Technology continues to evolve and improve upon itself year over year: as digital marketers (and online business owners), it is important to stay as up-to-date on changes as possible. On our #MarketingMonday this week, we reviewed developments in the social media space from this year (including some pretty cool image search developments over on Pinterest).
Of course, social media wasn’t the only space to experience big developments in digital marketing. Let’s look at what else happened in other areas of the industry:
The Good: Integrations and Refinement
Google further improved upon their algorithms for quality search results. In the “Fred” update, Google penalizes websites’ search results with low-quality, ad-focused content (or affiliate-heavy content), which allows for higher quality content to float up further in organic search results. In August, Google refined their local search results to reduce filtering out listings for competing businesses that are in proximity to one another; however, this “Hawk” update (the name used by Search Engine Land) still filters out business listings for businesses located at the same address, i.e., coworking space members and other office building tenants. Hashtagitude is based out of Modworks, so our Google Local listing may still be filtered out even with this most recent algorithm update.
Email marketing opened up this year on the Mailchimp platform, with its announcement of offering its marketing automation feature for free back in May. Previously, this was a paid feature, so our team was very happy to see this feature be offered for free (full disclosure: we use Mailchimp for our email marketing and for our clients). Mailchimp’s automation feature includes templates of popular automation sequences in various industries. Another big update from Mailchimp includes transitioning from double opt-in to single opt-in for mailing lists to streamline the process for subscribers.
E-commerce businesses, rejoice! Instagram is now allowing integrations from Shopify (and perhaps other e-commerce platforms in the future) so you can now receive direct sales from posting about your products on Instagram. The two companies introduced this integration as a more seamless, streamlined approach for consumers to shop more conveniently without leaving the Instagram platform.
The ‘Bad’: Flops, Hypes, and Losses
Snap’s Spectacles wearables flopped in popularity. We mentioned this briefly on #MarketingMonday, but can’t help but touch upon this failure further. Even though the press and marketing leading up to launch was huge, Snap did not deliver on the hype. Spectacles could only be used on Snapchat (versus used on other platforms), the company failed to capitalize on influencers to help with the marketing, and many other factors that contributed to the product failure.
Twitter slows drastically in growth. In the second quarter of 2017, Twitter lost approximately 2 million users in the U.S. Whenever we login to Twitter, we find the platform eerily quiet as most of the conversations that used to be prevalent on Twitter have moved to other social networks (or to dark social). Some people speculate that the slowdown is due to the continued tense political climate in the U.S. Despite the slow growth, Twitter’s stock is up by 29% as of late November.
Another new social media network, another quick 15 minutes of fame. Mastodon launched in early April to a lot of hype in the social media world, only to have its fame dwindle very quickly into the background. Media claimed that Mastodon would take down Twitter, but again, this was perhaps a premature statement. Even though Mastodon is still around (see screenshot below), it’s not widely spoken of at the moment.
The Ugly: Future of Our Internet
With Net Neutrality’s potential repeal looming ahead of us (still not sure what Net Neutrality is? Check out our article about this hot topic), we have much to consider in terms of digital marketing. Continue to contact your representatives and be vocal about keeping Net Neutrality around. If not, we could see the internet as we know it become just like cable television packages.
What do you think about our list of developments from 2017 above (or on our #MarketingMonday segment)? Leave your comments below.