By Janine Casas | 11 December 2018
Another year is drawing to a close, and it’s time for us to reflect on the things that have come, gone and remained – both in our personal lives and in other aspects. Let’s have a look at what’s changed in digital marketing in 2018.
Let’s start off with all things Facebook.
The entire universe was shook when the Cambridge Analytica Scandal happened. Sure, data breaches are common in this day and age, but this particular one was probably the most significant thus far. About 87 million Facebook users’ data were hijacked and exposed by political consulting company Cambridge Analytica, who worked with President Trump’s campaign. The data collected from Facebook’s rather not-so-secure API allowed the firm to create ‘psychographic’ profiles about voters.
This got everyone thinking — How safe is our personal information online? Can we still trust Facebook with our data? And the question everyone is dying to know — How will this impact marketers?
It seems Facebook’s tidied up their security and privacy algorithms (for now) and although most think Facebook is the least trustworthy company in the online space, people still continue to use it anyway. In marketing, however, there’ve been some implications in the way Facebook is used as a marketing and advertising tool. Facebook Ad Transparency became a really important aspect of the platform, and marketers now have to be very conscious and cautious with the way they collect and use the data they acquire from the platform.
The best thing yet about Facebook’s Ad Transparency? You earn credibility and trust from your audience as well as learn and uncover competitor ad strategies!
You might have noticed that a lot of websites now have those little popups about cookies and stuff… Well, that’s GDPR compliance for ya!
In case anyone’s missed it, GDPR stands for the EU General Data Protection Regulation. With the many digital data breaches that have happened, it has now become compulsory for all digital marketing and advertising efforts to be GDPR compliant. GDPR has forced marketers to be mindful and transparent in the gathering and processing of data – where an individual’s consent is active, genuine and not forced.
As millennials, we all know we love scrolling through pretty photos and videos and shopping online. The ‘Gram has made it so much easier for both businesses to sell products online, and users to shop online. The addition of eCommerce on Instagram through the usual posts on the feed and Stories has been a game changer!
Businesses can easily tag products in their photo and video posts and on Stories. When users tap the ‘shopping bag sticker’, product details and price appear. When a user taps on a specific product’s bubble, they are then led to a new screen still within the app that includes more product details and an option to view the product on their website and complete a purchase.
Another notable Instagram update this year was the launch of a “Write alt text” feature to cater to those with visual impairments. Users can add their own alt text, or let Insta generate one automatically through the use of its object recognition technology.
Ah the mother of all things digital, tech, and basically everything we live and breathe for today – Google.
Local SEO has really been having a hit, and the signals sent by Google My Business are quite high up on the SEO ranking factors (actually at 32%). Google Posts, Google Q&A, and image and video updates classify as top ranking signals as they tell Google that your business is actively engaging and interacting with customers. With constant online engagement on GMB, Google is able to detect important behaviour signals that help businesses gain higher search engine rankings.
To help with SEO even further, Google also launched Web.dev, a tool that ‘grades’ websites based on its SEO performance. An audit is carried out by the tool, and recommendations are provided in the order of its impact on the site’s performance. (Try it out for yourself!)
Google Maps and Google My Business have now also allowed for hashtags in reviews to make businesses more searchable, and for users to find what they’re specifically looking for more easily. But even more remarkable is that Google is working on a comments feature on search results. This could mean a shift with the way users behave when searching online, as well as how businesses would react with the presence of more user-generated content.
There have been so many changes this year, and sometimes it’s really hard to keep up. It’s always great to be in check and to keep ourselves up-to-date with the latest news and trends in the digi world. We hear about AI a lot, and are seeing AR and VR play huge roles in marketing. There’s been massive digital disruption in 2018, and I can’t wait for what 2019 has in store.
Question now is – are we ready?
Janine is a digital-focused professional with vast experience working in a range of tech/operations/marketing roles within the FMCG, manufacturing, education and health industries. She completed the Diploma in Digital Marketing at NZIE in February 2018 and currently works as Digital Marketing Specialist for one of New Zealand’s top dental brands.