In order to help stay up to date on news affecting the digital marketing world, we’ve compiled a list of the latest headlines marketers should be following.
Facebook Plans to Cut Off Businesses, Brands and Media from News Feed
On Jan. 11, Facebook announced significant changes coming to its news feed that will directly affect businesses, brands and media. In the post, Mark Zuckerberg wrote: “recently we’ve gotten feedback from our community that public content — posts from businesses, brands and media — is crowding out the personal moments [from friends and family] that lead us to connect more with each other.”
So what does that mean for businesses who incorporate Facebook in their digital marketing strategy? Well, businesses can expect to see less engagement. “Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease,” the official statement reads, and this will especially ring true for pages with posts that don’t see a lot of engagement.
Going forward, in order for pages to continue to make an impact on Facebook, marketers will need to be more creative about creating posts that encourage organic conversation and engagement among users. And marketers will have to steer clear of any wording that could be described as “engagement bait” — including terms such as “tag your friends” or “comment for a chance…” — as Facebook actually penalizes pages who use it in their news feed rankings.
And finally, some parting advice from HubSpot:
“While it’s easy to see brands as the losers here, what we’re really seeing is an opportunity for brands to pivot their content towards driving a meaningful conversation,” says Henry Franco, HubSpot’s social and campaign strategy marketing associate. “Facebook’s new algorithm will prioritize posts that drive authentic engagement in the comments, rather than passive likes or shares.”
“Brands should take this opportunity to listen to their audiences,” says Franco, “and create content that’s catered to their interests and that will drive meaningful interaction.“
Google’s Mobile-First Index Rolls Out
Last year, mobile usage finally overtook desktop browsing. It’s been reported that 69% of digital media time is now spent on mobile. And since November 2016, Google has been teasing its new Mobile First Index, which will list the mobile version of your website at the top of search results. This year, we’ll finally see Google roll out the index, which means it’s even more important that businesses incorporate responsive design in their websites. Econsultancy has a good explanation for how things will change with the index:
“Currently Google has indexed your website based on a desktop user’s experience, taking into account only the desktop version of a website and the content within. With a mobile-first index, Google will switch this around to index and rank your website based on the content and information architecture of your mobile site as a primary view.”
So what does this mean for marketers? If your website already has a responsive design, you should be set and likely won’t be directly affected by the change. However, if your website design incorporates desktop-design only, the first thing you need to do is make sure your website is mobile-friendly. And if you have a separate mobile website, you’ll need to make sure you claim the mobile version of your site in Google Search Console.