The world is Marie Kondo-ing itself, and no space is safe, including digital marketing. Out with the clutter. If it doesn’t spark joy, then we don’t need it. And the same goes for your digital marketing strategy.
Consumers have come to expect companies to make content resources available so they can learn more: a blog on the company website, social media accounts, and probably an email newsletter. This is great news for the digital marketer! This year, things are shifting. Having a large quantity of stuff on your site is not enough. Consumers want quality of resources over quantity from the companies they do business with.
By “quality,” we mean better targeted, more personalized, highly creative messaging. We interviewed speakers who will be at the upcoming Midwest Digital Marketing Conference in St. Louis, and they confirmed that 2019 is a year focused on better understanding — and interacting with — your customers.
"The quantity of content published to the internet by marketers on a daily basis is astounding. Even the smallest of brands can easily produce websites, blogs, podcasts, videos, social posts, etc. that look just as good as the big players. I think we will see brands continue to focus on the quality of their content vs. the quantity in the future," says Sarah Dalton of Nolan & Associates.
Keep reading to learn the top three ways marketers are emphasizing quality over quantity in digital marketing this year.
Gone are the days of slogging through forums and searching the FAQs page to try to find answers to your exact question. Steph Nissen, of Atomic Revenue, says that chatbots are one of the trends that digital marketers need to consider this year.
“People want to self-serve to find the information they need. Finding a balance of personalized automation through chatbots is going to be huge,” notes Nissen.
In a world of instant gratification, adding a chatbot to your website is an effective way to scale your ability to provide answers to both leads and current customers. Working as a full-time employee to keep site visitors happy, your chatbot is capable of learning the answer to almost any question that your customers have. In fact, research has found that over the past year, chatbots have evolved to be more conversational, intelligent, and human-like than ever before, and that’s why 80 percent of companies are planning to implement chatbots by 2020.
"As more things are automated, as more bots are put into place, as more sales go online, I think we’re going to see the rise of digital marketing professionals who not only understand digital, but understand people (how they think, what motivates them, and why they purchase or don’t purchase)," says Tyler Kelley from SLAM! Agency. "These professionals will be the leaders of tomorrow’s brightest brands."
When prospects need help, they are looking for a straightforward, clear solution. By utilizing technology to the fullest, digital marketers can now provide the most valuable information in a way that scales while giving the potential buyer an enjoyable experience in the process. Keep it simple!
There is an abundance of data proving how powerful a tool social media is for digital marketers in the buying process today. The change that will be made in content strategies this year isn’t posting quantity, it’s posting quality. You need to understand each fragmented channel and how to best communicate there. And social platforms are becoming even more vital tools for understanding your customer given developments such as live streaming, stories, and geographical location tracking.
“Social media marketing is where we continue to see rapid change and growth, both with regard to the available channels as well as capabilities of those channels. Google+ is gone. Messenger and WhatsApp are merging, and more,” observes Mike Allton, of Blogging Brute.
The best thing we can do for ourselves as digital marketers is not just to recognize that social media is necessary, but to stay on top of how to create quality content on the appropriate channels. Consumers absolutely appreciate when companies have social media accounts that offer more information and insight into their business, but there is so much more that these platforms enable you to do than just mindlessly post something and check it off your daily to-do list. This year, don’t just show up to social media — be a conversation starter.
Perhaps the most revolutionary trend that digital marketers are investing in this year is the personal development of employees. Nothing is more important to a company's success than its people. That holds true especially for Millennials, 87 percent of whom say that professional development and career growth are significant for them. Take it from Bill Skowronski, of Idea Marketing Group.
“Professional development may be the largest untapped opportunity within a company’s budget. We spend so much time on efficiency and speed to market that we overlook opportunities to add value to our business by developing in-house leaders in our industry,” says Skowronski.
Digital marketing has more influence in the boardroom than ever before. In our interviews, we found that the trends this year all point to an evolution toward smarter communication with your customer. We have more data, more statistics, more proof of how customers prefer to be interacted with through digital marketing. What we need to do is empower ourselves and our teams to use this information to make every interaction with our potential customers a truly valuable one.
For more information on 2019 digital marketing trends and to learn more from the marketers quoted in this post, attend the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference in St. Louis, April 15-18. Click here for 75 percent off your full-day conference pass.