Disruptive Digital Trends to Watch in 2019
Now that we’re in the home stretch for 2018, it’s a great time to review the year in digital and the trends disrupting the automotive industry. Digital technology continues to evolve, with new channels and platforms emerging every day. We’ve taken a look at some of the biggest and most disruptive developments and highlighted them below. Enjoy!
Voice Search Roars
As mobile providers introduce new technology to better serve consumers, advertising products are quick to follow. By the end of 2017, over 20% of all searches took place via voice search instead of typed query. Estimates now say that by 2020, just 2 years from now, more than 50% of searches will be conducted via voice.
Voice-activated technology translates from mobile (Siri, Google Assistant, etc.) to home devices (Amazon Echo, Google Home). Currently, voice specific campaigns are still burgeoning, and without specific standards, types or ad units. Alexa just recently started to help consumers find dealerships in their area. However, the channel (by its very design) may lead advertisers to cast a much wider keyword net in order to capture the longer voice queries that searchers use to find business information.
Video Continues to Grow
Online video traffic is expected to make up 80% of all consumer internet traffic as soon as 2019. To capitalize on high video engagement, savvy advertisers have been quick to navigate into the space to try to capture the ever-elusive online customer.
According to the IAB, the automotive industry is expected to spend more than $12.5 million on video this year, representing 27% growth from 2016. With 85% of online audiences in the US watching videos online, it’s one of the best ways for you to reach key audience segments.
Social Boom Drives Engagement
For social media, video is an essential component to any integrated advertising campaign. In fact, over 100 million hours of videos are watched every day just on Facebook, and native videos have a 6.3% engagement rate – more than double the industry average.
One thing should immediately stick out in the social world from the past year few years – Facebook’s adoption by advertisers is booming. In April 2017, Facebook reported that more than 5 million business advertised on the platform each month, which was an increase of 2 million from the year before. Meanwhile, the company’s US ad revenue has also grown rapidly year-over-year, increasing from $12.37 billion to $21.57 billion from 2016-2018. Even with their recent data privacy issues, Facebook Advertising shows no signs of slowing any time soon.
Hopefully at this point you are already running targeted campaigns on social channels. There is already so much that you can do with these platforms and there is even more coming in the next few months.
In late 2017, Facebook introduced its first Messenger ads. The ad product is designed to scan messages for keywords, and then target users with appropriate messages. For instance, someone searching for a new Dodge Ram will be targeted with ads specific to that make/model in Messenger. Messenger ads have been shown to increase engagement while being nonintrusive – a key mix to target the right buyer, without being viewed as disruptive.
Ad Formats Continue to Evolve
‘Way back’ in 2011, Google launched click-to-call campaigns with tracking; since then, they’ve taken their reach even further with text message extensions. What’s next? Well, according to most pundits: chat bots. The ideal scenario here is that chat bots will act as an extension of internet sales teams. They will answer common customer questions and help you target shoppers with offers to move them through the sales funnel. Bing has already launched a pilot chat box program, with plans to expand it soon.
In 2014, Facebook bought the popular international messaging app WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion. With that kind of investment, an advertising product was surely not far behind. Late in 2017, Facebook showed its hand and appeared to be testing just that. With over 1 billion active users, WhatsApp is sure to be a key player in the ad space. Much like Facebook Messenger ads, it is expected that WhatsApp ads will target buyers based on behavior and keyword tracking.
Smarter, In-Market Advertising
With the amount of customer data available, targeting capabilities are also improving. As top players like Google, Bing and Facebook leverage AI and machine learning, they are also developing smarter targeting capabilities for advertisers. In-market advertising has already shown drastically higher CTR and engagements because campaigns are based on targeted messaging to relevant audiences.
With so many new tactics and technologies emerging, it is important for you to stay on top of the latest developments to optimize advertising campaigns, maximize sales and gain market share. There is still time left in 2018, so now is a good time to get caught up on the latest disruptive trends to set your dealership up for sales success in 2019.
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