5 Online Marketing Changes You Should Know About

by Tim Parker

Online marketing is constantly changing. Policies change, services evolve, and before you know it the digital marketing method you used the most is no longer allowed. Find out about these five recent changes to online marketing.

digital marketing changes
Image source: Graphicstock.com

Anybody who uses Google, Facebook, or another digital marketing platform knows that they’re constantly evolving. What was true last month or even last week isn’t necessarily true today. Keeping up on the changes is a mind-blowing task.

Here are a few of the latest changes in the digital marketing space.

Google Ending Exact Match Keyword Campaigns

Google advertisers beware. In September, Google will axe the ability to bid on exact match keywords. In the past you could choose to “Include plurals, misspellings, and other close variants,” as part of your campaign. Going forward, that option won’t be available.

What that means for advertisers, according to an article in State of Digital, is an increase in impressions but less conversion. In other words, expect ad spend to increase but your conversion rate to decrease.

What should you do about it? You still have the ability to add negative keywords—your AdWords blacklist. If you don’t want Google to include matches to certain variants of your campaigns, add those words to your negative keyword list. If it sounds like your negative keywords list is about to grow significantly, you’re right.

Facebook Improves Events Advertising

Facebook allows you to advertise just about anything in any form you would like, but in the past, events were limited to only a boost and they only appeared in right-hand column ad format.

Facebook announced in a blog post that all of that is about to change. Going forward, Page admins will be able to advertise their event in the ads manager and power editor. Additionally, Facebook’s powerful insights data will provide advertisers detailed metrics on the ad’s performance.

Facebook Cracks Down on Click-Baiting

“You’ll Never Believe How this Puppy Saved His Owner’s Life”

You’ve seen these types of headlines in your newsfeed but you might not know that they’re often called click bait. The headline is written to produce a click and sometimes, what you see when you get to the article is much different than what you expected.

According to Facebook, “Click-baiting” is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed.

Even if you’re not posting headlines like these, this change could affect you. Facebook said that it will gauge the quality of your post by how many people like and share it but also how long it takes the user to return to Facebook after clicking your link.

Translation: If you’re going to advertise on Facebook, make sure your page is optimized to keep your user engaged as long as possible. The faster they come back, the more Facebook might see your otherwise legit advertisement as spam.

Instagram Slowly Becoming an Advertising Powerhouse

Instagram is owned by Facebook so it’s no surprise that the platform is quickly becoming more commercial. Instagram announced in a blog post this week that it’s upping the quality of its ad platform. Changes include a better ads and accounts insights that will provide advertisers will more robust data and ad staging—a tool that allows creative teams to better collaborate on creative elements for their next campaign.

With more than 200 million users, Instagram is quickly becoming the next big player in the digital advertising space. Advertisers are generally happy with the ad interface provided by Facebook. The recent changes signal a similar user-friendly platform for Instagram.

Google Drops Authorship

Remember the days when you would search for something in Google and the author’s picture and other information was attached to the result? Google has slowly reduced the size of that program, called Google Authorship, but now, it’s officially gone.

Google said in a blog post that users simply didn’t care. “Unfortunately, we've also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results.”

The post went on to note that removing authorship data neither decreased click through rates or increase clicks on ads. Other sources note that those author’s pictures and information were even more distracting in the mobile environment.

If you use content marketing as part of your business plan, the death of Authorship is one less SEO strategy to worry about.

Bottom Line

The digital marketing space changes constantly. Some platforms are rapidly evolving while others make changes to stay alive. As always, go where your people are. If you notice a lot of activity on Facebook, pour most of your ad dollars into that platform. If your Twitter following is barely a following, no need to advertise there. Whichever platform you choose, commit to reading its blog posts and keeping up on the frequent changes.

© 2014 Attard Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed without written permission from Attard Communications, Inc.

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