Hello and welcome to September. The sun is quickly giving up its intentions to shed light on our evenings, the weather is about to get wetter, and it’s almost time to put your shorts and t-shirts back in the drawer for another year – but at least the kids are going back to school.

Online marketers may not notice any of this, of course, bound, as we are, by Ethernet cables to our desks, forever lost in the realms of the digital – if it wasn’t for my weather app, I wouldn’t even be sure that summer actually happened.

business-people-1166576_640 Tracking, Slideshows and DMs – Your Digital Marketing Weekly Roundup

Either way it’s over now, so never mind all that. For indeed, the sun has once again been shining where it truly matters, and has given fresh vibrancy to yet another round of exciting updates on our favourite social platforms – here’s the forecast for your future campaigns.

Conversion Tracking on LinkedIn

Do you find LinkedIn advertising as frustrating as I do? Probably, for I know I’m not alone. If you find yourself of a similar persuasion, then check out Larry Kim’s WordStream blog ‘8 Things I Hate about LinkedIn Ads’ for some quantified validation of your grievances (which contains this all-telling chart:
Q4-2014-ad-revenues-linkedin-google-twitter-facebook Tracking, Slideshows and DMs – Your Digital Marketing Weekly Roundup
(Image source: WordStream.com))

Indeed, even LinkedIn knows it’s advertising generally sucks. I don’t know about you, but recently the platform has been sending me direct messages imploring me to try out their Sponsored Content feature – which, besides anything else, I can’t help but find to be a somewhat outdated, cold-calling-esque outbound marketing tactic in a world where, as a marketer, I know inbound reigns supreme.

But, the ‘professional’ network may have just come up with an extremely valuable new tool that could yet start to breathe some life and joy into advertising on LinkedIn – Conversion Tracking.
Here’s the vid:

The benefits, I am actually quite happy to admit, seem brilliant and very valuable indeed. With LinkedIn Conversion Tracking, marketers have the ability to attribute and track all manner of conversion metrics to specific marketing campaigns or standalone ads.

Conversions can be set to anything from purchases to sign-ups to content downloads to page views – all of which bring invaluable insights to our efforts on the platform, which have heretofore been impossible to track, which of course is the cause of much of the frustration that we feel.

Credit where credit’s due – this is a good move, and one that we can jump on straight away. Let us know what you think of it!

New Features for Slideshow Ads on Instagram and Facebook

Another Weekly Roundup and another update from Facebook – the platform is nothing if not a constant hub of innovation.

This week it’s a set of new features to slideshow ads that are also available on its fairly-recently acquired platform Instagram.

From the Facebook Business blog:

“Although slideshow was created to allow advertisers to use video-like adverts in areas with slow connections, it’s become a great asset for large and small businesses around the world who want an easy, cost-effective way to showcase products and tell their brand story. Slideshows can be created in just minutes with little or no production costs and are more engaging than still image adverts.

“Today, we’re introducing new features to our slideshow advert product related to audio and text functionality, mobile creation and closer integration with our stock photo and Pages image libraries. We are also launching a new tool requested by advertisers in emerging and high-growth markets that allows them to take existing video assets and turn them into a slideshow that will play on slower connection speeds – in just a few clicks.”

Facebook (and Instagram) slideshows are indeed a very quick and simple way to create brilliantly visual ads and promotions, and these new features have just upped the potential once again. Adding text to images is something that is becoming increasingly popular – especially among casual users of social networks such as Snapchat, and so it of course makes perfect sense to try and reach out to these users using the formats that they are familiar with.

Marketers can also now choose colours to match their branding, and select from a library of audio tracks to bring a bit of aural life to the promos (and we’re told that we “will soon be able to upload our own audio tracks” as well).

To complete the update, Android users can now create slideshows directly from their mobile device.

All good stuff indeed, and the new features are available globally right now for use across both Instagram and Facebook. Nice one.

Twitter’s New Direct Message Button for Websites

twitter-DM Tracking, Slideshows and DMs – Your Digital Marketing Weekly Roundup

Here’s a pretty cool little innovation from Twitter – you can now embed a Twitter direct message button on your website that allows your visitors to send a direct message to your Twitter account with a single click.

Enticing visitors to engage with your website is notoriously more difficult than it is to get them to do so via social. But Twitter has come up with this nifty little solution that sort of combines the two.

Here, users have a new way to start a private conversation with you, which, as Twitter suggests, “works best when your account settings allow you to receive Direct Messages from anyone, whether or not they follow you.”

It’s pretty simple to install too – just follow the automated step-by-step directions here.

And do you know what? Once again, this is an update that is available to all site owners right now, completing the first full-house of immediately actionable updates that all marketers can take away from a Digital Marketing Weekly Roundup. No waiting, no “currently only available to select users” – you can all just get out there right now and start making the most of these new tools.

The sun shines on the digitally empowered! Have a great week, and I’ll see you all next time!