Dan Parscale speaks with Garrett Jackson, manager of digital services at Audigy, and looks into the future (the near future) to bring you predictions for how digital marketing will change in the coming year, including the importance of mobile, the rise of voice search, and how crucial pay-to-play is becoming in having a consistent presence in search and social media.
Highlights from the 2017 Digital Marketing Predictions
Prediction #1: The Importance of Mobile-Friendly Sites Will Grow
“One of the things that Google rolled out last year is their AMP pages — which is funny, because it’s named similarly to our Digital AMP program. Don’t get those two things confused. Google rolled out an AMP platform that essentially lets you write really small, simplified pages and be able to upload them into Google. And that is a way that they’re able to serve up content faster and quicker to users, particularly mobile users, so they can access it really quickly.
“I think that is going to be a shift in the way that we create content on the internet. Whereas before you could fill pages and pages of content on a website, and you wanted tons of that there, now it’s going to be much more focused on ‘How can I deliver the right amount of content in the right amount of time for the user that’s on this page? I don’t need someone reading 20 minutes on this page of the site. Can I just deliver them what they’re searching for, answer their question or meet their intent, and be able to deliver that information to them the best way possible?’”
Prediction #2: Voice Search Will Change the Way We Search
“I think you’re going to see a big shift here. Already, the way that people use cell phones, especially within our demographic, is becoming more voice oriented with the advent of Siri and Cortana, depending on which device you have, or just the Google Assistant. The way that you use your phone, you’re going to use your voice, and the way that you search for things with your voice is different from the way that you search for it if you’re using a keyboard.
“For example, if I need some replacement batteries for my hearing aids, on my computer I’m probably going to type ‘batteries’ or ‘hearing aid batteries’ into the Google search. Now, if I’m on Siri I might ask, ‘Hey, Siri, where is the closest place I can get hearing aid batteries?’ That’s a much longer query, and the way that they’re going to treat that is different.”
Prediction #3: Pay-to-Play in Search and Social
“I really just want to emphasize how much it’s changed in this last year — how much emphasis Google’s putting on the ads that are on the search results page.
“Before, we used to have ads along the right-hand side of the page. That’s all been removed now, and now we just have four ads at the top and have moved all the rest of the results down lower on the page. You’re faced with ads, first thing you see when you come to Google, depending on the searches that you make, of course. But there’s already talk about Google adding ads into the local section.
“Organic will continue to be important and relevant as long as we can make it relevant and important, but I don’t think it’s wise for people to just put all of their eggs in one basket, especially at this point. You’re missing opportunities if you aren’t investing in pay-per-click, if you aren’t taking the time to advertise on these sites. Because at the end of the day, that’s where you’re going to be able to make sure that you have a position and a place on their websites.”
Prediction #4: Social Media Becomes More Customizable for Users
“I think with the changes that are going to be coming with Facebook this next year, you’re going to see even less hope of your content making it online unless it’s truly getting people to like, share, comment, and engage with the people that like your page.
“What I think is going to be kind of a shift this next year is people are already concerned about Facebook and the way that we use it right now, where you can essentially create a filter bubble around yourself, or an echo chamber where all you hear are opinions that are similar to your own. All you hear are topics that you’re interested in. I know that Facebook is already talking about making changes to be able to allow more customization within the news feed, and I’ll be curious to see how much they try to introduce new ideas into your news feed versus how much they’re going to start giving you more control.”