Elevate: What’s Up in Digital Q3

wooden blocks with symbols

Our webinars are designed to educate, inspire, and keep you current with everything going on in the digital marketing world. Topics will change each quarter, keeping the conversation interesting and timely. Read below for a full recap of our Q3 webinar.

Social Media Updates

“30 Million businesses are currently active on LinkedIn”

New on LinkedIn

Invite to Follow: You are able to access this capability in the admin tools. This feature allows you to search for names of your connections or it will suggest people invite to like your page. This is great because it allows you to help grow your audience.

LinkedIn Live: This great new feature, much like other live stream broadcasts is a tool to use to reach bigger audiences and create more engagement around your page. Live videos have shown to garner 7x more reactions and 24x more comments than a static post. One thing to note is that you do need to apply to be a broadcaster and have to be verified to use the feature.

Polls: This is pretty straight forward, but can be a great marketing tool if you’re interested in gauging your audience to hear what they want to see from you, or if they have opinions about products. Polls last anywhere from 24 hours to two weeks.

Virtual Events: This goes hand in hand with the LinkedIn live option where you do need to be a certified broadcaster to have access to this feature. This gives users the opportunity to engage with you through a keynote speaker, a panel of speakers, or any sort of event you can think up.

New on Facebook

“1.73 billion users are active on Facebook daily”

Masks Advertising: With the state of the world right now and everyone being encouraged to wear masks, Facebook is giving businesses the ability to create ads for masks. The only thing to note is that they have to be fashion masks and not medical masks that you’re trying to sell.

Email Marketing Testing: This is still in the works but is similar to other email marketing platforms. It would give users and businesses the chance to stay within Facebook and a streamlined marketing approach.

Delayed Ads Limit: Facebook is delaying the number of ads that businesses can be running until 2021 for testing purposes. They are giving businesses the chance to test ads and get ahead of the learning curve.

Story Ads and Messenger: Story ads are getting a new “send message” feature where you can send a message directly to the company versus filling out a form or going to a company website. It’s a direct line of communication.

PPC Trends: Recent Updates

What’s New?

Website links in Call Ads: Call Ads are an ad type in Google Ads. They are adding more information to these that can really help the user more. Google’s aim is to help create better leads for businesses and drive calls. By adding the website link they’re adding more options for businesses, especially during this pandemic. To add your link, you just go into Google ads and there is a new field where you can include it.

Refine keywords in keyword planner: This is one of the features we’re most excited about within keyword planner in Google Ads. When you’re in keyword planner, typically you’d see a list of keywords based on what Google thinks may be relevant to you. With the new refine keywords feature is that it will auto-populate different categories that are related to the keyword that you put into the keyword planner.

Google Partner program update: This program was created to certify partners that are agencies or third parties that manage multiple accounts. These partners get some perks like training, special events, and more. The program was going to get an overhaul starting in February but has been pushed back until 2021 because some of the new requirements are very time consuming so they wanted to give companies enough of a window to keep up and complete everything.

New requirements: 

  • 50% of emails have to be certified. So, that means any emails associated with the manager account. People who hold these emails will have to be certified and have passed the Google courses.
  • 70% or above optimization score. This is going to be a big one for agencies, businesses and third parties to work together on. They are located under the recommendations tab and will show you your percentage and what you can do to help improve your score.

What’s Up in Web Development (eCommerce)?

Why is it so important to think about eCommerce or lead generation for your website?

Projections show that global e-retail sales are going to grow to up to $4.8 trillion by 2021. 

So what does this mean for companies that are B2B? ECommerce is no longer dominated by B2C companies. B2B eCommerce sales are predicted to grow to $6.6 trillion this year. These numbers seem crazy but it’s just a good example of just how big of an impact the online world is having on business this year.

Social Commerce

The number of social shoppers is also rapidly increasing. With the introduction of the “buy” button on Facebook and Instagram, social media is playing a significant role in the world of eCommerce.

Social media has changed the way we live our daily lives, including the way we buy things. This is a great opportunity for brands to start thinking about how to improve their position on social media, which is a great platform for brands to get discovered. With consumers spending more time on different types of social media, eCommerce businesses can get help from Instagram influencers to increase their chances of getting discovered by their target audience.

Additionally, with platforms like Shopify, businesses can easily link their online stores with social media sites so that people can buy from them directly through social media. Instagram and Facebook, for example, are constantly updating their features to meet the comfort needs of online buyers.

And who can forget TikTok – the latest and rising rave within the world of social media that has not only made its way into the hearts of teens but also around Hollywood?

