Fresh marketing and design trends arise each year, and they bring new opportunities for businesses. While it's important not to chase fads, we find that marketing plans and website designs become stale very rapidly. The cycle for each trend continues to shorten, too. A marketing strategy or design style can go from being the hot new thing to seeming passé within a year. The more companies that adopt a trend, the shorter its shelf-life. People adapt to, and thus generally ignore, digital ads at a particularly fast pace. The sheer volume of advertising messages bombarding us daily is mind-boggling! This communication saturation necessitates constantly-evolving marketing and design approaches.
To keep you ahead of the competition, we've zeroed in on design and marketing trends that are essential for 2019. We expect these trends to resonate beyond this year, too. Without further ado, let's dive in!
#1. Mobile-first design. You've heard us talk about mobile-friendly website design for years, but now we're taking that concept a step further. Instead of designing a webpage for desktop computer usage and then working on mobile compatibility, we now recommend creating pages for mobile use and then ensuring they'll adapt to the desktop. The homepage above was designed with a mobile-first philosophy using the exact view that you see. More than 50% of the visitors to many websites are using mobile devices, so why would you prioritize desktop computers in your designs?
#2. Google Plus is officially toast, and, like Sears or that two-week-old pizza in your fridge, it should have been trashed well before now. Check your website and marketing materials for references and links to G+. Delete all that you find.
#3. Instagram Stories are getting attention and driving engagement. The fun thing about Instagram Stories is their built-in 24-hour lifespan. After one day, each Story self-destructs unless you highlight it. A great Story immerses the viewer in a mixed-media experience about a timely topic. Combine text, pictures, and video into a cohesive, but brief, communication. Stories, by the way, are mobile-first designs.
And yes, Forward View is now on Instagram!
#4. Use video throughout your marketing and on your website. Video makes a homepage bolder and also helps capture attention on social media. Our analytics prove that the selective use of video is worth the time it takes to produce the necessary content. Don't use video just for the sake of ticking a goal off of your promotional to-do list; exercise discernment. With video, quality over quantity is the key to success. Thanks to widespread 4G cellphone technology, and with 5G being rolled out now, video is mobile-friendly, too!
Click or tap the image above to see one of our fresh video ads!
#5. Personalized marketing is the new normal. Segment your customers and make them feel special... while you feed them tailored ads, of course. People want to feel appreciated, and small businesses are known for providing the personal touch that big corporations can’t offer. If you’re not using your marketing communications to build relationships and strengthen connections, you’re ceding one of your greatest advantages.
We'll wrap up with five more brief tips:
#6. Search engines will penalize insecure websites, and browsers have begun to warn people visiting sites without security, thus deterring your customers. Install an SSL certificate for your website if you don't have one already. SSL makes everything better... and safer.
#7. As noted by the Wall Street Journal this week, people are suing companies that don't have websites suitable for assistive technology users. Is your website accessible? Use Tenon to find out.
#8. "One of the primary reasons people visit your website is because of something they’ve seen or received in print. Study after study shows that print and online channels work in a symbiotic relationship," writes Dana Wolfe in her guest post on our blog. Go here to read why print marketing is making a comeback in 2019.
#9. Events are more marketable than anything else, especially for millennials who value experiences over stuff. Our founder has just signed up for a course to become a Certified Event Marketer, too.
#10. "You (digitally) build it, and they will come" is absolutely not true. Over the past few months, we've met many entrepreneurs with good websites that aren't receiving traffic. The owners view their websites as static magnets for customers, but that isn't the right perspective. In 2019, people need a reason, and typically a nudge or two (or three), to access your website consistently. Your website, your marketing, and your physical business/storefront need to be interconnected. This omnichannel thinking is especially crucial for retailers. CNBC journalist, and our friend, Lauren Thomas recently tweeted how retailers are using content marketing and soft-selling techniques this year. We'll focus on this topic of interconnected marketing in our March newsletter, so stay tuned...