Marketing in 2019 will see the continued rise of user-generated content over media or corporate content, Instagram expansion and larger investments in the Hispanic market, among other trends.
While some of these trends have been around for a while and are intensifying, others – like artificial intelligence and smart speakers – will intensify. Another, changes in influencer marketing, was signaled in a crisp Washington Post article at the start of 2018 bearing a subtitle of “Gritty blogs have given way to staged Instagram photos.” But there’s also a trend toward influencers who have smaller social media followings, if they are focused and active.
1) Artificial intelligence, virtual reality – AI and VR are making steady progress, although neither is where many expected them to be yet, and VR headsets are not taking off as once predicted. One of the newest developments is having android faces express greater emotion if robots are to interact with humans more effectively, according to Science Daily. Chatbots that respond to voice queries are more common. Google Duplex, a version of Google Assistant that can conduct outbound calling, was announced in May. It’s a new technology for conducting natural conversations to carry out “real world” tasks over the phone. The technology is directed towards completing specific tasks, such as scheduling certain types of appointments or reservations at a restaurant.
2) Smart Speakers – Amazon Echo and Google Home are becoming more common in higher income or tech-savvy homes, with 28 million Amazon devices installed in in 2017. They represent one of the fastest growing areas of AI, and many predict this is Amazon’s big ace in the hole for technology in the future. But marketing or advertising on the devices is still an area of exploration. Amazon wants companies to advertise that consumers can shop using Alexa. While that hasn’t happened yet, according to Recode, it is an area of interest for many marketers.
3) Quality Content — Changes by Google search engines mean its results are more geared toward the reputation of the content creator – such as the author of the article or landing page being rated, according to The SEM Post. This will put a greater emphasis on sites needing to have author information and author bios on their articles, especially for those sites that do not use bylines on their content when it isn’t clear on the site itself who authors the articles.
4) Hispanic Influence. There are signs that Hispanics are blending more than ever with the general American culture, while also becoming a greater influence on that culture. The 2018 Midterm elections gave a glimpse of how that influence continues to play out and suggests marketers can’t take Hispanic communities for granted. One quarter of Hispanic voters cast a ballot in a midterm for the first time in 2018, and the vast majority of Hispanics voted for Democrat candidates. Politics aside, Hispanics continue to be the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population and their economic power is continuing to also grow, making this segment a perfect growth opportunity for brands.
5) Instagram — Instagram dealt a blow to Snapchat with Stories. Now it’s challenging YouTube with the launch of its vertical video app, IGTV. As the company said in its announcements, people are watching less TV and more digital video. Younger audiences are spending more time with amateur content creators and less time with professionals. Longer vertical video on Instagram makes it easier for businesses to get closer to their audience and be discovered by new people. The platform allows creation of a business account, where you can add pertinent business information like store hours, business address or a phone number.
6) Podcasts — Podcasts are back again. A Nielsen Fanlinks survey recently said that the number of self-identified “avid” podcast fans rose from 13 million homes in 2016 to 16 million in 2017 — up by 23 percent. Podcast revenues topped $314 million in 2017, an 86 percent increase from 2016, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau. It also said ads read by podcast hosts were cited as the preferred ad type, representing more than two-thirds of such ads in 2017. Direct response ads made up the majority of campaigns, followed by brand awareness ads (29 percent). In addition, ads integrated or edited into programming accounted for 58 percent of the podcast ad inventory in 2017.
Maybe this is the year you get ahead of these trends and put Hispanic marketing on the radar.