Keeping up with digital marketing is like keeping up with the Joneses. Digital marketing is an ever-changing landscape, with Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Kylie Jenner at the forefront. We put together a strategy, with the help of the disruptor and thought leaders in our workspace, to keep you ahead of the digital marketing landscape.
Before we jump into the strategy, let’s review the statistics.
The average company allocates 41% of their marketing budget to digital marketing (Forester 2018 Research). By next year, mobile will account for 72% of digital ad spend (Forbes). Social media is the most popular content marketing tactic for 90% of business-to-consumer businesses; 94% of business-to-business marketers use LinkedIn in their content strategy. Overall, Facebook and Google will capture 56.8% of the U.S. digital ad market in 2018 (eMarketer poll). Americans spend +11 hours per day on a digital device. Over the last year, 60% of people started using voice search.
NOW THAT WE HAVE THE FACTS, HERE’S THE STRATEGY.
SEO trends will shift from shorthand back to full sentences.
SEO requires a consistent output of content marketing and backlinks in order to increase website ranking. Search engine terms tend to be entered as keywords, which read as a sentence fragment (apologies to English teachers everywhere). Companies then incorporate commonly searched keywords in content marketing, along with helpful answers.
For example, if you are looking for the best chocolate chip ice cream in New York City, your typed search may look similar to this: “best choco chip ice cream NYC”. In turn, the ice cream shop’s content will mirror your keywords with content similar to this: “Why we have the best choco chip ice cream NYC”.
So, what happens now that 60% of people started using voice search?
We predict the return of full sentences! It will be colloquial, so English teachers can’t rejoice yet – but SEO terms should start including full sentences and command sentences. Examples of voice search terms are as follows: “Alexa, what is the best chocolate chip ice cream in New York?” or “Alexa, play Frozen”.
Check Google Analytics to determine the optimal search engine split for your company. If users predominately employ voice search then it’s time to include full sentences rather than keywords! If the split is closer to a 70% typed search versus 30% voice search than continue using keywords for content marketing.
If Americans spend +11 hours on a digital device, chatbots and AI are key to enhancing their digital experience.
When used correctly, Chatbots and AI are a big asset to the customer experience. We’re accustomed to the comical errors, such as an AI assistant gone haywire and sending follow-up emails 30 minutes apart. Or a mass email that employs code to guess the addressee’s first name.
The key is to embrace AI and chatbots as an augmentation to customer service, rather than as a management tool for the entire experience. This is because machine learning is still in the early phase of development; typically AI and chatbots can only handle one specific task or command at a time. “Chatbots can ‘step in’ for routine tasks such as answering straightforward questions…or taking payment details.”(Forbes)
AI and chatbots can also monitor conversations and notify the company when it’s time for a real person to engage in the chat. This is done through sentiment analytics, which analyze the tone of the conversation and prompt employees in real-time that the customer needs personal attention.
In the future, chatbots will be able to manage complete experiences and even be able to advise on strategy. For now, though, embrace Chatbots and AI as an enhancement tool.
Here’s a curveball to digital marketing strategy; Facebook and Google’s market share is expected to decrease in 2019.
Facebook and Google already experienced a market share drop from 58.5% last year to 56.8% this year. Facebook, in particular, is in the eye of the storm, as it is no longer considered a growth stock and recently dropped 20% on the stock market.
The anticipated decrease in ad spend on these platforms is two-fold.
Governments are cracking down on the digital marketing wild west by instating laws that protect consumer data. As of May 2018, the European Union GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) came into effect, outlining strict requirements for the processing of individuals’ personally identifiable information. GDPR is a big deal – it greatly impacts how non-EU based companies handle data from EU-based users. In sum, EU-based data must be stored in a separate database, EU users must have a right to opt out of data storage, and EU users must have the right to delete day-to-day data. The fines are hefty for noncompliance. It’s been reported that Google and Facebook already face up to $9.3 billion combined! So, if your Google ads target the EU, make sure to store the customers’ information in a separate database and all data usage must adhere to the GDPR laws.
The good news is that advertising options continue to diversify, with virtual reality and augmented reality still in the early phase of development. Experts are projecting that by 2020 AR and VR will be over a $90 billion industry. The success of Pokemon Go was an early validator, achieving over 100 million downloads in the first month. Local businesses that paid to participate in Pokemon Go also experienced a revenue boost. Exactly how AR and VR will continue to shape out as an advertising vehicle continues to be determined, with Apple leading the pack.
Our team at Workville works with many of our members to ensure that we stay ahead of the trends. Chatbots are coming soon to our website – but only as an experience enhancement to answer FAQ. Our team will continue to be hands-on with the personal experience. For companies expanding into the NYC market, but not yet able to visit Workville for a tour, we’re happy to send virtual tours. Similar augmented experiences are also coming to our website soon!