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Digital marketing news for small businesses: February roundup

3 minute read

In the ever-evolving world of the internet, it can be difficult to keep up with what’s new each month – particularly when you’re a small business with limited time to devote to staying on top of digital marketing news. We’ve made it simple by rounding up some of the news stories that caught our eye in the world of digital marketing this month.

Facebook videos will now automatically play sound

Something to be aware of if you’re producing videos for your company Facebook page: Facebook has just announced that it will now be playing the sound on videos by default as users scroll through their news feeds. The sound will fade in and out of videos as users scroll past them, while previously the sound was muted unless the user selected otherwise. This reinstates the importance of sound in your videos, so you’ll need to make sure you have appropriate, good-quality audio to go with your videos. The change makes it easier to capture users’ attention with your videos, so in some ways this is good news for marketers. However, this change will likely lead to users inadvertently playing loud videos in situations they didn’t mean to, so it’s something to bear in mind when you’re choosing the sounds that will open your videos.

Pinterest launches Lens

Signalling its growing interest in visual search, Pinterest launched a new app called Lens this month. It effectively turns your phone camera into a search tool that recognises objects and shows you related content. It’s an innovation that could see the platform grow its following, and with its ability to match real-life objects with related products for purchase, it’s a platform you might want to consider being on if you’re a small business. For example, if a user was pointing their camera at a pair of green shoes, your shoe shop might have pinned a similar pair of green shoes that the user might go on to buy from your website.

Emojis are back in some Google search results

Having previously blocked emojis from appearing in search results, Google has now reintroduced them for searches it deems them to be relevant to. At the moment, it looks as though they’re only showing up for searches that actually relate to emojis, but it’s a development that’s worth keeping an eye on if you’re interested in search engine optimisation. If emojis were fully reintroduced, putting them (sparingly) into your title tags could be an effective way of helping your website stand out in the search results.

Twitter cracking down on trolls

Some good news this month came in the form of Twitter announcing a new crackdown on offensive users by getting better at identifying them, stopping them from setting up new accounts, and preventing their tweets from appearing in news feeds. This will be welcome news for businesses who’ve been on the receiving end of abuse at the hands of trolls and other social media undesirables. Hopefully this will help make Twitter a more positive place where businesses can engage in better-quality interaction with their followers without the proceedings being spoilt by an unpleasant minority.

A great new way to find free-to-use images

Creative Commons has launched a new prototype free search tool that gives you access to a fantastic supply of images that you’re free to use, even for commercial purposes. While such images were available before, you had to delve into Google Images or Flickr to find them. This tool makes it easier by pulling several sources into one, and it’s sure to come in handy whenever you’re in need of images to illustrate a blog post or social media update.

And finally…

Our resident information security expert, Cath Goulding, discussed some important tips for keeping your business secure online this month. Work through her step-by-step guide and make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect your business while you make the most of being online.

A collection of articles written collaboratively by members of the UK Domain Team.

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