This week: Facebook rolls out a new video creation tool suite, customers want brands to be more transparent, and Google has some advice if you’re moving from HTTP to HTTPS.
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Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Facebook Removes 5,000 Ad Targeting Filters
Facebook has removed more than 5,000 ad targeting filters in an effort to prevent advertisers from discriminating against religious or ethnic minorities.
Since the change, marketers who run employment, credit, and housing campaigns can no longer filter their ads from specific demographics.
“While these [ad targeting] options have been used in legitimate ways to reach people interested in a certain product or service, we think minimizing the risk of abuse is more important. This includes limiting the ability for advertisers to exclude audiences that relate to attributes such as ethnicity or religion,” Facebook said in a blog post.
Additionally, Facebook will also require housing, employment, and credit advertisers to certify that they’re in compliance with the social media company’s non-discrimination policy.
In the past, Facebook came under fire for enabling advertisers to discriminate against minorities.
Facebook Introduces Mobile-First Video Creation Toolset
Facebook has rolled out a new toolset that enables marketers to create mobile-optimized video ads.
According to a blog post, Facebook “found that mobile-first creative has a 27 percent higher likelihood of driving brand lift and 23 percent higher likelihood of driving message association compared to video ads that are not optimized for mobile.”
Here’s a rundown of the new tools:
- Video Creation Kit – Translates still images and text into mobile optimized videos. The tool supports both 1:1 and 9:16 aspect ratios.
- Video Cropping Tool – Trims videos to the desired aspect ratio.
- Animate Option – Creates a video from a still image.
Survey: Consumers Prefer Brands That Are Transparent on Social Media
It’s time to talk truth on Twitter.
According to a new survey of 1,000 consumers, 86% of think it’s more important than ever before for brands to be transparent.
More than half (53%) of those surveyed said that they’re likely to consider a brand that’s transparent on social media for their next purchase. An overwhelming number (86%) said that a lack of transparency on social media might lead them to take their business to a competitor.
A full 81% said that companies have a responsibility to be transparent online.
Consumers define transparency as being honest (49%), clear (53%), and open (59%).
Eighty-nine percent of consumers surveyed said they’d be willing to give transparent brands another chance for their business even after a bad experience.
Google Introduces Featured Snippets With Expandable Subtopics
Google continues to tweak the Rank 0 listing.
Most recently, the Big G rolled out a new featured snippet format that displays even more info about the subject via drop-down elements.
By way of example, you might see the new featured snippet in action if you search for “Quartz vs. Granite.” The drop-down elements in the top box compare the two countertop options in terms of cost, weight, durability, and other benefits.
I’m not seeing the new snippet yet, perhaps because it hasn’t rolled out to all Google servers.
Here’s what Google has to say about the new format: “Now when you search for something like [quartz vs. granite], you’ll see a panel with a set of relevant subtopics to explore. As another example, when you search [emergency fund], you’ll get a quick view of information that relates to the recommended size, purpose, and importance of an emergency fund, and you can easily click the links to these relevant sources learn more.”
Google: Use 301 Redirects When Migrating From HTTP to HTTPS
If you’re moving a website from HTTP to HTTPS, you should use 301 redirects. That’s according to Google’s John Mueller.
Specifically, here’s what he told somebody during a Google Webmaster hangout: “So you can use other types of redirects but the 301 redirect is really the one that we watch out for. And if we can recognize that it’s really a clean migration from HTTP to HTTPS, that all of the old URLs have moved to the new one, that you’re not removing things, that you’re not noindexing or robots.txt disallowing pages differently on HTTPS. Then that makes a lot easier for us to trust that as a kind of this one big thing of a site move that is moving from HTTP to HTTPS.”
Mueller went on to say that when you clearly inform Google that you’re making a “generic” move, the more likely it will switch over the indexing with very little impact.
Google Medic Update Wasn’t Designed to Impact YMYL or Health Sites (But It Did)
The most recent Google algorithm update wasn’t designed to affect YMYL (Your Money Your Life) or health-related websites. But it did.
This past week, Pedro Dias interviewed Google’s Gary Illyes at Search Masters Brazil. During the interview, Illyes spilled the beans that “the August 1 core algorithm update was’t designed specifically to target health or YMYL websites. It was just a happy coincidence that it also impacted sites in that vertical.”
The so-called Medic update affects all categories, according to Google.
Study: Top Brands Are Posting on Facebook Much More Often
So how did the recent Facebook news feed algorithm change affect the posting habits of social media marketers? Buffer and BuzzSumo analyzed 43 million posts to answer that very question.
According to the research, top pages are posting more frequently. In Q1 2017, brands posted 72,000 times per day. But in Q1 2018, they posted more 90,000 times per day.
Also, The top 20,000 Facebook pages posted 135 times per month during the first quarter of this year.
Here are some other key findings from the study:
- Page engagement has declined by more than 50% over the past 18 months
- Facebook engagement has dropped for video, images, and links
- Posting five times per day resulted in the highest overall engagement
- Top page categories saw a 49-70% drop in engagement