September 23rd, 2022
September 16th, 2022
September 9th, 2022
September 2nd, 2022
August 26th, 2022
August 19th, 2022
August 12th, 2022
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued an interpretive rule laying out when digital marketing providers for financial firms must comply with federal consumer financial protection law. Digital marketers that are involved in the identification or selection of prospective customers or the selection or placement of content to affect consumer behavior are typically service providers for purposes of the law. Digital marketers acting as service providers can be held liable by the CFPB or other law enforcers for committing unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices as well as other consumer financial protection violations.
When it comes to online shopping, 61% of US consumers begin their product hunt on Amazon, close to half on a search engine like Google, and 32% on Walmart.com. It’s important to not discount the 11% of those who start their product search on TikTok, considering the platform is relatively new. That figure is likely higher among younger internet users, who are taking advantage of shopping-friendly features the ByteDance-owned app is rolling out. So while Amazon and search engines take the top spots, TikTok is the one to watch.
The US advertising market is being dragged by the ear into a new, more privacy-focused era. Thanks to regulatory scrutiny in Europe and the US, the market’s largest players—particularly Google and Apple—are making it harder for third-party firms to surveil the browsing behavior of internet users, chiefly by ending support for third-party identifiers and requiring users to consent to being tracked online. These changes have significant implications for how and where advertisers deploy their digital ad budgets, and as much as $10 billion of publisher ad revenues are at risk.
Meta is rolling out automation tools to help businesses make the most of their ad spending by leveraging automation and artificial intelligence (AI) in the midst of online privacy changes and overall economic challenges. Through Meta’s Advantage+ solutions, advertisers can tap AI to help develop campaigns that are more relevant to the people who are most important to their businesses. Advantage+ shopping campaigns are being launched to advertisers worldwide. Advantage+ shopping campaigns are intended to help advertisers gain quick intelligence about the campaigns that are converting consumers. The solution also gets rid of having to manually create ads and automates up to 150 creative combinations at once.
Another new report on teen social media usage, and another confirmation that TikTok is the dominant platform of the moment among the youth, while Facebook continues its downward slide in the broader relevance stakes. That’s no big surprise. Meta’s own internal research has shown that both Facebook and Instagram have seen declines among younger audiences of late, which has seen Meta put more of a focus on developing tools for younger audiences specifically.
As it works to mitigate the impacts of Apple’s ATT privacy prompts, which have reduced its capacity for personalization and data-based ad targeting, Meta’s looking to enhance its automated ad tools, and make them more available to more businesses, via a new expansion of its ‘Meta Advantage’ automation program. Originally launched back in March, Meta Advantage groups together its various ad automation and AI-based tools, in order to make it easier for advertisers to understand which elements do what, while also highlighting the various automation tools it has on offer.
August 5th, 2022
Increasingly, young people are using social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram to search for things to do and places to try, even seeking out news and important information, rather than consulting traditional discovery tools like Google Search and Google Maps. According to TechCrunch, Google’s Prabhakar Raghavan, a senior vice president in charge of Google Search, said, “In our studies, something like almost 40 percent of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”
In a move that likely reflects a bigger concern for TikTok than it does for Meta, and its overall growth plans, Facebook has announced that it’s shutting down its experiments with live shopping in the app, as of October 1st this year. As reported by Business Insider, Facebook’s shuttering its native live stream shopping program, along with the ability to create product playlists, or tag products on Facebook, as it continues to refine its focus, and rationalize its development spend.
Whether you like it or not – whether you use social platforms for this purpose or don’t – the fact of the matter is that a lot of people are now getting at least some of their daily news and current affairs content from social media apps. Which can be problematic, for various reasons. For one, social platform algorithms seek to maximize engagement, which often sees more divisive, more argumentative content get more reach, because it sparks more debate. Algorithms are also attuned to your likes and interests, based on past engagement, which can lead to filter bubbles where you’re seeing fewer alternative viewpoints, while it can also mean that your political views are being shaped, one way or another, by your connections, and what they share in their feeds.
Best practices for SEO are generally regarded as those that abide within Google’s evolving guidelines and are not explicitly listed by Google as manipulative. But best practices are more than just what Google considers manipulative and what is not. For example, Google’s guidelines don’t tell you how to choose hosting, how to optimize a WordPress site, or whether a website builder makes the most sense for a specific situation. Those are the kinds of best practices this guide will cover.
There will be nearly 3.6 billion monthly social network users worldwide this year, amounting to more than 8 in 10 internet users. But growth has fallen dramatically since the pandemic peak. Fewer new users are logging on, and some have decided to abandon social networks, leading to the slowest growth rate since we began forecasting social network usage in 2009. Still, there will be a 2.9% growth this year, amounting to nearly 3.6 billion social networkers around the world. That accounts for 8 in 10 internet users, making using social networks still one of the world’s most popular digital activities.
Clubhouse, the social audio app that rose in popularity amid the pandemic, is looking to shake up its platform with the launch of private communities called “Houses.” The company’s new offering allows any person or group to create their own curated “House” within Clubhouse. Users can sign up to create Houses starting today, but Clubhouse says it will approve new Houses slowly in order to learn from feedback and tweak the product accordingly.
July 29th, 2022
We’re still at least two years away from ditching the invasive cookies, fingerprinting, and other tech that track user information and behavior across multiple sites for advertising to using Google’s preferred Privacy Sandbox set of replacements. Google originally published its intention to phase out support for third-party tracking cookies in Chrome within two years in early 2020 — now about two and a half years (and one global pandemic) ago.
Tough times at Meta, with the company reporting a decline in monthly active Facebook users, and a further slowdown in revenue, as global economic trends continue to impact the company’s overall performance. On usage – Facebook is currently seeing 1.97 billion daily active users, a slight increase on last quarter. The increases were almost entirely driven by the Asia Pacific market, with Facebook continuing to grow in India and Indonesia specifically. Though Facebook usage has continued to decline in Europe, this time in a significant way. Facebook’s monthly active user counts look even worse.
Google confirms the July 2022 product review update, the fourth in a series of updates targeting low-quality reviews, is now rolling out. The update began rolling out July 27 and concludes within two to three weeks. Google made the announcement on Twitter while linking to the official page for search ranking updates. If Google’s announcement comes as a surprise to you, that’s because it is. Many of Google’s algorithm changes come without warning, including all of the product review updates so far. However, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. With every algorithm update, there’s a chance for ranking improvements, especially if the last update hurt you.
Instagram’s head defended the app against a user backlash, after the social network launched a series of changes intended to make it more like its arch-rival TikTok. The changes, which include an extremely algorithmic main feed, a push for the service’s TikTok-style “reels” videos, and heavy promotion of the TikTok-style “remix” feature, have resulted in users struggling to find content from friends and family, once the bread and butter of the social network.
How often do you use DuckDuckGo? If you answered “never,” you might want to read this article. Over the years, DuckDuckGo has redesigned itself and evolved to better meet searchers’ needs and protect their privacy. In addition to its excellent search capabilities, DDG (DuckDuckGo) has many helpful features that can help you improve your search strategy while cutting the time it takes to complete research.
As of July 2022, online search engine Bing accounted for nearly nine percent of the global search market, while market leader Google had a share of around 83 percent. Meanwhile, Yahoo’s market share was 2.55 percent. Ever since the introduction of Google Search in 1997, the worldwide market share of all search engines has been rather lopsided. Google has dominated the search engine market, maintaining a 92.47 percent market share as of June 2021. The majority of Google revenues are generated through advertising. Its parent company, Alphabet, was one of the biggest internet companies worldwide as of 2021, with a market capitalization of 1,392 billion U.S. dollars. The company has also expanded its services to mail, productivity tools, enterprise products, mobile devices, and other ventures. As a result, Google earned one of the highest tech company revenues in 2020 with roughly 181.69 billion U.S. dollars.
July 22nd, 2022
Thirty-two percent of consumers — an estimated 83 million people — used smart home or automated chore technologies in May, according to “The ConnectedEconomy™ Monthly Report,” a PYMNTS publication based on a survey of 2,696 U.S. consumers. That was equal to the share of consumers who had done so in April but about four percentage points higher than the share who had done so six months earlier, when 28% of consumers said they had used smart home or automated chore technologies in November 2021.
Amazon’s annual sales event Prime Day delivered more than $12 billion in sales, according to third-party estimates. The retailer hosted the popular shopping event in the U.S. and in more than 15 other countries worldwide on July 13-15. This was the first Prime Day event under the new CEO Andy Jassy, who took over Jeff Bezos last year after the Amazon founder stepped down. The company was bullish on its Prime Day results and said it was the “best ever,” mentioning that consumers across the world spent $1.7 billion. Amazon claimed that it sold more than 300 million items during these sales, but didn’t disclose any revenue figures.
In an early read of the full 48 hour Prime Day 2022 event, the average order size was $52.26, up from $44.75 in the same reporting period on Prime Day 2021. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of households shopping Prime Day placed 2+ separate orders, bringing the average household spend to roughly $144.56.
According to internal data, Google found that around 40% of Gen Z is using social media in place of Google. When looking for a place to eat or to find an answer to a question, Gen Z is becoming more likely to search on TikTok or Instagram, according to Insider. The survey found that younger people prefer “visually rich” forms of search, according to TechCrunch.
Yogi Berra, the baseball sage is also often credited with saying, “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” While there is no crystal ball to show where Gen-Z is going after TikTok, new platforms are emerging daily. These platforms will not kill TikTok any more than video killed the radio star; rather, they will provide alternatives for marketers who want to reach Gen-Zers. Given the speed of change that happens with technology, it’s important for advertisers and content providers to keep an eye on new platforms and allocate a certain amount of budget to test their potential and prepare for the future.
In response to rising inflation, one in five marketers have cut their spending, per new Advertiser Perceptions data. Budgets decreased by an average of 16%. Upper-funnel campaigns have seen the biggest cuts, with 47% of marketers surveyed suspending connected TV (CTV), 44% halting digital video, and 42% pausing linear TV.
TikTok really wants to make live-stream commerce a thing, which would then enable it to follow in the footsteps of its Chinese sister app, Douyin, and turn the short-form video platform into a money-making machine for a huge number of creators. TikTok recently commissioned a new survey by Ipsos to provide more perspective on why brands should be looking to live-stream commerce in the app. The study found that; 1 in 5 live streaming users watch TikTok LIVE, and of that group 62% watch it every day, Users on TikTok are 50% more interested in branded LIVE content than non-TikTok users and 50% of TikTok users have bought something after watching TikTok LIVE.
July 15th, 2022
A major shift in the U.S. app economy has just taken place. In the second quarter of this year, U.S. consumer spending in non-game mobile apps surpassed spending in mobile games for the first time in May 2022 and the trend continued in June. This drove the total revenue generated by non-game apps higher for the quarter, reaching about $3.4 billion on the U.S. App Store, compared with $3.3 billion spent on mobile games. After the shift in May, 50.3% of the spending was coming from non-game apps by June 2022, according to new findings in a report from app intelligence firm Sensor Tower. By comparison, games had accounted for more than two-thirds of total spending on the U.S. App Store just five years ago.
Twitter is suing Elon Musk to force the tech titan to commit to his bid to purchase the company for $44 billion. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, Musk said he was seeking to withdraw from the purchase agreement, arguing Twitter had violated it by refusing to turn over information about spam and bot accounts on the site. In its suit, filed Tuesday, Twitter accused Musk of breaching the purchase agreement while causing its share price to tank.
Nearly 40% of Gen Z prefers using TikTok and Instagram for search over Google, according to Google’s internal data. Google is changing features in Search and Maps to try to attract a younger audience. TikTok poses a threat to not only Google Search but also to YouTube. TikTok is coming for more than just its social media competitors.
YouTube has announced a new milestone for YouTube TV, with its subscription content service now up to 5 million total subscribers, highlighting the popularity and expansion of the option. Originally launched back in 2017, in five US markets, YouTube TV is now available in ‘over 99.5% of households in the United States’, providing an alternative to traditional pay TV options, and access to a heap of popular channels and content.
Google Ads will now have an optimization score. The addition of a new feature will increase compatibility and help advertisers better track their ad campaigns. In addition, they will be able to perform max campaigns. Google will soon roll out six new features for the Performance Max campaign. It will also incorporate awaited optimization score. Advertisers will now be able to quickly get insight into how well the ads are doing. It will help identify sections to improve with this new optimization score. It will answer questions regarding the campaign.
Every so often, the dominant form of communication is upended by new technological developments and changing societal preferences. These transitions seem to be happening faster over time, aligning with the accelerated progress of technology. Time travel back just 20 years ago to 2002, and you’d notice the vast majority of people were still waiting on the daily paper or the evening news to help fill the information void. In fact, for most of 2002, Google was trailing in search engine market share behind Yahoo! and MSN. Meanwhile, early social media incarnations (MySpace, Friendster, etc.) were just starting to come online, and all of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and the iPhone did not yet exist.
July 8th, 2022
TikTok may seem like an unstoppable global entertainment machine, but at least one part of the company’s offering isn’t quite taking over: TikTok is scaling back its live commerce plans in Europe and the US, the Financial Times reported, after early launches simply haven’t been successful. TikTok has been testing live shopping in the UK since late last year, starting with a multi-brand event called “On Trend” last December. But the FT reported that those shopping livestreams haven’t drawn big audiences and haven’t sparked many sales, and some of the creators involved in early TikTok Shop projects have dropped out altogether.
Despite the name change and metaverse hyperbole, Facebook has always been at the center of the Meta suite of software for users engaging with its wider ecosystem. While that may continue to be the case indefinitely, it’s clear the company is taking steps to ensure that its next swath of users aren’t tied to a network that may still pay the bills but isn’t where the company sees its reinvention. Next month, the company will be introducing a new type of login called a Meta account that will allow users to engage with products that previously might have required a Facebook account to use.
Looking for ways to give your Twitter marketing efforts a boost, and/or ensure that you’re maximizing your opportunities in the app? This will help – Twitter has published a new, 45-page ‘Twitter Connect Playbook’, which is essentially a guide on how to utilize Twitter’s various ad formats and tools, including notes on the platform’s audience, key best practices, case study examples, and more.
Google Search Console Insights, the cute analytics that joins Search Console and Google Analytics with a goal of making it easy to understand your content’s performance, now works with sites that only use Google Analytics 4 (GA4). This is welcomed news for sites that was set up without Universal Analytics but instead with only GA4.
Throughout the pandemic, in-person and analog services have rapidly fallen to digital alternatives. Many restaurants and bars have left physical menus behind in favor of QR codes, apps, and webforms. At Walt Disney World in Florida, an app-based chatbot is telling people to visit long-closed restaurants. While the digital divide has been excluding economically disadvantaged and elderly people for years, its rapid expansion is creating a new problem: The technology is often terrible.
This year, US adults will spend 25.7% of their social media time on Facebook, down 9.6 percentage points from 2019. As Facebook’s share drops, TikTok’s will continue to grow. US adults will devote 16.7% of their social time to TikTok this year, up 12.2 percentage points from 2019. Daily time spent with social increased from 59 minutes in 2019 to 1 hour, 15 minutes this year, and it will stay at this level over the next few years, even as the way users divvy up that time is changing. TikTok is eating into Facebook’s share, and so is fellow Meta-owned app Instagram. Meanwhile, for social platforms other than the six shown, their share of time spent will decrease by 5.0 percentage points this year compared with 2019, as usage consolidates among the major players and away from less-established apps.
July 1st, 2022
In what could be a significant step towards protecting children from potential harms online, the California legislature is currently debating an amended bill that would enable parents, as well as the state Attorney General, to sue social platforms for algorithms and systems that addict children to their apps. If passed, that could add a range of new complications for social media platforms operating within the state, and could restrict the way that algorithmic amplification is applied for users under a certain age.
While Google’s newest campaign type, Performance Max (PMax), is devoid of keyword data, some new information may help advertisers better steer their efforts with the product. PMax campaigns are unique to all other campaign types as no keywords are required and no keyword data is delivered to advertisers. The closest existing campaign type is the fully automated shopping-only product, “Smart Shopping” which will be shuttered in July. The big difference between the two is that Performance Max campaigns can run without a product feed and can also include local ad elements.
Google’s Freshness Update was a significant ranking algorithm change that introduced the trend of making the search results more precise and responsive to user intent. The result of the update was the ability to add time as a relevance measure for search queries. This enabled Google to surface content that is trending, regularly occurring (like a yearly event), or subject to frequent updating (like new product models). The Freshness Update was made possible by the infrastructure changes introduced by the Caffeine Update, which enabled Google to scale up web indexing at an unprecedented scale, enabling Google to surface the most up-to-date content that is literally up-to-the-minute relevant.
Brands will soon have more options for posting Instagram Reels to their accounts, and managing related activity, with Meta announcing that it’s launching its Reels API for external use. API access enables platforms like Hootsuite and Sprout Social to provide cross-platform posting and analytics capacity within a single dashboard, which can make it much easier to keep track of your various social posts and schedules in one place.
Two-thirds of the US population will use social networks on a monthly basis in 2022, with the largest influx of new users coming from Gen Z. This year, 4.0 million Gen Zers (born between 1997 and 2012) will become social network users, up 8.4% over 2021. That momentum will continue, and in 2025—the year the youngest members of the generation turn 13—there will be 13.8 million more Gen Z social network users than there were in 2021. With each year that passes, younger Gen Zers become teens and start to use social networks for the first time. As a result, all the major social networks will see growth in Gen Z users this year, with double-digit gains on Reddit (up 15.3%), TikTok (11.5%), and Instagram (10.5%). Among the rest, Pinterest will be up 7.9%; Twitter, up 5.9%; and Snapchat, up 5.1%. Even Facebook will be up 4.9%.
June 24th, 2022
They’ve been threatening it for a while, and now, it’s finally here, with some LinkedIn users seeing a new alert in the app. That’s right, you now have a new Reaction on LinkedIn, with ‘Funny’ being added to the six other emoji response options on LinkedIn posts. Or you may have it – according to LinkedIn, the ‘Funny’ Reaction is gradually being rolled out, and isn’t available to everyone just yet. But it is coming, giving you a simple way to express that a LinkedIn post ‘made you laugh, felt humorous, or offered light-hearted fun in a professional context.’ Professional context being the key parameter that LinkedIn wants to emphasize, because there’s a lot of untargeted junk on the platform, posted by users seeking attention.
Twitter’s move into the payments field is about to accelerate dramatically. And it’s very likely to include cryptocurrency. Elon Musk made that clear in his all-hands virtual meeting with employees. Asked about integrating payments into the social media giant’s platform, Musk said, “money is fundamentally digital at this point and has been for a while,” the New York Times reported. “It would make sense to integrate payments into Twitter, so it’s easy to send money back and forth.” Musk previously said he’d want to see $15 million in revenue from payments in 2023 — a drop in the bucket — growing to $1.3 billion by 2028.
Digital audio has been taking up more than an hour per day of US adults’ time since 2016, and 2022 will be another year of solid growth. They will consume an additional 3 minutes per day of digital audio this year, to reach 1:40. Among active digital audio listeners, the daily figure will be a robust 2:17. Digital audio will account for 12.7% of overall media time among US adults. Within digital media time, audio’s share will be 20.3%—a high figure compared with many alternative digital options.
As more tech companies develop virtual and augmented reality products, some oversight groups are trying to keep the industry on the same page. The newest of these is the Metaverse Standards Forum, which aims to drive open interoperability, which could make it easier for developers to build across platforms. The forum already has some major players on board, such as Meta, Microsoft, Epic Games, Adobe, Nvidia, Sony, Unity and others. But there are also some glaring absences, including companies like Niantic, Apple, Roblox and Snapchat, which are building consumer “metaverse” products as well.
Google is launching a redesigned version of Google News on desktop that users can customize to meet their information needs. This update adds: The ability to add filters, Customizable topics, and An expanded Fact Check section. Google says the new look for Google News on desktop is inspired by feedback received from readers.
Digital advertising spending worldwide – which includes both desktop and laptop computers as well as mobile devices – stood at an estimated 378 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. This figure is forecast to constantly increase in the coming years, reaching a total of 646 billion U.S. dollars by 2024. Mobile internet advertising is a heavily invested sub-sector of the digital advertising industry. Mobile internet advertising spending is forecast to increase from 276 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 to nearly 495 billion U.S. dollars in 2024. Following this pattern, mobile advertising spending in the U.S. is also forecast to grow in the coming years. Mobile ad spending in the U.S. is projected to nearly double between 2019 and 2020.
June 17th, 2022
Walmart and Roku, Inc. announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to make TV streaming the next e-commerce shopping destination. Walmart will be the exclusive retailer to enable streamers to purchase featured products fulfilled by Walmart directly on Roku, America’s #1 TV streaming platform. This unique partnership evolves shopping beyond the QR code and will change the way customers interact and shop TV and video content. The new experience offers product discovery with a seamless checkout experience, enabling purchase directly at the time of inspiration.
Facebook, a subsidiary of Meta Platforms, is “re-examining its commitment to paying for news,” according to several unnamed sources who were described as familiar with Facebook’s plans. The potential loss of those payments, was “prompting some news organizations to prepare for a potential revenue shortfall of tens of millions of dollars. ”According to a Journal report, for the past two years—since the original payment deals were announced in 2019— Meta has paid the Washington Post more than $15 million per year, the New York Times over $20 million per year, and the Journal more than $10 million per year (the payments to the Journal are part of a broader deal with Dow Jones, the newspaper’s parent, which is said to be worth more than $20 million per year). The deals, which are expected to expire this year, were part of a broader system of payments Meta made to about 200 news outlets, including Bloomberg, ABC News, USA Today, Business Insider, and the right-wing news site Breitbart News. Smaller deals were typically for $3 million a year or less, the Journal said.
TikTok has added some new tools to help users track and manage the time they spend in the app, with break reminders to limit the endless scrolling in feed, and a new dashboard for monitoring screen time. It’s also implementing compulsory reminders for younger users after a certain time period in the app.
Google Analytics and Search Console data do not match. The discrepancy creates the impression that the data is inaccurate in some way. The reality is that the data is in fact accurate. The discrepancy exists in what is being tracked and how Google chooses to present it. Reconciling Google Analytics and Search Console data can be difficult because the numbers don’t really match. The reason is because both services are solving different problems. Because of that reason, both services take different approaches to how data is collected and reported.
Twitter has conducted new research into the effectiveness of its warning prompts on potentially offensive tweet replies, which it first rolled out in 2020, then re-launched last year, as a means to add a level of friction, and consideration, into the tweet process. Twitter’s warning prompts use automated detection to pick up any likely offensive terms within tweet replies, which then triggers this alert to add a moment of hesitation in the process. Back in February, Twitter reported that in 30% of cases where users were shown these prompts, they did in fact end up changing or deleting their replies, in order to avoid possible misinterpretation or offense. According to Twitter’s research, for every 100 instances where these prompts are displayed (on average) 69 tweets were sent without revision, 9 tweets were not sent and 22 were revised.
Approximately 17% of all ads delivered through connected TV (CTV) devices like dongles or gaming consoles are playing while televisions are off, costing marketers $1 billion per year in wasted ad spend, according to a report from GroupM and iSpot. GroupM and iSpot said they found “virtually no incidence” of the issue when users were streaming from native smart TV apps. Native smart TV apps make up around 50% of all CTV streaming, meaning approximately 8% to 10% of all CTV ads are broadcasting on a dead screen.
June 10th, 2022
The Digital Commerce 360 survey of 73 online retailers conducted in April and May 2022 sheds light on digital marketing budgets, the tactics employed, their effectiveness, along with customer acquisition strategies. The burgeoning social media marketing is also addressed including the role of influencers. Lastly, the retailer’s ability to analyze data and the technology that underpins all marketing efforts is also covered. Digital marketing budgets are wide-ranging. They are impacted by the retailer’s size, and whether they are digital only or if they have a store footprint. How long they have been selling online may also be a factor, as experiences evolve and digital may assume an ever-changing role.
This has certainly raised some eyebrows among social media and privacy analysts. TikTok has started showing users in Europe, the UK and Switzerland new, in-app notifications informing them of changes to its data collection policies. Essentially, TikTok’s saying that if you have not consented to personalized ads in the past, which TikTok has to allow as part of the EU’s data privacy provisions, you’ll soon get a form of personalized ads anyway, based on your in-app activity. TikTok appears to be looking to use a technicality to maximize the performance of its ads, even among users who have opted out of personalized targeting.
The past few months of Big Tech turmoil, supply chain slowdowns, inflation, and war have upended the previously rosy picture for businesses. Amazon, Meta, Alphabet, Netflix, and others stumbled in their Q1 results. Digital companies are worried about the impact on their business.
Google is expanding its verification program for finance ads, which will require advertisers in more countries to prove they’re authorized to promote financial services. Verification adds an extra layer of protection against financial fraud, helping to ensure people aren’t scammed when they click on search ads. Google first launched this program in the UK in September 2021, which has reportedly lead to a noticeable decline in ads promoting fraudulent services.
In its second Investor Day, streaming service Spotify updated the financial community about its potential for further growth and monetization, despite the overall economic downturn impacting the tech sector. The company spent a good portion of its presentation specifically focused on podcasts, which it said had been “largely unchanged” for years before its entry into the market, due to the limitations of RSS. Spotify cited how unbundling podcasts from RSS technology has paved the way for Spotify to generate revenue through these popular audio programs — a sentiment that’s not universally beloved by those who support an open podcast ecosystem. Spotify has disrupted that market by bringing some podcasts in-house, where they can only be heard on its service, and competitors have followed. This has fractured the ecosystem and left consumers at a disadvantage as some shows are no longer broadly available.
US adults are spending more time watching YouTube on connected TVs and less time watching it on mobile devices. This year less than half of time spent with YouTube will be on mobile, as viewers pivot to watching these videos on the same screen as their TV programming, separate from their TikToks and Instagram Reels. YouTube viewing is still increasing on mobile, but growth is much faster on other connected devices like smart TVs and game consoles.
June 3rd, 2022
Network effects happen when the number of people using a product or service scales to the point where new value is realized and created. It’s a rising tide that lifts all boats. The digital transformation we’re now undergoing as a planet relies on the power of network effects to bring up the level of digital engagement to attain its greatest potential.
Amazon will make up 77.7% of US ecommerce channel ad revenues this year, contributing $27.94 billion of the $35.96 billion total. Amazon’s share of ecommerce channel ad revenues is shrinking, but growth will stay in the double digits, as it has since tracking began in 2017. The retail giant won’t see anything close to the whopping 56.5% growth it posted in 2020, but its ecommerce channel ad revenues will still increase by an impressive 28.1% this year. Because of Amazon’s dominance, growth for the company means growth for the entire ecommerce channel ad market. Total US ecommerce channel ad spending will rise by 29.0% this year.
TikTok shares new data showing how brands can benefit from adding more organic content to their marketing strategy if they primarily post paid ads. Ads can be an effective way for brands to fast track their way to thousands of views on TikTok. Though it may take more than advertising to turn those views into conversions. TikTok’s data finds users aren’t likely to be won over by ads alone. They want to see brands publishing organic content in addition to paid and sponsored content.
Are you looking for content ideas to share on LinkedIn? Want to create more engaging posts that perform well on the professional social network? The team from Content Vista share their LinkedIn post ideas. Here’s a quick summary: Post a growth hack, Share an interesting stat, Share one of your brand stories, Share something from a book you’ve read, Appreciate something, Talk about a habit, and Experiment a little.
This year, TikTok will surpass YouTube in terms of time spent by their respective adult users in the US. The short-video app will see 45.8 minutes per day from its average adult user, edging out YouTube, at 45.6 minutes. This is the first time in history that TikTok will overtake YouTube by this metric. The ByteDance-owned platform shot past Instagram in 2019 and Facebook a year later, and its user time spent has not declined as pandemic trends level out.
Retailers are investing big dollars in marketing, making it imperative they understand the customers they are looking to reach online. Digital Commerce 360, in conjunction with Bizrate Insights, surveyed 1,015 online shoppers in May 2022, knowing that it was essential to understand their buying behavior, how they respond to online advertising and the role of social media.
Pinterest is taking the next steps towards becoming a central hub for product discovery with the acquisition of AI-powered shopping platform THE YES, which learns user preferences in order to provide more personalized matches for each user. Founded in 2018, THE YES uses quizzes and direct usage inputs to refine its item listings based on your preferences.
May 27th, 2022
What are the best digital marketing tools and apps, in your experience? To glean some more insight into this, the team from Unsupervised recently surveyed 750 US-based marketers to get their thoughts on what they find most challenging in their work day, where they’re looking to grow moving forward, and what tools they’ve found most useful to optimize their efforts.
The onset of the pandemic drove many consumers to adopt subscription ecommerce for essential items—like meal kits and pet food—as well as beauty and hobby boxes for self-care and entertainment. That dramatically propelled US subscription ecommerce sales growth in 2020 and 2021. US subscription ecommerce sales will grow by 15.0% year over year (YoY) in 2022, totaling $33.48 billion. Sales growth will remain steady through 2024, but subscriptions will account for just 3.2% of total retail ecommerce sales during that time.
Google Marketing Live kicked off with a keynote address, which included the announcement of 16 changes and additions to Google Ads. The keynote primarily focused on improvements to video ads, advancements in automation, and a preview of forward-looking technologies.
Walmart felt the same blows as many other retailers in Q1 as inflation pinched consumer wallets and operations proved chaotic. Company leadership called out higher costs for containers, storage and fuel, as well as the heavier burden of wage expenses after employees returned to work faster than expected following absences during the omicron surge of COVID-19. E-commerce, which notched meteoric gains earlier in the pandemic, continued to cool off amid a bounce back for brick-and-mortar. Walmart also recently lost a key fulfillment center to a fire. Despite the headwinds, Walmart’s ad business showed promise at a time when marketers are investing more of their dollars on digital.
As app store legislation targeting tech giants Apple and Google moves forward in Congress, Apple today is out with two more new reports meant to demonstrate how successful the app economy has been under its reign. The company commissioned outside firms to produce analysis related to job growth and earnings in the iOS developer community. The studies found the iOS app economy now supports more than 2.2 million jobs in the U.S. and indicated a 118% increase in U.S. small developer earnings over the past two years.
Today’s consumers have high expectations and endless retailers to choose from. Online merchants that can offer more personalized online shopping experiences providing ease of use and delight shoppers who are frustrated with limited shipping options and poor product recommendations have the opportunity to form long-lasting relationships with these consumers.
May 20th, 2022
It’s over. It’s done. Stick a fork in it. All those digital habits that consumers developed and fine-tuned over the last two years — they were temporary, at best. Ordering groceries online? An anomaly. Having DoorDash or Uber Eats show up at the consumer’s doorstep two or three times a week? A blip. Binge-watching Bridgerton on Netflix? No mas, as consumers head back to the theatres and binge-eat movie theatre popcorn instead. Ordering stuff from Amazon? Seriously people, that’s so 2019. Today, it’s brick and mortar, baby — all consumers, all the time. And shop ‘til you drop in those same malls and retail storefronts that were gasping for life in 2019 as a result of a 20-year decline in retail sales growth (and their market caps) at the hands of those same online players that are today’s poster children for The Great Digital Demise. The ‘new’ normal in 2022? It’s the old normal that just took a two-year COVID timeout.
Google is offering consumers more personalized ad experiences, even as Apple tells advertisers that aiming for users who have opted out of tracking may actually offer better results. At Apple, the consumer tech giant is saying in some circumstances that aiming at consumers who don’t want to be personalized, oddly enough, could yield better results. Apple’s Search Ads are growing in importance as a revenue source for the company—yet they rely very little on targeting, and personalization doesn’t yield better conversion rates. According to Apple data, though, smartphones with customized ads turned off accounted for 78% of iOS App Store searches—suggesting that most users said they’d prefer not to be tracked, even in exchange for a more personalized experience.
US average time spent with digital will hit 8 hours and 14 minutes per day in 2022 after first crossing the 8-hour mark last year. That 1.9% increase isn’t as big as in past pandemic years, but it’s still eating up a bigger share of overall time spent with media. This comes as users move away from internet devices associated with working from home, like laptops and tablets, and toward entertainment ones, like smartphones and smart TVs.
One of the most significant, yet often overlooked benefits of social media marketing is the capacity to tune in, and get a feel for what people are saying about your brand, as well as your competitors, in order to formulate a more strategic, targeted marketing program. By tuning into what people are posting online, you can get a better grasp on key opportunities, and flaws in your branding, and much of this insight is available for free, if you know how to get it.
Do you have a small- to medium-sized business? As you know, to stay competitive in any market, you must stay one step ahead of your competitors. One way to stay ahead of your rivals is to analyze their traffic and demographics. If your competitors don’t have a high volume of traffic, it might be more difficult to get insights into their marketing data. Let’s look at key insights from a study of the fastest growing industries in SMBs. What was one of the most positive insights to come from the study? Site traffic across all websites in the SMB segment increased throughout 2021.
Rising slightly from previous years, roughly three-quarters of Americans (77%) now think it is very or somewhat likely that social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints they find objectionable, including 41% who say this is very likely. Majorities across political parties and ideologies believe these sites engage in political censorship, but this view is especially widespread among Republicans. Around nine-in-ten Republicans (92%), including GOP leaners, say social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints that they find objectionable, with 68% saying this is very likely the case. Among conservative Republicans, this view is nearly ubiquitous, with 95% saying these sites likely censor certain political views and 76% saying this is very likely occurring.
May 13th, 2022
Whether they’re providing a service like ride-sharing or acting as a mere source of entertainment, mobile apps have become an integral part of many peoples’ day-to-day lives. But which apps are most popular among users? See graphic that uses data from a recent report by Sensor Tower to show the top 10 most downloaded apps around the world in Q1 2022 from the Google Play and Apple App Store.
The parent company of dating apps Tinder, Match and OkCupid is suing Google, alleging that the company exerts too much control over payments through its Google Play app marketplace. The lawsuit, filed Monday in California’s Northern District, accuses the company of deploying “anticompetitive tactics” to maintain a monopoly on the Android mobile ecosystem.
As you’re preparing to set up Google Analytics (GA4), you’re probably asking: What is the best method for migrating our historical data? There should be a way to do this, right? The primary concern is whether GA users can transfer or migrate Universal Analytics data into their Google Analytics 4 property. Unfortunately, you cannot migrate your data to GA4, and it’s not likely to be a feature we’ll see added in the coming months.
Could this be another victim of Apple’s iOS data tracking change? Meta is quietly changing the way that it uses Location Services in Facebook, with the depreciation of several local-based functions in the app, including Nearby Friends, weather alerts and Location History. Users are now being alerted to the update in their Facebook notifications stream. In a more detailed explanation of the change, Meta says that these services will no longer be available after May 31st, 2022, at which point, Meta will stop collecting the information used to power these elements, even if you’d previously enabled them. Meta says that all of your previously logged information relating to these functions will be deleted on August 1st.
Twitter released a new browser game on Wednesday that’s intended to help explain some of its privacy settings. When you start Twitter Data Dash, which was made by Momo Pixel, you’ll first pick the language you want to play in, and then pick from one of four characters who will accompany Data the dog on a couple of the levels. (That character will otherwise appear in text boxes.) The game itself is a pretty straightforward side-scrolling platformer. Each level is themed around what I can best describe as Twitter Things — one features cats wearing ad boards, another has you avoiding trolls — and your goal is to collect five bones as quickly as you can. If you get the bones, the game will explain something about Twitter’s privacy settings related to that level and even offer a button linking to Twitter’s settings.
Consumers reined in their online shopping in April due to “rising interest rates and persistent inflation,” according to a new report. Consumers collectively spent $77.8 billion online in April, down from the over $83 billion spent online in March, according to e-commerce data from the Adobe Digital Price Index (DPI). Online spending nationwide grew to double-digits in January when consumers doled out $71 billion, a 12.2% increase compared with the same time last year. In February, consumers spent $67 billion, a 15.5% year-over-year increase. April spending, by comparison, grew 4.5% compared with a year ago.
May 6th, 2022
If you’re looking forward to a future spent working and playing in the virtual realms of the metaverse, you’re currently in the minority. According to a recent survey of more than 2,500 U.S. adults, people are currently more likely to fear the metaverse than be excited about it. The survey asked respondents if the idea of the metaverse made them “more excited or scared about the future.” Only 7% of respondents said the idea of a metaverse – virtual worlds where you can interact with friends and coworkers, play games and watch live events, all with a VR headset – made them “more excited” about the future. Almost one-third of respondents said it made them “more scared.”
Meta is enhancing its suite of tools for small businesses. The new tools are designed to help with lead generation and customer acquisition. Small businesses are getting the attention they deserve from Facebook parent company Meta. During National Small Business Week, Meta announced new ways for SMBs to take advantage of lead generation and share content. The new tools are aimed at helping businesses drive higher quality leads by identifying new ways they can connect with customers.
TikTok Pulse is an advertising revenue-sharing program that will launch in June in the U.S. for creators with at least 100,000 followers. TikTok has announced plans for a “contextual advertising solution” that will let advertisers get visibility next to the top 4% of content in TikTok’s For You feed. This is TikTok’s first exploration of an advertising revenue share program with creators, public figures and media publishers, the company said. Ad revenue will be split 50-50 with creators.
PPCsurvey.com has just released a new State of PPC Global Report for 2022. It includes input from more than 500 PPC specialists from around the globe. The findings cover search marketers’ largest concerns, top priorities, spend data, automation insight and a wealth of information about the most pressing trends in paid search. 97% of respondents use Responsive Search Ads. 95% have implemented Smart Bidding (tCPA). Most surprisingly a whopping 78% of respondents have used Auto-applied Recommendations.
With virtual real estate sales topping $500 million in 2021 alone and being expected to more than double in 2022, it’s clear that things are heating up in the metaverse, and marketers, investors and celebrities alike are starting to take notice. Ever since Facebook’s shock announcement of its rebrand to Meta and its pivot to the metaverse, there has been no shortage of news headlines announcing celebrity and institutional investor interest into the space. In fact, according to PWC, the metaverse is expected to be worth up to $1.5 trillion by 2030.
After several months of testing, Twitter is now making its Tweet replies ad placement option available for all app install campaigns, on both iOS and Android. The option places app install ads after the first reply beneath a Tweet, giving app developers a chance to reach users engaged in relevant conversation.
To get a sense of how society changes right alongside technology, and technology changes society, consider this: The pandemic has made it so that, in the quest for diversion, with platforms, joysticks, virtual reality headsets at the ready, more than half of the U.S. population goes online to play. Gamers are a dedicated bunch in pursuit of the pleasure that comes with the swirl of graphics, with the communities that stretch across the globe, bound together in real time. They’re willing to pay for the privilege too. And along the way, the metaverse can fully blossom. Seventy-one percent of gamers play games on a weekly basis — and spend $61 on average, annually, to do so. Multiply those annual expenditures by hundreds of millions of people, and it’s no wonder that as recently as 2020, gaming was a $180 billion industry.
April 29th, 2022
One of the factors identified by Netflix as a driver of its latest subscriber slowdown is the widespread practice of account sharing. In addition to 222 million paying households, Netflix estimates that more than 100 million households have access to its service by sharing someone else’s password, including over 30 million households in the U.S. and Canada. Those estimates, while alarming, are consistent with the results of a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult. The market research firm found that a significant number of Americans share a Netflix account with someone outside their household, which is technically illegal. According to the survey of 2,209 U.S. adults conducted in April 2022, 17% of the respondents access Netflix using someone else’s password, with 11% using the account of someone outside their own home.
Twitter has been flooded with user reports of high-profile accounts losing thousands of followers after news broke that Tesla CEO Elon Musk would purchase the social network. The company said that the “fluctuations in follower counts” came from “organic” account closures. Twitter did not provide an exact number of accounts that were shuttered or activated in the hours after the ownership announcement Monday. It said it was looking into the “recent fluctuations in follower counts.” “While we continue to take action on accounts that violate our spam policy which can affect follower counts, these fluctuations appear to largely be a result of an increase in new account creation and deactivation,” Twitter said in a statement. A spokesperson at Twitter who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the accounts that experienced the most severe drop-offs in followers were “high-profile accounts.”
Microsoft has shared its latest performance update, which also includes the latest info on LinkedIn’s status, and how it’s growing amid the shifting, post-COVID job market. And it seems that LinkedIn is faring pretty well, with Microsoft reporting a 34% YoY increase in LinkedIn revenue to $3.44 billion, while it’s also continuing to see ‘record levels’ of user engagement.
A YouTube monetization tool called Super Thanks, which allows creators to make money directly from viewers, is now available to all eligible channels. Following a successful test period, Super Thanks is rolling out to all creators in the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). Previously known as “Viewer Applause,” Super Thanks is a way for viewers to support you and your content. As a creator it enables you to earn even more revenue on videos, and you can activate it with just one click. Viewers can buy Super Thanks on a video page as way to show support and appreciation. Think of it like a donation or a tip for producing great content.
It is forecast that US podcast ad spending will surpass $2 billion next year and $3 billion by 2026. Podcasts will account for over a quarter of digital audio services ad spending in 2022 and will be more than a third of spending by the end of 2026. Most advertisers did not have dedicated podcast budgets. About half used their digital audio budgets to fund podcast campaigns. As podcast ad spending increases and accounts for a greater share of total audio ad dollars, expect more advertisers to break out podcast-specific budgets. Having dedicated budgets could help centralize campaign planning and measurement for advertisers committed to podcasts over the long run.
The battle between Apple and Facebook parent Meta continues to heat up, as the iPhone maker released a new report it says refutes accusations that it profits handsomely from iOS privacy changes last year that have hamstrung Meta’s advertising business. The report, which was funded by Apple and performed by Columbia Business School professor Kinshuk Jerath, is meant to show that while Meta estimates Apple’s App Tracking Transparency technology will cost its ad business $10 billion in 2022, that cash isn’t going to Apple.
April 22nd, 2022
TikTok has supplanted Snapchat as the favorite social media app of US teens, with Facebook and Twitter lingering far behind, according to Piper Sandler’s “Taking Stock With Teens” survey. TikTok’s popularity with teens (and advertisers) is climbing, and though platforms have come for its lunch with short-form video products of their own, it’s still a dominant force in social media.
3D advertising is poised to make inroads this year, with Twitter and Meta among the players looking to this subset of ads as a potential growth driver. Twitter announced three ad products in a bid to increase dynamic storytelling. One of these formats, Product Explorer, will let advertisers exhibit a product in 3D, with users able to swipe and rotate it to get a better look. Meanwhile, through a new partnership with 3D modeling provider VNTANA, Meta will make it easier for brands to run three-dimensional ads on Facebook and Instagram. The integration will allow brands to upload 3D models of their products to both platforms and convert them into ads.
In March, just over half of email opens worldwide came from Apple devices using Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), a feature released in September 2021 that prevents email senders from receiving data on Mail app users’ devices, among other information. About one-third of opens came from webmail, while the remaining slice was split fairly evenly between desktop and mobile. MPP first overtook webmail in email opens during December 2021, when MPP accounted for a 40.6% share, up significantly from 14.2% in October 2021 as more Apple users adopted the feature. That said, these figures could be inflated given that MPP reports email downloads as opens. As subscriber data and accurate open rates become more elusive, marketers worldwide need to find new metrics for email marketing analysis.
Do hashtags actually help to improve the reach of your posts on Instagram? The pervading belief has been that they do, but recently, Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri poured cold water on the hashtag debate by noting that hashtags don’t really help views. Instagram hashtags aren’t designed to maximize distribution, necessarily, with the real focus being on categorizing content to better connect users with what they’re looking for.
When it comes to engaging and converting B2B buyers, video is an essential tool in your marketing arsenal. Fully 95% of B2B buyers say video plays an important role in their moving forward with a purchase, according to new survey results from Brightcove and Ascend2. B2B buyers turn to video to learn more about products and services they’re considering, to learn how to solve a problem, to better understand a problem they’re having, and more.
Google has responded to the complaints around Google Analytics’s real time reporting being off and inaccurate within Universal Analytics 3, saying they won’t be fully fixing the issue. Google has responded to the issue tracker thread saying that the engineering team has “not been able to fully eliminate the issue.” Google added that the company is “no longer seeking to resolve this issue.”
As digital media consumption continues to grow, advertising dollars are following fast. According to the newly released “IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report: Full Year 2021,” conducted by PwC, all major channels increased significantly compared with a year ago, particularly across digital video (including CTV/OTT), digital audio, social media, and search. “We fully expected 2021 to be an exceptional year for digital ad growth, but even we were surprised at the degree of acceleration. Not only was every single digital channel up, but some were up more than 50% year on year,” said Libby Morgan, SVP, Chief Strategy Officer, IAB. “This year’s increase is 3x what it was last year.”
April 16th, 2022
Are you thinking about integrating user-generated content into your paid ad campaigns? Want to learn the UGC ad stats and trends before going live? The team from Consumer Acquisition share the UGC facts and figures you need to know. They break things down as follows; Conversion and engagement stats, Social media companies investing in UGC, UGC ad creative trends, and Ad creative averages.
Meta’s moving fast into the next stage of digital connection – or at least, it’s setting the stage for metaverse development, with two new creator funding options that are designed to better incentivize user contributions to its digital worlds. The first is an expansion of its $10 million Horizon Worlds Creator Funding program, which it first launched in October last year. The second element is likely the more interesting aspect – Meta’s also launching a pilot program that will enable some creators to sell virtual items and effects within their VR worlds.
TikTok has proven itself more than the latest trending social craze. In fact, the short-form video sharing social network has emerged as a key player in the consumer path to purchase, particularly for product discovery. Looking to make the business case for TikTok as part of your own digital marketing mix? You’re going to need some data-backed reasoning to justify the investment. Check out these fascinating TikTok statistics and facts you can use to get your marketing team or client onboard.
Almost three weeks after Google launched the 3rd version of the product reviews update, it is now done rolling out. The March 2022 product reviews update seemed to have a slow start, with some volatility as early as March 23 but then most of the volatility showed up on March 31. I was able to cover the community reaction in one blog post on the Search Engine Roundtable. It includes some of the early chatter, ranking charts and social shares from some SEOs. In short, if your site was hit by this update, you probably felt it in a very big way but this was not as widespread as the December update in terms of the chatter within the community.
Search advertising revenue continues to grow. In 2021, according to the IAB, search accounted for $78.3 billion of all U.S. digital advertising revenue, which came in at a whopping $189 billion. However, the IAB noted in their Internet Advertising Revenue Report: Full Year 2021 report that the growth of search wasn’t as strong as other formats, such as digital video, which was up 50 percent year on year (YoY). As a result, search lost 0.8 percentage points in total revenue share. Paid search remains king. With 41.4% of all digital ad revenue in 2021, paid search is still the leading format. Mobile accounted for $54.7 billion (up from $39.7 billion in 2020), while desktop accounted for $23.5 billion (up from $19.3 billion in 2020).
DuckDuckGo has launched a beta version of their browser app for Mac and is planning an upcoming launch of a Windows version. The new Mac app comes with DuckDuckGo’s search engine, a built-in password manager, tracker blocking and Smarter Encryption, a tool that accesses the secure, HTTPS version of a webpage (most of the time). DuckDuckGo for Mac protects against cookie pop-ups (currently on half of sites, but DuckDuckGo says this will increase in beta) and also includes email protection, an email forwarding feature that removes trackers from emails. It also allows users to view tracking attempts and delete data stored on different websites.
April 8th, 2022
Snap’s working on a range of projects, including its AR-enabled Spectacles, while its ongoing development of digital clothing for its Bitmoji avatars is another pathway that Snap’s exploring as a means to maximize its eCommerce potential. It may not be looking to become a digital shopping mall like Pinterest, but Snap clearly has distinct value in this area, as more users look to refer to friends for their thoughts before making a purchase.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating how Amazon.com handles third-party-seller data in its online store and whether that data forms the basis for the company’s private-label business, per Engadget. Retailers like Allbirds, Williams-Sonoma, and others have accused Amazon of using data from third-party sellers to create its own cheaper copycats. Amazon has also allegedly altered search results to surface its own white label products while burying those of third-party sellers.
As it works to maximize its revenue opportunities, TikTok’s launching a new educational initiative in order to help marketers better understand and utilize the various platform features to reach and engage the TikTok audience. Called Creative Agency Partnerships (CAP) University, the program will take agency partners and freelance creatives through all aspects of effective TikTok creation.
Annual marketing spend will reach $4.7 trillion by 2025, which represents growth of $1.1 trillion from 2021 to 2025 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7% — an acceleration above the 5% CAGR from 2015 to 2019. This is according to industry analyst firm Forrester, which has published a new report titled ‘2022 Marketing Investment Forecast. Brands are eager to understand how to adjust their marketing investments based on the impact of the pandemic.
The digital marketing industry is constantly changing, and if you feel like you’re being challenged to do more with less, you’re not alone. Marketers need tools more than ever to automate repetitive tasks, augment our skills, collaborate more effectively, and scale what we’re doing right. And when it comes to digital marketing tools, you have tens or even hundreds of thousands of options to choose from – certainly hundreds of options for each channel or task type.
TikTok is the social commerce platform of the moment, as brands and marketers look to cash in on the #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt phenomenon. While TikTok may not have as large a shopper base as Facebook or Instagram, its shoppers are highly active and engaged. TikTok is a strong driver of purchase intent. If #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt has taught us anything, it’s that a seemingly random assortment of products, from yoga pants to carpet cleaners to ranch dressing, can quickly go viral and lead to sales.
Cash back rewards platform Ibotta has launched the Ibotta Performance Network (IPN), a retail network the company says will reach more than 120 million American shoppers. As Ibotta said in a news release, the company hopes to use IPN to expand its scope to deliver B2B Rewards as a Service (RAAS) solutions to retailers, publishers and advertisers in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) sector and beyond.
Everyone in digital marketing is scrambling to prepare themselves for a world without third-party cookies, which is why brands have been adopting customer data platforms (CPDs), the latest entry to the ad tech acronym mix. Which invites an important question: Just what is a CDP? Short for customer data platform, a CDP is where a brand stores its first-party data, arguably the most valuable currency in all of digital marketing.
April 1st, 2022
Amazon will account for 39.5% of all US retail ecommerce sales in 2022, or nearly $2 in $5 spent online. Altogether, the next 14 biggest digital retailers will make up just 31.0%, with the remaining 29.5% of the ecommerce pie going to everybody else.
To say the last two years have been tumultuous for marketers would be a massive understatement. Agility, adaptability, and constant innovation are now table stakes for marketing organizations of all sizes, across every sector. Delivering an exceptional customer experience in this environment is a top priority and also the most pervasive challenge for marketers right now, according to the new Marketing Trends 2022 report from Oracle and Ascend2.
Social media has become an integral part of our lives. From Facebook to Instagram, Twitter to Snapchat, TikTok to Pinterest – everyone uses social media platforms to connect with friends, share their thoughts, find inspiration, and stay updated with current events. It wasn’t too long ago that social media was a small slice of the marketing pie, but now it’s impossible to ignore. You can now find social media content in just about any marketing campaign. And it’s no wonder marketers are using these sites to reach potential customers and increase sales.
Every year, we witness new and startling digital trends that establish the foundations for the future of marketing. And in a year as wild as 2021, we’ve not been disappointed. The digital marketing trends in 2022 are probably the most influential to date.
Walmart has big plans for Connect as the segment now generates billions for the retailer. The 2022 roadmap will see the big-box chain attempt to refine its technology stack while diversifying the types of ads that can be placed across its digital properties and storefronts, particularly when it comes to video. The spotlight on video demonstrates Walmart is angling for more premium brand dollars but also suggests that common units like display and sponsored product listings could be nearing a saturation point.
So how accurate are Facebook’s ad targeting options anyway? The platform has made headlines in recent years over its intricate audience targeting process, which learns about your traits and interests based on in-app activity, then funnels that info into its ad targeting engine, enabling brands to present their offers to the most engaged, receptive audience through its various display options.
March 25th, 2022
Users’ time spent with social skyrocketed 16% in 2020, which might make 2021’s 2.6% look low, but it shows social media platforms were able to maintain the first year of the pandemic’s monster gains. Growth in 2021 was driven by strong years from TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. Meanwhile, weaker performances by Facebook and Pinterest tempered growth, as they struggled to hold onto 2020’s growth.
Marketers are leaving their jobs to explore new job opportunities. 2021 saw 681,000 Marketing job departures; a 31% growth in LinkedIn Members in Marketing changing jobs year over year.
On Jan. 25 Google announced a major evolutionary change for its privacy sandbox campaign to eliminate third-party cookie usage for its digital ads and analytics solutions. Until then Google had been developing a data privacy management framework, called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), that intended to help serve digital ads while preventing unwanted ads and covert tracking online from third-party solutions. Now Google has replaced FLoC with an algorithmic API framework called TOPICS for its privacy initiative. The tech giant believes TOPICS will offer the right combination of personalized advertising insight and protection of consumer privacy.
Visual Objects, a data-driven portfolio website, surveyed 1,003 small business owners and managers to learn about their approach to digital marketing and learned that two-thirds utilize social media. The survey found that 25% of small businesses consider social media their most successful digital marketing tool in 2022. Though it remains as the top choice, this is a notable decrease from 2021’s findings where 73% of the participants found social media to be their most fruitful channel.
Does Google use a quality score similar to the one in Google Ads as part of its organic search ranking algorithm? This has been hotly debated over the years, to the extent there are even articles out there telling you how to optimize for it. But is there actually an organic quality score? And does it impact your rankings?
Reddit is exploring the idea of bringing more user-generated video content to its online discussion forums, the company has confirmed. Not much has yet been determined about this potential new video feature — which hasn’t been launched into testing. But we understand it may involve the use of TikTok-like video editing tools including, most notably, the ability for people to “react” to videos posted by others by adding their own video to another’s.
March 18th, 2022
Meta, formerly known as Facebook, says it will begin testing new content tools designed to give advertisers control over where their ads are shown on Facebook and Instagram feeds. The tools will allow companies to prevent their ads from being placed next to unsuitable content, such as posts about politics, tragedy or violence. The company will begin testing the new content controls in the second half of this year and plans to officially roll them out in early 2023.
Since the beginning of the recovery from the pandemic, out of home (OOH) advertising has been a go-to for brands wanting to stay in front of active consumers as they return to socializing, working and enjoying life in public, outside of their homes. With an economy back open for business, OOH remains poised to help brands connect with consumers as they create our new normal for living and working.
One of the best ways to find inspiration for your marketing initiatives is to look back at some of the best digital marketing campaigns over the years. Seeing what other brands have done can stir your creative juices and enable you to come up with imaginative ideas for your own efforts. Of course, finding the best initiative isn’t a simple task, as numerous online marketing services and digital campaigns are launched each year.
Every year, more and more marketers are recognizing and utilizing the value of influencer marketing to reach new and larger audiences. The continuous growth of this practice indicates the enormous value influences provide brands. ECommerce brands, in particular, are seeing major growth through the use and collaboration with influencers across all social media platforms.
CreatorIQ’s 2022 influencer marketing report suggests that creator-driven marketing campaigns will only continue to surge in popularity among brands in the year ahead. The report is based on a survey 150 brands and 200 influencers. Nearly half (48%) of brands CreatorIQ surveyed reported investing at least $100,000 annually on creator marketing, while 10% spent over $1 million. Those numbers, along with the space’s growth compared with past years, signal ripe opportunities for marketers to tap into influencers’ large and dedicated followings.
A new study from Pew Research Center finds 49% of US adults on Twitter qualify as “lurkers.” Pew Research Center defines lurkers as infrequent tweeters who have posted less than five tweets per month since they first opened their account. Moreover, when lurkers do tweet, they’re more likely to reply to someone else’s tweets rather than post their own. Twitter lurkers are primarily older US adults, the study finds. Among infrequent tweeters, 59% of users are between 30 and 49, an age group consisting of elder Millennials and Gen X. Gen Z and younger Millennials are more likely to be active on Twitter, as only 14% of users between 18 and 29 are considered lurkers. In contrast, the 18 to 29 age group comprises a majority of Twitter’s most frequent tweeters.
March 11th, 2022
Russia’s invasion into Ukraine has caused global angst. And unlike similar incidents in times past, this battle is playing out in the age of social media, with memes, misinformation campaigns and scams all adding to the growing maelstrom of information, which can confuse, contort and cloud what’s actually happening in the eastern European region. Given this, and the role that social media now plays in the dissemination of information, the platforms need to work fast to limit any misuse of their networks for questionable purpose, and many have already enacted plans to mitigate certain elements of misuse and misinformation.
Are consumers really interested in buying things in their social feeds, and how much opportunity is there in integrating social and commerce? That’s what the team from Bazaarvoice sought to find out with their latest study. Via its Influenster Community, the researchers sought input from over 14k consumers to get their thoughts on product discovery in social apps, what makes them buy, and which newer technologies interest them most, with respect to online shopping.
IndexNow is an open-source protocol that allows website publishers to instantly index across participating search engines, updating results based upon the latest content changes. Simply put, it’s a simple ping that notifies search engines that a URL and its content have been added, updated, or deleted. By eliminating the need for exploratory crawls, IndexNow seeks to improve overall internet efficiency.
Twitter today is updating its app to make it easier to switch between the algorithmically programmed Home timeline and the feed that displays the “Latest” tweets. Typically, when users want to move between timelines, they have to tap the “sparkle” icon in the top-right of the screen, then do so again to switch back. But starting today on iOS, tapping that icon will offer the option to pin both the Home and Latest timelines to your Twitter Home page, so you can instead swipe back and forth between the two feeds.
For 17 years, YouTube has ruled digital video. More than two-thirds of the US population and more than three-quarters of internet users visited YouTube monthly in 2021, we forecast. On a monthly basis, more people viewed video on YouTube last year than used Facebook (225.8 million compared with 179.1 million, respectively). There were almost as many monthly YouTube viewers as monthly TV viewers (245.7 million) last year. But the increase in video viewing on other social platforms—primarily TikTok—is eating into YouTube’s dominance. With more venues displaying videos, user attention is starting to become divided. The same holds true for creator videos: YouTube, once the 800-pound gorilla, is increasingly fighting to keep its most popular creators from going elsewhere.
New content channels bring new revenue streams—64% of US creators who also use nonsocial platforms have monetized their secondary channels through sponsored collaborations. The roughly 2 in 5 creators relying exclusively on social media may be at the mercy of Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and the like, whose algorithms and policies are more subject to scrutiny and change than ever.
March 4th, 2022
TikTok will come under regulatory scrutiny in the US once again as part of a new investigation into the impacts that TikTok content can have on the mental health and wellbeing of younger users. The investigation will examine how TikTok entices young users, and the content it displays, and how those factors can influence behavior and response – and whether TikTok knowingly puts youngsters at risk through its recommendation systems.
Did Facebook’s college-focused Campus social network leave you feeling cold? You’re not the only one. Consultant Matt Navarra and TechCrunch report parent company Meta is shutting down Facebook’s Campus pilot project on March 10th. In a message to users, Facebook said it had learned the “best way” to help students was through college groups. Facebook will delete Campus profiles, posts and other data after the cutoff date. You can download any data before then, however, and Facebook is suggesting related school groups to help ease the transition.
Netflix is doubling down on interactive content today as it announces “Trivia Quest,” an animated quiz series that will debut on April 1. Daniel Calin and Vin Rubino of Sunday Sauce Productions developed a series of episodes that will come out every day in April, quizzing viewers with 24 questions per day. A daily trivia show could be poised to go viral, if only people care enough to play every day. The trailer makes “Trivia Quest” look relatively juvenile, but the game will have both “standard” and “hard” questions.
Each month, the Google Ads Research and Insights team analyzes data sets of billions of recent search queries and consumer behaviors to develop a deep understanding of key market trends. Consumer expectations for new experiences, services, and ways to shop are on the rise, with growing searches for “late night shopping,” “24 7 customer service,” “dog friendly restaurants,” and “next day flower delivery.” People are looking forward to seasonal activities and holidays, with an increase in searches for “figure skating,” the “winter olympics,” “winter vacation in,” and “valentine’s day nails.”
Since Zuckerberg’s announcement of Meta, the word “metaverse” has significantly spiked in Google Trends. “NFT” Google searches hit an all-time high in January. As digital marketers and brands scramble to wrap their brains and budget around a metaverse strategy, the early adoption stages carry the most risk and highest reward.
For many content creators, Instagram isn’t everything. In the US, 41.0% of creators run websites or blogs to reach their audiences outside of social media. Newsletters and podcasts are also tools they use to staying connected. But perhaps most notably, 43.3% do not use anything other than social platforms.
Microsoft’s latest Windows 11 test build is another substantial one, adding two important features: payment information, and a new security feature called Smart App Control that will watch over new apps and games that you add to your PC. Microsoft considers the additional credit-card info as part of the subscription option it added last month. Now, if your subscription risks falling through because of an expired credit card, Microsoft will alert you. Conceptually, however, it implies that your PC is as much a tool to make purchases as it is to simply work and game.
February 25th, 2022
For all the discussion of the next stage of digital connection, and a theoretical digital world where anything is possible at any time, the truth is that we’re not even close to this being an actual reality, and any business that tells you otherwise, or pitches itself as ‘metaverse ready’ and the like, is simply not being upfront. Because it can’t be, there’s no metaverse to be ready for as yet.
Many in the SEO community don’t consider website security as an SEO issue. Cyber attacks however can have a devastating effect on search visibility and the ability to show web pages to site visitors. Website security should ideally be an important part of SEO because search visibility can be harmed by hacking and other security events.
Keeping up with ever-changing digital marketing trends may seem challenging, but it’s crucial for business owners to do. As more of us are working from home, there has been a huge spike in social media usage. While digital marketers are hopping on to this opportunity, other small business owners scramble to adapt to the changes in consumer behavior — and it doesn’t have to be you.
Creatopy has released a new case study measuring the performance of Static Ads compared to Video Ads on Pinterest. With advertising budgets going almost exclusively towards well-established advertising platforms, the team at Creatopy decided to test a platform that has, according to them, untapped potential for advertising. Pinterest is not as much in the spotlight in terms of an advertising platform, yet it has 431 million active monthly users.
LinkedIn’s looking to provide more insight into content performance via new post analytics tools, which will show you details about the members that are reading your LinkedIn updates, how many Reactions each has received and more. The new analytics will provide more specific insight into who, exactly, is reading your posts, filterable by job title, industry, location and more.
The DuckDuckGo search engine emphasizes user privacy and allows users to avoid the filter bubble of personalized search results that Google is so known for. Launched by Gabriel Weinberg in February 2008, DuckDuckGo started as a privacy-focused Google search alternative. It’s vehemently opposed to SEO hacks and does not show search results from blatant content farms. While its search results algorithm isn’t entirely clear, it remains quite transparent about its practices regarding personal data. As of November 2021, it was averaging 101 million daily searches, and The New York Times says it holds 3 percent of the United States search market.
The rollout of AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) in iOS 14.5 effectively deprecated the primary way publishers and advertisers track users on iOS and changed how the mobile ad industry approaches monetization and measurement. Larger platforms’ core businesses are less affected—and some even benefit from the changes.
Among US social video viewers, YouTube is the top platform for watching short-form content, with 77.9% of those ages 16 and older going there to stream videos less than 10 minutes long. The No. 2 spot goes to Facebook, which captures a 60.8% share, while TikTok takes third with 53.9%.
February 18th, 2022
Ad-buying software maker Trade Desk Inc said that it will offer tools to online publishers for the first time in an attempt to help them reduce reliance on global market leader Google. Trade Desk’s Open Path product will enable publishers to solicit bids directly from its advertising clients, thereby cutting out intermediaries, the Ventura, California-based company’s Chief Executive Jeff Green told Reuters.
Google announced it’s adopting new privacy restrictions that will cut tracking across apps on its Android devices. The Alphabet-owned company said it is developing new privacy-focused replacements for its advertising ID, a unique string of characters that identifies the user’s device. It follows a similar move made by Apple last year that seemingly upended advertising practices.
It’s the dawn of a new era at the company formerly known as Facebook, and to truly establish its evolution into ‘Meta’, CEO Mark Zuckerberg held an all-staff meeting to announce Meta’s updated values, in line with its new more forward-looking focus.
As buyer behavior continues to shift throughout the pandemic, Google Ads has committed to a better experience for its users. Google Ads announced its top three priorities for 2022: automation, measurement, and privacy. Now, these aren’t new priorities, per say, but more so shifting how they’re focusing on each one.
Two senators introduced a new bill Wednesday that would give online platforms a duty to prevent or mitigate certain harms to minors including suicide, eating disorders and substance abuse. It would have a significant effect on the design of platforms made by companies like Facebook parent Meta, Snap, Google and TikTok.
LinkedIn has shared some new insights into the most in-demand digital marketing skills, based on its job listings and activity, which highlights the key areas of focus that can help you maximize your opportunities in the field. LinkedIn says that half of the top 10 jobs posted on LinkedIn are in the digital or media space.
February 11th, 2022
Amazon is increasing the cost of its Prime membership for US subscribers, which it has historically done every four years, per a company press release. Users will now pay $139 a year, a $20 increase. The company justified the hike by noting that in the past few years, it has “added new benefits, increased delivery speed and selection, introduced award-winning entertainment, and offered exclusive discounts to members every day.” Among US Prime members who have been with the program for at least two years, about 98% renew their membership. While many say customer loyalty is dead, effective membership programs such as Prime demonstrate the potential to build a legion of highly devoted subscribers.
Google Search is capable of understanding human language with the assistance of multiple AI models that all work together to find and rank the most relevant content for a query as fast as possible. RankBrain: Ranks content by understanding how keywords relate to real-world concepts. Neural matching: Gives Google a broader understanding of concepts, which expands the amount of content Google is able to search through. BERT: Allows Google to understand how words can change the meaning of queries when used in a particular sequence. MUM: Understands information and world knowledge across dozens of languages and multiple modalities, such as text and images.
It’s interesting to see what effect even the slightest level of friction can have on negative behaviors online, and how it can reduce unnecessary angst or disagreement, just through a basic heads-up. Last February, Twitter re-launched its test of warning prompts on tweet replies which Twitter’s automated systems had determined could contain potentially offensive remarks. Twitter says that in 30% of cases where users were shown these prompts, they did in fact change or delete their replies, in order to avoid possible misinterpretation or offense.
For the last three years, the industry has been developing alternatives to third-party cookies and other identifiers disrupted by consumer privacy approaches taken by browsers, operating systems, and new privacy regulations across the globe. Progress has been made to understand and analyze privacy requirements. It has become increasingly evident that we need a comprehensive set of new standards and technologies to support privacy-centric addressability and consumer data security. In support of this, IAB Tech Lab, the digital advertising technical standard-setting body, announced the newly formed Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) Working Group. This new workstream invites developers working on advanced cryptography, data scientists, privacy and security systems engineers, and others in the digital advertising community to come together to develop privacy-enhancing standards and software tools for the digital advertising industry.
It’s disappointing, but one thing that you can always be certain of with any socially-aligned technology is that some people are going to use it to harass and abuse others, in any way that they can. Most recently, that’s come up in virtual reality, with various incidents of women being attacked in Meta’s evolving VR world, in exceedingly concerning ways. These are obviously major problems, especially as Meta looks to make a bigger shift towards VR as part of its metaverse development. Which is why, again disappointingly, Meta has been forced to implement a new personal boundary for VR avatars in both Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues.
Though the metaverse remains a fuzzy concept, a growing number of brands and retailers are jumping on the bandwagon. While the promise of the metaverse for retail holds great appeal (shopping experiences integrated seamlessly throughout immersive digital worlds), the development of the technology to support it is still in the very early stages. Brands and retailers looking to develop a metaverse strategy should embrace a willingness to experiment, learn, and iterate in this fast-moving space. Even those that are not ready for a full-fledged presence in the metaverse as it exists today can take several steps to lay the foundations for the future.
Amazon’s advertising revenues rose 32% in Q4 2021 to $9.72 billion, reaching $31.16 billion for the year, per the company’s earnings release. Amazon’s share of the US digital ad market is expected to jump 1.7 percentage points this year; by the end of 2023, it will increase its share to 14.6%, primarily at the expense of Google and Facebook.
February 4th, 2022
Snapchat has published a new report which provides some deeper insight into the importance of online privacy, and the key concerns that users have in regards to the content that they share online. Snapchatters and non-Snap users are concerned about online privacy, with 81% of respondents noting that online privacy is important. At the same time, only 65% indicated that they’re satisfied with their current privacy options.
Apple’s services business, which includes advertising and subscription revenues, grew 24% year over year last quarter to a record $19.5 billion, according to its earnings report released last week. Overall, company revenues rose 11% to $123.9 billion. It’s likely that a large share of this category’s growth comes from advertising—more specifically, App Store search ads.
A Walmart-backed financial technology start-up is acquiring two more companies as it looks to build an all-in-one app where consumers can manage their money. Omer Ismail, a former Goldman Sachs executive, will lead the combined business that will be called ONE. When the two acquisitions close, the growing start-up will have more than 200 employees and over $250 million in cash on the balance sheet to fuel growth.
As a backlash to its poor earnings results, Facebook owner Meta’s stock price cratered by up to 26%, erasing close to $230 billion in value. The loss could rank as the biggest collapse in US stock market history. Declining daily user numbers, a first for Facebook since 2004, wider effects of Apple’s iOS privacy changes, as well as tighter restrictions on user tracking, confounding ad models, and the rise of TikTok, have taken their toll on Facebook.
The past year has witnessed a massive digital revolution. The coming year will see more waves of innovations and adaptations. Digital marketing has created a huge impact on consumer behavior. Spontaneous click-to-action is reflected in e-commerce volumes and the growth rate of digital payments. Omnichannel marketing through social media platforms, OTT, and in- gaming ads will dominate across all sectors around the globe. The digital impact will continue to rise exponentially each year, cheering the efforts of digital marketers.
Google boosted its ad revenues by 32.6% year over year to $61.24 billion in Q4 2021, per parent company Alphabet’s earnings release on Tuesday. Its search business led the charge with 35.7% growth in Q4, while YouTube ad revenues climbed 25.4%.
January 28th, 2022
Are you more concerned about the security of your online information than you were last year? A raft of high profile hacks, along with reports of data misuse, have sparked a new wave of debate over how social platforms utilize the information that you submit, or how it can be made available to others. And according to a new survey by Go Verizon, more people are now considering what they can do about it, and how they can better protect themselves online.
With each passing year, an increasingly large segment of the population no longer remembers images loading a single pixel row at a time, the earsplitting sound of a 56k modem, or the early domination of web portals. Many of the top websites in 1998 were news aggregators or search portals, which are easy concepts to understand. Today, brand touch-points are often spread out between devices (e.g. mobile apps vs. desktop) and a myriad of services and sub-brands (e.g. Facebook’s constellation of apps). As a result, the world’s biggest websites are complex, interconnected web properties.
FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), Google’s controversial project for replacing cookies for interest-based advertising by instead grouping users into groups of users with comparable interests, is dead. In its place, Google announced a new proposal: Topics. The idea here is that your browser will learn about your interests as you move around the web. It’ll keep data for the last three weeks of your browsing history and as of now, Google is restricting the number of topics to 300, with plans to extend this over time. Google notes that these topics will not include any sensitive categories like gender or race.
Teens continue to leave Facebook, and the platform won’t be able to reverse that trend in 2022. But in a surprising twist, the average age of a Facebook user is starting to decrease. Facebook will lose 1.5 million teen users between 2020 and 2025. Facebook’s decline among consumers ages 12 to 17 will continue, and just 35.3% of internet users in that age group will use the platform in 2022. In 2024, that figure will drop to under one-third. There will be more Gen Z than baby boomer Facebook users by 2023. Facebook may be losing teen users, but its user base is still getting younger.
If it’s happening on social media, Meta wants to own it, so it comes as no surprise that the company is currently working on ways to tap into the popularity of NFTs. But Meta actually envisions a bigger future for digital goods, beyond cartoonish profile pictures, which will eventually expand the core functionality of the NFT transaction process to facilitate the transfer of various kinds of digital goods within its planned metaverse.
The days of confusing drafts and experiments in Google Ads are over. Google launched a much-needed update to this testing feature in the online interface, and the new experience is a welcome change to beginner and experienced Google Ads users alike. The previous Drafts & Experiments pages were considered to be a roadblock to novice Google Ads users because of the complications and multiple steps.
January 21st, 2022
US marketers’ interest in TikTok for influencer marketing has skyrocketed since early 2020, as the app has transformed from a novelty to a social media mainstay. Nearly two-thirds of US influencer marketers plan to use the video sharing app in 2022. Only Instagram and Facebook beat out TikTok’s popularity among influencer marketers. More marketers plan to use TikTok than YouTube, Twitter, or Snapchat in 2022.
Meta is looking to educate kids on key elements of digital literacy and safe online behavior as part of a new program in Messenger Kids, which will help youngsters learn about avoiding harmful actions and protecting themselves online, among other elements. A lot of kids now spend the majority of their recreational time online, and as VR becomes a bigger element, and indeed, the metaverse in a broader push, that’s only likely to increase. Add in the increasing work from home shift, and it’s clear that kids need to understand, from a young age, the key elements of safe and accountable online behavior.
Email marketing has been around for a quarter of a century – and it shows no signs of slowing down. Not only does it provide a powerful way for marketers to tell recipients about promotions, brand messages and news. Email marketing is a versatile, low-cost, and efficient tool helping to deliver hyper-personalised comms that are measurable and create positive ROI. This can certainly be the case if a marketer chooses to use an integrated email marketing platform that supports them in their customer engagement.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are launching a joint public inquiry to initiate an overhaul of existing merger guidelines that may be out of date and ineffective in today’s Big Tech reality. Regulators are reviewing how they approve mergers and acquisitions and are working to adopt more effective rules for today’s billion-dollar tech acquisitions. In context, the last set of rules was written in 2010 for a very different acquisitions landscape, per The Register. The review will look at how the merger review process is applied to free services, such as those from Google and Facebook. It will also look at advertising-based models that offer free services to users.
A new bill seeks to dramatically reshape the online advertising landscape to the detriment of companies like Facebook, Google and data brokers that leverage deep stores of personal information to make money from targeted ads. The bill, the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act, introduced by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in the House and Cory Booker (D-NJ) in the Senate, would dramatically limit the ways that tech companies serve ads to their users, banning the use of personal data altogether. Any targeting based on “protected class information, such as race, gender, and religion, and personal data purchased from data brokers” would be off-limits were the bill to pass.
Knowing how Google deduplicates results can help you understand how many times your content can appear on the main results page. The more your URLs appear on the main results page, the more likely it is that users will be inclined to click through on one of those listings.
It comes as no surprise that when sourcing products and services, B2B customers – like the rest of the world – find them online. In fact, 87% of B2B enterprises turn to search engines for new content. If your target audience is the typical B2B buyer, you need to appear prominently on relevant search engine results pages (SERPs). While SEO can certainly get you page one visibility, Google Ads are a great way to augment your organic presence – especially in super competitive results.
Close to 75% US marketers will tap influencers for campaigns this year, up about 5 percentage points from 2021. Collectively, those partnerships will cost marketers a whopping $4.14 billion, but it’s pocket change compared with the nearly $240 billion going toward digital advertising overall in 2022.
January 14th, 2022
One component of a successful digital marketing strategy is your social media presence. If you need numbers to prove the value of social media marketing, you’ve come to the right place. There are now 4.55 billion active social media users globally, but that number is 9.9% higher than last year. That means 400 million new people have signed up for at least one social media account within the last year. Worldwide, the top social networks are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram.
The entire world utilizes the internet and digital technologies, which is the case now more than ever. The prevalence of these technologies, such as computers and mobile phones, has changed how people access information and make purchases completely. Thus, it should be no surprise that marketing followed suit, delving into the digital world. Marketing has always been a fast-paced and ever-changing industry, and it has only become even more so after moving into the digital world. Because of that, keeping up with changing trends is vital to a company’s ability to reach a wide audience and get their product or service out there.
With the acceleration of digitalization, on top of an influx of more connected consumers and new behaviors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, ecommerce owners and digital marketers have to be more flexible, proactive and omnipresent than ever. Between privacy protection, significant events and new spaces and formats to invest in, read about three challenges to turn into opportunities in 2022.
As it seeks to expand its push into online shopping, Meta has shared a reminder of its various eCommerce and shopping policies, which apply to all businesses and individuals that are looking to sell products and services in its apps, either through Facebook and Instagram Shops, via Facebook Pages or IG profiles, or on Facebook Marketplace. The refresher serves as a good prompt for brands to re-affirm that they’re clear on their obligations on this front.
Are you considering your email marketing strategy for 2022? Want to know the trends that could help you better formulate and execute your email campaigns? The team from Red Website Design use an infographic to share 7 email marketing trends. Some topics covered include: User-generated content, Hyper-segmentation and personalization, Omni-channel communication and the Importance of data privacy.
Retail media ad spending will almost quadruple in four years. By 2023, marketers will spend more than $52 billion on ads across websites or apps that are mainly ecommerce focused. The biggest player in this market is Amazon, whose US advertising business is growing faster than those of the other two members of the triopoly: Google and Facebook. However, other retailers are also making big plays in the ad space, including Walmart, eBay, Target, CVS, Etsy, and, most recently, Best Buy.
January 7th, 2022
Health and beauty items are the most-purchased products via smart speaker, with 8.9 million US internet users ordering these products on their smart speakers between August 2019 and August 2021. Electronics ranked a close second at 8.8 million, while household supplies came in third at 8.5 million.
Are you considering your marketing plan of attack for the year ahead? Want to know the digital trends that could affect your campaigns? The team from Red Website Design share the marketing trends you need to know. Here’s a few highlights; Meta is everywhere, Influencers continue to grow (even for B2B), Advertising is challenged by privacy, LinkedIn is growing, and Digital jobs continue to grow.
Incorporating video into your marketing strategy is now table stakes – in fact, 86% of businesses were using videos for marketing in 2021. If you’re not using this format to engage customers, your competitors almost certainly are. There’s a super simple reason video advertising so popular – it just works. A recent consumer survey shows that 84% have been compelled to buy a product or service after watching a video. The same study found that consumers are more than twice as likely to share video as other types of content, too.
Retailers and brands have been talking about digital transformation for some time as they look to build their businesses as digital-first entities in order to deliver for the new customer demand. Digital transformation is a huge challenge for brands and retailers since it involves change in so many elements of their operations and complete shifts in thinking. It requires the investment of both time and money – as well as getting staff engaged in the transformation too.
LinkedIn, now with more than 800 million people listing their professional profiles to build out their careers, is taking its next steps to get them to spend more time on the platform. The company is rolling out a new events platform, where it will be listing, hosting and marketing interactive, virtual live events.
2021 was the year that marketers fully embraced retail media networks—and the year that retailers fully embraced their role as advertising platforms. In 2021, a quarter of retailers reported receiving more than $100 million in revenue from their media networks, according to Forrester. By 2023, they predict that retail media will exceed $50 billion and receive nearly 20% of all digital ad spend.
December 30th, 2021
There’s never been a more pronounced focus on the creator economy. Monetizing digital content is nothing new, but the pandemic turbocharged the sector as people turned to social and subscription platforms to supplement their income during stay-at-home measures—or out of boredom like many TikTok stars who joined the growing platform as something to do and found a full-time career. That momentum from 2020 has only increased this past year. More than 50 million people globally consider themselves content creators, and the market size has grown to well over $104 billion. Investors poured a record $1.3 billion into the space. And there’s even been a stronger middle class, with 41% of creators earning a living wage ($69,000 annually or more) year-over-year.
Freelance marketplace Fiverr is rolling out an interactive Pinterest-like mobile experience aimed at enabling users to engage with a constantly updated feed of visual content curated specifically for them. The company says the new feature, which is called “Inspire,” was specifically designed to help inspire new projects and help users uncover freelancers on the marketplace. Users can interact with the content by “liking” it in their feed and adding it to a mood board or list within the app in order to reference it later.
TikTok looks set to continue its growth momentum well into 2022, with the short-form video app topping the download charts on Christmas Day, while VR and the broader metaverse shift also saw some important consumer indicators in the latest data from app tracking company App Annie.
Google is no longer the world’s most popular domain after being dethroned by TikTok, according to rankings from web security company Cloudflare. The list of most popular domains is part of Cloudflare’s Year in Review report and represents domains that gained the most traffic from one year to another. Google.com — which also includes Maps, Translate, and News among others — ended the previous year as the leader in Cloudflare’s rankings. At that time, TikTok was ranking in the 7th position. TikTok.com is now ending 2021 with a leap toward top spot ahead of Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other world leading domains.
In 2021, PPC professionals navigated changes in keyword match types and automated bidding, scratched their heads at the prospect of a future without third-party cookies and navigated their role in an increasingly automated industry. Prompted by the vision that platforms, like Google, have for their services as well as increased concern over user privacy, these changes underscored adaptability as one of the traits that define successful marketers.
Digital marketing is always changing and evolving, but 2022 will likely hold some dramatic changes. Businesses and brands must not only plan for the future of digital marketing but be prepared to take advantage of it. Continue reading for the top 12 digital marketing trends to keep an eye on in 2022 and how you can use them to your advantage.
Currently, there are over 4.5 billion people around the world who use some form of social media—about 57% of the global population. Yet, while social media’s audience is widespread and diverse, just a handful of companies control a majority of the world’s most popular social media platforms. Meta, the tech giant formerly known as Facebook, owns four of the five most widely used platforms.
December 23rd, 2021
TikTok is opening a new chain of delivery-only restaurants across the US, which will see the platform convert viral recipe videos from the app into themed menu items. Partnering with Virtual Dining Concepts and Grubhub, TikTok’s restaurant service will update its menu quarterly, and will see TikTok-branded foods delivered to your door.
Gen Z isn’t satisfied with the social media they grew up with, so they’re building the apps that they want to use. A “social branding” app for creative teens and twenty-somethings, Tagg is announcing a $2 million seed round today from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Facebook’s former VP of International Growth Ed Baker, TripAdvisor founder Stephen Kaufer, Pillar VC and more.
Gaming has rapidly become the world’s most dominant form of entertainment—in 2020, revenues for the sector were predicted at $159.3 billion globally, surpassing that of TV ($105 billion), movies ($48 billion) and music ($17billion). Thanks to growing smartphone and internet penetration, mobile gaming now makes up 57% of 2020 global video games revenue. Alongside this growth, today’s gamer population is the most diverse in the industry’s history, encompassing a spectrum of ethnicities, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities.
Google confirms an algorithm update began rolling out to local search results at the end of November and concluded on December 8th. This update involved a “rebalancing” of ranking factors Google considers when generating local search results. This update is officially being referred to as the November 2021 local search update, although the changes likely wouldn’t have been felt until the first week of December.
Marketers who want to appeal to American consumers in 2022 should be looking to tickle the nation’s funny bone. While 2021 was all about motivational messaging and inspiration — understandable in highly uncertain times — Americans want brands to grab their attention and put a smile back on their face in the year ahead. When asked what three types of messaging would appeal to them most for Attest’s 2022 US Consumer Trends Report, 57% said they wanted brands to make them laugh and entertain them. Boomers, in particular, wanted to see this kind of approach, with nearly two-thirds (66%) choosing it as their top pick.
Marketers’ abilities in key digital skills have either stagnated or declined between 2020 and 2021 at all levels of seniority, according to new research. The study, conducted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and training body Target Internet with more than 7,000 marketers, finds proficiency in analytics and data has fallen the most, declining by 6% to a score of 29%. Almost seven in 10 marketers (67%) fall into the lowest two quintiles for their analytics and data abilities.
Meta has announced a new series of partnerships with several popular mobile apps that will enable users of each to share recap and celebratory-style creations from these third-party platforms direct to Facebook and Instagram Stories, providing another way to create unique, engaging Stories content for the holidays.
December 17th, 2021
HTTPArchive examined the data from over 13 million websites visits to ecommerce sites. The data provided insights into which ecommerce sites are most popular and what kinds of sites use them. While the most surprising revelation is in the category of site performance, the conclusion the authors reach about which is best makes a lot of sense.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it is worried that the “effective duopoly” of Apple’s iPhone iOS and Google’s Android ecosystems presents a “vice-like grip” resulting in a lack of customer choice and higher prices than a more competitive market could offer. The UK’s competition watchdog is investigating dominance in mobile operating systems and their effect on consumer choice. Its findings could lead to more regulation by way of Strategic Market Status—a label that would be applied to the most powerful Big Tech companies to hold them accountable under a code of conduct, per Bloomberg.
TikTok has shared some new insights into how brands can connect with women on the platform, which research shows is still an overlooked element of most brand and marketing efforts, despite rising general awareness of gender equality and social divides. Indeed, according to survey data from WARC, while women control over two-thirds of the global consumer expenditure, only 9% of them feel that marketing initiatives actively engage with them and their perspectives.
Seeking inspiration for your tweet marketing approach in 2022? Twitter has shared examples of some of the most successful agency-originated tweet campaigns of the year, which could spark some more creative considerations in your planning. And while not all brands will be able to run a Trend Takeover promotion or a large scale giveaway, you can still use these ideas as inspiration.
Hulu is the latest company to introduce a Spotify Wrapped-like personalized end-of-year recap feature. The streaming service is giving subscribers the option to learn more about their viewing habits through a new “Your TV DNA” tool. The tool is accessible on a newly launched website where users can access a profile of their personalized viewing habits throughout the year. The tool analyzes users’ streaming habits and shares information about things like their most-watched genres and how many films and TV show episodes they watched.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are always all about the deals, but significant increases in average selling prices (ASP) tracked by The NPD Group reveal some retail success amid waning promotions. However, Cyber Week lost some potency compared to last year, despite only a 6% increase in ASP. Cyber Week brought continued growth for discretionary retail sales in the U.S. However, it was well below the performance of Thanksgiving Week. Retail Early Indicator data from NPD shows discretionary general merchandise sales revenue in the U.S. increased 3% compared to the same week in 2020, and unit sales declined 3%.
December 10th, 2021
From learning the lyrics to belt out Olivia Rodrigo’s “Drivers License” to figuring out how to download the game Among Us, Google searches in 2021 revealed what users in the United States were watching, listening to and playing. Google’s top 2021 search trends, which the search engine shared this week, showed what people looked up the most throughout the year.
Meta (formerly Facebook) is introducing a number of Facebook Live updates that will allow creators to engage with fans during their live broadcasts, including new features like Polls, support for four-person co-broadcasting via the “Live With” feature, new commenting features, a new post format, support for adding links to broadcasts and “Live in Stories,” which allows creators to share their livestreams directly to Facebook Stories to improve their chances of discovery.
What will be the big visual trends of 2022? The team from graphic design service 99designs by Vista have taken a look at the trends they’ve seen throughout the year to make some predictions on coming presentation shifts, which could help you stay ahead of the next wave. There are some interesting ideas here too, including 90’s nostalgia, Y2K and a grunge revival. Engaging visuals are key to standing out in busy social media feeds, and as such, it’s worth taking note of trend listings like this and considering whether you need to update your brand style and format.
Alexa Internet announced it will retire its website research and analysis tools on May 1, 2022. The service is well known among digital marketers for its Alexa Rank score. The ranking score will no longer be available after the service shuts down. Even though Alexa Rank is outmoded, it’s still integrated into several digital marketing apps and is also used by a small percentage of link builders worldwide. Those software companies have until May 1, 2022, to remove Alexa Rank from their apps, and link builders that still use the metric will be forced to choose a different site score.
2021 was a busy year for social media platforms and 2022 is shaping up to be even busier. See how 10 social media trends are shaping up in 2022, along with what strategies marketers should develop for a complete customer experience.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud servers went down Wednesday, causing massive outages to chunks of the internet, per Insider. This was just the latest widespread outage of 2021, which has seen an increasing number of internet and smartphone service outages, exposing the fragility of an overburdened infrastructure that relies on a handful of quickly consolidating service providers.
December 3rd, 2021
Today’s consumers have several forms of digital banking and financial accounts — from banks with traditional branches, online-only banks, FinTechs, insurance companies and brokerages. Every interaction a consumer has with each institution has the potential to make or break their trust in it — whether they’re disclosing personal data to complete a transaction more efficiently through a passwordless login or selecting a financial manager. Consumers’ perception of security measures enhances their trust in their financial institutions (FIs). Sixty-five percent of consumers said an emphasis on data security had an “extremely or very big impact” on their trust in an institution
The PayPal P2P app brings Amazon fresh customers with digital balances they are itching to spend, at a lower cost to the ecommerce platform than traditional payment channels. In return PayPal gets semi-exclusive access to the world’s leading online retailer.
Cyber Monday represents the first real test for the metaverse. Plus, why product drops are so important to Gen Z shoppers and direct-to-consumer brands, and Walmart is feeling the pressure from Amazon after the latter dominated again on Black Friday.
The metaverse is currently one of the buzziest areas in marketing, yet questions remain as to how privacy — an increasingly important value for consumers — will be considered in the burgeoning space. A lack of technical knowledge about augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), historically slow-to-move policy regulations and consumer skepticism create an uphill battle for marketers, who will need to take privacy seriously if the metaverse ever reaches the level of public interest for which companies hope. Despite these challenges, or perhaps as a result of them, the metaverse presents an opportunity to be a breakthrough in privacy-compliant digital marketing.
According to a recent CMO Survey, social media became even more critical to marketers during the pandemic, with those that were able to get their social media efforts right seeing major return on their social media investments. It’s clear that social media will continue to play a crucial role in driving customers, especially in the post-pandemic world – and as such, marketing leaders need to plan their social media marketing strategies accordingly.
Numerator’s Cyber Weekend recap provides a complete omnichannel view of where consumers shopped on Black Friday and Cyber Weekend 2021. The cyber shift continued on Black Friday 2021. Nearly two-fifths of Black Friday dollars were spent online this year, up 11.5 points from 2020 and 18.7 points from 2019. Amazon was the top Black Friday retailer for the second year in a row, capturing 17.7% of Black Friday dollars, growing its lead over #2 Walmart, whose share declined slightly. Target also gained share this Black Friday versus last, growing share in both their online and in-store divisions.
Snapchat’s looking to expand its eCommerce credentials with a major showcase of its evolving AR tools, tied into Black Friday, which marks the beginning of the final shopping push of the year. Snapchat’s partnered with a range of big-name brands on several AR-focused shopping initiatives, the biggest of which being its ‘Snap Holiday Market’, which includes immersive AR shopping experiences from Amazon, Coca-Cola, Hollister, Under Armour, Verizon, and Walmart.
Led by an unprecedented expansion in digital advertising, total worldwide ad spending will set a record for growth this year. In 2021, traditional ad, digital ad, and total ad spending will all post their highest rates of increase since we began tracking these categories internationally in 2011. Pandemic conditions caused worldwide ad spending to decline by 1.2% last year, the first contraction on record. However, thanks to 2021’s extraordinary rebound, total spending by the end of this year will exceed 2019’s pre-pandemic figure by more than $120 billion.
November 26th, 2021
Amazon’s quiet ascendance to the digital advertising elite has spawned the now fast-emerging trend of retail media advertising. Amazon dominates retail media ad spend. The company will drive an incredible 77.7% of US retail media digital ad spend this year. With 41.0% of the country’s ecommerce sales, the highest traffic, and the most mature capabilities among retail media ad platforms, Amazon rules the retail media roost, and that should come as no surprise.
About two-thirds of the US population are monthly connected TV (CTV) users. Young people are more likely to use CTV than older people. Four in 10 US senior citizens are CTV users—whereas CTV usage is about double that, more than 80%, among those ages 25 to 54.
October was a busy month for Facebook, culminating in the announcement of Meta. There are questions over what this means for the business. But it doesn’t mean the existing apps are going anywhere. And the user stats support this. Facebook remains the biggest social network in the world with 2.9 billion monthly active users and 19% growth over two years. Only YouTube prevents a Zuckerberg clean sweep of the top five, ahead of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. It’s clear we can still find our audiences on the platforms. So, how should brands be working with Meta in 2022?
What works on TikTok, and what elements should you be focusing on in your TikTok content approach? The best answer, really, is organic content, with TikTok users responding better to ads and campaigns that align with the presentation styles and formats of user clips in the app.
Over the last year, the role of enterprise SEO across every type of business and industry has become the number one area of focus. As the most cost-effective way for people to discover products and services, SEO has also evolved to be a critical strategic channel that feeds insights into consumer behavior and customer intent across all areas of an enterprise.
November 19th, 2021
Last year and especially over the holiday season, social media platforms like Facebook were highly effective in reaching consumers stuck at home and aimlessly scrolling through their smartphones. But this year, between Apple’s privacy changes and the ongoing controversy over Facebook’s practices, more and more consumers are steering clear of Facebook’s apps. Brands are left questioning if they spend the money on an online marketing blitz, will it reach the right customers? Instead, some are turning to catalogs, podcasts and even stores.
Google started rolling out a new broad core update November 17th named the November 2021 Core Update. This is the third core update Google released in 2021. Google announced this rollout on the Google Search Central Twitter account, not the Search Liaison account, which it has done for all other previous announcements on core updates. As is typical with these updates, it will typically take about one to two weeks to fully roll out.
Google Ads is giving businesses access to more data on the Insights page that should help with maximizing sales during the holiday season. According to Google’s data, 53% of consumers plan to shop online more this year compared to last year. The Insights page will provide you with the information you need to keep up with consumer trends and optimize campaigns to get your ads in front of more shoppers. The following features are rolling out in beta to all advertisers worldwide; Demand Forecasts, Consumer Interest Insights, Audience Insights, and Change History Insights & Auction Insights.
What’s coming for social media marketing in the year ahead? It’s never easy to predict, and the disruption over the past two years has shaken things up even more than usual. But in order to glean insight into where things are likely headed, Hootsuite recently surveyed more than 18k people, including a range of platform experts and representatives, to get their thoughts on what’s coming next, and what you should be preparing for in your strategy. Over 51% of marketers are planning to increase their paid social in 2022. 83% of marketers said they were confident in quantifying the ROI of their social efforts, up from 68% last year.
US retail media ad spend will hit $31.49 billion in 2021, up 53.4% over 2020. By 2023, this figure will pass $50 billion, with the vast majority of retail media ad spend coming from ecommerce channels. Retail media advertising will continue to be one of the fastest-growing segments of US digital advertising through 2023, with growth continuing in the double digits. Retail media will also increase as a share of total US digital ad spend, hitting 19.3% in 2023.
In the latest problem for Facebook/Meta, the adtech giant has been accused of not actually abandoning ad targeting for teens but, per the research, it has retained its algorithms’ abilities to track and target kids — continuing to maintain its AIs’ ability to surveil children so it can use data about what they do online to determine which ads they see in order to maximize engagement and boost its ad revenues.
November 12th, 2021
In our everyday lives, not much may happen in a minute. But when gauging the depth of internet activity occurring all at once, it can be extraordinary. Today, around five billion internet users exist across the globe. At the heart of the world’s digital activity are the everyday services and applications that have become staples in our lives. Collectively, these produce unimaginable quantities of user activity and associated data. Big Tech companies have quite the influence over our lives. That influence is becoming difficult to ignore, and draws increasing media and political attention. And some see this attention as a plausible explanation for why Facebook changed their name—to dissociate from their old one in the process.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have been growing in importance to holiday ecommerce for more than a decade, despite the persistent myth that early holiday promotions would pull demand forward to take the wind out of these promotions. Retailers other than Amazon will have difficulty activating consumers outside of established tentpoles. However, because Amazon hosted a mid-October event last year, demand was materially pulled forward. As a result, the Cyber Five period (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) noticeably underperformed season-average growth rates. Nevertheless, Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Thanksgiving were still the top three ecommerce spending days for the season.
Facebook is taking more steps to align with evolving privacy regulations by removing a swathe of detailed ad targeting options that relate to potentially problematic issues and causes. As explained by Facebook; “Starting January 19, 2022 we will remove Detailed Targeting options that relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive, such as options referencing causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation.” Facebook says that brands will still be able to use Engagement Custom Audiences in order to reach people who’ve liked their Page, or Facebook users who’ve watched their videos, while you’ll also be able to use the same as the basis for Lookalike targeting, along with your own email lists.
Instagram head Adam Mosseri announced the company has begun testing a new feature called “Take a Break,” which will allow users to remind themselves to take a break from using the app after either 10, 20 or 30 minutes, depending on their preferences. As an opt-in feature, however, the reminders may have a limited impact, as users would have to be motivated to set up the new control for themselves.
A bipartisan group of House lawmakers has introduced a new bill that would make it mandatory for services that use algorithms to serve content to offer a version that allows users to turn that feature off. Called the Filter Bubble Transparency Act, the bill would require services like Facebook and Instagram to offer a version of their platforms described as “input transparent” that doesn’t pull data on users in order to generate algorithmic recommendations. The bill would exempt smaller companies with fewer than 500 employees, those with annual gross receipts lower than $50,000,000 in the last three-year period, and those that gather data on fewer than one million users annually.
Microsoft Bing announced in October the development of a new crawling protocol called IndexNow that promises to make crawling and indexing more efficient. Google however has remained silent about whether they will adopt it or not until now. A Google spokesperson issued a statement affirming that Google will be testing the new IndexNow protocol. IndexNow alleviates the need for search engines to crawl websites to check if they’ve been updated, saving bandwidth and resources at the search engine side and on the publisher side.
November 5th, 2021
US digital ad spending will soar past $200 billion this year, marking 38.3% growth from 2020. The triopoly of Google, Facebook, and Amazon will make up 64.0% of all US digital ad spending this year, about the same share they possessed in 2020. Looking ahead to 2023, it is expected that Google will lose share of the digital ad market, Facebook will stay fairly stable, and Amazon will gain share. It is forecast that US digital ad spend overall will pass the $300 billion mark in 2025.
Brands spent the last 18 months leaning into agility as they weathered pandemic-induced swings in consumer behavior, the economy, and their businesses. Looking ahead to 2022, advertisers and publishers will look for ways to extend those innovations to match consumers’ willingness to experiment with new experiences and products (now at an all-time high). Retail media category revenue will balloon to $50 billion globally. Interactive video ads will accelerate the rise of shoppable experiences everywhere. Advertisers will throw money at the “metaverse” buzz.
Meta’s metaverse could track you more than you ever imagined. Facebook is now Meta (FB), reflecting its focus on building up the so-called metaverse — a future version of the internet that will let people interact with others in 3-D virtual worlds. But that doesn’t mean the social media giant will change its business model. Yes, despite the new name and logo, Meta’s business will likely remain the same as Facebook’s. It will make money by tracking your every move to target you with ads.
At its Facebook Communities Summit, the social networking giant announced a series of updates and new tools for managing Facebook Groups, including tools designed to help admins better develop the group’s culture, as well as several other new additions like subgroups and subscription-based paid subgroups, real-time chat for moderators, support for community fundraisers and more.
Pinterest has shared its latest performance update, which shows a continued decline in active users as a result of more regions coming out of lockdown, and shoppers returning to physical stores, while revenue remained steady, despite challenges in the market. On usage – Pinterest’s total MAU count declined to 444 million in Q3, down 10 million on the previous reporting period. Its Q2 numbers were down 24 million MAUs before that, so over the past two periods, after a long stretch of steady growth, Pinterest has lost some 34 million active users overall.
Google is launching a new version of PageSpeed Insights that aims to address many of the challenges of the existing version. One of the biggest problems with PageSpeed Insights is how data is presented. There’s no clear separation between lab data and field data. People who are new to PageSpeed Insights may not understand the context of the data they’re looking at, which makes it difficult to know what to do with it. Many “how to” blog posts have been written on the subject of interpreting the PageSpeed Insights report, which is mainly due to the confusion created by its design.
Microsoft is entering the race to build a metaverse inside Teams, just days after Facebook rebranded to Meta in a push to build virtual spaces for both consumers and businesses. Microsoft is bringing Mesh, a collaborative platform for virtual experiences, directly into Microsoft Teams next year. It’s part of a big effort to combine the company’s mixed reality and HoloLens work with meetings and video calls that anyone can participate in thanks to animated avatars.
October 29th, 2021
Among connected TV (CTV) companies forecast, Hulu will lead in US ad revenues in 2021 at $3.13 billion, up 44% over 2020. Hulu has previously been the top earner for ad revenues and will continue to hold that position through eMarketer’s 2023 forecast. Overall, CTV ad spend will exceed $14.4 billion in 2021. Hulu’s share of the CTV video market has been gradually falling since 2017 as newer competitors draw some of the company’s ad dollars.
It’s no secret that Facebook is losing touch with the youth, with various reports detailing the platform’s gradual decline in popularity among young users, as Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok continue to rise. Facebook used to be the leading platform of choice for youth social engagement, but over time, it’s lost that cool factor, and become more of a haven for older users. Despite the addition of Stories, and the integration of Reels into the broader Facebook experience, it’s not catching on the way that it once did. Which could pose significant problems for the platform in the long term. In his comments as part of his Q3 earnings announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the platform will make winning back the youth a key priority moving forward – even if that means losing older users as a result.
A new global research study of 8,000 consumers and 800 marketers examines how digital marketers have adapted to consumer behavioral shifts during the last 18 months, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report, conducted by digital experience leader Acquia, looks at marketing strategies and technologies that have transformed the customer experience (CX), along with consumer perceptions of personalization and privacy. A staggering 94% of marketers have changed their digital CX strategy to at least some extent in the last 18 months, relying more heavily on digital content distributed across multiple channels to reach consumers in this challenging environment.
Rakuten Advertising has launched a fully managed affiliate marketing platform called Accelerate. It is designed for digital marketers seeking growth opportunities and benefits from waived publisher fees and real-time expert analysis. Rakuten Advertising has tapped into its network of over 150,000 publishers to launch an affiliate marketing platform that aims to optimise performance marketing spend with unprecedented spend. This is in an attempt to streamline the process of expanding into brand-new markets and driving sales.
Amazon reported third-quarter sales and earnings results that missed Wall Street’s estimates, reflecting a growth deceleration after the pandemic stoked a surge in online shopping last year and earlier in 2021. The company also flagged that it would see additional costs as a result of supply chain challenges in the fourth quarter. Shares dropped by more than 4% in late trading. Amazon’s key online store sales fell short of expectations in the third quarter, contributing to the slowdown in overall revenues. E-commerce sales were up 3% over last year to $49.94 billion, missing estimates for $51.53 billion. At $110.8 billion, Amazon’s overall sales were up 15% over last year, representing a marked slowdown from the prior quarter’s 27% growth rate. Still, this was a fourth consecutive quarter of revenue topping $100 billion.
Despite recent Google Ads changes, marketers can still improve acquisition efficiency. The need to decrease cost per acquisition (CPA) has increased significantly as Google Ads continues to mature, leaving many marketers wondering: What tools do I have to reduce Google Ads CPA? What factors should I consider when optimizing CPA? Despite loosening definitions on keyword matching, increased opaqueness (Search Terms report limitations; responsive ad reporting), and increased competition, marketers still have the needed controls to maximize their acquisition efficiency.
Apple has now launched a beta version of its “App Privacy Report,” a new feature that aims to provide iOS users with details about how often their everyday apps are requesting access to sensitive information, and where that information is being shared. While the App Privacy Report will put into users’ hands a treasure trove of data, it could present complications for developers who may have to now explain to users that some of these data requests are not truly privacy violations — they’re about providing the promised app functionality. When presenting the app to developers, Apple said the report would give them an opportunity to “build trust” with users by providing transparency about what their app is doing.
October 22nd, 2021
Following an excellent Q1 and Q2 in 2021 with 46% and 56% growth respectively, Facebook’s US ad revenue is projected to hit $50 billion by year-end 2021, accounting for a 23.8% share of the US’s total digital ad spending in 2021. Facebook’s strongest verticals in H1 2021 have been ecommerce, retail, and CPG—the same ones that performed well during 2020’s pandemic year. The social network boasts a uniquely diverse advertiser base with over 10 million different advertisers ranging from brands, direct response, and small and medium-sized businesses to large organizations.
PayPal Holdings Inc. has offered to buy digital pinboard site Pinterest Inc. for $45 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday, a combination that could herald more financial technology and social media tie-ups in e-ecommerce. It would be the biggest acquisition of a social media company, surpassing Microsoft Corp’s $26.2 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016. The deal talks come as internet shoppers increasingly buy items they see on social media, often following “influencers” on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. Acquiring Pinterest would allow PayPal to capture more of that e-commerce growth and diversify its income though advertising revenue.
As more platforms begin testing out social commerce tools, 68% of Gen Z consumers plan to use non-traditional shopping channels for their Black Friday and Christmas shopping, according to a new report by commissioned by Brightpearl.com, a retail operating system for brands and retailers. Among the top five “alternative” places where Gen Z plans to shop for the holidays are Facebook, retailer’s mobile apps, WhatsApp, Instagram and YouTube. A quarter of respondents said they plan to livestream shop, per the report.
Link building metrics can help in many ways but can also work against you if you’re not careful. Here’s what you need to know. The Internet has ushered us into an era where many believe that everything can (and should) be measured and acted upon. As the more modern saying goes: If you don’t measure it, you don’t care about it. The thing is, while we clearly have more data than we had over 100 years ago, we don’t always know which data matters the most. Worse still, having the data doesn’t mean that we use it to make the right decisions. This can apply across all digital marketing channels – especially SEO. More precisely, it is too easy to misunderstand and misuse data associated with link building. When we measure the wrong data points and metrics, a bunch of not-great things can happen.
We’re quickly nearing the end of another COVID-disrupted year, and while many will be glad to see the back of 2021, with a return to normal now on the horizon, we do still have some way to go yet, with the full economic impacts of the pandemic likely to play out over decades, and in varying ways. That will also have implications for digital marketing, with the pandemic-induced lockdowns changing online behaviors, and sparking all new trends – like audio social, the accelerating growth of eCommerce and the evolving metaverse for digital connection. There’s also the work from home shift, and the migration to hybrid work models, which will also have impacts for broader digital connection. All of these elements will play a part in what’s coming next in the social media space, and from the major platforms specifically.
The “metaverse” is the next great revolution in computing. This concept of the future of the internet promises to bring the physical world together with new technologies that are only starting to transform the way people interact with one another, amuse themselves, go shopping and engage in other everyday activities.
October 15th, 2021
Research found clashing beliefs in confidence and preparedness, resulting in a lack of urgency to address essential steps before the moment the switch is flipped. While a little more than half of marketers reported having a high sense of confidence in their company to navigate the future of privacy and identity, 70% say they do not have the resources necessary to move through the change with success. The disparity is because marketers believe that ad tech will be responsible for identifying post-cookie solutions. But, even though SSPs/DSPs will take the lead on identifying solutions, marketers still need to familiarize themselves and align with solutions to obtain future success. The overconfidence, though, suggests that they won’t be ready.
The year 2021 is all about the social media trends. All the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are a hub to get the attention of your clients. People spend hours on social media and you can target the right audience by sharing relevant content on the social media platforms. As digital marketing trends continue to evolve, businesses must adapt to stay on top of their competition.
Amid a new storm of controversy sparked by The Facebook Files, an expose of various internal research projects which, in some ways, suggest that Facebook isn’t doing enough to protect users from harm, the core question that needs to be addressed is often being distorted by inherent bias and specific targeting of Facebook, the company, as opposed to social media, and algorithmic content amplification as a concept. That is, what do we do to fix it?
The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s IAB Tech Lab is attempting to bring order to a crop of new advertising identifiers springing up as the “cookiepocalypse” approaches. The Interactive Advertising Bureau’s IAB Tech Lab is attempting to bring order to a crop of new advertising identifiers springing up as the “cookiepocalypse” approaches. Cookie alternatives aside, preparedness for a post-cookie web varies greatly, veering toward the “unprepared” end of the spectrum. According to a mid-2021 Adobe survey, 37% of marketers said they are “very prepared” for the cookieless future; 41% believed they will need as many as two years to get ready.
Everyone has their own way of working, but there are core areas of SEO that appear to have more time spent on them than others. In the last 12 months, 6.2% of SEO professionals said they applied all of their digital marketing budget to content marketing. With a weighted average of 2.98, content marketing has the greatest budget allocation in digital marketing. Meanwhile, 17.9% of SEO professionals said they didn’t apply any budget to digital PR and 30.4% said they allocated little budget. With a weighted average of 2.55, Digital PR has the least budget allocation in digital marketing.
As eCommerce continues to rise, so too do deceptive methods of advertising, including fake reviews, undeclared paid endorsements and other practices that fall foul of federal laws. And now, the FTC is looking to step up its action on this front, with the Commission this week sending out notices to over 700 businesses, including Facebook, Amazon, and LinkedIn, about their use, or facilitation of false reviews and ads to promote products online.
Twitter says it’s going to test a new ad format and placement on its platform. Twitter Revenue Product Lead Bruce Falck said Twitter would begin showing ads on mobile devices inside conversation threads after the first, third and eighth replies. While the company stopped short of confirming the change would be permanent, it did say it would experiment with the formula to best determine the insertion points and layouts that made the most sense. Twitter also said it would consider making the display of the ads something creators would opt into, rather than forcing them to accept ads in their threads. In that case, creators would also see a share of ad revenue.
October 8th, 2021
Is 2022 the year you finally invest in a video marketing strategy? Want to learn about video across the different social media platforms? Here are some statistics to consider; 69% of respondents prefer to watch short videos, 87% of marketers said that video provides for positive ROI and 18 hours per week is the average time people spend watching online videos.
Facebook is down. Instagram is down. WhatsApp is down. What now? For brands, like Twitter, the answer was easy: Laugh about a tech rival’s misfortune. For most of the internet, really, the Facebook outage on Monday was a moment to laugh off and log off the world’s largest social network. For millions of advertisers, though, the Facebook hangover was expected to be a tough one. The platform with 10 million advertisers was out for hours, just as the busiest fourth quarter was getting going.
Search for “toothpaste” on Amazon, and the top of the web page will show you a mix of popular brands like Colgate, Crest and Sensodyne. Try a separate search for “deodorant” and you’ll first see products from Secret, Dove and Native. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll notice that those listings are advertisements with the “sponsored” label affixed to them. Amazon is generating hefty revenue from the top consumer brands because getting valuable placement on the biggest e-commerce site comes with a rising price tag.
Microsoft announced that it has acquired Ally.io, a software service that helps companies measure their progress against OKRs (objectives and key results), a common way the management measures both individual and company progress. The two firms did not share the purchase price. Microsoft plans to incorporate Ally into its Viva family of employee experience products. Microsoft says the idea behind Viva and the Ally acquisition is to provide a more transparent way to communicate company goals and objectives to employees.
An internet troll is someone who takes great pleasure in being an insufferable jerk online. The more people they tick off, the better. Trolls thrive on sarcasm and insults, and they’ve been around for as long as the internet has existed. Unfortunately, the trolls of today have escalated into a much more malicious force of hate than the original jokesters that were prevalent back in the ’90s. Now, 41% of Americans have experienced some form of online harassment. What’s more, the number of severe encounters such as cyberbullying, physical threats, stalking, sexual harassment, etc. have sadly become more common. Trolls may be the bane of the internet, but they shouldn’t ruin your day. Learn to purge online trolls and prevent them from returning.
During a landmark hearing, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen advocated for a grab bag of solutions to combat AI algorithms’ role in amplifying harmful content—ranging from algorithm-focused reforms of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, to the creation of a new data-focused regulatory agency, and increased data transparency between Facebook and independent researchers investigating its algorithms. The widely viewed hearing serves as a final blow to Facebook’s Instagram for Kids project and could tank already dismal user trust. The hearing also risks inciting some Facebook users to leave the platform altogether according to a recent Morning Consult report.
October 1st, 2021
Making smartphones more accessible is always a good idea, and Google’s latest features bring quick actions and navigation to people whose expressions are their primary means of interacting with the world. Project Activate and Camera Switches let users perform tasks like speaking a custom phrase, or navigating using a switch interface, through facial gestures alone.
Government regulation will never fix everything wrong with online discourse. The industry needs to develop professional norms—just as journalism once did. Social media has become a dominant forum for discourse and news distribution. The leaders of social media companies insist that they are not publishers but merely technological conduits for user-generated content. And yet at the same time they proudly advertise the critical role they play in modern communication and access to information.
Despite almost being banned in the US, being actually banned in its second-biggest usage market, almost being sold off entirely and facing various direct challenges from rivals. Despite all of this, TikTok has continued to steadily grow, and build on its foundations, and has now reached a new milestone of one billion monthly active users.
Get ready to put more reliance on machines for your ad targeting. Google has announced that it’s making data-driven attribution the default attribution model for all new conversion actions in Google Ads, as it moves away from last-click attribution and other measurements. Essentially, Google’s saying that last-click attribution is not accurate, and is largely outdated in terms of tracking true ad response.
The past year has been challenging for businesses, marketers, and customers alike. The COVID-19 pandemic upended traditional means of doing business and communicating. Political and social events encouraged many businesses and leaders to publicly respond and adapt business practices. Globally, organizations and marketing leaders have been forced to pivot their traditional go-to-market strategies, talent structures, and ways of doing business in order to stay afloat. The 26th edition of The CMO Survey explores how marketing activities, spending, jobs, and performance have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as increased political and social upheaval over the course of the past year.
A report from Salesforce shows that nine in 10 marketing leaders believe that their digital engagement strategy has completely (48 percent) or somewhat (42 percent) changed since before the pandemic. A vast majority are using social media (91 percent), digital ads (91 percent), digital content (88 percent), website and apps (86 percent), email (76 percent) and mobile (69 percent). Some nine in 10 also say they are using video, which topped the list of channels that have seen the biggest increase in value over the past year.
Cordial, the leading cross-channel marketing platform, released the findings of a new study which found that brands are struggling to harness the promise of personalization—an issue that has serious implications for future sales and revenue at many leading retailers. While 50% of marketers say that most of the emails they have sent in the past 6 months have been personalized to their recipients, just 34% of American consumers who shop in response to emails from brands say that the majority of emails they received over the same period were personalized from brands, with about half (53%) perceiving them as generic and not tailored to them.
“Google” is reportedly the top query in competitive search engine Bing, according to a document submitted to EU’s General Court. Alfonso Lamadrid, lawyer for Alphabet Inc., told a European Union court this week: “We have submitted evidence showing that the most common search query on Bing is by far Google.” That’s quite a flex, but Google isn’t revealing this information in court just for bragging rights. Bloomberg reports the evidence was submitted as Google seeks to overturn a 2018 antitrust order that resulted in a $5 billion fine.
September 24th, 2021
The 2021 survey revealed a shared expectation of economic improvement in the year ahead, with 72% of holiday consumers expressing confidence that the economy will improve in the next 12 months. This optimism is fueling shopper intent to spend what could be record numbers in 2021. More than 1 in 3 holiday shoppers (36%) plan on spending more this year, a significant increase from the past three years (and the highest number reported since 2018). Furthermore, 39% of streaming holiday shoppers (shoppers who have streamed content in the last three months) plan to spend more in 2021, a major increase from 2020. The report also finds consumers expect to spend a record $937 on holiday purchases – a 5% increase year-over-year.
Data from Pew Research shows 31% of respondents still regularly get news from Facebook. While this number is down from the previous year’s survey’s 36%, it’s still far greater than the figures for its competitors. 22% said they regularly go to YouTube to get their news fix, while only 13% use Twitter in that regard. What the survey fails to portray are the sources of the news its respondents consume on social media channels. Since this could mean both browsing channels of vetted publications and random Facebook groups, those numbers should be taken with a grain of salt.
As social media and technology companies face criticism for not doing enough to stem the flow of misleading information on their platforms, a sizable portion of Americans continue to turn to these sites for news. A little under half (48%) of U.S. adults say they get news from social media “often” or “sometimes,” a 5 percentage point decline compared with 2020, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
When the Media Consumption Report for 2020 ran in June last year, the country and the world was changing rapidly. The pandemic had closed businesses and halted travel, and the Black Lives Matter protests were triggering a long overdue change to the national debate on social issues. People everywhere were consuming content in unprecedented levels – there was little else to do during lockdowns. But what’s changed a year on? In this report you’ll get the latest data on Americans’ media consumption for 2021, and a guide on how brands can reach their customers this year and beyond.
Are you looking for ways to improve your eCommerce website? Want to learn the key trends that will affect your online shop over the coming year? The team from Red Website Design share ten eCommerce trends to watch out for. Here are just a few of the topics covered: Rise of Mobile Shopping, Multichannel Personalization, Voice Shopping to Take Centre Stage, Focus on Green Consumerism, and Increased AI Use in Ecommerce.
The Marketing with Purpose initiative is exclusive to Microsoft Advertising and follows the lead the company has taken with its Marketing with Purpose playbook and course. The idea behind the initiative is to “build a brand that’s welcomed into people’s lives by earning genuine trust, upholding their values, and inclusively advertising.” The attributes advertisers can choose from fall under four main categories: inclusion, environmental, community/social responsibility, and accessibility. Within those categories, there are 32 attributes that a business can choose.
Google may be the most popular choice in search engines, but it may not always be the best choice, depending on your needs and priorities. Many alternative search engines can provide a better user experience than Google. Whether you are concerned about privacy or just want to explore your options, there are plenty of search engines to experiment with.
September 17th, 2021
Apple’s confirmed that along with the launch of iOS14.5, there is also a change coming to Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) Framework, which is essentially its data sharing and privacy policies. Apple will now require that all mobile app advertisers gain opt-in from users to track their web and app activity. While this provides consumers with the ultimate privacy, security, and control over the ads they see across their web and mobile devices, it’s expected that not all users will accept this prompt to opt-in. This could make it more difficult for businesses to reach their target audience, and deliver relevant ads.
There is a need for vendors and partners to step up their digital marketing skills, after the experiences of the last 18 months exposed a shortfall in expertise. Channel marketing experts Coterie, along with research partner the University of Huddersfield, have produced a report, Driving value from Ecosystems 2.0, that shines a light on the state of play, with it clear that partners must be prepared to reach customers in different ways.
Ignite Visibility recently surveyed over 200 marketing professionals to gain insight into how they are adjusting their digital marketing strategies, which networks they are excited to explore more, and where they are planning to spend the bulk of their marketing dollars over the next two years. The large majority (90.6%) feel confident in their ability to properly manage the changes occurring in the digital marketing environment. Facebook’s position as a major social media platform is as strong as ever. Over half of respondents (65.5%) will be spending the majority of their marketing dollars over the next two years on Facebook Ads. Although its popularity with users grows daily, TikTok is the least trusted platform among the polled marketers.
If you want to understand the latest social media platform updates, and maximize your own efforts in social media marketing, it’s worth taking a broader view of consumption trends, and considering how people are looking to use social apps to connect, in various ways, over time. By understanding such trends, you can get a clearer idea of what people want to see from your brand – which is where app analytics platform App Annie’s latest report comes in. App Annie’s ‘Evolution of Social Apps’ report looks at how social media usage trends have evolved over the last decade, highlighting the rise of live-streaming, the increasing focus on social commerce, the growth of TikTok and Snapchat, and more.
Google to start enforcing the requirements to have unique product identifiers on your product listing feeds with Google Merchant Center September 15, 2021. Google said a unique product identifier, also known as UPIs, are considered products that include Global Trade Item Numbers (GTINs), Manufacturer Part Numbers (MPNs), and brand names in the product feed you submit to Google Merchant Center. Google said “in order to unify the enforcement of UPIs across programs, specifically the enforcement for multiple different products that use the same GTIN, we’re expanding this enforcement and applying it to products listed in free listings.”
One big distinction in all of the types of terms and topics and ways to focus on keywords and optimization or ad targeting is branded vs. non-branded. There’s a big difference between the two and ways you should handle and treat them. Branded and non-branded traffic must be properly segmented and categorized. Search marketers deal with enough that is out of our control already. You don’t need to take inflated credit for results for branded traffic (unless part of our strategy), which can then turn into unfounded blame when external, non-search factors tank it. Work on getting your targeting right, be intentional, know where you might cannibalize, and get attribution right. Don’t muddy the waters!
September 10th, 2021
Microsoft is introducing its own personalized news reading experience called Microsoft Start, available as both a website and mobile app, in addition to being integrated with other Microsoft products, including Windows 10 and 11 and its Microsoft Edge web browser. The feed will combine content from news publishers, but in a way that’s tailored to users’ individual interests, the company says — a customization system that could help Microsoft better compete with the news reading experiences offered by rivals like Apple or Google, as well as popular third-party apps like Flipboard or SmartNews.
The CMO Council recently published the “C-Suite Scorecard” to gauge how C-Suite executives are gauging their marketing teams. Statistics indicated that the majority of respondents (50%) believe their marketers could improve or strengthen their demand generation and pipeline. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the same respondents (80%) said that they use revenue and sales growth to measure their marketing team’s value, contributions and performance metrics.
After seven years, Apple Pay’s adoption and usage isn’t much larger than it was 2015 (5.1%), a year after its launch, and is the same as it was in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic. At the same time that Apple was trying to get more consumers to use Apple Pay, banks were issuing more contactless debit and credit cards for consumers to use at the growing number of merchants that have enabled contactless transactions. Over the last seven years, those plastic cards have also gotten smarter at the physical point of sale, as issuers, merchants and FinTechs use software to enrich those transactions. Apple Pay’s competition from those plastic cards has intensified since 2014.
As platforms become more creative, establishing whole new ecosystems and new artistic movements of their own, it also becomes harder for brands to tap into the next big thing, and showcase their products and services in busy social feeds. Which is also why more brands are now leaning into influencer marketing, as means to utilize the creative skills, communication styles and audience reach of people who already speak the right language, and can get your brand in front of an engaged, active audience in each app. It can be a great way to maximize reach, and boost brand awareness.
Google Ads announced that it will begin sharing more search term data with advertisers. This move comes almost exactly one year after the original decision to begin hiding search term data with “insignificant data”, a move that was met with criticism and frustration from advertisers. Advertisers will begin to see more search term data. What’s more, search term data will be retroactively populated back to February 1, 2021 for applicable search terms. Google has decided to remove search term data pre-dating September 1, 2020, when the initial privacy restrictions were rolled out to govern search term reporting. Search term data from prior to September 1, 2020 will be available until February 1, 2022.
September 3rd, 2021
Instagram’s looking to further its in-stream commerce push with the launch of a new ‘10 Days of Live Shopping’ event, which will feature a range of celebrities streaming product launches in the app, showcasing the capacity of live-stream shopping for connecting with Instagram’s audience. The event will feature various celebrities showcasing new products, in conjunction with major brands (mostly their own labels), with planned streams running all throughout the month. The combination of exclusive products, and the opportunity to engage with celebrities, in real-time, will no doubt draw in big audiences, which will provide the perfect opportunity for Instagram to showcase its evolving eCommerce options ahead of the holiday push.
Apple Inc. will allow developers of some apps like Netflix to link from its App Store to external websites for payments by users, a modest concession to global scrutiny of the 30% cut it typically takes from services and purchases on the iPhone. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant said the change, settling an investigation by Japan’s Fair Trade Commission, will go into effect globally early next year for so-called reader apps spanning content like magazines, newspapers, books, audio, music and video. To date, Apple has forced such applications to use its in-app purchase system, which gives Apple up to a 30% commission on downloads and in-app subscriptions. That rule will still apply to games, the most lucrative class of mobile apps, as well as in-app purchases.
Marketers feel under pressure to prove ROI. Four out of five marketers feel under pressure internally to provide marketing ROI but most lack confidence in their marketing data. The majority of marketers (84%) say they need to provide ROI to justify marketing spend or budget increases for campaigns and initiatives. Many are struggling to effectively measure ROI, with 61% saying they do not use ROI when making strategy decisions because they aren’t confident in their own data.
Some brands ignore SEO because of the long wait for ROI. But they shouldn’t. Even a small amount of monthly SEO work can have drastic benefits down the line. According to a Brightedge study from 2019, 53% of trackable web traffic stems from organic search results. Compare that to only 15% for paid search traffic, and you begin to see why search-engine optimization (SEO) is so important. SEO isn’t just a traffic driver though. The main KPI for SEO may be an increase in organic-search volume, and subsequent leads and customers from that channel, but it has benefits for other marketing channels too — and for your larger brand.
Kantar’s latest Media Reactions 2021 report has found the number of consumers exposed to ads on TikTok has almost doubled and continues to top its global ad equity rankings. The report cited that TikTok’s exposure increased from 19% to 37%, and despite consumers finding the ads on the platform the most “fun and entertaining”, they also found them too repetitive, which was said to be the bigger issue.
US children are getting their dose of advertising from YouTube. In April 2021, 70% of those ages 2 to 12 said they had recently seen ads on YouTube, far more than the 36% who reported the same of TV. The digital video platform also had much wider ad reach than social media (17%) and gaming (14%) in this age group.
August 27th, 2021
Reels are coming to Facebook in the U.S. The company announced it will begin testing a new feature, Facebook Reels, which will give Facebook users the ability to create and share short-form video content directly within the News Feed or within Facebook Groups. The addition is an expansion of tests launched earlier this year in India, Mexico and Canada, which had focused on bringing short-form videos to Facebook users, including by sharing existing Instagram Reels to Facebook.
We all know what kinds of posts we see when we open Facebook. But what is everyone else seeing in their personalized feeds? And just how much of it is divisive, misleading, or outright false? Those questions have never had a definitive answer, partly because Facebook keeps secret much of the relevant data. The social giant has announced that it will begin publishing a quarterly report of its own, called the “Widely Viewed Content Report,” that slices its data along new lines to produce a very different set of rankings. Instead of presenting Facebook as a hotbed of right-leaning politics, the company’s inaugural report presents a far weirder, messier, and spammier picture.
Looking to get a better understanding of how Google ranks its search results, and how you can align your content approach with Google’s key discovery parameters? This week, the search giant has published an updated version of its ‘How Search Works’ website, which includes a range of insights and links to provide more information about its ever-evolving ranking algorithms, which could help you better understand what you should be doing to match-up with its systems.
TikTok is looking to help inspire the next generation of cybersecurity experts via a new partnership with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) which will see it support the launch of a new Cybersecurity Education and Career Resource Library, providing direct guidance and resources in this growing field of interest.
Media spend is rebounding in 2021 with a continued spending shift from traditional to digital channels. Zenith reported this week that digital ads will make up 58% of total ad spend in 2021, up from 48% in 2019 and 54% in 2020.
Financial analysts estimate Google is paying Apple $15 billion to remain the default search provider on the Safari browser. It’s known that Google pays a considerable amount for its default search position in Safari, but that number is said to reach even greater heights this year. Google paid Apple $10 billion for the default search position in 2020. According to an investor note, analysts believe the number will increase by 50% in 2021.
In all but the oldest age group, US adult internet users said their greatest frustration with ad-supported video content is being served the same ad repeatedly. This means for nearly every generation of adult viewers, overtargeting is a greater source of annoyance than high ad load.
