It wasn’t that long ago that we entered the Year of the Ox! The Year of the Ox predicts success in business, prosperity, and wellness, so don’t let anxiety or negative thinking affect you – as many challenges as we’re facing this year, it already looks set to be a year of growth and exciting opportunities. Even though February is our shortest month, it was long enough to roll out many new digital features that marketers, in-house and agency alike, must embrace to stay on a steady course. Below, check out a platform-by-platform summary with major updates that are shaking and shaping our digital landscape. Let’s start with the current king of PPC – Google.
Google – Bye to Broad Match Modified Keywords!
Google announced that the broad match modified version of keywords, loved by Google Search Ads creators everywhere, will soon be gone for good. They’re the goldilocks of keyword match types for many campaign creators: not too broad, and not too narrow. However, broad match modified keywords will be ending in July. At that point, the full roll-out will be completed so it will no longer be possible to include new ones.
Phrase match keywords will expand to cover broad match modified instances, but as Google notes, it will “continue to respect word order when it’s important to meaning.” What that means is that existing broad match modified keywords will continue to serve, but will be matched based on this update.
You might ask if this is the beginning of the end for all keywords – will no–keyword campaigns come next to Google Search? Well, we’ve been there for quite some time. Dynamic Search Ads don’t require any keywords and, if your website content is robust enough, they can be a great addition.
Facebook – New Topic Exclusions
Facebook has recently announced they are doing their best to provide additional controls for brands, to help them avoid potential negative placements and associations. One of their advanced tools is the advertiser topic exclusion control, which will give an advertiser control over the placement of their ads in the News Feed, based on their brand suitability preferences.
Keep in mind there is already a certain level of control which enable advertisers to prevent their ads from being shown in video uploads related to chosen topics such as “politics”, “gaming”, “news”, “religious and spiritual’. However, this new update relates to a whole different set of categories and is a more complex placement solution, so it will take time for this new solution to be fully implemented. Keep an ear to the ground!
LinkedIn – Learning Labs
Struggling to find an effective marketing campaign to promote your brand on LinkedIn or don’t know how to reach your target audience? Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one! It seems that the platform has historically been hard for marketers to use, so LinkedIn introduced on-demand video courses that aim to teach advertisers how to use LinkedIn ad tools.
LinkedIn Learning Labs launched initially with 6 main courses for advertisers to better understand and use their tools. There are many possibilities on offer, including an introduction to LinkedIn Ads, different targeting options, reporting and analytics, building a full-funnel content strategy, brand awareness on LinkedIn and using lead generation. Bear in mind all these courses are free, and you can gain access at any given time. Pretty cool, huh? We can’t wait to dive into this knowledge base!
Instagram – “Recently Deleted”
Have you ever deleted some of your Instagram videos or images by accident? Or – even worse – you may have been hacked and had months or years of work affected in just a few seconds! Well, this should no longer be as much of a concern, because Instagram is making it easier to bring back deleted posts. The company is rolling out a “recently deleted” feature in the app that’ll allow you to review content you’ve deleted, including photos, videos, reels, IGTV videos and stories, and restore them. Clearly, Instagram wants to give people the chance to keep and review their content before permanently removing it.
Everything sent to the Recently Deleted folder will be automatically removed after 30 days, except for Stories, which will stay in the folder for up to 24 hours from when they were published. Make sure your app is updated to take advantage of the new feature as it’s rolled out!
Google My Business – Desktop Messaging
If you are using Google My Business to connect with and serve your customers, then you may be happy to know that you’ll soon be able to manage messages to and from those customers via the desktop interface!
Previously, this feature was only available via the Google My Business mobile app, but beginning early March, you’ll start to see the ‘Messages’ tab on the left sidebar. If you click on it, it loads the messaging chat tool. This new feature will be a huge bonus to businesses who usually use computers rather than phones for conducting business communications. Often, it is easier and faster to type on a full-size keyboard when responding to customer queries. This should make responding to customers easier, and avoid the bad business practice of leaving reviews or questions ignored on social!
That’s all from us this month, folks. February may have been short, but it managed to pack its fair share of news in! We’re looking forward to what March brings – hopefully better weather as well as more exciting marketing updates.
Need help with your digital strategy or have a specific topic you want us to cover?
If there’s anything in particular you want us to cover in our future Sparks Roundups, or if you need help planning and implementing your digital marketing campaigns, just pop [email protected] an email and we will be happy to get back to you.