In early 2018, Facebook updated its News Feed algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family and deemphasize non-paid content from brand pages. The change caused a minor panic among businesses that rely on Facebook traffic and made the already bewildering world of social media marketing even more imposing. Most brands pursued a simple, straightforward solution: dump more budget into paid Facebook Ad campaigns and sponsored posts.
While a budget increase will effectively offset the visibility lost via the algorithm tweak, brands that rely solely on this strategy are missing an opportunity. In recent years, Facebook Groups have emerged as an effective social media marketing tool that, when implemented successfully, can drive organic impressions and generate customer engagement.
Facebook Groups should not be confused with Facebook Pages. The former is a gathering place for people with similar interests and connections to your company or industry; the latter is your brand’s home on Facebook, a place to provide key company information, distribute content, and publicize deals and events. Brands that successfully manage Facebook Groups invite members to initiate conversations and share their opinions. A vibrant, engaged membership can generate important insights into who your customers are, what they want from your products, and how best to reach them. Content shared in Groups is also more likely to be noticed and generate engagement than paid content – Facebook users are increasingly able to recognize and tune out ads and sponsored posts.
As a Google Premier Partner digital and social media marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media takes pride in remaining on the cutting edge of the digital marketing industry. Creating and managing an active Facebook Group isn’t a realistic solution for every business, but may be beneficial for those whose customers are active on social media and who want to foster closer relationships with their clientele.
In 2016, Google shook the digital marketing world by announcing Expanded Text Ads (ETA), a new form of paid search advertisement, double the size of the longstanding Standard Text Ad. ETAs offered brands more space to describe their products and stand out from the competition – advertisers, for the most part, loved them.
Last month, just two years after releasing ETAs, Google announced the launch of an updated format. Advertisers can now create three 30-character headlines instead of two and two 90-character descriptions instead of one 80-character one. Together, that’s 300 available characters, nearly double what was available with the old ETAs. The added real estate is a major opportunity for talented search marketers.
Your full, 300-characters ads won’t display on every screen, however. Smartphone users will continue to see two headlines and one description, so fitting all essential information into that space will be key. The third headline and second description are opportunities to get creative, expand on your value proposition, and stand out from the rest of the ads on the search engine results page (SERP).
Of course, if you’re perfectly happy with your Standard Text Ads or existing ETAs, Google won’t stop displaying them, but you may have trouble attracting clicks when they appear beside larger, more descriptive ads. And, as always, expect Google to give preference to the newest face on the digital marketing scene. Standard Text Ads and traditional ETAs are both still thriving, but they won’t be around forever.
As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media ensures that your search engine marketing ads accomplish their intended goals. We’re currently working on adding the new ETA’s to all our clients campaigns – if you have questions or concerns about Google’s newest form of text ads, don’t hesitate to reach out for more information.
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The digital marketing industry has had a major impact on video advertising: new research by Forrester Analytics suggests advertisers will spend more on digital video ads than TV ads by 2023. In total, video advertising spend is expected to grow from nearly $91-billion today to nearly $103-billion by 2023. Digital marketing agencies who have yet to develop an expertise in digital video marketing must race to catch up.
Online video – which includes free and paid streaming from web-based services like Netflix, TV networks like HBO, and social media networks like YouTube – will make up 34.3 per cent of total video ad spending in 2023, up from just 21.2 per cent today. Just ten per cent of advertisers are expected to increase their TV ad budget by more than 6 per cent next year. In other words, digital video is the fuel spurring the growth of video marketing.
The video marketing industry is expected to be buoyed yet again by Facebook’s Watch, which launched globally last month. The social media network hopes the platform will be able to compete with YouTube on the strength of original entertainment, news, and sports content, Reuters reported.
“Every month more than 50 million people in the U.S. come to watch videos for at least a minute on Watch, and total time spent watching video on Facebook Watch has increased by 14 times since the start of 2018,” Facebook’s Head of Video Fidji Simo told reporters.
Between Facebook’s Watch platform, the sustained strength of YouTube, and the growth of digital video viewership, there’s never been a better time to invest in video marketing. As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is prepared to address the full scope of your digital marketing needs, including any video marketing efforts you are interested in pursuing.
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As a full-service SEO agency, GrowthEngine Media knows that search optimization is the foundation upon which successful digital marketing campaigns are built. Strong SEO attracts high-quality traffic (without a per-click cost), bolsters online visibility, and drives engagement, all worthy aims for any business.
But today, SEO is changing. As Search Engine Land contributor Jim Yu reported in August, “the component parts of a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy may have remained relatively constant, but their definition and purpose have changed entirely.”
An online search used to require typing a query into a search bar. Not anymore: users are increasingly turning to visual search – searching an image or using a smartphone camera to capture and search an item – and voice search to access the information they need.
These new kinds of searches yield different results than traditional text queries. For example, ‘rankings’ don’t exist for voice search, so brands that want to be found via smart speakers or digital assistants must tweak their optimization strategy.
“The future of search lies with voice, visual and vertical optimization,” Yu writes. “While that may sound disconcertingly nebulous, savvy marketers are defining what this new order means to them and acting to implement their strategies today.”
For digital marketers – especially those working at an SEO agency – the new search landscape presents opportunities as well as challenges. It takes planning, effort, and dedication to move away from tried-and-true optimization tactics, but aligning marketing efforts with consumer behavior is the name of the game. Agencies that demonstrate agility and a willingness to evolve are the ones that will thrive in the face of change.
As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing and SEO agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is uniquely aware of the challenges presented by the shifting search landscape. However, we’re aware of its potential, too – as queries become more specific, the value of providing relevant information will grow.
In the online world, trends change almost as fast as digital marketing professionals can keep up with them. New platforms emerge every day and user preferences are in a state of constant flux.
Video platform VidMob recently surveyed 1,000 millennials (individuals aged between 25 and 34) and 1,000 Gen Z (individuals aged between 16 and 24) about their online behaviour and social media and video marketing preferences. The results suggest that traditional personalization tactics – matching by age, ethnicity, and gender; including the person’s name – may not appeal to younger consumers.
“Social users are bombarded with content, and it’s harder than ever for advertisers to capture attention, particularly the attention of Gen Z,” VidMob Chief Marketing Officer Stephanie Bohn told Marketing Land’s Robin Kurzer. “This report has implications for marketers looking to connect with younger audiences. Demographics and celebrity factor also influence likeability, but sense of style is the leading factor.”
Fifty-five per cent of respondents said they prefer digital marketing ads that showcased styles or tastes similar to their own, while 45 per cent approved of ads featuring a celebrity. Forty-one per cent of Gen Z responded to ads they found ‘visually beautiful,’ as did 32 per cent of millennials.
Social media use is prevalent in both age groups, of course. In particular, 70 per cent of Gen Z respondents said they regularly watch ‘Stories’ on Instagram or Snapchat.
The survey also discovered some pet peeves among the two age groups. Forty-four per cent of Gen Z and 34 per cent of millennials dislike repetitive ads. Almost half of millennials prefer shorter videos, while Gen Z wants better music in their ads.
As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is committed to getting your business found by the customers that matter.