Monthly Industry Roundup: January 2016
Location3 Media News: 2016 is off and running, and the first thing the New Year brought us was Vince Chirico, who has joined Location3 as VP of Business Development. Vince brings more than 15 years of digital advertising and e-commerce experience to Location3, and we’re excited to have him.
President Alex Porter presented at Destination Hotels’ Living Above the Line Conference, held at La Cantera Hill Country Resort in San Antonio. Porter spoke about the changing landscape of search and search marketing.
We also welcomed guest co-hosts, Location3 Chairman Andrew Beckman and Spire Digital CEO Michael Gellman for Episode 21 of Digital Shoptalk. The two experts give their predictions for the industry in 2016.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEARCH?
AOL Web Search Powered by Bing
Growing market share through partnerships, Bing now provides search across all devices for AOL. Advertisers on Bing can expect a 5-8% lift in overall traffic due to this change, so budgets should be monitored carefully.
Bing Keyword Planner Upgraded
Search marketers benefit when advances are made to products that specialize in keyword research. Ideas that come from the output of a specific toolset may be different when using an alternative, so the enhancements are a welcome change. New capabilities include: competitive insights and benchmarking, customizable ad group and keyword bids, a new source for keyword suggestions and time-range customization up to 24 months for keyword search volume.
Mobile Search on the Rise
According to the Adobe Digital Index, mobile spend is now 37% of all SEM spend (up 23% YoY). Smartphones contributed to most of the mobile growth in Q4 (up 51% YoY), while tablet share continued to shrink (down 9% YoY). Even though the anticipated growth in mobile is becoming a reality, in an interesting quote from the article, the way we view cross-device conversion must be considered, “The caveat here is that a mobile click doesn’t convert as well once a consumer is on the website. So marketers should be aware that there’s going to be a gap between traffic and conversion, which means they have to think about how to optimize that.”
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN DISPLAY?
Politicians Using Digital Media More Than Ever
Being in the digital world, we don’t have to worry about the political season affecting our campaigns too much, but as consumer behaviors change, political media buys follow suit. The Obama campaign in 2010 was the first to use digital media, and the popularity has grown since then as the targeting and reporting has improved and shown success. It likely will never got to a point that political buys impact the average advertiser’s digital campaign simply due to the amount of inventory available online. But from a customer perspective, it is something we will have to get used to seeing.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CONTENT?
Brands Still Struggle to Embrace Transparency
Pricing transparency isn’t a new idea in content marketing, but it’s one many brands continue to struggle with embracing. Content experts agree transparency leads to many Big Goals including brand trust, loyalty and a competitive edge. A lack of transparency can degrade even the most powerful brands. When posts alleging McDonald’s used plastics as ingredients went viral, the fast food giant was forced to create an entire transparency campaign titled “Our Food. Your Questions” to address the rumors. Instead consider Everlane, an online-only fashion brand that is built on transparency. Why do Everlane sandals cost $105? They break down the cost and compare it to traditional retailers to give consumers the real story. So what’s holding you back from being transparent with your customers?
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CREATIVE?
Victoria & Albert Create Silly But Captivating Site
Warning: this link may result in extreme losses of productivity. The Victoria & Albert Museum (a world leader in art and design curation) developed an amazing site where you can design your own 18th Century wig. Sound silly? It is. But it’s also incredibly captivating. This sort of interactive creative experience would be a wonderful play for fashion, cosmetics and accessory brands.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN LOCAL?
Apple Street View Under Development
Recent evidence suggests that Apple is collecting data for a street view-like feature. According to their site, vehicles will be out collecting data in the US, UK and France. Assuming Apple is happy about the low gas prices – they’ve got a lot of miles to cover.
Top Local SEO Blogs Announced
Given the choice of 35 industry local SEO blogs, 554 votes were cast to rank the blogs by who regularly publishes relevant, high quality local search content. The top 3 include (in order): Blumenthals, Moz, SearchEngingeLand. Blumenthal won top honors for the third year in a row. Congrats to Mike!
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN ANALYTICS?
Power BI Announced “Publish to Web” Preview
What this means is that Microsoft Power BI not only allows users to tell compelling stories with interactive visualization, but also to let them easily share visuals by embedding it on their own website or other forms of commutation, such as email and social media. This makes it easier for Power BI to be shared externally, which is one the biggest challenges for many companies offering solutions for presentation layers.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEO?
Hackers Target Content
Google maintains that a spike in hacked content is not related to its hacked content algorithm update, but there are several reports indicating that spam content is becoming more common in 2016. Tony Edward via Search Engine Land shared some tips for ensuring your site won’t be a victim:
- You must keep an eye on your website every day from a health, SEO and usability standpoint.
- Ensure your site has been added to both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Ensure your platform, plugins, add-ons and so on are all updated on a frequent basis
- Strong, unique, long passwords help prevent hackers from being able to guess your login.
- Select a well-known hosting provider
- You need to ensure all your data is backed up and stored elsewhere
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SOCIAL
Social Media Reach is Growing
Each quarter Nielsen reports on media vehicle usage for the US population, and they have now added social media to their reporting. The most recent study found that social media reaches about 65% of the US population. This is a 13% increase from the same time frame one year ago. While social media doesn’t have the reach of other traditional media, it is one that is growing and at a very fast pace.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN VIDEO?
Online Exposure a Growing Presence in Super Bowl Ads
We witnessed one of the biggest TV events of the year, while also celebrating a Denver Broncos World Championship! Every year, spots are getting released online sooner and sooner. With our video-viewing behaviors changing, so does the distribution of advertising messages, even when those advertisers spend millions of dollars to have their spots run in the “big game”. What’s even more interesting is that 51% of people said they had not seen some Super Bowl ads last year, and had only seen them online.