Creativity at its finest It's no secret that successful branding is based on creating and spreading original, high-quality content. In fact, it’s likely a trend that’ll continue in 2019. However, the diversity of online communication involves new approaches when it comes to crafting good content. Messages that contain new, authentic, and attention-grabbing information are often challenging to create but more important than ever before. Why? Because there aren’t less businesses and competition in the market today; there’s a whole lot more. Creativity is, therefore, a strategy that marketers should heavily rely on and use in 2019. Message customization becomes essential in the digital world. Audiences love information that is tailored to their personal taste and meets the expectations they have from the brands they interact with. 2019 is just the beginning of an individualized strategy wave. Video marketing Thought you saw a lot more videos this year than before? Well, video marketing is poised to see an increase next year. Specialists expect that in 2019, 80% of online content will be delivered in visual form, making video a worthy tool for companies looking to grow their brand and attract customers. Pictures or still images just won't cut it anymore. In the online world, the most impactful videos often strike out pins in entertaining users, however, they’re often cunningly embedded with a marketing message. Therein lies your challenge. Not only should you consider video marketing in 2019, you should shoot for the moon with your creativity. Be clever, and be entertaining. Currently, most platforms that provide marketing tools have a video upload option. From YouTube ads to ingenious Instagram stories, you'll have multiple variations to play with. Live video is the novelty with which social media platforms have surprised audiences over the past two years. However, while it's trending upward, many haven't quite figured out how to use live video effectively. For 2019, watch some youtube tutorials especially since 45% of live video users said they would pay to watch a celebrity they're fans of in an online broadcast. Personalization Personalization has become one of 2018's main trends and is expected to become huge in 2019. Not only does it maximize users' enjoyment, but it also increases the likelihood of a sale. Companies that plan on being noticed next year need to customize marketing by personalizing products and content. Luckily, custom content is pretty easy to create and deliver especially with data such as links clicked, purchase history, and consumer behavior being readily available. In fact, Marketo has done a study showing that e-mails that are tailored according to users' behavior perform 3 times better than regular ones. Companies like Amazon and Netflix have already jumped on this trend. Google ads will stay strong Reports indicate that an estimate of 30% of Internet users will have used AdBlock by the end of 2018. You might think that Google Ads will suffer, but Google has recently announced some changes aimed at stimulating the advertising process. In this context, marketers have continually adapted to new ways and channels of communication to reach customers. If you’re using Google ads to advertise your business (or other platforms), keep a close eye on micro-moments or “customer’s touchpoints” as Neil Patel puts it. You can take advantage of every interaction between a customer and your website to analyzing their intentions, behavior, and optimize your branding campaigns. This trend is complemented in 2019 by the increasing importance of quality, customized content that tips the balance in favor of companies running high-performance branding campaigns. People and robots What seemed unbelievable a few years ago will become the norm in 2019. Be prepared to collaborate with robots that'll help you offer your customers new, engaging online experiences. In 2018, chatbots became a unique and effective method of interacting directly with current or potential customers by providing information about your company or about your products and services. Gartner released a study with interesting results: by 2020, 25% of customer service will utilize chatbots. This is significant growth considering that in 2017, only 2% did. Chatbots not only helps you get more data about your customers' interests and intentions, but it also smoothens the process of direct and quality interaction, which is a big plus for any brand. In 2019, businesses that use AI tools will accelerate development, save costs, and get ahead of competitors. With artificial intelligence, you can analyze your consumers' search patterns and behavior by using data from websites and social media networking platforms to better understand how people find your products and services. You can use Facebook Messenger's Bots to optimize and automate customer service. Social media dominance With almost half of the world's population being online, social media continues to be a no-brainer way to market your brand. Marketing experts are still learning to adapt to the impressive dynamics of online algorithms, as social media platforms provide key data on people's preferences and behavior. In 2018, numerous businesses started using influencer marketing, social media stories, and social messaging apps to make themselves more visible and relatable. Politics and a gentleman’s C aside, if Fmr. President George W. Bush mentioned your company on his social media page, you’d see an increase in business. There's a growing tendency among online users to trust influencers and ignore classical branding campaigns. In fact, recommendations and reviews greatly influence people’s decision to purchase. Consider the last time you purchased something on Amazon. Did you purchase the item with high ratings and a lot of reviews or low ratings and less reviews? Collaborating with influencers (e.g. Instagram celebrities, YouTubers, journalists, bloggers, etc) is not a terrible idea. These people have a loyal following and, through their social channels, they will talk to their followers about your products and services. A great example is Iceland, a frozen food retailer that switched from the classic celebrity endorsement and TV ads to solely collaborating with micro-influencers such as Channel Mum, a real-life mom YouTuber. This way, the brand tapped into an engaged and dedicated community, which enhanced their approval ratings from 10% to 80%. That’s an impressive increase of 700%! Social media messaging apps are heavily used and continue to gain major traction. Companies that didn’t jump on the bandwagon in 2018 can begin directly marketing their services via messaging to their 2019 to-do list. As for social media stories, they're expected to be even more trending next year, so it's important to include them in your 2019 branding strategy. Featuring your employees, showing how a product is made, and asking for customer reviews via stories are good ideas. In addition, you can use live streaming, which is a profitable social rollout that helps businesses promote brand awareness and engagement. B2B social media branding In 2019, marketers should take LinkedIn and Twitter into account for their B2B branding purposes. Both are significant for engaging across B2B audiences and keeping them updated. Plus, they offer multiple branding and marketing tools and their daily active user growth is constantly increasing. These tips and advice are just the starting point of keeping up current branding trends. With 2019 right around the corner and branding trends poised to evolve, the best thing you can do is to start early and be one step ahead of your competition. Building an awesome and effective branding campaign is vital for any company that looks to stand out and gain trust in the market. If you fell short or totally missed any of the trending strategies mentioned above, feel free to add them to to your marketing strategy now. If you’ve got some suggestions of your own, mention them below!