Where is marketing heading? The top digital marketing trends for 2019.

1.    Brand-driven storytelling

Marketing is progressing towards brand-driven storytelling rather than simply listing attributes of products.

Building your story is a critical part of building your brand. It helps to shape how people view you and enables consumers to connect with your ethos, values and history. Companies that create compelling narratives can influence customer perspectives.

For example, Ballettonet is a small online shoe brand. However, Ballettonet doesn’t just sell quality Italian footwear. The Ballettonet story is about bringing to Australia ethical handcrafted Italian footwear made by family-owned shoe-makers. Thus, the shoes are made with knowledge passed down through several generations of expert craftsmen, with high-quality materials, and without huge retail market ups. Part of their social media strategy is to highlight this story, from the genuine high-quality Nappa leather used in the shoes, to the inspiration of Italy. Rather than advertisements which lean towards the “sell, sell, sell” principle, companies that create compelling narratives around their heritage and values shape customer perspectives.

And it works.

Storytelling connects, resonates, sells.

Before storytelling, customers might see a nice-looking pair of shoes. After storytelling, customers may associate Ballettonet with genuine Italian craftsmanship and high-quality materials, ethical labour practices, and an eye for unique yet simple designs.

Which do you think sells more?

Meet the makers: Baccaro Group Paola and husband Alessandro with children Agnes and Mattia.

IMAGE: Meet the Makers: Baccaro Group; Paola and husband Alessandro with children Agnes and Mattia.

Ballettonet Italy Balcony Juliet's balcony, Verona (Image: Stephanie Waters)

IMAGE:  Juliet's balcony, Verona (Image: Stephanie Waters)

2.   Content is King

Content creation seems to be the marketing buzzword of the moment. This may be because anyone with a smartphone and internet access can curate an Instagram page, write a bog, or upload photos.  But the truth is that good content (that is- content that adds value to your customer’s lives and that they want to see) is if not the most, then one of the most valuable digital marketing assets a company can have.

What’s more – what might be of value to customers is often common sense. For example, a fitness apparel brand may post delicious looking smoothie recipes, additional workout routines, and motivational quotes in their daily feed. This might not have anything to do with their product, but it certainly provides value for customers – oh and did we mention it helps to create brand-driven storytelling?

ContentSmith Instagram Image

3.   Stories will remain popular

Since Instagram made the move in August 2016 to launch their stories feature to compete with the popular Snapchat, they haven’t looked back. Businesses can use Instagram stories in addition to normal posts to show followers behind the scenes, promote live sales events/ offers, or host a Q&A with executives - see Shopo CEO Jane Lu- who attributes the success of her fashion brand Showpo largely due to their social media strategy and Instagram stories presence. 

Showpo Stories

4.   The rise of micro-influencers (less than 10,000 followers)

An influencer casually mentioning how they use your product or service, “I’ve been trying to find new activewear for a while and I LOVE the fact that this brand does pockets!”  can be more compelling than a typical advertisement banner. For this reason, influencers have become a huge source of investment for brands. In terms of reach, an influencer with more followers will be your best bet. However, micro influencers should be your go-to for conversion rate as they will be cheaper and more efficient than a macro influencer.

Before signing on a smaller influencer, make sure you do your homework on them first! You will want someone who is aligned with the values of your brand (for example, a vegan influencer would not be the best fit for a leather handbag brand). Then have a look at the level of engagements per post (look for high-quality comments and a large proportion of likes for their follower size. Also look at their follower list and see if a large proportion appear to be fake- one way to tell is if an influencer has large drops in followers, which may be from Instagram cleaning out fake profiles.

If you have do decide to collaborate with an influencer, justify the spend in terms of ROI (return on investment). Measure leads from influencers with Google Analytics and custom URLs, and custom coupon codes to determine whether if it is worth continuing.

Speaking of accountability…


5. Accountability and metrics:

A whole essay could be written on accountability and marketing.

To begin with, be very wary of any marketing individual or company that withholds any accountability for their marketing strategy, “marketing is an art that can’t be measured, the results will come, trust me!” But also realise that it may take a few months to see results from a new marketing strategy.

The main point is that marketing efforts CAN and SHOULD be measured. Marketing KPI’s exist to track the success of a marketing promotion or campaign. Some examples of metrics? Website page views, search engine rankings, engagements on social media posts (likes, comments and shares) and cost per click on Facebook ads.

However, correlation is not causation. Marketing KPI’s do not automatically cause more sales, higher revenue or growth. For example, if there are a lot more people looking at your website, you are more likely to get sales (correlation), but in no way is it guaranteed to make more sales or be the cause of sales (new sales might have come from a celebrity promoting a discount code). This is why it takes time to determine what is working, and where to invest your marketing efforts.

The aim of a good marketing strategy is to funnel potential leads to avenues such as your website, with the hope that they become a customer. Think of marketing as an investment into a company’s future revenue and growth. Like any investment, there is a degree of risk, but without any investment, there can be no reward.

Suffice to say, the trend towards high-quality reports and proving quantitative metrics to evidence marketing success is here to stay for 2019.

Ballettonet Insights Feed

 *To view insights for your profile, go to insights, click content, then click see all.

That wraps up our list of Digital Marketing trends for 2019. Do you agree with them? Are there any we have missed? Let us know below.

eCommerce Marketing promotions to make the most out of the silly season

eCommerce Marketing promotions to make the most out of the silly season

Australians spent a collective $11 billion on Christmas presents last year (1) and will most likely continue to spend big during Christmas in 2018.

It’s not surprising that the time leading up to Christmas is the busiest of the year for the retail industry. However, with everyone competing for the attention of Christmas shoppers, it can be hard to know the best way to cut through the noise and attract customers.

The following is 10 tried and tested ideas for making the most out of the silly season.

5 ways to improve your social media profiles today

Social media may be the new kid on the block when compared to traditional media. However, it is unparalleled in terms of reaching and building connections with current and potential customers (cheap too!).

But with competition from other brands, constantly changing algorithms or even fake followers, it can be difficult to cultivate a thriving social media scene for your brand…

Why is consistent messaging important?

Current marketing wisdom will tell you the average person needs to see a marketing message seven times before it makes an impression. Every interaction a customer has with your brand should embody the promises, values, and unique differences that makes your brand special.

Even with the best of intentions, chopping and changing messages will leave your customers, at best, unaware of who you are and what you can do for them and at worst, will turn customers away.

Need more proof? Here are 3 reasons why consistency is key.