Digital Marketing and PR Industry Monthly Update for August 2016

Digital Marketing

Google expanding its Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP)

Google is expanding its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project to all mobile search results: when mobile users search for an article or news story, the link will load within Google instead of leading you to the external site, as long as an AMP version is available. Now, AMP versions of articles will take priority in mobile search results rather than links to a publisher’s site.

Why it matters: It is seriously time to think about making your content AMP compliant regardless if you consider yourself a publisher.  Google is planning on showing AMP links everywhere in its mobile search meaning that those AMP articles should see more traffic. E-commerce giant, EBay, is already AMP’ing their sales pages to ensure they stay head of the shift.

New AdWords innovations optimizing mobile advertising just in time!
Google announces the launch of three new AdWords innovations that will advance and improve mobile advertising while giving more control to marketers. The latest updates include expanded text ads (ETAs), responsive ads, and bid adjustments.

Why it matters:  These three enhancements are going to greatly help marketers ensure that they are effectively engaging with potentials customers. They will result in increased reach in the market, as well as improved ad performance. That provides a great opportunity to strengthen your digital strategy just in time for the holidays.

Facebook ongoing battle with Adblock 
Adblock Plus has created a way to clear ads from your Facebook newsfeed and sidebar. Anyone with a current, updated version of Adblock Plus should be able to block ads altogether on Facebook.

Why it matters:  We would rather see further development of Facebook ad preference options than outside companies trying to “block ads.” The Adblock tech isn’t perfect and sometimes blocks non-ads like friend’s posts. With the software, the user experience is hampered, so why use it? Luckily, there is little evidence that users are installing ad blockers, but it is reassuring that Facebook is fighting the ad blocker companies.

Social

Instagram playing copycat with Snapchat

Instagram takes after Snapchat by adding a new feature called “Instagram Stories.” This new feature is almost identical to “Snapchat Stories,” both allowing people to view an assembly of photos and videos for a time limit of 24 hours.

Why it matters: At some point, these two platforms might be identical given that they keep “borrowing” features from each other.  It is good to see Instagram not resting on their laurels and trying to keep up with Snapchat even if that means looking more like Snapchat.

Branding

Ryan Lochte’s shenanigans teaches us a lesson in personal branding

Ryan Lochte’s experience at the Olympics this year in Rio has been detrimental, not just to the brands he represents, but more so to his personal brand. This has caused many negative branding articles and triggered many to really examine how to establish and strengthen their brand.

Why it matters: Public relations and media gaffes can be more than embarrassing; it could wipe out everything you have built your brand up to be. But before all is lost, there are still ways to salvage your brand by being straight forward, honest and quick to respond.

PR / Media Relations

Olympic Rule 40 impacting athletes

A rule created by the International Olympic Committee demands that only official sponsors can market around the games—commonly  known as Rule 40. This rule keeps competing brands out of images from the Olympic Games, preventing Olympic athletes who may be sponsored by smaller businesses from acknowledging their sponsors on the biggest stage in athletics.

Why it matters:  No matter the sport, we are seeing sport organizations become more calculating with how brands are able to piggyback on their sport’s appeal and visibility.  It is increasingly harder for brands with smaller budgets to be involved in large sporting events like the Olympics.

Technology

iPhone 7 features concerning some consumers
The iPhone 7 release date is rumored to be on September 7th. The new iPhone is said to have several new features, although some of the features have consumers concerned whether they are for the better or for the worse.

Why it matters: Apple’s market share has dropped recently and if this next update doesn’t excite the masses it could drop even more. Still, mobile use continues to rise, so don’t give up on creating mobile friendly content, optimizing for mobile search or building apps. Don’t limit yourself to the iPhone experience only – a large portion of your audience will be using android phones, too.

Fin