news and updates

Facebook launches Instagram Reels as TikTok alternative

  • Team Social Beat
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  • 27 July , 2020
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    • 2 min read

Recently India banned 59 Chinese apps such as TikTok, UC Browser and CamScanner, due to compliance issues and concerns over data privacy. TikTok influencers had built a massive follower base and had many brand deals that added to their source of income. But the ban had left these social media influencers without a medium to reach their audiences. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the number of active users on social media platforms has also significantly increased. This has led to the rise of many alternate apps such as Mitron, Roposo, Chingari, Bolo Indiya and now Instagram Reels.

In a move to capture the market share and move deeper into the short-form content space, Instagram has now introduced a new feature called Instagram Reels. Now you can create 15-second videos on Reels and edit using options like speed, timer, effects and audio. You can also choose the apply AR effects in your video. The audio option allows you to play music from the Instagram Music library or use your original audio. You can create multiple 15-second videos at a time and edit them separately using different options.

Instagram Reels allows the user to select the audience they wish to share their videos with. The videos created using Reels will be displayed in the Explore section and the Reels tab of Instagram. You also have the option to share the video in your feed and in your story.

Open the Instagram Camera and select Reels.

In the audio option, you can select audio from the Instagram music library or choose to use your original audio.

Edit your Reel using the available options such as speed, timer and effects like AR effects.

Share the video in your Reels, Feed or Story.

Give Instagram Reels a try and create impressive thumbstopper videos.


Latest Facebook & LinkedIn updates for user engagement

  • Team Social Beat
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  • 1 June , 2020
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    • 3 min read

During these times of the COVID-19 pandemic, more brands are trying to reach out to their customers digitally. With so much content floating out there, like thumbstopper videos and engaging vox-pop campaigns, it becomes difficult for a brand to capture the attention of a user online towards their offering. Facebook and LinkedIn, well-known platforms in the social media and networking space, have launched new features on their platforms to get more engagement from users online.

LinkedIn Launches “Poll” Feature

For all those bogged down with content in their feed, interactive content in the form of polls are an excellent way to engage your visitors and make them feel heard. You could ask them to share their opinions or perspectives on various conversations and trending topics. Polls can also help companies in their research to evaluate new introductions to their product line. Polls give an insight into the minds of consumers and what they expect from a brand. 

LinkedIn has joined Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms with the launch of their new Poll feature. Just follow the steps below to create a LinkedIn Poll:

  1. Create a new post and select the “Create a Poll” option.
  2. Enter the question you wish to ask, along with four answer options and set the duration of the poll which can be up to two weeks.
  3. Write a post to accompany the poll and don’t forget to add hashtags for better visibility.
  4. Set the privacy setting of the poll to either your connections, specific groups or anyone on LinkedIn and then take your poll live.

Once the poll ends, you can get an analysis of the poll with information such as the total number of voters, most preferred option and the selection percentages of all the options. This can help you gain insights on the respondents.

Send Marketing Emails via Facebook Pages App (PMA)

Gone are the days when you had to use a CRM tool to send out emails and another to manage your online advertisements. Facebook has now introduced an option to send Marketing Emails right from the Pages Manager App (PMA). Just follow these three simple steps to start sending emails right from your Facebook Pages App:

  1. Confirm the Email Address associated with your page.
  2. Manually upload the email addresses to your database. Facebook asks you to confirm whether you have received permission from the recipients to send email updates.
  3. Fill in all the required fields just like a regular email and send your email.

The additional benefit of using the Marketing Emails feature on Facebook is that once you have created your database of email addresses, you can create custom audiences to target those users on the Facebook Ads platform. If you wish to grow your target audience, you can also create a lookalike audience to the users matched through this database, based on their interests, preferences and behaviour on Facebook. These audiences help your advertising campaigns get better results, by increasing the relevance of the ads.


Google’s Broad Core Update – May 2020

  • Deepsikha Agarwal
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  • 28 May , 2020
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    • 3 min read

After a core update at the start of the year in January, Google has announced the next update to its algorithms early this month, on May 4th. Each update affects Google’s search algorithms and is released with the intention to present information that is relevant and authoritative for any search result. 

What does the latest update entail?

