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Hopefully you are still all well and healthy at home. While the world has been put to a halt, Digital Marketing has seen some changes. In this post we will cover these important updates that took place in May 2020, on the following topics:

  • Search Marketing Updates
  • Marketing Tech Updates
  • Content Marketing Updates
  • Social Media Marketing Updates

1. Search Marketing Updates May 2020

To start off, we will take a look at the Google algorithm updates of May 2020.

Google Organic Update

The second Google algorithm update of this year was released on May 4th.

It took exactly two weeks to be fully implemented as Google Search liaison Danny Sullivan said: the rollout is complete on May 18, 2020.

However, the overall consensus of this update was mainly expressed with dissatisfaction. The Search Engine Results Page (SERP) has changed drastically with only some major businesses benefitting from it. Noticeably, big brands such as Pinterest, Amazon, Etsy and similar businesses have seen increases in their SERP positions. While many think there might be an error, some speculate it is related to quarantine search trends. Unless Google publishes a comment on this, this will remain unknown.

Google Ads Updates

Hotel ads product

In order to support the travel business during COVID-19, Google will introduce a new program for Hotel ads partners globally. Instead of fixed commissions, partners will only need to pay a commission if the traveller stays at the hotel. Also, a “Free Cancellation” filter will be made available when searching for hotels. Partners will be able to easily share their policies through Google. 

New tools for Business Profiles

Businesses will be able to communicate with consumers through their Business Profile. First of all, asking for support from customers will be made available through donations or gift cards, also called ‘support links’. Also, any changes made to operations can be displayed, such as adding ‘online classes’ or ‘online appointments’. Online bookings will be connected to Google Calendar, in case the business wishes to integrate Google’s program. 


Support links in a Business Profile

2. Marketing Tech Updates May 2020

A continuous growth in the marketing tech industry has shown a lot of potential as one of the most in demand tech solutions. But as new, popular markets evolve, changes are bound to happen. 

Salesforce offers new commerce cloud templates

The leading Customer Relationship Management platform Salesforce has offered possible solutions to COVID-19 related problems and needs which businesses might experience and helps them react accordingly. For instance, ‘Quick Start Commerce for Grocery and Food Service’ enables the businesses in this industry to build new websites fast and allows customers to order online and pick up curbside. The new feature also offers cloud templates for retails of essential goods, business-to-business and any who need online buy and pick up in store. 


Quick Start Commerce for Grocery and Food Service

Online and virtual workplaces

To become accustomed to working remotely, businesses have introduced many tools to help users along the way. Facebook already had Workplace but is coming with new features to cater to the new needs which have developed since COVID-19. Firstly, Facebook has moved their already existing ‘Messenger Rooms’ to Workplace, making online meetings for business purposes only possible. This update was only natural since the demand in video calling platforms is increasing. Also, it has been made possible to host live streams with automatically translated subtitles and a Q&A section. However, the most remarkable announcement seems to be Virtual Reality workplaces. It has been used in some sectors and businesses in collaboration with Oculus for Business.


Oculus for Business

In addition, Run The World, a quite new but booming business on the video platform market, offers users to host any type of events. Such businesses allow conferences, fundraisers, panels and many more activities to be held responsibly while practising social distancing. Run The World has been able to raise 10.8 million USD in funds and is expected to become a strong competitor in the market. 

3. Content Marketing Updates May 2020

Building a strong and desirable image in the eyes of the consumer by spreading the corresponding content is a vital part of retention. Although it can be hard at times as the consumers and trends are continually changing.

Augmented Reality campaigns 

In the blog post of January, we mentioned Augmented Reality (AR) becoming a marketing tool. Amidst the quarantine and the rising usage of in particular video apps, Snapchat has been utilising the potential of AR Campaigns. These brand partnerships most often enable users to see the advertised product or try it on by using the lens in the app. For entertainment purposes every lens is usually accompanied by aesthetically pleasing or funny effects. Due to COVID-19, Snapchat has also made it possible to donate money with this tool. The lens itself gains attention and by clicking on ‘more’, the user will directly be forwarded to the website of the organisation. 

Snapchat lens

Snapchat’s partnership with the World Health Organization

Besides Snapchat, Facebook has been making advances with AR technology too. Currently, it is testing the tool to its Marketplace. Sellers will be able to create a 3D view of the product; which buyers can view in the same three-dimensional image. Seeing the product in its full state, provides the buyer an adequate glimpse without having to see it in person. 

Online content on TV screens

The significant shift from traditional TV programs to online video content, has created many opportunities for platforms such as YouTube and Netflix. The easy accessibility to any content at any time has become immensely popular. However, nowadays people are more at home thus watching content on big screens is as effortless. YouTube is expecting this shift in behaviour and will be adding new options for marketers to reach the TV-connected audiences. For instance, the surveys will be made possible for bigger screens with the possibility to use the remote to interact. 

4. Social Media Marketing Updates May 2020

Read about the most important updates in the social media branch. What are the most popular platforms, tools and features?

Users support businesses

Social media platforms are taking initiatives to support the businesses which might be struggling in these trying times. Facebook and Instagram introduced ‘Support Small Business’ options, giving users the option to donate money or promote the products and services. Furthermore, Facebook is offering a grant programme for small businesses of 100 million USD in cash and ad credits. On Instagram users can add a sticker to their picture and upload it in their story. The audience of the specific user will be able to click on the sticker and visit the business profile. Word of mouth marketing is becoming more prevalent these days in the online community. 


Instagram’s Support Small Business

Pinterest introduces Business Community

Strengthening the community of businesses on a platform leads to better commercial content and appeal. Pinterest has launched ‘Business Community’, for businesses to share knowledge, give advice and ask questions related to Pin campaigns. By signing up and creating a profile, you will have access to the informative conversations. 

TikTok’s new music regulations

So far businesses have been able to use music without having to deal with any royalty matters on the platform TikTok, but from now on this will not be possible anymore. TikTok has a multitude of music licensing agreements for users to use, royalty free. Previously, businesses were also allowed to utilise this in their TikTok marketing. Now however, only the ‘Commercial Music Library’ will be free to use for promotional content. Licenses can still be obtained if one wants to make use of any other song outside of the library. 

Facebook’s new calling app

CatchUp, the new app for audio only calls introduced by Facebook has been launched. The app works with the phone’s contact list, thus a Facebook account is not needed. By letting the people who have you in their contacts list know that you are available, it hopes to encourage engagement. 


Facebook’s CatchUp

Ads in IGTV

Instagram’s video platform IGTV will be working with 200 approved creators to begin playing ads. The revenue of the ads will be shared between the creators and Instagram. Ultimately, the intent is to implement these partnerships worldwide and attract more monetisation. 

These were the things that happened in Digital Marketing in May 2020. Also, read Digital Marketing Insights from April.

Ata Gur


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