The bottles have been popped and the countdowns have been dropped. Choruses of “Auld Lang Syne” have been sing, sang, sung. It’s officially 2019, which merits putting the final checks on your new year marketing plan. Are you 2019 ready? For brands and digital marketers, being “2019-ready” means a shift toward an increasingly technological yet also human and responsive approach to content marketing. Here’s what we mean by that

Video is Still Where It’s At

When it comes to storytelling, video and LIVE content will become even more prominent. Last year, Instagram rolled out with their vertical video platform, IGTV, and YouTube is growing ever popular. Expect this trend to expand dramatically in 2019.

Prep tip: If you’re still camera shy, figure out a way around that because video is here to stay, and it’s critical for boosting your brand.

Social Listening Will Become More Popular

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Social listening involves scoping out what people are saying on social media that doesn’t necessarily involve keywords or even hashtagged words but that are words that pertain to your brand’s service or product. By listening, you can effectively target customers whose conversations indicate they want what you have. Some brands already do this to great effect. B2C recently posted a list of good social listening tools if you’re interested.

AI and Chatbots Will Facilitate 24/7 Communication

The Internet, like New York City, never sleeps. This is why brands sometimes wake up to salty reviews and tough questions that audiences wanted answered hours earlier (and is perhaps why other brands have already swooped into scoop up those potential buyers). To resolve this issue, AI and chatbots are being employed to great effect. They are expected to become the content marketer’s unofficial wingman of 2019.

Microinfluencers Will Grow in Number and in Function

Speaking of wingmen, the past few years have witnessed the rise of influencers so much so that some of these people are like mini-celebrities in their own rights. To get back down to Earth, microinfluencers have risen in value to brands. These are brands that have 10,000 or fewer followers, but the followers they do have are super fans, which honestly, can be more effective than an influencers 100,000 lukewarm fans.

Content Marketing Will Just be Marketing

Given the changes in marketing over the past two decades, it should come as no surprise that it is forecasted that in 2019, content marketing will simply become “marketing” because the landscape has evolved to such a degree that the practices that once defined marketing in the ‘90s now seem antiquated and foreign.

Strategy Will Remain as Important as Ever

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Lastly, despite the advents and subtle shifts, one of the things that will endure and remain important is that brands will need a communication strategy for how they reach audiences. As always, quality over quantity and meaningful engagement that aims to form sustainable relationships will be the most important thing any brand can do. Tricks and tools are great, but without a story that resonates and a plan for how to tell it and to engage with your audience in telling that story, you may as well be getting ready to market like it’s 1999.

To conclude, in 2019, the main changes are that technology will become more helpful for immediately responding to audiences while personal, honest connections will remain essential for forming lasting relationships with those audiences. Hearing will be more important than being heard in many cases, and as seen in previous years, pictures are worth a thousand words…and moving pictures are worth about a hundred thousand.

All in all, it looks like 2019 is going to be one heck of a year for digital marketing.

Want to be sure you’re going to have an amazing 2019? Contact us, The Storyteller Agency, and let us help you come up with a plan and provide you with our knowledge and resources to guarantee all of your marketing resolutions come to fruition.