February Digital Marketing Industry Update | Loop Digital

February Digital Marketing Industry Update | Loop Digital

Mel is our Partner Strategy & Delivery Manager and also a CIM Chartered Marketer, a testament to her commitment to excellence in the field. But Mel’s contributions don’t stop at the office door. Beyond her professional endeavours, she leads an active life as a qualified run leader and dedicated volunteer. Her experience in these roles has streamlined her leadership and teamwork skills, making her an invaluable asset when it comes to collaborating on projects and ensuring their success. Her sharp insights, strategic thinking, and knowledge have made her a backbone in our team’s ability to drive results for clients in this industry. Mel will make sure that we can approach marketing challenges from all angles and deliver outstanding results for our clients. Posted on 05/03/2024 by Melanie Comerford February Digital Marketing Industry Update Welcome to our February digital marketing industry update! This month has seen a flurry of changes and developments across various platforms and functionalities. From the introduction of new features to algorithm updates and evolving user behaviours, staying informed is key to navigating the ever-changing digital landscape. SEO Updates Carousel Rich Results Google introduces a new format showcasing products, local businesses, and events in search results. This “carousel” format allows users to swipe through a series of relevant options, potentially impacting how lists appear in search and influencing user behaviour. This could benefit businesses with visually appealing products or strong local presences by increasing their chances of standing out in search results. However, it’s crucial for businesses to optimise their listings with high-quality images, descriptions, and relevant keywords to take advantage of this new format. Google Business Profile Website Shutdown Websites created with Google Business Profiles will shut down in March. Redirects will be in place until June 10th. This change forces businesses to migrate their websites to alternative platforms like Wix, WordPress, or Shopify. Avoid disruption by letting our web team migrate for you. It’s important for businesses to act before March to avoid any disruption in their online presence. Consider factors like ease of use, scalability, and cost when choosing a new website builder. Generative AI and Marketing Jobs Gartner reports that generative AI is creating job uncertainty in the marketing field. These AI tools can automate tasks like content creation, ad copywriting, and even basic campaign management. While this may lead to job losses in some areas, it also creates opportunities for new roles focused on managing and overseeing AI tools, ensuring ethical use, and integrating them into existing marketing strategies. Upskilling and staying informed about emerging technologies is crucial for marketers to remain relevant in this evolving landscape. Reddit and Google’s Data-Sharing Deal This deal involves sharing data to enhance search functionalities. While the specific details of the data being shared are not public, it suggests a closer collaboration between Google and Reddit. This could potentially benefit both platforms: Google could gain access to valuable user data to improve search results, while Reddit could see increased traffic and user engagement through better search visibility. However, concerns around data privacy and user control over their information need to be carefully considered. Google SGE in Development Google Search Experience (SGE) is still under development and testing. This new search experience aims to utilise AI to provide users with more relevant and personalised search results. The specifics of AGE are still evolving, but it could potentially involve features like interactive search results, voice search advancements, and a more visually engaging interface. Businesses should monitor the development of SGE and adapt their SEO strategies accordingly, potentially focusing on optimising content for voice search and ensuring it aligns with the evolving search landscape. GA4 Update Google Analytics 4 just got an update that streamlines reporting within the Advertising workspace. This means marketers can now analyse ad campaign performance data with greater ease, making it simpler to track key metrics and optimise campaigns for better results. Need help navigating these changes and maximising your campaign performance? Visit our marketing consultancy page to learn how our team of experts can assist you. TikTok in Featured Snippets Google is now showcasing TikTok videos in featured snippets as part of the SGE update. This integration expands the range of content types displayed in featured snippets, potentially impacting how users discover information. Businesses with a strong presence on TikTok and high-quality, informative videos could benefit from this change by gaining increased visibility in search results. However, it’s crucial to ensure video content aligns with search intent and provides valuable information to users. Not sure how to leverage social media in your marketing strategy? Our marketing team can kickstart your social media presence today. Core Web Vitals Update Google Core Web Vitals will include “Interaction to Next Paint” starting March 12th, impacting website speed measurements. This new metric focuses on how quickly a website responds to user interaction, such as clicking a button. This update emphasises the importance of website speed and responsiveness for both user experience and SEO ranking. Businesses should optimise their websites for speed and responsiveness to ensure a positive user experience and maintain good search ranking. PPC Updates: Third-Party Cookie Deprecation Google emphasises the need to adopt alternative solutions as they address concerns surrounding the deprecation of third-party cookies. This deprecation will significantly impact how advertisers track user behaviour and target ads. Businesses should explore alternative solutions like contextual targeting, first-party data collection, and leveraging Google’s Privacy Sandbox initiatives to adapt their advertising strategies. Low-Activity Ad Pause What it is: Google Ads will automatically pause ad groups that haven’t received any impressions (views) in the past 13 months. Impact: This aims to streamline ad management and prevent businesses from paying for inactive ads. Action for advertisers: Regularly monitor campaigns and adjust bids or keywords when performance drops to avoid pauses. New PPC Ad Format Testing What it is: Google is testing a new ad format, but details are scarce. Impact: The format might introduce new ways to showcase ads and engage users. Action for advertisers: Stay informed about industry news to learn about the new format once details are revealed. YouTube Create App Launch What it is: YouTube launches an app called “YouTube Create” for editing short and long videos directly on phones. Impact: This empowers creators to edit content on the go, potentially