With COVID-19, many industries have seen a decline because of the nature of their business, while others have seen an increase. This has resulted in a significant shift in the way users search for queries online as well. This is why Google has chosen to rank certain categories higher in its latest update. This will allow relevant content to appear to match searches during these uncertain times. 

For example, the search for content related to news, health, and online communities has shot up, while categories like travel, sports, and live events have seen a drop. Google’s latest update accounts for these shifts and the change in algorithms strongly affects Search Engine Results Page (SERP) volatility. 

The core update that was announced in January also affected SERP volatility, but May’s core update displays a peak in these rates, which is illustrated in the graph below.

It is important to note that the update also affects thin content, as well as old content which has not been refreshed in a while. Such items will be ranked lower by Google’s algorithm update. But if there has been a change in rankings for the entire industry, there is no guarantee that implementing changes will help increase the position of the content in SERPs. Featured snippets have also been impacted with the update.

Users may recall that in September 2019, Google announced a core update that resulted in a similar outcome which changed rankings completely. A key difference was that YouTube videos began to outrank Wikipedia pages. So this is not the first time something of this sort has happened.

Which industries are affected most?

Since the core update reflects the direct impact industries have witnessed throughout these last few months, the same industries have experienced a win or loss with this unprecedented change. 

For example, news has become paramount during these times. People across the world are trying to stay informed on COVID-19, as well as the impact it has had on various spheres of our normal lives. Information on health and medical research is also being widely consumed. And with people restricted to their homes, the number of hours online have shot up as well. Users are spending more time on different social media platforms, streaming services, and other categories of entertainment. Thus, these are the industries that have benefited most from the update this month, with news coming out on top.

Other industries have not fared as well. Travel and real estate have seen a dramatic drop, and this is reflected in the results of the update as well. Similarly, live events and entertainment, autos and vehicles, tech, and fitness, among many others, have taken a big hit. Many websites are reporting a significant drop in traffic, which is likely due to the change in the SERP algorithm.

Because marketing during COVID-19 is already in a state of flux, it is important to stay up to date with these changes and implement corrections accordingly. This can make keeping up with competitive SERPs easier. However,  it might make more sense to wait until the market picks up for industries currently experiencing a decline in demand and engagement. 


Brands that have launched important updates during COVID-19

  • Deepsikha Agarwal
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  • 22 April , 2020
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    • 4 min read

Brands across sectors have seen a large scale shift with the decline in the economy, which has taken a hard hit during the ongoing pandemic. And in these last few weeks, as the world has grappled with the Coronavirus and its unprecedented impact, brands have quickly stepped up to roll out important changes and updates to make these times a little bit better. Here’s a look at a few of them.

Google

Google is the number one search engine across the globe, and with people turning to them every day to look for answers on COVID-19, it’s important that their information is accurate and up to date. 

Which is why now, when you look up anything related to the coronavirus on Google, every search will trigger and display a dedicated Knowledge Panel which provides users with accurate information. 

Google has also announced that arrangements have been made for some teams to work closely with the World Health Organisation through the ongoing health crisis. The information gathered in this interface enables Google to provide and update information on the Knowledge Panel with real-time news and verified advice. 

At the same time, so many of Google’s products are integrated into a person’s workday - with Gmail, Google Ads, Analytics, etc. With the Coronavirus, there have been certain products that have been seeing more engagement and traction, and to make working remotely easier, Google provided free access to all features of the advanced version of Hangouts. This is applicable around the world to G-Suite users, as well as customers in the field of education, and will run till July 1st, 2020.

Google has also included Coronavirus as a featured search on its trends page. The most commonly asked questions can help guide healthcare professionals and companies address these queries and provide useful information during a time of unfamiliarity and little knowledge of the disease. 

TikTok

Similar to Google, TikTok has provided users with an Information Center on COVID-19. This is visible on their app in the upper right-hand corner, as an icon shaped like a shield. When users click on this, they are directed to a live page, updated continuously with news-clippings and videos from official sources, updates from WHO, information on global and domestic numbers, myth busters, FAQs, and basic preventive measures, amongst other COVID-19 initiatives.

