Friday recap: Lead Gen forms on LinkedIn, new Google Customer Reviews and mobile site creation certification
There were lots of really interesting updates across the content marketing sphere this week.
LinkedIn has now rolled out lead gen forms for its site, giving marketers and business owners a chance to convert connections into prospects through the network. Google is amping up its customer review system to make it more advanced, has made its website A/B testing tool free for everyone and is also now offering website developers a chance to become Google certified for the creation of mobile sites.
Twitter is enabling location sharing in direct messaging, as well as opening up all 140 characters for tweets. Lastly, Snapchat makes Stories viewable and searchable by all users.
LinkedIn rolls out Lead Gen forms
Joining the likes of Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn is now offering business users lead generation ads on its platform.
Forms in lead gen ads will be populated with information from the user’s profile when they click on your ad, for something like downloading a whitepaper or registering for a webinar.
The data pulled from the user profile includes information such as their job title and seniority, which is something that businesses may not currently get through lead gen forms on Facebook or Instagram.
LinkedIn said that “Because this lead data comes from the member’s up-to-date LinkedIn profile, it is typically more accurate and complete than what you’d get from traditional website forms – where people can enter false or partial information.”
Users will be able to either sync the lead gen forms with their CRM or download lead lists, as well as tracking their campaign spend and measure ROI through the LinkedIn Campaign Manager.
To find out more visit the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions site, or create an ad straight away through your Campaign Manager.
Google Trusted Stores replaced by Google Customer Reviews
Google is officially retiring ‘Trusted Stores’ and introducing a more efficient review system: Google Customer Reviews.
Google Trusted Stores allowed online businesses to gather reviews for Seller Ratings and display these alongside results in search with the Trusted Stores badge, as well as offer customers purchase protection.
Google said that the new version “offers more ways to customise the Google badge and opt-in on your site, better account management tools that save your time, and new insights into your seller rating.”
Reviews can be collected from customers for free through an email survey, making up your Seller Rating that is displayed in Google Shopping, AdWords text ads and on your site.
To find out more visit your Merchant Center account.
Google Optimize is now free
Google announced this week that Google Optimize is now free for everyone.
Google Optimize is a tool that allows businesses to run A/B testing on their website. It works in partnership with Google Analytics, drawing data from your dashboard to be able to run tests and reports.
You can make changes to your site through the visual editor with a drag and drop system, then run the two different versions of your site to the target markets in your audience that you choose.
If you want to give Optimize a go, download it here.
Certification for Google mobile site developers
Marketers can now apply for certification in mobile site development through Google.
Similar to acquiring certification in Google Analytics, marketers and developers alike can sit an online test with Google to become certified in mobile website creation.
The test is comprised of 65 multiple choice and true/false questions designed to cover a wide range of knowledge. 90 minutes is allocated for completion and participants must pass 80% of the test to be successful. The certificate will appear on your Google Partners profile and will be valid for 12 months.
If you are interested in sitting the test, check out the Google study guide then follow the Mobile Sites certification link.
Location sharing in Twitter DMs
Businesses that are using Twitter’s Direct Messages platform to engage with followers can now request and share locations.
The feature rolled out this week, allowing brands to personalise interaction according to the user’s location and provide more relevant help and information. In this example, TGI Fridays directs its followers to the store closest to them.
Users can still choose to approve or deny requests for their location information.
For more information check out the official blog post.
All 140 characters on Twitter
In more news from Twitter this week – this site has updated its platform so that users can now use all 140 characters for their tweets, regardless of any mentions added on. Links and images were removed from the character count last year.
The update will move the name of someone you’re replying to above the tweet to allow more characters and remove all the ‘@’ symbols from your conversations.
To further understand how the new system for replies will work, visit Twitter’s help centre.
Snapchat Stories accessible by all
Snapchat updated its Stories feature this week, allowing anyone on the platform to see images and videos you add to your Story.
This is great news for brands who can now be found through various search functions of the app. For example, users can search ‘Breaking’ for breaking news, or ‘Current Place’ to see Stories from local businesses in their area. If your content is popular enough it may even feature in the ‘Top Stories’ section.
This could provoke a different reaction altogether from users, however, who may not enjoy the lack of privacy. It will be interesting to see how many people revert to direct sending, or whether Snapchat will enjoy an increase in use from breaking down barriers between people using its network.