“Everything that rises must converge,” the great American novelist Flannery O’Connor observed a half-century ago.
We’re clearly seeing the convergence of at least four trends, two old and two new, and according to newly released findings, marketers may not be prepared for what may prove to shake their world. In fact, a survey of marketing professionals conducted on behalf of BrightEdge, an SEO and content marketing firm, found substantial confusion at what may be a critical moment in the rapidly pacing cycle of digital consumption.
The four trends that are about to come together in dramatically new fashion are:
- Search-engine optimization
- Content marketing
- Artificial intelligence
- Voice search
SEO and content making positive headway.
We’re already seeing the convergence of SEO and content marketing, two disciplines that, for much of the digital lifetime, ran in uncoordinated parallel.
Smart marketers are getting more skillful at content strategies that understand customer intent and then target content accordingly. In the aforementioned survey, 97 percent of respondents agree SEO and content marketing are converging, or have already converged. The same survey found organic search is the number one priority — a smart focus considering organic drives 51 percent of all website traffic.
Effective use of these strategies demands some deep thinking about the steps consumers take during their purchase-making decisions — and the words that are likely to move them at each stage of their journey. Otherwise, effort and resources will be lost on content that is inaccessible.
Layering in new technologies.
The wider adoption of artificial intelligence supercharges marketers’ ability to fine-tune SEO strategies. One of the biggest differences is capability of AI to put consumers’ searches into context.
When a consumer searches for “Tahoe” today, he might want a Chevrolet SUV or a winter ski vacation. AI puts that search into the context of the user’s past searches — pickups or snowboards — and makes some educated guesses about the user’s intentions.
Read the rest of the article at entrepreneur.com.