This is the thirty-seventh episode of ‘This Week In Organic’, the weekly show that debates the ramifications of the latest SEO and content marketing news.
In this episode we discuss how Google’s four ads on top might impact organic search, whether every website should be publishing AMP; and whether or not ‘reactions’ might change the way that content marketers use Facebook.
Topics on this week’s show
=== Topic #1
Google have been testing 4 ads at the top of their organic results for a while now – but over the past week, they’ve rolled this 4-ad-section out for *many* competitive terms – and removed the right hand side ad bar. So how will Google’s 4-ads-on-top impact organic search?
- Will this impact CTR?
- What should organic marketers do differently?
- What might Google so with the space to the right hand side where ads used to be?
=== Topic 2:
Google have started highlighting Accelerated Mobile Pages in its mobile search results. But is this really relevant for every business? Should every website be publishing AMP pages?
- Does every website need AMP?
- How might AMP impact rankings?
- How do you implement AMP?
=== Topic 3:
Snapchat’s been on the scene for a while. But it seems to have suddenly hit the mainstream. So is Snapchat a social network that most content marketers should be aware of?
- What is Snapchat best practice?
- How does it compare with other social networks?
=== Topic 4:
Facebook have been testing ‘reactions’ for a while. But over the past week they’ve made them available for everyone. So will Facebook reactions change the way that content marketers use Facebook?
- Might it change the type of content that is published?
- How should content marketers use the new metrics?
- Are other social networks becoming more important than Facebook for certain businesses?
DAVID BAIN: How will Google’s four ads on top impact organic search? Should every website be publishing AMP and will Reactions change the way that content marketers use Facebook? All that and more in This Week in Organic, Episode Number 37.
Hello and welcome, I’m David Bain and each week I’ll be joined by some knowledgeable, opinionated folks to discuss the latest happenings in anything that impacts organic traffic. As for you in the live audience, get involved. So tweet about the show to your followers and tell us what you think in the comments box to the right-hand side. So I think that side as far as I’m pointing there. So I’ll try and read out as many comments as I can. But let’s find out more about today’s guests, where they’re from and what’s caught their attention this week. So, starting off with Alex.
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Hello everyone. I’m super, super excited to join this session. I’m based in Russia, in St Petersburg, and what I can tell you about my background is that previously I was working at SEMrush, I was one of the Heads of Marketing and I was responsible for European development and right now I run my own agency and I’m purely focused on helping various digital marketing tools and my passion is numbers and data-driven content marketing campaigns. So if you want to chat with me about that, you’re welcome on Facebook, Twitter, whatever you prefer, on my blog as well.
DAVID BAIN: Wonderful and that’s www.alextachalova.com, isn’t it?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Yes.
DAVID BAIN: And also joining us today is Nicole. Hi, Nicole. Would you like to tell the world a little bit more about yourself and what has particularly caught your eye this week?
NICOLE BULLOCK: Yes, absolutely. My name is Nicole Bullock and I’m a digital marketer based in Detroit, Michigan in the US and I work for a company called CDK Global and we are an automotive digital marketing agency and part of a team of 120 SEOs and social media specialists who service websites for tier 2 and tier 3 automotive and although most of my time is spent doing SEO, social media is my real love and this week what’s really caught my attention is the Facebook Reactions.
DAVID BAIN: Your reaction to the Reactions is what we’re looking for.
NICOLE BULLOCK: Love, Surprise.
DAVID BAIN: You know them all off by heart already. Great stuff. And you should also catch the previous week’s episode of TWiO actually, because I was having a one-on-one discussion with Greg Gifford, I’m sure you know Greg, a famous SEO in the automotive industry as well. But also joining us this week is Saija. Saija, great to have you on.
SAIJA MAHON: Thank you very much. Very happy to be here and a little bit about myself. I’m from Finland originally, so quite near Russia! But at the moment I live in the UK, in London and I run a digital marketing agency, Mahon Digital Marketing. We are an international digital media agency specialising in SEO, PPC, content marketing – you name it we do it – so we are a full service media agency and my passion for the past thirteen years, or a little bit more, has been biddable media, so I have been specialising in the PPC side of things actually. But since founding the company about six years ago, I self-taught myself SEO and content marketing and PR and all the rest as well, so that’s my daily challenge. I run the team of fourteen across Scandinavia, UK and we have a little operation in Asia as well.
