As we all know, setting realistic and measurable marketing goals contributes to overall business success. Your audience wants to form a relationship with your brand, and marketing does just that. That’s why, year after year, the most sought-after goal of marketing is visibility — how customers see your business. Great marketing not only brings new audiences to your brand, but it also helps customers understand why your product or service is better than, or different from, the competition.

So, how can you increase visibility in 2019? Start by assessing the latest marketing trends. Last year, key marketing trends included campaign personalization, community marketing, and video advertising. This year is poised to offer a whole new wave of targeted marketing tactics. Let’s dive into the top four marketing trends to drive your business goals in 2019!

1. Voice Search

If you’re like me, you’ve been having more conversations with virtual assistants lately. “Hey Siri” wakes my phone. “Okay Google” prompts me to ask it to turn the lights on in my office. You can even catch me screaming “Alexa! Turn the music up!” on a Friday night at home. But today’s voice recognition devices are used for so much more. Virtual assistants have changed the way we search. Why bother typing your search when you can speak it? Voice searches offer a more efficient alternative, with the ability to search on the go. This trend has caused search engines to favor long-tail keywords as part of full sentences and questions. What this means is that your content strategy must shift in order for potential customers to find you. When crafting your SEO strategy, focus on longer keyword phrases that are more casual yet detailed, mimicking natural speech. As an example, instead of targeting “business software.” you would be better off using “best business software for human resources.” And you better start now — media analytics company ComScore predicts that half of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.

2. Go Live!

In 2005, YouTube skyrocketed as the leader in video-sharing services — and it hasn’t slowed down since.  Online video marketing has been a top priority for content marketers for years as consumers are spending more time on smartphones and laptops, and less time in front of the television. However, over the past year there has been a shift in video marketing. This trend has moved away from traditional, scripted video, and instead is piquing the interest of audiences worldwide by going live. Live streaming videos are sporadic and off-the cuff, yet audiences connect with the relaxed and natural tone of conversation. YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are each now offering live streaming, with the market projected to be worth a whopping $70 billion by 2021. So, don’t be shy! Incorporate live streaming into your social media strategy and ditch the script for a more personalized, conversational approach.

3. Content Variety

Over the past few years, marketers have been heavily focused on creating keyword-rich, long-form content. This means, blog posts and web pages well over 1,200 words. Long-form content ranked higher in search engines, with audiences spending more time on websites. However, this approach will not suffice much longer. Although long-form blog posts are beneficial in providing valuable information to potential customers, audiences in the early buying stages are bouncing off long-form pages and opting instead for shorter, immediate answers to their inquiries. Search engines are picking up shorter, “snackable” content pieces that get to the point. Overall, audiences need a balance of content, short and long, as well as less traditional options such as eBooks, infographics, and webinars.

4. Micro-Moments

Today, people expect faster results than ever before. According to Google, micro-moments is a new form of media consumption that is changing the shape of the customer journey. Micro-moments refer to when people turn to a digital device to learn, do, buy or discover something. Thanks to the availability of information, these micro-moments can happen anywhere at any time. In those moments, consumers expect brands to address their needs with real-time relevance. Consumers hold high expectations for personalized inquiries, and if unfulfilled, they move onto the next search. So what can you do to keep up with this trend? Essentially, your business needs to fully understand your target audience. Boil down the most popular and frequent questions they ask and create content that provides quicker, accurate, and simpler answers for customers in real-time.

The battle to capture consumers’ attention today is increasingly more difficult. Simply being aware of these marketing trends is not enough. Your business must adapt swiftly in your marketing strategies or risk losing out. By embracing these four trends, your company can discover new, relevant ways to relate to customers, building trust and authenticity.

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Lauren Ford

Lauren Ford

is Marketing Communications Manager and the dynamic voice behind Square 9 Softworks. Delivering highly effective messaging across reseller channels, end user communities and outside agencies, Ford develops, drives and executes communication plans that effectively support Square 9’s overall marketing goals and objectives. To learn more visit www.square-9.com