April 2017 News You Can Use

Looking for a simple way to stay up-to-date on the digital marketing news that really matters?

You just found it.

Each month, we look for the stories digital marketers need to know about. Then we prepare a short summary and post them here.

How cool is that?

Let’s do it!

1. FACEBOOK NOW SUPPORTS BROADCASTING LIVE FROM YOUR DESKTOP

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: It used to be possible only via a third-party platform, but Facebook just opened the door and now invites you to stream on Facebook Live via your notebook or desktop computer. Mobile no longer holds that privilege exclusively.

To check it out, just click on the Live Video link at the top of your News Feed or Timeline, follow the instructions provided in the feature, and start filming. It’s way cool.


2. FACEBOOK STORIES ARE NOW TAKING UP PRIME POSITION

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Facebook took over much of the social media news this month. Here’s another blockbuster. Saying “Facebook’s plan to copy everything that made Snapchat successful is finally reaching its final form,” TechCrunch covered the addition of Stories to top-of-page position on your Facebook mobile app.

Along with Facebook Stories, you’ll also see a new inbox (Direct) for direct messages – more targeting of Snapchat functionality. How can you launch marketing campaigns via Stories? Why not take a look at the Snapchat playbook for ideas? Here it is: Snapchat Marketing.


3. AMAZON IS GOING AFTER INFLUENCERS

Topic: Online Advertising

Key Point: Have you ever wondered why so many social media influencers frequently mention how much they love Starbucks? Amazon is apparently ratcheting that game up a few notches. The world’s largest retailer wants more sales, so the company is beta testing a drive to bring some of the most influential people online into the fold.

In the Amazon plan, influencers will get their own vanity links to products, and they’ll be paid a commission on sales resulting from the traffic they drive home. Now, they won’t just say something like, “I love shopping for groceries on Amazon,” they’ll link you straight to the product page. Don’t get mad. It’s called “smart business”… maybe.


4. GOOGLE RICH CARDS GO GLOBAL

Topic: SEO | Analytics

Key Point: This story is about more than your UK friends will now have the same access to rich cards you’ve enjoyed for almost a year. Look closer than that.

Rich cards are like the schema rich snipped markup. They allow you to present data in ways more appealing to both users and search engines. Google loves schema so much, the company joined Microsoft, Pinterest, and Yandex to form schema.org.

Here’s another sign: the creators of the hugely popular WordPress plugin Social Warfare are just now launching another plugin called Simple Schema. Why do that when most site owners aren’t using schema at all? That’s because once site owners see that (with the use of the new Simple Schema plugin) how easy it is to implement rich data AND how valuable it can be to both SEO and user experience… everybody is going to be jumping on the bandwagon.

Why not go ahead and take the leap right now? This is a good time to study up on schema.


5. FACEBOOK FAVORS REACTIONS OVER LIKES

Topics: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Here’s another of the month’s blockbuster insights regarding Facebook. Business Insider says the Facebook algorithm will update to favor Reactions over Likes.

The upshot is that social media marketers will now want to give fans reason to express emotions (Love, Funny, Wow, Sad, Angry) instead of just pushing the thumbs up button. How can you do that? For starters, emotionalize your content. Tell jokes, jerk some tears, beg them to react. Do what it takes.

Why is Facebook making that move? It seems that emotional reactions give them deeper insight, and deeper insight allows them to target better, and THAT allows them to sell more ads for more money. Once again, that’s called “smart business.”


6. HOW TO FAIL MISERABLY AT EMAIL MARKETING

Topic: Email Marketing

Key Point: Just in case you’ve been wanting to tone down your email presence, Search Engine Journal offers a seven-point list of errors you really don’t want to make. We’re not saying this is the end-all manual on email marketing, but the points are definitely good for sparking discussion.

Which is better, longer emails or shorter emails? What’s the most important part of an email? How well defined do your campaign goals really need to be? Find out the SEJ take on those and four more email-specific topics right here: Emails gone bad.


7. GET THE SPAM OUT OF YOUR GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Topic: Analytics

Key Point: Your analytics data is only as good as it is accurate. Take the total number of visitors, for instance. Ideally, you’re only measuring people who have an interest in your site or your content. You want prospects.

Unfortunately, though, much of the typical Google Analytics report is often nothing but spam. From fake hits (referral spam) to language spam (read the report), bots and goofballs can render your analytics data all but useless.

There are ways to fight back, though, and to filter out the fake data. This article is by George Bates from Studio 40. It’s a good and important read. Here’s the link: Crush Analytics Spam.


8. WHAT DO WOMEN WANT TO WATCH

Topic: Online Advertising

Key Point: A fundamental of effective advertising is to know your target market. Google says one way to do that is to observe what they watch on YouTube. For example, what do women watch? This International Women’s Day special, delivered several valuable insights.

Hint: It’s not all about beauty products and soap operas.


9. YOUTUBE ANNOTATIONS DISMISSED IN FAVOR OF CARDS

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Given the mass migration to mobile, YouTube is dropping annotations. Advice from the top says switch to Cards and End Screens by May 2, 2017. To get more info on the move, and to find out why YouTube says you should love Cards and End Screens anyway… read this: Goodbye Annotations.

After May 2, you’ll still be able to delete your present annotations, but you won’t be able to edit them or create new ones.


Congratulations! You’re all caught up on your digital marketing news and updates for the month! Tweet your excitement!

Here’s hoping you enjoy the April showers and get ready for the May flowers. It’s springtime again (almost)!

Let’s rejoice.

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