2019 Online marketing trend forecast and recommendations

Online marketing approaches are diversifying. From the old-school Google Ad and Facebook Ad to the rising Instagram and Snapchat, how can companies effectively utilize online marketing strategy to increase profits in the challenging year? One of the experienced agencies on the 2Easy platform, Kickads, outlines megatrends that companies should be noted.

Online marketing costs are rising. Advertising optimization must be prepared to increase ROI.

Q1:  Any changes do you see in the Online Marketing industry from 2017 to 2018? E.g What changes did you see in the year 2018?

A1: Just over two years ago, Facebook and Google were still the top platforms in the industry. However, the online marketing industry is becoming over saturated. More customers are investing in Facebook and Google ads. When the advertising auction is more intense, the advertising cost has therefore significantly increased.

Let’s talk about Google Ad. The Bid prices of some of the popular Keywords are a few times more expensive than just two years before. We can see that the big pocket advertisers are leading the online marketing. It’s relatively challenging for small-sized companies with tight budgets to stand out from Google or Facebook Ads.

In order to cope with the current situation, and to generate a high return on investment (ROI) like years before, advertisement setting optimization is necessary. The purpose of Ad optimization is accurate advertising, combined with the skillful works on Keyword Research, competitor research, and market research.

For example, you can perform Remarketing for Search Ad (RLSA) to compare the performance of different advertising settings, such as the target customer group with the best performance, or the target users who have visited but have no Action. The purpose of it is to increase the Conversion Rate, thus the ROI.

Forecast of the online marketing market in 2019 – the rise of AI and automation

Q2: What are the upcoming trends or changes in the Online Marketing industry in 2019?

A2: Online Marketing has been evolving over the years, from the initial Yahoo to Google monopoly, to the rise of Facebook and the emergence of a large number of mobile social media apps (Instagram, Snapchat, Wechat, etc.). From solely driving traffic and receiving exposure in the past, to immediate purchase on a Facebook and Instagram Ad (Customers can now checkout on a Facebook Ad). All of the changes are driven by big data.  

In regards to the Hong Kong market in 2019, we believe that Facebook will still be the leading advertising platform for the Retail industry, Wechat and Snapchat will not see significant growth in the Hong Kong market, unless merchants would like to target other regions.

Another significant change we can see in 2019 is the involvement of Autobot (digital automation robots), it gradually replaces manpower. For example, in 2018, a very popular approach, “Leave a Comment and receive an Inbox reply” is being implemented with the help of Autobot. In 2019, there will be more similar approaches. The AI technology can be adopted for customer service use, I believe there will be breakthroughs soon.

Remarking (RLSA) can effectively increase return on investment (ROI)

Q3: Any case study to support the arguments above?


Company Name: Dadi – A Hong Kong Overseas Care Service Center

Industry: Education

Target customers: Parents and students

Project Summary: This is a search engine marketing (SEM) project, launching Google Adwords marketing campaigns. The project is still in progress from 2017 onwards. In 2018, we reduced the cost-per-lead by 50%.

Project Opportunities/Challenges: Before the client hiring us, their online marketing project was handled by another agency. However, the performance was not up to expectation. As mentioned, in the highly competitive online advertising market, CPC (cost per click) continues to increase. Therefore, we focus on advertising settings optimization, adopting RLSA (Remarketing for Search Ad) technology in this project to retarget users who have visited the Dadi website and convert them into customers. RLSA helps if you have a tight pocket, yet it maintains a good return on investment (ROI). If we continue to use the old approach of online marketing in 2016-17, we will certainly not be able to increase the return on investment, as market costs increased significantly in 2018.

New Discovery: Our discovery is that RLSA helps fully capitalize on advertising budgets and increases our customers’ ROI in a growing environment of CPC.

2Easy Insights: Online marketing is getting more and more challenging but there are still many effective approaches

In summary, 2Easy sees that advertising platforms are optimizing their advertising systems, making them user-friendly so that merchants are able to do it themselves. As a result, the number of bids for keywords, the number of merchants who create ads have significantly increased across all advertising platforms, merchants believe that they can do it themselves. Thus, the cost of the ads climb up substantially.

Also, merchants who do not have a proper advertising plan will put up their ads across all platforms, to drive as much traffic as they can. However, more advertisements drive up their advertising budget. Advertisers will have to confront with a large number of competitors to bid for quality Keyword, advertising placements and time. If you are unable to convert visitors to become your customers, the advertising cost will keep climbing.

A more user-friendly advertising system has unexpectedly increased the advertising cost (A good idea for advertising giants like Facebook and Google, but a discouraging trend for businesses). Fortunately, there are many top online marketing agencies grasping new trends and technologies, delivering above expectation results to businesses.

Most of the new advertisements in the market we see are created by the tight budget businesses. They do not do precise targeting and retargeting setup, the advertising performance is therefore not satisfying. To stand out, you can seek assistance from professional online marketing agencies. Some customers will think that they can do it themselves, why do they need an agency? In reality,  online marketing requires professional knowledge, skills, and experience. It also requires a lot of market research, competitor research, Keyword Research, etc., not to forget setting up a Retargeting approach, to collect contact details of the site visitors for various retargeting purposes.

The skills and settings require plenty of time and experiences, and the advertising project must be constantly monitored and professionally adjusted, it is not a one-off project, It’s neither something a team nor a beginner in a corporate can deliver. In this case, outsourcing to a dedicated and professional team is a valid approach. Companies should focus on their business to maximize operational efficiency and profitability.

In general, online marketing agencies charge according to the project budget, approximately 15-25% of the total budget (depending on the experience and reputation of the agency). For instance, if the client’s monthly budget is HKD 20,000, the agency will charge a management fee of HKD 3,000 to 5,000 per month, and the remaining HKD 15,000 to 17,000 will be paid to the advertising platform, like Google or Facebook. In fact, we can’t even hire a clerk in Hong Kong with HK$3000, let’s leave the right thing to the right professional.

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