Focusing on UX is nothing new, but with growing competition it’s critical that your customers can find and engage with your brand the way you intend. Cross-channelling now makes it possible to continue an abandoned search on one device with a targeted message through email, social media or search. Automated digital marketing tools such as these are making it easier than ever to reach the right people, but in 2017 it’s also vital to create authentic, personalised experiences. That means when people call, your sales team should be prepared through effective relationship management.
The user buyer journey is complex and involves multiple devices and channels. Desktop is still alive and well, but mobile’s growth is relentless. Google recently announced that they’re experimenting with primary indexing of mobile sites over their desktop equivalents. It’s likely that this will soon become the norm, which means if your website’s mobile version isn’t up to scratch you could risk losing hard-won ground. Responsive web design has been around for a while and is one way to ensure your content is going to be consistent and indexed no matter the preference.
Featured snippets often appear before organic search results when searching for common fact-based answers, for example recipes. This type of content has doubled from 2014 to 2016, and if you can get your content featured it provides great potential for click-throughs and brand perception. Facilitating this all comes down to featuring clear content that targets common questions within your market, as well as adding structured data markup to your website for easy indexing.
Data has never been more accessible or so valuable. We can learn an incredible amount about customers, from location and past searches to purchasing behaviour, in order to pre-empt their questions and obstacles to smooth the path to purchase. That not only means making the most of big data including the research and buying patterns of your customer group, but also detailed data of the individual user to effectively retarget and personalise messaging.
As the mobile assistants of Siri, Now and Cortana are more widely adopted and search engines become more adept at pattern recognition, voice search is starting to demand more attention. This also sees the rise of contextual search, where the user assumes their location and other data is already known. A text-based search of “lawn mower repair north Sydney”, for example, might convert to, “Hey Cortana, who can fix a lawn mower in my area?” With the rise of more conversational language will come more value in long tail search terms, full question keywords and localised content.
Almost every social platform has incorporated some form of video media by now. If you’re not using video or livestreamed content as part of your digital strategy, it’s worth considering if these options could help you engage with your audience. Augmented and virtual reality systems also saw some exciting launches in 2016, and with growing accessibility will come a huge appetite for quality content – and big opportunities for savvy marketers. Real estate and retail are two industries that could see a lot of potential in this area.
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