March 2019 News You Can Use

Winter can’t last forever — springtime is coming … but digital marketing news rolls on 24/7. Here are our favorite picks over the past 30 days:

In this issue, we’ll take a run at these questions and more:

  • Are social media platforms past the ad saturation point?
  • Do regulators need to step in to curb influencer marketing?
  • How can you report spam in Google My Business?

But we don’t stop there.

Google’s Test My Site just got a whole lot more useful; Facebook unveiled two new features to help business users; LinkedIn is beta testing a live video option … all of that and still more.

Welcome to this month’s edition of Stukent’s News You Can Use.

CAN A CHINESE STRATEGY SAVE SOCIAL MEDIA?

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes says social media platforms are at a “breaking point.” Today’s average consumer (USA) is exposed to about 5,000 ads every day … and retargeting has become the modern digital equivalent of stalking.

What can save Facebook, Twitter, and your other social media favorites?

Holmes says diversified revenue streams — as typified by Chinese social media channels — could be the answer.

Are American internet users ready to begin paying for a better experience, though?

Check this article to find out: It’s Getting Worse.

‘TEST MY SITE’ JUST GOT A MAJOR MAKEOVER

Topic: Analytics | Ecommerce

Key Point: Google says it has finished a “top-to-bottom rebuild” of the company’s speed-busting platform Test My Site.

Users can now measure speed for individual pages, auto-compare speeds month-to-month, make comparisons to others in their industry, compile reports, and more.

The impact?

The Google Ads Blog says that, as a result of the update, “businesses have a single destination to measure, benchmark, and take action on mobile site speed — the first step toward a great mobile experience.”

Here’s that announcement: Build a Better Mobile Experience.

And here’s where you can find out first-hand how the tool works: Test My Site

FACEBOOK ANNOUNCES NEW FEATURES

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key PointAs part of the Facebook Communities Summit in Menlo Park, Facebook announced two significant changes aimed at making it “easier for people and businesses to connect on Facebook through messaging and group participation.”

    • Businesses in the USA and Brazil will now be able to receive and respond to Instagram Direct messages right from their Facebook inboxes (both desktop and mobile).
    • Business Pages now have more ability to participate in Facebook Groups and join community discussions.

Get the full scoop here: Facebook’s New Features

ALSO READ: Coverage of the news by Marketing Land

SHOULD SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCING BE REGULATED?

Topic: Social Media Marketing | Ecommerce

Key Point: Citing the infamous Fyre Festival as a prime example, marketing growth guru Mark Shaefer says the answer is NOT to regulate social media influencers.

After all, says Shaefer, “The people authentically posting content about brands they love without pay represent 99 percent of the ‘influencers’ out there. A few may get some free gear or even an invitation to an event, but almost no social media influencer makes money from being an influencer.”

Do you agree?

Others have taken a stronger stance against the social media influencer phenomenon: rumors that Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and other top celebrity influencers could be subpoenaed to account for payouts from Fyre are making many who depend on influencer marketing a bit anxious. 

Here are some other takes on this potentially far-reaching topic:

Is It Time to Regulate Social Media Influencers?

Influencer Marketing of Junk Food to Teenagers

Instagram: Beware of Bad Influencers

LINKEDIN TO LAUNCH LIVE VIDEO CAPABILITY

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key PointUnderscoring the popularity of video streaming, LinkedIn is beta testing a new service called “LinkedIn Live.”

The company is being hush-hush about plans for monetization, who will get access to the platform, and how the new feature will fit into the company’s overall strategy — but invitations are now going out to select users.

Says a LinkedIn spokesperson: “Right now we are focused on awesome use cases.”

Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for a LinkedIn Live sign-up form.

Check this Pulse article: LinkedIn Live

ALSO READ: LinkedIn Debut

GOOGLE ADS AVERAGE POSITION IS GOING AWAY

Topic: Online Advertising

Key PointBeginning in September, an iconic AdWords metric will no longer be shown in the Google Ads dashboard. In a brief and matter-of-fact announcement, Google announced that users should “prepare for average position to sunset.”

The plan is for marketers to use “Impression (Absolute Top) %” and “Impression (Top) %” to get a “much clearer view” of how their ads are performing.

With more than a little sentimentality, we note that Average Position is among the oldest AdWords metrics.

ALSO READ: Google Ads to Sunset Average Position

DOMAIN-WIDE DATA FINALLY RELEASED IN SEARCH CONSOLE

Topic: Analytics

Key PointIf you’re one of the zillion digital marketers tired of having to create separate listings for http, https, www, and non-www versions of your website, good news is here.

Google announced a new feature (domain properties) that will allow users to verify and view data from Google search for their domain as a whole.

This could be a case of an individual’s suggestions making a difference. Google says the change is based on user feedback. Those who’ve already verified their DNS will find new domain properties automatically created in their accounts.

NEW WAY TO REPORT SPAM IN GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

Topic: Ecommerce

Key PointA Google Community Manager announced the Spam board is closing and a new form is available to report spam-related issues for Google My Business violations.

The new Business Redressal Complaint Form gives digital marketers a direct means for reporting “misleading information or fraudulent activity on Google Maps.”

The downside is that complaints must be related to the name, phone number, or URL of the business. Other types of complaints are directed to the Feedback page.

Back to the announcement, this part of the conversation opens things up a bit:

“[Google manager Allyson said] it was fine to use it to report any type of GMB violation that appears in the drop-down. So keyword stuffing isn’t exactly ‘fraud,’ but it violates Google’s guidelines, so you can use the form to report that since there is a field for title.”

This takes us back a few years to when Google briefly allowed users to report spam in the search results right from the SERP. Here’s a list of the new methods for telling Google you’ve found spam, paid links, or malware in their index: Report It.

ALSO READ: GMB Introduces a New Way

DON’T STOP THERE 

Last year is in the record books. The coming year, though, is an open ledger. And you get to make the deposits.

Don’t stop studying. Don’t stop getting better.

The digital marketers who succeed are the ones who choose a direction and don’t stop moving. If you see digital marketing news you think should go in next month’s News You Can Use, let us know. Be a Stukent field reporter!

BONUS INFO

Facebook Testing New Ads Manager Interface

77% of Ad Fraud in the USA is Highly Sophisticated

Top 5 Facebook Creative Design Pitfalls to Avoid

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