On the second day of Christmas, Spin Sucks gave to you….two marketing trends and a professional goal for 2019.
Are you singing along? I’ll admit I sang as I typed that.
Here we are! The second day of Christmas already.
Yes, we know the 12 Days of Christmas don’t officially begin until after Christmas. But I’m taking a blogging holiday from December 22-January 6.
So you get the Spin Sucks 12 Days of Christmas early.
And today we’re going to talk about the two marketing trends that will be big next year: voice search and chatbots.
Marketing Trends: Voice Search
This isn’t the first year we’ve talked about voice search in marketing trends conversations.
It continues to take a hold and I’m positive our children will laugh that we ever searched using a keyboard and a browser.
(I’m also going to stab Alexa if she plays ‘Call Me, Maybe?’ one more time for a certain small one in our household.)
The other night, we were lying in bed and my small one was asking me all sorts of questions about snakes.
Let’s be real: I don’t like snakes so they’re not exactly something I study and know a lot about.
So we turned to Alexa and asked her:
Alexa, tell us about rattlesnakes. Where do they live? What do they eat? Are they poisonous? Can they kill you? Can they climb stairs? Where would you hide if one was chasing you?
The questions went on and on. Notice she didn’t ask, “Where do rattlesnakes live?” She just kept asking questions as if she were having a conversation with Alexa.
(Martin Waxman is doing some fascinating research on our relationships with artificial intelligence. Which is another topic of discussion for another time)
The semantic search capability of voice search is also continuing to take a hold.
And I don’t think communicators (as a whole) are ready.
How to Prepare for Voice Search
According to AdWeek, 67 million voice-assisted devices will be in use in the U.S. by 2019.
That’s 21 percent of the entire population—or nearly one in every four households.
As marketing trends go, this completely changes the way we manage our content…just when (as communicators) we figured out how to optimize for regular search.
To get ready, there are a few things you can do:
- Write your content for voice search, which means to write in a way that people talk. It becomes even more conversational than in the past.
- Create content that answers when, how, what, and who. This is how people talk—and how they have conversations with their AI. Speak to it in your content.
- Expand the FAQs on your website to answer questions as outlined in the second point above.
- Stop thinking like a marketer who needs to get their message heard wide and far. Think about the individual customer who wants a question or issue solved.
- Ask—and answer—questions. This is how people use voice search, by asking questions. Format your content in the same way.
But mostly, remember that voice search is just search engine optimization.
If you’ve spent any time with Spin Sucks, you already know how to optimize your content for SEO.
And certainly, if you want to expand how you do it, take our Modern Blogging Masterclass. It will give you all of the tools to be successful in every kind of search.
Marketing Trends: Chatbots
The second of marketing trends is chatbots.
Recently, we had Larry Kim, the CEO of MobileMonkey, hanging out with us…and he talked all about chatbots and their future use.
Right now, he explained, chatbots are just glorified email.
As we have all experienced, email spam filters have become so aggressive that only two-to-three percent of emails actually get through.
They go to the “promotions tab inbox dungeon,” making it very hard for marketers to connect with users in a reliable way.
Chatbots changes things for us because we go from one to three percent clickthrough rates…to 80 percent.
How would you like to have a clickthrough rate of 80 percent on your emails?
Yeah. Me, too.
Never going to happen.
But with chatbots, that dream can become a reality.
What to Consider with Chatbots
But, as marketing trends go, I see chatbots playing a more significant role in communications in 2019.
Right now, they do create more engaging email (for lack of a better term), but I’ve also experienced significantly better customer service through chatbots.
I send my laundry out (oh, shoot me…I hate to do it and it takes a significant amount of time that could be spent on billable hours).
Nearly every “conversation” I have about my laundry is with a chatbot.
They schedule pickup and drop-off, ask questions about starch and detergent, and make sure all of our needs are filled.
This used to be handled by a person—and certainly a human is there for issues that are escalated—but the basic customer service needs are handled by bots.
I. Love. This.
We continue to have the conversation that we should allow artificial intelligence to do the repetitive tasks we do. This allows us to focus on our true uniqueness and special set of skills.
And yet…most communicators are hung up on the robots replacing us so we stick our heads in the sand.
For 2019, I challenge you to think about how chatbots can help you first with reaching your customers and prospects in new—and highly engaging—ways. And then worry about how they might replace some of your more boring tasks.
Additional Marketing Trends
Of course, these aren’t the only marketing trends we see for 2019. We’ve just prioritized them over the others.
Some of the others include:
- Influencer marketing
- Social purpose
- Increased transparency and vulnerability
- Continued decline in trust because of fake news
- Artificial intelligence
- Better PR metrics
Now it’s your turn…what marketing trends do you see hitting us in 2019?