Gordon Carslaw. Rebecca Richardson. Jaimie Anderson. Joannie McLellan.
Welcome to our Friday Briefing bumper edition! This week Gordon informs us of Alexa's upgrades, Becca tells us what to keep an eye on with Apple's newest iPhone release, Jaimie provides an insight into the latest updates to Google Search Console and Joannie finishes us off with Instagram and Facebook's crossover.
Alexa Starting to Recommend 3rd Party Skills
At Dog we are really excited about Voice. If you’re a regular to our Friday Briefing and Blog you will already know that. We are now talking to a number of our clients about making sure they are heard in the growing voice market. A question that continues to come up though is what devices are best for voice? Google Home? Amazon Alexa Devices? or Siri?. Well I think Apple had their opportunity this week to tell us about Siri developments at their iPhone release, so I’m putting them to the side at the moment.
One that’s innovating and developing their voice devices is Amazon. It is recognising the unique selling point Google Home has with its search index and ability to answer more general knowledge and information queries. To combat this Alexa is now beginning to recommend third party skills. Awesome right? For those who don’t know what a ‘Skill’ is, they are like apps but for voice which you are able to enable through the Alexa App.
This will undoubtedly put a smile on the faces of those who own a Dot, Echo or any other Alexa device who may be left frustrated by the ‘hmm…I don’t know that’, “Sorry I’m not sure” replies to queries. I guess you could compare it to ‘searchers accomplishment’ on Search Engines when you don’t get the answer to the query you searched for. Again it’s all about improving the experience for users. This new update to Alexa will go some way to doing that but it will also see an opportunity for brands to fill a space and increase their own brand awareness by making skills to satisfy those unanswered queries.
We would expect this battle for being the number one device on search to continue into th's e future and this latest update will help Amazing compete against Google Assistant. It will also help developers to see where they can create a skill to fill a space but there’s limited knowledge to how Alexa will recommend, or choose, to recommend a Skill for a query. As this is a new space it will be easy for Alexa but as competition increases how will it go about choosing? Will this become a paid space? Who knows but it’s one to keep an eye on.
Ask Alexa a bunch of questions and you may find gaps that your brand could fill and become a leader in your industry for voice. There a lot of opportunities and if you’re not already thinking about it I highly recommend it. If you don’t you will get left behind. Voice is largely used for things such as weather, music, setting alarms and checking the news at the moment, but we anticipate this space to eventually take over from search engines and if it does Amazon has a task on its hand to keep up with Google Home. The only way Amazon will be able to do that is for more Skills and more ways of satisfying general questions.
You can read more on the latest Alexa update here and if you would like to find out how you can start to have a voice on voice search then get in touch with the team here at Dog. Aim to be the leader not the follower.
So that’s my voice heard for this week. As I finish this I will now be off to the airport as I travel with my colleague, Joannie, to BrightonSEO. We will come back with all the latest news from the conference for you so keep a look out for the latest on SEO coming to you next week.
All that’s left to say, as always, have a great weekend and we will see you next week for another Dog Friday Briefing.
Gordon Carslaw, Senior Digital Marketing Executive
What to Watch with the iPhone 8
Prepare for overnight queues outside the Apple store; get set for your techy pal shining their new toy in your face and be aware that Android fans across the world will soon be trolling iPhones on the online battlefield. Such events can only mean one thing – the new iPhone is being released. Yes, in less than 24 hours Apple will be taking pre-orders for their latest smartphones the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 plus! With this in mind we at Dog felt it appropriate to keep digital marketers in the know of what to invest in with the devices’ latest features.
Whether you think they are a thing of the past or still have a promising future ahead, QR codes is a marketing method not to be missed. iOS 11 will integrate QR Coding right into the camera with no need to download fiddly apps. What’s more QR codes will now be used to make daily life that little bit easier with one scan setting up your wifi in a local café, booking that appointment with the dentist in your calendar or for quick and easy shopping online. With the new device, QR codes have the potential to offer a better than ever consumer experience.
The world has being emoji crazy…so prepare for the Animoji revolution. Animoji essentially allows users to make their face into a 3D emoji based on their facial expressions. Show your mood on the Dog Emoji, a Unicorn or of course Apple’s famous pile of…you know what emoji. A nifty feature that will no doubt be a key trend over the coming months and one which marketers could have some fun with.
The latest iPhone has been designed with the future of Augmented Reality (AR) in mind. Although AR is still in its adoption phase Apple are readying themselves for when it’s perfected and taking the world by storm. They are doing this by offering scale and enhanced experiences on the iPhone 8, 8 plus and soon to be released iPhone X. So get investing in smart-glasses or other technology that will go hand in hand with AR. The big riskers and first movers will be the winners in this race.
Rebecca Richardson, Executive Social Media & Content Manager
What’s new in Google Search Console?
Search Console is an absolute must for us SEO practitioners, and it is invaluable for technical teams to help uncover errors.
The tool formerly known as Webmaster Tools, hasn’t really changed significantly in recent years. It is lacking somewhat, which is why search marketing specialists supplement analysis, research and monitoring with other industry tools such as Raven and Moz to name just a couple. So it is great to hear some new changes are coming our way - the SEO community get very excited about things like this!
So what’s new?
Google will now categorise fixes into the following three themes:
- Insights; they will seek to deliver more detail around the root cause of the error and help web owners understand if Google has accepted the fixes within their algorithm
- Organisational Workflow; a total process changer for marketers in that there are often multiple teams involved in fixing the errors and now we’ll be able to share ticket items in one platform
- Feedback Loops; hurrah! Site owners will now be able to see in an instant preview whether changes will work or not! This is going to be a great one for developers as well when altering code.
All in all, these changes are a great step forward in providing a more valuable, comprehensive tool
Search Engine Watch provided an interesting blog post this week delving deeper into the changes, for more information check out the article.
Jaimie Anderson, Senior Marketing Manager
Instagram Stories Coming to Facebook
Instagram stories have been spotted on Facebook over the past week. This cross-over plan is presumed to boost the use of Facebook stories, which haven’t taken off to the same scale as Instagram’s.
There hasn’t been a confirmation as to whether this will be rolled out on a permanent basis yet but a spokesperson for Instagram has confirmed they are testing the new approach.
“We are always testing ways to improve the experience on Instagram and make it easier to share any moment with the people who matter to you. We have no other plans to share at this time.”
Stories can be used for sharing daily, creative, real-time updates. They are a great method for brands to showcase their brand personality and provide an insider’s view of the company. Just like all social media content, we would always recommend to have a well-thought out strategy for stories in order to generate maximum impact and value.
Joannie McLellan, Senior Digital Marketing Executive
Until next week, folks! Have a great weekend!