In this week’s round-up of the most important topics within the world of digital marketing, we learn that mobile advertising revenue is expected to soar beyond $11bn this year, half of all small businesses never update their online search listings and Twitter has experienced a significant security breach, with 250,000 accounts hacked.
Facebook: two thirds of users log off for weeks at a time New research from the US Pew Research Centre found that two-thirds of Facebook users take a voluntary break from the site for several weeks or more due to a number of reasons, including “concerns for their privacy” and “excessive gossip or drama from friends”. Despite this, the popularity of the social network shows no signs of abating, with 92 per cent of respondents revealing they maintained their profile regularly, and two-thirds admitting the site was as important in their lives as it was 12 months ago. Read more
Reddit allows only ‘Acceptable’ ads Reddit is making changes to its social news site experience by vetting “bad” ads and minimising disruption to users. Adblock Plus, a browser add-on designed to block “annoying” adverts, has announced that Reddit wishes to ensure all of its online ads are non-intrusive. Users of the Adblock Plus add-on will therefore see ‘acceptable’ ads even with the ad blocker installed, allowing advertisers to continue to make genuine money. Amazon and Ehow have also adopted similar policies in recent months. Read more
Google+: Ads create too much of a ‘disruptive experience’ Google has reinforced its view that advertising on Google+ will ruin the user experience of its network. Marvin Chow, global marketing director of Google+, described online ads as a ‘disruptive experience when a user is trying to have a meaningful conversation or look at a picture of a grandchild’. Interestingly, Google is instead focusing its attentions on developing features including social annotations, displaying how many people have ‘+1’d’ or followed advertisers within a search ad. Read more
Twitter says 250,000 accounts have been hacked in security breach Social networking giant, Twitter has reported that anonymous hackers may have been able to breach the security of its network to gain access to usernames, email addresses and passwords of a quarter-of-a-million users in a ‘sophisticated’ operation. Twitter revealed late last week it had detected unusual access patterns across its data network with unauthorised attempts to access user data. Read more
Facebook re-enables tag suggestions facial-recognition feature on by default Facebook has announced it has brought back its photo ‘Tag Suggestions’ feature to the US after temporarily suspending it last year in order to carry out technical improvements. It has been re-enabled to allow users to make the most of facial recognition to “easily identify a friend in a photo and share that content with them.” Read more
Organic search marketing
Survey: Half of small businesses never update their listings online A new survey released by ConstantContact’s SinglePlatform division indicates nearly half (49 per cent) of small businesses never updated their search listings online. Surprisingly, many small firms are still overwhelmed and confused by even the most basic online marketing techniques. 70 per cent of respondents revealed they simply don’t have the time to manage search listings, while only 23 per cent believed they had a ‘good sense’ of how organic listings drive traffic to their business. Read more
Crafted’s SEO Manager, Andrew Doyle, added: “It’s no surprise to hear that the survey from SinglePlatform in the US has found that many small businesses are not spending the time and effort that’s required to make the most of online customers.
“Local businesses are increasingly required to have a solid online presence while monitoring online reviews, listings and engaging with its customers. There are huge wins to be had in this area and the growth of smartphones over the last few years has only accelerated this requirement.”
Online advertising and PPC
Google AdWords changes the game with enhanced campaigns Earlier this week Google announced one of the most fundamental changes to its AdWords system in a number of years. The evolution of ‘Enhanced Campaigns’ is designed to enable advertisers to target people at the right time, in the right place, with the right advert and suitable call-to-action. In essence, the structuring of AdWords campaigns is becoming device independent, removing the ability to have bespoke mobile, tablet or desktop-targeted campaigns. Read more
Crafted’s PPC Manager, James Giles, commented: “These changes have the capacity to significantly change the way AdWords campaigns are built and managed. For instance, we’d normally segment campaigns by device and channel so we can clearly see which are most cost effective.
“The Enhanced Campaigns set up, with its merged devices and platforms, will remove the ability to do this and may blur the boundaries between what’s working and what isn’t. This will make is harder to pause activity that doesn’t perform well on say mobile, but does on desktop or vice versa.
“Google has said that the new advanced reporting will be clearer, but if we have to heavily segment a report to find the true performance of campaigns it could involve more time. The new report will eventually include cross device conversion tracking though, which is the missing link in all tracking solutions.
“There’s also some interesting new functionality. Being able to weight bids based on device, location and time of day could prove to be a powerful tool. Also, being able to set site links at ad group level is something we have wanted for years. Dynamic ad functionality will mean ads can be optimised to device, time of day and location - increasing relevancy.
“Google has provided some great examples of how the enhanced campaigns could be used. Most of these examples include businesses that have a physical shop. How these campaigns will perform across smaller ecommerce businesses which don’t have a mobile or location optimised site will have to be seen.”
ASA introduces new rules on behavioural advertising The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has implemented new rules to provide the public with notice of and control over online behavioural advertising. Ad networks are now required to make it clear when they are delivering behaviourally-targeted ads through the use of an icon in the corner of online ads. Consumers must also be given the ability to ‘opt-out’ of receiving such targeting. Read more
Mobile advertising revenue forecast to top $11.4bn this year The latest survey of global mobile advertising revenue conducted by Gartner, revealed that revenue is expected to top $11.4bn in the coming year, a significant increase from the $9.6bn income in 2012. However, this year’s forecast appears to be a mere tip of the iceberg with projected revenues approaching $24.5bn in 2016, due to the growing integration of mobile channels into 360-degree advertising campaigns. Read more
93% of people from corporate sector read at least one print newspaper regularly Despite a general decline in print readership across national and regional levels, a recent survey from Investis indicates that print journalism is still an integral news source for corporate sectors. The report comprising 100 responses from members of listed companies and UK-based financial PRs indicates that 93 per cent of all respondents read at least one print newspaper on a regular basis. Crafted’s PR Director, Emma Plummer, commented about this trend in her blog post this week. Read more
Research shows that ‘dual screen’ trend is increasing Twitter coverage for brands A new study from Brandwatch has highlighted the increasing trend in ‘dual screening’. The top three reasons viewers used dual screens were when they were in bed (64 per cent), on the sofa (25 per cent) and in the office (six per cent). The research also indicates that displaying a hashtag at the beginning of a television programme can increase online conversation regarding the show by almost two-thirds (63 per cent). Read more
35% of online newsrooms contain out-of-date information A survey into the world’s top 100 brands found that 35 per cent have online newsrooms on their websites containing outdated information. Research from Mynewsdesk also revealed that just 65 per cent of brands assessed linked to their online newsroom from their homepage, and 39 per cent of leading brands also failed to provide an online search function for their on-site content. Read more