Digital marketing news from March 2021 cover updates from Google Search to important social media new features. It’s amazing to witness how, every month, marketing technology changes and takes a step forward into making marketers jobs easier with new features added to existing platforms and new tech being developed.
As we do it every month, we have gathered the most relevant marketing news and information worth revising for search marketing, tech marketing and social media marketing. you never know which new feature of technology will help you improve your digital marketing strategy. So keep on reading for the:
Digital Marketing News, Insights and Updates from March 2021
1. Search Marketing Updates
Google puts to the test displaying a cost estimate for local search queries
Google has announced that the company will be testing a new feature to show cost estimates in local search results. The feature is inspired by an alliance between Google and Homewyse, a site that provides contractors a system to calculate accurate quotes for their clients. They provide cost and pricing estimates for common houseworks, such as maintenance, repairs or remodelings.
The new costs feature will show an estimate of the price range. Google says “The price information provided should be used as a guide only. The actual cost of service may vary widely based on the provider you choose and the specific details of your job.”
The results will show a price range for the service the users search for in the local area near their homes. According to Google, “Knowing the typical prices for a service in your ZIP code can help you estimate the cost of your job before booking it with a Local Services provider.” This feature is limited to the U.S. for the moment.
Google brings Full Coverage news to search results
Another marketing news by Google is that they’re bringing the Full Coverage feature to show on search results. This feature was already available for Google News since 2018, but the company has decided to now add it to Search Results as well with an announcement on their blog last March 8th.
According to Google, the reasoning behind this decision is that “People are hungry for context that helps them break down and understand (…) complicated stories from multiple perspectives.” This decision has been inspired because of how important and ongoing news and stories, such as Covid-19 or the U.S. elections are “consumed” by people.
The “Full Coverage” page will show next to the carousel of articles that appear at the top of the Search results page when users introduce a query. If users want to dig a little deeper on any big developing news, they just have to click Full Coverage.
With this launch, we’re introducing new technology that is able to detect long-running news stories that span many days, like the Super Bowl, to many weeks or months like the COVID-19 pandemic. We then organize the Full Coverage page to help people easily find top news along with additional content like explainers and local coverage that are helpful to understanding these complex stories.
Right now the Full Coverage feature is only available for mobile devices in English and limited to U.S. users. Google says they intend to roll it out to more countries and languages in the upcoming months.
Microsoft Bing updates search results interface
There are several updates coming up for Microsoft Bing interface. Recipe results, carousels, infographics and local answers are getting a revamp with the purpose of making the search experience more “visually immersive” for users.
- Infographic-like search panel experience: one of the first changes is a new, knowledge panel design. The objective was to make it more visually appealing and “provide both style and substance”.
- Local answers with more information: when users search for anything on local answer, they’ll get more information. Microsoft Bing added more than just a single images carousel, they added more to Bing Maps, top images and reviews.
- Expandable search carousels: they also added a feature with expandable carousels that show high-level information results in order to avoid a crowded results page. A user can hover an specific result and it will expand showcasing more detailed information.
- Similar looking items feature: when users make a search on Microsoft Bing Image Search, they can now click on it and use the “similar looking items” feature to highlight a portion of said image and get more results of images similar to that specific portion and can even directly go to a retailer’s site to purchase an item if that the case.
- Recipes result with more information: when looking for a recipe, users will get a list and have the option to expand them to see more. The information can go from nutritional information to, users reviews and ingredients list and possible substitutions.
2. Marketing Tech Updates
Google Chrome can now caption audio and video
Google rolled out the Live Caption Feature for Chrome. This allows users to automatically generate real-time captions for media on their browsers. The feature works for social media, podcasts, radio, personal video libraries, embedded video players and most web-based video and chat services.
Captions make online content more accessible. If you’re in a noisy environment, trying to keep the volume down, or are part of the 466 million people in the world who are deaf or hard of hearing, having captions lets you follow along to whatever content you are watching — whether it’s viral feta pasta videos, breaking news or a scientist discussing their latest research. – Google Blog
One of the most interesting features of the new Live Caption, is that the captions are generated on real-time. This means that they appear as content plays and they work offline as well.
To turn on the Live Caption Feature, users just need to go to Chrome Settings, click on Advanced and then go to Accessibility. The captions currently only support English and are available worldwide on the latest update of Chrome on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Google My Business report shows how people found your business
If there’s an important piece of information for every business, is definitely how people found them. Google’s aware of this and has rolled out an update for Google My Business that shows how users got to you.
The new performance report insights upgrade shows a section of people who viewed your business and how they found it, whether through desktop, mobile or either Search Results or Google Maps.
Businesses can access these new reports by logging to their My Business accounts and selecting the Insights tab. From there, go to the top of the page to access the new performance reports and scroll down to the section that shows “how people discovered you”.
The reports breakdown the information by device and type of search. This feature has been available as a beta since late January and Google pointed out a few details:
- The metric represents the number of unique users so it might be lower than the number of views found on Google My Business and in email notifications.
- The metric focuses on views of the Business Profile, not overall views of the Business in Google.
Hootsuite adds new “best time to publish” feature
The social media management web platform has rolled out a new feature that shows you the best time to publish on your different social media channels. These suggestions are completely personalised based on your own publishing history of the last 30 days.
The new feature aims into helping content creators “build awareness, boost engagement and drive traffic”. Knowing when to post is so important to reach as many people as possible on social media, and this feature has the objective of helping with that.
This month, Hoostsuite also included an update that allows you to add Magento into your dashboard. This will allow you to:
- Add streams of your products to Hootsuite
- Share to multiple networks, including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn
- Schedule when posts are sent
- Respond to users on Twitter with product information
- Use templates for frequently used posts/replies
3. Social Media Marketing Updates
Instagram is testing new auto-caption feature in stories
Instagram is testing a new auto-caption feature for stories. It’s called “Closed Captions” and shown in the stickers tab. A social media consultant shared a video showcasing how it works and it seems the captions are really accurate.
After recording a video with voice, you just have to open the stickers tab and select the Caption one and the app will automatically generate a transcription. There are different options for styling the captions, very similar to the ones available for the transcription of lyrics from the music sticker.
The feature is just under test by Instagram and not available to the public yet. However, we can expect it to be launched very soon.
Twitter is testing new e-commerce features
Twitter is testing a new feature that links to e-commerce product pages. It displays the tweet with a different card format design that includes a big “Shop” button and showcases details about the product directly into the tweet.
The information displayed on these new tweets format for e-commerce show:
- Product name
- Shop name
- Product price
- Shop button
Twitter confirmed that these new e-commerce tweets are an example of a new “organic” type of tweet. The social media platform is aiming into helping content creators monetize their work with many new features. Joining forces with newsletter platform Revue a few months ago and a new Super Follow feature that will allow creators to charge followers for “exclusive content” , are definitely aiming in that direction.
Facebook looking to launch audio-only rooms
All the world has been on a hype since the popularisation of the new audio-only social media Clubhouse. Other social media platforms don’t want to be left behind and Facebook has started working on its own version of audio-only chat rooms.
In May last year, Facebook rolled out a feature called Rooms that allowed users to create private video chats others can join. So, creating a new one that’s audio-based only wouldn’t be a major work or effort for Facebook.
The new feature will allow users to create public or private audio group rooms. It’s basically the same thing as Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces. Maybe this would suppose a threat to Clubhouse since the app still works just for iOS and it’s based on invites only.
We can expect Facebook to roll out the new feature very soon, since the amount of work behind it is basically ready.
This is it for the most important digital marketing news from November covering everything from search marketing, tech marketing and social media marketing. Which news caught your attention more?
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