LIVE updates: This month in search marketing [June 2023]

Jun 1st, 2023

How a world of infinite data impact digital and search marketing

The idea of ‘infinite data’ refers to the seemingly endless amount of information available to people in the digital age – with new sources and applications emerging daily. Some of the sources of infinite data include:

  • Social media platforms
    Ecommerce transactions
    Internet of Things (IoT) devices

The exponential growth of this data can overwhelm digital marketers, making it challenging to manage and difficult to make sense of this data to stay on top of industry news and trends.

Google changes .ai to a top level domain

Google search now considers any domain that ends in .ai to be a top level domain, such as .com, .org, .net, .gov. This means that .ai domains will no longer be geo-specified to Anguilla.

New AI powered marketing technology

Regardless of your opinion on the use of AI in digital marketing, it is quite clear that the tech is here to stay. Businesses are adapting their current tech to incorporate AI, particularly within their marketing tools and technology. This helpful list of tech updates by MarTech gives you an insight into the more recent technological adaptations to incorporate AI in marketing.

Google ads feature updates

Google Ads have updated their platform to include two new features.

  • A simple, yet satisfying, new feature is the settings cog appearing when you hover over a campaign name. This allows to you view and edit the settings for specific campaigns quickly.
  • Google have added ‘Campaign-level text assets’, which are headlines and descriptions you can associated with a campaign, and then apply them to all Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) in that campaign. These assets can both save you time and improve performance.

How accurate is generative AI for marketing?

The introduction of ChatGPT has boosted the popularity of using AI in digital marketing – but how accurate is this tool? MarTech recently did some tests, using ChatGPT to create marketing collateral where AI is regularly used. Here is what they found:

  • For FAQs, they found that ChatGPT produced answers that were only correct 29% of the time.
    • Additionally, for 19% of the questions, they were only ‘semi-correct’, where ChatGPT misinterpreted the question, or provided a different answer to what was asked.

This demonstrates the need for human-input in creating any marketing content, to ensure information is factually correct.


Cookie phase-out & privacy sandbox API

As discussed in last months ‘Month in Search’, third-party cookies are going to be phased out; Google announced that they would remove third-party cookies from 1% of chrome activity, as well as expand their Privacy Sandbox API. This is encouraging marketers to re-evaluate their methods, and re-think the tools they are using for their marketing activity.

Creating an SEO chrome extension with ChatGPT

AI tools such as ChatGPT can be used to help with certain technical SEO elements. Chrome extensions are a quick way to execute repetitive tasks, so combining the two and having a ChatGPT powered SEO chrome extension would be ideal. This helpful article by Search Engine Land takes you through the steps to set up your own SEO Chrome extension powered by Chat GPT.

AI & machine learning in advertising

With AI and machine learning being used more frequently for digital advertising, it is important for us to stay aware of the concerns and problems that might arise when using this tech. One of the more recent concerns that has arisen is the inadvertent way machine learning models amplify social biases, leading to increased discrimination in ad targeting.
This highlights the importance of human input in all aspects of digital marketing, and finding the balance between automated insights, and human activity.

Virtual influencers…?

The AI Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report 2023 provides some insightful information on the use of AI in influencer marketing, particularly in relation to AI generated virtual influencers. AI generated virtual influencers, are essentially what it says on the tin, an AI entity programmed to create content and engage with audiences across different platforms. Some of the more interesting findings are as follows:
50% of people who have worked with AI influencers described their experience as ‘very positive’.
Control over AI influencer behaviour was deemed ‘very important’ by 42.6% of respondents.
31.7% suggested the main advantage of using AI influencers over human influencers is control over the messaging.

Digital marketing – what’s changed (so far) in 2023?

As we near the mid-point of 2023, it is worth looking back on the year and the digital marketing trends that have been prominent thus far:

  • Making use of short video content
  • Adopting ChatGPT
  • Increase in influencer marketing
  • Being more controversial
  • Greater focus on niche content The

This article goes into more detail on each of the trends mentioned above.

Budget shifting from digital advertising to influencer marketing

New research has found that 67% of marketers are allocating more budget to influencer marketing in 2023, yet only 24% of these are working with an increased budget. The other 76% are diverting funds from other areas of their digital marketing strategy, most of which from digital advertising. This is due to external elements starting to constrict ad budgets, meaning the money spent on ads doesn’t seem to be going as far as it used to, triggering the shift to the social marketing methods.

There has been talk in previous months about decreasing ad budget, so it will be interesting to see how this will impact they way marketers use paid media moving forward.

Generative AI’s impact (so far), and what can we expect in the future?

