How can you get ahead with online advertising in 2019? We look at the upcoming trends and give you expert tips on what to do right now.
In 2018, advertisers spent $40 billion more on internet ads than on television.
Online advertising is set to surge further forward in 2019, and we’re here to make sure you stay on top of your game.
Last year, we set out the online advertising trends for 2018 and we’re proud of how we called our shots.
But here comes 2019, and here are three opportunities you can start capitalising on right now.
Voice Search: Searching Without The Search Box
Devices capable of voice search are exploding in popularity.
Gone are the days where it was just a smartphone or tablet. Consumers are now purchasing smart speakers for their homes too.
In 2018, a YouGov poll found that smart speaker ownership among Britons doubled.
Adobe’s latest research found that nearly half of U.S. households will own a smart speaker after the holiday season.
But talking to a machine used to be weird, right?
Not any more. 72% of smart speaker users are now fine with doing it in front of others.
And do you think people are just using their voice for weather updates or to skip to the next song?
Sorry, but you’re just plain wrong.
The amount of online search being conducted by voice is increasing rapidly.
47% of smartphone and smart speaker users use voice search every single day. That’s over 30% more than in 2017.
- Voice-first devices like Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Home Hub are becoming mainstream gadgets.
- Virtual assistants on smart devices – including phones – are used much more frequently.
- People use voice search for much more than just weather and traffic. They’re searching for and buying products too.
What You Need To Do
Voice search represents a seismic shift in your target audience’s behaviour.
With data pointing to 2019 being the year voice search gets big, the time has come to rethink your online marketing strategy and ensure you’re optimised for it.
Brevity, context and relevance are the shining lights you should focus on.
In plain English: keep content short, keep it on message and keep it relevant to the searcher.
Here’s an example of a solid, easy-to-deploy strategy you can implement with minimal trouble:
- Create content or a webpage with a headline that asks a common question.
- Immediately after the headline, provide a short answer to the question.
- Use the rest of the page to provide further detail and hammer home your expertise.
First, this appeals to Google’s ranking algorithm and allows you to clamber up the search results pages.
Second, it provides short-and-sweet information useful for voice searches.
Visual Search: A Picture Paints A Thousand Keywords
Last year, almost 30% of all US Google searches were image searches.
You better believe the advertising giants have been moving quickly to capitalise on that.
We’re used to using a text search bar to look for information, right? After all, Google became a dominant powerhouse for being best with the little text search box.
But the winds are changing. Visual search is coming.
In fact, 19% of all search queries on Google already return images. When we’re talking about people looking to buy products, that number goes up.
Why? Because your customers are visual people.
Kissmetrics found that 93% of consumers consider visuals to be the deciding factor in a purchasing decision.
That’s why e-commerce sites have been working hard on photo and video galleries. The mantra: better visual presentation equals better conversion.
eBay has been developing their Find It On eBay feature – where you can use pictures instead of words to find what you’re looking for – since 2017.
Ahead of them, Snapchat and Instagram already have shoppable images with tailored ads pushing us to click and purchase.
This makes sense. 62% of millennials want visual search over any new technology.
But now Google Lens, Pinterest’s Shop The Look, TinEye, Bing Visual Search and a whole host of others are demonstrating how it can be taken further.
- Visual search will move away from being specific to fashion, home decor, art, food and beauty. It will become more widely used.
- Large chunks of your customer base want to point their smartphone, snap a photo and expect relevant content.
- Expect voice search to explode first and then video search to follow rapidly after that.
What You Need To Do
Visual search is the younger and potentially more brilliant sister of voice search in digital marketing.
Seriously, do everything you can to be ready for voice search. They’re linked.
When you’ve done that, think about the following:
- Identify moments when someone would want to snap a photo and get your product. ‘Where’s the cheapest place for this toy?’ ‘What recipes can I make with these ingredients?’
- Optimise your imagery to appear and rank higher in visual search results. Focus on captions, image alt attribution, placement and size.
- Make sure your alt text is descriptive (let the AI bots mining your website know exactly what they’re looking at) and ensure relevant keywords are included.
- Not sure what any of this means? We promise you: a few Google searches and you’ll be up to speed like nobody’s business.
- After a visual search leads a searcher to your site, they’ll consume your content in the hopes it gives them what they want.
- Get this part wrong here, and woe betide you. The traditional rules for good copy still apply wholesale. And, remember, the visual search engines will still be checking your page content to process the text around relevant images
Chatbots Become The Norm
Love it or hate it, AI is pushing online advertising forward.
Early forays into chatbot technology were marred by some pretty spectacular failures. However, those pioneers have paved the way for the rest of us.
What’s clear is this: while AI chatbots won’t replace the role of customer service teams any time soon, they’re probably going to become the first touchpoint for many consumers in 2019.
Want to order a pizza or book a hotel room? A Chatbot will likely be the start of your customer journey.
Not only that, Chatbots will present opportunities to upsell or cross-sell like a champion – so long as the content they present to a consumer is relevant and useful.
- 24-Hour Service is the number one chatbot benefit.
- Getting answers to simple questions is a close second.
- Generally people of all ages are fine with using chatbots. When it comes to the numbers, there is no difference between millennials and baby boomers.
- As expected, 56% of people would prefer to speak to a human being.
What You Need To Do
Chatbots can greet your customers as they encounter your content.
They’re useful for many reasons. They can put visitors to your site in front of the content most relevant to them, place them in the correct sales funnel or be used to capture details for your sales team.
You could try the following:
- Use a chatbot in addition to the more traditional lead capture form present on most landing pages.
- Have a chatbot ask questions that are relevant to the content you’re providing on the site.
- Avoid dishonesty; your customers despise it. Explain to your visitor that if the bot can answer the question, it will do so. Otherwise one of your team will contact them via email or phone to provide answers to their questions.
Failing to consider chatbots as a tool that can be used to assist your customers – and, let’s be honest, sell to them – is a mistake few companies will continue to make in 2019.
If staying on top of online advertising feels a little bit too much like hard work, we can help.
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