Facebook News Feed Changes Explained – Your February Marketing Bundle

This month, we reveal why Facebook’s News Feed changes are not the end of the world for marketers, discuss Google’s makeover of its featured snippets, and serve up some easy hacks for website personalisation.

And as always, we’ve brought you our favourite digital marketing podcast of the month (pop culture icons chat about the challenges of branding) and your monthly must-read (our 2018 Digital Marketing Calendar that will ensure you don’t miss a thing this year).  

(Your round-up mini-directory)

Too busy to read the whole thing? We get it: logistics, synergies, KPIs – all that stuff. Here's the skim-read version. You really should read the whole article though...You can click on the dot point that takes your fancy and head straight to the relevant section.

In this month's digital marketing roundup:

Facebook News Feed changes: Why it’s not the end of the world for marketers

Times are a'changing in the wide world of Facebook, and Mark Zuckerberg's recent announcement about changes to Facebook’s news feed could have implications for your social media marketing strategy.

If we skip a bunch of important-sounding jargon about algorithms and engagement rates, the simple take-home message is that Facebook is shifting focus away from public content (posts from brand pages) to private content (posts from your family and friends).

If you build it, they will come

For marketers, that means shifting from an advertising-based model to genuine community building. In other words, rather than simply serving generic ads to your target demographic, you’re going to need to work harder to build Facebook groups that are enriched with content your customers want.

But before you hit the panic button, take a breath and tell yourself this really isn’t a big deal. If you’re already creating relevant content that truly focuses on providing reader value before blatant sales messages, then nothing really needs to change for you.

However, if you use Facebook solely as a sales platform, then you may need to rethink your strategy.

“Relevancy is becoming more and more essential on Facebook,” writes Molly Pittman over at digitalmarketer.com. “This is great for businesses who are truly serving a market and creating fulfilling content. This is NOT great for people who rely solely on direct response tactics that don’t give value first.”

The new magic word

But there’s one magic word in all of this, and it’s not ‘engagement’. Rather, ‘interaction’ will become the new holy grail for Facebook marketers, and that means creating content that sparks genuine discussion, while avoiding ‘engagement bait’.

“Posts sparking the greatest amount of discussion among users — especially when shared — will likely rank better,” writes Amanda Zantal-Wiener at HubSpot. “But marketers should proceed with caution: Creating content for engagement for shareability and conversation does not translate to including such language as, ‘Tag a friend!’ in posts. Facebook calls and interprets that type of content as ‘engagement bait’ and actually penalises the Pages that use it in their News Feed rankings.”

Your Digital Marketing Podcast of the Month

Gary Vaynerchuk’s #podSessions

We’re loving Gary Vaynerchuk’s new free-form #podSessions that bring together innovative thinkers from all walks of life for casual discussions about all things entrepreneurial.

In episode one, an up-and-coming hip-hop artist, an Instagram meme queen and a DJ/comedian join Gary for a colourful chat about what it’s like to build your brand from scratch, the truth about putting out more content, and why millennials are under represented in the modern day media.  

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News From Google HQ

Google’s memory loss and what it means for marketers

Is Google suffering from memory loss? According to a blog article by former Google staffer Tim Bray, the answer could be ‘yes’. Bray discovered that Google was no longer indexing a music review he published in 2006, while it was easy to find via competing search engines Bing! and DuckDuckGo.

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Bray writes that Google is focused on “giving you great answers to the questions that matter to you right now.” That’s fair enough, but what does Google’s case of memory loss mean for marketers?  

Simply put: long-tail content may not be as evergreen as you may assume. So if your long-term content is to disappear from Google indexes over the years, then your SEO ranking could also be affected as associated keywords go the way of the dinosaurs.

So what’s the course of action for marketers here? Patricio Robles at econsultancy.com suggests companies turn to tools such as Google Search Console to better understand the status of their content in Google's index.

“Beyond this, the potential that Google has implemented a form of memory loss should remind companies that the execution of content strategy is a fluid, ongoing process,” he writes. “Publishing content is a part of that process, but the lifecycle of each piece of content needs to be managed long-term if that content is to remain valuable.”

Google makes over its featured snippets

Google has broken its silence on the mysterious art of featured snippets in a new in-depth blog post. Featured snippets are the descriptive boxes you see at the top of the page when you run a Google search.

Like this…

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Google has caught some flak in recent years for using unfiltered featured snippets that have included some pretty nasty content. So they’ve pulled up their socks and released new Search Quality Rater Guidelines to help their raters remove low-quality content from featured snippets.

The good news for marketers is that as part of Google’s featured snippets makeover, they will soon be releasing multiple featured snippets for each web search - and that means more opportunities to get your website featured.

Digital Marketing Short Takes

All the most important digital marketing news, insights and advice from around the online jungle blogosphere this month.

Easy hacks for website personalisation

Personalisation is the word on every digital marketer’s lips this year, so we’ll be keeping a keen eye out for any tips and tricks to help you personalise your website to improve your customer experience.

This month, the peeps over at Kissmetrics have released 10 website personalisation hacks that promise to send your conversion rates skyrocketing.  

But why bother with website personalisation? Well, a recent report by Accenture revealed that 75 per cent of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognises them by name, recommends options based on their past purchases, or knows their purchase history.

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Kissmetrics goes on to detail 10 ways you can get to know your customers better. It’s well worth a read. They suggest starting by tracking past page views to help personalise your messaging. The strategic -- and limited use -- of personalised overlays can also be helpful, and hitting up your database with on survey will reveal exactly what your customers want in an online experience.

Tracking link clicks can also help you to build up detailed profiles about what each of your customer segments respond, and automated remarketing campaigns can keep a personalised communications going after a lead leaves your website.

Once you’ve collected all that data, it’s time to implement some trigger points that kick off the personalised experienced when a lead arrives on your website. This might be done through tag and filter results, smart lists, location data, dynamic content blocks, or even by the referral source.  

With those tools in your kit bag, you should start seeing an improvement in your conversion rates as your website visitors enjoy a more personal experience with your brand.

Your Monthly Stats Round-up

Snapchat continues its dominance, marketers are outsourcing content creation, mobile searches are great for sales, AdWords doubles your return on investment, and almost half of organisations are dropping the ball on digital marketing.

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Your Monthly Digital Marketing Must-Read

Gorilla 360’s 2018 Australian Marketing Calendar

Are you planning for digital marketing success this year? We’re helping you get your marketing plan sorted with our free 2018 Australian Marketing Calendar.

We've pulled together all the important Australian marketing dates into one printable wall calendar. You’ll be able to identify all the key monthly dates and events at glance, never miss important Australian marketing conferences and industry events, and schedule your relevant sales promotions and content programs to coincide with seasonal and holiday periods.   

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Author

Scott Evans

Hey there, I'm Scott, one of the Co-founders of Gorilla 360 and a lover of all things digital marketing, travel, wine and sports. Thanks a heap for checking out this post. If you've got questions get in touch via the comments below.
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