Are you playing catchup with the ever-changing marketing landscape?
Every industry is evolving due to advances in technology or disruptors entering the market. The most important thing is to accept that evolution happens, and adapt accordingly. By monitoring trends and predicting when the next big thing will occur, you can remain one step ahead of the competition.
Here are some emerging trends in digital marketing that every public relations owner or C-suite executive should familiarize themselves with to better prepare for what’s on the horizon.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
When I think of the “AI” buzzword, our minds usually jump to images of the stereotypical futuristic fantasy where humans are under the oppression of a smarter and stronger system of robots. But AI is simply an automated system that can perform tasks that would usually require human intelligence. In digital marketing, it’s primarily used to streamline and optimize marketing campaigns, but it can be used for content generation which is particularly important for PR pros and journalists.
Chatbots are a form of AI used to take the place of a human in a customer service role. They are designed to speak in the user’s language, either through voice or text-based messaging that has a human tone. The chatbot analyzes the user’s request in order to determine their intent and find the best re-programmed response message. Chatbots have the ability to streamline conversations between people and services 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and it also creates social media engagement!
By answering the most common questions, chatbots free up an employee’s time to work on more profitable projects. We’re not endorsing that chatbots take over your customer service roles completely. Human interaction will always still be needed to create that connection between your company and the customer, but it’s a great tool to start a conversation, ask a customer to submit certain information, or answer basic questions.
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Augmented reality enhances your surroundings by adding objects or information that the user can interact with in a three-dimensional way. This is becoming more and more common in the retail industry. It enables users to quickly try products before they buy or search business listings around them. For example, a clothing retailer may employ augmented reality in order to allow customers to stand in front of a mirror and switch through potential outfits without ever having to step into a dressing room.
Virtual reality completely replaces the real world with a computer-generated one and allows users to interact with a whole new environment. It allows companies to create experiences tailored to the message they want to send. For example, developers can create VR experiences to take customers and clients into luxury condos or home developments that have yet to break ground, or a travel agency can offer seemingly in-person tours to destinations.
Voice Search and Voice Commands
The time to utilize voice search and commands is NOW and the industry is growing quickly. Last July, Adobe released a survey that indicated 48% of general searches on the web are using voice commands. This is an important SEO factor. People aren’t searching for specific keywords anymore, they’re searching with phrases. It’s a conversation between them and their phone or computer. Instead of typing, “Best restaurant in Phoenix” they might instead ask, “What restaurant has gluten-free entrées?” Users are also being more specific with their searches and asking questions. In order to continuously show up in the top ten of the SERP, you need to know what questions people are asking about your company or industry and answer those questions.
Public relations is constantly changing. Five years from now this article will be old news. New trends will develop and new technology will be in play. Staying at the forefront of these things can give any business a competitive advantage. It’s important to not get complacent and keep evolving, so you can keep growing.
New technology for public relations and media should be embraced so companies can stay ahead of trends before they’re needing to play catch up, which is rarely a position that breeds success.