This is an insightful way of leveraging content during these times, especially since TikTok has really taken off during these last few months with the spread of the virus. New challenges have shown up as people attempt new things while locked indoors around the world, and this has led to a massive surge in the number of downloads. In the week of March 16, 2020, TikTok witnessed an 18% increase in the number of downloads, with 2 million that week alone. 

With the prevailing rise of this social media platform, TikTok’s move to provide information on COVID-related updates allows the app to be a one-stop destination for both entertainment and news. Marketers and influencers may also move to leverage TikTok marketing during COVID-19 as the situation of lockdown and social distancing remains in place.

                  

Facebook

Google is not the only brand to have made remote connectivity easier. Facebook has finally launched the desktop version of its Messenger app. Facebook has been planning to release this update for a while now, but having witnessed the increase in use and number of downloads of video calling apps during these times, this update comes at the perfect time. 

The app can be downloaded on any OS and can be launched separately. It enables users to log in and use Messenger just as they would on any browser - with features to chat with different contacts, share media, and of course, video call friends and family to stay connected.

Instagram

Instagram rolled out a co-watch feature on its app to bring people closer together by providing access to share screens and scroll feeds with one another. This feature is a useful one as it provides a new way for users to connect and share with one another when everyone is under lockdown at home, unable to connect face-to-face. 

The new feature also comes at a time when the time spent online has increased and enables users to explore a new way to use Instagram to entertain themselves.

 


Taboola inventory is now directly integrated with Google DV360

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 14 February , 2020
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    • 2 min read

As the saying goes - The world is becoming a smaller place and digitisation is definitely contributing to it. Speaking of digitization, online advertising is considered a boon for businesses to keep their audiences interested in their brands. However, targeting the right audience is the first challenge faced by advertisers. This is where Taboola emerges as a game-changer in the sector of native advertising. With multiple options and settings, brands are able to create relevant and consistent content for ads that are published in multiple webpages and are synced with the design and behaviour of the users on the page. The best part of using Taboola is that advertisers can reach out to a large target audience to make their content visible and thereby converting potential users to customers

On the other hand, managing ad spends is the next challenge faced by digital advertisers. This is when Google DV360 comes to your rescue. DV360 is a service platform that helps online advertisers to optimise their campaign with data-driven insights. This platform integrates various advertising tools to create ads that are impactful and efficient. With DV360, it has become easy to manage ad spends and revise the strategies for maximum ROI

The best of both worlds

The good news for digital advertisers is that Taboola inventory is now directly integrated with Google DV360, Google's Programmatic Platform that is also available in India. This means marketers can now access Taboola using the DV360 platform and enjoy the convenience of optimising their campaigns while reaching a relevant target audience. This integration comes in as a blessing for advertisers to make constructive decisions to run campaigns that meet all the goals while managing spendings to yield the best results.

How to activate Taboola on DV360?

If you are already using DV360, activating Taboola is a simple process. Here is a step-by-step guide to activate the Taboola Exchange option on the DV360 platform.

  • Firstly, log in to your DV360 account. On the left menu, select the settings and click on the basic details option.
  • Then, spot the exchanges section and find Taboola exchange from the list of options on the page.
  • Tick the box next to Taboola exchange and save your changes.


Now you are all set to start your ads and bring out the best results as per the objectives of your campaigns. 

Online advertisers have started leveraging both Taboola and DV360 to run successful campaigns by making the right decisions and targeting a wide range of audiences with innovative creatives, audio and video ads.  If you have still not used these tools, hurry up and leverage these valuable platforms to build your brand and generate maximum ROI.


Facebook launches Multiple Text Optimization

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 2 December , 2019
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    • 2 min read

Facebook has launched the Multiple Text Optimization (MTO) feature in its responsive ads. This feature is similar to Google’s Responsive Search and Display Ads. Multiple Text Optimization has made it possible for advertisers to feed in various versions of the headline, ad copy, and description for one single-media ad. The various combinations will target different audiences based on what works best for whom based on granular metrics by Facebook

This follows on the heels of the launch of Lookalike Audiences by LinkedIn and options for browser, keyword and gender targeting by Quora

What is Multiple Text Optimization

Multiple Text Optimization, or MTO, is a feature added to the Facebook ‘create ad’ section. It helps optimize each ad for the respective target audience by using different text combinations.

