We love looking forward. At WebBuzz, we are always excited to see the latest digital marketing trends in Australia that are transforming our world and our country at an unprecedented pace.

But to keep it relevant for our customers, the everyday Australian entrepreneur, we’re more keen to explore the marketing and technological innovations that will make the biggest impact on how we do business in Australia.

Today, it is easy for Australians to access information. According to the 2018 Digital Report by We Are Social, Australia has some of the highest penetration numbers in the world:

  • 88% are using the internet
  • 69% are active in social media
  • 78% are using mobile devices

The same report also reveals that the average Australian spends 5 hours and 34 minutes every day on the internet.

So if your business is still not online, you are missing out a lot. And we are not just talking about putting up a website.

For 2019, Australian businesses who want to dominate the market should try proven strategies to engage their customers, join the conversation and nurture relationships that make it easy for them to position their brand.

Let’s take a peek at 10 digital marketing trends in Australia that can help you strategise your marketing campaigns for the next 12 months.

1. Artificial Intelligence will take over the world

Many experts believe that 2019 will be the year of the AI with many of the innovations in the past decade coming into real traction this year.

Aside from big industries such as engineering, commerce, or space exploration, AI will also have a huge impact on digital marketing.

Through AI, businesses can study consumer behavior and look for patterns, using data from blog posts and social media channels to help marketers understand how customers engage with their brand.

For example, chatbots (which we’ll talk more about a bit later) can help businesses automate and optimise their customer service.

Brands using AI are expected to accelerate growth and save costs, gaining a competitive edge over their competitors.

2. Customers prefer personalised content

Yes, content is still king in 2019 but your content should be more creative and more personalised.

Remember, you are not the only person or organisation looking for new ideas to attract more customers in the coming months.

The competition will be tighter and the only way you can stand out is to show that you are different and you know your customers.

How can you personalise your content? You can start addressing your customers by their names but you can do a lot more.

Aside from personalising email, sale alerts, discount offers, receipts, and other transactional notifications, you can also personalise your customer service on social media by adding chatbots on your websites.

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3. Chatbots will be common

Adding chatbots in your website will make it more responsive to your customers. And for the next few years, chatbots will be more common.

This AI-based marketing technology employs automatic messaging to chat in real-time with your site visitors. And in Australia, the rise of chatbots is really impressive.

Big brands such as Jetstar, Domino’s Pizza, NIB Health Funds are now using virtual assistants to engage with their customers.

Even Australian banks are using chatbots. AMP has Rosie, CBA has Ceba, NAB has “digital virtual banker, while UBank has RoboChat.

Government agencies are also now using chatbots such as IP Australia and Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as well as universities including the University of Canberra, Deakin University, and University of Adelaide.

Chatbots can provide a competitive advantage for businesses because they are available 24/7, they are easier to deal with compared to static websites, and they can provide your customers with instant resolutions and faster access to information.

Gartner predicts that within two years, a quarter of customer service operations in Australia will involve chatbots.

4. More businesses will use video for their marketing campaigns

These numbers from iMPACT show the importance of adding video to your digital marketing mix in 2019:

  • 72% of businesses say video has increased their conversion rate
  • 52% of consumers say that they are more confident in buying online after watching product videos
  • 39% of executives called a vendor after watching a video on a company website

And we are not just talking about YouTube videos. Businesses can make a video or start live broadcast on LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook to increase higher engagement with their video marketing.

More businesses are using live video for tutorials, sneak peeks, product demos, and interview to name a few.

Video SEO will also become more important as YouTube and other videos are now shown in the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).

5. Facebook will still dominate the social media marketplace

Despite the recent controversies hounding the social media giant, Facebook still dominates the Australian social media marketplace with around 15 million active users. And this trend will not go away anytime soon.

Through social media, you can educate your customers, move them through the sales funnel, and convert them into actual paying customers.

But make sure that you are also using the right social media.

Yes, Facebook is still the king of the social media hill, but there are other platforms that you should also build your presence especially if your customers are there.

For example, if you are a B2B company, you should also allocate some of your resources in LinkedIn and Twitter.

You need to figure out which social media platform is relevant to your audience and ensure that your social media content makes sense. Remember, customers today are looking for authenticity with the brands they use.

6. The growing influence of social media influencers

Social media will continue to hold over its influence among Australian consumers. For example, Facebook is now the first place after Google where people search for products with the rise of influencers having a rising impact on sales.

Australian influencers are people on social media who have between 2,000 and 20,000 followers and can offer extremely high engagement rates. As part of your strategy, you may start looking for social media influencers who can work with you in promoting your brand.

