January Online Marketing Roundup

January Online Marketing Roundup

With the new year, tons of new things are happening, and as we know you should be really busy planning your 2016 marketing campaigns we've included here the most important news of this January. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy reading our Online Marketing Roundup!

Facebook Makes News Feed More Relevant Again With Organic Audience Optimization

In past years, organic reach on Facebook has been making very little impact, with marketers of late arguing that visibility is more of a “pay to play” phenomenon. Today, there’s promise for change on the horizon.

Until now, publishers on Facebook have had quite a tough time being the signal through the noise, finding that social posts have had very little reach. The reason, many argue, quite simply comes down to Facebook’s algorithm. There are more interesting stories that are of interest to a visitor at any given time.

With Facebook’s Audience Optimization tool, launched on January 21, Facebook is rolling out an organic targeting feature that will help publishers reach specific subsets of audiences to better understand post engagement. Relevancy is increased when posts are tailored for a target audience.

For example, post updates can be targeted to interests, such as “U2” or “basketball.” As Facebook’s announcement states, “… these tags prioritize, uniquely for each person, the topics that are most likely to interest them.

Twitter To Up The Ad Ante With 30-Second Skippable Pre-Roll Ads

Looks like long form at Twitter isn’t only being limited to tweets. Digiday is reporting that Twitter is now offering pre-roll advertisements through its Amplify program that run from 15 to 30 seconds, a substantial increase from the previous six-second standard that it adopted and was popularized by its standalone video product, Vine.

In catering to the user experience, these longer ads allow users to skip them after the first six seconds of the video have been watched.

Doing so would be a win-win both for advertisers and for users who aren’t particularly receptive to sitting through longer videos. Advertisers win because they are not confined to creative messaging within six seconds, as they now can use more time to convey their marketing messaging.

The downside, though, as Digiday reports, speaks to the changing landscape of Twitter. Twitter is clearly moving away from a user experience predicated on short-form environment. With longer tweets and longer ads, Twitter is becoming an unfamiliar product, but perhaps one that is evolving with the times.

Google Panda Update: Google Raises the Bar on Content Quality

The degree to which content quality will play a role in Google search visibility has just been elevated with their recent update to Panda, making it a core part of their algorithm for determining how Google grades content quality and ranks pages.

This change has been confirmed by Google in a Panda Guide for SEOs that was reviewed by Google PR and posted by Jennifer Slegg of The SEM Post. This is a rare case where Google is proactively throwing SEOs a bone as Google very infrequently confirms core algorithm updates.

What This Means for You

Google Panda takes a number of factors into consideration when determining a quality score for a webpage. Where the recent RankBrain update changes Google’s ability to account for and index content to keywords, this Panda update changes Google’s ability to identify poor quality and high quality content and rank those pages accordingly.

Find some examples in this Top Rank Marketing Article.

Google+ Photo Search Is Dead

Google+ Search, at least searching for photos within Google+, has stopped working. Try it yourself, search for [flowers], [snow] or anything, filter it by "most recent" and the most recent photo you will see matching any query is from January 7th.

Barry Schwartz suspect this might have to do with Google changing how Google+ works with collections back in November 2015. But it did not stop working until January 7th.

There seems to be no way to find photos within the community outside of just searching for posts containing the keyword, which is okay but shows way more content.

The Role and Influence of Social Media on the Modern PR Industry

Over the last few years, it has become apparent that social media has captured the fancy of most people. The extensive use of social media has drastically changed the way people communicate and share information.

According to a 2015 finding by Pew Research Center, almost two-thirds of American adults (65%) use social networking sites, up from 7% when they began systematically tracking social media usage in 2005.

In September 2015, Facebook said that 1.01 billion people log onto Facebook daily (daily active users or DAU), which represents a 17% increase year over year. Twitter isn’t far behind either. As per Statista, “As of the third quarter of 2015, the microblogging service averaged at 307 million monthly active users. At the beginning of the 2014, Twitter had surpassed 255 MAU (monthly active users) per quarter.”

Social media has had a huge impact not only on people, but also on brands across industries as they devise strategies to engage their audiences and win their loyalty. Public relations (PR) is no different as professionals constantly seek to communicate with and hear from customers, who are ever-present and active on social media.

Find out how PR practitioners can use each of these platforms advantageously in 2016 in this PRMention article.