September has been a crazy month for the tech and marketing industries. Over 150,000 people from 78 countries congregated in San Francisco for the largest Dreamforce ever. Apple held its annual autumn product unveiling session, announcing a variety of products that elicited mixed reactions. CMWorld 2015, the world’s largest content marketing event, rocked Cleveland.
With all that going on (so many hashtags!), I can’t blame you if you managed to overlook some of this month’s smaller technology and marketing-related announcements. But now that September is drawing to a close, let’s take a look at three product updates Facebook, AdWords, and Twitter have made — and how they could affect your marketing strategy.
Facebook beefed up its notes feature.
Notes, a long-forgotten Facebook feature, are back with a vengeance — and this time around, they look a lot like Medium’s content platform. Facebook began testing these changes in August, but as of this month they’re available to all users and Pages.
While these new notes have definitely had an aesthetic upgrade, HTML still isn’t supported — yet. But if Facebook wants to stake its claim in the world of content publishing, I have a feeling that might be coming further down the road.
Does this mean you should start posting all your blog posts as Facebook notes? Depending on the topics and your audience, it may be worth testing out. Contrary to popular belief, Facebook does not own the content you post on their website, so you don’t have to worry about giving up the rights to your work. However, keep in mind that notes published on Facebook don’t currently support hyperlinks, so you could be missing out on significant website traffic.
Google AdWords announced Customer Match for more targeted advertising.
On Sunday, Google announced a new AdWords product called Customer Match, which will be rolling out to all advertisers over the next several weeks. According to Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s SVP of ads and commerce, “Customer Match allows you to upload a list of email addresses, which can be matched to signed-in users on Google . . . From there, you can build campaigns and ads specifically designed to reach your audience.”
Not only that, but marketers can also target Similar Audiences on YouTube and Gmail. These lookalike audiences are determined based on the interests and characteristics they share with your email list.
But what’s so special about this Customer Match, and how is it different from traditional retargeting? As Ginny Marvin at Marketing Land puts it, “Retargeting lists are built with cookies, which users can delete or block and aren’t suited for mobile. Email addresses and user sign-ins, on the other hand, are more stable across devices.” Overall, Customer Match promises to provide a more consistent and relevant user experience.
Twitter introduced user-generated polls.
On September 24th, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed to VentureBeat that the company has begun rolling out “a new way to poll users.” Here’s what we know so far:
- This feature is brand-spankin’-new and currently only available to a select group of users.
- Polls appear on the Twitter mobile app and Twitter.com, but they aren’t visible in embedded Tweets or third-party Twitter clients.
- Currently, all polls have a 24-hour running time before they’re automatically closed.
So, what does this mean for B2B marketers? If you have access to this new feature, there are two primary ways you can take advantage of it.
- Create fun polls to boost engagement. Spice up your Twitter presence by asking your followers a light-hearted question — or even something that could cause some friendly controversy, like the NHL did in the above post.
- Use polls for (unscientific) research. We’ve written before about how to use surveys in your B2B marketing, and you can use Twitter polls in much the same way. Sure, one question with two possible responses won’t give you a very nuanced view of any topic, but it can give you some broad insights into your audience. For example, you can ask:
- which types of media users prefer on Twitter (videos, blog posts, infographics, etc.).
- general demographic information.
- which topics they want you to post more about.
- whether they use Twitter more often on mobile or desktop.
One thing to note: Twitter has called these user-generated polls experimental, so it remains to be seen whether they stick and get rolled out to all Twitter users.
Did we miss anything?
There have been too many tech and marketing announcements in the month of September for us to cover them all. Did we miss anything crucial that you’d like to see covered on the blog? Let us know in the comments!