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Top Digital Marketing Stories for the Second Quarter of 2021

An ever-changing landscape, digital marketing is never without new, noteworthy events. From our first quarter top stories to today, a lot has changed in the industry. While such developments are a testament to a growing, improving field, it’s no secret that it’s hard to keep up with some of them, let alone the whole lot.

In between writing blogs for your articles and posting .gifs for your brand’s social media page, there isn’t always time to scour the Web and take a deep dive into the latest digital marketing trends.

Good news: Your trusted digital marketing expert rounded up the top digital marketing news you need to know. In this article, we discuss why they should matter to you and your business and give you the key points to remember. So you can adopt strategies that can appropriately tackle these changes.

Below are the top stories that happened in the second quarter, which are worth revisiting.

  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  2. Social Media Marketing
  3. Content Marketing
  4. Branding

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

How we update Search to improve your results, Google

Google’s recent algorithm update rolled out last June 2, 2021, making arguably the biggest digital marketing news this quarter.

Photo courtesy of Myriam Jessier via Unsplash

A quick brush-up on Google algorithm updates: most of the time, the search engine rolls out changes to improve specific faults or issues of sites such as unnatural links in the case of Penguin or duplicate content, in the case of Panda.

At other times, Google implements the “brand core update” in which there’s a major change to the main search algorithm. In this case, they’re not targeting particular issues. Instead, they may be putting more weight on certain ranking factors over the others or rearranging the order of importance. As a result, it shakes up search, overall.

The core update Google rolled out in June will be followed by another in July.

Why should you care?

This core update is a major digital marketing news (not to mention a source of anxiety for marketers) because it could have a serious impact on search rankings. It could pull websites down on the results page, reversing your SEO efforts, or give your site a boost.

While the latter is a positive change, don’t be in a hurry to say that you’re in the clear if you’ve seen some improvements in your rankings until the new update in July. Your wins today could be losses tomorrow.

What’s important now is to stay tuned to Google’s announcements and other relevant digital marketing news articles to apply strategies that would keep your website visible. Consulting an SEO specialist would also help.

Key points to remember

It’s difficult to recommend concrete action steps, given the pending core update in July. However, it’s safe to say that you’ll be able to weather the updates (or recover from them) when you focus on the timeless principles of search marketing: quality content, user intent, clean architecture, and keyword optimization.

It goes without saying that you must also follow Google’s guidelines such as the quality rater criteria. Look at your website, in terms of EAT, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. These priorities can help your website keep up with new trends in digital marketing.

Social Media Marketing

New ways to shop for products you love across our apps, Facebook

The use of social media to buy and sell products has become increasingly popular now more than ever. The pandemic, which compelled people to stay home and turn to their phones for their needs, was a strong driving force in the adoption of e-commerce on social media. Given the growing demand, tech giant Facebook has been incorporating e-commerce capabilities in their social platforms.

In this digital marketing news article published last June 22, 2021, the company announced the following recent updates:

  • Facebook is rolling out Shop Ads, enabling businesses to send shoppers personalized ads to where the latter is most likely to make a purchase. This will be based on the previous shopping behavior of the user.
  • Facebook is also introducing Augmented Reality (AR) dynamic ads, allowing users to try on products virtually. Available in the US, this feature is currently being used by beauty companies to let customers test lipstick shades before buying products. Overall, it improves the online shopping experience.
  • WhatsApp now has its own Shop feature. This is one of the biggest digital marketing news updates, as another messaging platform introduces in-app shopping. The Shop feature, which will be available in select countries, allows users to see the entire product inventory, get necessary information, and chat with businesses for inquiries about specific items.

Photo via Facebook

  • Instagram, meanwhile, will have customer ratings and reviews on its Shops feature. Users will be able to upload photos and videos for their reviews.

Why should you care?

In a nutshell, the introduction of these Shop solutions should compel you to take your business to social, not just in terms of marketing, but also in actual selling. The reason social media giants are aggressive in including e-commerce features in their platforms is because there’s a great demand for it.

Simply put, people are willing to buy items from social media. The growing confidence of consumers on social platforms is, on any day, good news in digital marketing.

If you study the customer journey, social commerce fits perfectly into the picture. From the initial stage of awareness where people discover your brand from social media, they can easily jump to consideration, looking at product information available on the store, and eventually to purchase, checking out items.

The entire journey happens without break or interruption, the need to click through to an external website or search for you on Google to see reviews. Making the purchase experience that simple and convenient is sometimes the answer to improving conversion rates. As such, it’s important to maximize these social commerce tools, along with the new trends in digital marketing mentioned in this article, in creating and optimizing your store online.

Key points to remember

While you explore the new Shop features, it’s important to remember that this is still a social platform. That said, be social. Connect and build rapport with customers by staying true to your brand personality. Your goal is for your target audience to easily recognize you, remember you instantly when they encounter problems your brand offers solutions to.

Another thing to remember is the importance of collaboration. To further promote the products and services you offer, partner with social media influencers. They’re the ones people follow on Facebook and Instagram; so collaborating with them will enable you to tap their network and widen the reach of your brand. As you do so, tune in to new trends in digital marketing, particularly influencer relations, to beef up your content.

TikTok introduces Lead Generation to enable businesses to reach and drive customer acquisition with ease

Another big digital marketing news this quarter is the rolling out of the new Lead Generation feature on TikTok last April 28, 2021. The ad product’s primary goal is to help businesses increase conversion in their marketing campaigns.

Photo via Tiktok

To show interest in products or services, users fill out a form and provide basic information such as name, email, and phone number. With this, brands will be able to show products and services to interested customers.

