PING — Top Digital Marketing Stories — February 2018
The year began with both Facebook and YouTube recalibrating rules impacting SMEs the most, while Google and WhatsApp enabled enhanced features for businesses. The second month of the year is all about Instagram and some of the platforms biggest updates thus far. Google of course always has a few things making news and this February it was about Adblocker, Voice Search and AMP Formats. Let’s Begin!
1. Fun Fonts and “Type” Mode
If you have something to share as a “story” on Instagram, but you do not have it in the form of an image or a video, don’t worry — Instagram has announced the launch of its “Type Mode” feature, a new way to add spunk to your Instagram Stories
This enabled Instagram users to “turn your most random thoughts into something colourful and expressive.”
“Type Mode” has been on testing for quite some time and is now available for all. Although like the usual Instagram stories, the “Type” stories too will disappear after 24 hours.
Open your camera and swipe to “Type” to activate this feature. Type content is part of Instagram version 30 for iOS, which can be downloaded from the App Store for free.
2. Brands will get new ways to sell in “Collection” ads
Instagram started testing to run a version of Facebook’s shoppable Collection ads within its main feed. This format has a blend of videos and product catalogues and gives consumers an enjoyable platform to shop and make purchases without leaving the platform. The first two brands to try out Instagram Collection ads are Birchbox and Revolve.
For now, Instagram is only trying out the format with a limited number of advertisers, but the company plans to open it up to more advertisers in a number of months, according to an Instagram spokesperson.
How will brands benefit with this Insta feature?
E-commerce is becoming a big opportunity on Instagram, and a competitive category in its rivalry with Snapchat.
The interesting aspect about Collection Ads is that it combines video with the ability to swipe through several items and also make a purchase. With this new ad feature, Facebook plans to allow its advertisers to extend campaigns from one platform to another.
3. Carousel ads now on Instagram stories
Instagram Ad stories are no longer limited to one image or video — they can now include three!! Yes, we are talking about the new Carousal Ads that Instagram has brought for the users. Instagram users can now tap through, swipe back and forth or pause the content whenever there is something interesting.
According to Susan Rose, Director of Product Marketing, implementing three pieces of content is just a starting point. “It’s a feature that was requested from businesses and advertisers, given the power that they’ve seen through organic stories with multiple pieces of content,” she said.
Like other new features on Instagram, Carousal ads will also attract more advertisers. Currently, in the testing phase with a handful of advertisers, including the Gap, Coca-Cola and Paramount, this feature will be rolled out thereafter for the larger audience.
1. Say Goodbye to annoying ads on Google
Google has started its war against intrusive ads. Google launched a new version of its Chrome web browser today with a built-in ad blocker.
Based on 25k North American users survey results google set the guidelines for “better ads standards.”
Full page ads, auto sound & video ads, and flash ads will be on the radar of Chrome’s ad blocker.
Google will send warnings to the site owners who do not abide by the new standards with a 30 days notice to stop these intrusive ads on their website. If the owners fail, Google will step in to filter and block ads.
But how will this affect the advertisers and marketers?
The initial ad impressions will decline — which isn’t a good sign for any advertiser or marketer. However, keeping up with the pursuit of meaningful and quality content, one will be pushed to create powerful and targetted content for its consumers leaving advertisers and publishers with no/limited choice and cut through all the noise.
Apart from ads, influencer marketing will also become vital.
Influencer marketing is not dependent on ads but focuses on reaching the target audience with the help of creative messages. So, once annoying ads are being blocked, marketers will look for other options to reach their target audience effectively.
2. Accelerated Mobile Pages
Today, Google announced a new, visually focused format for its AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) framework. AMP Stories are intended to be “bite-sized,” visually engaging content constructed primarily of interactive photos and text.
Breaking with previous guidance, Google does not intend for this type of AMP content to match your non-mobile content. Instead, this mobile-only content should be unique.
3. Voice Search — More Human
Google is trying to guess what you’re asking as it gears up for voice search battle with Amazon and Apple.
When a person asks the Google Home smart speaker a question, the Assistant pulls an answer from featured snippets or its Knowledge Graph (a database of facts that Google has built from trusted sources like Wikipedia). In going up against Amazon’s Echo and Apple’sHomePod, answers need to be more precise because a person doesn’t have a list of blue links to select.
Google is putting its heavy investment in natural language processing and machine learning into action. Because of its featured snippets and Knowledge Graph, Google’s Assistant could answer 68 percent of queries, with 90.6 percent of its answers correct, according to, according to Stone Temple’s most recent survey, compared to 56.5 percent of questions with 81.9 percent accuracy for Cortana, 21.7 percent and 62.2 percent for Siri, and 20.7 percent and 87 percent for Alexa.
Overall the future stage is being set for high-quality content and innovative ways to promote business and create sticky user experiences. Are you ready?