This Month: Back-To-School Marketing, Reduced Visibility of How-Tos and FAQs and More!

This Month: Back-To-School Marketing, Reduced Visibility of How-Tos and FAQs and More!

Just like that, August is almost over! Taylor Swift definitely wasn't kidding when she said in her titular song, “August slipped away into a moment in time”.

Speaking of Taylor Swift, there was a series of interesting events that had everyone on their toes this month. First and foremost, the release of the Canada dates for the Eras tour left Swifties across the country in a state of frenzy. From finding seats to booking tickets to being put on the waitlist to finally getting the final confirmation–that definitely sounds like a crazy roller coaster ride!

The Eras tour wasn’t the only roller coaster ride that happened. This month, many people grabbed their fast passes and flocked to Canada’s Wonderland for that much-needed adrenaline rush and sugar overload. The annual CNE event also opened its doors again this summer with a huge line of thrilling rides and “unique” dishes (cheeseburger ice cream and fried cheese curds with Pebbles, anyone?). There's no better way to end summer than feasting on deep-fried foods and going on exhilarating rides!

Now, you’re probably wondering: What about marketing? This August, we saw many intriguing campaigns, updates and guides worth sharing. Fortunately for you, we have summed up all the most important details you should consider the next time you revisit your marketing strategy. 

Without further ado, we have put together five highlights we think you should know about. From back-to-school marketing to reduced visibility of HowTo and FAQ rich snippets, here’s what happened this month in marketing.

Back-to-school 2023: Can marketing transcend the turbulence?

Source: Shutterstock

For most of us, August is a time to enjoy the last few days of sunshine and squeeze in as many fun outdoor activities into the month as possible. On the other hand, for parents and full-time students, August means something else: back-to-school shopping season.

Without a doubt, there’s still a huge craze surrounding back-to-school shopping. Major retailers go above and beyond in their marketing efforts to attract consumers and generate more sales. In their recent blog, the Marketing Dive shows a recent collaboration between former Dance Moms stars Maddie and Kenzie Ziegler and American Eagle. The campaign showcases the two decked out in denim, a style that's very reminiscent of 90’s fashion and, more importantly, is Gen Z-approved. 

Despite the hype surrounding back-to-school season, we can’t deny that we’re living in very financially uncertain times with inflation on the rise. The Marketing Dive’s blog also reveals that the consumer spend for families with students in kindergarten through 12th grade to drop 10% year-over-year for a total of $597 per child. 34% of parents have been reported to postpone buying non-essential school items this year as well.

This demonstrates that brands should consider prioritizing the actual value of their products if they want to attract consumers looking to save some coin. Amazon, for instance, took a “spend less” approach for their campaign last year and stood in solidarity with parents, gaining a lot of positive feedback from consumers.

To learn more about how you can improve your next back-to-school campaign, check out the full details from the blog here.

Google Downgrades Visibility of HowTo and FAQ Rich Results

This month, Google announced they would be reducing the visibility of HowTo and FAQ-rich snippets. The Search Engine Journal shares that while FAQ-rich results won’t be removed from all sites, HowTos will be completely removed from all search results in mobile devices.

In their statement, Google shared the following: “…we’re reducing the visibility of FAQ-rich results, and limiting How-To rich results to desktop devices. This change should finish rolling out globally within the next week.” 

In case you didn’t already know, Google Rich Results are search features designed to display mainly webpage content and website listings, which, in turn, provide more traffic. HowTos are a specific kind of structured data that showcases images and the steps for fulfilling a particular task. On the other hand, FAQ-rich results will require the publisher to create a question and provide the corresponding answer, as well as the structured data for it.

But if HowTos and FAQs are good for traffic, why is Google removing them? Well, it turns out that their objective is to provide users with “a cleaner and more consistent search experience.” For FAQs, Google will instead only be showing them for high authority websites within the health space and for government websites.

As of now, these changes have already taken effect, with a small amount of rich results being shown as an experiment.

If you’re interested in finding out more about this recent Google update, take a look at Search Engine Journal’s latest piece. To learn more about how you can navigate this recent change and optimize your SEO, read our own blog here.

Meta Is Developing AI Chatbots with Over 30 Different Personalities

Nowadays, chatbots are everywhere! Whether you’re visiting the website of a large-scale cosmetics retailer or a professional cleaning service, chances are that you have encountered one. 

Although chatbots are great for streamlining daily business operations, it’s pretty obvious that the automated responses aren’t from an actual human being. Generally, chatbots use the same language, style, and tone, which ultimately gives it away.

But what if we told you that AI chatbots could have their own unique personalities in the near future?

