Latest digital news – October

Latest digital news – October

Banner for the October digital news blogAs ever, it’s been a busy month in the world of digital news! Today we talk about Facebook further reducing the number of people seeing your organic content, Twitter increasing the length of their tweets, Google shopping and Vimeo Live.

Facebook introduce new ‘explore feed’

In the last week, a big bit of social news hit the headlines. Facebook are trialling a new ‘explore feed’ – a separate feed to your main news which will allow you to follow updates from the brand pages that you have chosen to follow.

Sound great? Maybe not so much, as this change now means than organic posts will not be featured on your followers main news feed unless you pay to promote them as adverts. The news feed will now all be posts from family, friends and adverts.

Will people go out of their way to have a look at a second feed, purely focusing on brands? I’m not sure that’s likely, it’s going to be hidden in the main menu and something that people will most likely forget about. So, it means that Facebook marketing strategies will have to change.

Organic posts have been getting less and less impressions, with most organic posts only being seen by around 16% of your followers, and this percentage was dropping rapidly in favour of promoted content. It’s a trend we have seen coming, but has a big impact if it is rolled out globally.

Facebook introduce new pages feed

Twitter test increasing the length of tweets to 280 characters

There are times when you struggle to fit your content headlines or thoughts into 140 characters. You resort to shortening words, cutting out the engaging language to keep the necessary descriptors, or plain old cutting out grammar. It can be frustrating.

So it may come as a relief that Twitter are currently running a global test on doubling the character limit to 280.

Some people are outraged! They think that it is taking away the USP of Twitter, giving us longer tweets will allow for people to drone on, less short and snappy lines – more waffle instead.

You will know if you have the extended character limit if the countdown in the bottom corner has changed to a circle rather than the number on its own.

Man using a mobile phone for social media

Google Shopping will now compete with other retailers for the top search slot

At the beginning of this month it was announced that Google Shopping must compete in ad-space auctions with other retailers for the right to appear at the top of the search results. This is an effort to comply with the European Union anti-trust ruling.

This means that Google Shopping now has to operate as its own separate business, giving other comparison sites a chance at being in the top spot.

Google Shopping

Twitter releases ‘night mode’

I love this, I now have it permanently switched on because I’m not a huge fan of bright white glaring screens. You now have the ability to toggle between ‘day mode’ and ‘night mode’ on your Twitter settings which will change the screen to black features or white.

You can do this by clicking on your profile picture from the main homepage, and the last option on the menu is ‘night mode’.

Night Mode on Twitter

Vimeo launches new ‘Vimeo Live’

After the rapid growth in popularity of social media platforms such as Periscope and Facebook Live, Vimeo have launched Vimeo Live – a live streaming platform for professional events. It’s a feature that the Vimeo community asked for and they have delivered; enabling events, webinars, conferences and concerts to be professionally live streamed across the platform.

The Live plans are separate to their usual hosting plans, and range from £70 per month to £750 per month, all of which offer unlimited viewers, no ads and HD.

Vimeo live streaming

Facebook announce new ‘order now’ feature for food delivery orders

Facebook recently announced they are testing a new feature which will allow people to order takeaway food directly from their app – another way of trying to prevent Facebook users from ever needing to leave Facebook.

It’s going to be indicated by a hamburger icon in the main navigation, letting Facebook users place food pickup and delivery orders from their favourite restaurants using Delivery.com or Slice.

Ordering food using Facebook app

Snapchat release augmented reality art

Earlier this month, Snapchat launched a new augmented reality art platform, allowing art to be pinned to specific locations in augmented reality so that when users hold up their phones they can see it in the right spot – kind of similar to seeing Pokémon in real places on your phones.

Augmented reality on Snapchat

Google doubles Adwords budget spending

Google recently made a change to the way that Adwords budgets can be used, campaigns now are able to spend up to twice their average daily budget – meaning on high traffic days costs can hit double the level you have set.

Google have said that this is to help advertisers reach their goals better, reassuring us that it will be balanced out by days when costs are below budget. You will never be charged more than your monthly limit, so there is no need to panic.

You have previously been able to overspend on a daily budget if there is high traffic, however this was limited to 20% rather than double.

Google Adwords

How to plan a website

How to plan a website

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  1. Mobile
    With over 50% of google searches now done on mobile and tablet devices, you’d be crazy to build a website that isn’t optimised for mobile. Make sure any agency you speak to understands this.
     
  2. Blog and social media
    We’ve talked about the importance of blogging and creating new content here. Blogs help your customers by serving up relevant, useful content. Doing that means that Google knows you’re a useful site and it will reward you for consistency with better search rankings. On that subject, any blog posts you write should be shareable via social media handles like twitter, facebook, Instagram and Google +, so do ensure you have social buttons alongside your blog posts. Social shares and activity also help your rankings.
  3. Design
    The average time people spend on a website is just 15 seconds, so that’s the time you have to capture someone’s attention. If your design is anything but beautiful and your site usability anything but easy, you can forget people hanging around for longer. Great design can act as a signpost to help your customers find content that makes their life easier, whether it’s downloading a helpful guide to your industry, sharing a great how to video or just finding your phone number. Best in class design also helps to build your brand by creating a style that people can recognise and identify with.
  4. Copywriting
    You can do all the design in the world but if your copy isn’t crafted to speak directly to your buyers then you’ll be wasting your time. Professional copywriting for web and blogs is a skill and can be the difference between a new customer choosing you over the competition.
     
  5. Calls to action and user journeys
    Once you’ve got your web users’ attention, what do you want them to do? Where should they go next? User journeys should be planned out before you start building a site. You can build in calls to action by adding free downloads, signposting with a menu and adding in links in your copy to other useful pages on your site. If you’re planning on sending out newsletters and updates, you can capture user information via enquiry forms, blog subscribe forms and your free download buttons.
  6. Buyer personas and target audiences
    You should identify several different types of target customer, or buyer persona, building up as much information on each one as you can. Doing this will help your copywriter speak directly to each of them, anticipating what sort of questions they might have. If you’re clear about your target customers you can start to build up a bank of useful content, answering their questions with relevant content on your site.
  7. Think about advertising
    If you do all of the above and consistently create content that your users find helpful and shareable, your website should perform well for you. If you feel it needs a push you can also look at advertising with google, twitter or facebook which are all highly measurable.
  8. The right agency
    If you don’t have in house coders, copywriters and designers, you’ll need to talk to an external agency. If they can talk to you about mobile, blogging and creating amazing video and design content for your brand as well as calls to action and copywriting, you should rest assured.

Martin Holmes is digital director at The Wrapped Agency, a full service marketing agency that helps companies offer truly great content, whether on the web, via social, blogs or in the press. We work at a strategic level to diagnose issues and identify opportunities to inspire, educate and delight your target audiences with campaigns that cut through the noise. @wrappedagency www.wrappedagency.co.uk