How does it work?

This new feature can be navigated to through either Business Manager or Power Editor. Using this new feature, you can put in the variations for each section of the ad. You can put in 5 title variations, 5 different CTAs, and 5 variations of the description. Of these, the titles, descriptions, and CTAs will be mixed to generate different versions of the ad.

You can view the different combinations before the ad is published, on the ‘View More Variations’ tab, to see what works together. Once published, Facebook will automatically combine different headings with different descriptions. These versions will be put out to various audience groups, which Facebook’s system will analyze. It will then optimize and generate the best performing combination using machine learning

Implications

Using MTO, Facebook will customise how your ad appears to different target audiences, based on their viewing history. While this will help customise ads according to different target groups in one go, advertisers might lose some amount of targeting control. This is because the ad will be put out according to Facebook’s algorithm and not the specifications set by the advertiser. Moreover, you can only view the performance numbers as an aggregate of all the combinations, and not how each combination worked.

Why MTO is good for your brand

You can use MTO to test different features with different audiences and to see what resonates best with whom. This testing is accelerated through machine learning, enabling faster insights. While this ad will automatically be optimized for the target audience, it will also help you create the next set of ads with more insight on audience reactions. 

Another way of using MTO effectively is by advertising the new product to old customers. Remarket to your old customers by including text variations targeting those who have visited your website. Since they already know and trust your brand, the conversion rate will be easier here. 

MTO is thus important for building a brand through digital marketing and making your ads effectively more relatable to customers. Since this feature is similar to Google’s Responsive Search and Display Ads, some of its uses and benefits are the same. Leveraging MTO this way will definitely prove useful in creating a successful Facebook marketing strategy for your brand.

 


Three new ad targeting features introduced by Quora

  • Nandita Raman
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  • 16 October , 2019
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    • 2 min read

It is the Internet era where people consider Google to be the universal encyclopedia that has answers for every query under the sun. As much as users love browsing information, interactive platforms like Quora have made their way through the plethora of information available online. For the past decade, users have embraced Quora for the concept that common people can share their thoughts as answers. It has emerged as a powerful tool that brings like-minds together on common grounds for knowledge sharing. It has also grown as one of the best platforms to amplify your content and ads.

Recently, Quora has introduced three new targeting options for ads that advertisers can utilise to enhance customer engagement, with an interested and valued audience. Here are the three new features added to Quora.

                                                                  Source: Google

Keyword targeting

Advertisers can customise their Display Ads to a relevant audience depending on their history of content consumption. Targeting is based on the keyword search, or related questions read previously. Say, for example, let the keyword be ‘baby food chart’. If users search or read questions regarding baby food or nutrition, then Quora narrows down the target audience and displays your ads in their feed and question pages. Advertisers can target audiences who have typed in the keyword in their search or read related questions in the past 20 days. This feature enables advertisers to focus on the interested audience, thereby improving the number of leads.

Gender targeting 

Gender targeting paves the way for more specific targeting of ads. If your product is women-centric, like cosmetics, then you can opt to display your ads in the Quora accounts of women. Similarly, for products relating only to men, the same principle applies. You will be able to find this option under the demographic category in the ‘Ads Manager’ search box. This streamlines your ad spends on targeting the right users who are potential customers.

Browser targeting

If your ad pertains to any software that is useful for a particular browser, you can choose to target customers with respect to the browser that they are using. This is an add-on to the existing feature, in which Quora targets the users depending on the mobile and device usage.

It is always exciting to experiment on different ad platforms. Now is the time to leverage the interactive Q&A platform of Quora with the new features introduced for targeted customer engagement. Implement these latest strategies to accelerate lead generation through Quora and reap maximum benefits. 

 


Google introduces AMP for emails

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 13 May , 2019
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    • 3 min read

Page loading speed and mobile-friendliness have been among the most important Google ranking factors. To combine the two, Google has worked towards making mobile pages load faster with the help of an open-source framework which is called AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). AMP is considered to be one of the best ways to build good web pages that rank on Google and drive higher organic traffic. With the success of mobile AMP, Google developed other versions like desktop AMP. The most recent innovation with AMP involves a platform people spend a considerable amount of time on: the email.

