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Digital marketing news for small businesses – January 2019 roundup

3 minute read

2019 written in firework style font

2019 has got off to a hectic start for many of us, and if you’ve been too busy catching up after Christmas to keep up with what’s been going on in the world of digital marketing, it’s time to put the kettle on and have a read of some of the stories that caught our eye this month.

Build links to help boost your search engine rankings

Research published this month by Stone Temple suggests that building links from other sites to yours is still a major factor in how high up your website appears in the search engine results pages. Link building has long been known to be a ranking factor, as search engine algorithms treat links to your site as an endorsement. But this year’s research – the fourth annual report – shows that there’s still “a very powerful correlation between links and ranking position.”

If you’re already including link building as part of your search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy, this research supports its continuing place in your efforts. If you’ve not yet thought about link building, the study shows that investing some time into gaining backlinks for your site could help give your business a boost in the search engine results pages. A higher ranking means more traffic, and more traffic means more revenue, so it’s something that could have a significant impact on your bottom line. Not sure what we’re talking about or where to begin? Take a look at our introduction to link building for lots of ideas.

You can now post to more than one Instagram account at a time

If you run an Instagram account for your small business and you also have an account that you use for your personal posts, you might sometimes find yourself wanting to post certain things to both profiles. A nice photograph that would be of interest to followers of both accounts, for instance, or important company news that you want to share as widely as possible.

Previously, you’d have had to share the post manually from each account, but Instagram is now introducing a handy new feature that lets you post to more than one account simultaneously, saving valuable time. This is also great news if you have several accounts for different parts of your business, as there may be some posts relevant to all of them. The downside: the feature will initially only be available on ioS.

Customers may be able to message you between WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger

It was widely reported this month that Facebook plans to integrate its messaging services: Facebook Messenger, Instagram direct messages and WhatsApp. While the three platforms would remain as separate apps, it’s thought that the move – scheduled for completion by the end of this year or early next year – would allow messaging between the three platforms.

The plans are worth being aware of if you use any of the three platforms to communicate with your customers, as it will potentially make it easier for them to contact you (and vice versa) regardless of which of the three platforms they’re on. What’s more, it could well make advertising on any of the three platforms even more effective, as powerful insights from all three platforms combined would enable ads to be targeted even more precisely.

Twitter campaigns: take inspiration from the experts

Finally, are you in need of some inspiration for marketing your business on Twitter? Then Twitter’s shortlist of the most creative brand campaigns from last year is worth a look. From PlayStation’s playful tweets and memes to HSBC’s campaign to get people cycling, it’s a fantastic showcase of the different ways you can use Twitter to raise your profile. You’ll find lots more ideas for ways your small business can use Twitter here.

Rachel Ingram is a freelance copywriter with a background in digital marketing. She's written copy for clients ranging from the United Nations World Food Programme to The North Face, and particularly enjoys working with lifestyle and travel brands. In her spare time, she volunteers for Guide Dogs and flies light aircraft and helicopters.

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