DAVID BAIN: Wonderful, you’re a busy woman by the sound of it. So you’re involved with paid marketing, obviously, every progressive SEO and content marketer has to be aware of what’s happening in paid media as well and working in conjunction with that as well, so it’s always great to hear someone’s thoughts on how that is evolving at the moment and how that impacts things for SEOs and content marketers. But let’s move on to topic number one and that is Google have been testing four ads at the top of their organic results for a while now, but over the past week or so they’ve rolled out a full ad section for many competitive terms, and they’ve also removed the right-hand side ad bar. So how will Google’s four ads on top impact organic search? Let’s go to Alex first of all about that one. Where are your thoughts on that one, Alex?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Okay, first of all I must tell you that I’m the type of user that’s really never clicking on ads. So I mean like when I’m really, really mad at a particular company, probably I might click, but in all other cases I’m not going to click on ads. But what I think about that which is really interesting for me as a digital marketing specialist, so like an expert, how PPC will be changing in connection with, so it’s like decreasing the number of ads on a search engine result page, because we obviously have a really competitive niche, like real estate for example, where you can find keywords which have the average PPC more than US$100 and how it’s going to be somehow a correlation between changing the number of advertising results on page and so it’s like turning in a more competitive niche what I think if it was competitive right now, it’s even more competitive. And from other clients I think it’s really interesting how it’s going to be developed in terms of organic results. Because certainly it might affect organic results so we will see more ad results on a page before organic results. So that’s my point here.
DAVID BAIN: That’s interesting. So Alex was saying, Saija, that it may make certain niches more competitive. Can you see this move by Google actually increasing the average cost per click for certain industries?
SAIJA MAHON: Yes. I think it’s very interesting. It definitely had been interesting over the course of the week, because we do service a lot of PPC clients within our agency and one thing we have to remember, because the whole digital, especially the biddable media industry, has gone a bit crazy and they thought the same thing as you mentioned, that CPCs will go up and it’s more competitive and oh my goodness, what are we going to do? However, we do need to remember that this impact is only desktop traffic and just in December, as least in the UK, where most of our client base is at the moment, mobile traffic has already surpassed desktop traffic. So actually the impact is not as huge as we think it is, and what we’ve noticed, in terms of our PPC clients and their campaigns, the best results are driven on the top three spots anyway so actually we have been wasting quite a few impressions by having ads on the right-hand side. Therefore our click through rate has been skewed, the quality scores are lower, therefore we pay more CPCs because the quality score is lower, so what we’ve now identified is that this change has actually increased our quality scores for our clients. It has increased the click through rate and again it only affects desktop traffic, not mobile. We need to think mobile first nowadays and this is what you really need to optimise for whether it’s SEOs, organic results or indeed paid results, hopefully both in conjunction with each other. So I do believe there’s a lot of hype about it this week and it’s all good and interesting. However, I just think that the actual impact is only a positive one.
DAVID BAIN: Okay. So to me it looks slightly strange, Google’s results on bigger monitors, because quite a few results now result in maybe a 700/800 pixel wide set of results and a big blank space towards the right-hand side. So I think they’ve obviously got some serious plans for that piece of real estate on their search results. Nicole, what are your thoughts in terms of what Google are up to here?
NICOLE BULLOCK: Well I think this is actually a very positive change and looking at having a seamless experience between mobile, desktop and tablet, even though this is a change for desktop, it gives more continuity to the experience, so when I heard the news about it, I wasn’t too surprised. A few of my clients have really been worried about it, because they rely so heavily on paid search, and they’ve wondered how are you going to change organic strategy, because now it’s so much more important? And I feel like, it’s ushered in a conversation about organic search has always been important, especially with local listings, and this just gives some more visibility to how important organic rankings are.
DAVID BAIN: Okay. So organic isn’t going anywhere at all, even though perhaps Google might be pushing it slightly further down the page. It’s still going to be essential to optimise your site to appear in those ‘free’ listings moving forward.
NICOLE BULLOCK: Right and for companies that rely heavily on paid search, if they’re advertising budgets go down or they don’t have the same visibility with their ads, their organic rankings will matter that much more.