AMP in email is offered by the Gmail Developer Preview. This helps developers in creating a more engaging and interactive email experience. Here are some of the advantages of AMP for email.

Faster actions

Completing actions with the help of AMP will be much faster, like sending RSVP for an event, scheduling appointments, or simply filling up a questionnaire within the email message.

AMP helps in keeping information of the email relevant and content accurate so that emails don’t become stale. This also makes it easy to keep information updated. A simple example would be confirming an account on a website, with the help of AMP for Emails one can access the confirmation page instantly without having to open a new tab. This makes the overall process more efficient and time saving. This new update also offers a preview for websites like Booking.com and Pinterest within the email.

To optimise your page for a faster load time check out Google PageSpeed Insights.

Benefits for SEO

AMP-powered email has potential that can be beneficial for email marketing, because the engaging content can increase CTR while also generating more interest when compared to a regular email.

Content marketing benefits from this update, as users can receive and access content on their email itself. This again improves the users experience making going through emails a more pleasant experience. This holds true even for users accessing emails from their mobile device.

To make the most of your email campaigns, check out our blog to know more about How to build a strong email marketing database.

Third party content

Companies are working on creating new customer experiences by using AMP for emails. Adding this functionality to emails helps in eliminating the need to open a new tab to finish the task; instead it can be done within the email itself.

The new format of AMP for Emails is supported by Google’s Gmail, Microsoft’s Outlook.com, Mail.Ru, Verizon owned Yahoo Mail to list a few while it is open to other providers as well. With security and protection of personal information becoming increasingly critical lately, Google has taken several measures to safeguard this.  This is why companies creating dynamic emails will need to seek approval from Google first.

Companies which have already started supporting this format are:

  • Booking.com
  • OYO Rooms
  • Freshworks
  • Pinterest
  • redBus

The format supports AMP features like carousels, lists and forms among others, while also including the standard HTML markup for email clients supporting AMP. Google has brought in other partners who will also support the AMP for Email on their respective platforms as well. Some of these partners include:

  • SparkPost - a platform for email delivery and analytics
  • Litmus - a tool that helps in designing and marketing of emails
  • Twilio Sendgrid - an email and marketing tool
  • SES and Pinpoint - tools by Amazon used for email and marketing

AMP for emails is a much needed update for emails making them more engaging and interactive. This update for emails opens up opportunities for content creators as well as advertisers to roll out fresh content for email marketing.


Vikas Chawla featured in Times of India

  • Ayesha Rafeeq
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  • 1 September , 2017
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    • < 1 min read

There is no doubt that digital technology has engulfed our world with a blanket of convenience. There is an app in our phones for literally every day-to-day activity, from booking a cab to ordering pizza. However, the lack of storage space and increased consumption of mobile data and time has led to stagnation in the number of app-users worldwide.

To address this issue, websites are now being re-designed with app-like behaviour. Frequent visits to these websites will lead to a pop-up in your phone prompting you to add a direct shortcut to the website in your main menu. The progressive functions of these app-like websites have led to the emergence of Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). This new technology has taken the digital world by storm and is here to stay. Social Beat is one of the few digital marketing agencies who has incorporated this technology in our website. Following is an article from Times of India in which Vikas Chawla, our co-founder, has given us a closer insight into the benefits of Progressive Web Apps and their impact on the consumers.


Social Beat Now Part of the Facebook Agency Directory

  • Faizaan
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  • 10 August , 2017
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    • < 1 min read

We are delighted to announce that Social Beat is now part of the Facebook Agency Directory. This is a recent initiative by Facebook to showcase the top digital marketing companies in each region of the world. This will allow FB to drive brands and advertisers towards certified Facebook marketing experts. 

 

Since its inception, Facebook has become central to all things social media and has also pioneered the move towards social media being used as a marketing tool for both small and large brands. Last year, Facebook India launched their SME India Council and Vikas Chawla is now a part of the Council which works closely with the platform to transform feedback from clients into working features and marketing products.

Do stay updated on Our Facebook Marketing Blog to see what’s the latest (as and when Facebook announces its new feature launches).

You may also find it interesting to read our Facebook Marketing Trends For 2017.


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