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Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing News 01/17/2023 – 01/23/2023

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This week on the latest digital marketing updates: Apple introduces new Maps tool for businesses, Google Business Profile updates policies for product listings, Microsoft Advertising partners with BigCommerce and announces new product updates, and Meta expands ad targeting limits for teens and shuts down Creator Studio.

Here are the latest news, trends, and updates in detail:

Search

Apple Maps Introduces Apple Business Connect

This free tool allows businesses of all sizes to customize the way their information appears across Apple apps.

Apple has introduced their newest Maps tool, the Apple Business Connect. This is a revamp of the 2014 Apple Maps Connect, and it functions similar to Google Business Profile. With this free tool, businesses of all sizes around the world can claim their location place cards and customize the way key information appears to Apple users across Apple Maps, Messages, Wallet, Siri, and other apps.

Apple Business Connect 1

With Business Connect, you can now directly manage your business information in the interactive Apple Maps place card, including adding and updating photos and logos; inviting customers to take actions directly from Maps; and offering special promotions.

Apple Business Connect 2Apple Business Connect 3

Showcases, a new feature in the Apple Maps place card, lets businesses highlight offers and incentives, like seasonal menu items and product discounts. You can easily update the Showcase section of your place card through Business Connect. Showcases are available to businesses in the United States beginning this month, and will be available globally in coming months.

Through Business Connect, you can also provide your customers with useful information by highlighting actions for them to take directly from the Maps place card, like ordering groceries via Instacart, making a hotel reservation through Booking.com, or reserving a spot for dinner with OpenTable.

How to Register for Apple Business Connect

Business owners can use their existing Apple ID — or create a new Apple ID — to register for Business Connect at the self-service website from any desktop or laptop computer. Once you have logged in and Apple has verified your business, you can claim your location(s) and begin updating and personalizing your place card, all for free.

If your business has many locations, Business Connect includes Business Connect API to easily deliver accurate, up-to-date information to Maps at scale through listing management agencies such as Reputation, Rio SEO, SOCi, Uberall, and Yext.

Apple Business Connect 4

If you own a small business, the good news is Apple Business Connect offers you the same access and ability to customize your digital presence as global brands. Business Connect complements other Apple services designed for small businesses, including Tap to Pay on iPhone — which enables businesses to seamlessly and securely accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets — and Business Essentials, a subscription that brings together device management, 24/7 support, and cloud storage.

Search

Google Business Profile Quits Support for Price Ranges and Custom CTA

The change will take effect on February 15, 2023.

Starting on February 15, 2023, Google Business Profile owners will no longer be able to show price ranges nor set custom calls to action in Products. Only single-pricing will be allowed. Google says, current price ranges will be removed and all landing pages will have a “Visit site” label.

Local SEO writer Darren Shaw posted this update on Twitter:

Google Business Profile

Google made the announcement in the Business Profile Products section. So if you have products added in your Google Business Profile and they feature price ranges, you may opt to remove the pricing altogether or set a fixed price for your product listings. Also, if you’re using customized calls to action for your landing pages, you may want to revisit your offers and content to see if Google’s upcoming “Visit site” label will work well with them.

PPC

Microsoft and BigCommerce Team Up for Joint Marketplace Ads and Listings

The two advertising and eCommerce giants are releasing the Microsoft Ads and Listings App for BigCommerce merchants.

Microsoft and BigCommerce have announced that they’re teaming up for a new app integration called the Microsoft Ads and Listings app, which gives BigCommerce merchants the ability to showcase product ad campaigns to reach new customers searching across the Microsoft Advertising Network, including Microsoft Bing and Microsoft Edge.

With the Microsoft Ads and Listings in the BigCommerce Marketplace initiative, BigCommerce merchants of all sizes in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand can now directly integrate their stores to the Microsoft Advertising Network. What’s more, eligible BigCommerce merchants in the US who are verified Bing Places for Business account holders that spend at least $250 on ads will also receive $500 in free advertising credits by Microsoft.

With Microsoft Ads and Listings, you can synchronize product catalogs directly to the new Microsoft Merchant Center. The next step is to create shopping campaigns to promote product catalogs and track campaign performance, which you can do without leaving the BigCommerce Control Panel. The Microsoft Ads and Listings app, combined with the broader capabilities of Microsoft Advertising, also delivers solutions that help you navigate search, native, display, and video ad campaigns better. Furthermore, it helps you achieve your marketing goals by:

  • Broadening audience reach through new channels - Microsoft Advertising Network gives merchants the opportunity to showcase products to potential customers on Microsoft Bing, MSN, Microsoft Edge, and via syndicated partners such as Yahoo! and AOL.

  • Driving more traffic with enhanced shopping experiences - Through the new Microsoft Shopping Tab, you can filter product feeds with specific attributes that deliver richer ad content, and narrow search results that can increase click-through and conversion rates by simply making it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for.

  • Monitoring and optimizing ad performance in real time - In the BigCommerce Control Panel, you can see campaign performance with a snapshot view or run detailed reporting on a wide or granular scope, with specific key elements or side-by-side comparisons across various ad campaigns. Changes can be made in real time to status, budgets, and bids, while having access to a personalized tips dashboard and customer support.

Microsoft Ads and Listings on BigCommerce is currently available in the US, UK, and ANZ, and will expand into new markets through 2023. To get started on running product ad campaigns for your BigCommerce store, download Microsoft Ads and Listings here.

PPC

Microsoft Advertising Announces Product Updates for January

In-Market Audiences is expanding to new markets and the deadline is set for the last day to migrate to Responsive Search Ads.

