VM Weekly Roundup #thisweekineverything
Welcome to our industry news roundup, where the rubber meets the roadmap.
Fans of voice-enabled tech, take note: 2017 is the year voice-enabled devices are projected to really take off with the average user. Research by eMarketer suggests that 35.6 million Americans will user a voice-activated assistant device at least once a month this year. The rise of Amazon’s Alexa Echo speaker makes up the bulk of the market share here, but Apple and Google Home will be rolling out their own voice search competitors throughout the year.
10 Second Tip: The rise of voice-enabled tech means more people will be searching in a way that doesn’t require a search bar or potentially even a screen. Only time will tell what developments this will bring for businesses and marketing, but we can confidently say that search and SEO are about to go through some big changes as a result.
Test Drive: We’re at the beginning of what will probably be a long incline upwards in the trend for voice search implementation, so this is the smart time to begin looking at your SEO strategies and search-oriented marketing and ask yourself what kind of shifts you might be able to make to reach more voice-operated devices. Instead of thinking in terms of what search terms people are likely to type into their search engines, think about how people are likely to speak aloud when they need to find you–the difference may be subtle, but important.
This handy infographic by Adweek does, yes, very efficiently make us feel old. It’s also a pretty handy tool for anyone looking for ways to reach the demographic just behind the ubiquitous Millennials in age. Generation Z applies to everybody born between 1996-2010, and researchers are only just beginning to cull stats on this group’s defining characteristics.
10 Second Tip: If you need to reach Generation Z, the message seems to be: YouTube, YouTube, YouTube. For this demographic, the platform is bigger than any single online publisher or TV channel.
Test Drive: Even if you’re not ready to advertise on YouTube, you can still reach Generation Z where they’re most likely to pay attention. Influencer marketing is viewed very favorably by this demo, even when they know it’s paid content, and Gen Z’er girls use Instagram (an influencer-marketing smorgasboard) heavily.
UX Design is an emerging and fast-growing field for good reason. Tailoring your website design, layout, and content maps to create the best possible experience for the user is the online version of “the customer is always right,” and getting the right balance requires iterative testing, a smattering of user psychology, a lot of design savvy, and a willingness to always be learning.
10 Second Tip: It can be a challenge to wrap your head around new UX concepts even for seasoned industry insiders, as a fledgling specialization. Bookmark a few of the UX blogs on this list to check in on every now and then to absorb some of the most important new techniques and considerations.
Test Drive: You may not have any plans to become a UX designer yourself, but it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the basics. Try brushing up on UX concepts you find from some of your favorite bloggers here, and then apply them to your existing website. Is the user experience of your current website what you’d like it to be?