increasing video ad campaign options. Action for advertisers: Consider incorporating short-form video content (e.g., YouTube Shorts) into ad strategies to leverage the growing audience and explore creator partnerships through the YouTube Create app. GA4 Default Google Ads Report What it is: Google Analytics 4 (GA4) now offers a pre-built report specifically for Google Ads data. Impact: This simplifies campaign performance analysis within GA4, saving time and effort. Action for advertisers: Utilise the new report to gain insights into ad campaign performance directly within GA4. Search Partner Network Update What it is: Google removes the option to opt out of the Search Partner Network (SPN), but offers increased control and data within the network. Impact: Advertisers are no longer able to completely avoid showing ads on partner websites but gain more control over placement and insights into SPN performance. Action for advertisers: Analyse SPN performance data and use the provided controls to optimise ad placement and potentially exclude specific partner sites if needed. Instagram Creator Marketplace Expansion What it is: Instagram expands its creator marketplace, making it easier for brands to connect with creators for ad campaigns. Impact: This simplifies the process of finding and collaborating with relevant influencers for targeted advertising. Action for advertisers: Leverage the expanded marketplace to identify creators who align with your brand and target audience for impactful ad campaigns. Performance Max and Gemini Integration What it is: Google Performance Max integrates with Gemini, a creative intelligence platform, to enhance ad creatives and improve optimization. Impact: This integration aims to generate more effective ad variations and improve overall campaign performance. Action for advertisers: Consider utilising Performance Max campaigns and explore integrating Gemini for potentially better ad creative generation and optimization. GA4 Consent Mode Setting What it is: GA4 introduces a new setting allowing more control over user consent for data collection. Impact: This empowers advertisers to comply with evolving data privacy regulations. Action for advertisers: Understand the various consent mode options and configure GA4 settings to adhere to relevant data privacy regulations and user consent preferences. Meta Acknowledges Ad Budget Overstep What it is: Meta (formerly Facebook) acknowledges exceeding campaign spending caps set by advertisers. Impact: This raises concerns about platform accountability and budget control for advertisers. Action for advertisers: Closely monitor campaign budgets and consider implementing stricter spending limits or exploring alternative advertising platforms. Stricter Misrepresentation Policy What it is: Google enforces a stricter policy against misrepresentation in ads. Violations may lead to ad account suspension or ban. Impact: This aims to ensure transparency and prevent misleading advertising practices. Action for advertisers: Ensure all ad claims are accurate, truthful, and avoid making misleading or deceptive statements. Yelp Ad Revenue Growth What it is: Yelp reports a 13% increase in ad revenue for the fourth quarter of 2024. Impact: This signifies the potential effectiveness of advertising on Yelp, particularly for businesses in relevant categories. Action for advertisers: Consider Yelp advertising as a potential avenue to reach local customers, especially if your business falls within categories heavily utilised by the platform’s user base. Saving Commission on iOS Boosted Posts What it is: Boosting posts from a desktop or mobile browser saves 30% commission on Apple’s iOS compared to in-app boosting. Impact: This incentivizes using desktop or mobile web for boosting posts on Facebook and Instagram on iOS devices. Action for advertisers: Utilise desktop or mobile Social Media Updates: Threads Sees Steady Growth The alternative social media platform Threads, often seen as a competitor to Twitter, has reached 130 million users. This signifies steady growth and positions the platform as a potential contender in the social media landscape. Users can explore Threads to connect with friends, follow interests, and discover new communities. Businesses might also consider establishing a presence on Threads to reach this growing audience. Snapchat Repositions Itself In a new ad campaign, Snapchat positions itself as the “antidote to social media.” The campaign emphasises features like disappearing messages and real-life connection as alternatives to the negativity associated with other platforms. This approach aims to attract users seeking a different social media experience, potentially impacting user demographics and fostering a unique platform culture. Whether you find Snapchat’s approach appealing depends on your social media preferences. Businesses should determine if Snapchat aligns with their target audience and brand image. Instagram Tests New Features Instagram is experimenting with two new features. “Friend Map” allows users to share their live location with chosen friends, potentially changing how users connect and share location-based updates with close circles. Users should carefully consider if they are comfortable sharing their live location and with whom. “Backdrop” empowers creators to experiment with video backgrounds, offering more creative options. Businesses can potentially utilise “Get Orders” to streamline the in-stream product ordering experience, potentially increasing sales on Instagram. LinkedIn Prioritises Enduring Content LinkedIn is preparing a major algorithm update to prioritise “enduring content” in user feeds. This aims to elevate valuable professional insights and extend their visibility beyond the typical fleeting lifespan of social media posts. This update may lead to a shift towards more in-depth and valuable content creation on LinkedIn, impacting user engagement and content strategy. To adapt, users should consider focusing on creating high-quality, informative content that offers lasting value to their professional network. Questionable Traffic Surge on Platform X A report claims that a recent surge in traffic for platform X was fabricated. This raises concerns about the reliability of X’s reported user numbers and the potential for data manipulation. Users should be mindful of the information they encounter online and exercise caution when evaluating platform usage statistics. Keeping You In The Loop The digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and staying informed is crucial for success. To ensure you don’t miss the next industry update, subscribe to our mailing list. In addition to these updates, we’re passionate about helping businesses thrive in the digital world. If you need any assistance with your marketing strategy, implementation, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! Looking for your next opportunity? Digital marketing careers We’re always on the lookout for talented individuals to join our ever growing team. 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