DAVID BAIN: So, Alex, what about this big space towards the right-hand side? What are Google’s plans for this? Have you got any thoughts on that at all?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: You mean like about…
DAVID BAIN: Where the paid ads used to be on the right-hand side there. I did a few searches this afternoon and you can see some knowledge graph type results in there, but it’s only a very small section towards the right-hand side. And it was interesting, I thought, that that right-hand section is actually mobile responsive. But the main set of search results aren’t mobile responsive. So maybe they’re actually looking to move their whole search results towards being mobile responsive. Maybe they’re going to increase their font size in the future and perhaps just focus on that section? But I would think that they’ve got some sort of idea about perhaps expanding the knowledge graph experience or something like that, maybe bringing in more visual elements towards the right-hand side? Or am I going down the wrong track there?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Well actually, that’s a kind of interesting idea, because that knowledge graph element right there now really they are starting to be a big trend. And I think for actually, especially for local results, when you’re really a local small business, you should be there, because they are such competitive niches like, for example, like hotels, where Booking and TripAdvisor and the rest of other huge brands are there occupying organic results. So that’s actually for a small local brand that’s probably the best place to be or not be
DAVID BAIN: Okay. So you do see knowledge graph or those type of results becoming more important in the future. In terms of action steps that a local business, maybe like a hotel, has to do to take advantage of that, are things like using mark-up, schema appearing on sites like Wikidata going to be one of the most important things for them to be doing over the next few months to take advantage of that?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Yes, probably, like monitoring the situation on a regular basis and trying to take advantage to leg up on their competitors if it’s really a chance. So, yes, I think that’s probably not too complicated in order to proceed there, so I think that might be a really good opportunity for them.
DAVID BAIN: Saija, do you find that when you’re speaking to clients, you’re speaking to marketers and organisations that they are aware of things like mark up and sites like Wikidata in order to actually tell Google more about what their content is and what their site is doing or do you find that people in general, marketers and organisations are a little bit not that knowledgeable on things like that?
SAIJA MAHON: A very good question.
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: I think it’s kind of a really painful question, because if you take a look at our industry, you will find that only a few of us, I mean like experts, are really talking about technical stuff. So take a look at Brighton SEO current agenda. There are plenty of talks about content marketing, social media and I also talk about content marketing so I am in the same situation right now so I am like well really
DAVID BAIN: And are you positive that more marketers in the future will become more technical?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: If we stop talking about content marketing, content marketing, content marketing and then social media, then probably yes, but what I’m like from my side what I am trying to do, at least I am trying to make more sense of data and trying to do not so easy going content in terms of when you put a piece in a couple of minutes and it doesn’t have a lot of useful information for users, it doesn’t share something new. So that’s what I’m trying to do in order not to go into the trend of doing something rather than doing something quality.
DAVID BAIN: Okay. So, Nicole, I think that content marketing, or at least discussion about content marketing, isn’t going to taper off at any point soon, but the primary focus of a lot of marketers, possibly because it’s easier for them to actually understand why it’s beneficial for them to do. So if that’s the case, but technical SEO technical amendments to their code in the website is still going to be an important thing to change, do you think we will see more tools becoming available to content marketers, that can amend things like microdata and meaning that it’s not necessary for them to be technical, yet they can still make technical changes?
NICOLE BULLOCK: I think that a lot of marketers underestimate their abilities with technical tools. My session that I’m giving at Brighton SEO is actually about Google webmaster tools and search console and there are a lot of things that are a free resource that Google is giving, they want you do use their tools and their data so that you can make better choices for your website and there are things that are very automated and easy to use like the data highlighter, that even if you’re not super technical and you don’t know all of the bits of code and mark up that are possible, you can still make a difference on your site by using the resources that Google gives you for free. But along those lines, there are a lot of really great third party tools that I like to use. We can look at the information like Screaming Frog. Screaming Frog is one is use every day to get information to make technical changes to websites.
DAVID BAIN: My concern about using the data highlighter tool is that it’s information that Google will see, but it’s not something that obviously will help other search engines out there. Do you have concerns like that about using the tool?
NICOLE BULLOCK: I personally don’t like to use it much for myself; I’d rather add some mark up to it, but as for someone who is just entering the space, I think it’s a good way to learn about how structured data is important and the type of things that you can more specifically code, like locations, hours, industries, so while it’s not useful for
DAVID BAIN: Right, okay. And Google of course is the vast majority of them, that’s unlikely to change at any point in the near future. And talking about Google, topic number two is Google have started highlighting accelerated mobile pages in its mobile search results. But is this really relevant for every business? Should every business website be publishing AMP pages? Saija, what are your thoughts on that particular topic?
