10 Dec, 2018
2019 is around the corner, and that means it’s time to start strategizing. In a rapid, demanding, and one-click standard world, every second counts in the attempt of capturing your current and prospective customers. Consumers are demanding faster service, hyper-creative content, less clutter, and customer service perfection.
In a world where answers can be found in under a second, consumers are expecting companies to understand their intent quickly and comprehensively. For companies, that means providing the right content at that exact moment. If you think the world has hit its maximum velocity, you’re wrong. The rising consumer demographic, Generation Z (generation after Millennials), only has an average attention span of 8 seconds. Their predecessors have an average attention span of 15 seconds. For companies, this means you have even less time to capture that prospective consumer.
Also, companies must be keen on utilizing newer technology, such as AI or voice assistants, as they become more commonplace in the lives of the average consumer. Consumers have increasingly high expectations of what their digital experience should be. For example, 71% of consumers find impersonal experiences frustrating. What exactly does that mean? It means consumers want you to understand their intent; they want personalization – less clutter. Companies can achieve this through AI predictive analysis. Consumers want to buy from companies that are not only in tune with the current technological environment but ahead of it. Look at the following Salesforce statistics on consumer expectations:
Adapt your 2019 digital marketing strategy to include at least one of these marketing trends. Consumers know what they want; Make sure you know what they want!
16.4 million US households use a smart speaker. Approximately 6 million of the households use it to make purchases regularly. Along with home smart speakers, searching through voice-to-text and mobile assistants like the Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri are on the rise. In 2017, 1 in 4 shoppers used voice assistants for their holiday shopping. Also, according to the Global Web Index, 25% of consumers ages 16-24 use voice search on their mobile phone. In tandem with these technologies is the way consumers are searching. Think with Google has found that consumers are searching in a more conversational style. Now, not only do marketing strategist have to consider keywords, but also the syntax of which the keyword is being used.
For the most part, customers know what they want, how they want it, and when they want it. As recent trends have shown, customers usually want it now and with the highest possible quality. In the case of customer service, 90% of consumers rank “an immediate response from a company” as either important or very important (Hubspot). This is where having an AI chat bot for your business gives you the advantage. Shep Hyken, a CX expert and New York Times bestselling author, says that,
“Your customers no longer compare you just to your direct competition.
You are being compared to the best service they have ever received –
from any company or any person.”
For companies that have the capacity for a 24/7 customer support team, AI chat bots could act as a filtration system to ensure the customer is being sent to the right representative/department; this would eliminate the customer frustration of being transferred multiple times. For companies that do not have the capacity for 24/7 customer service, AI chat bots could act as 24/7 customer service. Many companies use AI chat bots to answer FAQs and other programmed inquires. This is added value to the customer, in that he or she doesn’t have to search through an FAQ page, but instead simply ask the question to a bot.
What are micro-moments? Google defines it as, “when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made, and preferences shaped”. These are the I want to-do-moments, the I want-to-know moments, the clear intent moments. These are the moments that companies need to focus more on. In these moments of clear intent, consumers are ready to make an instant decision. Your company needs to be ready with relevant content in order to win the consumer over. In these micro-moments are when you need to give them exactly what they are looking for. In sync with voice searches, you need to consider the way your customers are looking for you or for things in your industry.
The content triad for 2019 are responsibility, personalization, and video. The first pillar is responsibility. Responsibility meaning companies who are socially responsible and are sustainable. 66% of consumers are more willing to spend money with businesses that make sustainable products. Also, 87% of consumers said they would be willing to buy a product or service based on a company’s advocacy concerning a social matter. Be visible through your social media. Show your customers that you care, they want to see it.
The second pillar is personalization. For 2019, you’ll need to take it a step higher than traditional email marketing. It’s not enough to send customers what you think they want. You need to send them information they truly value. With the development of AI and machine learning, marketers can begin to more effectively automate personalized content. With tools such as, Adobe Target, marketers can collect more data, including social data, to generate more specific personalized content.
The third Pillar is videos. Remember the days of quick company jingles and commercials on the tv? Well, those have turned into branded videos across social media.
Consumers with Samsung mobile phones may already be aware of the visual shopping feature on their phone. The feature takes a photo and searches the internet to find general information on it such as where you can buy it and other similar products. This is an emerging technology that has brands such as Google, Pinterest, and Microsoft developing new ways to integrate it into SEO. The future for visual search is bright. Gartner predicts that by 2021 early adopters of visual and voice search for their website will see an increase of their digital commerce revenue by 30%.
Move aside keywords! Search engine algorithms are beginning to lean towards content clustering for ranking decisions. So how does it work? At the center of the content cluster is the pillar page. A pillar page is a page that broadly covers a topic, for example, cake recipes. Surrounding the pillar page are cluster pages. The cluster pages are specific variations of the pillar page, for example, “best chocolate cake recipe” or “Healthy chocolate cake recipe”. Each cluster page is linked by to the pillar page through the same hyperlinked keyword. In our example, “cake recipe” would be hyperlinked to the pillar page in each cluster page. This linkage has the added benefit of “all for one and one for all”, meaning when one page does well, the other do well too. This topic cluster indicated to the search engines that the pillar page is an authority in on the topic.
The same strategy, no matter how much you want it to, will not last forever. Need a consultation team to help you with your 2019 digital marketing strategy? We can help you develop a plan for your 2019 digital marketing strategy, and we can take it even one step further and develop plan for your company’s overall digital transformation. We’re waiting to hear from you! Contact us here!
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Digital Current | A Conversation with Joel Tracy, CIO of IMC Companies