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Digital marketing news for small businesses: January roundup

3 minute read

It’s been an eventful start to 2018 in the world of digital marketing. Here are some of the top stories this month and what they mean for your business.

Facebook’s News Feed is changing – here’s what you need to do

The big news this month in social media – so big that it hit the national news – is that Facebook is making some major changes to its News Feed. Founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that the move will prioritise posts from users’ friends and family, “focusing on bringing people closer together” and reducing the dominance of commercial content on the platform.

These changes are likely to have an impact for any business currently using Facebook. In Zuckerberg’s words: “As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

So where does this leave brands? It looks as though it’s only some kinds of commercial content being demoted, as Zuckerberg explained: “the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.” Another member of the Facebook team, Adam Mosseri, has also written about the changes and he has some more explicit advice for brands using Facebook.

“Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed,” he says, giving the example of live videos, which spark discussion between Facebook friends and typically get as many as six times more interactions than normal videos. Mosseri also cites the example of local businesses that “connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events”, suggesting that smaller businesses won’t necessarily miss out. He summarises his advice to brands in three points:

  • “Create more longer-form video.
  • Spend more time producing genuinely relevant and engaging content.
  • Don’t try to trick people into engaging with content.”

You can read his advice in full here.

Get more insights into your search performance with the new Google Search Console

Google has rebuilt its Search Console – previously known as Webmaster Tools – to add a number of new features that give you more insights into how your website is performing in search.

Having released a beta version to a small number of users previously, Google has this month announced that the new tool will roll out to everyone in the coming weeks. With features including a new Search Performance report with 16 months of data, the new tool is aimed at giving users “more transparency into Google’s indexing, stateful two-way communications between Google and website owners to help resolve issues faster, and a responsive user-interface.” Find out more about it on Search Engine Land.

Video for Google My Business

If you’re using Google My Business – and if you’re not, here’s why you should be – you’ll be interested to know that Google announced this month that you can now upload videos on your Photos Dashboard.

Videos can be up to 30 seconds long, and you’ll also be able to view videos that your customers have uploaded as well. It’s a great opportunity to add engaging content to market your business; the videos may appear in Google Maps and local search results pages, making this an extra chance to catch the eye of potential customers.

Engage with customers on WhatsApp for Business

Finally, it’s always advisable to make it easy for your customers to contact you, and now you have another way for them to do so. Built with small businesses in mind and initially available on Android only, WhatsApp for Business launched this month. The app means “businesses can interact with customers easily by using tools to automate, sort, and quickly respond to messages.” Read more about what the app can and can’t do over on Marketing Land.

Zoe works as a Content Marketing Executive at the UK Domain. Previously working in advertising and the sporting industry, Zoe has over four years experience in marketing.

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