SAIJA MAHON: Yes, again, a very, very interesting new change in the Google results and we were just actually talking about these changes within the team today and it seems that all the platforms, whether it’s Facebook or Google or other search engines, they seemed to be competing with changes this week. So there’s all kinds of new things coming out and that’s what keeps our lives obviously very interesting. At the moment, I believe it’s more relevant to publish some new sites and so forth, but I do think probably in the future it will be relevant for all the websites really, especially if you have a blog or if you’re publishing content which clearly websites are doing and that ties in very well with content marketing. Another thing that I believe it would have a big impact on, especially if I think about what we specialise in, because our portfolio is across PPC, SEO, PR, content marketing and so forth, so we are trying to look at all the tactics from an holistic point of view. For example we are doing quite a lot of PR for our clients, so we are trying to get their articles out there within these new sites that now will be benefitting from these accelerated mobile pages and the
DAVID BAIN: Nicole, is this something that any of your clients have been asking you about?
NICOLE BULLOCK: They haven’t yet, but I think that it’s something that we’ll see more. Right now, just having a better mobile experience in general is usually one of the greatest concerns, especially for hours and directions, the type of information that people are trying to search very quickly. But we’ve noticed for instance with hours and directions, people aren’t going through to websites as often. Like although my business page is optimised correctly, the hours are going to show there and they’re not going to be clicking through to the page and I think with those snippets, the AMP pages, I think we might see some changes in click through and I think it’s probably going to help some sites a lot and other ones it’s hard to say.
DAVID BAIN: I saw an article today that talked about Google’s use of these pages and including it more on a bit of a carousel. So what people could actually do is actually read your content and then quickly scroll onto another piece of content on another website. So perhaps it’s another way of Google not taking a visitor directly into your website, but displaying your content in a manner that it would prefer to do it.
NICOLE BULLOCK: I do wonder how that attribution will work with analytics, because if it’s getting engagement on the search result, that people aren’t clicking through, is there going to be a way to track and measure who’s interacting with the content? That’s my concern for something in a carousel setting.
DAVID BAIN: Absolutely, yes. And obviously you’d also have to think well within these pages, can you place a better call to action to drive people further within your site? Further telling about your products and services that you offer as well. And it might lead to, I guess, a new form of optimisation. And, Alex, is this something that you’ve lost sleep over at all?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Well actually I’m really curious about all those
DAVID BAIN: Well first of all in relation to what you said to begin with, if you can’t remember the name of the conference that you spoke at, you’re speaking at too many conferences!
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Oh, no, I just forgot about that, don’t try to persuade me that I do too much!
DAVID BAIN: But in relation to what you were saying about some websites not doing any mobile-friendly pages, it struck me that maybe Google is more focused on user signals than we think and if users are still using the site and demonstrating to Google that they are actively using the site more than other competitors in the niche, perhaps the fact that user signals are a stronger signal to Google than having what it thinks to be a mobile-friendly site?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Well, yes, I certain that if you receive mobile traffic and you have a high bounce rate then you should do something with that, because it’s obviously affecting your overall website, not even like mobile version, I’m certain that it’s affecting your desktop traffic as well. But there are still a lot of different situations when you will see a case like Southwest has. I’m not trying to say that it’s not a big deal, it’s a big deal, but their strategy is justified and not going…
DAVID BAIN: There’s a comment in the chat from Frugal Web Guy saying Southwest actually has a mobile-friendly site, mobile.southwest.com, maybe it doesn’t offer a mobile site to all of its pages across the purchase process, perhaps, but I haven’t done a case study of that one extensively, so I will have to rely on other people’s opinions on that particular example. But with regard to AMP pages, Saija, in terms of implementing it, you can certainly implement it by using something a WordPress plug-in, which is available now. Do you think that your clients should look at how they could implement it in their sites at the moment, or is it really not going to be a significant priority for you until you see exactly what happens over the next few weeks or so?
SAIJA MAHON: Yes, I think it’s very interesting, we always endeavour to tell our clients the latest news, we try to keep ourselves obviously on the pulse of things and we are Google partners as well, so we know about things as soon as they come to the market, or a little bit before. So I do think perhaps the implementation phase is not yet here, because we don’t have any major news publishers for example as clients, so perhaps it’s not relevant just now, this week or even next. However I did call up on a meeting with the team today to go over these changes, including Facebook and the latest changes within the paid ads as well, so I think it’s important that we educate and inform our clients that this is coming and then we will tailor our strategies based on individual client objectives, how important the website is within their marketing mix and could this strategy, could this tactic be beneficial for them now or in the future. So I think it’s again seeing the bigger picture if it’s relevant right now or perhaps in the long term.
DAVID BAIN: Great stuff. Coming up we’re going to be talking about whether content marketers should be seriously considering Snapchat and we’re also going to be taking a look at whether Reactions might change the way that content marketers use Facebook. But first of all it’s good to see a bit of chat going on in the side column live there. We’ve got Alex, who is obviously a guest live here, also interacting there as well, so that’s very impressive, always impressive when our guests participate with other people there. But let’s move on to the next topic, which is Snapchat’s been on the scene for a while, but it seems that they’ve suddenly hit the mainstream really, so is Snapchat a social network that most content marketers should be aware of? Nicole, I think you mentioned social media at the very start there, so are you a Snapchat user?
NICOLE BULLOCK: I am a Snapchat user and I have a fifteen year old daughter who would far prefer to snap me than text me. So I’ve gotten a lot more into Snapchat just so I can follow her life and what’s happening there. But I actually also was a fairly early adopter of Snapchat, I’ve been on maybe three and a half years, or two and half, I can’t remember, but I got really excited about it for a while and told a lot of people and they just said, ‘We can’t figure out how this is relevant or fun, but you have fun with it, you like social media.’ But as one who always loves to test things out, my first foray into Snapchat marketing was when I worked for an agency that had a pizza company and we were doing some tests of coupons with people that would follow the brand on Snapchat. We would send them a snap if they took a screenshot and then we could check the account to see that they’ve actually interacted with us, they could get free pizzas or breadsticks or something. So depending on the niche, I think that it can be extremely useful. I don’t think that it’s for everyone and it also depends on your target audience. I think it’s going to resonate more with younger people, especially teenagers, millennials and it will be interesting to see how it turns out. I have people I follow that are really engaging and my favourite platform to follow them of the ten I follow, is on Snapchat, but some days go by and I don’t even snap anything.
DAVID BAIN: So you don’t think it’s for everyone? But do you think it’ll ever be for the majority like Facebook has become?
NICOLE BULLOCK: I don’t think so. But I think that it will grow significantly, maybe in the next six months to a year.
DAVID BAIN: Okay. It’s intriguing, I can’t remember a social network that has received so much sudden discussion like Snapchat seems to have got over the last three or four months or so. Maybe it’s something to do with GaryVee, I’m not sure. He’s certainly…
NICOLE BULLOCK: He’s very active there.
DAVID BAIN: Absolutely. Saija, are you a snapper, is it a snapper? Is that what they’re called?
SAIJA MAHON: I snap at my husband sometimes! I do agree with Nicole that it’s not for everyone, especially we talk about clients and brands and so forth, however, I have to say in terms of ourselves, for example, we do snap, for Mahon Digital we have an account, but also I have another company in Scandinavia where we specialise in events, it’s like a business networking events series that we run every month in various cities and actually we normally see Snapchat has become quite a good channel to cover those events to an outside audience. A little bit like Periscope now, that’s the latest race if you like. But we’ve had Snapchat before and we’ve done some really good coverage from the events and people can engage with you, they can see what’s going on, they get the hype, the atmosphere within the events and then we’ve gained new members because of Snapchat. So I do think it works for certain kinds of industries and brands, especially if you have physical events and conferences and so forth, then I think it’s a good channel. I can’t think of an example now, but I do agree with Nicole that it is perhaps not for everyone, you really have to think it through, what is the role of that channel and how it can bring your brand alive and you how you can showcase what you have to offer, thinking about the target audience and the people who are within the Snapchat platform at the moment as well.
DAVID BAIN: So, Alex… Nicole, sorry.
NICOLE BULLOCK: One disadvantage to Snapchat that I see is it’s difficult to have any visibility beyond mobile, so if you’re wondering about how to follow a brand on Snapchat, it’s not super user-friendly like Twitter where you search it, it’s one of the first results. I think that as there’s better visibility and public profiles even on desktop, I think it will improve, I think the snap codes with the little QR code have helped, but unless you have people put into your phone and you have their phone number, it can be hard to find them unless you know their user name.
DAVID BAIN: So that’s not very positive probably from someone that’s been on Snapchat for maybe two and a half years or something like that. Obviously initially you said that you were very enthusiastic about it, and perhaps it’s the fact that the majority of your acquaintances weren’t keen to interact on it, maybe that’s put you off possibly?
NICOLE BULLOCK: Possibly.
