Digital Advertising Trends in 2019: A Forecast

November 29, 2018 | Chris Caputo


Anyone deeply involved with the digital realm - which is the majority of us - knows that the world of technology is constantly changing. In fact, endless change is an axiom of the digital world. Five years ago, who knew that GDPR would be enacted and create such an earthquake?

So what does 2019 hold in store for the digital advertising world? Whether you are trying to predict the future of digital marketing for your business, or you’re preparing to jump on the newest trends and technologies, time is always of the essence. Staying relevant is necessary for gaining any bit of traction, so hopefully this forecast will help you catch a glimpse of what’s to come.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is by no means a new technology. No one can forget the great Pokemon Go mania of 2016, after it turned half of the population into Pokemon-wielding enthusiasts. But for all that it was worth, the game turned AR into a universally-known mode of media. And it will continue to make waves this coming year.

Consumer engagement is a major facet of online advertising and it’s something that marketers can utilize through AR campaigns. This technology provides interaction between the real and digital world, and through the users themselves. In this way, a feedback loop helps keep users engaged with a bigger picture - the products and services you want to offer.

How to adopt AR advertising

● Advertising with AR is all about engagement. Make use of it by providing consumers with fun games or activities they can participate in.

● Brands, such as 19 Crimes, use AR to help their customers engage with the product. In this case, 19 Crimes’ wine bottles interact with AR to provide consumers with engaging historical narratives. It encourages consumers to try new, different wines, but also helps generate significant word-of-mouth.

Native Advertising

The rise of native advertising is something that has effectively blurred the lines between regular content and ad content. When thinking about native advertising, the word “seamless” should come to mind. Hard-hitting, in-your-face advertising has begun to evolve into something soft and subtle.

"Hard-hitting, in-your-face advertising has begun to evolve into something soft and subtle."

Native advertising is the art of sewing the fabric of an ad into native content. It continues to rise in popularity because it is arguably easier to digest. Instead of being shown a traditional advertisement, consumers are presented with a recommendation.

Where to implement native advertising

  • One of the best platforms to use for native ads is video. They perform well, are adaptable to mobile, and can be a great way to make use of influencers.

  • YouTube videos are a great example. You’ve probably watched a self-help or step-by-step video before and noticed that the creator tied one of their main points to the product or service that sponsored the video. It’s an ad, but not the one you see before the video starts. Instead, this ad is presented as a friendly suggestion.

Multimedia Advertising

Multimedia advertising includes video, but that doesn’t mean it will always be limited to only video. There are formats within the multimedia realm that can transcend your average video ad. 360 video, for example, can keep consumers engaged and encourage interaction. Like virtual reality, it’s an immersive type of media. Live video is also a way to drive interaction and real-time engagement.

As the digital world constantly changes, it’s crucial to give customers fresh experiences and new ways to engage.

Why you should utilize multimedia

  • If you look closely, these multimodal options aren’t difficult to find. Facebook and Instagram live, for instance, encourage consumers to engage with brands and influencers in real time
  • Videos can be used as incentives, which you can see with apps like Spotify. By watching videos or listening to ads, consumers are rewarded with longer music play time. Studies showed that this improves customer retention.

Mobile-First Content

Developing content for mobile is no new concept, but it has become increasingly more important, especially when it comes to video. Content like this can be seamlessly translated across devices, from laptop to smartphone to tablet. With the steady increase in mobile users, advertisers don’t want their campaigns to miss such a large segment of the market.

Although widespread smartphone consumption is not a new trend, the mobile marketing world has plenty of room to grow, and mobile-friendly content - video especially - should continue to grow and adapt.

What makes content mobile-first

  • Square, visually-appealing videos that can be played with the sound off are good examples. They can be easily consumed on mobile, tablet, and desktop devices, getting their message across without having to dodge mobile roadblocks.

AI and Automation Tools

The internet is its own universe, and like the one we live in, it is always expanding. As it does, digital marketing becomes more and more data-driven. AI is following this trend too, and is becoming smarter. More data plus smarter AI equals lots of automation.

Obviously, automation’s biggest affordance is that it is time- and cost-effective. In the future, it could be used to automate more and more daily tasks of marketers and advertisers. AI systems can process massive amounts of data in a short time, and make use of the data through automated systems.

How to use AI and automation

  • Creating a customer profile can be difficult because they have to be tracked in real-time, across several channels. By automating the process, you can access valuable data in real time, and save time and money.

  • You might think that AI doesn’t apply to the user experience, but actually, it does. Customer experience and support systems can be automated and significantly enhanced by using certain systems like chatbots.

Influencer Marketing

As you now know, influencers are a powerful way to make the best of native advertising. But aside from native ad placement, influencers are tools that you can use to skyrocket awareness and promote your brand.

 Making use of networks is one of the most effective ways to market successfully, and digital networks are the influencer’s specialty. How else do they influence unless they have a wide reach? Taking advantage of that reach (in a mutually beneficial way), is one of the ways digital advertising is changing with the times.

Influencers are people who the Internet-public trust and often follow religiously. Having an influencer act as an unofficial spokesperson can help promote your brand and turn hopeful leads into convinced customers. Working in tandem like this, marketing and native advertising will continue to grow.

What influencers can do

  • You know them - the ex-athlete stars that have become official spokespeople of name brands. You could probably name a dozen of them. Sure they need money after retiring, but their influence is still tremendous and marketers can leverage that.

  • Social networks are connecting more people around the world than ever before, and influencers are at the hub. Their original content and social media can serve as a great distribution center for your advertising campaigns.

Obviously, no one can say for sure what 2019 will bring. New technologies can emerge at any time and inspire new, more effective marketing strategies. But the trends and major developments that are happening now are likely to make headway in digital advertising, or at least, influence the future of it. We are excited to see what new trends 2019 brings our way.

Image source: Blippar

Topics: Digital Advertising GDPR Modern Marketing

About the Author
Chris Caputo

Chris Caputo is a strategic marketing technologist with over 20 years of BtoB, BtoC and agency experience. An accomplished strategic marketing leader, Chris has extensive experience architecting marketing communication plans, digital marketing roadmaps, user experience planning, and developing digital customer acquisition, conversion and retention strategies. Having led BtoB marketing departments for a variety of companies and digital agencies, Chris has developed a rounded set of skills that include a depth of multiple marketing disciplines (PR, Advertising & Direct Marketing) overlapped with Digital, Print and Broadcast channels.

Subscribe to Falls Digital Insights

Stay up to date with our latest articles, executive interviews, research reports, thought leadership and client success stories for a dose of innovation inspiration.