From interactive videos to AI: The five marketing trends that will dominate 2019

Warwick Boulter Collaboro

Collaboro co-founder and chief executive officer Warwick Boulter. Source: Supplied.

With 2019 underway, marketers are using increasingly sophisticated technology to understand their customers’ behaviour, to understand the triggers and timings of need, and to create intelligent content that activates data-driven insights.

I believe there are five content marketing trends that will dominate 2019. By understanding these digital marketing strategies, and implementing them, your business can reap the rewards of producing content that delivers a real and lasting impact.

1. Using data to create personalised marketing content

Data science represents a huge leap forward in gathering information about your customers. Don’t think it’s important? Late last year, Microsoft, SAP and Adobe decided to play nicely together with the goal of sharing marketing and customer data to create powerful customer insights, for their shared customers.

You don’t need to be a big company like Unilever to do this yourself. This year will see a growing number of data scientists being engaged by marketers to extract insights, to power decision-making and to ever more tightly segment.

The focal outcome for most marketers is to create highly targeted, well-timed, personalised content that is automated and at scale.

Consider adding data science to your marketing spend in 2019, helping you to mine and understand the intricacies of your customers.

2. Educational content to take centre stage

Educational content about products and services helps potential consumers to understand the worth of what you provide. Supplying educational content can also add depth to your brand and earn it credibility. Educational content can take the form of an e-newsletter, a white paper or a how-to video. For example, a bank may offer financial literacy literature or videos to highlight the importance of personal investment.

The trick is not to overdo the spin in your educational content and keep it informative and factual.

As an example, Sydney-based online fashion retailer Showpo uses fun tutorial videos to target their audience on how to be a snappy dresser, including everything from how to dress like Ariana Grande, to other practical topics such as how to pack clothes more effectively for a holiday, travel tips and how to do a fake tan well. These educational videos have a combined viewership of one million, and it’s snappy educational marketing that gets Showpo’s target audience glued to the screen. 

3. Engage an influencer

Influencer marketing can be an important part of a digital marketing plan, especially if you are targeting younger consumers. As social media overtakes mainstream media in popularity, the use of influencers has become an important way to promote a brand’s products or services and could help yours.

Influencers are typically trusted or well-known figures within a community who have a loyal following and can leverage this standing to influence purchase and decision-making.

The rise of the D-list celebrity will similarly become more pronounced in 2019. They’re famous faces that we know but can’t remember why we know them or for what purpose. Yet their reach is invaluable. Just take a look at Carrot Top or Dustin Diamond, or closer to home, Adelaide star Kayla Itsines. She built her fitness empire through the power of Instagram and is an influencer in the fitness and health space. Businesses are likely to enlist D-list celebrities and other influencers in the future to endorse and market their goods, and it doesn’t necessarily require much of an outlay.

Industry experts suggest a price point of US$1,000 ($1395) per 100,000 followers on Instagram. This price should be adjusted further depending on the reach and relevance of your influencer. On YouTube, a price point of US$100 per 1,000 views is standard.

The beauty of influencer marketing is that businesses have a plethora of influencers to choose from in reaching target audiences and it doesn’t require a big up-front cost.

4. AI used to create personalised advertising campaigns

Artificial intelligence (AI) will be used increasingly in 2019 to create personalised advertising campaigns that can multiply the effectiveness of online advertising. AI will enable organisations to research and develop crucial marketing aspects, such as keyword searches, trends and current audience response, which all means faster campaign ability.

AI-based algorithms on websites can also match how your customers respond to marketing material. We are just seeing the beginning of machine learning and AI to market goods, so now is a good time to get on board and fire up your marketing team with tech experts who can write the algorithms.

Or you can use of the several tools that are out there. Pencil, for example, is a creative AI tool that enables brands to craft massive personalised ad campaigns, which can multiply the effectiveness of online advertising for your business. Pencil claims it is building the world’s first creative AI for generating digital content and advertising at scale, so it’s something to keep in mind if you want to streamline your costs and add more power to your mix.

5. Interactive video

Interactive video has been living in the uncomfortable gestation stage for a few years now — conceptually useful, but not good enough for big brands to deploy at scale. This year will see the tipping point of this technology, as leading marketers and content specialists go live with interactive video platforms.

The technology enables brands to create user-driven journeys, enabled by video and enhanced with any information, from any source, that’s relevant to the journey. Further, analytics can track the journeys and derive insights down to an individual level — pushing those insights into the data chain for ever greater insight and personalisation.

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