As we head into the busy holiday period, digital industry leaders have announced and rolled out many new updates and features.
You’ve probably already heard about Facebook’s name change, however, you might have missed the other updates that you could be making use of for your own digital marketing efforts. Keep reading to find out what happened in October!
Google Rolls Out New Eco-friendly Search Filters
How brands tackle sustainability has always been an interesting topic and this will continue to be one of the biggest trends of 2022 and beyond. And it seems Google is hopping on the bandwagon too by giving businesses some help with new eco-friendly search filters.
The first update focuses on ‘Google Flights’. Google now displays carbon emission estimates for most flights and this data is displayed in SERPs next to the price and duration of a flight. Now consumers can take carbon emissions into their decision, so they can aim to be more environmentally conscious while booking their flights.
The second update involves Google Shopping guiding buyers to find environmentally-friendly appliances like dishwashers and water heaters. When searching for these kinds of products, Google Shopping will make suggestions based on energy-saving qualities. Indeed an interesting pick for businesses that support eco-friendly products and practices.
Facebook Brings Early Christmas Present For SMBs With New Tools
The holiday season is always hectic for brands and implementing Christmas marketing campaigns takes a lot of planning and ideation. Well, the good news is Facebook is looking to give SMBs an edge this year with new tools for reaching more people at Christmas.
Firstly, the new calling options will allow businesses to make audio and video calls via Business Inbox in Messenger. Meaning brands can make direct calls with buyers in a chat stream and provide additional context and support.
The second bit of good news is Facebook live audio rooms are becoming available for select small businesses too! Businesses can now host live conversations about topics that are relevant to their industry and invite their fans, creators, and listeners to join and contribute their thoughts.
Instagram Live Reminders In Your Feed
New Instagram feature Alert! You can now schedule a time for your next Live video on Instagram AND you can post about it on your feed too, meaning potentially more followers watching your Live! Here is how to set this up:
- Go to “Live”
- Press on the “Calendar” icon
- Add a title for your Live video (this is what your followers will see)
- Add a “Start time”
The post on your grid will have a “Calendar” icon on top of it, like this:
A great feature to provide a little intrigue and excitement for particular announcements and launches!
Goodbye IGTV, Hello Instagram Videos!
Instagram announced the withdrawal of IGTV and has now integrated it into a more general experience under Instagram Video. This new format will be a combination of both long-format live content and short snippets of video content that will be displayed under the Video tab on Instagram.
The reason behind the update was essentially to create a more user-friendly experience for viewers by enabling the full-screen video mode experience across the platform.
Hyundai and Amazon Partnership
Hyundai and Amazon have teamed up to create a virtual showroom for Hyundai. Even though you can’t buy cars on Amazon just yet (I’m sure it will happen at some point), you can configure it and check prices and inventory. Amazon’s role would be to direct people to local car dealerships based on what they’re looking for and what the availability looks like to then complete the sale in person.
Will you take a look at the Hyundai Evolve showroom?
Half of UK Shoppers Plan to Only Shop Online This Christmas
Each year, more and more of the UK’s Christmas shopping takes place online and this shows no signs of changing this year. Over the last 10 years, internet sales as a percentage of total retail sales have risen from around 9% in November/December 2010 to around 35% in November/December 2020 according to the ONS.
A recent survey from recommendation platform Outbrain has revealed that in 2021 48% of UK consumers will be doing all of their shopping online. This survey of over 1,000 consumers also showed that only 6% plan to do their shopping exclusively on the high street.
The challenge for many online retailers will be getting seen in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Advertising on Google or Bing is a great way of targeting people who are searching for what you sell. If your products have a strong visual aesthetic, it is worth also looking at social media advertising.
You can find other ways of standing out from the crowd, such as by producing quality content that people want to read. If Christmas trade is particularly important for your business, consider leveraging seasonal keywords to help your content move up the search engine rankings.
Facebook Goes Meta
On 28th October, Facebook announced that it has rebranded the company as Meta. The renaming applies to the wider company that oversees Instagram, Oculus, WhatsApp, and Facebook. The social media platform, Facebook has not been renamed, so the users of that platform will not see any name change on the app. This is similar to when Google rebranded as Alphabet in 2015 but did not rename the search engine or the related advertising and analytics services.
Mark Zuckerberg had previously stated that he wanted to focus his company on the ‘Metaverse’ rather than just social platforms. Many of the company’s acquisitions such as Instagram and WhatsApp compete in a similar space to Facebook, but others such as virtual reality headset company Oculus fall outside the social media space. The recently released ‘Ray-Ban Stories’ is a collaboration between the sunglasses company and Facebook and is another indicator of how they are broadening their strategy.
The big players in tech are all in a race to create the product that will be the ‘next iPhone’, and many including Apple believe that this will be a wearable augmented reality (AR) device. As Zuckerberg positions, his company to compete in this space, choosing a name that is not so tainted by privacy issues could also be to his advantage…