It didn’t take 5 months to write this week’s digital update! 📣

✅ Meta Built Threads in 5 Months – What Were They Doing?; 

✅ Google’s Reviews Update Here But Is Now Going Dark; 

✅ Amazon in the FTC Naughty Corner this week; 

✅ Google Ads Gives You Full Funnel Options – Use Them;

✅ And remember that email automations are an easy win for CRM.

🌟All that wrapped up in a handy blog post by me, your wise, wizened, JB ;-) Read on and enjoy! 🌟

Meta Built Threads in 5 Months

I’m trying not to snark on Meta, or on Threads, but 5 months? Really? Considering it was an Instagram variant in a previous life, and is built using a lot of Instagram codebase / workings / functions, what were they doing all that time? (actually, I’m sure we’ve all done the corporate gig where doing anything takes considerable longer than it should). 

If you have not yet tried out Threads, I suggest you do, if you like a more text-based social network with little of the vitriol of Xitter or the gloss and sheen of Instagram. It is still more personal than faceless brands or OTT influencers. Developments to the platform are rolling out frequently and so far its algorithm is pretty good at picking topics you are interested in rather than those it thinks you should be interested in. 

Text is niche in this day and age, but this could be the one to watch. Hello Mastodon? Bluesky? Anyone out there?

If you want to talk Social Media Management and how to connect with diverse users on diverse platforms, talk to to me, today – and not in 5 months!

Amazon’s Ad Pricing Scheme

Now, I’m not one to moan about the big companies in digital (not really), but have you noticed how some of the old “good guys” really are becoming evil, monopolistic, world-domination-seeking leviathans who are being investigated by the FTC, EU and other competition watchdogs? It’s as if they’ve got drunk on power and money, and no longer want to stand for the things they originally said they stood for (cheaper product, better service, faster delivery, funny emails). 

The FTC has now released information about its suit against Amazon and lo and behold, Amazon allegedly modified its search algorithm to favour paying advertisers and also keep them hooked by downgrading the quality of its organic search results. This was in a project named Nessie. The FTC also alleges Amazon prevented its sellers from selling on other platforms for lower prices and also ran price-matching schemes to deter lower prices. 

Like a lot of things, some of this behaviour is normal and acceptable to a certain extent in a competitive marketplace. But, if proven, it’s not when you are a significant chunk of sales and have come to dominate. Especially if you have gradually shifted selling prices upwards so it’s like it was back in the 90s, early 00s: poor service, high prices, rubbish delivery and very unfunny emails. For shame.

Want to talk PPC and ecommerce advertising? Talk to me. 

Google’s November 2023 Reviews Update

This is the last of Google’s officially named “Reviews Updates” which they will be announcing, from here on in these will be happening at a “regular and ongoing pace”. It’s happening at the same times as the November Core Update so watch out you don’t get confused. 

Reviews seem to be an area that’s been brought into focus recently with Google even updating how it approaches Google Reviews under local listings – making it easier to remove inappropriate reviews and doing something to combat obvious spam. I wouldn’t be surprised if the two were linked.

These days Google likes high-quality reviews and now attempts to take a view on pretty much anything that can be reviewed, not just product review spam. There are long guidelines over what constitutes a “high-quality review”. All in an attempt to make reviews a better area of the web. 

That said, there is still a lot of shilling and spam in reviews, it comes with the territory. People surprisingly review their Amazon favourites, or paid placements and which comes out on top? Honestly, it’s enough to make one cynical. It’d be nice to find proper, genuine, homegrown, user reviews but that ship has sailed to YouTube and TikTok. 

Want to chat about SEO, Local SEO, Reviews and Google Updates? Maybe talk to me?

PPC Full Funnel Approach

Many’s the time in SEO I’ve had clients wanting to only bid / advertise / optimise for high-converting keywords or searches. And then we’ve had a long discussion about marketing funnels, consumer journeys, user-memory, trust and increasing propensity to click as they see your brand / product when they move through the search phases.

Unsurprisingly, this approach is slowly making its way across to the laggards in PPC, where Google is shifting itself away from a reliance on search and dull old keywords to display forms of advertising with Demand Gen Ads for early funnel users, Performance Max for middle of funnel users (some late), and search / remarketing for late- funnel users. Now, through the single Google Ads account, you can just about advertise to a user through every stage of the funnel – including the elusive Demand Gen for those users who are unaware they have an unmet need. 

This is a good thing, and should meld well with social ads running on the other big networks, such as Meta and TikTok. 

Let’s chat about all aspects of Digital Marketing, PPC & Paid Social, SEO, Social Media Management, and how it all hangs together. 

Marketing Automation Quick Wins

I do love the way we call email reminders “marketing automation” and a series of sales emails “journeys”. It’s almost as if we are big-noting ourselves. 

Now this is a handy little reminder of 5 very basic automations B2B, B2C and ecommerce providers can undertake. From a structured welcome series, to meeting reminders, reviews, birthdays (or events) and follow-ups. Although it’s basic, these are useful things to read and double-check you’re doing. 

This kind of thing follows a very basic philosophy that I have always had about Keeping In Touch, little and often, personalised automation. These are the things that drive recall and calls when you are needed. 

If you want to talk about Email and Customer Relationship Management, then talk to me – and I’ll follow up gently :-). 

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