The more we see generative AI being used in our digital marketing practices, the more questions on the potential impact AI might have on the industry arises. One of the biggest concerns is in regard to design – are we killing art with AI? Previously in this series we have discussed the potential copyright issues that might be associated with AI generated art, but do the repercussions go beyond that? If we continue to use AI to generate quick designs for our content marketing collateral, will we lose our creative spark? Will everything start looking the same?

Design is not the only area of marketing where potential lack of creativity due to using AI is a concern – copywriters also worry about the potential impacts.

Whether we like it or not, AI is changing the digital marketing landscape, and it is important that we take all concerns about the technology into account so that we learn to thrive with the technology, and not falter.

How Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) is impacting digital marketing

Google’s new set of search features, SGE, incorporates results powered by AI into search engine queries. Though there are many of them, every update Google makes is bound to have some sort of impact on organic search (SEO), so it will be interesting to see how this new update might also have an impact. While an impact is yet to be determined, the potential challenges are as follows:

  • The AI powered search summaries are likely to decrease the organic user interactions with links
  • Unique, professional and helpful content will be more crucial
  • SEO strategies are likely to be impacted, so updates will need to be made

Changing consumer behaviours and their impact on search

While in 2022 the biggest threat to Google was Amazon, more recently TikTok is increasing in favourability as a search engine for the younger generations. This changes a lot for digital marketers, as they need to start considering SEO for platforms other than traditional search engines.

Digital marketing trends to watch

An interesting article by Streetwise Journal summarises the digital marketing trends and innovations to watch in 2023. They list the following as the top 5:

  • Live chat applications & AI chatbots
  • Influencer collaboration
  • Implementation of automation
  • Voice search optimisation
  • Increase in social media marketing

AI to speed up ad processes

While there is often debate about using AI for the creative process, most people agree that for speeding up processes with automation, AI is the way forward. By creating automations for things such as…

  • Subtle tone of voice differences between social media platforms
  • Keyword research, including finding negative keywords
  • Taking into consideration character count limitations

…digital advertisers can speed up processes, and limit the amount of repetitive or mundane tasks in their workload.

New market statistics for global advertising

Recent research has had valued the digital advertising market at $600 billion, and its forecasted to rise to $950 billion by 2030. It is thought that this increase is due to an increase in:

  • Demand for short content and video ads
  • Expanding ad coverage across the internet
  • People using smartphones for internet access

Amazon uses AI to summarise reviews

Customer product reviews are great for marketing purposes, and can help influence clickthrough rate. Recently, the eCommerce giant, Amazon, have started using AI software to summarise lengthy product reviews, and use them to highlight product pros and cons. As this rolls out, marketers need to keep an eye on the impact it might be having on their marketing efforts.

Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results

85% of consumers want to see more video content from brands. With TikTok positioning itself as a search engine, and traditional search engines starting to include more visual aspects to search, it is no wonder that video marketing is on the rise. The reasons for this increase are theorised below:

  • Video is more engaging than text or static imagery
  • Video can be shared easily across a multitude of platforms
  • Video can boost organic search and social media engagement

European Union hit Google with new antitrust charges

Regulators at the European Union have hit the well known search engine Google, with charges of violating antitrust laws. This is the fourth time in recent years that Google have been charged with violating said laws; on this occasion, it is said that Google is abusing its online advertising power to undercut rivals. The EU have stated that they may have to break up Google’s ad business. It will be interesting to see how this might impact businesses using the platform to advertise Europe, if the break up plan is implemented.

Labelling AI created content as ‘AI generated’

There has been some discussion recently on whether all AI generated content should be labelled as such; sparking the debate is ad agency Oglivy. This article by The Drum Recommends expands the idea behind this: using the example of influencer marketing, there is a level of trust and authenticity behind marketing in such a way – whereas there is the potential to lose this trust where AI generated content is concerned.

If this plan moves forward, and all AI generated content has to be labelled in the future, it will be interesting to see how this impacts search marketing, and how search engines adapt their algorithm to these changes.


More on ChatGPT…is it the future of digital marketing?

AI technology and its impact on digital and search marketing has been a hot topic for month now. Opinions on how/if it should be used for marketing purposes differ significantly. This article by Film Daily claims that it is the ‘future of digital marketing’. They list several reasons why they think this is the case:

  • Enhanced user experience
  • Real-time customer support
  • Personalised marketing campaigns
  • Improved SEO strategies
  • Data-driven insights

Though the article makes some interesting points, there is still a lot of debate on the validity behind this, and the wider impact AI generated content has on digital marketing.

