Did you hear about Facebook’s new interface and its goal to help businesses during COVID-19? Do you speak HTTP/2 like Googlebot? What is happening with Google Ads API? How are consumers around the world adapting to the ongoing pandemic?

“Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Customers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.” – Ian Schafer

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

  1. What is Facebook Business Suite?
  2. Googlebot is learning a new HTTP dialect
  3. Google Ads API moved to “general availability”
  4. [Report] Digital Tools In Crisis and Recovery: Consumer Report   

Let’s dive in.

Social Media

Facebook Business Suite – new cross-app management tool for SMBs

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic challenged businesses in numerous ways. However, Facebook keeps finding ways to help businesses – big or small – to reach and sell their products/services to customers. The social network’s free tools and personalised ads are a lifeline for many small and medium-sized businesses. 

In their attempt to bring simplicity and centralised control to content management on both Facebook and Instagram, the company has launched (and globally released) a new mobile app and desktop interface to help businesses save time and stay up-to-date by managing their pages or profiles across all apps. It bears the name – drumroll – Facebook Business Suite.

The new interface brings together Facebook and Instagram publishing, messaging and analytics into a single dashboard allowing marketers to manage content across the two platforms with simplicity and ease.

The benefits offered by the new interface include – 

a) post management on both Facebook and Instagram from the same interface;
b) a shared inbox for both messages and notifications from both platforms; and
c) analytics, insights and advertising capabilities for both platforms in the same place.

According to Facebook VP of Small Business Rich Rao, “the new app was developed after feedback from SMBs who wanted simpler tools that centralised and consolidated content, messaging, ads (boosted posts) and analytics in a single location. The value of simplicity is even higher than we thought.”

The reason you should care. The COVID-19 pandemic and global recession are existential threats to hundred and thousands if not millions of small and medium-sized businesses. The opportunity to have more accessible, simple and easily manageable digital marketing tools offered to marketers is critical for the future success of every business regardless of its size.

Search Engine and SEO News

Googlebot Will Soon Support Crawling Over HTTP/2

Google announced that the Googlebot will start supporting crawling over HTTP/2 for some websites starting November 2020. No idea what this means?

What is HTTP/2? Well, the simplest explanation is that it’s the next generation of HTTP. But that doesn’t mean much to those who don’t speak the language. HTTP is an application layer protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. Simply put, it’s what the Internet essentially uses for transferring data. Now, HTTP/2 is a major revision of the HTTP protocol which, according to Google “is much more robust, efficient, and faster than its predecessor, due to its architecture and the features it implements for clients (for example, your browser) and servers.” 

Three of the most prominent benefits of HTTP/2 are –

a) multiplexing and concurrency – fewer Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections open means fewer resources sent;
b) header compression – drastically reduced HTTP header sizes will save resources;
c) server push – this feature may be beneficial for rendering, however, at this stage, it’s not yet enabled.

According to Google, “when a site becomes eligible for crawling over h2, the owners of that site registered in Search Console will get a message saying that some of the crawling traffic may be over h2 going forward.”

The reason you should care. For larger websites, when it comes to hosting budgets making crawling more efficient can be helpful. Furthermore, it’s also quite important to keep up-to-date with how Googlebot is improving and adapting over time.

PPC and Ads News

Google Ads API Finally Out Of Beta And Available To All

Google announced that Google Ads API has finally moved past Beta and is now generally available for advertisers and developers. 

According to search engine marketing guru Barry Schwartz, after the Google Ads API launch last year, there may have been some serious issues when the company tried to replace the old Google AdWords API. Hence, forcing Google to move the release of the new Google Ads API back to Beta.

The company stated that “the Google AdWords API is still available for use at this time. However, new features will no longer be added. For all new integrations, we recommend using the Google Ads API.” 

The reason you should care. With the Google Ads API finally available to all, advertisers and developers will be able to have access and view faster rollouts of new features and compatibility updates for tools such as recommendations, local campaigns, etc. Existing features such as the Keyword Planner, change history and billing will also see improvements. Overall, the new (and improved) Google Ads API will make advertisers’ life easier by allowing them to swiftly manage ad campaigns and boost overall productivity.

Digital Marketing News

The COVID-19 pandemic changed quite a lot in people’s lives – from travel through the way we shop to how businesses operate. To combat the challenges presented by the pandemic, many governments have imposed lockdown measures which forced businesses to suspend physical operations and consumers had to stay at home. Nonetheless, in the presence of these social distancing restrictions, consumers are adapting as best as they can during the crisis using digital tools to remain connected with businesses and form new digital habits.

To gain a better understanding of how consumers are changing, Facebook commissioned a study conducted by Deloitte that examines the impact of COVID-19 on consumer’s behaviour, purchasing patterns and the way people use digital tools to search for and interact with businesses across 13* markets.

Some key findings from the study show that – 

a) 48% of consumers reported an increase in online spending since the COVID-19 outbreak;
b) 40% of respondents had increased their use of social media and online messaging to obtain product and business recommendations;
c) 31% of participants are planning to increase their spending with small, local businesses when the COVID-19 pandemic is over;
d) consumers appear willing to continue using digital tools in their interactions with businesses going forward and in the post-COVID-19 era which may lead to a permanent structural shift; and
e) 60% of consumers had increased their use of social media and online messaging to search for information and engage with businesses.

To discover more insight into how consumers across countries have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic, take a look at Deloitte’s Digital Tools In Crisis and Recovery Consumer report.

*The 13 markets include Australia, Brazil, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines,  Spain, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom and the U.S.

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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