What's New and Noteworthy in Digital Marketing Today
Posted at May 22, 2019 12:56:25 PM by THAT Agency | Share
Giants like Google, Facebook, YouTube, and WordPress seem to dominate the headlines of most digital marketing news topics. This summary of what's new and noteworthy in digital marketing today is no exception, but it does run the gamut from search engine marketing to web design and development, covering practical news today's digital marketers can use.
Please use the anchor links to jump to each digital marketing news item you wish to read:
Discovery Ads are new native ads with the ability to reach 800 million users globally by utilizing the in-market audience targeting in the Google Ads platform. Although in beta now, these new ads are expected to launch within Q3 of 2019. In our opinion, these ads are great for general awareness and large audience brands. Although not as targeted as paid search, Discovery Ads are comparable to display ads that stay within the Google feed environments (i.e., Google News, YouTube, etc.).
Gallery Ads are one of the most exciting ad announcements from Google Marketing Live 2019. Like Bing’s Image Extensions and Facebook’s Carousel Ads, the new Google Gallery Ads are made to feature rich images on mobile formats. Advertisers can set up these ads similarly to any search campaign, but the ads can feature four to eight product images in a carousel-like format.
Also in beta, Gallery Ads are expected to be released in Q3 of 2019 and will reportedly increase ad interactions by almost 25% (according to Google’s tests). Although these ads are worth testing for yourself, they may be costly as they not only carry a cost per click, but also a cost per swipe comes into play after the third swipe.
To provide users with more transparency regarding how websites are using cookies, Google Chrome will be making changes to how cookies work in its browser. Chrome will allow users to clear cross-site cookies they don’t want while keeping logins and single domain cookies. Google also stated that it will be “reducing the ways in which browsers can be passively fingerprinted” and that it wants to “give users more visibility into the data used to personalize ads and the companies involved in the process.”
Google recently announced it will be transcribing podcasts to make it easier for users of its Podcast App to search for content in the platform. There is speculation that these transcriptions will be introduced into the Google Search index, meaning that podcasts could start to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Is your business utilizing podcasts? The New York Times reported on March 6, 2019 that 40% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 listened to a podcast within the last month. (That’s an increase of 10% from 2018.) Podcasts could be a good way for your business to reach this demographic while potentially gaining exposure in Google’s SERPs.
Facebook is making changes to its video ranking algorithm. There are three main factors that will affect video ranking: 1) Loyalty and intent: videos that people return to will be given more ranking weight; 2) Video viewings and duration: more ranking weight will be added to videos that keep viewers engaged, especially videos over three minutes long; and 3) Originality: Facebook will reward videos that are original content and will demote video content from pages involved in sharing schemes to discourage content repurposing. Going forward, these are important attributes THAT Agency will keep in mind when creating and editing video content for its client partners.
As a mobile user, you may have noticed Facebook’s change in branding. The platform has ditched its iconic blue menu bar and replaced it with a cleaner, white design. This redesigned look was officially announced at F8, Facebook's annual developer conference in San Jose, California. In addition to Facebook’s “facelift,” the social media giant appears to be focusing more on groups and less on news feeds. THAT Agency’s social media marketing team is monitoring the organic reach of its client partners to see if the shift toward Facebook groups makes an impact.
Facebook rolled out its Dealer Hub on Monday, May 13, 2019. It includes a multitude of dealer resources such as a Dealer Playbook, Dealer-Specific Blueprint Course, and Dealer Video Hub. Facebook recommends that dealerships market their brands just as much as their auto inventories. While all ad types are available to dealerships, Automotive Inventory Ads and Marketplace Ads are optimized specifically for dealerships. Facebook also recommends utilizing dealership CRMs to build customer loyalty (e.g., creating lease maturity campaigns, service campaigns, etc.).
In addition, since the platform is now able to track offline events, Facebook recommends setting these events up, so that dealerships can tell how many people saw their ads, how many people saw their ads and clicked, and of those, how many came into the dealerships to purchase vehicles or service their automobiles. If Facebook Dealer Hub is something you’d like to explore for your dealership, contact us!
In the coming months, people will be able to see and manager their off-Facebook activity. This gives users more transparency and control over what it is shared. If users disconnect their off-Facebook activities, advertisers will not have that data for targeting—even with the Facebook pixel. This would also affect custom audiences built from web visits and apps. THAT Agency will keep this in mind when developing strategies for these kinds of campaigns in the second half of 2019 and beyond, and we recommend other Facebook advertisers follow suit.