In their blog, Social Media Today shares that Meta’s next phase of generative AI features will include AI chatbots that are capable of communicating in different personas. This will soon be made available in various elements of Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. 

When it comes to personas, the options that can be implemented are endless. To help paint a picture, these personas can come in recreations of historical figures, like Abraham Lincoln, or more typical characters, like a surfer who offers travel advice. 

Meta is developing over 30 different AI personalities that are built with generative response tools. These tools are similar to ones used in ChatGPT, but are created specifically within Meta’s apps. Fun fact: You can even summon these AI chatbots in your DM threads! All you have to do is send a question to @ai.

With generative AI being a huge trend, it makes sense for Meta to jump on the bandwagon. If you're currently doing social media marketing, you might want to consider keeping these new and improved tools under your belt.

Meta will launch its new AI chatbots in September. Click the link here to read the full story.

The Top Brands on Threads & How They Gained Followers So Quickly

We know it hasn’t been that long since Meta first dropped Threads, but there is already a huge number of top brands on the platform. To add to that, their following has seemed to grow exponentially overnight. So, what’s the secret?

In their blog, HubSpot gives insight into some of the big-name companies that recently joined Threads. The line-up includes Marvel Entertainment, CNN, Google, Google, Star Wars, Tiktok, and so forth. But what did these top brands do differently that made them succeed more on Threads than on other platforms?

With Marvel Entertainment, for example, they took a different approach with their content on Threads. Rather than reposting content from other Marvel properties, like they did on Twitter (now rebranded as X), they started exploring things from a more personal angle. You’ll find that they post heartfelt scenes from comics, candid clips of Marvel fans at comic conventions and behind-the-scenes moments of its countless franchises.

CNN also comes in as a close contender for sharing engaging content. Often, they use videos and graphics to make their posts on Threads more appealing. Recently, they posted a huge graphic of Taylor Swift while sharing news about her latest album. For another article, they used an image of the much-beloved actor Pedro Pascal with the hilarious title, “Pedo Pascal Visits Art Show Dedicated to Him, Only to Find He Can’t Get In”.

To sum it up, many of these major companies use a personalized approach, conversational tone or entertaining visuals to create content that their followers can identify with. This can be in the form of sharing memes and using dry humour or posting fan-favourite video clips and images.

Do you want to discover how to use Threads to draw in a wider audience? Read the full blog here.

Revolutionize Content Creation by Overcoming These Antiquated Beliefs

Source: Shutterstock

It's a universally acknowledged truth that "content is king". However, how many of us actually prioritize the strategy that goes into creating quality content instead of stressing about how it's going to perform?

In their latest blog, the Content Marketing Institute discusses that marketers don't spend nearly enough time developing structured, standardized processes contributing to an effective content strategy. Instead, they would rather prioritize leveraging the power of technology to measure results.

This is primarily because of the fact that marketers carry many antiquated beliefs about content marketing. According to the Content Marketing Institute, they are as follows:

  • Content marketing is considered a separate and more tactical piece of “real marketing.”
  • Marketing measurement is regarded as “proof of life” to justify spend rather than as an insight into developing deeper relationships with audiences.
  • Businesses view content as an attribute of everybody’s job rather than a distinct, institutional discipline that requires dedicated resources and processes.

In order to put an end to these outdated notions, it's necessary to start by changing one's belief system.  For this to be possible, a leader should take the initiative to lead the organization towards the new bridge of belief. That way, they can step outside of the antiquated beliefs towards new ones, which others will soon follow. 

If you want to transform these new beliefs into content, you should start treating marketing as a 24/7/365 media operation. That means you have to be just as passionate about every stage of the creation process as you are about using technology as a metric. Only then will it be possible to abolish primitive conceptions and create ideas that will make waves in the marketing world.

Interested in learning more about how you can dismiss these archaic beliefs and optimize your content strategy? Read the blog here.

Wrap Up 

This blog went over how back-to-school marketing campaigns can be adjusted to attract parents looking to save money during inflation.

Then we went over the latest Google update on the reason for reducing the appearance of HowTos and FAQ-rich snippets.

Next, we learned about the many different personas for AI chatbots and how they can change the game for marketing.

After that, we discussed the ways in which top brands are using Threads to build a larger, more engaged audience.

Finally, we went over the antiquated beliefs in content marketing that should be rejected once and for all. 

Any questions, comments, or concerns? We’d love to hear your feedback! 

We’ll be back next month with five new articles for you. In the meantime, if you’re looking to learn more, please check out our existing blogs that cover various digital marketing topics!

It's a competitive market. Contact us to learn how you can stand out from the crowd.

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