July 2018 Digital Marketing News Updates
We sort through the latest and greatest in digital marketing news updates each month so you don’t have to! Below is a list of changes relevant to digital marketers, along with explanations of why they matter.
Members of our Digital Marketing Insiders program get a first look at these updates, as well as answers to their questions every month. This small investment keeps them at the top of their professional game month after month. Ready to do you job better?
Facebook News Updates
- You can See ALL THE ADS any Page is Running – This is VERY COOL! Click on “Info and Ads” on the sidebar of a Page to see all the ads that a Page is running. This is intended to add transparency from Facebook but it is actually a very powerful tool in competitive research.
- Facebook Tests Subscription Groups – Where you pay for membership to a group. This is currently only a test, but shows that Facebook wants to be the platform where people connect.
- Facebook Launches Subscriptions to Instant Articles – In an effort to work better with paid publishers you can now subscribe to paid content from Instant Articles. This could renew interest from Paid Subscription publishers to push their content on Facebook to drive subscriptions.
- Facebook Brands Collab Manager Bets on Influencer Marketing – The new tool from Facebook matches brands with influencers/content creators who have the audience they want to reach. This shows that Facebook sees brands continuing to invest in influencers and also makes an effort for Facebook to keep influencers on their platform.
- Facebook Amps Up Interactivity in Live Videos – They launched polls and gamification features like quizzes and challenges to make live videos more interactive.
- Facebook Opens up Watch to Partners – Facebook Watch launched last year to share longer format video (in an effort to compete more with YouTube). Facebook is now opening up the platform to more content (including branded content) in an effort to reach more people with different content.
- Facebook is now running Autoplay ads in Messenger – Annoying? Maybe. Facebook is now running autoplay ads in messenger – it will be interesting to see how this impacts the user experience.
- Facebook is experimenting with A/B Testing Posts – This would allow people to quickly setup tests prior to posting a piece of content. Currently it is only being tested, but look for it as it could improve your content if you have a large enough audience to reach. (Note A/B testing already exists for ads).
- Facebook Launches tool to Rate Customer Service – You can now rate customer service or your experience with an ad. This will allow Facebook to block ads that receive a lot of negative feedback.
- Facebook Profiles can No Longer be Used in Buffer – In a move to eliminate spam, Facebook updated their terms of service for their API and as a result, Buffer will no longer be able to push content to personal profiles. There is no change for Pages.
- Facebook Tests Cross Posting to Instagram – While not officially announced by Facebook, people have started to see the option to automatically post their Facebook content onto Instagram as well… Interesting to see if this rolls out broadly.
- Facebook ads New Features for Charities and Non Profits – Donations sent via Facebook are huge and growing. Facebook has announced a few features to make it easier to collect donations through the platform, including the option for Pages to donate.
- New Features for Creators on Facebook – We already mentioned some of these separately, but if you want the full roundup this post from Facebook shares all of the updates they made to work better with creators.
- Facebook Ads new Requirements for Custom Audiences – As Facebook comes under fire for how they handle data, they launched new requirements around custom audiences. This includes showing people the origin of the audience information, audience sharing requirements and building awareness around their terms.
Twitter News Updates
- Twitter Launches Media to Help Advertisers – Twitter launched Twitter Media as a resource for marketers and media companies to learn how to best use the platform. If you are thinking of trying out Twitter but haven’t yet, or want to bring your advertising presence to the next level check it out!
- Twitter Expands In-Stream Video Ads Globally – Now advertisers can use Twitter in-stream video ads to drive deeper ad connections with their audiences.
LinkedIn News Updates
- LinkedIn Rolls out Carousel – If you advertise with LinkedIn you can now use the new carousel ad format to drive engagement and feature more content.
- LinkedIn Launches QR Codes to make it easy to connect – You maybe thought we were getting away from QR Codes – well think again! LinkedIn launches QR codes that can be used to instantly and easily connect with someone. Look for these coming soon on Business Cards near you.
