customers are doing.

2.  Videos can be much more emotive and authentic than written content. They can bring a boring website to life.

3. Google loves video, especially YouTube videos embedding in posts. Videos are great for SEO.

Let’s just talk about YouTube.  YouTube Stats are Crazy!

  • Daily, People are watching 1 BILLION Hours of Video on YouTube.
  • YouTube has nearly 2 Billion monthly active users.
  • 4 x as many People prefer watching Videos on YouTube than any other Social Media Platform.

Find more YouTube Stats at HubSpot

Advertising on YouTube

And, as Facebook Ads are becoming more expensive, it’s becoming more popular (and more effective) to advertise on YouTube.

You have a better chance of your Ad being seen and heard on YouTube. Facebook Ads start with the sound turned off and most people don’t turn it on.

Facebook has recently taken away some of its powerful targeting options. YouTube’s Targeting options are worth looking into. You can even target people who have been researching what you offer on YouTube (remember, Google owns YouTube).

2. Content Marketing

Content Marketing is here to stay.  The more information and inspiration you can provide your clients, the better.

The latest trend in Content Marketing to look out for is Topic Clusters or

Content Clusters

This is a unique method of Content creation that can boost your SEO, ease the flow of traffic through your website and dazzle your customers or clients with answers to all their questions.

The search engines reward sites that cover topics best and your audience will love you for it too.

Step 1:  Find the main problem or pain point you solve.

Step 2: Create a Pillar Post covering the broad topic.  

Step 3: Make sure you choose a popular Keyword.

Step 4: Create cluster posts that link to your main post, covering other aspects of the topic.

The search engines reward sites that cover topics best and your audience will love you for it too.

So, if we were to choose this topic: Digital Marketing Trends in 2019, we could create a Content Cluster mapped out pretty much like this one.   I could write a separate post on each trend and link it back to this post. (Actually, I may just do that).

Digital Marketing Trends in 2019
3. OmniChannel Marketing

With the internet becoming more and more crowded, it’s important to employ as many social media platforms as possible in your digital marketing strategy.

Once upon a time, all you needed was a website and/or a Facebook page. Now, it’s getting increasingly difficult to be taken seriously if you’re not on Twitter and Instagram.

And, as mentioned, YouTube is definitely one to consider.

Pinterest is also not to be overlooked as a search engine and a platform that can bring huge traffic to your website.

And the trending channels right now are LINKEDIN and TUMBLR as their growth is faster than any of the other channels.

LinkedIn is known as the best Business to Business Channel and it’s my favourite channel by far.  Because you can connect with a targeted audience.  And because it’s more professional than any of other platforms.

LinkedIn Advertising is virtually a replica of the Facebook Ads dashboards, but cheaper and they have plenty of interesting Advertising options to explore, including Sponsored Posts.

3 Reasons to Advertise on LinkedIn

  1. Targeting is astoundingly accurate and you can target many different characteristics, including skills.
  2. You can start advertising for as little as $2 a day.
  3. Marketers choose LinkedIn over other platforms for Lead Generation.

You’ll find the Complete Guide to LinkedIn Ads on Hootsuite.

And I’ve only mentioned 7 Channels so far: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Tumblr.

If you really want to spread your wings and fly, you could start looking into Flipboard, Mix, Snapchat, Quora and Reddit. And there are countless other platforms springing up.

Phew!  Exhausting as it sounds, Omni Channel Marketing is a growing trend and one that cannot be ignored.

Each channel has its own benefits and drawbacks and each platform attracts a unique segment of the market, so it’s worth doing your homework.

Don’t miss Brandwatch’s 123 Amazing Social Media Statistics and Facts.

What Digital Marketing Trends will you take advantage of in 2019? In this post I take a look at 8 prominent trends in 2019. #DigitalMarketingTrendsin2019 4. Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing is a growing trend.  We all know the value of word of mouth marketing.  We know that people trust people before they trust businesses.

For years, Brands have employed Brand Ambassadors, compensating famous TV, Film and Sports personalities to advertise their products. In the new world of Online Marketing, Micro Influencers are providing exactly the same service.

I saw this in action last year when I was invited to attend the Happy Event #MommyHero Event.  Happy Event did both.  Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp was their Brand Ambassador and they shared the stories of Mom Bloggers and other Mommy Micro Influencers around the country on their website and Facebook page.

