Monthly Industry Roundup: January 2014
LOCATION3 MEDIA NEWS:
When Google’s Matt Cutts announced the impending “death of guest blogging” last month, there were some very strong reactions throughout the digital marketing industry. We provided a complete take on what this means for SEO going forward, but shortly after the initial announcement, CEO Andrew Beckman joined Dave Snyder from CopyPress in a live Google Hangout to discuss the implications. In case you missed it, we’ve provided the full recording for viewing.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEARCH?
Senior Account Manager Philip Wong put together an excellent wish list for 2014 and sent it to the magical PPC Genie. Click here for details on what wishes he, and the rest of us, would like to see granted in 2014.
Many times we run across ads running in January that are still showing specials for December, or feature holiday ad copy. The holiday season may be over, but Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, so make sure your ads are showing the proper copy. Here are some great tips from Yahoo on how to remove that holiday copy and keywords.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN DISPLAY?
Are you scratching your head wondering what “Native Ads” are? Well these types of ads have actually been around for a very long time, and the industry just gave them a new buzz word. Click here for a great guide on Native Advertising and what exactly it involves.
Suppression lists and content negatives are imperative in the display space. Think of it this way: only 5% of internet traffic comes from paid search, while the rest is made up of display, content and social media. Imagine a scenario in which you’re a cruise line operator and there are many news articles about people getting sick on cruise liners. Would you want your ad for a cruise vacation to run next to these articles? Chances are, the answer is no. Click here for some more epic display ad fails.
There have been multiple studies over the years highlighting how display impacts search. However, the ongoing study from Harvard and Ozyegin University in Turkey are taking it a step further and stating that there is a delay on when it actually impacts search. While conducting this study they are working with a “large US bank”, and although we all know each industry is different, it’s still great to have this level of directional guidance. Click here to view the study and some key findings.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN VIDEO?
According to IAB’s poll of advertising executives, 75% of them plan to shift their budgets from TV to digital video. Furthermore, 73% of respondents will increase pre-roll ad spending in 2014. As we posted in our last update, Facebook is launching video and charging advertisers between $1 million and $2.5 million for a 15 second spot. A 30-second TV spot on the Super Bowl sold for $4 million this year. At Location3 we are able to work with you to develop a cohesive video plan based on GRP’s and Nielsen data. Reach out to your Location3 Account Director today for more details.
AOL Brand Group CEO Susan Lyne speaks out about video and states that AOL can’t keep up with the demand they are experiencing. Click here to watch the interview.
Yahoo also released a study in December highlighting the reasons why online video is a daily habit. It’s a relatively long report but a great read.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOBILE?
The warp-speed growth of mobile advertising is a familiar story by now, but statistics like this are still mind-blowing: mobile advertising increased a whopping 81% in the U.S. last year. View the infographic from DG MediaMind.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN LOCAL?
It is still unclear how Google’s review algorithm works. Recently an individual posted a less than great review of a local tree service that removed a maple tree from his property. Unfortunately, this review upset the owner and they demanded that the review be removed by the posting customer. Although eventually the review was removed, it was not done so by the customer or the owner, leaving him wondering why it disappeared.
Oftentimes legitimate reviews are flagged by Google as spam and removed. This can be interpreted by consumers as SMBs having the ability to request Google to remove them simply because they’re negative reviews. However, the algorithm isn’t perfect. If businesses see that reviews have disappeared or customers don’t see a review they’ve posted publish, it’s likely due to an oversight in the algorithm.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ANALYTICS?
Many of us in the world of analytics are abuzz about GDN impressions being seen in Google Analytics. We are on the private beta and are excited to use this feature to help show the impact of display on web conversions. We are also using content grouping to help clients understand how different sections of their website perform against each other. One of our favorite ways to use this feature is to monitor how well different authors’ blog entries perform, to see which authors may need some training or consulting.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEO?