While many social media influencers are celebrities, there are also bloggers, journalists, experts, professionals and even stay-at-home mums who can help spread the word about your brand through social media.

7. The rise of voice

Alexa, find me a recipe for meat pie.

Hey Siri, what time ANZ closes today?

The emergence of voice search has made it crucial for Australian businesses to rethink their digital marketing strategy. Around 20% of mobile queries on Google today are voice searches and by 2020, this will grow by 50%.

Voice search plays a crucial role in providing information to your customers. Computers are getting smarter and voice assistants such as Cortana, Siri, and Alexa are also becoming smarter.

More brands are now integrating voice search in their digital marketing strategies. For example, you can now order pizza from Dominos through Alexa.

Google Home only landed in Australia in July 2017 but already 5% of the 12+ population in Australia already have access. This penetration rate is even higher than the US and Canada and is expected to grow by 7% in the next year.

Bear in mind that not only will more businesses produce audio content to increase brand awareness, but ads are expected to reach this new platform.

Soon, Alexa will answer your question along with a “reminder from her sponsor”. Hence, you may soon be able to buy voice ad space similar to Google AdWords but for smart speakers.

Writing content for the web is expected to change as it will require writing text in a conversational tone and using keywords that people will speak instead of typing in the search box.

8. Visual search will take UX to a whole new level

Visual search was one of the most exciting digital marketing trends last year, and it will continue to change the marketing world with new innovations that allow customers to better experience a brand.

Last year, Google and Bing rolled out their updated search engines that allow users to upload an image and perform a search and get specific results.

Pinterest joined the trend and introduced Lens, which is a new visual search tool that enables users to capture images to search for stores where they can buy the item or look for similar products.

Google also rolled out Google Lens, which can recognize landmarks and objects by using an app on Pixel phones.

If you capture an image of a:

  • Building or a landmark: You can learn more information about it
  • Work of art: You can learn more information about it
  • Book cover: You can read reviews and other information about it
  • Business card: You can save the contact details to your phone

CamFind, another visual search mobile app, allows users to look for anything from their handheld devices by taking an image and this app will provide more details about it.

This will save users a lot of time as instead of using text queries, they can easily look through pictures to find similar images, local shopping results, price differences, and more.

Australian brands can gain a competitive edge by taking advantage of this trend that is expected to grow in 2019.

9. Need for Speed

AI makes it easier to process data and provide solutions within seconds. Modern consumers are aware of these technologies and capacities and are now expecting an experience that is similar to Amazon and Google with all the brands they engage.

Amazon in Australia has disrupted the retail market with its fast shipping and free returns. Google has a never-ending quest to refine its search to provide results in split seconds.

This has caused consumers to look for products and services that they can use or access in the soonest possible time.

While you may not have the advanced capabilities of Google and Amazon, you can start improving your digital marketing processes and collaterals so they can keep up with customer demand.

Start with your website.

Research shows that 53% of people will leave your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. So if your website is taking forever to show up, you might be losing hundreds of customers and you are not even aware of it.

And even if your website loads within the ideal speed, you should make certain that it can provide real-time access to solutions that your customer needs.

10. Data Privacy

Facebook experienced three major data breach this year, and while it is still in hot water, it has millions of dollars in its disposal to make sure it will endure the backlash.

If you don’t have deep pockets for damage control, you need to take extra precautions to avoid data breaches and ethical failures.

With AI and machine learning taking over the digital marketing world, you need to have a better understanding of how it affects data security.

Your customers will be more concerned about the steps you are taking to protect data and privacy when they engage with your brand.

Protecting customer data and privacy is not a trend but a responsibility. You need to properly address the ethical use of data and be careful in using any marketing technology that uses AI.

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2019 Will Be an Interesting Year for Australian Businesses

With these latest digital marketing trends in Australia, it is easy to say that next year will be an exciting ride for marketers in Australia. There will be plenty of opportunities to achieve your business goals but make sure to follow the rules and focus on your customers.

Remember, trends don’t refer to a specific industry or brand, but rather the underlying values that affect the buying behavior of your customers.

Trends will come and go but understanding the essence of your business and how it can address the need of your customers will be long-lasting. Prioritise your customers and your business will succeed in 2019.

What do you think will be the next big thing in digital marketing in Australia, or do you agree with some of the trends that we’ve discussed here?

Share your thoughts below!

Cheers, Darren

Darren Moffatt

Darren Moffatt

Darren Moffatt is an award-winning entrepreneur & Director of Strategy & Content at growth marketing agency, Webbuzz. An experienced digital strategist, he is an in-demand public speaker on the topic of digital disruption and online marketing, and regularly features in the Australian media.

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