- LinkedIn adds Translations to Newsfeed – Facebook has had this for a while and now LinkedIn joins. This makes it easier to connect with a global audience.
- LinkedIn Kudos is a Fun Way to Recognize Someone – If you want to go beyond recommendations and endorsements on LinkedIn you can now give someone Kudos. Choose from 10 categories and show someone some love like “team player” or “inspirational leader”.
SnapChat News Updates
- SnapChat experiments with Sharing Ad Revenue with Creators – YouTube has done this for ages and Facebook has gotten in the game more recently. Time for Snapchat to join! This would mean that creators can get a cut of the revenue they generate.
- New Reach and Frequency Buying – The new Snapchat ads look basically like Facebook – and now they also feature reach and frequency buying to make your media planning easier.
Instagram News Updates
- Instagram TV takes aim at YouTube – Instagram TV launched as a way to allow for longer format videos and drive deeper engagement with videos. Videos can be 10 minutes long and some creators can make up to 60 minute videos. IGTV can be downloaded as a stand alone app or viewed through Instagram. This could create better video ad formats for Facebook and also provide better content opportunities for creators. Learn more about IGTV on this post from Social Media Examiner.
- Instagram launches Video Chat – You can now video chat via Instagram direct. This makes the platform even more flexible and it could easily become a key communication tool as people switch from phone to Messenger platforms.
- Instagram launches Topic Channels – Over 200 million people use the explore tab every day (WOW). Topic channels allow people to view content by topic – so TAG YOUR INSTAGRAM POSTS and add descriptions to increase the probability that you will show up!
- Instagram launches Music in Stories – That is right. You can now add music to stories 😉 Over 400 million people use stories every day, so Instagram continues to invest in making the experience better.
- Now Shopping in Instagram Stories – Instagram is investing BIG in stories – and they now allow shopping in stories. If you have e-commerce and want to drive sales with the Instagram audience – check this out.
- New @Mention in Story Sharing – Now when sharing a story on Instagram you can @Mention the originating user. This is only available in stories, but is a great way to connect more broadly on Instagram.
Search News Updates
- Facebook is Primary Referrer for Lifestyle Content, Otherwise Google Dominates – New research on what drives referral traffic online shows that Facebook sends more traffic to websites for Lifestyle content, but Google dominates all other categories. Consider this in your Search Strategy and your approach to Facebook – especially if your goal is referral traffic.
Digital Advertising News Updates
- Google Adwords is now Google Ads – This doesn’t change anything about creating or running campaigns, but look for the new branding at the end of July.
- Google Updates Marketing Partners – Google has expanded their marketing partners into 3 categories – Individuals, Companies and Sales Partners. Consider checking out the list if you want to work with a partner, or signing up to become one.
- Google Ads provides Greater Transparency – You can see even more details about why you are getting an ad. This can be very valuable for competitive research as well.
- YouTube launches new features in Creative Suite – YouTube will be launching features to help advertisers create better content on YouTube including Video Experiments, Creative Analytics, Director Mix and Ad Sequencing. If you advertise on YouTube look for these coming soon so you can better test and optimize your creative.
- YouTube Like and Dislike Counts are More Accurate – So if you notice a change in your counts – this is why 😉
- YouTube New Features Helps Creators – YouTube has launched a number of features to help creators create great content and profitably grow their audiences. New features include monetization, Memberships, Merchandise and Premiers – all aimed at making it easy for creators to engage their audiences and make more $$$.
Industry News and Research
- A new study shows marketers aren’t using data – Only 13% of businesses are leaders when it comes to empowering their employees to act on data. This is a huge opportunity as marketers want to become more “data driven” but lack the capacity to really act.
- CMOs say Digital Marketing is Most Effective (of course) – They also overwhelmingly plan to invest more in digital marketing and are most concerned with driving media efficiency.