While trends like automation and AI, video, and the rise of the chatbots will continue to make an impact on marketing campaigns across industries, 2019 will also see a push for more personalized content and experiences, and customer-centered approaches with a focus on quality and engagement over more ads.
Bridging the Gap: Technology and the Human Touch
In addition to voice search, chatbots, and video content, here are five areas of focus for creating content that will resonate and drive greater engagement and impact with consumer audiences in the coming year and near future.
Cross Channel Marketing
To enhance the consumer experience and create more effective marketing campaigns, consider platform and channel compartmentalization a thing of the past.
According to Forbes:
“Whether you prefer to call it cross-channel or omnichannel, successful marketers have implemented multichannel strategies in which email, social media, content, and mobile marketing are tied together. Doing so has been effective in engaging the right users with the brand at the right time via the right channel. Sales increase because you’ve provided your customers with a seamless and consistent experience.”
Emphasis on (Human) Networks and Collaboration
People don’t like to be sold as the old saying goes, and that has never been more true than in the present day, when consumers are increasingly becoming more responsive to quality content from trusted sources and brands over an onslaught of indiscriminate and intrusive ads. In order to connect with and gain their audience’s trust, brands will have to approach their content marketing as a relationship to cultivate, rather than a vehicle for making a hard sale.
Data about consumer behavior and preferences gives marketers a unique opportunity to offer highly targeted and useful content on a more granular level. Additionally, marketers should think about diversifying how content is delivered to help generate and keep engagement, the most common vehicles being blogs, video, infographics, podcasts, and membership or gated content that adds real value.
The Empathy Factor
Good old fashioned storytelling, which underscores the popularity and efficacy of content marketing, is ultimately driven by an empathetic connection between storyteller and audience. Consumers, who are increasingly choosing to do business with brands they feel personally connected to, want to know that their favorite companies and brands share their vision and values. Welcome to the “emotion economy,” where emotional intelligence is as important a metric for success as more traditional factors like demographic information and past purchasing habits and behavior.
If there is one constant in digital marketing, it’s the ever-changing nature of Google’s search algorithms and SEO best practices. As Google and search engines in general become smarter and more sophisticated, marketing campaigns will have to evolve beyond the old tools and methods to deliver useful, quality content in order to reach - and retain - the target audience. Semantic search takes basic keyword searches a step further to determine intent and identify the context behind every search phrase.
The march towards greater automation and more sophisticated and intuitive search capabilities will continue through the coming year and beyond, but the smartest marketing campaigns will be the ones that synthesize and strike an elegant balance between strategy, technology, and the most important element of all - the human factor.