“If you’re not seeing the email channel as a money making machine, you have the wrong strategy.” – Hans Smellinckx
Keeping up-to-date with the most recent and relevant digital marketing news isn’t easy. Hence, our roundup will deliver the most essential updates and changes straight to your inbox.
In this digital marketing news roundup, we’ll cover Outlooks’ blocked access to attachments; Gmail’s recent update of the Promotions tab, Manufacturer Centre, your related activity and search console’s new features.
Salesforce new tools; Bing dynamic search ads; YouTube breaking the trend and removing features and a whopping €50million GDPR fine for you know who.
In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news on the following topics:
- Social Media
- Search Engines and SEO
- PPC and Advertising
- Other stuff we found interesting
Let’s dig in!
“If social media is the cocktail party, then email marketing is the ‘meet up for coffee’. The original 1 to 1 channel.” – Erik Harbison
If you’re using Outlook and you see ‘Outlook blocked access to the following potentially unsafe attachments’ message whilst attempting to open an email containing .exe or .msi file, Outlook will stop the attachment from being opened as it presents a potential malware threat. With so many phishing attacks in recent months, it’s a must-have security feature to have; that is if you want to protect your computer from harm.
Despite the speculation that the release of Gmail’s Promotions tab (in 2013) would be the ‘end of email marketing’ it didn’t happen. On the contrary, email marketing continued to thrive and according to ReturnPath, Gmail recently announced an update to the Promo tab which should (on the surface level, at least) be more welcomed by email marketers. There are three primary components to Gmail’s announcement:
- Logos, discount codes, and more: Email marketers will be able to mark up their emails with small snippets of code to add new features to messages in the Promo tab. These include dial codes, discounts, company logo, deal expiration dates and single image preview;
- Bundles: Using machine learning, certain messages will be selected to show up at the top of the Promo tab in bundles with labels like ‘Top Deals’ or ‘Expiring Soon’; and
- Nudges in the primary inbox: The Gmail team has also created a summary display of top deals in the primary inbox they named ‘nudges’. This summary display will show overlapping logos of the top deals, a listing of the bundle type and a list of sending brands.
Currently, the scope of the release appears to be limited to the Gmail mobile client for gmail.com addresses; but, it’s expected to be extended to Gmail web client within this year. What’s the benefit to email marketers? The new Promotions tab rewards the brands that provide the most value to their subscribers with more prominent placement in the Promo tab; as well as, a new and more visual way to present their offers. Pretty cool, eh?
“Social media puts the ‘public’ into PR and the ‘market’ into marketing.” – Chris Brogan
The tech titan Facebook is still causing some unwanted user attention. It seems people who own Android phones (specifically Samsung ones) are unable to delete the app permanently. Apparently due to the pre-install deal made between the two companies owners can only disable the app but not remove it.
A little birdy told us Twitter is working on some new publisher tools for business. Users will have access to two dashboards – Events and Insights & Analytics. The new analytics one will make it easier for publishers to gain a better understanding of the type of content that resonates with the readers; and, the events one will help them better track real-time info around, er, events. The concept behind this new publisher dashboards is to offer insights and analytics so companies can be better informed when devising content strategies. Whilst the analytics dashboard is likely to be accessible through media.twitter.com and aimed at publishers and other users utilising the tool for business purposes, events will have a wider remit – it’ll be pinned to the top of the timeline in Explore and accessible through Search.
Instagram quietly updated its API to include direct Instagram video scheduling. Previously, the Insta-API was limited to scheduling single-image posts, not yet allowing third-party tools to schedule videos or multi-image posts. Now, these third-party tools – chiefly social media management (SMM) apps – can add the ability to schedule video posts to Instagram without having to use ‘smartphone workaround’ (getting a mobile alert from an SMM app to remind you to post and then manually post the video via the Instagram app). The video scheduling API is only available to Instagram Marketing Partners via the Content Publishing API beta program. Most of the major SMM apps (Buffer, Hootsuite, Social Report, etc.) are a part of this program; hence, you can expect your app of choice to support the feature … soon. In addition, only Instagram Business Profiles have access to direct video scheduling via SMM apps.
