Facebook announced its fourth quarter (Q4) earnings last month and – surprise, surprise – the company’s profitability appears unaffected by a year of controversies and criticism. Despite being plagued by privacy breaches and negative publicity, the social media – and social media marketing – behemoth reported $16.6-billion in advertising revenue last quarter, up 30 per cent from 2017. Total revenue reached $16.9-billion, underscoring advertising’s importance to the company’s bottom line.
“Obviously we believe we’ve got the best advertising products out there in terms of being able to deliver measurable business results to clients,” said chief financial officer David Wehner during the earnings report call, according to MarTech Today. “And so we think that does help us in that environment.”
Booming revenue wasn’t the only good news for social media marketing professionals: price-per-ad dropped 2 per cent while ad impressions rose 34 per cent. Daily active users also grew to 1.52-billion, up 9 per cent year-over-year.
Impression growth was spurred by Instagram and Facebook’s mobile News Feed. In fact, 93 per cent of ad revenue last quarter came from mobile. In 2019, the company plans to capitalize on Stories (Instagram and Facebook) and Instagram’s e-commerce potential.
“There’s a lot of natural activity happening here, and this year I expect us to deliver some qualitatively new experiences around that,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in the call.
As a Google Premier Partner digital and social media marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media works to ensure our clients are found by the customers that matter most. In today’s online ecosystem, that goal requires presence on both Facebook and Google. While each client requires a unique approach, these platforms are cornerstones of most digital marketing strategies in 2019. Combined, their vast, committed user bases include a large percentage of total global internet users. If you want to reach a digital customer, chances are they can be found on Google or Facebook.
Image credit: Pictures of Money/Flickr
The broad goal of any digital marketing campaign is to maximize online visibility. The purpose of this visibility may vary – do you want to increase brand awareness or improve conversion rate? – but creating a formidable online presence is an essential starting point. And where better to start this pursuit than Google?
In the digital marketing industry, a lot of attention is paid to Google. How will the latest algorithm update affect my rankings? What does the new Ads product mean for my campaign? Does it help that I’m a Premier Partner?
The focus is warranted. Google commands more than 37 per cent of total digital advertising dollars and holds a commanding lead in search ad market share. The company brought in more than $95-billion in advertising revenue in 2017 alone.
But the digital marketing and paid search industries are not monopolies. Many other players have stakes in the game, including Microsoft via its search engine, Bing, and advertising platform, Bing Ads. Though Bing accounted for just 2.4 per cent of global searches in December 2018, it attracts roughly 33 per cent of American and 16 per cent of Canadian search advertising dollars.
Bing is bigger than you think. It powers three separate search engines – Bing, Yahoo, and AOL – and hosts 5.4 billion searches per month, including 63 million that can’t be reached by Google Ads. Its average user is older and wealthier than the average Google user. And Bing Ads’ average cost per click is $7.99, compared to $20.08 on Google Ads.
In other words: Don’t forget about Bing Ads!
At GrowthEngine Media, our goal is to get you found online by the customers that matter most. Even as a Google Premier Partner agency, we believe there’s more to digital marketing than throwing money at Google. Advertising across several digital marketing platforms, including Bing Ads, will ensure your company is recognizable to all potential customers.
As every digital marketing and SEO agency knows, Google updates its ranking algorithm multiple times a week and hundreds of times each year. Each update is different: some significantly impact search rankings, but most are imperceptible.
Google rolled out a fairly prominent algorithm update affecting news sites and blogs early this month. In a recently published document titled “Ways to succeed in Google News,” the search giant specifically warns against using “block scraped content” and “block rewritten content.”
“Scraping commonly refers to taking material from another site, often on an automated basis,” the document reads. Block rewritten content “refers to taking material from another site, then rewriting that material so that it is not identical… This includes, but is not limited to, rewrites that make only very slight changes or those that make many word replacements but still keep the original article’s overall meaning.”
Fresh, relevant content is crucial to successful SEO, which is why many agencies offer blog-writing or editorial services. A regularly updated blog is a great way to share written content that appeals to Google’s algorithm and offers your customers valuable information. Better still, this content can be used to increase your online visibility via social media distribution.
Google’s latest algorithm update seeks to discourage websites from publishing questionable news and cribbing content from other sites. If your website has experienced a recent, drastic ranking drop, it may be time to review your content strategy with your SEO agency.
As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing and SEO agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is positioned to help your website appear in search results related to your business. SEO is the cornerstone of any digital marketing campaign, and GrowthEngine has the experience and track record to ensure you’re found when it matters most.
When you work for a digital marketing agency, your clients expect you to push the envelope, to develop new ways of generating brand recognition and attracting qualified leads. Last year, savvy Google Ads administrators did just that when they “discovered” a “secret” match type – Phrase Match Modifier. GrowthEngine Media is currently testing this new tool in select clients’ campaigns.
Keyword match types control when Google displays your paid search ads in search results. Google Ads’ default match type is Broad Match. Using this setting, your ads may display on queries that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other variations of your match phrase. Broad Match shows your ad to as wide an audience as possible.
More advanced match types include broad match modifier, which only shows ads on searches that include specific words and their close variants; phrase match, which shows ads on searches that match a phrase or close variations of a phrase; and exact match, which shows ads on searches that exactly match the words in a phrase, though not the order.
Phrase Match Modifier is the fifth and most recent match type. It allows Google Ads administrators to combine keyword phrases with modifying words not in that phrase.
The new match type is extremely effective “when the order of specific words has a large impact on intent (e.g., free care vs care free), but you want to add modifiers, like a city name, that do not require a specific order for semantic relevance,” explained Search Engine Journal’s Ian Sherk in a March 2018 article.
As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media eagerly embraces opportunities to improve our clients’ paid search strategies. Our Google Ads team will introduce this new control more widely over the coming months.
While the steadfast pillars of search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), and social media marketing (both paid and organic) will remain essential to every digital marketing agency in 2019, new opportunities are also expected to materialize. Last week, Digital First Media’s chief digital officer Chris Loretto, writing for Marketing Land, highlighted some potential growth areas for the New Year, including:
As traditional cable subscriptions decline, televisions that connect to the internet are becoming increasingly popular. Growth of connected TV advertising doubled in 2018 as consumers purchased smart TVs, Apple TVs, Tivos, Rokus, and other connected devices. In Q2 2018, connected TV accounted for 38 per cent of video ad impressions, more than mobile. With usership expected to reach 190-million in 2019, savvy marketers will seek out opportunities to reach customers via connected TVs.
Instagram Stories are a massive hit. Now, Facebook is hoping for another win with Instagram TV (IGTV), Instagram’s long-form video platform that allows users to broadcast up-to one-hour-long videos. It’s difficult to envision many users transitioning to IGTV from YouTube, but if the platform attracts even a modest user base, it will be an opportunity for every brand and digital marketing agency to repurpose existing long-form video marketing content.
Is 2019 the year augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) earn wider adoption? Loretto thinks so. He believes brands will follow Wayfair, IKEA, and Sephora’s lead and embrace AR advertising and marketing experiences.
“We will no doubt see advertisers continue to push the boundaries of AR innovation in the coming months,” he writes.
Visual and Voice
With smart speakers and digital assistants accounting for a larger-than-ever percentage of search engine queries, SEOs are already keenly aware of the rise of voice search. Visual search will also gain ground in 2019, as Google, Bing and Pinterest push their existing capabilities. Marketers will have to work hard to stay on top of these trends and ensure their clients’ sites are optimized for traditional search and beyond.
As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media is ideally positioned to help you navigate the evolving digital marketing industry throughout the New Year.
Image source: Epic Fireworks/Flickr