This week’s digital marketing news segment on the EDGE podcast features Site Strategics CEO Erin Sparks along with special guest Susan Wenograd, VP of Marketing Strategy at Aimclear. Here’s the news roundup from Episode 316 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web:
Experts Tout Voice Search as Study Ties Answers to Top 3 Organic Results
According to Henry Powderly on Search Engine Land: Experts tout voice search as study ties answers to top 3 organic results. SEMrush research unveiled at SMX Advanced suggests the key to voice performance is high SERP placement, site speed, content readability, and high-quality backlinks.
- Susan Wenograd: I don’t work on the SEO side, but a lot of my industry friends are SEOs, so I pick up on what’s happening based on what they’re talking about. And it’s interesting because it seems like there’s almost a separate algorithm or factors at play when it comes to what’s powering voice search. My first thought was, are they going to have black hat voice search people? You know there will be a whole new culture of people trying to exploit the voice search piece now that search results are less easily exploited. I’m curious about what kinds of stopgaps they’re going to have to put in place.
- Erin Sparks: What’s interesting to me is that there’s only going to be one result, right?
- Susan Wenograd: Yes, and the number-one position in regular search results used to be so important, but with featured snippets now and local map stuff and everything else, it’s just gotten pushed so far down the page. This single-result voice search kind of renews the importance of the number-one position. It will be interesting to see if people start rushing to one tactic or another to manipulate it before Google figures it out and plays whack-a-mole to fix it.
Instagram Advertisers Can Now Convert Organic Influencer Posts Into Ads
On Marketing Land, Amy Gesenhues reveals that Instagram advertisers can now convert organic influencer posts into ads. The company confirmed in March it was testing the new ad format with a select group of brands.
- Erin Sparks: They’re actually rolling out branded content ads for all advertisers making it possible for brands to create ads using the organic posts from influencers they have relationships with. Before brands can use the influencers, the content creator must grant their business partners, the brands they have relationships with, access to promote those posts. But is this going to de-value the organic post if the followers of that influencer all of a sudden see it’s a promoted post for a brand?
- Susan Wenograd: I think even though people probably know the influencer has a relationship with the brand, it still comes off as very organic as opposed to the traditional approach to sponsorship where you knew the famous person was acting as a paid spokesperson. This is subtler. I’m curious to see what it looks like. Will it feel like it’s promoted? The way it’s presented and the way that it’s framed with the ad copy is going to make or break how well it does or doesn’t do. And I think it’ll be interesting to see what it does to influencer marketing because if brands don’t handle the creative piece well and it just feels like icky ad placements, it will start to devalue the influencer relationships. The influencer doesn’t want to be perceived as a sellout. And when brands spend money on this, they’re going to have to try to measure ROI.
Google Faces Possible Justice Department Antitrust Probe
From Robert Williams on Marketing Dive: Google faces possible Justice Department antitrust probe. Google may face scrutiny over its dominance in digital advertising and the technology that advertisers and publishers use to buy and sell ads online.
- Erin Sparks: Google has been fighting this type of thing in the EU for years and they’re on something like their third antitrust fine there. In the US market, Google dominates the internet search industry and controls about 37% of digital ads. Needless to say, digital marketers will be watching very carefully to see how this story plays out.
- Susan Wenograd: Having worked on the paid search side, I feel like the focus is less on the overt antitrust piece as it relates to other competitive businesses but more on whether Google abuses the information it gets in order to create an unfair advantage over advertisers. Google wants to provide all the answers you need without you leaving Google’s websites. More and more they’re controlling access to the businesses themselves and won’t drive you to the website of those businesses but try to provide you what you need within Google. At what point is that not okay? Now they’re doing lead generation for financial services, acting as the middleman, and they hold the lead. Is that something digital marketers just have to accept because it’s Google?
Connect with Susan Wenograd, VP of Marketing Strategy at Aimclear
Twitter: @SusanEDub (https://twitter.com/SusanEDub)
Aimclear Twitter: @Aimclear (https://twitter.com/aimclear)
Aimclear Facebook: @Aimclear (https://www.facebook.com/Aimclear)
Aimclear LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/aimclear
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