Digital outpaces every other sector — whether we’re talking about online shopping or overall marketing trends. As you start planning for 2019, you should know that digital’s seemingly exponential growth is continuing, so you should plan on spending more on online efforts.

For reference, 82 percent of marketers plan to spend more of their budget on digital media, according to Nielson’s 2018 CMO report. On average, they plan on increasing their digital media budget by 49 percent.

To make that happen, 44 percent plan to cut back on their traditional media spending. Each sector — from radio to direct mail — will be reduced by about 5 percent, on average.

Why do businesses spend more on digital marketing every year? The answer is simple: it’s easier to quantify. 74 percent of marketers are confident they can accurately measure the ROI of their digital efforts.

For traditional media, the waters are murkier. 15 percent fewer marketers felt that they could prove their print or TV ads were working. They know those ads are still important in the grand scheme and help drive brand awareness, recall and favorability.

But, when it comes to budgeting, it’s smarter to invest in the tactics you can prove are working. Without further ado, here are the top three most effective digital marketing tactics that you should spend more on in 2019.

Increase Budgets for These 3 Digital Marketing Tactics in 2019

Note: All data, unless otherwise sourced, is from Nielson’s 2018 CMO report.

1. Social media

79 percent of marketers think social is extremely or very important. 69 percent find it to be an extremely or very effective platform.

Social media budget forecast for 2019: Increase. Since Facebook changed its News Feed algorithm in January 2018, the platform has essentially become pay-to-play.

Just recently, Instagram began testing Promoted Stories, which would work like Facebook Boosts do. Organic reach is going to be harder and harder to come by in 2019. Put aside more money to make up for the difference with paid results.

2. Search

73 percent of marketers consider search (whether organic or paid) to be extremely or very important. 69 percent find it to be an extremely or very effective platform.

Search budget forecast for 2019: Increase for three main reasons.

  • In January of 2018, there were an estimated one billion voice searches per month, according to Alpine.AI data. By 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be done verbally, predicts ComScore. By that time, Gartner estimates 75 percent of all households will have a smart speaker. 2019 is the year you need to invest in content made for voice search.
  • Invest more in organic search. When you rank for organic search terms, you’ll get 20 times the results than if you invested in paid search, found 2018 Moz and Jumpshot data. Yet, most businesses spend 90 percent of their search budget on paid search. Put your dollars into the links people click on the most.
  • This year, Amazon became the third largest digital ad platform, with projected ad revenue of $4.61 billion just in the U.S., according to eMarketer. Because of the success and growth of Amazon’s ads, 80 percent of Amazon advertisers plan to increase their budgets in 2019.
    In 2018, most businesses spent 10 percent of their digital advertising budget on Amazon. Next year, 20 percent plan to spend at least 50 percent more, according to a MarketingLand study. To do that, 30 percent will be reallocating money they’d spend on other search platforms.

3. Mobile

56 percent of marketers think mobile video is extremely or very important while 44 percent find mobile display to be that important. Overall, 60 percent find mobile to be an extremely or very effective platform.

Mobile forecast for 2019: Increase. Right now, people spend 29 percent of their media time on their mobile device, but businesses only spend 26 percent of their ad budget there. There’s a $7 billion opportunity there to bridge that gap, found Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report.

For the first time, more companies will spend money on digital ads than television ads, according to 2018 eMarketer data. By 2020, that number will grow. Nearly half (43 percent) of all media ad spending in the U.S. will be spent exclusively on mobile. Get ahead of the masses and invest a lot more in mobile ads and video this year.