Digital Marketing Advice for 2019 You Won’t Hear Anywhere Else
Every year, the content mills churn out this kind of blog post:
SEO Is Changing Next Year — Are You Keeping Up?
Digital Marketing is Dead! Long Live Digital Marketing!
Millennials Will Kill This Digital Marketing Trend Next Year
This isn’t that kind of post.
My goal isn’t to scare you into thinking that the digital marketing efforts you’ve been making in 2018 will suddenly evaporate with the dropping of a glittery ball in New York City on midnight, January 1st.
In fact, I’m going to suggest exactly the opposite.
Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it in 2019.
The tides of digital marketing do not change as often or as rapidly as you might have been led to believe. Most campaigns need time to mature. If you relentlessly shift gears, you risk turning your back on efforts that would have borne fruit if you’d just given them the chance.
Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at a handful of digital marketing efforts.
Google and Bing Ads work to lower cost-per-click and cost-per-conversion, increasing return on investment, by combining big data with consumer behavior on your specific ads. Over time, they get better at predicting which users will click on your ads and convert. Changing your ads or audience targeting too often can impact this negatively, since the data they use is based (to a certain degree) on those facets of your digital marketing campaigns. Leave them alone until they’ve been given enough time to succeed or fail, then make small adjustments to guide them towards improvement.
Like digital advertising, the various social media platforms show your posts to the people most likely to engage with them, but they need time to figure out who those people are. Everybody starts with a small social media presence and builds it up, which also takes time. The point is, if you shift focus (like turn your back on Facebook to focus on Snapchat because some blog post said you should), you’ll continually be fighting an uphill battle to build that audience and engage with it appropriately.
I guarantee you’ll see articles claiming that email is dead this year. It isn’t. It’s one of the highest-performing marketing methods at your disposal. If anything, you should devote more time to email in 2019 — improve your list segmentation, drip campaigns, and email designs. And similarly, work on finding new ways to get people to sign up for your email campaigns with ebooks, whitepapers, giveaways, contests, surveys, or anything else you can think of.
The internet is saturated with content, making it increasingly difficult to stand out. But if you abandon content in 2019, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. Your content might be terrible — ok, it probably is, given the vast amount of mediocre content out there. But that’s ok. Creating content is a skill that only improves when you diligently practice at it. Raise your own expectations of your content and keep working — that’s the only way you’ll see gains, and it has the potential to bring in organic traffic, leads, and conversions like nothing else.
Every year, burned SEOs come out of the woodwork to proclaim SEO dead and gone because Google changed its algorithms, killing the grey- or black-hat tactics that used to make them millions. Don’t listen to them. SEO is as important as ever and it’s never fundamentally changed — create web pages that are the best on the entire internet for their given topic and find ways to share them so that others will talk about and link to them. That’s it. That’s the whole thing. Like every other marketing effort on this list, SEO improves with time — give it up and you’ll never know what rankings you could have achieved if you’d just stuck with it.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you change nothing in 2019. I’m only saying that whatever you’ve been doing this year, it probably needs time to become optimized and fully realize its potential. It’s certainly possible to experiment with various digital marketing efforts and discover that they don’t work out for you. In those cases, stem the tide by getting out once you can definitively say that those efforts aren’t working out, but be sure you’ve given them the time and energy they need to bear fruit.