Ugh… Another “2019 digital trends blog.” They all state the same. Well, maybe… but what makes this one different is that it is purely based on my experience in a local (Middle East) market in a B2B marketing. Having been in direct contact with colleagues, partners and customers from all countries in the region made me understand what’s going on (or at least that’s what i believe) in digital marketing around the corner. Since sharing is caring – I felt free to share my thoughts with you. I hope you will feel free to share your views with me.

Employee Advocacy. This has been my passion in the past couple of years and I am so happy to see more brands beginning to realize the importance of leveraging employees’ connections to spread brand message through their personal social media networks. The math is simple: An average employee has around 1,000 connections (and that number is increasing). If your company has 5,000 employees, that means your employees have a network reach of 5 million people.

TIP: As a marketer, make sure you set a good example to the rest of the organization by using your own social media connections to talk about your company. Why should they do it if you don’t? The next step is to provide them with a proper training (and useful resources later). Most of them will be happy to learn the latest tricks and tips about social media.

Micro influencers. We all know big influencers. And we also know that they are paid huge $$ to advertise certain products (the influencer marketing industry was estimated to be worth $2B in 2017 and is expected to hit $10B by 2020). Even though they make more and more, people trust them less and less. So, who should we trust then? Ordinary people who don’t have millions of followers and are just sharing their own opinion and recommendations have created trusted relationships with their audience.

TIP: Identify these local, interesting and averagely social media active people – students, young professionals, or just ordinary end-users. Expose them to your brand and products. Let them give you their honest feedback. Let them share their positive experience with their small community. Don’t give them too many directions on how they should present your brand and/or product on digital channels. Let them be themselves. In time, this will have better impact on your brand than paying $$$ to some influencer with 5 million followers.

Video content. Video consumption (and creation) has been drastically increasing in the past couple of years (YouTube has over 1 billion users and Facebook is generating 8 billion video views per day). By 2020 80% of all content on social media will be in a video format. Despite some variables among different audience, most people today digest videos easier than written content – good enough reason to have video content creation as a must-have ingredient in your 2019 digital marketing cookbook.

TIP: Assuming that you already covered technical basics (clear sound and focus are a MUST) make sure video content is interesting for your audience. Keep it crisp, with a clear message. If the story is long, create couple of versions – one or two teasers along with one longer final video that will be posted on your YouTube channel and teasers used on Facebook, Instagram Twitter, etc.

To be continued next week.