DAVID BAIN: Alex, should the majority of content marketers who work in agencies be aware of Snapchat and what Snapchat can potentially offer? Or is it really a niche platform that isn’t relevant for the majority of people to be aware of in the marketing industry?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Well I’m not really sure for B2B like some brands like Instagram, it can be engaging, it can be for fun, it can be for bringing up community, but it’s hard to connect this with sales and I think that’s the main reason why we do marketing. However, I don’t use Snapchat, honestly, but I was really curious about it and I took a look at what kind of, let’s say, countries are mostly interested in Snapchat website, and actually I use similar to take a look at this, and what is really interesting that I found out the first one US, well for sure, and then it’s Brazil and France.
DAVID BAIN: Wow.
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Yes. And after that it’s Poland and only in the 5th place you will find the UK, so it’s really interesting in terms of how it’s spreading and developing. I can’t give any comments about that, because I am not really a very bold Snapchat user and about how it was developing in terms of being international, but it’s really interesting that UK at least not on the second or third place in terms of receiving traffic. So we will see how it’s going to develop and how it’s going to be integrated in various digital marketing strategies, but so far what I see as well is a couple of digital marketing networks, they make fun and engaging medias and I thought about it being that as well, because that’s funny. But that’s it. As far as I see.
DAVID BAIN: Okay, so you don’t have any client in mind that Snapchat you think would be appropriate for, no?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: No, I don’t think so right now. Probably for fun, yes, for fun, like for engagement, yes. They think being able to create some positive emotion that’s also not so easy to do in digital marketing especially and if we talk also on platforms that involve B2B which is like really, really not so emotional, let’s say, not so emotional. So I think that might be a good idea.
DAVID BAIN: So is it maybe the young B2C version of Twitter and Twitter’s perhaps mainly used by B2B perhaps for SEOs a lot, a little bit more? Is that more of an accurate description of what it perhaps offers?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Well, probably. Let’s see we will see, because right now I think it’s hard to say, because in terms of involving Snapchat in business, I don’t see it a lot.
DAVID BAIN: Nicole, have you got any clients that actually use Snapchat as part of their content marketing?
NICOLE BULLOCK: Not currently. But what I see as the most effective way of it working is if you have one of those Snapchat celebrities that you have on your channel for a weekend and so sometimes people that have a really big following will get hold of a brand’s account for a weekend, especially for events. And they’ll usually put their snap name at the bottom of each snap, but it’ll be a way that a brand can get some visibility and some new followers, especially if it’s a partnership that there’s a lot of passion for. So I think those partnerships are probably the best opportunities for Snapchat.
DAVID BAIN: Yes, that’s great advice. So it’s maybe a piggy-backing opportunity, you can leverage the authority of existing users. Great, okay. Well let’s move on to topic number four, last topic. Which is Facebook have been testing Reactions for a while, but over the past week or so they’ve made them available for everyone. So will Facebook Reactions change the way that content marketers use Facebook? Alex, you like your analytics, will you be delving into how many hearts or, I don’t all the emoticons yet, I’m afraid, but will you be delving into precisely what emoticon happens for each piece of content that was shared?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: I think that I was like the very, very first thing that came up, what I thought about when I saw all those different emoticons. That they had finally launched it, right now. Social media special, they even will be struggling with reporting, because there will be like, ‘We shouldn’t show any of our friends were angry at us.’ So right now we have those angry smiles as well and I think it might affect the current process of developing content and how they’re going to communicate with the community. Because you not only have right now positive like, you will, let’s say, have a like, it’s not like so obvious unlike, but still it’s some
DAVID BAIN: Absolutely. I’m just thinking about platforms like Hootsuite and other social media platform monitoring tools, how they must be pulling their hair out and wondering…
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Yeah, that’s not a really shiny situation. Thanks Facebook.
DAVID BAIN: That’s a nice way to describe it. Saija what are your thoughts on this one? Do you rely on social media dashboards to give you this, these types of analytics and if so will you be keeping your eye out for a tool that is offering you this information?
SAIJA MAHON: Yes, definitely. It’s actually really, really important and I do agree with Alex on all of what she said in terms of measuring the impact and I guess the challenge for our clients at the moment, we are managing quite a few social media channels, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, you name it, we manage it for them, because they simply don’t have the time. And especially when we talk about organic reach within social media, at the moment, I think it is a positive thing actually because what we’ve noticed over time is sometimes the audiences don’t engage because there is just the like button. Maybe they are too shy sometimes to comment on something, they don’t want to be almost seen as saying anything or being too emotional or what have you. So actually these new Reactions, they do present an opportunity for brands to engage their audiences without them having to actually comment on things. But it’s very, very important that we can report on sentiment and how these audiences do feel about the post that we are pushing out there, the content that we are pushing out, in order for us to know what content works, what doesn’t and so forth. So I do think it’s a really interesting challenge and we will definitely be keeping an eye on the platforms that can analyse all the results for us and that we can then deliver to our clients in a comprehensive dashboard. Because so far it has been a bit of a challenge in terms of justifying to some of them, especially bigger clients, why should we do any organic social media, because Facebook organic reach is going down and it’s all doom and gloom sometimes, and we do know that there’s observers there, the following is there, but they don’t always feel that the like button is enough. So I think these Reactions perhaps will give us another opportunity to show with the appropriate tools that will enable us to do so to identify that people are actually engaging with the brand organic content more than they perhaps are or have done so far. So, yes, we will be looking out for platforms that can deliver, and we do use Hootsuite as well and keep an eye on that one.