Why should you care?

If the audience you want to reach are on this trendy platform, then this new digital marketing product will help you better connect with them. You’ll be able to make your content marketing efforts more targeted, sending out customized messages to specific customer segments. This kind of personalization increases the likelihood of conversion, which should form part of your social media strategy this 2021.

According to TikTok, the leads can be downloaded manually or immediately activated when integrated with your customer relationship management platform.

Key points to remember

While TikTok’s new product makes for a good marketing tool, do note that this social network features a specific audience and a specific content format. The users are young, typically in the Gen Y or Gen Z group. The content format, meanwhile, is light-hearted, engaging, and short videos.

If your brand caters to this audience and has the same fun, witty personality, it’s worth giving it a go. Always check the new trends in digital marketing; so you can sustain your trendy content.

Content Marketing

New launches for YouTube Analytics, posts, memberships metrics, and your questions, Content Insider

Last June 3, YouTube Analytics implemented significant updates that will provide content creators insights on how they can create better content for their channels. These are the new features:

  • Members’ insights. Through the update in membership metrics, you’ll see the total and active members over a chosen time period. These are paying members, take note, which are different from the channel subscribers who consume content for free.

The section also provides data which videos helped you increase or decrease members, as well as if it’s fitting to remind users to pay for content. Check the Members tab within the Audience page to see these features and keep up with the new trends in digital marketing.

  • Revenue changes. Now, you’ll be able to monitor closely how your revenue shifts from one month to another. With this information, along with the better audience profile, you can come up with a more accurate reason behind the revenue changes.

For instance, in case you see a slump, but then find that your audience comes from a lower CPM (cost per mille or thousand impressions) country, the lower revenue doesn’t automatically mean poor content. The audience simply shifted.

  • Video performance. Another useful new feature is the video performance analytics. In this section, you would see a straightforward explanation of the graphs and charts that show how people engaged with the content.

Some of the data the Analytics feature are clickthrough rates and the likelihood for recommendations. The insights should help you assess your digital marketing strategy. You can infer which elements worked, whether it’s the trending video idea, a certain keyword in the title, or the customized thumbnails, and then harness those strong elements in your future videos.

Screenshot from Creator Insider

  • Posts engagement. This section displays the votes and likes on your channel’s top posts over the last 28 days. This should give you an idea on which types of posts are attractive to your subscribers and viewers. From these insights, you may also create new trends in digital marketing for content creation, particularly.
  • Additional analytics on mobile. The features ‘Other channels your audience watches’ and ‘Other videos your channel watches,’ which are only available on desktop, can now be seen on mobile. Go to the Audience tab, and you will see 15 videos or channels. When you tap one of those options, it will redirect to the main YouTube app, allowing you to conveniently check out what the video or channel is about.

Why should you care? 

Obviously, these digital marketing news updates should be a point of concern for you if your brand relies heavily on video marketing. The broad range of data available will help you improve the quality of the videos you put out. It should also enable monitoring of progress towards reaching specific goals, such as increasing the number of subscribers or video views.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking to start your own channel for your upcoming brand campaigns, the available data will provide good metrics in predicting the success of your content and your channel, overall.

Key points to remember

While these new features offer several data points that are rich sources of insights for improving strategies, you must learn which metrics matter to your campaigns. Of course, this will largely depend on your goals. Remember the types of digital marketing metrics:

  • Consumption. These include watch time, average view duration, average percentage viewed, among others.
  • Engagement. These include comments, shares, likes, and dislikes.
  • Retention. These include number of re-watches and card clickthrough rate.
  • Sales. This includes revenue generated.

Branding

Beyond Calibri: Finding Microsoft’s next default font

The most popular news in the graphic design world this past quarter is the retirement of Microsoft’s default font Calibri, which the company announced last April. After more than a decade, replacing Times New Roman in 2007, it bid farewell and became just one of the options in the long font list.

With Calibri losing its default status, Microsoft is on the hunt for the next one. Asking the public to offer inputs, the company commissioned five, original custom fonts, namely Tenorite, Bierstadt, Skeena, Seaford, and Grandview. Have you picked your bet yet?

Why should you care?

The retirement of Calibri should bring digital marketers to a point of reflection (or reconsideration) of their own brand design elements, not just typography. Your business is growing; times are changing. Is it time for a change in the look and feel of your brand?

If yes, consider how and why Microsoft introduced its new font: listening to their audiences. Remember, if you’re pushing through with this, it’s a big move for your digital marketing strategy. You need your audience’s support throughout.

Key points to remember

In case a change in brand design elements is indeed necessary, consider your brand personality. Get inspiration from that. Ask yourself, if your brand were a person, what would they be like?

The Microsoft’s design team’s creative process started with describing a personality, coming up with “comfortable, warm, inviting, animated.” Replicate the same process in your redesign. Again, don’t forget to ask for feedback from your target audience.

Key takeaways

The second quarter of the year was filled with exciting digital marketing news updates. Below are some key insights from this discussion:

  • Be on the lookout for platform updates. New features will help a great deal in improving campaign performance because they either provide broader data about your target audience or simplify digital marketing efforts.
  • Prioritize user experience. You’ll be able to survive the fast-paced changes in the digital marketing world by adopting this approach.
  • Filter trends through the lens of your business goals. It’s tempting to try all the latest and new tools in the market, but none of it will pay off in the long run if it’s not aligned with the objectives you’re trying to achieve.

What do you think of the mentioned top digital marketing news? Share us your thoughts via our social media accounts, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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