From voice search to Google’s massive whoopsie – content marketing trends

Digital marketers just aren’t prepared for voice search

Voice search continues to grow in popularity. At the last count, this technique accounted for 20% of all Internet searches on mobile platforms. voice search

But, this brand new research from BrightEdge suggests digital marketers are yet to get the memo.

The survey – which sampled 252 digital marketers – found that 31% of respondents agreed voice search would be the next big thing in marketing.

Despite this relative consensus, two-thirds of digital marketers are yet to begin preparing for voice search, and don’t intend to anytime soon.

This amounts to a major oversight. In terms of content, there are all sorts of ways that copywriters should be looking to get ready, including:

  • Begin writing content for semantic search terms
  • Integrate more long-tail keywords
  • Write content that pre-empts typical consumer questions
  • Start using more conversational language

With 50% of consumers expecting to use voice search daily by 2020, content marketers must snap out of their lethargy and start tackling this new challenge head-on.

When it comes to copywriting, no one likes a negative Nancy

An epic new study from Unbounce has outlined just how much of a consumer turn-off negative content can be. 

The research – which sampled 74,551,421 visitors, 64,284 sites and 10 major industries – analysed the effect of eight basic emotions on conversion rates, including:

  • Anger
  • Anticipation
  • Disgust
  • Fear
  • Joy
  • Sadness
  • Surprise
  • Trust

The fact that negative content tended to score fewer conversions should come as no surprise. But, the sensitivity of consumers and words they perceive negatively might not be quite what you expect.

Let’s take a look at some of the key findings:

Travel industry

In the travel industry, content with just 1% of words evoking negative emotions (in this case, fear or anger) could reduce conversion rates by up to 25%.

The study also highlighted words associated with fear or anger you should look to avoid (some of which will surprise you), including:

‘Limited’‘Money’‘Hot’‘Bang’
‘Endless’‘Challenge’‘Treat’‘Fee’
‘Buffet’‘Rail’‘Cash’‘Despair’

Business consultancy

In business consultancy, it generally pays to avoid words associated with disgust.

These are the words consumers associate with disgust in business consultancy:

‘Blame’‘Cheat’‘Collapse’‘Disaster’
‘Offend’‘Nasty’‘Failure’‘Celebrity’

But, in business consultancy, it’s not only negativity that can reduce conversions. Using words associated with anticipation in more than 1.5% of copy will reduce the conversion rate by 25%.

Fear in content marketing

Surprisingly, business consultancy consumers don’t mind a little fear, though. 1–2% can actually increase conversion rates (but, don’t go overboard).

This emotion provoked the most diverse set of results. Words associated with fear were positive for some industries and negative for others.

There were even cases where the conversion rate fluctuated depending on the amount of text that included fear-related words:

On balance, you should avoid being a negative Nancy if you want that conversion rate to soar. But, watch out for those exceptional situations where you can steal a march on the competition by trying a different tack.

Spotted in the news…

The European Commission has fined Google a record £2.1bn for violating competition rules following more than six years of investigations.

The regulator alleges that Google has been promoting its own shopping comparison service first in search results, denying companies the chance to compete on their own merits.

Google talks a lot about content meritocracy – the content that provides most value for the reader should rise to the top. But, the calibre of your content marketing might not be so relevant if the search algorithm just chooses the results you see first. Let’s hope they come to their senses.