In the communications industry, 2018 was a great year. We witnessed the advancement, progression, and extinction of some communication trends. We saw brands bring more creativity, innovation and efficiency to communication. Storytelling was the focal point of most communication strategies, as companies hoped to make more personal and emotional connection with their audiences.

Certain trends and media platforms which were thought would be obsolete in 2018 proved resilient, while new platforms and strategies emerged, providing wider options for communication experts.

We’re a few months into 2019, a year which, holds even more potential and excitement, with a great opportunity for more innovation and creativity.

Here, we’ve outlined some of the communication trends we expect to dominate 2019.

Wide/Increasing Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Communication

2018 was a year of experimentation in the application of AI in business communications, but 2019 will be the year it becomes more integrated. The communication industry witnessed a significant increase in the use of artificial intelligence in 2018 and the results are very positive.

AI has proven efficient, sustainable and relatively cheaper. According to Adobe, only 15% of enterprises are using AI as of today, but 31% are expected to add it by the end of this year. In 2019, we expect to see increasing use of AI in communication activities such as data gathering, media monitoring and even, interaction with consumers.

Email is Here to Stay

Since the introduction of electronic mail as a means of information sharing, it has proven extremely effective in both external and internal communications for businesses. Despite several innovations and improvements, in communication technology, and even with the rise of social media, e-mailing still remains a trend that will not be abandoned soon.

The Radicati Group Email Statistics Report, shows that people send and receive 281 billion emails per day in 2018, with an expected 3.8 billion email users worldwide by the end of the year. In five years’ time, there will be even more email use, with an expected 333 billion emails sent. Businesses should make sure their e-mail databases are up-to-date and always growing, as important as social media is, many companies are only one Instagram crash away from going losing their full customer base.

Influencer Engagement Thrives and Shifts

According to Solberg Audunsson of CampaignLive UK, 2019 will be the year influencer marketing shifts from who to how. 2018 was all about brands learning who to work with, but in 2019 the focus will be on how to get influencers to push sales. The influencer engagement landscape is shifting and the way social personalities and brands work together is changing. This is as a result of shifts in areas such as social paradigms, customers’ expectations of transparency, brand purpose and accountability.

As influencer engagement budgets are bulging, brands and businesses also want to be sure they receive their money’s worth. These changes present marketers with new issues and challenges, therefore organizations using influencers to reach its audience will adopt new strategies.

More Personalization

One goal of communication in business is to get the full attention of the target audience – hence businesses should always be working to make their messages more attractive. 2018 saw the use of storytelling by brands to enable them connect emotionally and communicate with consumers, the year 2019 will see the intensification of storytelling, but on a more personal level.

Companies will try as much as possible to personalize their messages to fit their target audience, in order to cut through the noise and get the undivided attention of the consumer.

Traditional Media (Print and Electronic) Live to Fight Another Day

Traditional media is not dead yet. The digital age has significantly disrupted the place of traditional media as the main means for mass communication, but it has not totally killed it. Despite the reduction in the use of traditional media in communication by businesses, a study from Zenith Media, indicates that traditional media accounted for 69% of global media consumption in 2017.

Therefore, there are strong indications that traditional media will survive 2019 and beyond. Traditional media still pulls large numbers, and it is shifting and evolving to mimic the things we love so much about digital media.

All in all 2019 is proving to be a banner year for the industry, we’ll be back at the end of the year to see which trends hold true.