Digital Marketing News: Should Brands Be Wary of Voice Search?

Every week we’re collecting a host of links, videos, and assorted analysis on the ever-changing world of digital marketing. We invite you to skim, share, analyze, argue, and refute – just so long as you don’t get embarrassed at the water cooler again. Here are the latest digital marketing news and trends for the week of January 11, 2019.

Should Brands Be Wary of Voice Search?

Voice search has been one of the most popular trends in marketing as Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa, and other voice assistant products have become more ubiquitous. Since these products were introduced, brands and marketers have been figuring out how to harness the power of voice search, but one marketing guru is advising marketers to proceed with caution.

Andrew Essex, the author of “The End of Advertising”, recently warned: “Brands should mostly be scared of voice because voice has a tendency to get rid of brands. People want toothpaste and toilet paper. The don’t necessarily want Crest.”

Essex added, “The device can listen, and it can talk. When a consumer wants to hear something, they don’t want an ad, they want utility. If you want to tell them something, be brief and functional.”

So should brands be wary of voice search? No. They should be wary of implementing a sloppy voice strategy that puts the brand before the user’s needs. As always – relevant, useful, and accurate content is the best way to capture users in their path to purchase.

How to Prepare for the Next Marketing Revolution: Digital Assistants

Marketers are adjusting to the presence of digital assistants, but they also should be preparing for their inevitable advancements in functionality, says Matt Mierzejewski. As Mierzejewski notes in this post, “Digital assistants are already going beyond providing simple request and response features. From giving us makeup advice to adding magic to our kids’ bedtime stories, they’re changing the way brands engage with people.”

Digital assistants are set to move from responding to recommending based on user context. Where assistants are currently used for rudimentary tasks like playing music and setting timers, they will soon be directing users to brick-and-mortar business locations based on proximity and an ongoing relationship with its users, for example.

As digital assistants become more functional, brands and marketers will need to provide messaging and information that are more specific to individual users. To avoid an impossible guessing game, brands and marketers need to understand the data that is available to them and the tools to capitalize on that data.

Small Business Owner’s Guide to SEO

Small business owners can be overwhelmed with, you know, operating a business to get too bogged down in the principles of search engine optimization. Dave Davies of Search Engine Journal has provided a quick list of SEO principles that small business owners should be familiar with – when they have a moment.

User Intent: Davies makes an important distinction here. Content is commonly touted as the most important tactic in marketing, but content without context is a waste of time and resources. Providing content that solves a user’s problem, answers a user’s question, or fulfills their need, is most valuable in the eyes of Google AND the user.

Links: Links to a business’s content is essentially a vote of confidence. When a reputable site links to a business’s content, the more authoritative and relevant the business is in the eyes of Google.

Local SEO: A subset of SEO, local SEO is focused on building local relevancy in a business’s market. Providing accurate local business information on online business directories, for example, is a basic but effective strategy for driving customers to physical locations.

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