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4 Hottest Consumer Trends Quietly Reshaping Marketing and PR for Tech Companies

Posted on February 6, 2019 by Leah Nurik

“Hey Alexa, can you give my tech marketing and PR a makeover?”

While Alexa, Siri and friends aren’t quite that advanced, the latest consumer trends have come a long way in terms of understanding user intent, providing convenience and offering more tailored search engine interactions.

Adding to that, social media’s innate connectivity is driving closer-knit communities and authentic experiences between consumers and public figures.

The impact? These trends are pushing marketing and PR for tech companies towards closer audience targeting and more intimate outreach techniques that cater to the individual.

1. Mobile and Voice Search Redefine Search

A few years ago, Google reported that voice search hoarded 20 percent of all mobile app searches. Let’s cut to early 2019: at least 39 million Americans now own an Amazon Echo or Google Home. And Siri is patiently listening for commands from its (astounding) 900 million iPhone users.

So, what does this mean for your business?

First, people type differently than they talk. Disjointed search language like “telecom solution provider mid-size company D.C. area” isn’t common in voice searches. The same search, performed vocally, might sound more like, “find telecom providers for mid-sized companies near me.”

With this in mind, voice searches are generally longer, contain more articles, prepositions and other small words text searches often omit (like “for” in the example above) and flow more naturally.

Marketing for voice, then, should account for language shifts in their SEO strategies and keyword research to ensure they don’t miss out on vocal search opportunities. The trend toward mobile search also signals a growing need for mobile-friendly content. Not only does this necessitate mobile-optimized pages, but it also calls for a shift in style.

Shorter paragraphs, broken-up text and whitespace all help make content more small-screen-friendly. This can apply to those critical press releases about your latest innovation and partnerships, too.

Hey – this blog has a lot of whitespace, doesn’t it? Probably a coincidence.

What’s more, intent data is rapidly progressing towards gauging search intent for precise results. And voice search is all about intent. This will make web pages, content, news stories and other coverage more accessible to those most interested.

2. Podcasts Are Exploding

The results are in: people love podcasts. They aren’t just skimming for sound bites, either. 85 percent of podcast listeners watch the whole show!

And who can blame them? From viral clips of Elon Musk’s notorious interview on The Joe Rogan Experience to coverage of exclusive oval office interviews on The Daily, podcasts are a chance for professionals and consumers to deep-dive into their favorite hot-button topics.

How are they finding the time? Super-productive tech gurus, CEOS and multitasking consumers are listening to podcasts on their commute, at work, in the grocery store and on the trail.

This sticky engagement presents marketers and PR strategists with new options.

In marketing, you’ve found a self-selected market with a more patient audience. Longer podcasts also deliver more space to make your pitch – the average podcast ad lasts about 90 seconds.

Leveraging podcasts isn’t just a marketing venue, either. Podcast interviews capitalize on the desire for valuable and exclusive insights from thought leaders. Consider podcast outreach in your public relations strategy to develop thought leadership and brand recognition.

Pro tip: Try a podcast-exclusive promo code offer that includes the podcast title. It builds community and a sense of exclusivity with the backing of a trusted influencer.

3. Live Video and Storytelling

Mark Zuckerberg hinted that the Facebook news feed might be trotted behind the shed and “retired.”

Why? Stories are on track to overtake standard posts, and The Zuck is likely going to fill that void with live content.

We attribute this in part to the rise of story-style posting ala Snapchat and Instagram, which usually includes live posts that disappear a bit later. (Disappearing posts? What a way to drive engagement!)

Businesses are following suit with live videos and stories of their own.

But, what makes a good story? What should you post?

Much like podcasts, social media stories and video come with a pre-curated audience of followers. That means posting high-value content. Consider posting how-to videos, product usage tips, market reviews and insider insights (for starters).

The more valuable your content, the more they’ll keep coming back to it.

Pro tip: Use video wherever possible during your stories. Video content generates much higher engagement rates than photos.

4. Influencers Bridge Social Gaps

For centuries, celebrities, politicians, business leaders and other public figures seemed untouchable by average Starbucks-chugging commoners such as ourselves.

Well, social media is taking a sledgehammer to that ivory tower.

Liking a post, watching a video or reading a caption created by a favorite public figure builds a sense of intimacy and familiarity with them. Celeb selfies, day-to-day snapshots of life and non-professional photos reinforce that authenticity and relationship.

Regardless of your market, consumers value these connections with significant figures. In fact, 74 percent of consumers allow their social networks to influence their purchasing decisions. How does marketing and PR for tech companies reflecting this?

For one, tech PR firms build influencer relationships for their clients. That includes thought leaders, spokespeople and public figures that represent the product, the business, the market or its consumers.

Why? Reviews on an influencer’s blog, endorsements and even simple tags or shout-outs on social media help companies get their name out to a new, relevant audience sphere.

It’s not a force-fed medium like the days of old, either. People love guidance and recommendation. With half of all consumers looking to influencers for purchasing guidance, those partnerships provide credibility that rivals the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

That’s why B2B companies are partnering with thought leaders in their field for brand recognition and credibility.

Microsoft and National Geographic, for example, recently partnered in a global preservation initiative powered by artificial intelligence (AI). This partnership solidifies both companies’ interest and credibility in the conservation and artificial intelligence spaces while joining both brands’ followings.

Note: If the Fyre Festival documentaries haven’t scared you into careful compliance with influencer marketing, read up on the legal requirements before running with a campaign. We’re all for influencer marketing – but not when it spirals into cheese sandwich madness.

Reshaping Marketing and PR for Tech Companies

We know, we know – consumer trends move quickly. Keeping up is difficult, and it can be tempting to sit back and let this trend run its course – you’ll catch the next one.

But, right now, a CEO who needs your platform is listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast. And your competitor’s ad just played.

Never stop chasing avenues to targeted exposure. Want more help? Take a closer look at your public relations strategy with our free e-book, “The Five Required Strategic Elements to Maximize PR for Your Tech Company.

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