Search is changing again. The old guidelines will still apply but new ones will emerge in 2017. This is a big deal. The implications will impact media as well as every marketing organization. Marketers will need to adjust their content and social strategies in 2017.
HubSpot released its annual The State of Inbound 2016 Report back in September. As you can see by the chart below, the number one top priority for inbound marketing is growing SEO and organic presence. No surprise here, more traffic implies more leads.
However, there are two factors that are disrupting search - social media and chatbots. These trends are expected to become more disruptive in 2017. Let’s take a closer look.
Social Media is Changing the Way We Search
Social media is changing the way we consume information.
Facebook is now the top ranking social media site followed by YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn respectively. A majority of U.S. adults – 62% – get their news on social media according to a new survey by Pew Research Center. Facebook now outranks Google for referrals to media sites.
As we spend more time on social media, our browsing and search behaviors are changing. Facebook launched public post search in 2015 and the search for topics is growing rapidly. Google processes 3.5 billion searches per day, Facebook is catching up and processes 2 billion searches per day.
What is a chatbot and why should I care?
At Inbound 2016, HubSpot predicted that chatbots are not a passing fad. Chatbots are software you can converse with using speech or text. You can speak directly to it using Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa or a number others making their way into the market. You can also use it in messaging applications.
Here is a great example taken directly from Chatbox Magazine; If you wanted to buy shoes from Nordstrom online, you would go to their website, look around until you find the shoes you wanted, and then you would purchase them. If Nordstrom made a bot, which I’m sure they will, you would simply be able to message Nordstrom on Facebook. It would ask you what you’re looking for and you would simply… tell it. Instead of browsing a website, you will have a conversation with the Nordstrom bot, mirroring the type of experience you would get when you go into the retail store.
Shah Dharmesh, CTO at HubSpot made this bold pronouncement: “Are chatbots going to be a passing fad or the next big thing? I think they’re going to be the biggest wave we’ve seen in technology in the last two decades.”
I couldn’t agree more. I can’t wait to use them!
How Does This Affect Marketers?
As marketers and communicators, we need to adjust our strategies as these trends begin to proliferate the market. What steps should you take in 2017?
1. If you don’t have a strong social media presence, get going. It is never too late. Many B2B firms do not believe Facebook is a strong channel for them but that is changing. We have found with our B2B clients, even clients that offer embedded technology, that Facebook is definitely driving traffic and it is increasing daily.
2. Produce content that targets keywords that focus on natural language and are easy to interpret by a human, not a spider crawling your page. Content needs to be more conversational and not contain “corporate speak.” From this article, Moz has found that voice search queries are more conversational and more precise. This is why Google is working hard to get their deep learning algorithms nailed, as they want to make sure results that they provide are in the right context.
3. Keywords need to be longtail and conversational so that chatbots can find them. In a search engine, you are likely to type in a couple of words, not a complete sentence; however, chatbots are looking for conversational language.
4. Don’t forget to tag all of your images in the same way.
2017 is going to be an interesting year as new technologies such as chatbots and live streaming hit the mainstream.If you need help, sign up for a free assessment today!