The way brands connect and communicate is continuously changing, and that's particularly true in the digital age of 2019. While the “digital age” isn’t exactly new anymore, we continue to see a large number of businesses playing catch-up to market expectations and technology. As change and expectation continue to accelerate, it only becomes harder for companies to keep up, and those businesses that fail to do so will fall behind the competition.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the five branding trends that we predict will dominate 2019 and continue into the years ahead.
1. Quality over quantity
The champagne hangover from the content marketing bash is beginning to settle in. There seems to be an endless stream of redundant and made-for-the-mass content, no matter what industry you find yourself in. For many, the function of content marketing became an exercise in “blocking & tackling” under the guise of informing your customers and prospects…or even better, positioning your business as a thought leader. Very few businesses and marketing teams have truly taken the time to identify and understand what quality means to customers and what form factors are available to enrich content delivery and improve engagement.
We believe that this wave has crested and now the only way to be effective in content marketing is to focus on understanding what is meaningful, and maybe more importantly, what is not meaningful to your customer.
A proxy of this in advertising is the rising popularity of ad algorithms. Most companies turned to quickly-made text or single-image ads that they can instantly create and upload in order to capitalize on viral trends and quickly reach users.
And while that method may have been effective at first, it's not working quite so well anymore. People are tired of low quality, quickly cranked-out ads, and industry leaders know it, too. It's why the newest Squarespace ad is directed by Spike Jonze and features Idris Elba.
These new realities provide opportunities for companies who have not invested in visual branding and higher quality content production to immediately distinguish themselves from the majority.
2. Consider your content creation pipeline
Not only do most people believe what they read in blogs, but blogs can also be a consistent way to bring in business and create an alternate revenue stream for your company through sponsored content or monetized blog posts.
As a result, you should consider investing in a strategic, well-curated content marketing plan. Companies with well-written and well-run blogs rank better in Google, generate more leads, create a larger customer base, and see a greater ROI than those without them. Remember, if it’s not on paper, it’s not a plan.
3. (Really) optimize for mobile
Obvious, right? It’s common knowledge that a majority of Google searches now take place on mobile devices. Making sure your website and advertising campaigns are designed to display well on smaller screens is just table stakes at this point. However, many brands still aren’t truly optimizing for mobile interaction.
It’s critical to consider everything—from having a different, mobile-friendly logo design to making sure your viewports can adjust to odd aspect ratios, to ensuring that buttons are sized and placed appropriately for optimal finger tapping. Bringing in some tech experts to help you optimize everything for mobile is recommended if your personal IT team can't take care of it.
4. Let social media influencers help you develop your brand
With companies as small as Leesa and Daniel Wellington and as big as Nike using influencer marketing to great effect, it's clear that marketing leaders recognize the role of social media in brand building and sales. If you aren't already sponsoring influencers in your niche, from the underground to the popular, then you're behind the times.
Consumers have always and will always trust recommendations from people more than messaging from brands. Running influencer-driven marketing campaigns will help ensure that your products or services constantly stay out and in front of your target audience, in an authentic way.
5. Market for the now
Millennials—by and large a progressive, innovative generation—now make up a bulk of the workforce and purchasing population. As a result, you'll need to up your game when it comes to the social awareness and authenticity your brand displays.
While you might think this would be obvious, the amount of communication faux pas that have been dominating the news cycles over the past several years clearly indicates that plenty of businesses are misunderstanding millennial sensibilities.
Study your target audience and make sure that your brand's mission is authentic and believable.
Whether you're struggling to get a handhold in your industry or you just want to grow your business, flourish can help. We're an ad agency that specializes in helping our clients find purpose in their work and activate the true power of digital marketing.
To learn more about what we can do for you, click here.