What’s New With SEM and Paid Ads?

Digital Marketing Strategy

Here’s our latest roundup of digital marketing tips.

Leadership: Q-and-A with Thomas Wells

Thomas Wells is Bonfire’s punny remote copywriter. He shares some of his secrets to the ideal work-from-home experience and staying productive wherever there are visual distractions, like Montana mountains … or the zombie apocalypse.

Client takeaway: Understanding the varied work habits and methods of your remote employees will help you better choose the tools and resources they need to succeed. And Montana is a fairly safe region for surviving a zombie outbreak.

Suggested implementation: Remote employees are just as much a part of the team as in-office workers. Stay informed of their wins, hardships, and work conditions to better position them for success. And move to Montana.

SEM: 14 irresistible Valentine’s Day search stats from Bing

The key to customers’ wallets, er, hearts? Knowing just what they want for Valentine’s Day. Last-minute gifts aren’t cutting it anymore. You have less than a month to optimize ads that’ll help searchers impress their honeys.

Client takeaway: Desktop accounted for half of searches last year. Jewelry dominated the mobile top 10 (duh). The one half of adults who actually celebrated (great job, Singles Awareness Day advocates) spent nearly $20 billion, so that comes to an individual gift budget of — $146?!

Suggested implementation: Optimize desktop ads for handmade, branded gifts, and anything romantic. Put most of your ad budget into the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Last-minute shoppers never learn.

SEO: Google’s response to negative SEO

Remember the bully who reveled in making you feel bad? Just look at you now. Things got better. Google’s John Mueller says don’t bother with those companies wasting their time attacking you with negative SEO. Just focus on improving your site.

Client takeaway: Negative SEO is the malicious attack of search ranking through unethical and black hat techniques.

Suggested implementation: It’s definitely necessary to be knowledgeable of negative SEO attacks, and there are tools to help. But all things get better with time, and refining your website content will help mitigate the effects.

Social media: Facebook rolls out fake news filter in Germany

Huh. Wonder where Germany learned about the impact of fake news on elections … In anticipation of its own elections, lawmakers are considering fining social media companies that don’t do their part to curb the spread of false information. Facebook takes it on with a filter and third-party verification.

Client takeaway: Potential fake news is reported by users and sent to a nonprofit news organization. If false, it’s marked as “disputed,” and users are warned before sharing. Facebook algorithms push false info lower in the News Feed.

Suggested implementation: Social media gurus, community managers — heck, everyone, make it your mantra: “Read before you share. Check your sources. Check your sources’ sources. Google stuff.”

Social media marketing: Here’s how new vertical video ads look in Instagram Stories

In another Snapchat copycat move, video ads are coming to Instagram Stories. But Instagram’s version gives it another leg up with marketers over Snapchat. Longer videos and more insights improve opportunities to reach a targeted audience.

Client takeaway: Instagram claims Stories has 150 million daily users, and that one-third of viewed Stories are from businesses. The new videos are five seconds longer than Snapchat’s, and sponsored photos last five seconds. Ads will not interrupt individual posts, but be featured between users’ posts.

Suggested implementation: Preview the new ads below. If you have a robust following on Instagram, give it a shot. One of the biggest advantages over Snapchat is the data targeting.

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