Digital landscape in India has been evolving in a significant way in the last few years. In fact, a crucial turning point was in 2012 when 4G broadband networks were introduced in the India market. This led way to amazing possibilities to manifest in terms of data consumption. What was thought as pure ideal was manifested in reality. With the growing data consumption, the digital marketing arena started to flourish like never before. Similarly, 2019 is set to deem as the next crucial stage in the history of digital marketing industry in India. The main reason can be attributed to the arrival of 5G network in the near future.
Industry experts predict that 5G will be introduced in 2020. However, as a precursor, the base for 5G mobile network will be launched in 2019. This network functions as ever-present, uninterrupted, Gigabit class speed 4G coverage. Later this network will be leveraged by 5G by adding more spectral bands of wider bandwidths to boost its capacity. The result could be amazing. We will witness an extensive rise in AR/VR based applications and many more. This will have a profound effect in the way marketers approach the users on the digital front. Here are nine digital marketing trends that you cannot ignore in 2019.
- Artificial Intelligence
Although, artificial intelligence continues to rank in the list of top trends, in 2019 – it will be for a particular reason. Thanks to the arrival of 5G network, the potentials of AI will be leveraged, and so is the potential for digital marketing. In addition, the user awareness regarding the applicability of AI is increasing too. A recent study indicates approximately 30% of the marketers make use of AI technology for recommending a product as well to optimize a digital campaign. As a result, we will see AI playing a major role in customer service and segmentation, personalized advertising, retargeting, click tracking, and push notifications.
If you aspire to excel at delivering customer experience, then AI is the first thing you need to consider. Interestingly, 58% of the futuristic MNCs are already employing AI as a means to enhance user experience. With the arrival of 5G, the question remains to what extent. AI technology will also yield other positive benefits in 2019 such as new revenue streams, increase in revenue, enhanced customer lifetime value, reduced customer complaints and escalations etc.
The use of chatbots is gaining popularity in the digital space. In fact, recent statistics indicates its popularity has surpassed that of voicebots and visual search. Chatbots have been effectively employed for customer services by several leading global brands. The crucial factor for the advancement in their reliability could be attributed to two prominent features: chatbots are effective for mass communication, and chatbots act as 24/7 channel for bi-directional communication between customers and a company. As a result, we will see an increase in customer satisfaction and increased response rate, wherever chatbots are employed.
Due to the rising dominance of chatbots, 2019 will also mark a new milestone for what is termed as“conversational advertising.” Conversational advertising is a new concept where chatbots will assist customers by conversing with them and solving their queries while they are watching an advertisement. The latest industry statistics indicate chatbots have been successful in increasing user engagement by 36%. With the increasing acceptance of chatbots, they stats will only grow for the better.
- Programmatic Advertising
Programmatic advertising is still in its formative years in the advertising marketplace in India. Latest statistics indicate roughly 20% of the ad budgets are allocated to programmatic advertising in India. But 2019 will change this trend due to the digital revolution sweeping the Indian market with marketers becoming more and more aware of the immense prospects offered by programmatic advertising. As a result, any customer data will be valued like never before, since quality inventory is the elixir of programmatic advertising. Data will be gathered from cross channels as well as multiple sources such as customer activity tracking and data-sharing partnerships among online retailers.
With respect to the features of programmatic trends, videos will continue to be widely accepted in 2019. Videos will maintain their popularity among all other ad formats. The video consumption could be attributed to two factors: rising mobile device usage and high speed internet connectivity. Alternatively, this will lead to rise in the number of in-apps, which will be the buzzword in 2019.
- Video Marketing
Unlike other trends that are short-lived, video marketing trends will not become insignificant any time soon. The reason is simple: videos has higher appealing rate to the users, and visual medium is best in conveying a message with more clarity. This is why videos are the most popular content among internet users. If you are aspiring to excel in your business in 2019, then you cannot afford to let go of video marketing as a part of your marketing strategy. In fact, videos have a potential to boost the conversion rate by 72%. The latest industry figures indicate, 70% of consumers share videos of their favourite brands on social media. Videos can definitely drive sales, since they 52% of the customers agree that an informative video promotes them to make a purchase or associate with a brand.
In 2019, Youtube retains its position as the dominant video streaming platform among the masses. Nevertheless, video streaming on Facebook will increase significantly due to 5G internet entering the Indian market soon. With respect to the nature of video content, some of the major video marketing trends that you need to remember in 2019 are infotainment videos in form of Q&A, behind-the-scenes, feature videos, live videos, trending topics, breaking news, guide videos, user generated content and event coverage.
- Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing continues to retain its power to persuade in 2019. After all, customers prefer recommendations before making a purchase. Thus, influencer marketing can never be excluded from annual digital marketing strategy any time soon. Recent statistics reveal that about 7 out of 10 Gen-Z Indian YouTube subscribers rely upon influencer opinions, while 71% of total consumers are likely to make a purchase based upon references and recommendations from social media users. But this trend will change slightly in 2019.
Until recently, influencer marketing was majorly carried out by those known as “mega-influencers” or celebrity consumers having about a million followers on social media. But this trend will deteriote in the coming years. Mega-influencers are being replaced by micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are people who have more or less 10 thousand followers on social media. Although micro-influencers may not be famous or have less number of followers, they can be considered as authentic and reliable since they share a personal bond with their followers. Their followers include family members, relatives, friends, colleagues etc. In 2019, micro-influencers will be the buzz word that will represent the core of influencer marketing.
- Visual Search
Let’s admit – our search for shopping seldom begins with text. It’s the visual search that comes to our aid. We put faith on clear-cut visuals, rather than elongated descriptive text. A study conducted by scientists of MIT suggests, the human brain can classify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. The report states that visual data transmitted to the human brain comprises of 90% of the overall information. As visuals have a natural advantage over texts, visual based search are gaining popularity, especially after AI has begun to revolutionize digital marketing.
In order to capitalize on Visual Search, giant retailers including Google, Amazon, Bing and Pinterest have already started developing in this area. For instance, in Pinterest Lens alone, brands can target over 5000 categories through visual search advertising. Image-based Pinterest Ads have a conversion rate of 8.5% Visual Search is majorly influencing Lifestyle sector. Business Insider indicates 39% of the visual searches were related to Apparels, while 31% of them were in search of Home Décor. Electronics are leading the third-position by 24%. In Pinterest’s CEO Ben Silbermann’s own words, “The future of search will be about pictures rather than keywords.” In terms of visual search, we are going to watch swift advancements in a number of marketing strategies in 2019.
- Micro Moments
In 2019, digital marketing will be driven by what is known as the “micro-moment”: a new consumer behaviour that occurs when people reflexively turn to a smart-device to satisfy a need to ‘learn, do, buy or get to know something’. This momentary urge is what draws the users to digital platforms. According to Google, users experience an average of 150 micro-moments every day. In this regard, the six-second video ads will become commonplace in 2019 for two reasons: users’ craving for micro-moments and their reducing attention span. Most often customers do not perceive six second ads as tiresome. Moreover, studies have revealed that 90% of the six-second ads are successful in ad recalling, while 61% of such ads heighten brand awareness among viewers. 2019 will set a milestone in the timeline of short-form ads because six-seconds will no longer be restricted to online platforms alone. We will see several broadcast TV networks employing them during prime shows. Short-forms videos will definitely be a delight for audiences and a challenge to creators, as they require shorter and smarter ways of storytelling.
- Voice Search
2019 holds high hopes for Voice Search. According to Technavio, the voice recognition market is going to cross the $601 million mark in 2019. Alpine.AI has estimated that the beginning of 2018 recorded a whopping figure of one billion voice searches per month – which has been swelling ever since. ComScore is assertive in its prediction that by 2020, nearly 50% of the searches will be voice based, while 30% of all the searches will be done without a screen (Gartner). This implies 2019 is going to be a milestone in this incredible transition.
- Social Media Stories
Social media stories will be a prominent digital marketing trend in 2019. In fact, stories are a perfect mode to promote engagement and brand awareness on social media. Stories can be used to create buzz. In this regard, social media marketers can make use of what is known as FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) phenomenon, since social media stories disappear after a particular duration. Hence social media stories can be used to feature a lot of things such as behind the scenes, making of a product, reviews and recommendations etc to create excitement and cater to the curiosity of the customers.
To Sum Up
Digital marketing in 2019 will be all about customer experience, which will be characterized by three factors: Personalization, AI powered technology and Automation brought about by high speed internet connectivity. To be more specific, visuals will dominate the digital marketing strategy, be it visual search, social media, influencer marketing or ad campaigns. Particularly with the arrival of 5G internet connectivity, the data consumption will be high as ever. Simultaneously, with the development of latest AI tools, there is immense scope for user personalization and delivering amazing customer experience in 2019.