Google I/O is coming up, F8 just got over, and…um…Google Ads stopped working on May the 1st (at least for some people). Happy Star Wars day everyone, and welcome to the first episode of Digital Marketing Lens Weekly – where I look at the world of tech from the Point of View of a digital marketer – and no, this is not another “How to create Viral Content in 4 easy steps” kind of piece. This is serious stuff. Let’s get started.
We begin with Google. Google iO is coming up on May 7th and while typically this is a software demo-flex day for Google – there are somethings that I think digital marketers should be aware of. There’s a new Dark Mode (finally) coming to Android Q, so I’m assuming it should start rolling out to a lot of Google Apps including Gmail and Chrome soon (Chrome desktop already has a Dark Mode). Make sure to test your emails and your website in Dark mode to make sure everything looks alright. Android Q also includes a better sharing sheet, normally how sharing works on Android is that you hit the share button, and then Android thinks for a bit, and then a list of apps that you can share to turn up, and then a list of your favourite contacts turn up. How is this relevant to Digital Marketers? Make sure you have you have proper UTM tracking set up for your Shared URLs, as well as Social Plugin INtegration on Google Analytics, because you’re soon (well, relatively speaking) going to get a lot more sharing from your Android users. Last year, one of the major announcements from Google IO was Google Duplex where a robot called a local business and booked an appointment for a hair cut. Last week Google also rolled out a service that could used by the restaurant to automatically answer incoming calls. This is only rolling out in limited trials in the US, but can you imagine having your Google assistant call a restaurant, and talk to their Google assistant to place an order for delivery? Every Local Business needs to get their Google My Business Page in line, and have proper structured data added to their websites.
Speaking of Structured data, there’s a new update to Search Console telling you what structured data on your website Google cannot understand. Structured Data rolled out for Google to be able to understand your website’s data – and now Google has created a report to tell you how much of that structured data it did not understand. Other parts of the update include a sitelinks search box and a logo enhancement report – where Google can use your logo markup to tell you how your logo could be doing better. Googel is such an insufferable snot sometimes.
Speaking of insufferable, Facebook held its annual developer conference F8 a few days back – and announced a couple of things, but truly the most awesome moment of the entire presentation was Mark Zuckerberg’s joke on privacy (only no one laughed), followed closely by the Instagram Presenter talking about features that he may or may not roll out to Instagram in the near (or distant) feature. On a serious note, Facebook is rolling out a Messenger Desktop app – so I hope you have your business Chatbots set up. Messenger is also getting stories aggregation – further underlying the importance of the content format. And WhatsApp (the better looking step-brother of Messenger) is getting wider payments support (they’re currently testing with a million people in the world’s guinea pig laboratory – India) and better support for Business Product Catalogues. For Businesses, the writing is clear, the message is on the wal; = WhatsApp is where mobile messaging commerce is going to be this year. The Facebook app is getting a redesign focused on Groups. So if you havent’t set up Groups for your business yet, please go ahead and do so, and start hosting events while you’re at it, on Facebook. Instagram is getting a new create mode – aimed at businesses and creators who aren’t really photo/video centric in their content creation process. And finally in hardware news, VR is getting dangerously close to becoming a mass market product. Are you a business/marketer who has dabbled in VR content for your company – please let me know – we need talk.
Interestingly, Facebook’s conference was held on the same day that Google Ads went dark for some users, in terms of reports. Yeah, that’s right – Google Adwords went down for a limited set of users, with Google putting out an alert to tell people that reporting may not be fully accurate. Things are back up now, so – no need to panic.
Closing out this segment with some website/Wordpress news – Creative Commons (they are not the repository where you can take images from without giving credit) has rolled out a search engine to let you search through their 30 million creative works. If you’re lifting content from there, at least now you have no excuse for not being able to find the creator.
That’s about it for this week’s episode. This is a pilot, so please let me know what you guys think of this in the comments section, and (hopefully) I will see you next week.