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Impression Picks – Digital marketing roundup for March 2024

This article was updated on: 04.04.2024

Welcome to March’s edition of Impression Picks! This digital marketing roundup serves as some food for thought for you from Impression’s experts and the wider marketing community. Each month, we will highlight an interesting article, insight and campaign of the month.

This month features thoughts from our strategy team, including; Head of Technical SEO, Charlie Norledge, Paid Media Strategist, Gina Wright, and Senior Digital Strategist, Laura Arens. As always, we hope you enjoy the content and insights we provide as a part of our monthly roundups.

Google’s biggest update to the search results for years

Google announced the March update, and for the first time, this contained several different systems being updated at once (spam, core and helpful content). Traditionally these have been spaced a few months apart, but with this being rolled into one it will be a period of change within the search results.

Updated spam policies

One area they are focusing on here is the use of AI to create low-quality content. To quote Google:

“We expect that the combination of this update and our previous efforts will collectively reduce low-quality, unoriginal content in search results by 40%”

There are already several websites being hit by manual actions (a penalty that removes visibility) that have heavily abused AI to build organic traffic.

This is the first time we’ve seen a concerted effort to tackle these issues so it’s going to be interesting to see how this update plays out once the dust has settled.

How long will this update take?

With this being such a large update we’ve been given an estimated period of a month before the update is finished. As marketers, we need to ensure we’re not making any knee-jerk reactions to changes in traffic and wait for Google to confirm the update is rolled out before looking into our strategies.

Why is this important?

As this update is much larger than usual we are expecting to see some pretty significant changes across the search results. Anyone involved in a website’s performance should keep a keen eye on traffic over the month and review once the update is officially classed as rolled out.

If you’re using AI to create content then make sure that it has real value to humans and isn’t created purely for robots, this rule of thumb will keep you out of sight for these types of updates which we expect to see more of in the future.

Article reviewed by Charlie Norledge

Generative AI is changing the way we want to experience the internet

AI is not a new concept, but the way consumers are using it is changing and causing a ripple effect across the internet.

We’re no longer asking AI simple and direct questions, we’re using it to make personalised recommendations, to visualise ideas and to create. Generative AI produces new content from stories and ideas to videos and music which is enhancing our experience of the internet and changing our expectations.

Recently, Accenture found that 39% of people aged 18-34 are excited about conversational answers over standard internet searches, so what can marketers do to stay ahead in this ever-changing landscape and increase personability between a brand and its customers?

Nail brand tone of voice

With more options than ever when it comes to online shopping and services, brand loyalty is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. A clear tone of voice that mirrors brand values and speaks directly to your audience is essential. While tone of voice has traditionally been transactional, consumers are starting to prefer more personal experiences with brands. Consistency across all consumer touch points will help consumers resonate with the brand and want to engage.

Consider new search term trends

As our conversational interactions with AI increase, we will see this filter through into other parts of the internet, such as search engine queries. Auditing web pages and Ads accounts will identify whether long tail search terms are likely to trigger paid ads or cause relevant on-site pages to rank highly organically. For paid search activity, using Broad Match keyword types will widen the number of search queries that trigger an ad and allow longer tail searches to be picked up. For organic activity, regularly posting or updating blogs and guides on websites will not only mean those pages are more likely to rank for long tail searches but brand tone of voice and conversational content can also be pushed across search, display and social channels.

Keep copy consistent 

Copy should be tailored to suit each channel, particularly where there are character limits and differing best practices, however, a holistic approach will ensure consistency across all touchpoints. A web page and Ads account audit will highlight whether the current copy answers the more specific search queries whilst maintaining the conversational tone of voice that consumers are becoming increasingly in favour of.

There is no doubt that AI will continue to develop and change the way consumers shop, behave and interact with brands, but these three tips will help you to ensure you’re not left behind. 

Insight by Gina Wright.

GoPro challenges perspectives through UGC on International Women’s Day

Celebrating Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day with action-packed, stereotype-fighting UGC content! Like many other brands, GoPro launched a campaign in the lead-up to International Women’s Day. However, this one really caught my attention.

The brand utilised Instagram to countdown to International Women’s Day, by sharing photos and videos showcasing women engaging in several different sports activities. Activities that stereotypically are associated with men. 

From surfing and skydiving, car racing and cliff jumping, to snowboarding and skateboarding, the campaign aimed to highlight the diverse interests and capabilities of women around the world. What made this campaign unique was the use of GoPro’s signature first-person perspective footage, captured through the lens of real GoPro users. The brand posted unique photos and videos every day from March 1st to March 8th until on International Women’s Day, the campaign came to a high, by releasing a joined video with all UGC style clips, asking viewers: ‘What do all of these POVs have in common?’ → ‘They’re all from inspiring women’. 

The campaign stood out to me because the brilliant use of UGC made it really authentic. By leveraging POV GoPro footage sourced from their community, through initiatives like GoPro Awards, the content felt genuine and perfectly aligned with the brand’s identity and social strategy. Unlike other attempts that we often see, brands trying to capitalise on International Women’s Day with a single post on their networks, GoPro seamlessly integrated their celebration of women’s achievements into their existing content strategy. 

This approach lent a natural and real feel to the campaign.

What I liked most about the campaign was that rather than being a fleeting acknowledgement of International Women’s Day, GoPro dedicated an entire week to celebrating women’s accomplishments, tying it together with Women’s History Month. By prompting the viewer to consider what these UGC POV moments had in common, GoPro encouraged a shift in perspective and highlighted that the enjoyment of adventure and athleticism is not tied to gender.

Overall, I think that GoPro’s International Women’s Day campaign was a great blend of authenticity and empowerment. Through stunning visuals and thoughtful messaging, they celebrated the strength and diversity of women, while encouraging viewers to challenge their preconceptions.

Campaign reviewed by Laura Arens

Look out for our next Impression Picks in March for more digital marketing articles, insights and campaigns to inspire your digital strategy. Have any further questions? Get in touch!