It’s the time of the year when marketing gurus come out with their ‘trends to watch’ for the year ahead. Some years they agree, some years they don’t, but every year there are hundreds of articles to wade through if you want to be ‘in the know’.

The good news is, we read them all so you don’t have to!

Below we’ve rounded up the most spoken about digital marketing trends to watch in 2019.

The ‘Trending’ Trends:

Smart Speakers

Smart home devices have had a banner year in 2018, with almost one-third of the 3.5 billion daily Google searches being done via personal assistant devices. Amazon Alexa and Google’s home devices have been leading the charge. They allow users to do almost anything by voice, from asking Alexa to dim the lights to booking a flight, ordering an airport Uber and ordering your groceries while you’re away.

Why it will matter in 2019

Voice queries differ in nature from keyboard and standard mobile searches (as does the way the results get delivered), which necessitates changes to the way SEOs optimise pages. We will likely see more online publications (and content marketers) tailor their content for voice and publish audio content that’s designed to be heard rather than read.

In addition, both Google and Amazon make it easy for users to buy products using the device and are just starting to monetise the results. They’ve started offering advertisers the opportunity to pay to get certain content featured, and are likely to have more on the way (picture Adwords for your Smart Speaker).

This is likely to become a major area of marketing in 2019 and beyond.  

Internet overtakes TV

Streaming television is rising so fast that TVs are starting to seem a little retro (and traditional broadcasters are starting to sweat). Research suggests that the video content will surpass television in 2019 in terms of hours watched.

Why it will matter in 2019

The internet is changing the TV business forever. This, of course, has major ramifications for TV advertising and the way that brands are able to market to their customers in their homes.

Marketing strategies that rely solely on TV ads are simply not going to be relevant in 2019.

Live videos & stories on social media

Live broadcasting on Facebook, YouTube Live and Instagram is making waves. According to the current growth trajectory of video watching, by 2019 video will make up about 80% of all internet traffic and, not surprisingly, two out of three marketers surveyed say they expect video to make up the majority of their content in the near future.

Why it will matter in 2019

For digital marketers, the written blog post (or product page) may well be on its way out. Users prefer to consume video content and hundreds of tests and case studies have shown that videos tend to increase engagement and conversion rates.

The ability to produce live video (live streaming of video content in real-time) on social media platforms has changed the way people consume video and the way brands and influencers are able to connect with audiences. Social Report revealed that 67% of live viewers say they are more likely to purchase a concert ticket or attend an event if they’ve seen a live stream of a similar event online and 45% of live audiences would pay to see an athlete, team, or performer on an online stream.

It’s safe to say that live video is going to continue to rise in 2019 and is likely to form a major part of digital marketers’ social strategies in the near future.


Chatbots allow businesses to sharpen their customer service without having to employ any extra staff. Chatbots can be integrated with websites, apps, and social media platforms. They also gather user information that can improve the way they operate and inform marketing strategies.

Why it will matter in 2019

Customers have come to expect rapid responses to queries and chatbots fill the gap by providing 24/7 service, giving data-related answers and even fulfilling requests. They can even be given a sense of humor and on-brand personalities.

IBM estimate that by 2020, 85% of all customer interactions will be handled without a human agent.

The global chatbot market is currently estimated to be worth around $1.2 billion and growing at 24% per year. Business Insider also found that 45% of end users say they prefer using them when communicating with customer service.

Hyper-personalisation for online marketing

Soon, you and I will be shown a different version of the same website when we’re browsing.

The ability to personalise a user’s experience based on their demographic, whether they’re a first-time or returning user and what they’ve bought before is fast approaching.

Why it will matter in 2019

Right now, smart marketers are already engaging with personalisation in a small way, but it’s likely to grow. The pay-off is simply too promising to miss out on. You’re able to automatically show a version that the individual user will respond to, show them offers more tailored to their needs and not waste valuable space showing them an opt-in they’ve already taken, for example.

It’s a win-win for users and marketers alike.

Programmatic PPC & Smart Bidding

“Programmatic” advertising involves utilising AI and machine learning to help create and enhance online ads. Responsive ads, automatic bidding tools and optimisation tools are all already available to advertisers via Google, and there’s more to come.

Why it will matter in 2019

It matters already, but not all advertisers are making use of it just yet. That’s about to change, however, and Google (who are pushing it hard) have forecasted that it will account for two-thirds of the world’s digital display advertising by the end of 2019.

Advertising on Amazon

A growing number of people (especially in the USA) head straight to Amazon to do their shopping. According to Search Engine Land, 56% American consumers go to Amazon first if they want to shop. These figures indicate that Amazon’s got the edge on Google when it comes to e-commerce in the States.

Why it will matter in 2019

Amazon hasn’t yet made the waves in other countries that it has in the USA, but odds are it’ll keep growing and expanding. If you’re a seller of books, music, electronics, and anything else that sold on Amazon, you’ll need to start thinking about optimization for Amazon in your SEO strategy.

Data Security

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was a 2018 revelation concerning who owns the data created by users’ interactions online. Since it was passed, if a company doesn’t comply with GDPR regulations it can be liable to pay fines to the tune of €20 million or 4% of the company’s annual profit.

Why it will matter in 2019

Data security is an ongoing concern among users and governments alike. Nothing is confirmed, but digital marketing trend spotters seem to agree that GDPR isn’t the last we’ll see of data protection regulations and similar government-fronted interventions related to privacy.

Trend Popularity:

Now we know the major trends, let’s take a look at how popular they are. The graph below represents the frequency with which the trends were mentioned  in the ‘2019 trend’ results on the first page.

2019 Trend Predictions by number of mentions

Which trends do you think will dominate the digital marketing landscape in 2019?

Of course, there’s no sure way to tell right now, but it’s certainly fun to try. The trends above are the ones currently getting the most attention in 2019 ‘prediction posts’. We’ll be keeping an eye on them for the next few months and will keep you updated if anything new and exciting crops up.


About Steph Von der Heyde

Our resident wordsmith’s love of digital lured her over from advertising to the online space, where she fell in love with content marketing. Since coming to the online world Steph has made her mark on all outgoing CleverClicks copy and is passionate about using words to build brands. Her obsession with the writing is rivaled only by her love of trail running, yoga and green juice. When she’s not submerged in content strategy you’ll find Steph in Downward Dog.

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