Well, the NRG team has hit the ground running this year and we find ourselves well into January before I had time to write the ubiquitous 2019 digital trends post! But here it is with 6 key trends that are shaping the way digital agencies like ourselves, and our partners, are doing business and will deliver digital content this year and beyond…
Read on to find out how I plan to align NRG and our services with these trends, and look out for future blog posts which will share more practical advice for minimising the negative aspects of some trends, and maximising the opportunity of others.
Digital Agency Trends For 2019
- More for the same
As budgets continue to be squeezed (and this will come as no surprise) commissioners are looking for more assets for the same budgets. For agencies, the challenge is how to deliver more and still make a profit on each project.
One way we’re trying to give our clients more without increasing budgets is to find ways to create multiple assets from one piece of content. Such as by taking a video, for example a client case study, and creating various versions including long and short clips, sound bites, and other content for use across a variety of different channels. We also work with our agency and direct clients to suggest ways they can do more with the assets created and get more value for money.
- People focused
There is a real shift in Global and SME businesses focusing on ‘people first’ and driving their comms towards this. This is happening more than it has over the past couple of years, with initiatives across the board in 2019 that help engagement amongst employees.
I’ve been reading various HR and internal comms trends articles this month, and ‘personalisation’ is a reoccurring theme. One-size-fits-all campaigns do not see the level of engagement and positive outcomes desired but, following on from the ‘more for the same’ trend, companies are not so keen to invest in multiple campaigns to target individual groups.
Again, agencies like ourselves need to help our clients identify where content requires personalisation to increase engagement, and be creative in the way we handle different assets. There is often scope to create some content with broad appeal and personalise specific content for different audiences, thereby working within budget constraints but still creating multiple pieces of engaging content.
- In-house teams
External agencies shouldn’t see this as a threat but as an opportunity. There have always been in-house teams, so what agencies need to do is look at how they can complement the services of in-house teams, rather than see it as a threat. Constant dialogue and bringing fresh ideas or even tweaks to ideas is a great starting point.
Our approach has always focused on partnering with internal teams long term, becoming an extension of that team. We also understand that there are things that can be handled in-house more cost effectively and that, in turn, allows in-house teams to invest available budgets more strategically. Ultimately, digital agencies like NRG have specialisations that in-house teams don’t have, we would rather they spend their money on these and keep the activities they have the right skills and capabilities for in in-house.
- Get over it
There will always be the ‘one-man band’ that can do it all at a fraction of the cost. Being an agency means delivering more value than the smaller outfits and demonstrating to clients why it’s not just about how cheaply they can get something done. While this can be tricky to sell to video-savvy commissioners, the big advantage that an external agency can always bring is that ‘outside view’ and fresh creative.
- Did someone say Brexit?
Buffoonery , Confusion, and uncertainty – everyone has their opinion, but when trying to predict the short and long term effects on your business, it can be downright difficult. Personally, I believe that the effects will not be felt for a while (if I was to go out on a limb I’d say around two years). Will it have an immediate effect on Marketing and Comms budgets? No, I don’t think so.
However, now is probably the right time to make sure you can demonstrate ROI and, if necessary, fight for your budget by proving the business case for marketing or comms campaigns. Digital activities provide a wealth of metrics to measure performance. If you’re not already, identify the metrics that matter the most to your organisation and start measuring and reporting different activities and campaigns.
- The biggest opportunity
The biggest opportunity still lies in social media content. As LinkedIn is starting to become even more video content driven, the need for editorially strong content will increase and as the platforms become even smarter in the way video is delivered, agencies will need to find new and smarter ways to stand out.
Year-on-year video content is cited as a key trend in marketing, HR and comms. It’s not going away, it’s just continuing to grow, so should form part of all SMEs and multinational corporates’ marketing and comms strategies.
Watch out for more blog posts exploring these trends over the next few months. If you want to discuss any specific trend in more detail or find out more about NRG please get in touch. Call 01252 717707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org