SEARCH ENGINES AND SEO
“Everyone knows what search engines are. But relatively few know how to use them effectively.” – Marc Ostrofsky
The search engine with the largest market share worldwide Google (92.25%) is rolling out a new option which will enable businesses to add in their own, custom product info within search results, controlled by Google Manufacturer Center. The Manufacturer Center was originally launched in 2015 and is now available in 24 countries. It allows businesses to upload relevant product information which Google can show to users who are searching for product-specific queries.
With this new addition, business will be able to add in said custom product info to augment those search results with a ‘From the Manufacturer’ panel added to the business listing. Business will be able to populate their product page on Google Shopping with inspirational and high-quality content; highlight their products features and capabilities that shoppers care about; and, build brand equity directly with shoppers on Google. Additionally, the company also launched new and improved analytics in Manufacturer Center; it will help businesses make better decisions by providing a better understanding of how ads for the products are performing on Google.
It’s frustrating not remembering your last search in Google, isn’t it? Well, no more. The company is rolling out a new feature in search called ‘your related activity’. It’ll allow signed in users to pick up on previous searches they’ve done related to the current query they just added. Pretty cool, unless your partner enjoys boiled rabbit from time-to-time, in which case you should switch it off.
Google Search Console
PPC AND ADVERTISING
“Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make.” – Bill Bernbach
Google is notifying advertisers that AdWords Express has joined the Google Ads platform. The AdWord Express campaigns will now be available in Google Ads as ‘Smart campaigns’. Previously, AdWords Express was a standalone solution designed to be a lower maintenance option for small businesses. However, with this merge advertisers will not lose the benefits they had before but on the contrary, gain more and improved features. Google highlighted the following benefits of the ‘merge’:
- Create an online ad quickly and easily;
- Pay only when people click on your ad;
- Attract more customers to your website or Google Maps listing;
- Minimal ongoing management. Google Ads runs your ads for you;
- Reach customers on desktop-computers and mobile devices; and
- Review the effectiveness of your ads on your dashboard.
Furthermore, the key features include:
- “Campaign” overview: The account’s home-base where all Google-generated performance insights can be found;
- Critical account alerts: Important notifications about your campaign, billing issues, etc.;
- Verified calls: Shows you the number of calls that you’ve received from your campaign, along with your clicks;
- Map actions: Helps you track the number of times people saw your ad and then clicked your business’ pin on Google maps or got directions to your business;
- Track actions on your website with Google Analytics: Measures how well your website meets your business expectations; and
- Ads scheduling: Allows you to choose the days of the week and the times of day to run your ad.
Bing Ads are upping-their-game by launching page feeds for easier Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) management. Page feeds allow users to easily upload all the relevant URLs for the DSA campaigns in a spreadsheet format. This ensures maximum website coverage and enables the labelling and targeting of specific URLs via custom labels.
OTHER DIGITAL MARKETING NEWS WE FOUND INTERESTING
“Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.” – Milan Kundera
After January 31, YouTube will be removing the ability to automatically share videos on Twitter and Google+ after they’ve been published. The reason behind it? The platform wants to provide a better user experience for both the user and their followers not to mention that Google+ is being switched off in the near future.
Salesforce is adding a new tool which will allow marketers (and admins) to create and publish mobile apps for iOS and Android devices on its Lightning Platform and for its Community Cloud without a developer’s help. Why should you care? According to Salesforce research, 48% of IT departments have “a significant mobile developer skill gap”; and, another 33% expect such a gap in the next two years. With these kinds of stats, a tool such as this will create a more fluid experience for employees, existing and potential customers. Moreover, mobile apps provide a smoother experience than many mobile optimised sites, although Progressive Web Apps are beginning to change that balance. Let’s face it, the ability to quickly create and publish mobile apps – without software developer’s help – sounds really, really good. Doesn’t it?
Since the GDPR, a lot of businesses have been facing violation accusations. We’ve heard that an Austrian privacy group has filed complaints against eight tech firms – Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Flimmit, DAZN, Apple Music and Amazon Prime – accusing them of failing to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection regulation. The complaints allege that the tech firms failed to provide access to data, as required by the GDPR, and demanded penalties based on 4% of their worldwide revenue (the maximum allowed). They were not the only ones though, Google has been hit with a fine of €50 million euros (£44m) by the French data regulator CNIL for a breach of the GDPR as well.
Let us know what digital marketing news topics and areas you would 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 blog for more digital marketing news, social media marketing, business growth tips and tricks plus, of course, all things email marketing.