It used to be that when you marketed your business, you were primarily concerned with business competition. However with 24-hour sports and news, streaming music, television, and movies, the competition for the hearts and minds of your audience has never been tougher.
To grab the attention of your audience, you must find a way to rise above all the noise so they take notice of you and what you do.
How do you do that though?
By creating an exceptional experience for your prospective customers, so when you do get their attention, they get the answers they need and feel confident in contacting you or making a purchase.
Thankfully, there have been many advances in technology that allow small- and medium-sized businesses to create an experience that will have you standing out from the crowd.
Let’s take a look at what technologies you can incorporate into your marketing strategy.
We all, at one point or another, have heard of artificial intelligence or AI (let’s be real: most likely in a sci-fi movie or novel in a setting sometime in the future). Well, the future is here. AI has become increasingly more popular and has a wide array of applications. Marketing is one of those applications.
So, how is artificial intelligence being used in marketing? Here are some examples:
- Creating a more personalized website experience
- To manage PPC campaigns
- Content creation
Those are just a sample of the ways AI is being used in marketing. You can be assured that as the technology becomes more accessible, marketers will find more ways to make AI work for them.
With regards to creating a better customer experience, AI can do the following:
- Chatbots allow your customers to more easily find the answers they are looking for
- Create content that is more relevant to the needs of your audience
- Enhance the website experience by making it more personalized
In essence, AI can act as an additional employee who is trained in your business and always ready to assist your customers. When you view it this way, you can begin to see how you can use AI in your business to create a better marketing experience for your customers.
AR, or augmented reality, and VR, or virtual reality, are all about creating a better experience for the user.
In the case of AR, you are allowing the user to change or augment their experience. Think about Pokemon Go! and how many people loved using their phones to “chase” creatures that looked to appear in our reality. You can use AR in marketing to create a similar fun and unique experience that helps set your business part from your competitors.
VR probably appeals more to the average business owner. Think about real estate agents that offer online tours of the homes they have listed, or home and landscaping companies that allow you to upload your home and yard and make changes so you can see what a redo might look like outside of a drawing or plan.
What VR really does is allow your customers to experience what you are selling before they actually make a purchase. In many ways, this is what marketing is really all about.
The Evolving World of SEO
SEO, or search engine optimization, is not a new technology. Rather, it is a technology that is constantly evolving. At first it was used primarily for Google, Bing, and Yahoo, but social media platforms soon started incorporating SEO to help users find what they needed. With the rise of personal virtual assistants, SEO has evolved further to include voice search.
At the end of the day, SEO is about helping the users of a particular platform (Google, Facebook, Alexa, etc.). If you understand how current SEO practices (see voice search), then you can position yourself and your organization to better provide the information your customers are looking for to become a trusted resource.
Data and Privacy
There is not much to say here, in all honesty. Consumers are becoming more aware of the security risks that are presented online. If you want your prospective customers to share any information with you, it is imperative that you assure them that their data and right to privacy are protected.
Using video in marketing is not something new. In fact it is something we have written about before. So why are we including video marketing in a blog about technology and the customer experience in 2021?
It’s because your audience is expecting video content. They may not directly tell you that they are expecting video content, but it would be a safe bet that if you gave a subset of your target audience the choice between video content and written content, the majority would choose video content.
This is not to say that written content does not have a place in your content marketing strategy. It most definitely does. But your audience can, and chooses to, absorb more information via video. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. The key is to understand how you can use video and other types of content to create a better experience for YOUR audience. This is where developing a marketing strategy really helps.
As we head into the new year, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to stand out from your competitors and all the other potential distractions that face your target audience. Emerging technologies or existing technologies offer you an opportunity to create a unique and valuable experience that will help you grow your audience.