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Last Week in Digital Marketing: Facebook Puts More Restrictions on Advertisers (And Releases a Cool New Feature)

With the election season and holiday season quickly approaching, advertisers are coming out in swarms on Facebook. In response, Facebook is cracking down on ads with sensational language and creating stricter branded content policies.

Facebook Updates Branded Content Policies

Over the past several months, Facebook has been focusing on helping its users understand more about how the company operates and how business pages advertise. In July, the social medium introduced new ad transparency features that allowed users (including business pages) to see when and how a business edited its page information, along with which ads it was currently running.

Now, these features have been expanded to include information about brand-influencer relationships.

While paid posts used to simply have the word “Paid” at the top of the post, they now say “Paid Partnership” and have an “About this Partnership” button users can click to learn more about the relationship between the business page and the company sponsoring the content. This makes paid posts easier to identify and learn about – just another way Facebook is giving users more power and access to information.

This also benefits businesses in that it lets them share partnerships on Facebook in a clear and consistent manner, and keep an eye on how influencers are sharing their content.

The downside of this update is that relationships between influencers and brands now seems less organic or natural. It used to be that influencers could easily share a company’s content without other users knowing it was a promotion. With these new branded content policies, both influencers and companies are held responsible for acknowledging their relationships.

Facebook is also making the Brands Collab Manager tool accessible in other countries, including Mexico, Thailand, India, Germany, and the U.K. This will help brands find and team up with users who want to promote their content.

Takeaway: This is just another step Facebook is taking to strengthen its advertising and branding policies and help users understand its advertising processes.

Facebook Threatens to Penalize Companies that Run Ads with Sensationalized Language

In the spring of 2017, it began by downgrading ads that had shocking or malicious content. Now, Facebook has announced it will limit distribution of ads deemed low-quality. This includes ads that use sensationalized language or clickbait tactics. One example of this would be an ad that states: “You won’t BELIEVE this woman’s reaction when she saw what her son brought home!”

Ads that withhold information or promise an extreme story and then fail to deliver it on the landing page will have reduced coverage or will be removed altogether.

Takeaway: This new policy will have a large impact on political ads during the election season, as well as on ads for entertainment companies and social cause organizations. All companies advertising on Facebook should take note of this initiative and be cognizant when creating ads in order to prevent Facebook from penalizing their ad campaigns.

Google Offers More Insights for Businesses

Google will soon release a new metric in the Insights section of Google My Business analytics, which lets business owners see how people found their website. The new metric is called Branded and it lets you see what percentage of website visitors found your site by searching for a brand related to your business.

For example, if you own an HVAC company, you can now see if people found your website by searching “American Standard” or “Trane” or “Goodman.”

With this new addition to Insights, there are now three ways you can see how people found your business:

  • Direct: customers who found your business by searching for the name or the address
  • Discovery: customers who found your business by searching in Google for a product, service, or category
  • Branded: customers who found your business by searching for a brand related to your business

Takeaway: This new feature lets marketing teams analyze search results further and understand more about what customers look for when they find a business. It can also help your marketing team strengthen your SEO strategy by seeing what percentage of people search for brand-related terms when discovering your website.

Facebook Will Soon Introduce Taking and Sharing 3D Photos

If you have a phone with a dual-lens camera, you’re in luck: you can now take and share 3D photos on the Facebook app. The app does this by calculating the distance between objects in the foreground and background of an image. Users can then tilt and turn their phone to see the photo in 3D.

The iPhone 7+, 8+, X, and XS all have dual-lenses and will be able to take 3D photos. It’s best if the subject of the photo is three or four feet away from the camera and if there are objects in the foreground and background so the camera can produce the 3D effect. Facebook advises not to take photos of objects that are shiny or clear because the 3D effect won’t be as apparent.

https://www.facebook.com/Facebook360/videos/1967317100049786/

The 3D option will be available in the upcoming weeks, says Facebook.

Takeaway: This new component will allow businesses to display photos of their offerings in a more realistic manner and let users see a product’s full features, uses, and potential.

All of these changes to Google and Facebook have the potential to affect – positively or negatively – the way your business reaches customers on the web. If you want to grow your online presence and make the most of the social tools available to you, contact the LeadBuilder team today.

Liz MacLean is an Inbound Marketing Specialist with experience managing social media and creating content for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. She is an award-winning writer who has produced photographs and articles about cooking, clothing, nature, and fitness for local magazines and newspapers.

Image via iStock

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