This new year is shaping up to be transformative for a multitude of reasons for sure. In our last post, we touched on marketing and tech trends that could force many business owners to seek additional expertise to keep pace. Trends like voice-activated content and social media marketing are now integral to brand promotion and e-commerce efforts. Let’s dive a bit deeper into these specific trends that offer tremendous potential for small businesses.

Hey Siri, Help Me Rank Higher on Google

 

For years, search-engine-optimization (SEO) tactics are part of marketing gospel if you are looking to gain a leg up in Google’s search results. Also for years, we’ve built relationships with the pacifying voices of A.I. assistants like Siri and Alexa to help us learn, shop, and communicate.

Now those two worlds are colliding: Voice search is changing the way users find and Google surfaces content–and it’s opening up unique opportunities for small, local businesses to boost their visibility. It’s a golden opportunity for small-business to latch on to the voice-search bandwagon.

When it comes to ranking on Google Home, it’s all about creating relevant, concise content that answers a question. If a home assistant user is looking for a specific piece of information, Google is going to pull the content that best suits this intent. However, when it comes to looking for a local service provider, results are more focused—according to Google—on these three factors:
 
  1. Relevance – how accurate the local listing is in relation to the user’s search
  2. Prominence – you knew this was coming – how commonly searched and well known the location is
  3. Distance – how close the listing is to the user searched for it
     
     

    The key to optimizing content for voice search is to be conversational and shift from terse, awkward keywords to long-tail phrases or even entire sentences. That’s because voice searches make use of natural language. The way we talk is decidedly different than the way we type. The phrases and keywords that we use while speaking to digital assistants would, therefore, be different than those we use when entering text in Google search.

Messaging – A Friendly Text to Promote Your Brand

 

Depending on your generation, when you instinctively reach for that phone it will be to text, rather than call someone. Messaging apps have changed not only how we communicate with one another, but also how we shop,  bank, order dinner — and yes, interact with brands of every nature.

Kieley Taylor of The Drum states, “Every brand wants to have a connection with its audience — and no platform provides marketers with the up close and personal relationships with consumers like messaging apps. Consider the very nature of the medium — its basis is conversations with friends, transactions with trusted brands, the most personal day-to-day activity. What better venue is there for a brand to forge an intimate dialogue and abiding trust among its customers?”

HubSpot tested the Messenger method of content delivery for about a month and found that messenger broadcasts resulted in an 80% open rate and 13% click rate. This is a 242% higher open rate and 619% higher click rate than their control method of content delivery (email) – W. O. W. !
  
 
 
 
 In addition to broadcasting new content, you can use messenger to deliver personalized content to users. Or, let them pull the content themselves.
 
According to Facebook, there are more than 2 billion messages sent on their messaging platform each month (May 2019) between people and businesses alone. That’s a lot of messages between regular folks and businesses and people like hearing from businesses this way. Being able to chat with a business makes people feel more positive about the business 63% and conveys: That the business cares about them 59%.

 

Both voice-activated content and brand messaging are great opportunities for small businesses to maximize their reach and drive higher sales.

Wishing you much success in these trending marketing strategies!

Carolina Business Center