DAVID BAIN: If I was a social media platform owner, developer, then I would certainly want to perhaps just hang fire for a month or two just to make sure that Facebook weren’t going to change anything again, because that
NICOLE BULLOCK: I have so many things I want to talk about for this. So the first thing, the brand that has knocked it out of the park is Chevrolet this week. Because they had a campaign ready to go, based on the Chevy Malibu and it wasn’t just like your Malibu, we want you to love your Malibu. And as it so happens, I bought one of the new Chevy Malibus last month and I was like, I love my new car. Like this makes sense to me and I was excited to share it and it just made a lot of sense and that forward thinking being prepared the day that that feature was sent out, props to Chevrolet, you did a great job. One other thing that’s interesting, a friend and former colleague of mine, Scott Cowley, he wrote a really interesting piece this week that was talking about why he won’t be using the Reaction buttons and he said that there is a level of social currency that goes along with the like button and that we understand grandma just died and we don’t like that grandma died, but liking is a way to show support. So now that there’s a Reaction that’s a sad Reaction, that makes sense, but it also is going to lead to a level of just less engaged posts. People aren’t going to think about it, they’re just going to choose the right emoji for a response instead of like a further interaction and a comment. So it’ll be interesting to see how engagement rates are, especially for brands, and once we have access to some of that data to say, is this really making a difference with the way that people interact? Or was the like button really a better option?
DAVID BAIN: So which side of the fence do you lie one, Nicole? Is it a great thing or is it something that you’re not too sure about?
NICOLE BULLOCK: I still like the Reactions, I wish there were a few more. There was a really funny graphic that The Oatmeal did this week that had a bunch of other Reactions that should be there. Some of them somewhat inappropriate, but it was very funny.
DAVID BAIN: Got a question in the chat from Melissa saying do any of you pull your social media into Google Analytics to track? Alex…
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: I can pass because I am not doing that. So it’s not relevant for me to say anything other than, oh, okay, maybe. It’s better to pass.
DAVID BAIN: That’s okay. We’ll go to Saija. So that’s something that’s a good thing to do, Saija?
SAIJA MAHON: Yes, definitely. We try to track all of our campaigns, whether it’s social media, PPC, SEO, PR, articles, whatever it is, we try to obviously create
DAVID BAIN: And you would recommend other companies doing the same thing as well?
SAIJA MAHON: Definitely. I mean otherwise you will have to collect data from so many places and it’s much more, you save time, you have it all in one hub in Google Analytics, it’s all pulled in. I just find in terms of time management that data management is such a good place. It’s easy to set up, well I think it is anyway, but I guess… It is, it is a really effective way to collect all the data in one place and then you can create your customer reports and dashboards based on your clients, their objectives, what they are trying to do, which channels are assisting, what activities and so forth. So it’s a very good place to track all the data I think. I would definitely recommend it.
DAVID BAIN: It’s possibly a tough one, because you have to have someone who is very comfortable technically with what has to be done, but also understanding the metrics that are likely to matter most for different aspects of the business and different types of marketing and I suppose it involves multiple different mindsets to be able to do it really effectively. So either one person who’s an amazing person to get it set up, or perhaps multiple people who don’t naturally work together, working together.
SAIJA MAHON: Yes, yes, I think that’s interesting. This is why we have teams. We support each other, we learn from each other. We do have, I mean within my team we have specialists for SEO, specialists for PR, specialists for PPC and obviously we come with different skill sets, but then I guess it’s an organisational thing, internal procedure and kind of progress to assign someone with those kind of skills to deal with analytics or a head of analytics or data and so forth, because there is so much now that you are online and our clients are online and there are so many channels, there are new channels coming all time. So it’s really important that there is a role for a data analyst for example who knows exactly what to do, what to set up, how to collect data, how to organise it, how to record it and then how to utilise it in your future markets
DAVID BAIN: Intriguing. Well so much was discussed today, a lot of amazing opinions were shared, but I reckon that just about takes us to the end of this week’s show. Just probably time for a single takeaway and some sharing of find out more details from our guests. So, shall we start off with Alex?
