Google has officially released it’s sought-after application, Google Now, to iOS devices, completing it’s availability to today’s top smartphones. Google Now was previously only available on Android powered devices. But the launch of this new smartphone application is more than just a Siri- competitor, more than just a voice-activated search engine, and certainly more than resource for asking trivia questions. The idea of Google Now sets the tone for how users interact with smartphone apps, and more specifically how they digest information.
Google Now is all about delivering the right information at the right time, when you aren’t even thinking about it. Google Now learns from your search behavior and customizes your “cards” based on your activity. It can show you the traffic when you’re out the door on the way to work, or inform you your flight is delayed before you even wake up. The best part is you don’t have to open several apps on your smartphone just to access this information. Before, if I wanted to check the traffic before I left to work I would have to open up Google maps, Waze, or some SIG alert to get the information I needed. With Google Now, that information is delivered to me when I need it most, as I’m getting ready for work, eating breakfast, or walking outside.
Thousands of people commute everyday using public transportation. The majority of those people are face down in their smartphones vigorously switching between Flipboard, NY Times or Forbes, games, Facebook, Twitter, text messages, sports scores, etc. You get the point. They are extremely distracted, and distracted by too many apps. With Google Now, I see the scores to last nights Boston Red Sox and Celtics games, and I also see upcoming games this week. I don’t need to tell Google I want this, it already knows because over the weekend I searched “boston celtics” to see if they won on Sunday (they did, and we didn’t get swept by the Knicks). Now if Google can deliver me relevant news stories on these teams at the same time, I would probably delete a few apps off my phone right now, ESPN’s Scorecenter and NBA Gametime among them.
Google Now also has the ability to recommend places nearby. If you’re in a rush, in a new city, and need to grab lunch, open up Google Now and you’re within a few minutes of the top rated restaurants nearby. Previously, you would have to open up Yelp, Urban Spoon, use Facebook, whatever you had to do to make sure you’re visiting the best possible restaurant. Yelp has too many “foodie” who think they are Emeril Lagasse offering their two cents that isn’t worth shit. I don’t trust Sally Johnson who’s visited every sub shop in Boston and spends her time rating restaurants on Yelp. Who is she? I don’t care, I don’t trust her. But I do trust Zagat. Zagat ratings are integrated with Google places, which integrates with Google Now. The card design in Google Now is extremely clean, easy to use, and offers just the right amount of information. If I wanted to, I could read more about the restaurant, reviews, etc. But most of the time you just need food now, and Google Now does exactly that.
It’s clear to see that Google Now has the ability to replace apps like Yelp, Scorecenter, Waze, Apple Maps (obviously, because it sucks), individual hotel and airline apps, finance apps, news apps, and more. But what’s more important is how we consume this content. Search is the most powerful resource consumers have to do things like research a product, check sports scores, get directions, find places to visit, get travel deals, and more. The idea that this content can be delivered to us, when we want it, advertisement free, and Google knows what we want, is a defining sign of where technology is going. Now if brands can just align themselves with this technology and help guide it and support it, they’ll have more success and prove stronger value to consumers.
Content marketing has become a top priority for marketers looking to drive awareness, generate qualified leads, and convert those leads into sales. But content marketing is difficult when you have consumers using multiple devices, social networks, and platforms on the internet.
However, leading independent research firms such as Aberdeen Research, Forrester Research, the Content Marketing Institute, and Brightcove are helping marketers learn the best practices necessary to reach your audience through strategic content marketing. Specifically, Brightcove has unleashed the following infographic available for download on the Brightcove website:
Infographic: Make Content Marketing Work in a Social, Mobile World
The infographic starts by identifying that 9 out of 10 marketers plan to use content marketing in 2012. This is because traditional marketing efforts fall short and don’t produce the results marketers are looking for because consumers are already 70% through the sales process before they start to engage directly with the product or service they’re interested in.
Video proved to be the most effective media for content marketing. There was 35% growth in branded content views from Q4 2010 to Q4 2011. The key is figuring out how to create compelling branded content that doesn’t shout at consumers like typical push advertising. The good news is the playing field is open. 84% of Internet users across 56 countries watch video at home on a computer at least once a month. So start producing some video that relates to your target audience and is worth sharing.
Video-centric content marketing also increased awareness, engagement, leads, and sales. Did you know videos are 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of search engine result pages than text pages? And that video used in your email marketing increases the click through rate by 96%? Video is key. Start producing video. When launching a campaign think about guiding users to a landing page that includes a video. Adding a video to a landing page can double your conversion rate. Now make that video shareworthy, and watch the results increase.
Breaking through the noise of social buzz is hard. With 845 million + post a day on Facebook, 465 million + tweets a day on Twitter, and 15 million + checkins on FourSquare a day, how can your brand shine? Easy. Think about where your customers interact and engage. Hit them there. Don’t blast garbage content onto Google+ if your audience doesn’t hang out there. Maybe your audience is big mobile users. Most people spend more time using mobile apps than the mobile web. Think about a brand-aligned mobile app that provides value to your customers and great brand awareness for you.
The key is to use a platform or service that helps you build loyalty, expand your reach, report on valuable analytics, and drives great business value. Learn your audience and play where they play.
Another Blog post for the Skyword blog. This post looks at the uses of Google’s Keyword Tool as part of your content strategy. One of the biggest challenges faced when looking to create content is the topics and kinds of content that need to be created. Using a tool like Google’s keyword tool will help you identify hot keywords and search terms that may be worth creating for.
You may identify there’s a significant amount of searches around terms like “how to video for building a deck” or “images of candy”. In those scenarios it would be wise to not only write some content, but perhaps produce a how to video on building decks or putting together a candy photo shoot. In either case, identify the needs of your target audience and produce content that meets those needs and provides superior value.
Here’s a snippet of the article:
One of the first steps in developing a content strategy is identifying trends, opportunities, or keywords to produce content for. The Google keyword tool makes finding keywords a breeze. Anyone who has managed a Google AdWords campaign has probably seen this tool conveniently located under the Tools and Analysis tab.
The tool is easy to use and can provide valuable information to marketers. Imagine knowing exactly what customers were searching for online, how many times per month they searched for it, and if the competitors had content against those search terms. That’s exactly what the keyword tool can help with. It can be extremely useful in determining good opportunity keywords for PPC campaigns but can also be an integral part of identifying keywords for a content strategy… Read the Full Article