This morning we were fortunate to get the opportunity to present at the Marketing Association’s Brainy Breakfast at the Pullman Hotel in Auckland.
The theme of the event was “trendspotting” and our topic was how some of the emerging trends in search and social media will impact content marketing this year.
For search, we chose RankBrain and Knowledge Based Trust, two Google initiatives that give a good indication about the direction search is taking at the company controlling more than 95 per cent of New Zealand’s internet searches.
RankBrain uses machine learning to help Google handle the growing share of search queries that are unique. These never-seen-before search terms represent a growing challenge to Google and currently make up around 15 per cent of the 3.5 billion queries it handles every day.
Google has said that it wants Artificial Intelligence (AI) to be embedded throughout the organisation so it’s telling that the first AI-based search initiative is taking aim at the ever-expanding long-tail.
What this means for content marketers is that Google is going to keep on developing its algorithm to dig deeper into websites and bring back more and more specific results, so it will pay to keep digging into the topics that matter to your business.
But winning search traffic is not just about quantity. Knowledge Based Trust, which is still in the experimental stage, has Google fact-checking content against its ever-expanding Knowledge Vault.
Knowledge Based Trust, along with the quality-focused algorithm updates Google made last year, shows the company’s commitment to finding new signals that can help it differentiate between a really great piece of content and everything else.
Early quality signals included relatively straight forward metrics such as uniqueness and words on the page. Before long, Google could be checking you’ve got your facts right.
For social media, we decided to talk about this really interesting shift that a lot of the big social media sites are making. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are all trying to position themselves as places to publish and host content, as well as sharing and promoting it.
Previously, brands might have looked at social media as a good way to get their existing blog or website content in front of more of the right people.
But with organic reach in sharp decline, especially on Facebook, brands are now more likely to need to pay to get their content seen.
For content creators, LinkedIn Publishing, Twitter’s Beyond 140 and Facebook’s Instant Articles all present interesting new opportunities, but they are unlikely to be free and will restrict some of the options for primary and second conversions.