Consumer habits and expectations around technology are ever evolving, and it’s important that digital marketing strategies keep pace
Let's take stock of digital marketing in 2018 in light of emerging trends in technology and how marketers can seize the new opportunities being created.
1. Align your SEO with the growth of voice search
Do you search the web by voice on your phone? Have you brought a voice recognition “assistant” into your home? If so, you are among a growing segment of internet users.
Voice control of the internet is changing how people find businesses. Voice queries have several notable differences from traditional typed-in searches: they tend to be longer, more conversational, more specific, asked in question form, and more likely to be local (“Where is the closest coffee shop,” for example).
To make sure your business gets found in this new search environment, it’s important to tailor your content and keywords to match this style of searching. Best practices include:
- Review your local SEO practices - Mobile voice searchers are more likely to be seeking out hours of operation, location, and contact information than traditional searchers. Making these items prominent on your website and consistent throughout your listings on other sites is a cornerstone of local SEO that is made even more important with the prevalence of voice searching.
- Consider a voice searcher’s intent - Many voice searches are made in the form of a question. What questions would your prospects use to search for your business? Make sure your website content answers these questions.
- Use long-tail keywords - Because voice searches tend to be longer and more conversational, the value of long-tail keywords is increasing. These phrases are more specific to your products, services, and location than generic search terms popular in your industry. For local businesses, make sure your content has hyper-local mentions, such as a sub-neighborhood within a city or a prominent landmark. These can help increase your results when people are searching for businesses in specific spots within your town or city. In addition, long-tail keywords will be easier to bid on for paid digital ad campaigns and are more likely to garner click-throughs than generic industry words.
In addition to impacting SEO, voice search will also lead to paid advertising opportunities, following an evolution similar to that of its technological predecessors: starting as an ad-free service, then seeing experimentation in ad formats, then improving the user experience of ads.
2. Personalized digital experiences
With improvements in technology that enables computers to learn about us and predict our needs and wants, there is an increased expectation for personalized digital experiences. Undifferentiated marketing, such as one-size-fits-all email blasts, are more likely to get ignored in this environment.
It’s more important than ever in 2018 to tailor your content, ads, and marketing campaigns to speak to people where they are in their buyer’s journey. Here are some techniques.
- Email segmentation - Your email list contains contacts that have a wide variety of relationships with your company. Email services like MailChimp give you the opportunity to speak directly to each type of contact with robust segmenting capabilities, so you can do better than sending the same email to both a new prospect and a repeat customer, and everyone in between. Your company as well as your contacts will benefit from emails that are more customized.
- Targeted social media advertising - Familiarize yourself with the vast targeting capabilities of social media advertising platforms. The depth of targeting options give businesses a chance to tailor ad content to specific prospects to move them into the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Personalized landing pages - Complement your segmented email marketing and targeted social media advertising campaigns with personalized landing pages. When you tailor landing pages to where each prospect or customer is at on their buyer’s journey, engagement and conversions will follow. For example, a thank you page that directs customers to a new resource on your site or a complementary product is a great way to re-engage existing clients after they have made a purchase.
3. Take the next step with live video
Live video will enter a maturing phase in 2018. When social media companies started enabling users to live stream content a few years ago, both personal and business users jumped on board with selfie-style videos and shaky, hand-held snippets. For brands, it’s been a fun way to produce a quick day-in-the-life or behind-the-scenes look for followers.
But sophistication is coming to the platform that will make the experience better for your audience and the brand. Here are some techniques to add to your live video efforts.
- Test your sound, video quality, and connection before going live. Make sure you have a well-lit space, a professional background, and a steady camera.
- Choose a specific focus for your video, such as a product tutorial. This will allow you to write a strong header and text description on your post to attract the right segment of your audience.
- Be consistent by posting live streams regularly. This way you can cover multiple topics over a series of videos and build anticipation with your audience.
2018 will be a year of increased voice searches, live social media video, and personalized digital experiences. Align your digital marketing efforts with these trends for a successful new year.
Thanks for reading,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company specializing in marketing strategy, social media marketing, and building beautiful, optimized, and mobile responsive websites. We work with clients in Vermont and throughout the United States.