2019 is already underway. B2B content marketing professionals are, therefore, scrambling to identify what digital marketing trends will shape the year ahead. Will AI dominate online marketing? Or will big data mining become indispensable to marketers?
It should come as no surprise that AI and big data will continue to dominate online marketing trends in 2019. Here, though, we will run down what other trends top marketers should expect to manifest in the year ahead.
End-to-End Personalisation of Sales Leads
Social media consistently shows us that consumers have a strong preference for personalised ads and marketing content.
To date, platforms like Facebook ads have helped businesses deliver personalised content to users. Namely, by targeting specific user demographics. However, in 2019, some are predicting that big data and AI will reach a point where marketing content is created in mind of specific individuals and delivered to them accordingly.
Chatbots will Continue to Take Over – But at a Cost
2017 and 2018 witnessed rapid adoption of customer service chatbots. On business websites and social media pages, chatbots are predominantly used to deliver 24/7 customer support. This trend will continue throughout 2019. However, businesses need to prepare for some push back.
59% of consumers find chatbots frustrating. This can sour relationships with brands. Because of this, 2019 needs to be the year in which businesses start realising that direct human communication still plays a pivotal role in real customer service.
LinkedIn Will Usurp Twitter & Facebook
In 2018, content shared on Linkedin drove 50% of all traffic to B2B websites and blogs. This is thanks to the fact that B2B content marketing via Linkedin, reaches a more mature and more relevant target audience. Online marketing trends in 2019 will, therefore, likely see Linkedin steadily usurp the overall social media marketing dominance of Facebook and Twitter.
2019 Will be The Year of Local SEO
At present, Google Maps and local business listing services like Yelp, are predominantly used by brick and mortar businesses. However, data shows that B2B clients also prefer to work with brands in their area. 2019 will likely, therefore, become the year in which more B2B brands finally start optimizing local listings.
Long-form Content will Experience a Resurgence
Online marketing trends in recent years have seen B2B brands use short and snappy marketing content. However, search engines and consumers are repeatedly showing a preference for more in-depth, long-form content.
As well as helping B2B brands rank better search engines, long-form content is perceived as more thoroughly researched by target audiences. This helps build trust and establish B2B brands as legitimate authorities in their area of expertise.
GDPR Compliance Will Make or Break B2B Brands in 2019
Quantifiable analysis of the most significant digital marketing trends of 2019 won’t be possible until the year’s fourth quarter. However, one trend which is almost certain to make waves concerns GDPR rules which came into effect in 2018.
At present, 44% of UK businesses are still not GDPR compliant. Worse, with GDPR no longer in the headlines, many aren’t making haste to GDRP-proof even basic data collection processes. For this reason, GDPR could itself become a major topic of contention in 2019, unless B2B brands act now to ensure their full compliance.