16 Jan Key Digital Trends for 2019
Well here we are… 2019! Where on earth did that come from? It seems only 2 minutes ago it was September 2018 and then BOOM, 2019 shows up at our door out of nowhere!
So much happened in every corner of the world and every facet of life that I think we’ve all been blindsided by a new year.
Our predictions for 2018 it would seem were right on the money and so we’d like to share with you once again our key digital trends for 2019, so you know what’s moving and shaking in the digital world and how that could impact or interact with your business.
Last year we really focused on all the technology and software developments, but this year the focus is more on digital marketing because it’s in these areas we will see the greatest developments in 2019.
BREXIT AND DIGITAL DATA
It’s a word we all want to stop hearing regardless of which ‘side’ you’re on, but it’s likely to manifest in some form or another over the coming months, and unless there’s an about turn so we remain in the European Union, we all have to accept that there will be some changes in store on a business and personal level!
Speaking of business, you’re probably wondering how Brexit will impact your data, the truth be told no one really knows the true impact this will all have on EU and UK laws or how that will impact how we all do business and transfer data online! We have all gone through the GDPR process and that is an ongoing process, a good one in our opinion.
The only certainty we do have in all of this is even if we crash out with no deal or we do leave with some sort of deal in place then the GDPR rules will still stand either way.
That said, it doesn’t look great for businesses if we leave without a deal because it will mean that no one knows what’s going on or what to do, and until that’s all figured out things could get a little messy, especially when it comes to digital data processing and storage in the EU!
Although the fear factor isn’t coming from facts, it’s really coming from the unknown and some scaremongering from multiple angles. We were all lead to believe that when the year 2000 hit or Y2K, the digital world as we knew it was going to end! Suffice to say it didn’t, and now digital is taking over the world, so it just goes to show that no matter how difficult change is and no matter how much we want to fight it, whatever our personal reasons are, things will work out one way or the other in the end.
The truth is, no one really knows the impact that this will all have, but you would be wise to consider that whatever happens, there will be some sort of impact on your business in many areas, so as always in business, be prepared for the unknown!
THE STUMBLE OF FACEBOOK AND THE RISE OF INSTAGRAM
It’s not really a secret that Facebook has had some big issues in recent months, what with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, prompting Mark Zuckerberg to state “we have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it.” This has meant that there have been some major changes on the social media platform which is still the largest in the world by the way, but it has dropped down to the 3rd most visited website on the planet, so there has clearly been some impact somewhere along the way!
If you’re wondering who’s number 1 and two, well that would be Google and YouTube respectively.
Facebook is by no means on a downward spiral due to all the controversy in 2018, oh no, they are doing just fine and it looks like 2019 will be an even better year for them and indeed your business too if you play your cards right.
So, Facebook and YouTube are the all mighty and powerful social media platforms but hot on their heels is the super growth site that is Instagram (also owned by Facebook). Insta (as it’s affectionately known) now has over 1 billion users and that’s not going to slow down in 2019! A whopping 80% of its users are outside of the US, so if you’re looking to target a truly diverse and international market place then this is your platform.
Instagram is set to deliver in even more ways for people to reach audiences and something they recently introduced is advertising on Insta Stories which has become an effective way for brands to sell online.
GOOGLE REMAINS THE GOD/DESS
Google is gospel, we all know that and nothing is going to change in 2019.
In 2018 Google made sure that websites that were not mobile responsive, user-friendly and quick to load suffered and those who had ensured their websites were all of those things got to the top of their search rankings. This is set to take precedence in 2019 because mobile is where it’s at, so if you don’t already have a mobile responsive website and you want to remain in favour with the biggest search engine and website in the world, you need to ensure it is ASAP!
Google killed Google Adwords in 2018 and unveiled their shiny new Google Marketing Platform which is basically a new look Google Ads interface! Amazon is hot on the heels of Google in terms of future ad space and spend, so keep an eye on that competition and the potential benefits it could bring your business in 2019.
Where Cookie Consent is concerned which is equally as important as GDPR, Google has kindly provided some more advice and guidelines on helping ensure publishers and advertisers have the tools and information needed to help you stay legal in obtaining user consent.
ALAN TURING AND THE CHATBOTS
Who would have thought that all these years later, Alan Turing would still be having such an incredible impact on the development of Artificial Intelligence… but it is so. Thanks to the Turing test which was developed way back in 1950, we now have the ability to instruct a computer programme to conduct a conversation using audio or text to simulate human reactions, responses and communication!
This way of communicating with humans to allow businesses to provide a greater level of service to their customers is fast becoming the norm and will develop further in 2019 for certain.
These ‘conversational agents’ have been around for a while and one place you might have seen them is your Facebook Page messenger. You can set up text chatbots which allow you to respond to new messages without lifting a finger every time someone messages you! You simply set up an auto message that responds and provides your inquirer with relevant business information or a direct response to their question or tells them exactly when they can expect to receive a personal response from you.
Some voice chatbots aren’t yet brilliant but some are and NLP (Natural Language Processing) is going to develop even further in 2019, so in the not too distant future you might not know whether it’s a human on the other end of the line or a bot!
VIDEO AND PODCAST MICROMARKETING
Both these continue their meteoric rise in 2019 and are both excellent ways for you to reach your target audience without spending much more than some time on both. If you answer your customers search terms and questions in both and use those to ‘tag’ the title, then your ‘how do I’, ‘I want to’, ‘where can I’ titles about your specific industry or niche will come up in online searches and direct traffic and customers to your website, services and products.
Remote working is set to increase dramatically in 2019. Just 20 years ago this was a rarity (and mainly involved dial-up and screechy fax machines that made you want to beat yourself to death with the stapler because they were so slow!). Now a whopping 70% of workers around the globe work remotely at least once a week. We have been liberated by technology and travel which has enabled us to respond to customers whilst lying on a beach, to attend a meeting whilst only being dressed on the upper half (and in PJ’s on the bottom half!), you can check your schedule, set a meeting and even do your banking without stepping a toe into an office.
As communication software development is rapid, it will only become easier for us to communicate in a multitude of ways, some of which we don’t even know about yet.
We mentioned chat bots earlier and they are going to help liberate business owners and workers even further because they can answer inquiries for you so you don’t even need to be there to respond anymore, allowing you to be elsewhere working on developing your business even further.
Key Trends 2019 Conclusion:
Communication and marketing are in focus this year. Technology is simply forging ahead coming on leaps and bounds from the previous few years, and if we haven’t reported on it before, then it’s likely not even been invented yet.
Take away: Ensure your business is Brexit ready for all possible eventualities because unless there’s an about turn, doing nothing isn’t an option! Use all of the knowledge shared with you in this post to enhance your business operations and also your digital marketing because you can be certain your competitors are if you are not!