marketing

Digital Marketing Updates: In Case You Missed It

Digital Marketing Updates: In Case You Missed It

Tucker Andrews

Technology develops at the speed of thought nowadays, and it’s literally impossible to keep up with everything. All it takes is a media blitz about the merger of two gargantuan tech companies, or the launch of an internet-slinging satellite which explodes due to an apparent UFO, to eclipse other newsworthy stories. So we put together these catchall summaries of a few significant, digitally relevant stories from the last few months, in case you missed it. Here are four developments that may improve your brand's ability to take better advantage of the digital marketplace.

1. Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

What is it?

A Google Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) is a lightning-fast, sub-second loading HTML page that delivers bitesize content (blog articles, press releases, announcements) via mobile organic search results primarily on Google. When a user taps the link, the AMP content immediately loads and provides the potential for text, photos, videos, links, ads and more. It features an instant single-tap return to search results.

Why is it important?

On average, AMP content loads in less than one second, and consumes 10X less data than conventional pages. The average non-AMP mobile page loads in about 22 seconds. The typical bounce rate from a loading mobile page is about three seconds. This means mobile users will begin to prefer the AMP experience, looking for the AMP logo (a lightning bolt in a circle) first in their search results. Additionally, early adopters are seeing a significant improvement in multiple metrics including clickthrough rate and time spent on a page. Google says AMPs do not currently receive a rankings boost, however they did suggest that AMP content will be favored over mobile-friendly pages. That last sentence should raise your eyebrows. Also, within the AMP content, ads can tap through to an AMP ad landing page that loads lightning fast as well.

What does it mean for your business?

First of all, you can bet your competition is going to get on this bandwagon sooner or later. For a temporary advantage, you should do it sooner. If your brand places a high priority on competing for users’ attention through mobile organic search results for content marketing, AMP is for you. And, if your competitors are gaining an advantage over you through their use of mobile-friendly pages, AMP could be for you. To be clear, content marketing is just the beginning for AMP. Early adopters have included publishers like news outlets, but ecommerce is on deck. Stay tuned for more insights about how AMP will affect mobile shopping and conversion rates for online direct marketing.

It is important to note that Google created this nifty improvement to keep users within the Google platform while consuming content rather than directing them to the search result URL. That matters a lot. Think of this as a two lap race. The first lap is getting to market first with AMP content; the second lap is optimizing that content to maximize tap-through rates. The ultimate trick to leveraging Google AMP content is motivating your users to tap through to your site for more info (or tapping your ad within the AMP to an AMP landing page), instead of swiping to the next AMP in the slideshow or tapping back to search results.

Further reading on Google AMP:

2. Instagram Stories

What is it?

Let’s call it what it is. Instagram, inspired by the success of Snapchat Stories, created Instagram Stories. This new feature enables you to post multiple photos and videos in a slideshow format that will disappear after 24 hours. You can also add text, drawings, filters, and other effects. There are no likes or comments on the posts, but you can receive private messages concerning your stories, and you can see who viewed your story as well as views for each clip (photo or video) within your story.

Why is it important?

Instagram Stories don’t spam your followers’ timeline because it vanishes after 24 hours. So if you’re concerned about being perceived as an “over poster” this feature alleviates that problem. Also, some brands like the functionality of Snapchat Stories but feel their target audience is more Instagram-centric, so this is the solution.

What does it mean for your business?

The hidden gem for this feature is user discovery. When your follower is in the mood to check out the latest Instagram Stories from the people and brands they follow, your creation is automatically added to the menu list at the top of the screen. Here’s the kicker. Instagram Stories autoplay once tapped, and the playlist automatically moves on to the next story and launches into autoplay. That means your follower is likely to see your story without intentionally seeking out your content. This is a great way to gain measurable exposure by having your branded content included in your followers’ Instagram Stories playlist of recent posts.

Further reading on Instagram Stories:

3. Instagram Keyword Moderation Tool

What is it?

Instagram has created a word (keyword) filter that allows you to hide comments on your own posts that contain words you deem to be offensive or inappropriate. You can choose your own list of words that justify hiding the comment or you can use the default list provided by Instagram. This new functionality is an addition to the existing Instagram moderation tools, including swiping to delete comments, reporting inappropriate comments, and blocking specific accounts.

Why is it important?

This is Instagram’s ongoing attempt to provide a friendly, inclusive environment where people feel free to share their creativity without the fear of being verbally attacked or bullied. As our digital lifestyle continues to evolve, these kinds of safeguards help ensure an open atmosphere of sharing. Just like a respectable restaurant may ask a belligerent patron to leave the premises, a brand also has the responsibility to moderate their digital properties.

What does it mean for your business?

Whether it be a hostile person or a trolling competitor, this tool makes it even easier for your business to keep the peace and maintain a welcoming environment. Specifically, this new moderated keyword tool allows your business to automate much of the moderation process, reducing the number of times your social manager needs to stop what they’re doing to hide a comment on Instagram.

Further reading on the Instagram keyword moderation tool:

4. Facebook Audience Optimization

What is it?

Facebook’s Audience Optimization tool allows a publisher to more accurately target audiences through three features: preferred audience, audience restrictions, and audience insights. Essentially, Facebook is helping publishers more accurately target organic posts to specific target audiences and interests.

Why is it important?

As Facebook continues to morph and change the way they allow publishers to use their platform, it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to gain decent organic traction on posts. Putting revenue behind a post tends to generate significantly more engagement, as a general rule. This tool makes it easier for your brand to get better organic results without the ad spend on Facebook.

What does it mean for your business?

If you’re looking to maximize your organic Facebook posts for your business, using the Audience Optimization tool is highly recommended. This could lead to reprioritizing your boost budget to be more aggressive with the most important posts on your content calendar. If you can get the engagement you were hoping for organically instead of paying for a small boost, then you can pool that small boost budget for a bigger boost on a single, important post.

Further reading on Facebook's Audience Optimization tool: