Although new technologies launch every year, one thing remains the same in 2019: the need to find, capture and keep your fans’ attention. As the digital landscape constantly evolves, we can expect some major shifts in fan-based marketing in 2019. Let’s take a look at the major trends that you can’t ignore in the upcoming year:
1) Micro your Influencer Marketing
2018 was arguably the largest year of growth for influencer marketers, and the trend shows no signs of slowing. Although people are usually quick to assume that macro influencers = large following = huge brand exposure, this isn’t always the case. Micro influencers, AKA: smaller, local influencers can do the job just as well, if not better, and are cheaper to compensate! As a growing number of people become more suspicious of larger corporations, people are seeking more authenticity when it comes to brands. Finding the right influencer that fits your brand values can be a great way to generate engagement and more organic reach. Micro influencers generally have a more intimate and trusting relationship with their followers, which results in fans’ undivided attention. By using influencer marketing, you can personalize and generate leads with potential fans as you customize a campaign with your chosen influencer.
2) Best-Befriend Chatbots
By 2022, Chatbots are estimated to help businesses save over $8 billion per year. Although chatbots aren’t meant to completely replace human communication, they can help us relay messages to alleviate repetitive customer service tasks. Not only are complex bots able to personalize AND humanize answers (with the use of gifs and emojis) to different customer service inquiries, they can collect and analyze fan data at a larger scale to bring the right answer to the right audience. With Tradable Bits fan Chatbots, you can craft your storylines and power them with conversational AI that keeps your fans connected 24/7.
3. Give Fans the Spotlight
What better way to generate content than to have fans create it for you… because they want to? Instead of spending countless hours creating content for social media, you can unlock the treasure of user-generated content that will legitimize and authenticate your brand. By encouraging tagging of your brand and the use of your hashtags, you can leave the heavy lifting to your fans by repurposing their content to share on your own page! Just make sure you have a tool that aggregates it all for you, so you don’t give yourself carpal tunnel and premature blindness from hunting and screenshotting posts. With Stream, you can collect, sort and store user-generated content from every major social network into one dynamic feed and automatically moderate it with smart rules. As organic reach is all the buzz in 2019, there is no better way than sharing content directly to your fans - from your fans.
4. You Can’t Spell Youngin’ without IG
Instagram is here to stay, especially among young fans. Research from Statista shows that “in 2020, the photo-sharing site is projected to reach 120.3 million monthly active users solely in the United States, up from 104.7 million users in 2018.” We can expect this upward trend to continue, as a shift in ad spend showed that Instagram jumped 177% while Facebook grew only 40% year over year in 2018. Additionally, Instagram seems to be especially popular with the younger demographic, with 64% of its users being between the bracket of 18 and 34. If your fan base fits this demographic and you aren’t active on this platform, then you definitely need to step up your Insta-game ASAP!
A growing trend within the IG trend is the use of IGTV, with reports predicting that it will finally overcome YouTube in 2019. As IGTV is a free standalone function on the platform, there is no reason not to have an active presence for your following and another place for new fans to discover you in their feed.
5. Video Killed the Radio Star… Again
You’ve heard it before and we’ll tell you again: video is the most popular and effective way to capture fan attention. As traditional ad consumption is declining, more brands are turning towards platforms like YouTube. According to Google “On mobile alone, in an average week, YouTube reaches more adults 18+ during prime time than any cable network does.” By implementing Trackers into your website and social strategy, you can better understand fan behaviour and personalize your interactions.
In addition to video content, more businesses are leaning towards free live video streams (on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) to give a more intimate behind the scenes, look into their company and provide the opportunity for active engagement from fans to like and comment on live streams. Still not convinced? Marketing researchers have found that live streaming is going to be a $70.5 billion industry by 2021.
6. Improve Reality with Immersive Overlays
Two exciting marketing trends that continue to capture fan attention are virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). When used correctly, these immersive technologies are able to transform static audiences into active participants. Rather than fighting the second screen and its entertaining Snapchat filters, embrace the trend and promote your own branded filters in-app or on big screens. The Portland Trail Blazers received accolades once again for their innovative marketing, which included an in-stadium mascot head AR filter that was a hit among loyal and new fans alike.
7. Email’s Alive and Kicking
Contrary to popular beliefs about the decline of email, it still remains as one of the most preferred and trusted platforms for communication between business and consumer. Based on previous research, 90% of consumers claimed to check their personal email during working hours, with 85% checking their email before getting to work. Email marketing triumphs as being one of the oldest yet still relevant marketing technique that businesses are still using every day as the cost remains low, even when your list increases significantly. Although people are still hesitant about “spam” email, businesses are predicted to continue with more heavily segmented emails, which will improve personalization and thus avoid annoying fans with irrelevant emails.
8. Omnichannel is More than a Buzzword
What exactly does “omnichannel” mean? It means creating consistent touchpoints (points where fans interact with your business) on all relevant channels. This strategy is important, as 70% of consumers use three channels or more to research a product. As a result, you should seek to create a seamless experience for your fans on whatever device or platform they find themselves using. As we move from multichannel to omnichannel marketing, the “importance of seeking to reach and interact with customers across touchpoints in all channels” should be kept at the forefront of any innovative marketer’s mind.
As John Bowden, Senior VP of Customer Care at Time Warner Cable puts it:
“Multichannel is an operational view – how you allow the customer to complete transactions in each channel. Omnichannel, however, is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent. Omnichannel anticipates that customers may start in one channel and move to another as they progress to a resolution. Making these complex ‘hand-offs’ between channels must be fluid for the customer. Simply put, omnichannel is multi-channel done right!”
These were our top 8 fan-based marketing techniques for 2019. What is your focus for the year to come? Not sure which way to go? Contact us for a free fan-based marketing consultation.