Weekly Roundup #97 – Facebook Ads, Voice Search & Email

We have rounded up the most interesting news and developments in digital marketing for the week – however, if you missed last weeks, we discussed the ROI on digital advertising, how to create the best video content for your business and our marketing predictions for 2018. Once you’re all caught up, read on to discover our latest update:


How Brands can use Images to Increase Sales and Engagement

Pols Potten Product Category Page
Source: SpotStudio.net

The latest YouGov data proves the importance of imagery as part of the buying process. In a poll of 2045 adults, 53% thought that images were more attention-grabbing than headlines, and 61% expect marketing messages to be accompanied by photos or images.

Komal Helyer, Marketing Director at Pure360 – who performed the survey on behalf of YouGov – said that,

“With image sharing platforms like Instagram growing in popularity, brands are paying special attention to the power of a picture in marketing efforts to attract customers. Thankfully today they benefit from a plethora of technologies to deliver more relevant, interactive, responsive and targeted images.”

As one may assume, 62% of respondents said that they wouldn’t buy a product without good quality images that show the full product – and 52% prefer to see product images over lifestyle images. 69% noted that the wrong images makes the company or brand look bad, however for those using the right images, 23% of respondents said that they enjoy sharing the image on social media platforms.

Heyler predicts that context-appropriate and personalisation imagery will gain in importance, stating that:

“A great image alone may well not suffice in resonating with a potential or existing customer… Consumers are used to a personalised experience and if an image doesn’t fit with the text around it and isn’t relevant to them, it could potentially damage their propensity to make a purchase. On the other hand, our research has shown that a decent number of British shoppers will share a picture from a brand they like when the image is right.”


Facebook to Cut Commercial Content

Facebook has stated that it is trying to avoid the site being too crowded with businesses, brands and media, as this leaves little space for the more ‘”personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other”.

This may be the result of a difficult year for the company, who – despite increased revenue – has seen a decline in engagement as well as much fewer posts with personal content, not to mention the negative press around the 2016 US election and its part in the ‘fake news’ scandals.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO, said that his goal for 2018 is to resolve these issues, stating that:

“Today feels a lot like that first year. The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent. My personal challenge for 2018 is to focus on fixing these important issues. We won’t prevent all mistakes or abuse, but we currently make too many errors enforcing our policies and preventing misuse of our tools. If we’re successful this year then we’ll end 2018 on a much better trajectory.”

Facebook’s solution is to prioritise content from users’ family and friends, and to make content from businesses, brands and media less frequent and visible. On this topic, Facebook stated that,

“As we make these updates, Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it. Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

To counteract the potentially negative effects for businesses using Facebook, Facebook’s Adam Mosseri has some recommendations, such as creating longer-form video, spending more time producing genuinely relevant and engaging content, and avoiding using gimmicks to trick people into engaging with content.

Mosseri said that,

“Page posts that generate conversation between people will show higher in News Feed. For example, live videos often lead to discussion among viewers on Facebook — in fact, live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos. Many creators who post videos on Facebook prompt discussion among their followers, as do posts from celebrities. In Groups, people often interact around public content. Local businesses connect with their communities by posting relevant updates and creating events. And news can help start conversations on important issues… Using engagement-bait to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.”


The Strategies and Technologies that Drove Online Sales this Christmas

As the festive period draws to a close, we take a look at sales performance to see what we can learn for the year ahead. Retail sales increased from November 1st to December 24th by 4.9% from last year according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, and online sales smashed their predictions for the year with an 18.1% growth rate.

This amazing increase in online sales is being attributed to the new strategies and technologies that have made online shopping quicker and easier than ever before…


This year, 45% of visits to sites were performed by smartphones, which compares to 46% by desktop computer. Mobile could stand up to other devices thanks to mobile-optimised websites and native apps that can push notifications with the most recent sales, as well as location and beacon services to let shoppers know about deals close by and offering personalised, up-to-date shopping experiences.


Since the creation of PayPal, digital payments have been a driving force in online commerce – and this year more retailers adopted new providers, currencies and payment methods at their checkouts. PayPal and Venmo were widely used online, whilst digital wallets, such as Apple Pay, made easy, one-click payments possible in-store.

These digital payment solutions push customers through the checkout at a much quicker rate, whilst also increasing the customers’ confidence in the buying experience.

Same-Day Delivery

Same-day delivery was introduced by Amazon, but has been adopted by many more retailers, as it can help to increase the holiday eCommerce buying season right up until Christmas Eve. Same-day delivery will increase the CX and brand loyalty of a customer should it be well executed, however, a late or failed delivery can be a very quick way to lose a customer.

Companies that offer same-day delivery must invest in the technology behind their services, as damage to a brand’s reputation thanks to a failed delivery or poor UX is hard to quantify, and won’t show up immediately in a financial statement.


How to Create Copy for Effective Voice Search

Voice SEARCH function Image

Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines were published at the end of 2017, which included specific instructions relating to what they call ‘eyes-free’ technology, such as voice assistants. Google makes clear that marketers and content creators must think about meeting the needs of the searcher, and that including jargon and waffle in your content will not be treated kindly in the search results.

Google’s Speech Quality Rating ranks content by its length and formulation: the length should be appropriate to the complexity of the question, and it should be formed in a way that a native speaker would. So grammatically correct and fully fluent.

It has been noted that, although the guidelines say that a search response can be too brief or over complicated, examples seem to show that longer answers with poor grammar and formulation deliver the worst user experience.

Jeniffer Slegg writing for The SEM Post points out that:

“In the case of voice search, Google is selecting one and only one result from the potential 10 or so results of the page. And a site owner has less control over which site Google is choosing for the answer and how well that answer fits with the specific query. But it does come down to featured snippets… If you can steal the featured snippet away from a competitor, then yours will be the answer that is read out by Google. You can then try and tailor that answer so that it would be rated higher.”

Voice search strategies could be seen to follow the strategy for becoming the featured snippet in written search, where you should:

  • Find a common, simple question that is related to your area
  • Write a clear, concise and direct answer to that question
  • Add value by including extra information that goes beyond the direct answer
  • Make your answer easy to find on your page (i.e. mark-up)

Finally, remember to make sure that your content demonstrates expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (EAT) which takes into account many factors, such as intrusive ads or a lack of authority or author information.


The Importance of Email

email 2017

99% of consumers check their personal email everyday, checking their inboxes, on average, 20 times a day, according to the Consumer Email Tracker report. With this being the case, how can businesses and brands become a trusted and valued addition to the consumer’s inbox?

53% of consumers feel that they the receive irrelevant emails from brands, which leds to 20% of people abandoning an email address thanks to the influx of marketing emails. On the other hand, consumers currently cite access to a preference centre and a clear privacy policy as ways to create trust.

Consumers prefer short and concise email content, and according to Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA, brands should focus on carefully crafted emails that do not resort to gimmicks.

“Engagement is driven by relevant, short and actionable emails. Our hero principle at the DMA is to put the customer first and we can do this by applying these research findings in a practical way. We know, for instance, consumers are engaging well with simple emails composed of well-written text and images. The power of the craft of copywriting should not be underestimated” says Aldighieri.

Although technology is changing and developing rapidly, email remains the primary gateway to online, making it a powerful resource for brands and businesses. Offer transparency to your customers, and ask for consent to send them relevant and valuable marketing.

Build trust by allowing access to a preference centre, and by clearly stating your privacy policy. Your customers are more likely to feel comfortable and safe, leading to better customer experience for them, and greater engagement with your brand.


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Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.