5 digital marketing updates you need to know

Businesses are currently dealing in an extremely competitive arena. The Internet has made life easier in bountiful ways, but it also drives competition and necessitates high-quality content. New digital marketing trends and ideas refresh and reinvent themselves more often than your own personal feed. As a result, it is important for businesses to stay as up to date with these changes as they possibly can. 

So – here’s a good old-fashioned listicle of some of 2016’s most recent digital marketing updates.

1. Facebook are making a big deal about mobile-friendliness

As more consumers use their mobiles to interact online, consume content and buy products, businesses are left scrambling to ensure the mobile-friendliness of their websites. Google addressed this in April of last year by introducing an algorithm that penalised mobile-unfriendly websites. In typical melodramatic fashion, the web termed it “Mobilegeddon”.

Now it’s Facebook’s turn.

How are they doing it? Well, according to a recent statement, Facebook are introducing prefetching – a tactic that ultimately cuts load time for mobile websites. Why is cutting load time so important? Because up to 40% of people abandon a mobile website if it takes too long to load.

For businesses, this means that having a mobile-friendly website is now even more important than ever. Check out these tips on how to make your website more mobile-friendly.

2. You can now zoom in on Instagram photos

It’s been a big year for Instagram with their new logo and new stories feature. Don’t they realise how stressful it is to deal with all this change? I’m sweating just thinking about it.

And as if this wasn’t already enough, you can now zoom in on Instagram photos with a simple reverse-pinch.

It’s been a major annoyance for Instagram users that you’ve never been able to zoom in on pictures. Now, you can. But don’t just shrug it off and be cool about it. It’s only a matter of time before businesses start thinking of innovative ways to leverage the zoom function on Instagram. Oh wait – it’s already happening.

Pro tip: get on top of this now.

3. MailChimp announced a Google Primer partnership

As we mentioned, it’s hard to keep up these days. But there are tonnes of resources out there aimed at making it easier for businesses to strike gold and make an impact among their customers. Primer is one of these.

In case you haven’t gotten onto Primer yet, you now have even fewer excuses, because MailChimp recently partnered with them to create three quick lessons for digital marketers of all stripes.

The three lessons involve:

  • How to avoid spam filters
  • A great explanation of Multivariate Testing
  • How to build a great email marketing team

These are definitely worth checking out if you want to get a better grasp on digital marketing and start taking it to the next level.

4. Snapchat is revamping its analytics policy to target users with ads

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has always made a big deal about his aversion to ad targeting. But in this big old life, things change.

It looks like pressure from companies looking for more targeting options has finally forced Snapchat to adopt a new attitude. The social media giant is now rolling out some serious targeting capabilities that pose huge opportunities for brands looking to crack the elusive market of 18 – 24 year olds. 

Snapchat now tracks each user’s in-app activity and mines that information to present users with targeted ads. It’s not as drastic as Facebook’s tracking policy, but it’s definitely a different flavour of Snapchat than what we’re all used to.

5. Facebook has figured out how to block ad-blockers – or maybe not

At the very mention of the term “ad-blocker”, many people in our industry spontaneously projectile-vomit into their own laps. They shouldn’t though.

The whole ads vs. ad-blocking phenomenon is a bit like two children bickering over a crayon that belongs to neither of them. In this particular case, neither Facebook nor the ad-blocking community has a direct claim on the “right way” for consumers to digest content online. Should content always be free? And if yes, how much advertising is too much? It’s a giant grey area.

Facebook recently rolled out an algorithm that disguised ads as organically-appearing content. The result? Ad blockers found a way to block that content within days. Facebook’s response is imminent.

The battle is likely to continue for as long as we’re all interested in using the Internet, so stay tuned.

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David is Studio Culture’s Head of Digital Marketing.