Article:

5 digital trends you need to know about now

Earlier this month our Managing Director Renae presented at one of our clients HLB Mann Judd WA’s popular Breakfast Seminars to a packed house. Discussing all things digital and the ‘hot’ trends that could affect your business, Renae covered topics such as the rise of mobile, voice control and artificial intelligence. Read on to find out what else made her list.

1. Mobile growth

First up, mobile. It’s no surprise this made the top of the list, with mobile domination getting stronger every single day. In fact, we spend up to 3 hours a day on our mobile phones, searching whenever and wherever we need to find information. And how does this apply to your business? Well, 2 out of 3 smartphone users agree that when conducting these searches, they look for the most relevant information regardless of the brand. That means your business needs to be present in these micro moments to make an impact.

How can businesses use this?

  • Design for mobile first: With 58% of all Google searches done from a mobile devices, it’s clear we’re moving towards a mobile first future. So make the most of it by designing your site with mobile in mind as opposed to desktop
  • Think about cross platform journeys: Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and mock-up an interaction journey to help you identify the part that mobile plays for your business.
  • Increase load speed: Did you know that 53% of visitors will leave a mobile site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load? Make their mobile experience seamless by ensuring information is easily accessible and in bite-sized chunks.
  • Live in micro moments: These are the moments when people reflexively turn to a device (increasingly a smartphone) to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or most importantly to your business, buy something. So think about timing and how people use their mobiles in their everyday life and how you can be ever present at the right time.

2. The rise of voice activation & recognition

There’s no doubt about it – voice search is on the rise. What are we using voice search for exactly? According to one Google study, voice search is most used to ask for directions. However, it’s also used to dictate texts, call someone, check the time, play a song and find out movie times. As you can see, search has a lot of different uses in our lives and this list is only expected to grow, with an expected 50% of all searches to be voice searches by 2020.

How can businesses use this?

Google Trends imply that queries associated with voice-related commands have risen 35x since 2008, after launch of iPhone and Google Voice Search. So how can your business leverage this? Here’s some of our top tips for using voice search:

  1. Optimise your site using PASO (personal assistance search optimisation)
  2. Utilise FAQs on your site to capitalise on question answer search activity, e.g. “Ok Google…the best business services accountant in Perth”
  3. Use location specific optimisation where relevant
  4. Target longer tail question based keywords within your Google AdWords and SEO strategy and start testing alternatives
  5. Make sure you have maximised your Google My Business listing
  6. Use “near me” if you have a localised offering
  7. Google Analytics will be adding voice search query reports (…soon apparently!)

3. Know your data

In 2018, agencies have their eye on ROI. Listed as the most important objective of a marketing automation strategy by 45% of people surveyed, increasing marketing ROI is a main priority. And it starts with knowing your data. A lot of businesses are already measuring digital advertising effectiveness with the help of technology. Some popular ones include data management platforms (55%), website analytics platforms (50%) and marketing attribution platforms (47%).

How can businesses use this?

Free to use now

  • Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager
  • UTMs to target campaigns, ad content and target markets
  • Collate your leads in a Google spreadsheet
  • Ask your team to categorise the leads based on stages of conversion

The next level up

  • Use a CRM/marketing automation tool such as DataPop, Marketo or Hubspot
  • Develop reporting tools and automated activities to better manage your leads
  • Feed this back to your digital team/agency to optimise towards best performing traffic sources, ad content and markets

4. Nurturing your customers

Did you know that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost? And that nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads? It’s clear that if you nurture your leads they will grow into sales. But how do you do it? It starts with executing a marketing funnel, which can be achieved by using a marketing automation system. Here’s a great example of how not to do it vs. how you should be doing it:

How can businesses use this?

  1. If they didn’t answer your call trigger a “we’ve been trying to get hold of you” email, asking them the best time to call and ask them to save your number in their phone so they know it’s you.
  2. Identify their objections and develop campaigns to address them, e.g. if the  timeframe for a project development is too long, trigger an email when you have confirmation of completion date locked in.
  3. Use a CRM to trigger a notification if the person comes back into the site and call them immediately.
  4. Build a “nurture list” and send a reminder to review each month and personally get in touch when relevant.

5. Artificial intelligence & machine learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way we would consider “smart”. Whereas Machine Learning (ML) is a current application of AI based around the idea that we should really just be able to give machines access to data and let them learn for themselves. As the customer journey becomes more complex, across multiple touch points, the importance of knowing your data rises.

How can businesses use this?

Want to use AI and ML to your business’ advantage? Remember, personalisation equals a better customer experience. Here’s a few examples of some great AI and ML capabilities with personalisation at the core:

  • Chatbots – These mimic a text/messenger conversation and can record data as it progresses building a customer profile.
  • Dynamic content – Using a marketing automation program such as Sitecore, you can build a customer persona or profile and deliver content based on the customers interactions.
  • AdWords search – Search creative can change depending on the search strategy and change each time the user completes a new search.
  • AI targeting rather than audience targeting – Casting the net broad then using ML to discover your best performing audiences allows you to learn more about your customer base and delivers a higher ROI.

Want to take your business to the next level online? Have a chat to Bang Digital today about implementing some of these trends in your own digital strategy.