This week: half of small businesses don’t have a marketing plan, more research shows that voice search is on the rise, and wait until you hear about how much celebrities are charging for sponsored posts.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
LinkedIn Allows Users to View Sponsored Content From the Past 6 Months
Interested in learning about how your competitors are killing it on LinkedIn? If so, then you’ll love the platform’s new feature.
Soon, you and other users can view six months worth of sponsored content from any advertiser.
According to LinkedIn, the change is necessary for transparency.
“At LinkedIn, we are committed to providing a safe, trusted, and professional environment where members can connect with each other, engage with relevant content, and grow their careers,” the company said in a statement. “Increased transparency to both our customers and members is critical to creating this trusted environment.”
The ads are aggregated in an “Ads” tab. You can click on ads in that tab, but the company won’t be charged.
So it’s also a way to get free advertising.
Study: Half of Small Businesses Don’t Have a Marketing Plan
Can I get a shruggie?
According to a new study by Outbound Engine, 50% of small businesses don’t have a marketing plan.
Additionally, the survey of 350 SMBs found that owners are pressed for time, stressed out, and overwhelmed. That’s part of the reason that they aren’t focusing on marketing.
A quarter of respondents said that they’re unsure about how to grow their businesses this year.
More than half (55%) said that they spend less than 5% of their annual sales on marketing.
However, 81% of those surveyed who invested between 5% and 10% of annual sales in marketing saw growth last year.
The majority also said that they spend fewer than five hours every week on marketing.
Study: 21% of Consumers Are Using Voice Search Every Week
Here’s yet another study about the rising popularity of voice search.
Uberall’s recent survey of 1,000 consumers found that 21% of them are using voice search every week.
Of those, 11% use voice search at least once a week while 9.8% of them use it every day.
People who use voice search use it in the home (37%), in the car (34%), or while walking (11%).
Still, more than half of those surveyed (57%) have never used voice search. When asked why, they gave the following reasons:
- Not used to it (23%)
- Don’t think it’s efficient (20%)
- Believe it’s not accurate (14%)
About 60% of respondents said that they believe voice search will be important in the future.
Study: Consumers Trust Websites More Than GMB
Google My Business (GMB) might be great for Local SEO, but it doesn’t necessarily appeal to people in your target market. That’s according to a new study by BrightLocal.
The survey asked consumers which source they expect to have the most accurate info about a business. Here’s how they responded:
- Local business websites (56%)
- GMB (32%)
- Online directories (12%)
Respondents said they use GMB to check operating hours, get directions, call a business, read reviews, and leave reviews.
When asked how often they check a website before using a business, 76% of those surveyed said they check it at least half the time. Almost a quarter (22%) said they check it all the time.
Respondents also identified out-of-date contact info on the website as the #1 reason for not using a local business.
Google Updates the Search Quality Raters Guidelines
For the first time since last summer, Google has updated the Search Quality Raters Guidelines.
If you’re unfamiliar with the guidelines, they’re distributed to people who rate websites they come across in search results. Then, they provide their feedback to Google.
Google uses that feedback to update its search algorithm.
Here are some of the changes you’ll want to keep in mind:
- More emphasis on interstitials and pages that require an app download.
- Less emphasis on Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (EAT) and more emphasis on page quality.
- Less emphasis on EAT requirements for Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) sites.
- More info on “every day expertise” for non-YMYL sites. If you’re an avid photographer, for example, you don’t have to prove you took a photography class to demonstrate that you’re an authority on the subject.
The changes are really just a different verse of the same song we’ve been listening to for years: Google places a priority on user experience. So should you.
Google Ads Rolls out New Bidding Strategies
This past week, Google Ads introduced new bidding strategies that offer more flexibility than Smart Bidding:
- Campaign-level Conversions – Now, you can set conversion goals at the campaign level. In the past, you could only set conversion goals at the account level.
- Seasonality Adjustments – This is in response to demand for ad hoc events (such as one-time promotions). If you think your conversion rate will improve during an upcoming promotion, you can use a seasonality adjustment to adapt your bid accordingly.
- Maximize Conversion Value – Allows you to optimize your campaigns for volume and growth instead of efficiency.
Google also announced that it will introduce Value Rules in the coming months. They’ll allow you to differentiate conversion values by audience, device, and location.
Google Doesn’t Show Hidden Tabbed Content in Search Results
Although Google will index and rank content that’s hidden in tabs, it won’t show that content in search results. That’s according to John Mueller.
In a recent Google Webmasters hangout, somebody asked Mueller the following question: “I’ve been noticing that content in under tabs on the mobile side is not showing the same way in the search results as was promised. What gives Google?”
Mueller replied by stating that Google won’t show the hidden content in a snippet.
“We try to separate that out because if we show something in the snippet, it feels like we’re really promising the user that they’ll see this when they visit that page,” he said. “So if we know that this is hidden by default then we won’t show it in the snippet.”
Research Shows How Much Influencers Charge for Sponsored Posts
A new survey from Klear sheds some light on how much influencers charge for sponsored posts on social media.
TL;DR It ranges anywhere from $100 to $2,400.
So-called nano influencers (people with between 500 and 5,000 followers) command about $100 for a standard Instagram post. They’ll require a little more ($115) for a video post.
However, a standard post on Facebook from a nano influencer will cost a little less: $81.
Celebrities who have more than 500,000 followers will demand about $2,185 for an Instagram post. For a video, expect to pay $100 more.
A Facebook post from a celebrity will set you back $2,400.