August digital marketing news

Katerina Iliaki

Digital Content Specialist

Google’s helpful content update focuses on people-first content  

In a nutshell

Google has announced it will launch the “helpful content update” during the last week of August. The aim? To prioritise content in search results that has been created primarily for people, not search engines.

“This ranking update will help make sure that unoriginal, low quality content doesn’t rank highly in Search, and our testing has found it will especially improve results related to online education, as well as arts and entertainment, shopping and tech-related content,” the company said, in a recent blog post. However, the announcement highlights that the upcoming update doesn’t invalidate SEO best practises.

What does this mean?

"Although creating content for humans instead of search engines has hopefully been evident since the Google Panda update, it’s now proven to become more important than ever,” says iCrossing UK’s senior SEO analyst, Ellinoora Lehtonen. “Writers and SEO analysts should ensure each piece of content serves a clear purpose, is relevant to the site's target audience and leaves the users satisfied with what they’ve read. Showing your expertise and adding new, valuable information to the mix is the way forward. 

“As the update is rolling out soon, SEOs should be paying close attention to any noticeable ranking changes sitewide in the upcoming weeks." 

Wondering if your content follows a people-first approach? Try answering Google’s list of questions to see if it’s designed to help people or needs revaluation.

Meta introduces new Reels features and tools  

In a nutshell

Meta launched six new features on Reels, aiming to give its users more ways to be creative, grow their audience and monetise their content. Here’s a breakdown of the tools and how they work: 

  • 'Add Yours’ sticker enables users to join or start trends on Meta’s platforms, to inspire their followers and drive engagement. 

  • Creator studio insights give Facebook users access to more data, giving them more chances to improve performance and gain more followers. 

  • ‘Stars’ is a new way for creators and brands to earn money through short form videos. 

  • Remix in sequence is another option, enabling Meta to compete with TikTok.  

  • Cross-posting video content between its Instagram and Facebook platforms to expand reach, making sure content is seen by more people. 

  • Auto-created Facebook Reels, allow users to automatically turn their archived Stories into Reels clips.

What does this mean?

“In light of the latest updates for Meta, it’s integral that brands are building the new functions into their social strategies,” says iCrossing UK’s audience intelligence analyst, Charlotte Willmott. “As the rise of TikTok has proved, short-form video continues to gain traction, and Reels is now Meta's fastest growing format, accounting for 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram. These new functions give brands the ability to repurpose content where suitable, with the stories to Reels conversion, which will in turn target users who have other format preferences.

“Equally, the new features also provide additional engagement opportunities for brands, with the ‘Add Yours’ sticker. Finally, with the addition of Reels performance insights, brands can gain more insight on what content is working for them and their customers, providing the ability to optimise content strategy in the long-term.”

find out more here
Google prioritises high quality, in-depth reviews written by experts

In a nutshell

In the coming weeks, Google will be launching another important update to help its users easily discover original reviews and make informed decisions. The platform will achieve this by promoting content in search results from sites that include useful reviews written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well and can provide insightful information. It has also previously posted tips on writing high quality product reviews, which can be found here.

What does this mean?

The new feature, which is currently in beta in the US, will improve Pinterest as a marketing and shopping channel, offering more opportunities to retailers. Users will enjoy a customised shopping surface, as the platform strives to improve algorithms to offer them products that better match individual needs. Plus, together with the new ‘in-app’ checkout, it’ll be easier than ever to move from inspiration to purchase, without leaving the app. This could lead to more impulse buys, transforming Pinterest into a shopping channel that rivals Instagram.

find out more
Reply Filter: Twitter’s new feature will allow users to filter ‘potentially unwelcome replies’  

In a nutshell

Aiming to give users more options and ways to control their in-app experience, is working on a new ‘Reply filter’ option. This will allow users to manage their setting to limit ‘potentially unwelcome replies’ – meaning tweets that contain potentially harmful or offensive language, as identified by the platform’s detection systems. The filter is still under development, while its description highlights the fact that Twitter “uses technology to help users identify such replies, so while we’re always improving, we may not get it right all the time”.

What does this mean?

The new filter won’t restrict users replying to posts; it will only prevent the person who posted the tweet from seeing those replies, while everyone else will still have access to them. But it could be a good option for people who want to avoid exposure to negative comments to potentially offer a more pleasant experience when using the app.

Storyblok enables brands to create better omnichannel content through a new CMS experience 

In a nutshell

Storyblok recently launched V2, introducing a more powerful Content Management System, which offers new features and allows users to create more omnichannel digital experiences. The updated version offers more flexibility and smarter workflows to users, including major updates to the interfaces and introducing a ‘top-of-the-line image editor’ among other powerful features. The aim? To make content creation easier for users.

What does this mean?

“This new version has streamlined and elevated the content editing process,” says iCrossing UK’s senior product manager, Rebecca Evans. “While the Storyblok team has clearly spent time improving the visual editor, the biggest impact lies with the content experiences – meaning assets can now be edited directly in the application, while the new discussion feature makes the process a lot more collaborative. All these changes come without any edits to the backend services, making the transition for existing spaces straightforward and seamless.”

iCrossing UK’s Harry Sumner on moving customers out of the messy middle and onto purchase

In a nutshell

Harry Sumner, iCrossing UK’s senior search director, talked to Performance Marketing World about the ‘messy middle’ theory, which suggests that customers are always in the market to buy products and services. But how can brands nudge them and pull them out of the exploration and evaluation stages and onto making purchases on their sites?

What does this mean?

Harry explains how iCrossing UK’s holistic search approach can help brands take advantage of opportunities, get the most out of search and ultimately drive sales; “Our programme looks to leverage paid capabilities to then scale within organic search,” says Harry. “Given that there are a range of queries being made throughout a buyer’s journey and based on the finding that it’s paramount for a brand to be seen, we decided we needed to bring our search channels together. We brought iCrossing UK’s search practices to one unified search framework, which we call Total Search.”

Find out more about iCrossing UK’s Total Search Approach here
‘Boomerang employees’ are on the rise, says iCrossing UK’s Nicola Thomas 

In a nutshell

iCrossing UK’s talent manager Nicola Thomas talked to the BBC about the hiring crisis, as well as ‘boomerang’ employees who want to return to their former workplaces, following the Great Resignation. According to Nicola, recruiters are now considering new ways to broaden their talent search, looking to former employees who may be the ideal candidates, as they’re familiar with a company’s values and culture. Plus, they might have existing relationships in the business, which could help them begin at full speed and be better performers than external hires. This could benefit companies, saving them valuable time from training new people.

What does this mean?

“People now want to experience different companies and climb the ladder as quickly as possible,” she says, explaining that there has been a generational shift in organisations’ attitudes to employee tenure. “In a world where many roles are highly technical with specific skillsets, there’s a limit to how many people you can consider – disregarding former employees may mean missing out on a huge opportunity.”   “If a former employee left on a positive note, spent some time away, upskilled and gained greater experience elsewhere, then returning to a more senior role becomes a strong consideration.”

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