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3 Digital Marketing Trends for 2018

Should They Be?


YES to Voice Search & Assistance

As more and more people are on the go, the use of voice search and voice commands is on the increase and certainly useful. Voice assistants and functions are allowing mobile users to access information online and do certain tasks like never before. The growth in the use of voice assistants is estimated to be around 130% from 2017 to 2018.

Remember when we had to install voice recognition software to dictate a document?

Personally I often use a headset to dictate to my Google docs when I write my blogs, especially when my thoughts are running faster than I can type. It’s so easy, understands me perfectly and requires very little editing. My Google assistant suggests edits and saves me time.

While the growth is positive, it poses new challenges for digital marketers.

The usual online searches provide pages of results, while a voice search only gives the most related answer or top rated queries. Everyone wants their businesses to be that one result that matches the user voice query.

So how do we, as digital marketers help our clients compete? Optimising content to suit the requirements of voice searches and publish content that answers a consumer query. It is really important to use natural conversational language, as well as longer phrases and sentences as keywords. This makes the content voice-search-friendly and helps the end-user to actually find what they are searching for.

Let's not forget those who are not as capable in typing searches, older users, people with daily physical and mental challenges and many others. The technology was brought about to assist people with disabilities and is now helping everyone utilise and access the world wide web and more.

NO to Chat-bots.

Chat-bots have been around for quite some time and are now widely used. But should we be using them? The technology of combining voice and messaging to engage directly with consumers, has been used longer than VR. 2018 saw this form of communication take hold like we never imagined.

Messenger bots are used throughout Facebook and Whats App. They are customised to push out products and services to promote brands, providing the potential user a so called personalised experience that really isn’t personal.

The main reason this technology is so successful is likely that it answers the consumers’ need for information quickly but is it accurate and should we be relying on this to represent our business?

Chat-bots collect data about their users, to supposedly improve interaction with them, but how is this information used?

Much like any other technology, there are a few things you should know before jumping into this technology. Where will you use chat-bots? Businesses with greater Facebook engagement may want to utilise a chat-bot in their Facebook Messenger, while businesses with higher website traffic may benefit more from website chat-bots.

And let's take a look at how a chat-bot can be disastrous for your business (sample below)

Chat-bots may well provide an efficient, cost effective and responsive way to deal with customers, but is your business being represented the way you want it to be in this huge space?

MAYBE to Influencer Marketing

In today’s world internet advertising, social media and content is ubiquitous and often invasive. People tend to gravitate toward experiences and people that appear authentic, real people with real life issues and lifestyles, supposedly. Potential customers are more likely to believe a real person rather than an advertisement in relation to the product or brand under consideration.

Influencers provide testimonials, reviews and trial products, in order to provide their opinions. But remember these are most often provided with free products and sometimes get paid for their opinions. So does this make it authentic or just a paid review?

While influencer marketing can be very effective, it can be costly. To get the most out of a business’s marketing budget, you need to choose your influencers carefully, ensure they are true ambassadors of your product, cater to and reach the right consumers.

I once worked for a company that engaged more than one high profile celebrity as their ambassador/s, who weren't at all interested in the product and really had no relevance to our business and what we did.

A great example of a fabulous Ambassador program is Suzuki QLD, with a mix of small ambassadors, unpaid but with a great following across social media and the internet. The Stay At Home Mum is active, hard working and a fantastic product ambassador for many brands across Australia.

Using an effective hashtag that people can easily remember and really does help the campaign, but be careful not to overuse a string of hashtags.

Regularly assessing and evaluating campaigns and strategies should be commonplace. Keep up with the latest digital marketing technologies and trends to ensure your campaigns, ambassadors and influencers are a success.

At the end of the day influencers need to really clean up their act if they going to survive into the next decade.

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