Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from the world of search marketing and beyond.
This week, we’ve got key trends in content marketing for 2017; why social media is the preferred channel for product launches; and how to use an Exact Match Domain (EMD) without being penalised for spam by Google. And in probably unsurprising news, John Lewis’ annual heartwarming Christmas ad is this year’s best performing yet.
The eight most important content marketing trends in 2017
It’s December already, and you know what that means – every publication you follow will be winding down for the end of the year by reviewing the highlights of 2016, while simultaneously gearing up for next year by making predictions for 2017.
Tereza Litsa has given us an early start on Search Engine Watch’s sister site ClickZ with a round-up of the eight most important content marketing trends we’re likely to see in 2017. From personalisation to ephemeral content, VR and AI, she’s listed the key trends and practices that will make content marketing in 2017 easier and more effective. Follow the link to read more, and decide whether or not you agree!
Marketers are turning to social media for product launches
A new study by marketing communications firm Five by Five has found that nearly three-quarters of marketers (74%) consider social media to be the highest-priority medium for promoting new products.
The study polled over 700 marketers in the US, the UK and Australia to find which marketing channels they consider to be the most important for product launches. Behind social media, sales promotions and email were the second- and third-most popular promotional channels, respectively.
Al Roberts took a look at the study’s findings for Search Engine Watch and delved into why social is the top choice for marketers looking to promote a new product – and whether it’s enough to generate buzz.
What is an Exact Match Domain (EMD), and how can you safely use one?
Exact Match Domains, or EMDs, can be a tempting way to try and boost your website to the top of search rankings. An EMD is a domain name which exactly matches a keyword or search term you’re hoping to target – such as “watchmoviesfreeonline.com“.
But EMDs, more often than not, tend to be employed by spammy websites, harming the quality of search results and running the risk of incurring a penalty by Google for their practices. As Christopher Ratcliff wrote for Search Engine Watch,
“EMDs have been long thought of as having an unfair advantage.
As opposed to websites that rise to the top of Google through quality content, solid architecture, trusted backlinks and assorted other white hat best practices, Exact Match Domains can just rise to the top by shoe-horning in a few tasty keywords.”
Is there a way to use an EMD safely, or is it another black hat technique that self-respecting SEOs should avoid? Christopher takes a look at the pros and cons of EMDs, and how EMD users can stay on the right side of Google.
Everything you need to know about changes to the local press
The regional press has come under enormous pressure in recent years from the twin challenges of falling advertising sales and the growth of online news. Yet local news outlets are still a highly trusted form of media, and attract the most effective response to adverts.
What this means for the world of marketing is that while PRs should never underestimate the importance of the regional press, the challenges mentioned above have given rise to drastic changes in the way the local papers now look and work.
Andrew Brookes has written a thorough breakdown for Search Engine Watch of how these titles have changed, how the changes affect your marketing efforts, and the best way to adapt to them in order to ensure a good response.
Buster the Boxer tops the most shared ads of 2016
The annual John Lewis Christmas ad is an institution, managing every year to become one of the most memorable adverts on TV, and creating a formula that many other advertisers have sought to emulate.
This year’s ‘#BustertheBoxer’ ad is no exception – and has managed to beat even John Lewis’ own records. Christopher Ratcliff reported on Search Engine Watch’s sister site, ClickZ, that the ad has topped the list of Unruly’s Top 20 Global Video Ads to become the most shared ad of 2016, with close to 2 million shares. Since its launch on 9th November, #BustertheBoxer has become the 5th most shared Christmas ad of all time, and the most shared John Lewis ad ever.
In his article for ClickZ, Christopher runs down the other top charting ads this year, and takes a look at the methodology used in Unruly’s rankings. And if you haven’t seen #BustertheBoxer yet, give it a watch below – it’s a good’un.