Instagram is testing hiding like counts on posts. This is already being implemented in Canada. If this change is rolled out in the U.S., you will still be able to see the like counts on your own posts, but those counts will not appear in viewers’ timelines. Despite this, the engagement metric would still impact how the algorithm ranks a post. The team at THAT Agency is staying tuned to see what unfolds!
YouTube announced it is working on a “Bumper Machine” that cuts videos down automatically to a six-second spot. For companies with 30-to-90-second commercials, this tool will reduce those commercials down to six-second ads that are perfect for pre-roll advertising. Since it’s likely that the machine will not get the edit right the first time, the tool will create four variations available for selection. There is not an expected launch date, but the feature will hopefully be live in 2019.
The platform will soon offer non-video, still-image advertising that will appear within the YouTube Home feed. The “Discovery Ads” will use audience targeting based on user activity. Give us a call at 561-832-6262 if this is something you’d like THAT Agency to explore in advertising your brand!
Machines have been writing formulaic articles for years. However, these articles are neither “creative” nor enjoyable. But what about AI? Isn’t AI designed to be smarter than the average machine? In some instances, yes. When it comes to writing good articles though, the answer is – emphatically – no. Avoid AI article writers like the plague or your content will lack narrative purpose and be borderline plagiarism. (SEO tip: Google frowns upon both.)
THAT Agency is now a certified partner of CallRail. This industry-leading tool for call tracking helps businesses more fully and reliably measure marketing performance.
Exciting new CallRail features include a Chat Module coming in Q3 that will integrate with your website to track attribution and user experiences. The snippet on your website will integrate with providers like Drift and gather user information while cross referencing with call tracking.
In addition, CallRail now provides a full omni-channel attribution report. The forms built within the CallRail platform gather user information that is also cross referenced with the phone tracking to deduplicate users in the “CRM.” By utilizing the forms, CallRail also pulls through the user page paths and any additional data that can be provided to help close the gap between Google Analytics and full attribution reporting.
Call recording is a CallRail feature we recommend to our clients, as it helps with sales training and call valuation. When recording incoming sales calls, the keyword-spotting AI also can provide a score that ultimately helps you identify the true cost per lead (CPL) of your efforts.
13. Mailchimp Rolls Out All-in-One Marketing Platform
Mailchimp has added what it calls a Marketing CRM, as well as the ability to create Facebook and Instagram ads, to its free package. Its paid packages build upon the free version by adding bells and whistles like new predictive modeling and Google remarketing ad capabilities. Learn more about Mailchimp’s all-in-one marketing platform here.
Microsoft Word will be rolling out a new AI-powered feature called “Ideas.” Ideas will go beyond grammar checking to try to help you improve your writing by making suggestions as to how you can reword sentences more concisely and correct things like passive voice. For readers, the Ideas feature will extract key points from a document for a summary review. Overall, this sounds like a win-win!
A progressive web app is easiest to describe as a hybrid of a native responsive web page and a native phone app. The benefits of a progressive web app vs. a native responsive web page are that the icon for the app can be added to the home screen of a mobile device, the app can send push notifications and appear on the apps list (if packaged as an installable android package), the app can work offline once installed, and browsers do not affect user experience. If you’re interested in having a progressive web app developed for your product, service, or brand, let’s chat!
Version 5.2 of WordPress is now available for download. Named “Jaco” after the renowned jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, version 5.2 includes updates to site health, PHP error protection, accessibility, dashboard icons, and plugin compatibility checks. Learn more here. (Pro tip: Never update to a new version of WordPress without first making a backup. Feel free to contact THAT Agency for help with this!)
As more people and things have become connected to the internet, flaws in security architecture, combined with the sheer volume of personal information collected, have led to several high-profile data breaches and leaks. It was discovered in late 2018 that the data of roughly 500 million customers of Marriot products and services were stolen. The stolen data ranged from name and contact information to passport and credit card numbers. This is just one of the more recent large-scale data breaches and, while it affected a huge number of people, it was nothing compared to the Yahoo breach a few years back that caused roughly 3 billion people’s data to be compromised.
Because of these high-profile data breaches, people and companies alike are being more careful about what data they give out and what data they store. Previous methods of safekeeping personal information, such as using social media platforms as login credentials due to their ever-evolving security methods, is no longer considered a safe alternative. Basically, when it comes to data, the web design and development team at THAT Agency recommends “don’t take what you don’t need” as the current best way forward.