As 2016 begins to wind down, the Internet has begun to reflect on the digital business conducted this year and discuss the trends that will carry us through to the New Year. We’ve compiled the trends that we think will impact your small business the most, and explained how best to integrate them into your existing digital strategy.
Facebook Announces Dynamic Ads for Retail
In September, Facebook announced that they would begin rolling out dynamic ads specifically for retail. This will allow merchants to easily customize their Facebook advertisements for every store location based on which products are available in specific stores. Customers will see products that are available in the stores closest to them.
This is most important for retail business owners who have multiple locations. The feature will help prevent you from marketing out-of-stock products or inaccurate prices, therefore improving customer experience and cutting down on wasted impressions. In addition to being able to see local availability, Dynamic Ads for Retail will also help inspire purchase intention in your customers by providing them with the ability to read product summaries and take different actions (such as contacting the nearest store or buying online).
Dynamic Ads for retail are still in their beta phase, though Facebook will continue to roll the new feature out throughout the remainder of 2016. Currently, these ads are priced on a CPM (cost-per-thousand) scale. You can read more about the new feature here.
Facebook Launches Third-Party Measurement Tools for Advertisers
It’s one of the most frustrating facts of the digital business world: despite our increasingly digital society, more than 90% of consumer purchases still happen offline. This can make it hard to truly measure the impact that digital marketing efforts have in the real world.
That’s why Facebook recently partnered with companies Nielsen Catalina Solutions, Oracle Data Cloud, Visual IQ, and Nester MarketShare to create third party measurement tools designed to give brands more accurate results. By connecting Nielsen Catalina’s purchasing data from retailers with ad data from Facebook and Instagram, small business owners and marketers will now be able to see how a digital campaign impacts offline purchases. The partnership with Oracle Data Cloud will enable Facebook to test how likely people are to buy products if they have or have not seen an advertisement online.
This will allow your business to make smarter marketing investments, and will change the way that we understand digital advertising through Facebook and other social media platforms. This change may also signal the beginning of the end for click-based measurements, which some professionals have hypothesized should be phased out in favor of a more effective people-based measurement system.
LinkedIn Updates Company Pages
This month, LinkedIn will roll out their Company Pages updates. The update includes a completely redesigned page and admin experience, which should make it easier for page owners to edit and manage their business' page. LinkedIn has also expanded their analytics dashboard, which means that you'll be able to better measure the impact of your LinkedIn content and optimize how you perform.
Some things are staying the same: all of your company's old content will be converted to the old format and you will be able to switch between the old and new platforms while updates are rolling out. This should make the transition smooth and allow you to start taking advantage of the updates ASAP! LinkedIn users can get a head start on these updates by adding a cover image (recommended size: 1536 by 768 pixels) and updating their profile picture/logos.
Mobile Advertising this Holiday Season
Google recently published a set of recommendations for effectively reaching shoppers on mobile platforms this holiday season. In it, they solidified the role of mobile visibility in influencing in-store traffic: an estimated 64% of smartphone shoppers use mobile search to gather information and generate ideas about their purchases before heading into a store. With mass shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, Google predicts that businesses who optimize their mobile efforts will see huge jumps in online conversion rates throughout the gift-giving season.
If your business is anticipating holiday traffic, properly utilizing mobile advertising techniques will be key to meeting (or even surpassing) your goals. Google recommends getting your holiday campaign optimization strategy in place early, and using mobile bid adjustments to ensure that your brand has strong presence on mobile screens throughout the season. Keep in mind that Google recently made changes to Penguin, which will allow the program to operate in real time and make it harder to manipulate audiences. Check out Huffington Post’s breakdown on the update for more information.
As we move closer to 2017, more changes are surely on the horizon. Be sure to visit our blog each month for all of the tips, tricks, and trends that will help you make the most of your digital marketing efforts.