Good on you – you’re looking ahead to 2019 marketing trends.
The New Year is already here. Now’s the perfect time to think about how your B2B marketing should evolve in 2019.
The world of marketing changed a lot in 2018 – and the pace is only picking up. So let’s get a jump start on marketing strategy. We're looking to the 2019 marketing trends that will dominate the industry this year.
But this is tricky. For one, we have no crystal balls - only a keen eye on the B2B marketing trends. Plus, marketing isn’t one thing – it’s the combination of many mediums.
We’re breaking this blog down into four sections. (Pro Tip: click any of the four trends below to jump to that section.)
2019 WEB DESIGN TRENDS
Say Hello to Serifs
[Photo Credit: Thompson Rivers University - TRU Library]
Some say that you should keep serifs in print marketing and save sans serifs for the screen. But in 2019, we’ll finally see that tradition bucked.
And the trend is already cropping up.
Last year, Mailchimp revamped their branding, adopting a rounded serif.
[Photo Credit: MailChimp]
And Medium now uses wedge serifs for the post-modernist look.
[Photo Credit: Entrepreneur's Handbook]
Busting Out of the Grid
Ever since mobilegeddon, designers have stuck to the grid. But in 2019, you’ll see more websites pushing the literal boundaries of yesteryear’s grid-based designs.
We’ll see more natural shapes, more winding lines. And it stems back to our psychology. Sure, sharp edges and square shapes convey a sense of structure. Of stability.
[Photo Credit: Cloud Four]
But 2019’s fluid, natural shapes will convey comfort and ease-of-use.
Getting away from cut-and-dry corners will make our web designs feel more natural. More authentic. More human by making motion and movement the hero.
Much-Needed Feedback with Micro-Interactions
Y’know when you’re scrolling a website, and click a button or link and…nothing happens?
Or at least, nothing seems to happen. That website is lacking micro-interactions.
These micro-interactions give visual or auditory feedback every time you make an action.
Just like Instagram’s hearts let you know that people liked your photo.
[Photo Credit: Speckyboy]
This goes beyond notifications, though. It’s every alert chime, phone vibration and hover and scrolling animation.
Don’t get us wrong – these aren’t exactly new. But the modern-marketer will see a lot more of these in 2019.
And that’s a good thing – it’s what UX design nailed this year, and what every B2B website should aim for next year.
From Good to Gradient
You've seen it. I’ve seen it. Brands are embracing the gradient.
Just look at all the brands that use gradients over flat graphics.
[Photo Credit: AdWeek]
Stripe capitalized on the gradient craze with their homepage design.
[Photo Credit: Stripe]
Thumbs Up for Thumb-Friendly Navigation
We’ve all heard to make your website mobile-first. And now that the majority of web browsing happens on mobile devices, you’ll see more thumb-friendly navigation in 2019.
If you’re a website user, this a good thing. Your favorite websites will only be easier to use.
[Photo Credit: Speckyboy]
But if you’re a B2B marketer without a mobile-friendly website, you’ll have to make some website changes – or else risk losing as much as 30% of your website traffic.
This is such a hot topic that UX designers perform huge studies. The kind that analyzes how people hold their phone and how every movement should be interpreted through web design.
You don’t have to look very far to see this in effect. Just look at the top right of your screen. That little hamburger is tailored for your thumb. Expect to see these a lot more in 2019.
2019 CONTENT MARKETING TRENDS
GETTING ON BOARD WITH BUYER PERSONAS
52% of B2B marketers said they craft content based on specific stages of the buyer's journey.
These B2B marketers are aligning their content marketing strategy with the way that we, as people, learn about a brand, interact with a brand and buy whatever they’re selling.
The buyer’s journey should inform marketing - everything from keyword and topic selection to execution. Aim for a mix of Awareness, Consideration and Decision-stage content, with the focus on that first stage.
Marketing automation will be the secret-sauce in 2019 B2B marketing strategy.