In their first product roundup for 2023, Microsoft Advertising announced the expansion of In-Market Audiences and the deadline for the migration to Responsive Search Ads. Let’s dive into the details.

Audience targeting tool In-Market Audiences has expanded to new markets in the Middle East and Africa. As of January, it is now accessible in the following markets:

Microsoft reminds advertisers as well that they only have until February 1, 2023 to migrate to Responsive Search Ads (RSA). This is an extension from the previous August 29, 2022 deadline. Beginning on February 1st, RSAs will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited in standard search campaigns, so it’s better to complete your migration before that date. Microsoft also recommends that you make sure all your ad groups have at least one RSA.

According to Microsoft, the focus of this migration is to help advertisers efficiently drive a stronger return on investment (ROI). Expanded Text Ads will continue serving along with RSAs, but Microsoft will no longer support the ability to create new, or edit existing, Expanded Text Ads moving forward.

  • Ethiopia

  • Malawi

  • Tanzania

  • Zimbabwe

  • Lesotho

  • Mauritania

  • Mauritius

  • Namibia

  • Reunion Island

  • Seychelles

  • Gambia

  • Congo

  • Guinea

  • Madagascar

  • Togo

  • Nigeria

  • Saudi Arabia

  • Yemen

  • Algeria

  • Azerbaijan

  • Bahrain

  • Egypt

  • Iraq

  • Israel

  • Libya

  • Moldova

  • Oman

  • Qatar

  • Tajikistan

  • United Arab Emirates

  • Armenia

  • Georgia

  • Kyrgyzstan

Microsoft reminds advertisers as well that they only have until February 1, 2023 to migrate to Responsive Search Ads (RSA). This is an extension from the previous August 29, 2022 deadline. Beginning on February 1st, RSAs will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited in standard search campaigns, so it’s better to complete your migration before that date. Microsoft also recommends that you make sure all your ad groups have at least one RSA.

According to Microsoft, the focus of this migration is to help advertisers efficiently drive a stronger return on investment (ROI). Expanded Text Ads will continue serving along with RSAs, but Microsoft will no longer support the ability to create new, or edit existing, Expanded Text Ads moving forward.

PPC

Meta Sets New Ad Targeting Limits for Teens

Advertisers will no longer be able to use gender as a targeting option, and teen users will gain more control over the ads they see.

In a bid to keep their apps age-appropriate for teenagers, Meta announced that they’re further restricting the options advertisers have to reach teens, as well as the information they use to show ads to this age group. Meta is also introducing more specific controls and resources to help teens understand how ads work and the reasons why they see certain ads on Meta’s apps.

Back in 2021, Meta already made changes to ad targeting for teens, which included removing the ability for advertisers to target them based on their interest and activities. Beginning in February 2023, Meta is updating their ad system further and removing gender as an ad targeting option. Additionally, teen users’ engagement on Meta’s apps — like following certain Instagram posts or Facebook pages —  won’t inform the types of ads they see.

That leaves age and location as the only ad targeting options for teen users. Meta says these two variables help them ensure that teens see ads which are meant for their age, as well as the products and services that are available where they live.

By March 2023, teen users will have access to the expanded Ad Topic Controls, which will help them manage the types of ads they see on Facebook and Instagram. They will be able to go to their Ad Preferences within Settings on both apps, and choose “See Less” or “No Preference” to further control the types of ads they’re shown.

Teens can choose to hide any or all ads from a specific advertiser. The topics that Meta already restricts in their policies will be defaulted to “See Less,” so that teens can’t choose to opt into content that may not be age-appropriate.

Social

Meta Shuts Down the Creator Studio Page Management Platform

Creator Studio users are prompted to begin migrating to the Meta Business Suite.

Social media community managers still using Creator Studio may have noticed that Meta has begun prompting users to move to Meta Business Suite, their new all-in-one page management platform where you can view page notifications, schedule posts via Planner, check messages and comments in Facebook and Instagram,  manage ads, and view insights.

Meta Business Suite 1

In the screenshot above, Meta notifies users that Creator Studio is going away soon and it will be replaced by Meta Business Suite. Long-time community managers are well-acquainted with this change, as Meta releases a new page management platform every few years.

Meta Business Suite 2

The good news is, you can still access all of your content and data when you switch. Right now there’s still an option to switch back to Creator Studio, but soon it will no longer be offered.

Meta Business Suite 3

Meta Business Suite is available on desktop and mobile app.

What you can do next:

  • Give your Apple user customers a seamless experience by signing up or updating your business profile on Apple Maps. Use the free tools offered by Business Connect to provide accurate location, information, and photos, and to showcase up-to-date promotions.

  • If you’re using price ranges and custom calls to action on your product listings in Google Business Profile, you have until February 14, 2023 to make the necessary changes to avoid being inconvenienced by Google’s new policy.

  • If you’re looking to expand your business and advertising reach beyond Google and social media, utilizing Microsoft Ads and Listings in the BigCommerce Marketplace is a good way to start as it lets you tap into new channels to reach more potential customers.

  • Microsoft Advertisers should complete their migration to Responsive Search Ads on or (even better) before February 1, 2023, as Expanded Text Ads will receive limited support moving forward. On Microsoft’s recommendation, have at least one RSA for each of your ad groups.

  • If you’re serving targeted ads on Facebook and Instagram to users under 18, you may need to come up with a new ad strategy to reach teen users based on their age and location only.

  • Prepare to migrate to Meta Business Suite from Creator Studio by familiarizing yourself with its interface, tools, and features so you can make the most of Meta’s new all-in-one page management platform.

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