With Thanksgiving upon us and the holidays right around the corner, now is the time of year to reflect on the things we’re most grateful for. As you gather around the table with your loved ones this holiday, savor the small moments and don’t forget to give thought to the little things we so often take for granted.

Here at NEXT! Ad Agency, we’re grateful for digital marketing and the ways it enhances our lives. We’d like to share three digital marketing trends we’re most grateful for, and we hope they’ll inspire you in the new year.

Let’s get started!

1. Voice Search

“NEXT!, how many people own smart assistants?” 

According to TechCrunch, more than 25% of Americans own smart speakers like Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Siri - and we’re grateful for all the ways these devices are becoming more integrated into our daily lives. 

With smart devices, we can manage our calendars, set alarm clocks, play music, make phone calls, and ask all types of questions like: “What will the weather be like on Thanksgiving?” or “How do you stuff a turkey?”

Smart speakers are also transforming the way consumers search for products and information, and it’s predicted that by 2020, 50% of all online queries will be voice-searched.

How Do You Optimize for Voice Search? 

Google is better at processing natural language and understanding context and the user’s intent behind searches. If websites want to optimize for voice search, they should start writing content in conversational language.

According to Alex Chefalo, an SEO specialist at NEXT!, “Google recently released the BERT update, which is a massive step forward in the way Google interprets words. Instead of looking at the words individually, Google is looking at how one word relates to another in a query.”

Keywords are still essential to providing context, but it’s no longer necessary to stuff content with them. Rather, the focus should be on providing specific answers and creating useful and conversational content around long-tail keywords.

Alex adds, “Because of the natural way we voice questions, and the way smart speakers interpret our commands, questions can optimize for voice search. A strong Google My Business listing, and having a presence on other online directories, will also increase the chances of your business being found through voice search.”

2. Video Content

Of all the current digital marketing trends right now, video content is among the fastest-growing. It’s predicted that video will make up 82% of web traffic by 2022, and between smartphones, YouTube, and platforms like Facebook and Instagram, it’s easier than ever to create and share videos. 

“It’s interactive, engaging, and ranks higher on social media so platforms automatically push it out there more often to users,” says Dina LoVerde, a social media coordinator at NEXT! 

While fresh, quality content is one of the highest-ranking factors for SEO, video content has the potential to drive more conversions.

The reason? Consumers spend more time online, and they’re more likely to watch and pay closer attention to videos than news articles, blogs, and research. Not to mention, humans are visual creatures, and we process images 60,000 times faster than text.

Virtually every industry can use videos to spread information and build brand awareness - even small businesses that once relied on older mediums like TV commercials and radio advertisements. The longer users engage with a video, the more likely they are to make a purchase, pick up the phone, follow the company, or share the video. 

So, what’s the key to creating engaging and effective video content that leads to conversions?

How Do You Create Quality Video Content?

Understanding your target audience is crucial to creating successful video content. Ask yourself: What type of content would your ideal customer look for, and which mediums are they using to obtain that information?

If your target audience spends more time on Facebook, which utilizes auto-play without sound, your videos should contain captions and catch people’s attention in the first couple of seconds. Or, if you have an audience that is more likely to discover you through a Google search, you can catch their attention with a video on your website’s home page. 

The video itself should be easy and enjoyable to watch, and the information presented should be fresh and valuable to your audience. Cross-promoting your video content between your website and social media pages will also ensure you’re reaching more people and driving more conversions.

3. Minimalism

Nowadays, the mantra of “less is more” holds on both the content side of digital marketing, as well as web design. 

Because mobile devices are driving the majority of web traffic, and because of Google’s mobile-first indexing, websites need to be optimized and designed for these devices. Luckily, minimalism is proving to be a practical and aesthetically-pleasing approach to this shift.

“Creating a minimalist landing page makes it easier to navigate, and also makes the site easier to use for both desktop and mobile users,” says Amanda Kessler, a web designer at NEXT! 

So, what are the main elements of minimalist web design?

What Is Minimalist Web Design?

Even if your website is mobile-responsive, that doesn’t always mean it will enhance user experience and convert to the best ranking. 

Website visitors want to find what they’re looking for and enjoy the process of navigating a site before they move on to their next query. Minimalist design should present content in a skimmable, streamlined format that looks sleek and is easy-to-navigate. Minimalism also keeps colors, details, and objects to a minimum to reduce distraction and yield faster loading times. 

“With more users interacting with companies solely on mobile devices, reducing clutter is a great trend,” adds NEXT! web designer, Vanessa Reitz. 

The more white space, the better, and when content is formatted as walls of text, give users the choice to click on drop-down boxes or buttons to read the information if they wish.

Which Digital Marketing Trends Are You Grateful For?

There’s a lot to look forward to when it comes to digital marketing in 2020. If you’re grateful for digital marketing, tell us about which strategies have worked best for you! And if you’d like to put any of these digital marketing trends to good use, tell us about your goals and questions moving forward into the new year.

From all of us at NEXT! Ad Agency, we’d like to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

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