Predictions were rife around the rise of voice search (see here, here, and here).
According to forecasts, this trend would become more and more prevalent in 2019 after an increasing number of people began investing in voice search tools like Alexa and Google Home towards the end of 2018.
Early 2019 research shows that, while voice search has risen above mobile browsers as the top choice for performing searches, the amount of searches run via a voice tool has dropped over the past year.
In a study released from Stone Temple, voice search moved from the third most popular way to run a search in 2018 to the fourth most popular way – searching in a phone’s designated search window has overtaken voice activated search.
While it’s still one of the top ways for consumers to run a search, it’s by no means made waves as big as predictions thought it would.
2. Instagram TV
Let’s rewind to June 2018 when Instagram revealed its hot new feature: Instagram TV (IGTV).
Brands were enamored with this new tool that was deemed the next big thing in marketing. Everyone wrote an article showing Instagram users how they could make the most of this new feature.
It was thought the amateur content creation platform that specifically supported portrait-style videos (unlike any other video-sharing platform) would take off in the video world.
It seems the furore around IGTV died out pretty quick.
In fact, even the influencers Instagram partnered up with to launch the feature got bored of it pretty quick. @kingbach has only published 11 videos on IGTV since its launch, and @katueaustin has posted just four (and these weren’t even in portrait-style, so it’s likely they were made for other platforms first) – not quite the YouTube takeover that was anticipated.
Combine this with YouTube stats and it’s easy to see that any new video platform is going to have a hard time getting off the ground.
In just one minute alone, more than 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube, more than 25 million video views are generated, and around 150,000 hours of video are watched.
Despite lackluster early results, IGTV may have new life.
The word “micro” has been doing the rounds in the marketing world over the past couple of years, with micro-moments helping smaller brands rise above their bigger competition.
With the emergence of many major brands monopolizing each industry (we’re looking at you, Amazon, in the ecommerce world), it was becoming more and more difficult for small brands and those that have just launched to get ahead.
As a result, these minor brands needed to find another way to reach their audiences and, more importantly, convince them to move from a major brand to a slightly lesser-known one.
Cue the introduction of micro-moments.
These are specific moments throughout the sales cycle where a consumer interacts with a brand via a mobile device – it can be anything from having a conversation with a customer service chat line or reading a blog post to making a purchase on-site.
Marketers are having to bear these new adopted technologies in mind and integrate them in different ways to their strategies. This ultimately gives the micro-moment method new dimensions and makes it more complex to get right.
Despite this, we’ll continue to see marketers tap into these specific intent-rich moments to make connections with their customers in 2019.
2018 was the year of the chatbot.
Every business seemed to employ a machine-led customer service department in an attempt to cut down waiting time and help consumers get fast answers to simple questions.
We (along with practically every other brand) predicted that the use of chatbots would continue to soar in 2019 as marketers strived to provide more personalized marketing to consumers.
It’ll be interesting to see whether the two different viewpoints clash or come together to create a happy medium – we expect to see even more changes as technology evolves and becomes more advanced.
5. Cause Marketing
In 2018, we saw many brands tying their marketing campaigns to worldly causes.
Nissan used their “Calling All Titans” campaign to raise money for victims of Hurricane Florence, and Nike caused a stir with their “Believe in Something” campaign that highlighted Kaepernick’s kneeling protest against police brutality before NFL games.
So far, marketers have been struggling to put this into practice, but we might see this change towards the end of 2019 as more and more consumers align themselves with important worldly causes.
Predictions Aren’t the Be All and End All
The predictions we threw out in 2018 weren’t too far off the mark.
In fact, some are taking hold right now (albeit a bit slower than predicted), like IGTV, which may be getting a second wind, and micro-moments, which are finding their feet in a technology-fueled environment.
However, there are others that are falling short, like chatbots and voice search as consumers decide what they like and don’t.
So, while predictions are a good starting point to see what trends are getting traction, it’s more important for you to get to know your buyers and focus on the strategies that really speak to them.