“Revolutionary” is a word that is wildly overused in the world of technology. Truly revolutionary changes are few and far between.
But evolutionary change is constant — and the cumulative effects of constant evolution can bring results that are, well, almost revolutionary. Organizations focused on digital marketing, a category that includes all of us these days, also need to evolve. No one wants to wake up a couple of years from now to realize the world has completely passed them by.
Smart digital marketers, even small business people who manage their own marketing, will be paying close attention to these five evolutionary trends in the next year:
Voice search deserves a listen. Consumers who once typed a query into a search engine now are just as likely to ask a question to their voice-activated assistant. “Alexa, is there a Japanese restaurant in Fernley?” That’s subtly different from the words “Japanese restaurant Fernley” in a traditional search. Web content that recognizes both types of queries will have higher visibility.
Keep an eye on visual search. Users of increasingly popular apps such as Google Lens can click on an image in a Web site (or upload a photo) and search for similar images across the Web. This includes searches for products. Even at smaller businesses, savvy marketers will add high-quality images to sites and make sure they’re tagged with descriptive keywords. It’s helpful, too, to use descriptive file names for photos before uploading them. Use “Elegant Holiday Gown” to replace the generic “Image 4521.”
Try helpful content for a change. Google knows that it is unsatisfying to look for something and not find it. Like your keys, or seeing KISS perform without make-up. Their recent helpful content update favors high-quality, user-first content above overly optimized pages written just to rank.
Artificial intelligence is the real deal. The latest AI technology, GPT-4, is exponentially more powerful, versatile and accessible than anything before it. It can be used as both a writing assistant and to create award-winning art, which could be both a blessing and a curse.
Personalization just for you. Valuable personally relevant experiences are everywhere. From virtual Easter egg hunts for families that can’t be together to recommending matches for your wardrobe based on past purchases, creating dynamic and individual experiences are proving how technology, performance and creativity can work to the benefit of everyone.
Digital citizenship matters. The use of artificial intelligence is just one of the issues related to digital marketing ethics. Data privacy, transparency, sustainability, inclusion and social responsibility can all affect your brand’s perception and marketing success.
Learn more at NCET’s 7th Annual State of Digital Marketing on Nov. 9. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit organization that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology. More info at www.NCET.org.
Jarrod Lopiccolo, chief executive officer and co-founder of Noble Studios, works with brands such as Tahiti Tourisme, Yosemite Mariposa County, Autodesk, Adobe, Genome Medical, and more.
Abbi Whitaker, president and co-founder of The Abbi Agency, develops digital marketing strategies for top national and regional clients in technology, travel and other sectors.