Changes in Marketing You May Have Missed This Year 
As always, marketing trends can change faster than you can say demographic. Luckily, as always, we’re here to help you stay up-to-date on marketing trends that could affect how you do business. Here are some notable changes in marketing that happened this year.
How Customers See Google Ads
Ads in Google's search results pages have gone through quite the visual transformation since they first rolled out in 2000. This year, Google ads are now identified with a small, green-outlined box, a change from the small, solid green box from last year. Before then, ads were tagged with a more noticeable yellow box, and fully colored ads prior to that.
This move shows Google is making ads appear more like normal search results, which is beneficial for businesses since customers who normally avoid ads may instead find themselves on your website.
USPS’s Grab at Digital Marketing
To stay even more relevant, the USPS officially introduced their Informed Delivery program this year. This free program lets residents get an emailed, black-and-white preview of their mail before its delivered, allowing them to better track important mail pieces whether they’re across town or across the world.
Businesses who send mail can swap out the gray-toned preview for a full-color, digital image with a link to a website, all at no cost (for now). This allows customers to be able to immediately engage with one click.
New Facebook Mid-Roll Ads
Facebook loves helping businesses advertise. As of April 2017, over 5 million businesses advertise on Facebook every month, which isn’t hard to believe seeing how easy it is to make an ad on the platform
While most ads are placed within a user’s newsfeed, Facebook is now offering a new way for businesses to advertise with video: mid-roll ads.
Think of it as a commercial break in the digital age. While a viewer is watching a video on Facebook, advertisers can insert a short video ad (of 15 seconds or less), an ad process that is designed to be non-intrusive as possible.
Twitter Doubles Content Length
This year, Twitter upped the number of characters a user can fit into one tweet. Straying from their almost iconic 140-character limit that they’ve had since the first tweet in 2009, Twitter doubled the character count to 280.
This means you can fit more of your message into a single tweet. But be careful: short, simple messages can be more effective as customers often tune out long chunks of text.
Increase in Magazine Readers
Like direct mail, print has yet to kick the bucket. This year, the number of magazine readers has increased again, and has been increasing since at least 2012. This would be a good time to test some print ads in a medium often pushed to the side in the digital age.
Still Growing in 2017 and Beyond
Minimalist Website Design. Businesses are going for less clutter and busy patterns, and more clear, crisp websites.
Less-Corporate Social Media. Users across the web tend to respond better to businesses that act like humans instead of stiff and robotic on social media sites.
Website Exit Popups. More sites are moving away from intrusive popup ads and toward exit popups, which only show a message when the user’s mouse leaves the window. These exit popups can give the same opportunity without being disruptive.
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Soon, Facebook will start changing how business’ posts will show up for Facebook users. Take a look at the basics of Facebook and what changes are coming your way.
Join us for a Lunch & Learn series at the Prior Lake Chamber of Commerce where we’ll be talking about SEO (tweaking your website so customers can find you on Google).
Informed Delivery®, the newest service from the USPS, allows you to target customers before your mail ever hits their mailboxes.