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Okay, so I should make some kind of a summary?
DAVID BAIN: Just confirm where people can find you and one actionable takeaway from what we’ve discussed today.
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Okay, so I think that now you can share more emoticons about your friends on Facebook and if you are angry you can do that, so if you really hate someone, go and show it, now you have an option to do that.
DAVID BAIN: That’s the takeaway – if you really hate someone go and show them!
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: But just talking about the digital marketing world in general and how it’s changing, I think there is a bunch of exciting changes that we have from Google, especially about paid results and I am really into following the situation as seeing how advertising budgets of top brands will be changing. So I’m really curious about Amazon for example. I’d really love to tinker with numbers and see how it’s going to be changed, because honestly it’s like being less visible, by paying more or paying less. Or in terms of visibility as well and you can find me still [loud background noise] wow…
DAVID BAIN: Someone had a motorbike going past.
ALEXANDRA TACHALOVA: Really interesting – so you still can find me on Twitter as usual and also if you prefer Facebook then you can show your emoticons on Facebook. So
DAVID BAIN: Thank you for joining us. We’ll make sure we include links to your website on the show notes when that’s published in the next few days or so. But, I’m glad we didn’t have that noise throughout the whole show, that would have been interesting. And, obvsiously joining us today was Nicole.
NICOLE BULLOCK: We kind of had two discussions, one was about the way that the search engine result pages are displaying, it’ll be interesting to see what engagement rates are like, the competition for the ads that do remain on pages and then also talking about the AMP pages and how people are going to interact with those. I think with all of the extra space that is on those pages, I anticipate a lot more visual results, maybe some more images and videos that would be relevant and also additional information from the knowledge graph. As far as social media, I love Snapchat. I think that there’s a lot of potential for the right industry and the right clients, so don’t just push it away as something that teenagers use. And I have loved being here, that’s my emoticon for today. And you can follow on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, everywhere at cuteculturechick.
DAVID BAIN: Great branding there, thank you, Nicole. And also with us today was Saija.
SAIJA MAHON: Yes, thank you as well. It’s been a really interesting discussion today and there’s been lots of news this week in terms of the biddable media world and organic as well. You can find me on Twitter and my handle is @SaijaMahon and my website is www.mahondigital.co.uk, so that’s where you can find my company. And I’m really sorry about the noise, I think it’s my office, outside the office. I’m really, really sorry, I’m going to go and tell them off.
DAVID BAIN: Do you know what they’re doing?
SAIJA MAHON: I really don’t, they didn’t give us any alert, we are in a business centre here, so I do apologise and I’m going to give them a big slap later.
DAVID BAIN: That’s okay, that’s okay.
SAIJA MAHON: I do apologise. And I’m just really excited to see how the media landscape is evolving and how biddable media can support SEO and vice versa, and how content marketing, especially this year, will be so, so super important with visual, especially video is really, really lifting its head up and becoming more and more important due to
DAVID BAIN: And where can people find you, Saija?
SAIJA MAHON: They can find me on Twitter, my twitter handle is @SaijaMahon and Mahon Digital as well and Facebook, Mahon Digital, you type it in you’ll probably find us there and we have our website, www.mahondigital.co.uk.
DAVID BAIN: Wonderful, wonderful. Can I ask you all just to stick around just for a minute after we stop recording, just so I can get your audio recording through the piece of software that I’m using here. But I will just finish off by saying I’m David Bain, Head of Growth at Authoritas, the company that provides big data solutions that gives your enterprise the content marketing edge. So sign up for a demo of our platform at Authoritas.com. And you can also find me interviewing online marketing gurus over at www.digitalmarketingradio.com. Now if you’re watching the show as a recording, watch the next show live. So head over to www.thisweekinorganic.com and sign up there to be part of the live audience for the next show. But for those of you who are watching live, we also have an audio podcast of previous shows, so again that’s where you need to go, thisweekinorganic.com and you will see the podcast links from there too. But until we see you again, have a fantabulous weekend and thank you all for joining us. Adios and thanks again Alex, thanks Saija and thank you Nicole.
Working as Content Marketing Director for Authoritas since March 2015, David also hosts our own weekly show – “This Week In Organic”, commonly referred to as #TWiO.