With the end of 2018 fast approaching us, it’s time to start thinking about your dealerships marketing efforts going into 2019. From your marketing efforts to your digital marketing plan, there should be certain things that you need to be aware of going into 2019 to make the most out of your resources.
While many might be thinking about the upcoming holidays, quality time with loved ones, and travel plans – marketing and business leaders are now crunching the numbers and discussing the budget for the new year. As you look back at this year’s successes and shortcomings, it’s important to look ahead to what the marketing industry has in store for the future.
From trends to strategies, we have compiled a list of everything that you need to know before you plan for the next years marketing strategy.
Marketing Trends For 2019
To help you get started, here are a few marketing trends that you need to be aware of as you prepare for 2019.
- Content – The Core To Marketing and Sales
Content marketing has taken over marketing departments. It’s slowly but surely become core to everything that involves your marketing team. So, it’s imperative for you to set a budget for it to be on the same level as some of the most successful companies.
If you haven’t already, you will first need to create a content marketing plan. If you already have a content marketing plan, then you’ll want to revisit it to make sure it still aligns with any directional changes that you might have for 2019. You’ll also want to ensure that you have the resources necessary to have a successful strategy.
- Alternative Search Formats
Similar to how there are various ways to communicate your message across to your consumers, there are also different ways for consumers to search for your content. With voice search on the rise and Google’s announcing that they had plans to make visual content more useful – markets need to prepare for the rise of alternative search formats.
In recent research, it’s been found that more than half of the marketers increase their image-based content usage. In addition to that, more than one-third of them, increase their audio-only content. This simply showcases how marketers are moving in the right direction by providing their consumers with different types of content. As we head to 2019, prioritizing alternative search and multimedia content will be important.
- Chatbots Offer Benefits Beyond Customer Service
Nowadays, consumers are looking for helpful, more authentic interactions with brands that they support. They want these touchpoints to happen on their terms. Chatbots are a great technology that helps you meet your consumers where they are. It also helps in informing your marketing strategy with insights directly from your consumers.
According to recent research, 73% of marketings state that they use analytics to research their consumers. However, only 42% of them say that they use actual conversations with their consumers as research tools – which just ends up being a mission opportunity. If you want better messaging and better relationships, then you might want to consider chatbots.
- Data Privacy and Security Are Major Concerns
It’s an understatement that 2018 hasn’t been a great year for privacy. If you value online privacy and security of your information, then the endless stream of data hacks and breaches might be quite unsettling, to say the least. It is exactly the same for your consumers.
Online protection and security of personal information are growing demands from all consumers. So, marketing leaders need to accommodate this new development. The General Data Protection rollout in 2018 for the EU was a big step in this direction. As consumers trust the media less and their privacy concerns grow, marketers are put into a place where they need to have processes in place to responsibly collect, protect, and store their consumers’ information.
- PR and Marketing Continue To Overlap
As the importance of content continues to grow, PR and marketing teams are going to continue seeing more overlap. Though it’s not likely that these two teams will ever become one, they are starting to realize that their goals to align. PR has evolved quite significantly in the past years. It’s become less of a templated, mass-distributed message and more engaging content that’s valuable to consumers, reporters, and brands.
- Less is More
With things evolving at such a rapid pace, especially in communication and marketing, there’s always something new that’s demanding your attention. However, in the race to take advantage of the newest ‘big’ thing – many marketers might just end up doing too much at once. This then leads to a number of partially-realized investment payoffs, but it also has a lack of consistency.
- Authenticity and Personalization
In this day and age, there is no reason for companies to be distributing general messages and irrelevant offers to consumers inbox. With the endless amounts of data that you have most likely compiled, along with the technology available to analyze that data – you have the ability to make your consumers feel ‘special’ throughout the communication
For your 2019 digital marketing plan specifically, here are a few essential tactics for you to employ.
- Explore New Content Formats
Researchers and buyers all have their preferences about where they prefer to get information from. Nowadays, there are a variety of publishing mediums for everyone to choose from. So, if you’re looking to expand your digital reach, then it might be worthwhile to add a new platform.
Below is a list of new platforms that you can try.
- On Facebook: Facebook Messenger Chatbots, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Live, Facebook Watch
- On Instagram: Instagram Ads, IGTV, Instagram Stories Strategy
- On YouTube: YouTube Ads, Weekly YouTube Content
- On Podcasts: Podcast Sponsorship, Guest Appearance on Other Podcasts, Start a Podcast.
- Organize Your Website
While the basics of search engine optimization (i.e. metadata, keyword research, etc.) are still important, they are only the foundation of your website. It’s also recommended for you to look into domain authority, external ranking factors, internal ranking factors and site structure, and on-page SEO.
- Look For Ways To Reduce Friction In Your Sales And Marketing Processes
Consumers are becoming more accustomed to frictionless transactions with brands, services, and products. Friction is the barriers that companies create that get in the way of customers making decisions and buying their products and/or services.
- Be More Transparent
You can find answers to whatever question you might have on the Internet. Yet, many companies still fight to keep their information and data a secret. The bottom line is, if you aren’t putting up information about your expectations, process, and pricing on your website – then one of your competitors will. Consumers are likely to go with the brands that show them the most transparency and honesty. If you don’t, they’ll simply go to one that does, regardless of whether that dealership is further away for them.
- Increase Your Video Marketing Budgets
Whatever your budget for video marketing was in 2018, plan to increase that for 2019. It doesn’t have to be a stressful, expensive, giant endeavor. With the right internal processes or video production company, you can create video content that helps to drive leads, visits, and customers.
These are only a few considerations and trends for you to keep an eye on for the upcoming year. The main task that you need to perform is to evaluate your successes and shortcomings in 2018. With that information available, you can then see exactly where you need to make changes and which of these tips are worthwhile for you to implement.
References: Forbes, Storyteller