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Jan
2019 predictions

Three Technologies That Marketers Need to Prepare For in 2019

If you are a marketer, your New Year’s resolutions for 2019 should include learning more about how technology will change your profession. With social media and other technologies moving to the core of consumer marketing faster than ever before, it’s important to make sure that you don’t shift focus away from it.

Live content is going to be bigger

In 2018, Facebook made a change to its News Feed algorithm. Now, the posts that bring about the most significant amount of discussion will rank higher, especially when such content gets shared among private groups inside Facebook. The highest amount of engagement that Facebook sees is for video content.

Facebook even prefers one kind of video over the other. According to Facebook’s statistics, live videos get six times the level of engagement that regular videos do, which means that they are more liable to attract Likes and comments. Facebook’s new Watch Party feature, which allows members of Facebook groups to watch a live video at the same time, only pushes live video higher up on Facebook’s radar.

Marketers have been paying attention to Facebook’s focus on live video. One in six marketers has already increased the amount of live video they use. Two out of three marketers today plan to make use of live video, and three out of four are interested in learning more about this new form of content.

Live video isn’t just about the fun stuff. Often, it focuses on exciting new events that are live-streamed — seminars, talks with experts, and product demonstrations.

Messaging apps will become critical to communicating with customers

Messaging apps are used every day by 4 billion users around the world. For this reason, marketers are beginning to realize that these apps could be an interesting new way in which to deliver customer service. When customers have a complaint or a question, or if they require service for their products, all the communication needed can happen over WeChat, Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger.

From retailers to hotel chains, messaging apps are a routine way today for businesses to communicate with customers. If a hotel guest has a question about a particular service, for example, he merely types it out on Facebook messenger; if the retail customer has a question about a product, he dashes out a query on Whatsapp. Starting 2019, marketers working with consumers should begin to expect greater user engagement with messaging apps than with social media.

Users will discover content and brands with artificial intelligence and voice search

From smart televisions to products like Amazon’s Alexa and Siri on the iPhone, voice-controlled artificial intelligence is being built into all manner of products. Alexa can already read Twitter feeds, and the list of content available on these devices only grows with each year. Before long, voice-activated devices are expected to begin to take over as the primary way users browse for and find content and brands on the internet and social media.

For marketers, voice-activated artificial intelligence devices are an important new frontier to explore. Just as businesses created apps of their own when smartphones became common, marketers need to start developing applications that bring their companies to consumers on smart speakers.

Technology changes constantly, and being prepared for anything is the motto by which marketers must live. With the focus turning to voice-activated search, instant messaging and live video, it’s clear that there’s no standing still for marketers.

Omar Kattan
About Omar Kattan
Omar is MD & Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.
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