Having a structured business plan should include your marketing strategy, and part of that strategy should include using the latest digital techniques to promote your business to the right audience. In 2019, there have been developments to digital marketing that you should not ignore if you want to stay ahead.

  1. Chatbots

This AI-based technology is set to help save businesses an estimated $8 billion per annum by 2022, and some surveys suggest that many people prefer chatbots.

The technology is fast, responsive, can recall customer data accurately, and never get frustrated with customers. They can complete automated tasks, so you can focus your resources on more complex tasks. Well-programmed chatbots will become very effective tools for the banking and healthcare sectors in the coming years.

Car-sharing apps are already using chatbots effectively to communicate with passengers and drivers and give ap users options across a range of platforms.

The biggest advantage of chatbots is 24/7 access to customer service for your customers, meaning higher rates of customer retention for your business.

  1. Video Content

No longer just the dominion of YouTube, video content is essential to the success of any marketing campaign. Just like TV once demanded the advertising space once given to print and radio, video marketing is giving customers the interactive experience of your product or business that can help them make a decision.

From live broadcasts on various social media to smart videos and vlogs, people are craving interactive content that allows them to get closer to you and your business.

  1. Social Media Messaging

While you might have been messaging friends and family for years, it’s time to start using the technology to communicate with your customers.

By using the same strategies as telemarketing and email marketing to segment and analyse your audience, you can send customers alerts about things that are important to them. Making personalised contact with customers through messaging is a non-intrusive way to ensure that you connect with your customers about things that are important to them, such as sales or discounts, or changes to services.

  1. Visual Search

With visual search, users can upload an image to search for more specific results. Using tools, such as Google Lens, people can take a photo and search for something, such as a book or building or even your business card.

For this tool to be successful for your business, you need to ensure you have high-quality visual content that will rate highly in searches. So use plenty of original content that catches attention and get ahead with this technology that is set to become more important in the coming years as it is adapted and improved.

  1. Mirco Moments

Micro-Moments is a “new consumer behaviour,” says Google. The marketing aim is to deliver your marketing message clearly and concisely in a way that is of interest to the consumers within seconds. This strategy is applied to smartphone technology and gives businesses four categories to choose from: I want to know moments; I want to go moments; I want to do moments; I want to buy moments.

This search option is designed to answer consumers who are busy with the top hits for their area in each category. The same as the ‘near me’ option for finding things fast, this development will be essential to the future of brick-and-mortar businesses.

  1. Voice Search

You need to have content that works with voice search. People are increasingly relying on voice search to find results, and the way for your business to be among the top ratings is to have the right configuration. Short sentences with keywords written in conversational style are going to be found far more easily than content that is not structured in such ways.

While you can still have professional and high-quality content on your website that is not written in a conversational tone, you do need to include at least a FAQ page that is written in a style that is more relaxed.

  1. Personalisation

With a proliferation of customer data at your fingertips, there is no reason that your content is not personalised. People are willing to give you their information, and your marketing strategy should include an analysis of customer data to segment, create and contact your customers accordingly.

Personalisation is proving to be the biggest driver in customer retention. Tracking data allows you to know who your customer is, what they value and what they are searching for. Movie and music streaming sites do this particularly well by suggesting what else you might like based on your viewing history or preferences. While these algorithms are complex, they are also essential to the success of such services and should be applied in order for your customer to feel valued in an online environment where relationships are one-sided and insecure.

This year is going to see some big advances in the way that people interact with technology. The generation that grew up holding smartphones are now adults dictating how they want to shape the future of our interactions with technology. While marketing has always moved at a rapid pace, it is set to become a rollercoaster of hit and miss in the coming few years and for any business to succeed their needs to be an understanding of how this will evolve, what will remain, what will change and who is paying attention.