A new GIF creation feature on Twitter, Google Search Console’s coverage report gets an update, a bug in the latest Google Search app, SEO trends for 2020, CMA’s concern over Google and Facebook’s ad dominance and a report on the digital marketing trends in 2020.

“Business has only two functions: marketing and innovation.” – Milan Kundera

In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent digital marketing news:

  1. Users will be able to convert iOS Live Photos into GIFs on Twitter
  2. Instagram finally launched its new Layout mode for Stories
  3. Coverage report within Google Search Console has been updated
  4. Google Search app latest beta version seems to have a bug
  5. SEO experts share their insight on SEO trends in 2020
  6. The CMA suggests Google and Facebook’s ad dominance should be curbed
  7. 2020 Digital Marketing Trends – the next chapter of online, mobile and social marketing

Let’s dig in into the digital marketing news, shall we?

Social Media News

Twitter

Twitter has announced a new GIF creation functionality. It allows users to convert their iOS Live Photos into looping GIFs – and all directly from the compose window. 

When a user uploads a photo from their iOS device, which they’ve taken with Live Photo enabled, they will have the opportunity to convert that photo into a GIF in one simple step – tapping the GIF icon on the preview.  A workaround of converting Live Photos to GIFs has existed for some time now. However, building this functionality directly into the upload process could make it a much more appealing and utilised option among Twitter users. The functionality is available in the latest version of the app and anywhere you can upload an image to Twitter – tweets, retweets with comments, replies, DMs.

Instagram

After initially being spotted in testing back in August, Instagram has officially launched its new Layout mode for Stories. 

The new layout option, which will be among your Stories camera modes, provides a range of presentation styles – six different grids, to be exact – to choose from. You can simply scroll through them and then take shots accordingly.

We aren’t really surprised by the official launch of the tool. Especially considering it’s been in testing since August and has been spotted, more recently, in the live app by researcher Satyam Sinha. So, are you going to take advantage of it and let your creative juices flowing? With the holidays just around the corner, it would be an awesome opportunity to spread some ‘cheer’ and get a bit more traffic.

Search Engine and SEO News

Google Search Console (GSC)

Google posted both on Twitter and its data anomalies page that the coverage report within the GSC has been updated. As a result, users might see more non-indexed pages being reported as of December 15, 2019. Basically, some pages that were “crawled – currently not indexed” are now known to be indexed.

So, the index coverage report has been wrong for quite some time. Should we assume that with this update the report is now correct? Or is it simply just less wrong?

Google Search App

The latest beta version (10.89.9) of the Google app seems like a pretty routine update. However, a user on Reddit, spotted a bug when searching message-related queries that cause the Search app to crash.

Judging by the number of users reporting the same problem, it seems the pattern of devices that were affected is inconsistent. If you type “what are my messages” or simply “my messages” the app simply crashes.

Currently, there’s no known workaround for the crash, so we hope a patch is sent out soon. For now, you can still use the Assistant to achieve the same goal by asking, “what are my messages?”.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

It’s that time of year where we should take a look at what lies ahead for SEO in 2020. What strategies and tactics will work? What will help businesses dominate the SERPs and earn more revenue? 

Our friends at SEJ asked 58 of today’s top SEO professionals and here are the top 10 trends you need to know in 2020:

  1. BERT and user-focused optimisation
  2. Hight-quality optimised content
  3. E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) and your unfair advantage
  4. UX (user experience) and technical SEO
  5. Mobile SEO
  6. Structured data
  7. Entity and knowledge graph optimisation
  8. Link building and brand building
  9. Focus on visibility, not just blue links
  10. Programming

These only scratch the surface. For more SEO trends and insights for 2020, download SEJ’s SEO Trends 2020 free e-book.

PPC and Ads News

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has raised concerns about the market power of digital ad platform giants Google and Facebook in an interim report, opening up a discussion on a range of potential inventions – from breaking up platform giants to limiting their ability to set self-serving defaults and enforcing data sharing and/or feature interoperability to help rivals compete.

According to the report, “Google and Facebook are the largest such platforms by far, with over a third of UK internet users’ time online spent on their sites. Google enjoys a more than 90% share of the £6 billion search advertising market in the UK, while Facebook has a share of almost 50% of the £5 billion display advertising market. Both companies have been highly profitable for many years.

The CMA said that in order to solve competition problems, there is a “strong argument” to create a regulator that would monitor online platforms funded by digital advertising.

For Google, this could mean tackling the source of its market power in search by including third-party access to click-and-query data, as well as intervening in how phone manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung decide which default search engines appear on internet browsers. 

For Facebook, the CMA is considering tackling the source of its power by increasing its interoperability with other platforms.

You can read CMA’s full “Online Platforms and Digital Advertising” interim report – all 283 pages of it – here.

Digital Marketing News

MarTech company Vivial released its 2020 Digital Marketing Trends report which is a look into the next chapter of online, mobile and social marketing.

In a survey of more than 500 SMBs, Vivial found that while 41% say they are doing enough marketing to get by, more than a quarter state that their lack of knowledge about marketing is hindering their current marketing efforts.

Here are some highlights from the report:

  • Content marketing. The survey found that nearly a quarter of small business owners struggle with generating engaging content on a consistent basis. Yet in 2020 and beyond, content marketing will continue to play a fundamental role in digital marketing. Thus, SMBs will need to up their content game.
  • Social media. While 62% of the surveys SMBs state social media has the highest ROI for their business, only 40% are running any paid ads on social media. Using a mix of organic and paid content is key to building a follower base on social platforms. 
  • Search engine marketing (SEM). Multi-platform advertising will be a must in 2020, including variety in both the platforms for advertising (Google, social media, etc.) as well as the type of ads (video, carousel, etc.).
  • Search engine optimisation (SEO). As voice-based search is quickly becoming “the next big thing”, it’s crucial for businesses to have accurate listings, content keywords and search rankings to be found with voice queries.
  • Mobile marketing (SMS). 75% of people prefer offers via SMS than adverts in mobile apps. In order to capitalise on this platform, it will be key for businesses to keep messages simple and personal and find ways to differentiate not only products but customer service.
  • Omni-channel approach. Customers expect a seamless experience and businesses have seconds to keep their attention. Therefore, whether they arrive on a landing page or step through the front door to redeem an SMS coupon, the messaging must be consistent and the process fluid.

You can get the full 2020 Digital Marketing Trends report here. It’s free.

Final Thoughts

Do you have any suggestions or ideas what digital marketing news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, search engine news as well as PPC & Ads news.

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