Today’s post is a round up of what’s happening in the world of digital marketing. I try to cover social media, trends and search engine updates that are relevant to local business. If there is anything you would like me to cover please let me know.


Marketing News: Instagram Stories and Local Map Pack Ads

As advertising and marketing evolves, the tools and platforms we use daily adapt to suit the trends in the hopes of better serving its users. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like change then this can be daunting. Personally, I look forwards to new updates as it gives me new marketing angles to explore.

Instagram VS SnapChat

First up we explore the latest update from the visually driven social media platform, Instagram. In this post by Grace Duffy of SocialMediaExaminer explains the recent news:

Instagram Rolls Out 24-Hour Stories: This Week in Social Media

Instagram debuted Instagram Stories, a new feature that lets you “share multiple photos and videos… in a slideshow format: your story.” With Instagram Stories, “you can bring your story to life in new ways with text and drawing tools” and “the photos and videos will disappear after 24 hours and won’t appear on your profile grid or in feed.” According to the Instagram blog, Instagram Stories will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks and will be available on both iOS and Android.

Read the full article here…

Here is another video that talks about the battle between Instagram and SnapChat:

Live streaming is a fantastic way to market your business and since Facebook owns Instagram, if they could allow you to share Instagram stories to other platforms like Facebook and Twitter, I feel it would beat SnapChat. What are your thoughts? Do you use live streaming in your business?

Paid Ads in Google Maps

If you’re in business then you should know about Google maps and how important it is for you to have a business listing registered. If you don’t have one, please get in contact with us, being featured in Google Maps will increase the amount of leads you generate tenfold.

For those who don’t know what the map pack is, it appears when someone searches for a product / service and a location. So for example if someone searches for “Painters in Blenheim”, it will bring up a list of results, similar to the image below:

an example of map pack search results

When it comes to generating new customers, nothing beats ranking at the top of the map pack. People who’re searching generally work their way down the list. The map pack originally had seven placings but this was cut down to three organic placings.

Google is now looking at placing ads in the map pack which means that Google wants to make small, local business owners to pay for positioning in the market.

SearchEngineLand author, Greg Sterling talks about the first appearance of these ads below:

First appearance of ads in Local Pack found in UK mobile search result

At the SMX Advanced Local Workshop in June, Google confirmed that ads would be appearing in the Local Pack. At the time, it wasn’t clear when this would roll out or whether the ad would replace one of the listings or become a fourth position in the Pack.

Image Credit: SearchEngineLand

Read the full article here…

I have yet to see this happening here in New Zealand so if you do spot this please let me know. Originally, it was thought that the 3 pack was going to be turned into a 2 pack + 1 ad. This would increase the amount of competition required to be in the top 2 listings.

What Does This Mean To You?

While Instagram may not be relevant to you, although I do believe that any business can benefit from streaming live content, the local map pack updates should pique your interest.

If you would like to know more about how the map pack, how it can work for you, how to improve your listing please let me know and i’ll write an article on how to improve your local map rankings.

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My name is Beau Michaels and I am the owner BlackBeech. We are a New Zealand based Web Solutions company currently working out of Blenheim, Marlborough. It is our goal to offer businesses the opportunity to harness the power of the internet and incorporate this form of marketing into their new and existing business.