While August is the month of holidays for many, marketing never sleeps, with plenty of changes that everyone in the industry should be aware of. Here is a round-up of all the key trends, reports and adjustments that have been announced in the past month to make sure that you stay in the loop.
Twitter tests a new Unfollow feature
Twitter has been introducing new features to boost engagement of late and the most recent of these is suggestions of who to unfollow. So far, the measure has only been rolled out to a select few accounts on a trial basis, but it could be something all users see in the future.
For years, the social media platform has been recommending accounts its members might be interested in, but turning the feature on its head could have implications for brands and marketers. Going forward, they will have to ensure they’re engaging well on Twitter to keep their followers, as well as attract new ones.
John Simpson, content editor at Axonn Media, said: “A good chunk of Twitter users will have been on the platform for the best part of a decade, so almost everyone will be following an account they no longer engage with or find interesting.
“Clicking that ‘unfollow’ button is good housekeeping and a savvy way to keep the platform vibrant and strip out the deadwood.
“Marketers are likely to feel aggrieved that their follower count has taken a hit, but they should treat this as a prompt to step up their game and make doubly sure any tweets are relevant and engaging.”
Video advertising spend to reach $30billion in 2018
The popularity of video advertising continues to grow, with experts at WARC predicting that $29.8 billion (£23.2 billion) will be spent on it in 2018. Its latest global ad trends report shows a 27.5 per cent year-on-year hike, which is being mainly driven by mobile video delivered through social media platforms.
Marketers who are keen to join the large numbers of brands using video should consider some of the pitfalls, as well as the positive potential it has. The report suggests that “negative adjacency”, where it is placed close to content that is not in line with brand ideals, affects one in ten online videos.
James McDonald, data director at WARC, told AdWeek: “Indeed, it’s the advertisers who have instigated change in this area and forced the hand of the major [social media] players to clean up their acts. Reach and targeting are of little value if the context is not correct.”
Google launches new Event search features
For marketers highlighting events, things may be about to get a bit easier. Instead of checking multiple websites for information and tickets, Google will be offering personalised events recommendations and key details directly in its search results.
All a user will need to do is make a query, such as “events near me” and this service will be activated. Not only will a card appear at the top of the page, but there will also be the option to bookmark it for later. Everything from festivals and concerts to museum exhibitions and cooking classes will be included. Event search will first be rolled out in the US, with the rest of the world to follow.
Lisa Baldwin, account manager at Axonn Media, said: “This is impressive news for users. We are seeing advances in tailoring to people’s interests year-on-year. Google is becoming a lifestyle ‘necessity’. And it’s also big news for the event industry – if you are not already investing in search for brand awareness, now is the time!”
Snapchat is set to overtake Facebook for teens and twentysomethings before the year is out
There was a time when it seemed like everyone was on Facebook, but not anymore. As the number of social media networks has proliferated, certain demographics have jumped ship to alternatives, and even those who maintain accounts on Facebook can often be found spending more time on other platforms.
This is particularly the case with 18- to-24-year-olds, who are migrating to Snapchat, with its allure of disappearing messages and vast array of photo filters. By the end of 2018, eMarketer predicts Snapchat will have five million users in this demographic, outstripping Facebook for the first time, which is expected to finish the year with 4.5 million teens and twentysomethings.
What this does is act as a timely reminder to marketers to ensure that they are taking their content to the correct platform for the audience they wish to reach. Even the most innovative campaign will not produce the required results if the target demographic is elsewhere, so research and social listening is key.
Google Images data to be added to Analytics
The next time you look at Google Analytics, you may get a bit of a shock, as the number of referrals from Google is likely to be down. Don’t worry; it won’t necessarily mean your site has dropped its ranking in search results, just that the way that it’s reported has changed.
Google Images will now have its own category within Analytics, and it will be found in the Acquisition reports section. What this change will allow for is the ability to see more detail on where referrals come from and could lead to stepping up your images game in the future.