Marketing automation is a great time-saving tool for B2B marketers. With marketing automation, you spend less time making manual marketing actions and more time refining your marketing strategy. Even better, you can tailor content for each person or buyer persona.
Here are just a few things you can do with marketing automation:
- Automated email marketing to move audiences through the buyer's journey
- Custom landing pages with free resources in exchange for contact information
- Triggered emails based on people’s website activity, event interactions or profile data
[Photo Credit: MailChimp]
- Meeting, event and webinar reminders to boost attendance rate and increase lead generation
This isn’t the first time you’ve heard of influencer marketing. And it won’t be the last time either in 2019.
64% of B2B marketers said their organization values building relationships with influencers, according to TopRank.
Why? Because influencer marketing can bring the best bang for your marketing buck, in terms of engagement and spend. Instead of one-off promotions, marketing teams will focus on building longer-term partnerships with these influencers.
That means changing tactics, too. You’ll see fewer ads with products in them, and more regular video series with the product as the hero.
In 2019, B2B marketers will double-down on influencer marketing.
2019 SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING TRENDS
No Silo for Social Media Marketing
Social media is breaking out of the silo in 2019. This means social media campaigns will be better integrated with marketing campaigns. Not simply living in their own bubble.
And now, B2B marketers are more comfortable with getting social media involved earlier in the process.
Social is a powerful tool if used properly. You'll see a rise of social proof to promote products in 2019.
Because 61% of consumers check online reviews before purchasing a product or service. People want to see reviews more than product descriptions - and these reviews are almost 12 times more trusted.
BOTS. BOTS EVERYWHERE.
Not everyone everything on the internet is human. In 2019, Bots will become commonplace in social media marketing.
You’ve seen them already on websites with chatbots.
Facebook even offers a similar feature. The messenger bots keep people on-page and engaged. Even before the customer service agent can respond.
[Photo Credit: HubSpot]
But bots are only getting started. In 2019, you’ll see more chatbots in customer service roles, both on the phone and the web.
B2B marketing teams will also use bots to personalize ads. Bots are collecting the ways you interact with content, then generating customized ads based on your interests.
These personalizations increase lead generation and conversions. But there’s a risk in this coming across as inauthentic and…well…creepy.
So the trick here is helping your audience achieve their goals, like getting answers to their questions or downloading product literature.
2019 VIDEO MARKETING TRENDS
Even More Video Content
Video is perfect for shorter attention spans or people who don’t have time to read a lot of text.
But why not do both?
Google has started moving towards mixed search page results, now placing video content above traditional web pages. This means more clicks and engagement for video, and B2B marketers are taking notice.
Now, marketing teams like us are prioritizing video to make ourselves searchable and our content engaging. Best of all, it makes content more sharable for a wider audience.
“Live” Video Lives On
2019 is the year of video. Motion graphics get great engagement.
Video content has been on the rise for years, and it’s not stopping anytime soon, especially as video marketing strategies are becoming more accessible and diverse.
In 2019, you’ll see a rise in live video from content creators. Because last year, YouTube placed greater emphasis on live video, pushing content creators and consumers towards what’s happening now.
[Photo Credit: HubSpot]
Facebook and Instagram followed. They knew the interactivity of live video makes for an effective tool for connecting and engaging their audiences.
And according to Marcus Sheridan, 80% of what we consume online will be video content in 2019.
By tapping into video platforms, B2B marketing teams benefit from audience engagement and relationship building.
If 2018 was the year of minimalist, flat design trends, 2019 will be the year of video backgrounds.
See, videos bog down your website’s speed, specifically how fast the website loads on your customers' desktop or mobile device.
Despite this, video backgrounds are only becoming more popular because they increase customer conversions.
Slower website speed is a small price to pay for those conversions.
These are the top B2B marketing trends you'll see in 2019.
But the world of marketing is changing. Today, marketing and sales work hand-in-hand. The customer experience becomes the priority. And video marketing is bigger than ever.
If you're thinking about how your B2B marketing should adapt in the new year, this is a great place to start.
Looking for more digital marketing ideas? Check out these other marketing guides.