The video-sharing app has been working on incorporating eCommerce elements and its latest efforts include testing a new feature that will allow users to include shoppable links in their profiles or videos. This means that users who click on the link will be taken to the URL within TikTok itself without having to leave the app to access the site.

These social media platforms act as channels for inspiration and allow brands an opportunity to be discovered while people scroll through their feeds. As social media continues to become a regular part of our daily lives, its power to influence eCommerce trends will only increase. That’s why brands need to adopt a shopping-focused approach to their social media strategy.

Progressive Web Apps

A progressive web app is a mobile website that has the look and feel of a native mobile app. While websites like Twitter and Gmail have used PWA technology for a while now, we’re starting to see it bleed over into many popular eCommerce websites, as well.

The overall goal of implementing PWA technology is to ensure optimal usability of your eCommerce site on all mobile devices. This is why the native part of the equation is so important: PWA tech ensures the look and feel of your website matches that of native apps on the device being used.

In other words, it makes sites look and feel like Android apps when viewed on Android devices, and iOS apps when viewed on Apple devices. This, of course, allows for a more comfortable and streamlined experience for users of any device—without requiring them to actually download an app at all.

What to do:

To be blunt, invest in PWA technology.

As more and more consumers begin to expect an omnichannel experience from their favorite brands, the use of PWAs in eCommerce will soon be seen not as “a little something extra,” but as an essential part of the customer experience.

More importantly, pay attention to why PWAs are catching on in the first place—and be sure to bring these qualities to your website in any way you can. Things like site speed, navigability, and functionality are paramount to eCommerce success in 2020 and beyond.

Modular Design & Design Systems

Modular design allows developers to reuse components and modules to create a web page rather than creating a web page using a restrictive template. Visually, modular design is a step up from templates. Developers can use it to create content blocks to display information is a powerful way.

However, creating a modular design web page is like building with a lego set. Each piece should interlock with one another without worrying about how to rebuild the shape of the lego piece. Pattern Labs describes modular design as Russian nesting dolls.

When each of these pieces is combined, developers build a web page that makes sense. This leads to faster and cheaper development but a similar end-goal product.

All of the different pieces can be used for different scenarios. The same can be applied to website development. It’s cheaper, faster, and more flexible. For that reason, you’re probably going to see more of it come 2020.

Artificial Intelligence

One of the biggest examples we’ve seen is through the use of chatboxes, which are becoming more and more advanced. You can really tailor it to learn from the user as they’re typing things, which can seem a bit creepy. It does free up time for customer service reps to be doing other things and can be a huge benefit to a company.

Interactive Products (AR)

For online customers, this could be a game-changer. AR experiences can change the way that online customers perceive the products that they intend to buy. With the use of AR, customers will be able to better understand their needs and if the products that they intend to purchase meet their demands. Some eCommerce brands have already started to experiment with AR, which will help them stand out from the competition. Delivering more personalized experiences to consumers will allow for better online shopping. Companies are using AR not only to enhance the customer experience but also to allow shoppers the ability to test and explore products in the way that they would do during an in-person shopping experience.

Personalization

Personalization means showing individualized offers, product recommendations, and other content to your visitors based on their previous actions, demographics, and other personal data. It ensures that what you are offering your customers or prospects is relevant to them.

Personalizing the online shopping experience is the key to keeping customers satisfied. People shopping online want help to find the products that they need, and they value a more personalized experience. As a result of poor product recommendations, online shoppers might avoid certain stores altogether.

Omnichannel Approach

Part of getting the right message to the right person at the right time is knowing how they will best receive that message at the moment in question.

As a simple example, an individual might be happy to receive a more long-form, informational newsletter via email—but would rather receive quick-hitting information via push or SMS notification. If they were to receive a long-winded message via SMS, they’d probably end up ignoring it.

The point is when adopting a multi- or omnichannel approach to eCommerce, you need to know how to use each channel to a) provide for the customer as they desire, and b) engage with them and nurture them further toward conversion.

APIs and Streamlined Process

The more connected our world becomes the more APIs that each application ends up having. And with the rise of the IoT, our mobile devices, homes, cars, gaming systems, wearable tech, and laptops are all connected.

That offers a lot of convenience for the user. But all of those connections can get a bit dicey if the developer starts building the application in the wrong place. Traditionally, developers start with the user and build from there. They design the application and add in the appropriate APIs after the fact.

The back-end team starts working on an API, and once it’s finished, they give the API to the front-end team for testing. At the same time, the front-end team works to build SDKs to test and double-check the API’s interactions.

There’s a problem, though. This means that front-end developers are waiting on back-end developers and the process often takes an inordinate amount of time and coordination.

If you have questions on any of the topics discussed in our presentation, please let us know. We’re always happy to help!