Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing Trends in 2019

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Let’s start with the basics. What is digital marketing and how does it differ from traditional marketing? 

Digital marketing includes all marketing efforts that use the internet or an electronic device. 

Businesses will leverage various digital channels to reach their consumers, including mobile devices, social media, search engines, email, and other channels. 

On the other hand, traditional marketing uses more direct forms of advertising and marketing. Traditional marketing strategies typically fall in one of the following four categories: print, broadcast, direct mail, and telephone. 

So what are the key shifts in traditional marketing vs digital marketing in 2019? 

For digital marketing, we saw a general shift towards creating a digital experience rather than just a series of promotions. Users are looking for engaging, fresh content–whether it be videos, podcasts, or beautiful imagery. Additionally, companies that use digital marketing tactics have gravitated towards using social media as a platform for customer service and brand activism. 

Conversely, traditional marketing has shifted to also include newer digital platforms. Brands are now looking to advertise on online TV and music streaming platforms, as opposed to traditional TV and radio sources. They are also incorporating QR codes and barcodes on print media, to shift towards a more digital outlook that marketing has trended towards. 

For a more in-depth look, here’s our breakdown of the biggest traditional marketing vs digital marketing trends below. 


Biggest Digital Marketing Trends in 2019 

Content Creation

  • Visuals. Internet readers are devouring infographics and visual-heavy information. In fact, 32% of marketers have said that visual images are their most important form of content, with blogging coming in at second with 27%. It’s for a good reason too. Articles with images get 94% more views than articles without an image. So the next time you publish an article, feel free to break it up with a few relevant images.
  • Video Content. Video content is all the rage in marketing right now! Why? Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results than just text, and consumers are 64% more likely to purchase a product online after watching a video. The brain processes information from a video 60,000 times faster than it does with text, making your call-to-action within a video that much more effective. 

Humans are highly visual creatures. GoPro, a company that manufactures action cameras, has created an Instagram feed that capitalizes on this fact. Their Instagram shows off the footage taken by athletes and adventurers using their product. The footage and film they share on their feed is a source of free advertisement/revenue and is more cost-effective than traditional print advertising. 

  • Interactive Content. Brands are looking for more ways to drive user interaction and brand awareness. For instance, companies are using Instagram polls as an accessible focus group. Consumers can directly respond to polls or Instagram posts to voice their opinions on the products they want to be launched or features they would prefer. Interactive content not only drives user engagement but can be leveraged as a tool in making important business decisions. 
  • Podcasts. A newer form of content creation, podcasts have seen significant growth in popularity during 2019. Monthly podcast listeners grew from 24% to 26% among Americans in the past year (that’s over 70 million listeners a year!). If your business demographic might align with podcast listeners, this could be a worthwhile digital marketing trend to drive revenue or knowledge for your business. 


Social Media

  • Customer Service. In 2019, more companies have been using their social media channels to answer customer service inquiries. Customers appreciate the direct line of contact, and 65% of people also feel a greater sense of brand loyalty when companies directly respond over social media. 

Let’s take a closer look at the brand Glossier. Glossier is a cosmetics company that has built a cult following primarily through its e-commerce and social media channels. In a recent Instagram post, they took the opportunity to respond to customer questions, store stock updates, and resolve any order issues. Businesses now have the opportunity to shape their brand image and customer service through the power of social media. 

  • E-commerce Sales. Social media platforms are finding new methods to introduce e-commerce shopping to their features. On Instagram, accounts are able to add a “Swipe up to Shop” link on Instagram stories, and in late 2018 they rolled out a “Click to Buy” option. Users are now able to tap on a post and then select the item they wish to buy. Thanks to these new app upgrades, direct e-commerce sales have never been easier to execute. 
  • Brand Activism. Buying a product or service is no longer just a transaction. Consumers now consider their purchasing choices as a politicized act. Does this purchase reflect my personal lifestyle, views, and beliefs? A survey by Sprout Social found that 66% of consumers believed that it was important for brands to take public stands on social and political issues. As a result, more companies have been taking a stance on controversial issues, which has been reflected in their marketing efforts. 

Nike made a risky decision to promote ex-NFL athlete Colin Kaepernick for their 30th-anniversary campaign. The reactions were mixed: although some pledged to burn their Nike possessions, others applauded Nike’s decision. Ultimately, the gamble paid off. Despite the initial public backlash, Nike sales increased 31% after the debut of the ad. When carefully executed, brand activism can strengthen overall brand loyalty and sales. 

  • Micro-influencers. In a culture where Instagram celebrities once reigned king, brands are now shifting away from offering pricey sponsorships to influencers with millions of followers. Instead, many brands are looking to collaborate with micro-influencers (typically niche accounts between 10,000 and 500,000 followers). Companies are now favoring these smaller accounts that have higher engagement rates because they deliver more ROI per marketing dollar spent. For more information on how to use micro-influencers to promote your small business, check out our guide here. 


Biggest Traditional Marketing Trends in 2019

TV and Radio Ads

  • Internet TV Advertisements. Although traditional TV still has the most viewers (43%), online streaming (35%) has risen in popularity in the past five years. To see a higher ROI, a blended strategy for advertising is the best bet. Traditional marketers advertise on both platforms for the best results. 
  • Music Streaming Advertisements. Similar to online TV streaming, advertisers should also look into ads for music apps like Spotify or Pandora. Traditional marketers have gradually transitioned most of their advertising efforts in online platforms, although local businesses still have higher success rates with traditional radio stations. 

Print Media

  • Savvy Integration. Print media still yields results. Traditional marketing in 2019 has focused on merging printed and digital advertisements. A recent study found that digital marketing campaigns that included printed catalogs yielded 163% more profits than solely digital media alone.

Navigate the Waters of Traditional Marketing vs Digital Marketing

Finding the right digital and traditional marketing balance may seem like a tricky venture. However, with the right research and experimentation, creating a marketing strategy for your business has never been easier. 

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