While we always keep an eye on the changes going on throughout the marketing world here at Axonn Media, it’s clear that one area has particularly dominated things during July: social media. From added ad spend at Facebook to being “All Caught Up” on Instagram, there’s plenty of new features to learn about. But could September represent a bump in the road for this type of marketing? Read on to find out.
Facebook ad spend is up, but impressions are down
Despite the fact that the cost of advertising on Facebook increased by 70 per cent year-on-year in quarter two, impressions are actually down. Overall, marketers were getting 17 per cent fewer impressions than in the same period of 2017, according to a report from Merkle.
There are a number of reasons why marketers may be paying more for less on Facebook. The first is that the paid platform is a marketplace and as such, the higher the demand, the more expensive it gets. Add to this the changes to the algorithm that governs the site and how targeting is managed, and this is the outcome.
Marketers will want to look at their Facebook spend and decide for themselves whether it represents good value for money. But if it’s down to higher demand, can they really afford to step away from paid marketing on the platform if their competitors are present there?
Instagram introduces ‘You’re All Caught Up’ feature
After the backlash from Instagram users over a new algorithm to sort posts in their feeds, the platform has launched a ‘You’re All Caught Up’ feature. The message appears when the user has seen all of the new posts from the feeds they follow that have been created in the last two days.
While it will undoubtedly change the way that a potential audience for your content uses the app, it may not be all bad. Yes, users are likely to stop mindlessly scrolling when they see the message, but this could lead them to accessing Stories or IGTV instead and that could be particularly valuable.
Promoted Trend Spotlight ads go straight to the top of the Explore tab on Twitter
Moments may be over in Twitter with Explore taking centre stage, but this is a good thing for paid ads. Promoted Trend Spotlight ads will be placed at the top of the Explore tab for the first two visits of the day. These banners will then slip back into the Trends list having gained their exposure.
Promoted Trend Spotlight ads can be purchased as an add-on to the Promoted Trends ads everyone is familiar with in the timeline. Experts predict users won’t skip past those in the Explore tab quite so readily, so there is a chance the change could discourage people from heading to Explore in the long run.
Scroll Free September could have an implication for marketers
Those strongly reliant on social media for their content marketing strategies should be aware of a campaign that may disrupt their conversions. Scroll Free September has been launched by the Royal Public Health Society and aims to encourage users of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to log off for the month.
It is thought that the benefits of taking a break from social media include better sleep, improved relationships and increased wellbeing. Whether the campaign will result in users going cold turkey, cutting down their screen time or simply continuing as before, only time will tell.
John Simpson, content editor at Axonn Media, said: “It feels like people are attached to their social media feeds more than ever and there’s the sense that this campaign could catch on in the same way that Dry January has.
“With fewer users checking Twitter and Facebook, marketers could have a tougher time getting their company’s message across in September and maybe even beyond. Consequently, they may have to turn to other, perhaps more traditional routes.”
Search quality ratings updated by Google
As marketers, we all know that quality is as important as quantity and that Google has made big steps forward in recognising this in recent years. Now, the search engine’s 164-page set of guidelines has been updated to ensure that the best content continues to be prioritised in its results.
These guidelines are used by the 10,000 human search quality raters contracted by Google to evaluate its results. Their evaluations are drawn from real searches to let the search engine understand how well it’s performing and addressing real needs.
One of the main areas gaining focus in this latest update is the reputation of content creators. While websites themselves have come under scrutiny for their perceived authority in the past, marketers should now also pay attention to the people producing their content. This means fully vetting any guest contributors and putting added emphasis on author bios on their sites.Download the Social Media Advertising Handbook