We know you’re busy, and we know you need to stay up to date about the most important headlines in the news. And while we think it’s important to stay informed in general—did you see the latest true crime headline, anyone?—we’re really referring to how important it is that marketers know exactly what’s happening in digital marketing industry news.
Every industry demands people keep up with the latest shifts and headlines, but few industries evolve as quickly as digital marketing, making it even more critical for digital marketers to stay in the know.
When a new algorithm—or, just totally off the cuff here, a social media outage—can wreck an entire digital marketing strategy, missing a headline can drag down your bottom line.
So to make things simple, we’ve rounded up the most important digital marketing news headlines from the past month. (And trust us, you don’t want to miss them.)
The top 6 digital marketing headlines
Read on to stay ahead of the biggest stories this month.
1. “Online but Inaccessible”
According to the American Marketing Association, 56.7 million people in the U.S. live with disabilities and too many brands totally ignore these consumers. In fact, your company might be ignoring a staggering one-fifth of your prospects if you aren’t designing for accessibility.
While this article focuses on the U.S., marketers in the U.K., Ireland, and Australia face a similarly large portion of their consumers who live with disabilities. Unfortunately, these companies don’t seem to be doing much better than their American counterparts when it comes to providing accessible experiences for all.
Despite the internet’s ability to bring people together, companies still exclude large swaths of their audience by choosing not to make their web experiences accessible to all.
2. “Amazon is aggressively blocking ads for unprofitable products as part of a plan to bolster its bottom line”
If you promote your products on Amazon through paid advertising, pay attention, because this headline’s for you: If Amazon has to take a loss on your product due to fees from storing and shipping the items, the site will no longer promote your product.
In order for Amazon to keep promoting the product, companies will have to start dropping their prices as Amazon aims to protect its own bottom line amidst an expected slowdown of their e-commerce business.
This change is probably not surprising for anyone who’s been selling with Amazon for a bit. The Wall Street Journal reported in December that Amazon is dropping products that don’t turn a profit. In fact, this change in their policy seems to be a part of a broader shift toward third-party sellers on their site.
3. “Instagram debuts in-app checkout for e-commerce brands”
Though the initial rollout will only be available for a limited number of brands, Instagram’s in-app checkout feature will allow users to make purchases without ever leaving the app, moving the platform further into the e-commerce space.
We did our own original research and found that 29.5% of the Gen Zers we surveyed said they’ve made 2-5 purchases in the past month after seeing an item on social media.
So this means that potentially, advertisers on Instagram could drastically shorten their customer’s journey from product discovery to actually converting and making a purchase.
4. “Google slapped with €1.49bn EU fine for antitrust in advertising”
The European Commission found that Google abused its marketing dominance to favor its own price comparison results, as reported by MarketingTech. The fine—which equals £1.28 billion—comes after the Commission found that Google’s antitrust violations lasted for ten years, though they’d stopped the practices in 2016.
This is the third fine Google has received from the European Commission.
5. “Surprising don’ts for cause-related marketing”
Based on a new study, companies who use intensely emotional messages related to some social cause might actually be making consumers skeptical of their brand. While most marketers realize that today’s consumer wants to do business with brands who stand for important issues, this study shows that it might be harder than brands expect.
When brands crank up the level of emotional intensity and feelings of guilt in their messaging, they actually inspire distrust in their audience. In fact, a poorly-executed socially-conscious campaign can be disastrous.
While promoting your brand’s mission is critical for success in 2019, it must be done correctly, backed by proof that your company is willing to put its money where its mouth is. If not, your brand risks facing serious backlash.
6. “Facebook and Instagram Going Dark Should Be a Wake Up Call for Entrepreneurs”
March 13th was a day digital marketers won’t soon forget, especially for the entrepreneurs and small business owners who rely heavily on social media advertising to fuel their businesses. The Facebook and Instagram outage serves as a reminder that digital marketers have learned over and over again: You can’t rely solely on one strategy to drive in revenue, especially when you rely on someone else’s platform.
As this article from Entrepreneur points out, it’s critical for businesses to rely on their own platforms to grow their business, platforms like email marketing and content on your own website. When you own the foundation of your business, no one can pull it out from under you.
In our world, staying on top of emerging technology and changing platforms is a full-time job, but we hope these headlines will help inform your digital marketing strategy as you prepare for your next big campaign.
At the very least, you know you aren’t falling behind. With all the tasks you have to do, staying up to date in your industry should be simple enough, or as simple as it can be.