Digital Marketing News from October 2018

In this month’s digital marketing news quick read: Google My Business becomes more essential, Twitter looks back while seeking a way forward, and LinkedIn partners with Vimeo.

Google My Business adds Follow function

Helping potential customers to find your business on Google Maps for free should be reason enough to join Google My Business. This month the search engine giant added a “follow” function for Android app users.

It’s potentially good marketing news for business owners who can commit to posting updates, along with businesses that are planning to launch or open soon.

The function is simple: Maps users can tap the “Follow” button to receive notifications about offers and events in their “For You” tab.

Google did say this function hasn’t rolled out for everybody, but that shouldn’t stop business owners posting content to Google My Business in advance. And, if your business is “coming soon”, registering in advance could help build customer awareness.

In other Google-related marketing news from this month, Google+ is scheduled to officially shut down. This was announced in the wake of a data breach, which seems to have been handled competently.

Although Google+ never really took off, this leaves Google without a social media networking platform. Will they attempt something new? Or will Google My Business gain importance for SEO?

Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Did you know: Google users can now control their data directly from within Google products

Do we call it Messenger or “Messenger 4″…?

The folks at Facebook unveiled a “new” version of Messenger in October. Besides Instagram, Messenger is one of Facebook’s most popular products. That earns it a spot in our digital marketing news update.

The first thing to understand is that “Messenger 4”, as it’s referred to by Facebook, is going to be made available globally in steps. From there, further updates to functions will be rolled out slowly.

Why not update the app in one big drop? Apparently, because a number of “familiar” functions are going to change significantly, Facebook doesn’t want users to feel like they’re learning a whole new system.

What does it mean for marketers?

If these changes aren’t welcomed by users, if Facebook has got it wrong, the return-on-investment from Messenger ad placements could drop off. It might stop being common sense to include Messenger as a chat portal on your website.

On the other hand, if this goes well, Messenger could become an even more powerful option.

So what is changing? We’ll keep this brief, and list Facebook’s claims:

Messenger 4 will be:

  • Simpler to navigate, with only 3 tabs (Chat, People, and Discover) and a faster-to-access camera button
  • More personalised with custom emojis, colours and nicknames
  • Familiar, with lots of the features people already enjoy and more, like Dark Mode

What do you hope the Messenger update comes with? Use our Messenger chat to tell us!

LinkedIn and Vimeo want your money

Vimeo has integrated with LinkedIn, so you can now use it for video publishing to LinkedIn via Vimeo’s social sharing menu.

How is that marketing news? It adds an option. It shows that LinkedIn is trying to improve.

However, it also highlights the lack of some marketing functions for Microsoft’s business and recruitment network. Remember, LinkedIn only enabled direct video uploading in March 2018!

Vimeo’s main contribution in this arrangement will be the video analytics. That’s good news. But there is a catch. In order to access the new Vimeo toys, you’ll need a business account. These start at $20 USD per month for professionals, and $50 USD monthly for businesses.

LinkedIn is already known to be an expensive network for advertising. Adding another expense pushes it further out of reach for small-to-medium business.

We highly recommended you speak with a digital marketing specialist before launching LinkedIn campaigns.

Twitter looks at the timeline

We’ll make use of New Zealand’s time zone for this one so we can include it as October marketing news!

Ever since Twitter introduced ads to their platform, users have longed for a return to a chronological timeline. And it looks like it may be happening, even if it’s only a test at this stage.

Not many New Zealanders use Twitter, but this update still makes our digital marketing news list. Why? Twitter is an opportunity for tourism-related businesses to reach potential customers and clients. Changes like this increase that opportunity.

Twitter has been trying to find more engaged users since people stopped saying “hashtag” in casual conversation. And while traditional media news outlets still report on celebrity Tweets as news, many digital marketers consider that Twitter has an engagement problem. Along with a fake account problem, and a bot problem.

The “purging” of accounts identified as fake and/or bots was news in July 2018. Twitter has continued deleting suspect accounts too. That leaves the engagement issue.

Remember the Tweet length increase from 140 to 280 characters? It made digital marketing news in October 2017. That hasn’t worked. According to Twitter data, most Tweets are still under 35 characters!

Listening to existing users who want a chronological timeline option would seem to be a fresh starting point.

We think this will be great. Do you? Tweet to us! Change our minds, or add your agreement!

Dis-Liked Button?

Outside of the timeline-tweak-test, Twitter also updated their iPhone app with a more prominent Tweet button. They really want you to Tweet. And they also want you to ReTweet with a comment attached too.

A comment from one of Twitter’s founders prompted news outlets to announce that the “Like” button was on the way out. Twitter eventually responded by Tweeting a response that didn’t confirm or deny it.

That’s big digital marketing news, and we won’t sit on the fence here. As digital marketers, Twitter’s Like button is a pointless engagement option. Do you agree?

We think the “Like” function on Twitter is a total waste of space. Change our minds here.

Other digital marketing news

If you caught our recent blog about using Pinterest for business, you’ll be interested in Pinterest’s updated Ad Manager, and new Promoted Carousel format. Facebook introduced “Portal”, a video communication device that looks like an iPad running video chat in Messenger.

Looking for more? Check out September 2018 and November 2018 news!

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