Future proofing digital marketing in an AI world

AI is rapidly enveloping itself in the world of digital marketing, and we are having to adapt our processes the accommodate to this technology. As time goes on, it is important that these new strategies we develop have longevity, and are strong enough to uphold during future change. This article by Search Engine Land has some useful tips on how to future proof your digital marketing in the world of AI:

  • Use entity search as a competitive advantage
  • Make content discoverable
  • Saturate all Google properties
  • Implement mobile search best practices
  • Optimise for visual search
  • Enhance clickability, interaction, and engagement
  • Personalisation

Machine Learning & SEO

Machine learning is a type of AI that looks for patterns in data, and then uses this to adapt and learn, growing stronger as time goes on. There are many potential applications for this in search marketing, giving digital marketers the ability to automate data processing and analysis. In terms of SEO, machine learning could be used for:

  • Keyword research and analysis
  • Content optimisation
  • Segmenting target audiences

Digital Marketing Benchmark Report 2023

The Digital Marketing Benchmark Report 2023 has released its latest findings about the digital marketing landscape; some of the more interesting statistics from the report below:

  • Remote work has improved digital marketing for 68.7% of businesses
  • SEO (35.1%) and content creation/storytelling (33.6%) were listed as the top key skills for digital marketers
  • 57.1% focus on customer engagement in their digital marketing


Digital creators expanding beyond social media

This past weekend, digital creators from all over gathered to talk everything the future might bring for video media at Vidcon. Video media has evolved significantly over the years, and from discussions over the weekend it doesn’t look like things are going to stop anytime soon. One of the main themes discussed amongst the digital creators was the idea that video creation is no longer just being confined to social media and expanding across the web.

The popularity of video moving from social media, and into more traditional search engine searches, or being used more frequently in content marketing is guaranteed to have an effect on search marketing. We are already seeing changes to search engines showing more visual and video content on their search engines – it is likely that this trend will continue.

AI filling junk sites to attract advertisers

AI is a hot topic among digital marketers – and this is one of the reasons why; AI is starting to be used to fill junk websites with content, making them look realistic and attracting paying advertisers, according to the media research organisation. 

The research suggests that over 140 major brands could be paying for ads on unreliable websites, and 90% of these were served by Google. This is interesting for two reasons:

  1. Digital advertisers need to be more aware where their ads are being served
  2. Are Google as adept at picking up AI generated content as they claim to be?

A new digital era is emerging

Virtual realty (VR) has been around for a while now, but it has only recently started to become a major player in the search marketing landscape. With Apple, Meta, and other major brands launching (or announcing the launch of) brand new tech, that encompasses the real world into the digital one, digital marketers need to consider the impact this will have on digital and search marketing in the future.

While naturally creative in nature, digital marketers will need to put extra creativity into future marketing efforts, as we adapt to a new era of the digital world.

25% growth in customer satisfaction for companies using AI

In 2023, customer satisfaction is estimated to grow by 25% for companies that are making use of new AI technology. With this in mind, it is important for marketers to consider where they can be using AI technology to optimise their processes. Currently, marketers are using AI technology to better understand their customers and how to communicate with them effectively, and analyse data to aid with trend identification.

As AI advances further, it is likely that not only will the use of AI for the above will be ramped up, but we will also find uses for AI to advance other areas of marketing.

New research shows 52% of digital marketers focus on reach rather than ROI

Digital marketers use a wide array of channels to reach their target audience, such as:

  • Email
  • Social media marketing
  • Organic search

Emerging research has found that the majority of marketers find it difficult to measure the ROI on these channels – and so put a greater focus on reach. While it is important for digital marketers to obtain a measure of reach, making more effort to understand the ROI of a marketing efforts will overall help us create a stronger and more successful marketing strategy.

New statistics showing the use of AI in content marketing

New research from Bynder has found that 55% of digital marketers currently use AI for content production. The ways in which AI is being used includes:

  • Creating first drafts (54%)
  • Content optimisation (43%)
  • Checking spelling and grammar (42%)
  • Creating summaries, or paraphrasing (38%)

Updates from the Cannes Lions

Despite a year of budget cuts and layoffs in the digital advertising industry – the Cannes Lions festival celebrating all things advertising was as lively as ever! Amidst all the networking and partying, AI within the digital advertising industry was discussed massively. With demos of new AI tech from the likes of Google, Meta & Microsoft – it is clear that the big digital advertising players are putting a huge focus on AI moving forward, defining it as the future of the industry.

Help your brand stay ahead of emerging trends to remain present and relevant in the competitive market, and speak to our experts at Click Consult today!

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