If there’s one word to describe the biggest online marketing stories of 2016, I’d choose “variety.”
We cover a wide breadth of online marketing disciplines on Marketing Land, and that’s reflected in the content our readers found most interesting during the past 12 months. The list ranges from Facebook and Snapchat to Google AdWords and Analytics. It includes everything from “big picture” issues, like the growth of martech and the reliability (or lack thereof) of Facebook-provided metrics, to more in-the-trenches developments like cross-device remarketing. It’s been a fascinating year for online marketers, and that’s reflected in the list below.
Beginning today, and continuing through the end of December, we’ll be looking back at the most popular content we published in 2016. This will include our most popular columns (overall, and broken out by topic) and our most engaging stories on the main social networks.
But we begin today with a look at the most popular news stories of the year.
Marketing Land’s Most Popular News Stories Of 2016
This list is based on page views, and it includes news stories published between January 1 and December 12, 2016.
Tim Peterson, December 9: “Math is hard, even for Facebook. And it’s getting harder to trust Facebook’s math, even as the social network fine-tunes its calculations. For the third time since September, Facebook is disclosing new measurement errors.”
Marketing Land, March 21: “The martech space continues to grow at a huge rate, as evidenced by a record 3,500 companies included in latest Marketing Technology Landscape that’s been released in conjunction with the first day of Marketing Land’s MarTech conference today.”
Danny Sullivan, March 16: “Wouldn’t it be nice if you could easily see all the people mentioning your article, story or other content on Facebook, for free? Well, you can! The technique is simple. Search for the URL of your content on Facebook, using an iPhone. This won’t work on tablets, desktop or with Android, that I’ve seen.”
Tim Peterson, February 26: “These on-demand geofilters are primarily intended for normal people and small businesses. Someone could buy one as a fun gag for their wedding or birthday party. And a business like a local pet store could put one around their store or a nearby dog park. But these geofilters can also be a way for brands to get in front of a lot of people attending major live events, such as the Academy Awards or tech festival South by Southwest.”
Ginny Marvin, September 26: “This is a significant development, as Google has not previously supported cross-device retargeting. For example, currently, if a user comes to an advertiser’s site on a mobile phone, the advertiser is not able to retarget that user later on a desktop, unless they also visit the site on desktop. If that happens, the user is effectively listed twice, and the frequency capping and negative list exclusion is set at the browser or mobile ID level on each device.”
Greg Finn, January 13: “Mentions was launched by Facebook back in Summer of 2014 for iOS, and until today, Android users have been left out of the loop. Others left out from Mentions? The general public. A blue badge is required, as Mentions are currently for Verified users only. This, however, may change down the road. In the fall, we saw Facebook open up a form where users could apply to become a verified user.”
Matt McGee, April 13: “In this example, we learn that this anonymous visitor read our Facebook F8 live blog at 12:56 p.m. ET and then again at 2:25 p.m. (after we’d renamed the article). The visitor came back at 6:57 p.m., read the finished story when the live blogging was finished and it had its final headline, and saw an overlay ad promoting our Social Pro conference this summer. About 15 minutes later, this user returned to our home page and clicked the link in our mosaic (what we call the visual collection of featured articles atop our home page) to read the story one last time.”
Greg Sterling, April 3: “The desktop has lost 12 percentage points since 2013 and has receded to 35 percent of digital time spent. That’s not to say the desktop isn’t important anymore; most e-commerce transactions are still taking place on the PC, and a multi-platform strategy is critical. However, many marketers and brands still treat the desktop as the primary area of focus, which is way out of alignment with consumer behavior.”
Danny Sullivan, March 8: “It’ll be interesting to see how these play out. It certainly makes it super-easy for many brands to quickly build them around their own businesses. But it also makes it possible for brands to target other businesses and events offered by competitors. Microsoft, for example, potentially could target Google’s big I/O conference — and Google could do the same with Microsoft’s Build event. The guidelines don’t seem to prevent this. Will dueling geofilters be headed our way?”
Ginny Marvin, May 24: “The change in bidding is significant in that it accomplishes two things: 1. Untethers desktop and tablet bids; and 2. Allows advertisers to make mobile the focal point of their campaigns. Advertisers will be able to set separate bid adjustments for mobile, desktop and tablet.”
There you go — the most read news stories of the year on Marketing Land. Similar lists will be published soon on our sister sites, MarTech Today and Search Engine Land. Meanwhile, be sure to come back to Marketing Land over the next two weeks for our lists counting down the most popular columns in Mobile, Analytics, E-mail Marketing and more.
On behalf of the Marketing Land editorial team, thanks for reading us during 2016. Happy holidays to you and best wishes for 2017!