Fashion trends - some are good, and many not so good, and the same can be said for digital marketing trends.
The start of a new year is always a good time to recap the year that was, and plan ahead for the year to come.
We've looked at the big 2019 website design trends you should be looking to embrace this year. So, as a way of reflection, here are the digital marketing trends that we think are best left in 2018.
1. Content For The Sake of Content
This is one of the digital marketing trends we hope will disappear for good in 2019.
Content may be king, but bad content can be just as bad as no content at all. In fact, thin, poorly-constructed, irrelevant or incorrect content can be damaging - to your google ranking, and to your brand.
When devising content topics for blog posts, you need to be strategic about what you write about. Don’t just go for topics everyone else is writing about, as posts from brands with more authority will bury yours.
As a basic rule, go for content that is:
Posts should also adopt search engine optimisation strategies, such as utilising key search terms or phrases specific to your brand, back-linking your posts, ensuring your website load time is sufficient, and ensuring it loads quickly and is free of viruses.
2. Organic-only Social Media Outreach
When it comes to digital marketing trends, this is one that’s been dictated by the platforms themselves.
It's not necessarily one we want to see the back end of, but unfortunately it looks like that will be the case - at least for Facebook.
Facebook’s algorithm update in January of 2018 means that ‘meaningful interactions’ from friends and families are being prioritised over business page posts. In a nutshell, Facebook defines a post that attracts your ‘Comment’ or ‘Share’ as being more meaningful as a post that only attracts your ‘Like’.
As a user, this digital marketing trend is not a bad thing, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing for companies either.
As a brand, you should be looking to create content that resonates with your audience as one of your main marketing objectives. The introduction of the algorithm means that you will have to ensure what you’re producing now more than ever hits this goal, otherwise your posts won’t be seen. If your content is not being seen, then you need to revisit your content strategy. But even then, competing with posts from friends and family may not see you come out on top.
The one way to get around the Facebook algorithm is through boosting posts or creating ads. With ads, you can target demographics, locations and even customers of potential brands. This gives you much better customer feedback than organic posts can give you by providing a deeper understanding of who your audience is, and what their behaviours are.
This is not quite the same case for Instagram - at least for now. Organic posts are still seeing lots of engagement organically despite an algorithm update, whether coming from your peers or big brands, although Instagram is home of the influencer, who are often paid to post, without making it particularly clear of the partnership.
In summary, if as a brand you’re still only posting organically on Facebook, you will need to move away from that digital marketing trend and put some spend behind those posts.
3. Pop Up Ads (Pop Up Anything, tbh)
Pop-up ads are definitely one of the most loathed digital design trends to 'pop-up' over the years.
Who likes being interrupted anyway?
And with mobile-first design leading the way with website design trends, there is nothing worse than a pop-up appearing on your mobile phone that covers your entire screen, and not being able to find out how to close the dang thing.
While we’re on the subject of pop-ups, it’s worth saying adios to pop-up sign ups and pop-up offers too.
Google started blocking 'annoying' pop-up ads via Chrome in 2017, and many other internet browsers have followed suit, so they’ll never be seen anyway.
It's safe to say this digital marketing trend is on its way out.
4. Digital Marketing Gurus
This digital marketing trend has cropped up over the last 18 to 20 months - and it’s arguably the one we dislike the most.
You will have seen in your Facebook feeds lead generation ads featuring men standing in front of their Lamborghinis or house on the water selling automated funnels with automated funnels. The videos are usually accompanied by copy that starts every sentence with an emoji.
While it is a tactic that may attract some customers in a vulnerable state, it’s not one that will retain them long term.
There are much more effective and profitable ways to get attention, without coming across as desperate and insincere.
In 2019 we say, faux gurus, be gone!
5. Mismatched, Inauthentic Influencer Marketing
This one is not too far removed from the digital marketing trend we mentioned at number four.
The use of influencers certainly has its place in selling products and gaining exposure for many brands, but there’s a massive amount of mismatch and insincerity with bigger influencer and brand collaborations.
Like for example - big celebs spruiking weight-loss teas when you know their current physique has zero to do with the tea, and more to do with their team of fitness and diet experts they pay the big bucks.
In 2019, we want to see these digital marketing trends move towards more natural influencer marketing approaches.
Micro-influencers are influencers with a smaller, usually much more engaged following, and there has been a movement towards using them for some time. These smaller ‘influencers’ often have a more natural alignment with particular brands, as well as lifestyles the customer can actually relate to. For many brands, micro influencers have been shown to be far more successful in attracting the right customer and converting them.