As we mentioned at the top, you’ve probably heard the hullabaloo about guest blogging that exploded into the SEO-sphere on January 20th. In summary, Matt Cutts publicly and rather bluntly stated on his personal blog that guest blogging is done, having gone down the path of so many past link building techniques and declared too spammy. In days following, there was some back-tracking to clarify that “guest blogging for SEO” is done, but that legitimate guest blogging is still good as it provides a genuine value to the blog’s audience. Many conclusions have been jumped to in the past week, as often happens when Mr. Cutts makes such a bold statement with grand potential ramifications. To get our full breakdown of what this means going forward, check out our complete blog post with key takeaways you need to know.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SOCIAL?
Google+ Lets Any User Email Other Google+ Users
Google is now allowing any Google+ user to email another Google+ user even if they don’t have their email address. The messages are received within Gmail, with a note stating that they came “via your Google+ profile.” Users can opt out of receiving these emails. Email addresses will never be shared directly with any users, unless a user responds to the email. Learn more about Google+ Email.
Facebook Revises Text Updates, Adds Trending
Facebook has decreased the visibility of all text updates from brand pages, citing that text updates from pages do not get as much engagement as those from personal pages. Therefore, you may see a decrease in the distribution of your text-based posts. To combat this decrease, you should add richer posts to your Facebook page, such as photos and videos, with links to view more. Learn more about this change in Facebook’s newsroom.
Facebook also added a new feature to help users locate popular stories and conversations. Called Trending, this new feature can be found to the right of the newsfeed in the top corner. The Trending list is personalized for each user based on their interests. Clicking on any Trending topic will bring the user to feed of all Facebook posts about that subject. Learn more about Facebook Trending.
Twitter Releases Analytics for Cards, Likely to Release Ecommerce Solution
Twitter Cards allow brands to create richer experiences within Twitter by adding photos, videos, article summaries or lead gen forms. Twitter is now providing analytics data for Twitter Cards to show several metrics within three categories—URL clicks, install attempts and retweets. Learn more about new Twitter Card Analytics.
Through a pending partnership with Stripe, Twitter is close to allowing users to purchase products directly from a tweet. Little is known about how the purchases will be made, or what types of products they will focus on. What we do know is that Twitter is intent on providing features that appeal to brands, and making the platform a direct revenue-generating medium. Learn more about Twitter’s ecommerce solution.
Tumblr Releases Sponsored Posts by Yahoo Targeting
Tumblr has enhanced their sponsored posts offering by backing it with Yahoo’s targeting features. Officially called Tumblr Sponsored Posts by Yahoo Targeting, the new campaign capability allows advertisers to hone in on the right audience, test creative more effectively and accurately track performance. This makes Tumblr an even more appealing network in your paid content promotion campaign. Learn more about Tumblr Sponsored Posts by Yahoo Targeting.
Pinterest Releases Personalized Homepage, Recipe Search and GIFs
It was a busy month for Pinterest, announcing three new features—Personalized Homepages, Recipe Search and animated GIF support.
Personalized Homepage, which does not appear to be fully rolled out, shows topics that are based on the user’s pinning activity. Larger images indicate higher relevancy to that user.
Recipe Search allows users to search based on dietary requirements and preferences, such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and paleo. Users can enter a specific ingredient, and then click the dropdown button to filter based on these categories.
Pinterest also seems to be experimenting with GIFs, allowing users to see the moving images directly on Pinterest. These animated pins contain a small “GIF” button, which allows the user to play or pause the GIF. Learn more about all three Pinterest features.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CREATIVE?
Recipe for an Easy Monthly Newsletter
Generating a recurring corporate newsletter can be a tough task. This month, we put some tips together to your creativity.
- Get real: Have an articulate staffer write a brief “welcome” intro that teases the highlights of the newsletter contents. Include this alongside a small picture of their smiling face. People like reading things that come from real people.
- Provide the reader’s digest: Review your blog analytics to determine the three most popular posts from the past month. Link to these posts, briefly summarizing them and discussing why they were popular.
- Answer a question: If you receive customer questions from your website or social channels, pick one to feature in the newsletter along with your answer. This shows thought leadership and likely helps other customers with similar questions.
- Make them social: Think of ways to incorporate the social content you’re generating each month. For example, feature a popular Instagram photo from corporate profile and encourage readers to follow your feed for more.
- Pick your plug: Choose a new program, product, or service feature and toot your own horn. It is your newsletter, after all.