We are fast approaching the final quarter of 2018 and already this year we have seen so many innovative and technological changes affecting small businesses around the globe. Changes such as the increasing popularity of Instagram and Facebook Stories, the expansion of live streaming and video will become even more powerful as we head into 2019.
Here are my top 5 predicted trends for 2019…..
For anyone new to the concept of Chatbots, it’s an assistant that communicates through text messages, a virtual companion that integrates into websites, applications or instant messengers and helps business owners get closer to customers. You will have already seen them in abundance in Facebook Messenger and on many websites.
Using a chatbot can help businesses save a lot of money which is why many are adopting this technology as they have the potential to reach a huge audience. They operate day and night and can handle customer queries nonstop, ultimately providing fantastic customer service. Chatbots can simultaneously have conversations with thousands of people no matter how many people are contacting your social media or website, every single one of them will be answered instantly! Chatbots are the future of effective customer communication and efficiency. My advice is in 2019, get with the chatbot programme!
- Engaging Content
People are getting bored with boring content and have developed an appetite for excitement. Engaging content should provide value and bring some jazz to your audience. Remember, it’s not about how the content’s message affects you but all about what it means to your target audience.
One of the easiest ways to create engaging content is use a variety of mediums such as images, graphics, infographics, quotes, videos, etc. to engage and communicate with your audience. Take some time to consider what you find boring and uninteresting content, and then avoid repeating it yourself. Engage with your audience, respond to their comments and ask them for authentic content to post. Share, engage and communicate!!
What could be more authentic then a customer review or referral? 2019 will see authentic feedback surpass advertising as the most productive way to gain more customers. Facebook and Google reviews already impact on your search engine optimisation but considering that a third of customers will seek out a review of your business prior to committing to buy, authentic feedback is a winner for your business. Don’t be shy in asking your customers to give you thumbs up or a 5 star review!
- Ephemeral Content
The definition of ephemeral content is something that is short-lived, lasting for up to 24 hours before disappearing forever. The reason why short-lived content is so popular is because people feel as though it is more authentic compared to a traditional sponsored advertisement. Users clearly love it and are actively using it on their business and personal profiles on a daily basis. So businesses need to take note and make sure they are taking full advantage of this too.
Stories are a great alternative to live video streaming, but from a marketing perspective, it has similar effects. It’s an opportunity for you to post several times throughout a day without spamming your followers’ timelines. For example, you may not want to post three pictures and videos per day on Instagram. Users who follow you may perceive endless pictures to be an annoyance. In fact, evidence shows that posting too frequently on social media can cause people to unfollow your profile.
- Influencer Marketing
Influence marketers are all the rage right now and whether you like them or not, influencers are having a major influence! Although Instagram is the number one platform for influencers, other platforms such a Facebook is also gaining traction. Brands aren’t the only ones noticing the growing popularity of influencer marketing. Your average Joe Blogs has realised that almost anyone can become an influencer, once they have something worthwhile and interesting to say. In recent years, social media influencer has become an actual career that people aspire to. Remember, the value of influencers isn’t their follower count. It’s their ability to capture the attention of their audience, no matter what size it is. So consider steering your business in the direction of becoming an influencer within your business sector!
If you would like to know more about any of these trends, then contact us today!