Guest Blog Post By Christina Garnett




2019 is right around the corner and you are no doubt working on next year’s strategy.

So… where should you put your energy?

What trends should you focus on to effectively reach your goals?

Here are my top 5!!



(1) Digital Ad Overload



As more people spend time on social media and online, they are leaving data breadcrumbs for advertisers.

You can target demographics, buying preferences, interests, etc.

You can highly target the audience you want to hit, but so is everyone else.

Just like the decline in organic, there is a lot of noise out there so the quality of content/ads is priceless now.

It isn’t enough to just create a target audience, add an image, and press submit.

Your audience is being inundated with static ads, search ads, videos ads, banner ads, Gmail ads, etc. 

Real question: where is the TIVO for social media ads?

Eyeballs aren’t enough and it’s easy to have your ad grouped into the overall disdain of an audience who sees an ad after each scroll.


Fight through the noise by being attuned to your audience and their needs.

What do they want to see?

What are their pain points?

What kind of ad and message would make them want to respond?



(2) Focus On ROI



From the small business owner down the street to Fortune 500 companies, seeing ROI for your marketing and advertising efforts is wanted and valued.

Digital advertising isn’t seen as a new medium anymore so it longer gets the “let’s just try it” blessing.

When someone creates an ad or hires an influencer for a campaign, they want results instead of just reach.


Vanity metrics alone won’t cut it.  

Be discerning of your ad and influencer metrics.

Don’t just look at views and followers.

Look for engagement - Look for attribution. 


2019 will see more tools like Spark Toro’s Fake Followers Audit, with the ability to zero in on the real value that influencers and micro-influencers hold.

Vanity metrics (followers, likes, etc.) can be bought and it’s crucial to determine the actual reach and ROI potential of any possible ad venues (especially influencer marketing).




(3) Micro Influencers Take Center Stage



You don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of followers to share content and create value for brands.

Social media accounts with smaller followers are attracting the attention of brands who have been burned by the stereotypical glossy and stylized influencers of the past few years.

They see the ability to pay multiple micro-influencers with dedicated followers that engage with their content.

Instead of putting their entire influencer marketing budget into one really expensive basket, they can diversify and choose smaller influencers to target different personas.

Micro influencers also create a perfect opportunity for smaller businesses and brands to test out influencer marketing for their needs.

Start small, use trackable codes for attribution, and be clear about the audience your influencer has.



(4) Data Security



We just keep getting bought and sold.

Whether it’s a hack or deliberate sale, our information is available to others.

Experts and everyday users are losing faith in social media channels.

In addition, we are seeing these fears confirmed with CEOs Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Sundar Pichai (Google) subpoenaed to testify in front of Congress.

It’s crucial for brands to understand that everyday users are becoming more aware of the type of data that is out there and are wanting more ways to use technology without feeling like their actions are being watched.

The safe search engine DuckDuckGo has seen a steady increase in use since users realized the extent of their data being watched and used by advertisers and more.

Expect more use of incognito browsers and other tools to minimize data risk.



(5) AI Won’t Take Your Job

(…. but it will change it) 



The chatbot revolution everyone has been talking about is here.

Instead of fearing the implications of AI, focus on how it can help you perform your job more effectively.

For small businesses as well as large brands, customer service can be a 24 hour job.

What if AI could take care of your everyday customer questions so you can use your energy to resolve unique customer concerns?  

AI has the ability to take the redundant and tedious work off your plate.

Replace that work with deeper customer interactions, strategy and prep for your content calendar, and more.


AI will free up to your time to create better work.

It won’t replace you.

It will be your secret weapon for efficiency.

It’s time to embrace it.  


Focus on quality over quantity and show your target market that you understand their needs, their fears, their desire to trust you before they fill out a form or give you their credit card information.

Incorporating and embracing these trends is a strong first step to a successful 2019 marketing strategy.


Meet Christina Garnett 




A North Carolina native and Davidson College Alumna, Christina Garnett has found her home in the Roanoke Valley.

As a marketing strategist and social media consultant, Christina strives to stay up to date with the ever-changing digital marketing landscape.

She is currently certified in Google Adwords, Google Analytics, Hootsuite, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and is a Wix Certified Trainer and Webmaster.

With her teaching and counseling experience, she works to empower small business owners to take charge of their marketing needs and use it to create and share their brand.

She loves the voice that social media can grant people and adores Twitter. 

With a marketing foundation based on inbound marketing, she showcases a deep love of audience understanding and data analysis.

As an English major who taught math for 5 years, she is able to have a creative side that thrives on innovation, with an analytical side that wants to evaluate the success of her content.

Experienced in Google Analytics and Tag Manager, she enjoys diving into the data to learn more about the audience experience, perform A/B testing, and utilizing Google Optimize to further enhance her campaign(s).

In addition, she has experience with utilizing Moz and Screaming Frog for SEO strategy, as well as Wordstream and SEMrush for PPC campaigns.

Follow Christina:

Twitter: @RoanokeMaven
Instagram: @MarketingMediaMaven
Google Academy for Ads:
Trailhead by Salesforce: