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Ones for the radar: the tech and tools all SMEs should keep an eye on

Ones for the radar: the tech and tools all SMEs should keep an eye on

Posted 07th March, 2019 by Aidan

Can you hear that? It’s the sound of a drum roll. Why? Because tsoHost has launched a new series of Ones for the Radar blog articles.

In this series, we’ll round-up the latest tech and tools that could cause more than just a little disruption in the fields marketing, search and content creation a little further down the line.

This month we look at an up and coming video streaming platform from a household name, a bit of jiggery-pokery from Google and a search engine that could turn the search industry on its head.

Facebook Watch

What is it?

On 9th August 2017, Facebook announced through its newsroom that is was launching Facebook Watch in the USA.

Calling it ‘a new platform for shows on Facebook’ the new service was essentially a new video streaming site, established to give the likes of YouTube and even Netflix a run for their money. Facebook explained: “On Facebook, videos are discovered through friends and bring communities together. As more and more people enjoy this experience, we’ve learned that people like the serendipity of discovering videos in the News Feed, but they also want a dedicated place they can go to watch videos. That’s why last year we launched the Video tab in the US, which offered a predictable place to find videos on Facebook. Now we want to make it even easier to catch up with shows you love.”

A year later Facebook revealed that Facebook Watch was being used by 50 million people every month and that everyone who used the platform was using it for at least a minute.

Hailing these statistics as a success for the platform, Facebook then rolled out the service to 400 more countries worldwide. It launched in the UK in summer 2018.

Why is it one for the radar?

Facebook now claims that Facebook Watch has more than 400 million users monthly and 75 million daily – all watching at least a minute of footage.

In its plans for 2019, Facebook explains that it intends to invest in additional original content, give users more opportunities to socialise with both friends and strangers over live content and to develop the way it offers advertising and content sponsorship opportunities.

Social media and SEO experts are already predicting that if Facebook Watch’s user levels continue, the platform is going to have huge implications for business marketing.

Here’s a little insight into how:

Firstly, the platform will provide new ad spaces that are harder for consumers to ignore than traditional online banner advertising or newsfeed advertising because they’re embedded in the middle of a video.

Secondly, since the creative video content on Facebook Watch is often available for users to comment on in real time, it throws up the possibility that adverts may need to become more interactive, too.

Thirdly, as up-and-coming content producers look for new ways of monetising their own videos, marketers may find that product placement becomes more prominent in footage.

Finally, there’s a good chance that Facebook Live will become more important for marketers, as users come to expect live shows and live events from all the companies and brands they follow on Facebook.

Google’s Message this Business

What is it?

In January 2019, Search Engine Land reported that Google was experimenting with the messaging feature that it offered in its local search listings.

It reported: “Google is testing a bigger push for the messaging option within the local panel. Google launched messaging within Google My Business in July 2017. Google is now testing a way to promote messaging more to searchers in the local panel by using a larger message button.”

Why is it one for the radar?

While allowing customers to message a business straight from the search result pages means that businesses may get more enquiries, it could also mean that companies will have to up their customer service offering as far as instant messaging is concerned.

In the bigger picture, it could also mean that some companies will be pushed to invest in chatbot AR technology to help them deal with the extra attention.

DuckDuckGo

What is it?

DuckDuckGo is far from new. The search engine was set up in 2008 as a more private alternative to Google, Bing and co.

The search engine explains: “At DuckDuckGo, we don’t think the internet should feel so creepy and getting the privacy you deserve online should be as simple as closing the blinds.”

The company doesn’t store personal information, it doesn’t store users’ search history, and it doesn’t track users’ searches.

While the business itself isn’t new, its rising popularity is. At the end of 2018, the company reported that it had served more than nine billion private searches during the year – up from four billion in 2016.

At the end of December, digital marketing news and analysis website ClickZ ran the headline: “Is DuckDuckGo on the verge of another surge in popularity?”

Why is it one for the radar?

If more and more people start using DuckDuckGo as their search engine of choice, both in-house and agency SEO experts may have to tweak their SEO operations to ensure they appear in these listings as well as Google’s etc.

One major difference between DuckDuckGo and Google’s search listings is that DuckDuckGo does not track your location so SEO teams might need up the importance of geographical keywords in their content, for example.

Most industry commentators suggest that classic SEO best practices, including a focus on quality content and giving users advice and help as well as products, is all you need to get ahead in the DuckDuckGo listings, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the latest advice and tweets from the company to ensure you don’t get left behind if its popularity continues to rise.

Categories: Tips, Marketing, Small Businesses

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