We’re two months into 2019 already and the digital landscape is changing fast. As consumers, we are demanding more of our technologies, and as marketeers, we are adapting quickly to the requirements of our customers.
With the pace of change on the up, the onebite digital team has put together the top trends you need to consider when planning and executing your marketing activity in 2019 so you don’t have to:
If you’re not already, you need to optimise your content for voice search
By 2020, it’s predicted that half of all search will be completed by voice and whilst this isn’t ‘new’ news per se, voice search is becoming ever more popular, and it’s easy to see why when the popularity of smart home devices, such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home Mini, have really taken off.
To future proof your SEO, it’s important to consider the conversational tone and question-based queries of voice search and utilise long tail keywords in your content to support this. Having an FAQ page on your website is a simple first step to execute to meet this growing trend, built to support the question/answer format and to provide short answer snippets.
Another important factor is speed – yes making your site lightning fast is important for mobile and desktop search too and a key ranking factor, but for voice search your content must load quickly so the answer can be picked up and answered, otherwise your visitor will become discouraged quickly.
Amazon and the impact on search
On the topic of search, Amazon too is making its presence known, growing beyond the ecommerce retail space, it is now competing directly with search engines. So vast is Amazon’s offering that 44%* of consumers use it as the first port of call when searching for a tangible product, followed by Google’s shopping pages. If the consumer knows exactly what product they want to buy this statistic increases to 59%.
So, what could this mean for Amazon and the search engine landscape? It could indicate a reduction in demand for Google search or Bing and even pay-per-click shopping. Or (fingers-crossed) it may encourage a more competitive advertising offering from the likes of Google.
From a marketing spend perspective, this opens up options of where to spend your budget – should you move away from Google to Amazon’s sponsored ads and other advertising opportunities such as ‘Frequently bought together’ and ‘Customers who bought this item also bought’? Certainly, food for thought and something we’ll be keeping a close eye on.
5G – how 1GBps speeds will affect the digital world
It’s been over 5 years since 4G network speeds hit the widespread UK and with it came faster and more reliable connections that we have now become accustomed to. If you thought the jump for 3G to 4G was instrumental to the improvement of browsing on the go, then just wait for 5G.
5G is going to be fast. REALLY FAST. If early test results are to be believed, simulated real world environment tests by EE achieved a consistent download speed of 2.6Gbps! To put that into perspective, current average real world 4G speeds give us around 20Mbps.
2.6Gbps is 130 times faster. And this isn’t even 5G’s limit, as Ofcom expect to see real world speeds ranging from 10 and 50GBps, which is more speed than we’ll know what to do with.
With 5G’s first commercial services scheduled to hit the UK at some point in the second half of 2019, we can first expect new devices coming out to start supporting the new network. But what will we do with all this speed apart from downloading HD movies in seconds?
Many expect the new speeds to improve connectivity in self driving cars and the overall improvement for cities becoming smarter with more devices connecting to one another over the internet. Across marketing, we expect to see virtual and augmented reality, helping our clients to stream straight to customer devices, whilst the mobile web could start to see more high-resolution imagery and other 3D graphics loading on devices in milliseconds – the opportunities for even more immersive web experiences are on the horizon.
AI – is getting smarter
Just like augmented reality, Artificial Intelligence is all around us and we don’t expect that trend to die off in 2019.
Not only are our virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri getting better at understanding us, but they are getting more capable of performing complex tasks for us. The below video shows just how smart they are getting, with a demonstration of Google’s AI able to make a phone call for you to book your next salon appointment.
And AI does not stop at our assistants. In fact, AI is now so embedded in our lives that you probably don’t even know notice that it is there, giving you recommended products to buy or shows to watch. Also, whether you like them or not, chatbots are here to stay and will continue to provide end users with a way of interacting with your brand without the need for a human at the other end – which can have both its advantages and disadvantages.
As AI gets smarter and increasingly improves our user experiences, it will be vital to give your users an experience that isn’t falling behind. Whether you use machine learning to recommend other blog posts to read, or go down the chatbot route, we think 2019 should be the year you try AI on your site – if you don’t, then your competitors will.
If you are interested in exploring any of these trends further or if you have an upcoming digital project you would like help with, reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org.