Digital Content Specialist
Aiming to make content creation more accessible to its users, TikTok recently introduced new editing tools. The platform’s updated editing environment allows creators to easily adjust clips, sounds, images and text to present their stories. For example, Photo Mode enables them to express themselves in formats other than video, such as photo carousel posts, while they can now share longer descriptions to tell their stories and connect with their audience.
Photo Mode looks familiar and comes as an answer to Instagram, which is trying to replicate TikTok to keep its audience. The longer captions could also highlight the app’s value as a discovery platform, especially taking into consideration Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s senior vice president’s statement; “In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.” This means brands should make the most out of the new features on both platforms to benefit, reaching their audience and gaining more customers. Wondering which search platforms are more valuable to your key audiences? Find out more.
Google recently announced on Twitter that it's rolling out a new global spam update, which affects all languages. By improving its automated systems to ensure they spot and catch new types of spam, the platform aims to protect users, while offering high-quality search results. Sites which violate the organisation’s policies, may rank lower or even be excluded from search result pages.
How will you know if your site has been impacted by the Google spam update? “Keep an eye on search rankings and organic traffic levels over the next few days and weeks,” advises Hannah Rose, iCrossing UK’s senior SEO manager. “If you notice any changes that correlate with the update on 19th October, it's time to revisit Google's spam policies and ensure your domain is compliant. Things to avoid include cloaking, doorway pages, hacked content, hidden text and links, keyword stuffing, link spam and more. Click here to view the full list. If you haven't seen any impact, it's still worth brushing up on best practice!”
About 20 years ago, Google launched “Webmaster Guidelines”, a set of best practices for building websites. Since then, the organisation has been updating the document to help site owners optimise their pages, so they’re easily discovered, indexed, and ranked by search engines. The platform now introduces ‘Google Search Essentials’, which are refreshed and simplified guidelines for anyone who’s building or managing a site, including publishers, site owners and developers. The update includes changes in technical requirements, spam policies and key best practices.
“For a while now, Google has continued to push for the absolute deprecation of the term ‘webmaster’. In 2015, the company rebranded ‘Webmaster Tools’ as ‘Search Console’. Google believes the name is outdated, since it only focuses on webmasters and doesn’t fully reflect all key participants, such as publishers, site owners and developers,’ says iCrossing UK’s senior SEO analyst, Oladayo Martins. “The refreshed guidelines include clearer terms and the technical requirements are straightforward, so they’re easily digested. In principle, the name swap won’t impact marketers' activities. However, it’s imperative to continue adhering to the principles as stated in the Search Essential Guidelines.”
Facebook has rolled out a new Pages experience to help small and medium-sized businesses connect with other businesses and customers. Offering a cleaner and more streamlined layout, the platform enables users to easily navigate between their personal and business pages. It also allows them to access a dedicated feed to interact with their customers on the platform, giving them the chance to grow their audience.
The recent announcement offers tips for getting the most of the new feature and setting up a successful business profile. It also includes useful advice on growing your audience, improving your content, engaging your community, and making safety checks: “Schedule your posts directly from the composer to publish at a later time, such as when your followers are most active. Use trending hashtags to get your content discovered by a new and relevant audience. You can also share posts in up to three groups and link your Instagram to cross-share to your followers. Add the ‘Get Message’ action button directly in your post to help get more messages from people who view your content.”
Instagram has introduced new ads surfaces and creative tools, to help businesses create more engaging posts and reach more customers on the platform.
Music optimisation for Reels. Businesses can now manually add free, high-quality songs to their Carousel Ads or even allow the app to automatically select the best music for an ad based on its content.
Explore home and profile feed ads give advertisers the chance to promote their products and services in more places.
AI-powered multi-advertiser ads enable brands to be discovered by people who are in a shopping mindset and have recently engaged with relevant business content in feed.
AR ads offer an immersive augmented reality ad experience, promoting users’ engagement.
According to the organisation’s latest announcement “People come to Instagram to get closer to their passions. 90% of users follow at least one business, so when they come to Instagram, they’re already in the mindset to be inspired by brands”. But how can businesses benefit from these new features? Additional ad placements could be a welcome addition, provided that the app shows ads that are relevant to users in order not to overwhelm them and worsen their experience. This could also give advertisers the chance to expand their reach and grow their audience.
Big Tech’s Q2 earnings reports have been released and can be a good opportunity for paid social advertisers to review their strategy and understand how to make the most out of it. Don’t know where to start? In his article, iCrossing UK’s paid social director, James Mortimer roundups the latest updates from Meta, Twitter, Snap and Pinterest, presenting key takeaways and important learnings for brands and advertisers.
“Remarkably, Facebook’s user base increased during Q2 by 1% to a staggering 2.93 billion people. Usership across Meta’s family of apps increased to 3.65 billion, a 4% rise. For advertisers this shows that Meta’s key platforms, Facebook and Instagram, still offer the biggest opportunity to reach users at scale. As we cited in our Q1 earnings review, Reels aren’t going anywhere. They still offer brands the opportunity to generate the strongest engagement and get the most attention on the platforms,” writes James in his latest article published on The Drum.
So what is the Metaverse? “Simply put, the Metaverse is a virtual reality world where users can interact, game and experience things as they would in the real world,” says iCrossing UK’s head of audience intelligence, Maria Bain, in her recent article on New Digital Age. Maria highlights that, despite being a talking point for the last year or so, the Metaverse is still in early stages of development, meaning brands can take advantage of this opportunity to build their presence within its ecosystems and reach their target audience.
“All industries are at the beginning of their learning curve beyond the strategy of occupying the virtual terrain found in other sectors. Brands current presence in the Metaverse should be focused on ‘dipping their toe in’. Experimenting with new ways of delivering value to their customers. Many brands already feel that experimentation costs are still low compared to what they could become in the future. The Metaverse is in its infancy today, and in the absence of pressure, it’s still easy to test without having to meet specific targets,” says Maria.
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