Monthly Industry Roundup: August 2019
Location3 News: One of the great days of the year at Location3, Golf Day delivered another memorable chapter in its storied history. Whether it’s the shared meal, costume contest, or Par 3 Classic, it’s a team-building tradition unlike any other. Congratulations to all the winners, but especially our costume contest winners, the Golden Girls (find the white hair)!
With that bit of fun out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Here’s a recap of the month’s most important news in digital marketing.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN PAID SOCIAL?
Yelp Allows Users to Personalize Search Results
Yelp recently introduced “For You”, a personalization option that allow users to filter search results based on diet, lifestyle, accessibility, type of cuisine, favorite attractions, and most frequented types of businesses. Yelp had previously only allowed users to personalize results based on location.
Yelp is stressing that users are completely in control of the new feature — the search results are not generated by an algorithm, and user preferences will not be sold to advertisers. The For You feature is part of Yelp’s efforts to expand its use beyond the food industry.
Analysis: High Quality Creative Not Always the Answer on Facebook
It sounds crazy, but professionally produced images and videos don’t outperform their low-fi counterparts when it comes to Facebook ads. Well at least not always, says Michael Lisovetsky in this post from AdAge.
Lisovetsky points out that Facebook isn’t understood to be a home for ads in the way that Google is. And that means low-fidelity ads can fit in as an organic extension of the social network. Lisovetsky says it’s not the quality of the creative, it’s the ad manager’s understanding of user psychology:
On Facebook, users want to see things from their friends, not branded content. If an ad looks natural and organic — almost like something their friends on Facebook would post — users tend to react positively to it. If the creative looks like a professional photographer and graphics team meticulously worked on it, users will assume it’s just another ad and likely keep scrolling past it.
That doesn’t mean you should stop creating high-quality videos and images for your Facebook ad campaigns. But it does suggest there are other creative options to consider.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN PAID SEARCH?
‘Maximize Conversion Value’ Now Available on all Google Search Campaigns
Google Ads has rolled out its newest smart bidding strategy, maximize conversion value. The strategy was introduced at Google Marketing Live in May, but is now available for use in all Search campaigns.
The strategy, according to Google Ads, “uses advanced machine learning to automatically optimize and set bids” based on your budget. Google uses information from your past campaigns and “contextual signals” to find an “optimal CPC bid” for your campaign budget.
As smart bidding becomes the standard within Google Ads, it’s wise for advertisers to familiarize themselves with all of their options as each has their own intricacies and potential pitfalls. Happy testing!
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN SEO?
Focusing on Topics, not Keywords, Helps Break Through Clutter
Keyword research has long been a driving force of content creation, but a focus on topics is the next step in an effective SEO strategy, says Tony Wright at Search Engine Journal. Wright details the ways in which the customer journey has changed. Most notably, search queries are more complex, and users are rarely converting after a single search. They’re more often researching and/or comparing products or services over multiple sessions.
If your business focuses on broader topics, they’re more likely to appear for these complex search queries. Essentially, topics allow businesses to cover more Google ground, which is more valuable than ranking for a very specific keyword term.
As Wright concludes: “Google wants expertise, authority, and trust from websites. If you can dominate a topic, you’ll create all of those attributes in spades” while also ranking well for desired keywords.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN CONTENT?
5 Content Tips Backed By Research
Content is often seen through the creative lens, but all marketing channels should be inspired by data. Lisa Murton Beets recently shared her data-based tips for improving your content marketing with Content Marketing Institute. Here are a few conclusions:
Know your audience. 80% of content marketers want to build an audience, but only 55% use personas. Instead of guessing at what your customers want, listen to them directly. Listen to calls with your sales or customer service teams, and take note of the verbiage customers use to describe their experience.
Their needs, not yours. Brand messaging always comes in second behind serving the needs of your customers. 90% of marketers who consider their content marketing successful feel they put their audience’s needs ahead of their sales messaging.
Get your SEO house in order. 61% of content marketers mention SEO or search algorithms as their main concern. Work with your SEO colleagues to plan a path ahead. The good news: algorithms always respond to high-quality, well-researched, helpful content.