Is Twitter’s verification program coming back? What are the most important 2021 SEO trends? Why is LinkedIn testing Stories Ads? How did the COVID-19 pandemic change the channels of engagement?

“Good marketing makes the company look smart. Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.” – Joe Chernov

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

  1. Twitter verified accounts relaunching
  2. SEO Trends for 2021
  3. LinkedIn Stories Ads Beta Launch
  4. [Report] How COVID-19 changed the channels of engagement

Ready to dive in?

Social Media

Twitter Verified Accounts Are Coming Out Of Retirement

After pausing its verified accounts program back in 2017 due to confusion of what the program was actually about and asking for the users’ feedback in November 2020, Twitter has announced they plan on bringing back the public verification program in 2021 albeit with many changes.

Based on the feedback from over 22,000 responses, these are the key changes in the new verification policy – 

  • loosened the rules for a profile completion
  • updated references to Wikipedia to improve alignment with published standards
  • updated ‘News’ category to also recognise journalists
  • updated the minimum follower count requirement to be on a pre-region basis (rather than pre-country as it was in the past) to the follower count requirements less susceptible to spam 

According to Twitter, the verification program is meant to assist members to better understand who they are interacting with. The blue verification badge is meant to instil a sense of authenticity and build trust between members and brands.

Furthermore, Twitter also announced its plan on rolling out a new account type aimed at identifying accounts that are bots. However, currently, there is no specified release date. 

Lastly, the company stated that under the new policy, Twitter may remove verification from accounts that have been found to violate the new Twitter rules. 

Search Engine and SEO News

2021 SEO Trends

According to Lily Ray, a great SEO strategy should start by putting yourself in the user’s shoes and asking yourself if the content is truly valuable, the brand is trustworthy, and the website is easy to use (especially on mobile).” As much as all of this is true, there is so much more to dive into when it comes to SEO in 2021.

Ask yourself, what SEO strategies and techniques will help you overshadow your competition in the SERPs and generate more revenue in 2021 and beyond? Don’t worry if you currently have no idea what the answer is. Our friends at SEJ have collected opinions and predictions from 42 of the top SEO professionals to create an ebook that will help you discover the most important SEO trends for 2021. 

To pique your interest, here is a brief outline of the 10 top 2021 SEO trends

1) Focus on user + search intent
2) Customer analytics, retention and lifetime value
3) Brand SERP optimisation, knowledge graphs and entities
4) Core web vitals and page experience optimisation
5) All SEO is mobile SEO
6) Assess, adopt and execute
7) More automation
8) SERP layout and functionality changes
9) Long-form content
10) SEO scalability

These ten 2021  SEO trends are only scratching the surface of what you will find amongst over 200 pages of tips, tactics and advice from top SEO professionals. Are you ready for all the trends? Then download the ebook now.

PPC and Ads News

LinkedIn Stories Ads Are In Beta

LinkedIn followed suit and finally rolled out its Stories back in September 2020. After an incredibly positive response, the company revealed whilst they were testing Stories, they were also looking for a way marketers can utilise the Stories format as a tool to reach and engage with audiences differently. Thus, LinkedIn Stories Ads came into existence. The company announced a closed beta launch with a limited number of advertisers. 

“Stories Ads can help brands grow their reach with our community of more than 722m members with video and image ads. Already, we have had more than 600 advertisers activate campaigns with positive performance in clicks, views and cost metrics,” states LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Stories Ads will allow advertisers to take advantage of the platform’s wide range of ad targeting tools to focus on specific audiences and reach them with full-screen video and /or single-image ads.

As much as ads in LinkedIn Stories would be a great addition to the platform’s tool pool, don’t you find it odd that in a new ad product announcement LinkedIn has not provided any sort of performance measures for LinkedIn Stories? Yeah, they revealed the total number of users on the platform, but no active Stories stats. Why? Isn’t this exactly what advertisers would be interested in before deciding whether or not to use LinkedIn Stories Ads once they are launched broadly in 2021? 

Digital Marketing News

The COVID-19 pandemic forced consumers to change the way they engage with brands. Since the start of the outbreak, more and more consumers have moved their interactions with brands online which respectively exposed certain digital weaknesses and, consequently, lead to consumer dissatisfaction and frustration. 

In the “New Normal”, brands must ask themselves – “Are consumers supposed to reintroduce themselves each time they interact with my brand through different channels? Is the current consumer journey seamless? Can consumers switch between channels without the dreaded re-verification?” All valid questions.

Consumers all over the globe from different backgrounds and various generations are getting quite frustrated with brands’ digital experience as they are running into all sorts of issues. Some consumers are quite happy to digitally self-serve and even praise the speed and convenience of marketing tools such as email, chatbots, web, social media and video. Yet, when their needs are not met 73% of consumers will consider moving on from brands that provide poor digital CX and spend their hard-earned pounds/dollars/euros elsewhere

A recent report by the CMO Council (in collaboration with Precisely) that surveyed over 2,00 consumers spread amongst five generations (Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Silent Gen) and six countries (the U.S., Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand) sheds some light on how consumers engage with brands over different marketing channels, which channels are on the rise and how different generations prefer to interact and engage with brands.

The Critical Channels of Choice report will cover the following topics – 

1) Digital with a human touch
2) Channels that matter most
3) Frustration leads to brand abandonment
4) Digital fails to meet expectations
5) The human fallback
6) Why email keeps ascending?
7) Tactical texting is not for everyone
8) Not all chatbots are created equal
9) Video: emerging channel to watch
10) Meet the generations
11) Is Gen Z more easygoing?
12) Who is not a people person?
13) Social media slips in discovery
14) Younger generation more willing to share personal data

2020 has been a year of unprecedented change in the lives of brands and the customers they serve. By forcing consumers to turn to digital channels, a lot of brands are facing difficulties and their digital transformation has been put to the test. Yet, this report will help marketers and businesses rise above the fray and overcome any digital challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Final Thoughts

Do you have any suggestions or ideas about which 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.

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Adi Angelova

Author Adi Angelova

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