The Marketing Companion

Google search goes away?

You might think this title is ridiculous. Maybe even sensational. But traditional web search is changing dramatically and it's a real concern for marketers and traditional SEO. Let me explain ... As consumers, we depend on a reliable list of products and references from Google to get through our daily lives, find the right dress, or answer a question in an argument. Google now processes 40,000 search inquiries every second of the day! On the business side, we want to be the answer. This is the heart of the digital marketing battle -- Whether organic or paid, we want to be at the top of the search results. This is the penultimate goal of content marketing - to earn our way to the top of that list of Google content recommendations. But what if there was no longer a list of results? What if there was just one answer ... And it wasn't coming from Google.

The new way to search emerges

In 2015, voice search went from a statistical zero to 10 percent of all search results and ComScore estimates that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be by voice. While it won’t likely replace existing screen-based search, voice search is already enough of a factor that businesses need to understand strategies for being found this way. And a significant portion of those strategies will be new: No one I know of really has an existing SEO strategy for Siri! As evidenced by a new Smart Audio Report from Edison Research and NPR, smart speakers are becoming part of our daily lives, and at least at this point, the winner is Amazon Echo (better known as "Alexa.") Google has its "Home" product and Microsoft, Apple and other companies will have serious entries soon, but the biggest beneficiary of the boom in voice-controlled personal assistants and search has been Amazon.

An indispensable voice

This new home appliance is having an increasing impact in people's lives. Developing a "voice search skill" is like learning to type with your thumbs five years ago. Smart speakers are becoming part of the fabric of our lives:

  • 65% of smart speaker owners indicate they would not want to go back to life before getting their devices, and 42% say their device is now “essential” to their everyday life.
  • 70% of smart speaker owners say they are listening to more audio at home since acquiring their device – across news/talk, podcasts, audiobooks and music.
  • Among smart speaker owners, 45% expect to purchase another device – and, of the non-owners surveyed, more than half say they are likely to purchase their first smart speaker in the next six months.

Another important finding is that smart speaker owners are using the devices to manage their homes. Owners who make their home “smart” say they most often connect smart speakers to control home lighting, the thermostat, home security systems, and outdoor lighting and sprinklers.

Smart speakers are also particularly appealing to parents. Eight-in-ten parents say these devices have made it easier to entertain their children.

The economic on-ramp

From a marketing standpoint, the idea that fascinates me is that increasingly, these speaker will be the "economic on-ramp" for commerce, as Google search is now. However, Amazon will try to direct you to the Amazon eco-system and Apple will try to keep you in the Apple eco-system. This is where the real battleground will be. Who will "own" or partner with the Wal-Mart eco-system? Will we choose a car in the future due to the brand of smart speaker we like best? Will one part of our home be controlled by Google, another part by Amazon, while an Apple device plays out TV and music? What IS the strategy when Google search becomes less important, at least as we now know it? It makes for a fascinating discussion ... and in fact Tom Webster and I had one on a new episode of The Marketing Companion podcast. You won't want to miss this debate! Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available
 
The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Go to Typeform.com/companion to receive a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!
 
CoSchedule is the world’s number one marketing calendar utility, used by more than 8,000 companies. The application allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. Get your Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.
 
BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers, and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!
Direct download: A_new_marketing_channel_emerges.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:37am EDT

Back in 2010, I wrote one of the most fun and fascinating blog posts of my life. A new trend was coming into view, led by a company called Klout. By analyzing millions of bits of social media data and the reactions the posts caused, the company proclaimed it could estimate your social media influence. At the time, it was a revolutionary idea. My post, which projected some of the implications of such an application, seemed to rock the social media world. It was shared more than 2,000 times and attracted hundred of comments, many of them harshly critical of this company and their bold claims. People lamented that they didn't want to be ranked and rated and that their social media presence was not something that could be assessed and dissected.

But there was something there ...

But I disagreed. I was intrigued by the idea. Using big data and algorithms to judge social media effectiveness made sense. Klout was a blunt instrument ... but it was also a start-up that I thought I was on to something. And, believe it or not, I was about the only blogger out there who did! I saw a huge potential in what I called at that time "social scoring." The term did not catch on, but Klout did, a forerunner to the many sophisticated social media influence measurement systems in the marketplace today. A few months after I wrote the post, I had a chance to meet the company's founder, Joe Fernandez, at SXSW. Joe was taking a tremendous amount of heat from the social media analysts and bloggers ... but I also learned that he receiving a lot of traction with some of the biggest brands in the world. Despite the fury in the world of bloggers, his idea was catching on. with corporate marketers. This was a new way to actually discover the passionate product advocates in the world, those who were gaining massive audiences through their independent content creation.

The cusp of a revolution

The world of power and influence was being flipped on its head. The traditional media editors and executives in the corner offices weren't calling the shots like they used to.  We were on the cusp of a marketing revolution, led by anyone willing to step up and let their voice become heard through blogs, videos, and podcasts. Most exciting to me, companies were actually enacting the first influencer marketing programs -- and seeing amazing results. While the social media world was pounding Klout, the critics were missing the bigger picture, the entire new influence trend! A frenzy was building to connect with these new media stars. Eventually my early interest in influence marketing helped me land a book contract to write Return On Influence, the first book on the subject of social influence marketing. The book came out in 2012 and at the end of the book I predicted that within two years this would become a mainstream marketing channel. And, it has.

The rise of influencer marketing

Five years later, I jumped at the chance to help Traackr, a frontrunner in the influence measurement space, to create a new piece of research aimed at determining the state of the art of the field from a B2B perspective. I interviewed leaders from Dell, Microsoft, Intel, Samsung and many other companies and discovered that the channel was maturing, and becoming quite sophisticated compared to those early days. In fact, today influencer relations is on par with how companies interact with the press or industry analysts. This marketing revolution became a fascinating podcast discussion with Tom Webster and I'm sure you'll love this episode.

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Go to Typeform.com/companion to receive a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!

CoSchedule is the world’s number one marketing calendar utility, used by more than 8,000 companies. The application allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. Get your Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers, and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Direct download: Influencer_Marketing_grows_up.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:35pm EDT

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