December 2019 News You Can Use

The holiday shopping season is underway, and it’s off to one whale of a start. Both Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday broke all-time records AND saw an uptick in the number of orders placed via mobile.

Keep reading to get the scoop on information every digital marketer should track:

    • YouTube’s new requirements — which channels could lose revenue?
    • Should you no longer place keywords inside header tags for SEO?
    • Why are Indian influencers leaving Twitter? Will more follow?
    • What is the future of Google?

This industry moves quickly, and you’ll get left behind if you don’t stay informed. Invest a little time to stay looped in on top digital marketing news.

YOUTUBE ENFORCES NEW RULES BEGINNING JANUARY 2020

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Many YouTube creators are concerned that new requirements, set to take effect next month, will lower their income. The changes are the result of an agreement between YouTube and the FCC concerning content targeting minors.

YouTube’s video describing the change says “If you create content for YouTube, this video is very important to watch as it describes changes to the upload process, all of your existing videos, and potentially your monetization.”

Sounds like something you should watch? Here’s the link: YouTube and COPPA.

SEE ALSO: YouTube Changes Rolling Out January 2020

INTRODUCING SIMPLIFIED FACEBOOK PAYMENTS

Topic: E-commerce | Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Facebook says their new feature, Facebook Pay, will “provide people with a convenient, secure and consistent payment experience across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.”

Users will be able to set a preferred method of payment, use it across applications, view history and settings from one dashboard, get real-time support, and be more confident that their transactions are monitored and approved by Facebook. 

Facebook Pay is now available to select users in the United States only, but should roll out to other people and places soon. Here’s the official announcement: Facebook Pay.

ARE HEADINGS NO LONGER IMPORTANT PLACES FOR KEYWORDS?

Topic: SEO

Key Point: Based on Webmaster Hangout remarks by Google’s John Mueller, Search Engine Journal says “headings are not keyword wishlists.” Wrapping strategic words and phrases with header tags (H1, H2, H3), says SEJ staffer Roger Montti, may have worked well in 2001, but not anymore.

What?

Citing Mueller’s remark that “Headings are useful in that we can take a heading and see what images and which text kind of apply to that heading,” Montti claims it’s clear that placing keywords in headings is unnecessary and unwise.

Moz disagrees. What do you think?   

Here’s the SEJ article. It’s a surefire topic for stirring up conversation around the office and within the team: Google Offers 2 Tips for Improving Web Content.

ALSO SEE: How to Use Headings On Your Site

INSTAGRAM LAUNCHES TIKTOK IMITATION

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Social Media Today says Instagram’s new Reels feature is a blatant attempt to replicate features of the popular TikTok app. The new element will be part of Instagram Stories. It will help users create/share/remix short videos (similar to TikTok).

For now, Reels is only available to Instagram users in Brazil, but that may change based on its success. 

Why is this important?

For one thing, some critics say Reels marks a turn-around in the world of copycatting: Chinese companies are often accused of ripping off products created in the USA. Here’s a case where an American company may be blatantly drafting from a Chinese idea.

ALSO SEE: Instagram Launches TikTok Clone

ARE INFLUENCERS LEAVING TWITTER?

Topic: Social Media Advertising

Key Point: Citing unfair policies that resulted in an unnecessary account suspension, this Tech.co report says “users of Twitter in India have begun moving over to a rival platform.” 

The fiasco sparked a lively debate on Indian Twitter channels, with many users claiming Twitter’s moderation policy is inconsistent and often unfair.

But is the rebellion really that big, and is this “news” really about Twitter at all? Or could the article simply be a thinly-concealed plug for Twitter’s ad-free, would-be replacement Mastodon?

Mastodon accounts are free, but any influencer fleeing Twitter will likely  be leaving behind commercially-viable audiences. This is another excellent discussion-sparking topic for the office or classroom.

ALSO SEE:

Influencer Marketing a Siren’s Song?

TikTok Tests Social Commerce Links in Videos

NEW FACEBOOK APP WILL PAY USERS FOR SURVEY ANSWERS

Topic: E-commerce | Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Facebook’s new marketing research app, Viewpoints, will pay users to answer survey questions, test products, complete tasks, and participate in other marketing research projects. Projects will also extend to other Facebook properties: WhatsApp, Instagram, Portal, and Oculus.

Those who install Viewpoints on mobile, link to their Facebook account, and participate in the studies will earn points that can be converted to cash once a minimum amount is reached. 

This iMPACT article asks a fair question: Is the app legit, or is it just another way for Facebook to collect and use your data?

AN INSIDE LOOK AT GOOGLE’S FUTURE

Topic: SEO | E-commerce

Key Point: From ambient computing and taking over Amazon, to offline ads and the demise of SEO as we know it, the six points Neil Patel lists in his (rather shocking) list of prognostications are well worth consideration.

Is this really where Google is headed?

Read all about it here: An Inside Look at Google’s Future Plans

2019 THANKSGIVING AND BLACK FRIDAY SALES THROUGH THE ROOF 

Topic: E-commerce

Key Point: Online sales for Thanksgiving hit $4.2 billion and Black Friday racked up another $7.4 billion for a two-day online U.S. shopping spree totaling $11.6 billion dollars. That seems like a good omen for retailers, both online and off.

Here’s another point to consider: Over half the Thanksgiving Day sales occurred via mobile. 

For more on the 2019 holiday season kickoff, see this article from TechCrunch and this article from Retail Dive.

WISHING YOU A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!

Whether you’re working in the digital trenches this year or preparing for a job in digital marketing and doing more shopping than selling, this is an ideal time to pay close attention to the tactics online marketers are using to attract prospects and build business. 

Never stop learning.

This will be the final edition of News You Can Use for this year, but we hope to see you again in 2020. The Stukent team sincerely wishes you and yours a happy holiday season. 

BONUS INFO

Instagram Announces Global Expansion of Hidden Like Counts Test

Pinterest Launches a New Home Dedicated to Small Business Shopping

Google: Doesn’t Matter if You Use Absolute or Relative URLs for Internal Links

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