To Thank us for our interviews, we were all treated to a morning of pampering and delicious snacks.  A very clever marketing move as each Mom Blogger blogged about the Event and shared pictures and happy thoughts on their own social media channels as well.  I use my Mommy Hero mug every day and it always fills me with a sense of pride.

So Influencer Marketer is a win-win.  As Brands work with Influencers, their Influence grows. As Influencers work with Brands, their Influence (and Revenue) grows.

5. WhatsApp Marketing

Who knew that WhatsApp Marketing would be on this list?  It came as a surprise to me because WhatsApp Business is the new kid on the block.  It only launched in January 2019 and attracted over 5 Million Businesses in their first year.

The opportunity is huge though, especially in South Africa where virtually everyone and his Grandpa have a cellphone but very few have personal computers. Can’t find updated on Stats on this, sorry.

WhatsApp stats are impressive, to say the least. Here are just a few. You can find more stats at Business of Apps.

  • WhatsApp is the biggest Messenger App in the world, with 1.5 Billion Users in 180 Countries
  • WhatsApp outstrips Facebook Messenger by 200 Million Users.
  • 65 Billion messages are sent every day on WhatsApp.

So if you haven’t joined WhatsApp Business yet, now might be the perfect time to get ahead of this trend.

6. Storytelling

Instant Storytelling is hooge right now.

Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp have all hit 500 Million Active Users, according to Tech Crunch while Snapchat is trailing behind with 190 Million Users.

Brand Storytelling is also a growing trend.

And the simple art of Storytelling is making a comeback in all arenas.  Bloggers who tell stories attract more followers and gain more engagement.

The simplest place is to start if you want to jump on this bandwagon is with your website.

Create a Simple Marketing Message on your website

  • What You Offer 
  • How it will help your Customers or what pain point or problem you solve
  • And what they must do to take the next step forward

Distil all information down to the most important parts, what matters most to the Consumer.

And provide stories and testimonials of happy customers who have enjoyed your service and prove that you deliver on your promises. Social Proof is extremely important, both online and offline. (See Influencer Marketing above).

7. Live Chat and Chatbots

I don’t know about you but I love this new trend. When I was looking into buying Divi, my first paid WordPress Theme by Elegant ThemesI learned so much from their Chat Bots or Live Chat Conversations.  I plied them with questions for weeks and they were always responsive, day or night.

And that’s the major benefit of installing a Chat Bot on your website – 24-hour Service.

Of course, you’ll have to program the Bot to answer all your Frequently Asked Questions but imagine the time-saving once you’re all set up. How many times a day do you and your staff answer the same questions from your customers?

I was interested to find that smaller, newer web-based companies, even here in South Africa are also employing this Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Smart Technology.  I was contacted by someone just this week who has started up a Baby Sitting Site and I was incredibly impressed by their website. It’s stunning.  Have a look at We Sit.

The other benefits of Chat Bots and Live Chat are that Responses are Instant, creating a great customer experience. You can even handle complaints quickly and easily using a Chatbot.  Or at least you can start with a Bot and then refer them to a Live Chat or someone who can handle their query within a few hours.

Read more about Chat Bots at DigitalMarketing-Wiki

8. Voice Search

Now, this is an interesting new trend because no-one quite knows what to do with it yet and what impact it’s going to have on SEO.

What we do know is:

20% of all mobile searches are done using voice search and the number is rising every year.

When people ask verbally they usually say a lot more than they would when they type in their search query. So Long Tail Keywords are going to be important.

This is what’s known so far about optimising your website for Voice Search:

Step 1: Switch over to SSL or https.

Step 2: Fill out your Google My Business Profile as completely and accurately as possible and keep it updated.

Step 3: Ask Questions the way people would ask them verbally. (Again, knowing your FAQ’s are important)

Step 4: Use Long Tail Keywords in your posts to ask and answer these questions.

Step 5: Make sure your website uploads as fast as possible.

For more tips, visit this post by Sachs Marketing Group

I also loved Neil Patel’s quick video on Voice Search:

There are many more Trends I could have mentioned in this post. Here are a few of them:

  • Podcasting
  • Artificial Intelligence (Chat Bots fall into this category)
  • Marketing Automation
  • Email Automation
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
  • Community Marketing
  • NeuroMarketing

So… now that we’re done, let’s get back to the question I posed at the beginning of this post.

Which of these trends do you see as your BIGGEST OPPORTUNITY in 2019?  

I welcome your comments below.