August 20th, 2021
Machine learning technology will power a revolution in advertising targeting and measurement that will allow brands to reach audiences while respecting privacy. Google may have delayed the phasing out of third-party cookies on its Chrome browser until 2023, but that does not stop the need for the industry to be making changes and preparing now, especially given the size of the market for digital ads that are already without cookies – across Safari, Firefox and other browsers – and of course with the changes to app advertising in Apple devices that came with iOS 14.5.
Walmart Connect, the retailer’s advertising business in the U.S., grew 95% year-over-year in Q2, per the company’s latest earnings call. Active advertisers were up more than 170% in the quarter, and the retailer is growing ad businesses in Mexico, India, Canada and Chile. Walmart is working to expand higher-margin businesses like advertising, data monetization and its e-commerce marketplace, per the call. E-commerce growth, however, slowed after nearly doubling in Q2 2020 as the pandemic shifted shopping online.
Social commerce is most popular among adult members of Gen Z: More than half of US social media users ages 18 to 24 have made purchases via a social channel. In the US, millennials are the most likely to use social media networks as important information sources for shopping decisions.
Facebook published a report which offers a first-ever look at what content gets the most views in peoples’ news feeds. The report published today is the first in a series of reports. It focuses on which domains, links, pages, and posts get the most views in the US. A view is counted when content appears on a user’s screen for any length of time. A user does not have to engage with the content to ‘view’ it.
Google Ads announced that advertisers will now have more control over smart bidding with conversion value rules. Conversion value rules will adjust the value of a given conversion, based upon factors that impact lead quality and value. Conversion value rules allow advertisers to tell Google Ads what factors are most important to them by applying rules. The rules allow advertisers to indicate instances when a conversion is worth more or less than the average conversion, based upon various characteristics of the auction. Having this control will also allow advertisers and smart-bidding algorithms better data to bid and budget more effectively.
eCommerce is on the rise, with the pandemic significantly accelerating the already present shift to online shopping, which is set to transform how most people interact with all forms of retail brands. That makes it an essential consideration for nearly all businesses. And even within that broader shift, there are more specific, more niche buying and browsing trends that could impact your strategy, and alter your marketing approach.
The case alleges that Facebook was caught off-guard by the emergence of smartphones and mobile internet access the 2010s, and lacked the infrastructure or tools to capitalize on this element. That then posed a risk to its social networking dominance, and in response, Facebook then bought up ‘mobile innovators’ in Instagram (2012) and WhatsApp (2014). The case claims that Facebook now dominates the mobile advertising market as a result of these efforts, and that has stifled subsequently competition, and limited the capacity for innovation in the sector.
Unlike previous advancements where a singular invention, like electricity, brought about radical change, today’s digital revolution is characterized by a fusion of technologies that include social, mobile, cloud, internet of things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and a slew of others. By themselves, these technologies are not revolutionary. But together, they have created a powerful set of force multipliers whose combined effect is creating a new reality to which every company must adapt.
August 13th, 2021
Brands are continuously growing their presence on social media in order to connect with audiences, particularly younger ones. Social media has become an indispensable part of Gen Z’s lives, making it the perfect platform for brands to reach this demographic. However, it’s not as simple as hopping on an app and posting content. This generation is hyper-exposed to social media and can sense when brand content is outdated, out of touch, disingenuous or trying too hard. Another important factor is deciding the right social channel to utilize, which determines whether Gen Z will even see or interact with it.
After adding support for various third-party video providers over the last year in order to facilitate video meetings in the app, last week, LinkedIn quietly rolled out a new, native video option within its messaging platform, which provides another way to connect with users, without the need to download a separate video app.
Despite not having as many users as Facebook or Instagram, Twitter remains one of the most influential social media platforms in the world, with its real-time feed of short observations and missives providing a key opportunity to communicate the latest news and updates, and maximize audience engagement. Trends are born via tweet, memes go viral from the app, and in addition, people now expect to find brands on Twitter, whether it’s for customer service issues, sharing positive product reviews, or even making purchases.
Trust wants to give smaller businesses the same advantages that large enterprises have when marketing on digital and social media platforms. It came out of beta with $9 million in seed funding. The company was started in 2019 by a group of five Snap alums working in various roles within Snap’s revenue product strategy business. They were building tools for businesses to fund success with digital marketing, but kept hearing from customers about the advantage big advertisers had over smaller ones — the ability to receive good payment terms, credit lines, as well as data and advice. Aiming to flip the script on that, the group created Trust, which is a card and business community to help digital businesses navigate the ever-changing pricing models to market online, receive the same incentives larger advertisers get and make the best decision of where their marketing dollars will reach the furthest.
In the seventh edition of the “State of Marketing” report, Salesforce Research surveyed over 8,200 marketing leaders across 37 countries to discover; which shifts have occurred in marketing strategies, priorities, and challenges during recent economic and social turbulence, the current state and trajectory of marketing’s digital transformation, trends in marketing data management and how collaboration is changing as many teams operate remotely.
Facebook has announced updates to the way that they are handling privacy for minors, launched new ad placement tests, and developed a new tool for advertisers. Facebook has started to deliver messaging in the UI alerting advertisers to upcoming changes in the way that they will handle targeting of Facebook users under 18.
August 6th, 2021
Walmart, Target, and Best Buy are among a growing list of retailers that have announced Thanksgiving Day store closures this year as consumers increasingly adopt ecommerce, per Insider. This mirrors decisions from last year, when stores closed in part as a safety precaution to limit in-person shopping during the winter COVID-19 surge. The holiday closures will likely push more consumers online for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, setting the tone for future seasons.
After reporting 11 quarters of consecutive user growth, Pinterest has taken a hit, with the platform seeing a decline in overall users in Q2, though its revenue results remained strong for the period. But users will be the key storyline here – as you can see here, Pinterest lost 24 million users over the past three months, with US users dropping 5% year-on-year. Last year’s results were somewhat anomalous, due to the pandemic, which means that these numbers will inevitably look bad in comparison. On balance, 454 million overall users is steady, in terms of the platform’s longer-term growth trajectory – it’s just that adding 62 million more users over the past year was not sustainable, which amplifies the losses somewhat.
There’s been a lot of information come out about Google’s mobile-first indexing over the last several years — so much that it can be difficult to keep up. Google has stated that there isn’t a separate mobile-first index. Instead, mobile-first indexing means Google primarily uses the mobile version of the webpage for ranking and indexing purposes. In 2018, Google explained that with mobile-first indexing, the URL of the mobile-friendly version of your site is indexed. If your website has separate mobile and desktop URLs, Google shows the mobile URL to mobile users and the desktop URL to desktop users.
How does Google decide to rank different vertical search elements, such as the image carousel or news box, in the search results. Gary Illyes explained about the process but also said that Google determines when to show images or videos or top stories boxes in the search results based on what it learns from searchers’ actions. So, if a lot of people click on image results from the main search results page, it is a sign that Google may want to show an image carousel box on that page. This click data is not used for individual search results (i.e., to rank page A over page B or to rank image X over image Y). Google is using the click data to see if people are going from the web results, to the image or video results and if they do that a lot, Google may decide to show an image or video carousel box in the search results.
As consumers continue to shop across online and physical stores, Walmart will soon offer the pickup and delivery capabilities it developed to thousands of small and mid-sized businesses. To offer the service bundle, the retailer entered a strategic partnership with Adobe. Through Adobe Commerce, retailers and brands can use Walmart’s cloud-based services to access Walmart Marketplace (where 2-day shipping is available), online and in-store fulfillment as well as pickup capabilities. Adobe’s U.S. retail customers can get access to Walmart’s omnichannel technology starting in early 2022.
The world’s largest retailer, Amazon, has experienced continued growth. Notably in the last two years, it has acted as a lifeline to many around the world when physical shopping was not possible and its entertainment platform was in higher demand than ever as people were forced to stay home. As a result, Amazon has remained the world’s most valuable brand for the third year running in 2021. In the past year, the impact of diversification and the pandemic combined to add 64% to its global brand value, propelling it through the half-trillion-dollar barrier to $684 billion.
The digital world is a universe in its own right and a very fast moving one at that. Myriads of downloads and uploads, posts and searches, messages sent and received, listens and streams happen every minute on the world wide web. According to data compiled by Lori Lewis and published on the site AllAccess, 60 seconds on the web in 2021 consist of more than 500 hours of content uploaded on YouTube, 695,000 stories shared on Instagram and nearly 70 million messages sent via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. That same internet minute also contains more than two million swipes on Tinder as well as an incredible 1.6 million U.S. dollars spent online.
July 30th, 2021
Facebook has published its latest earnings results, which show steady overall increases in both users and revenue, as the platform continues to build towards the next stage of development, and becoming an even bigger part of our everyday lives. Facebook’s DAU count has stalled in the US entirely, after declining in Q2 last year, while it’s also now receding in Europe as well. Facebook earns significantly more from the US and Europe than it does from other regions, so while it may be seeing overall growth, a reduction in usage in its prime markets could be an important element to monitor.
LinkedIn has seen another quarter of ‘record engagement’ while it’s also surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue for the first time, according to the latest data from parent company Microsoft. LinkedIn continues to see both active sessions and in-app engagement numbers rise, while its revenue performance is increasing in line with that activity.
Consumers are wary of how companies collect and use their personal information for digital advertising, having witnessed companies fail to protect and properly handle user data. Not many know how it works, but they’re aware of its outcomes when they perceive ads as invasive. Despite transparency initiatives aimed at educating users, how advertisers use consumer data can be problematic for the consumer. Some advertising practices that presently use third-party cookies can produce experiences consumers are more likely to feel are “creepy.”
Eligibility for Fact Check rich results for pages using the ClaimReview structured data has changed. Non-compliant pages will lose rich results. Google updated the ClaimReview Structured Data to restrict how many fact checks on a page. This is a major change that could make thousands of pages ineligible for a fact check rich result.
Long-term gains seldom come without short-term pain as the state of Facebook’s ads business bares out. The social network has been at the sharp end of Apple’s crackdown on in-app tracking since it started three months ago. Media dollars have been paused and reallocated as marketers saw their ability to personalize ads impaired without an abundance of mobile identifiers to call on.
July 23rd, 2021
Google has added a new element to its ‘About This Result’ panels in search results, which will provide more context about each result that you’re seeing, including a brief overview as to why it’s being shown in response to your query. Now, when you tap on the three dots menu next to most search results, you’ll be able to access a new summary page which provides more detail on why you’re being shown that web page, in response to your entered search terms.
Despite the launches of various competing apps and functions, and a rising push to steal away its top stars, TikTok continues to grow, with new stats from Sensor Tower underlining the app’s enduring popularity, and resilience, as it takes on the bigger players. According to Sensor Tower, TikTok, when you also include the Chinese version of the app called ‘Douyin’, has now surpassed 3 billion total installs globally – becoming the first non-Facebook app to reach that mark – while it also continues to see strong growth momentum in 2021.
Facebook is a channel that is changing all the time, which doesn’t always make it easy for busy marketers to keep up with each and every small change. Aside from the common powerful marketing tools like lookalike audiences, there are additional Facebook features that are less prevalent but can make a world of difference for the right campaign.
Online digital marketing evolves and adapts in response to various key factors. The changing demand of rising demographics such as Gen Z and millennials are shaping the market. Digital marketing specialists have many tools at their disposal, but chief among them are the possibilities brought about by technology. It is a fast-paced industry with constantly shifting strategies reacting to societal changes and digital advances. But what are the current trends, and what is the next step for digital marketing?
It might be hard to imagine a functioning digital ads ecosystem without third-party cookies, which are used to track people’s browsing habits across websites. How will you deliver relevant ads that align with people’s interests based on the websites they visit? How will you know whether people interact with your ads across the web and then take action on your website as a result? Well, that’s the idea behind the Privacy Sandbox, an effort inviting the web community to collaborate on developing privacy-first alternatives to third-party cookies. That way, companies can continue to grow by reaching people with relevant ads — and measuring the results — without needing to track people across the web.
Stories have become a popular venue for social media advertising, but there are already signs of a spending plateau. In 2020, the primary venues where marketers placed Story advertising were Instagram, Snapchat, and (to a lesser extent) Facebook. In recent months, LinkedIn launched its own Story ad format (and so did Twitter, before it decided to pull the plug on the Fleets feature entirely).
July 16th, 2021
As part of its ongoing effort to expand its eCommerce offerings, and align with the rising interest in online shopping, Google has announced a new partnership with GoDaddy, which will enable GoDaddy online web store managers to integrate their product listings across Google’s surfaces, at no additional cost. The process will enable GoDaddy eCommerce merchants to create free Google Shopping listings, which can then be displayed in various Google apps and tools.
It’s an interesting question to tackle, considering hiding content from search engine crawlers is against Google’s guidelines regardless of what the content is. Affiliate links are links to other businesses. The site owner placing the links will get paid when users go to those businesses and buy products or services. As far as Google is concerned, affiliate links are perfectly fine. It’s acceptable to use them as a way of monetizing a website. With that said, there are two important aspects to keep in mind in order to stay within Google’s guidelines.
As eCommerce becomes a bigger focus, a key element within this is payments, and facilitating more, easier ways for users to quickly make purchases in-stream, with minimal disruption to their in-app experience. On this front, Apple is currently working to expand its payment systems, with the incorporation of a new pay by installments element for Apple Pay, and now Facebook is also looking to broaden its payment reach, by making Facebook Pay available as a check-out option on third-party websites.
By 2023, eMarketer predicts US adults will spend nearly 8.5 hours per day with digital media, accounting for nearly 65% of total time with media. The increase in digital media consumption is also spurring investment in digital advertising. GroupM forecasts global ad spending will jump 19% in 2021, bolstered by a 26% increase in digital ad spending.
The digital marketing landscape is more competitive than ever in 2021, as ad spend continues to rise. To cut through the noise, digital marketers need to personalize consumer experiences. However, increased regulations on third-party tracking cookies — and a growing list of big scary acronyms like GDPR, CCPA, IDFA — are making marketing personalization more challenging. To solve this issue, marketers are tapping into first-party data from the voice of their customers.
July 9th, 2021
For many people, online shopping has become an increasingly prevalent aspect of everyday life. Because of its growing prevalence, it can be hard for consumers to imagine a time when online shopping wasn’t around – yet, it’s only a few decades old.
Marketing today is not the same as it was five years ago — or even just one year ago. The pandemic turned the world on its head but the truth is, we’ve been trending in this direction for a while. COVID simply hit the fast-forward button. In a curious state of affairs, the quarantining and social distancing measures for public health safety have impacted our mental health as a whole and the way we view, interact with, and shop from brands. To put it simply, society is craving more engaging interactions with brands than before, looking at brand trust and ethics on a new level and focusing more on small businesses and sustainability.
Despite ongoing content concerns, data safety issues, and other controversies of varying degree, TikTok was once again the most downloaded non-gaming app in June 2021, according to the latest data from Sensor Tower. That means that TikTok has held onto the top spot for basically all of the past 18 months, with the only two exceptions being November last year, when WhatsApp briefly re-took the top spot, and January this year, when Telegram saw a sudden download surge (as a result of WhatsApp’s controversial data privacy update).
Ad spending on iOS devices is noticeably declining as more users install iOS 14.5 and above, which features Apple’s anti-tracking AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework. By the week of June 14 to 20, Apple’s share dropped to just 29.71% while Android claimed 70.29% of budgets. And it’s not just Apple’s share that’s declining—total spend on iOS has fallen. iOS spending for the week of June 14 was just 59.8% of that of the week of February 2.
Apple’s crackdown on in-app tracking is starting to have a more pronounced effect on media spending. The reason: iOS versions (14.5.1, 14.6, and 14.7) that featured the App Tracking Transparency privacy safeguard are reaching critical mass. More devices pushing ATT means more chances people will see a prompt when they open an app asking whether they want it to share their data with other apps and sites via the mobile identifier otherwise known as the Identifier for Advertisers. And if this happens then there are more chances for more people to decline to share their data.
Google’s John Mueller explains that using too many internal links on the same page can dilute their value, and goes over what to do instead. Using internal links too liberally throughout a website can lead to problems. The first issue is Google won’t be able to understand the site’s structure. One internal link can signal to Google that a page is important to the website, but it starts to seem less important as more links are added. If there are twenty internal links on a page then they won’t all be treated with the same importance as if there were only one or two links.
July 2nd, 2021
Pinterest is banning weight loss ads as the vaccine rollout makes for a steady return to social norms. The new policy was announced yesterday, prohibiting all ads with weight loss language and imagery. Taking it a step further, the policy also bars testimonials regarding weight loss or weight loss products, language and imagery idealizing certain body types, reference to body mass index (BMI) and any products that claim weight loss through something worn or applied to the skin. As far as brand analysts are concerned, it’s a step in the right direction to keep the industry accountable regarding ad messaging, prioritizing people over profit.
Looking for new, creative content ideas to share across your social media feeds? You’re not alone. Creative block is normal for social media marketers to experience. If you’re looking for fresh social media content, the team at Red Website Design shared an infographic to help you find and explore more content opportunities.
Pinterest has been awarded the brand safety certification from the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG), an organization that works to increase trust and transparency in digital advertising by fighting against criminal activity online. This is a great achievement for Pinterest as well as a positive sign for brands advertising on the platform or for those considering it as part of their marketing strategy in the near future.
Google released a broad core algorithm update on July 1, 2021. This update was announced last month and is now rolling out. This update is a continuation of last month’s core update. Google says it intended to add more to the June core update but ran out of time. What launched today are, presumably, the remainder of the changes Google intended to add to the June update.
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed several industries to adapt faster to a digital-first process. The pandemic not only led to changes in how teams function, it also led to key shifts in consumer behavior and the average customer journey. How have these changes influenced the way in which digital advertisers and marketers are optimizing campaigns and strategies?
Clickatell, the leader in mobile communications and chat commerce, released its second Chat Commerce Trends Report and, according to the findings, chat is the next big thing for U.S commerce with 82% of millennials wanting to make purchases via chat apps like the ones they use to talk to friends and family. Already, 88% of millennials use chat to communicate with businesses, underscoring chat as a channel of choice.
June 25th, 2021
Google announced that support for third-party cookies would be extended until late 2023, giving marketers more than a year extension from the previous plan to block third-party cookies by 2022. The Privacy Sandbox initiatives will be delayed while more testing takes place.
In 2021, the number of monthly Facebook users in the US will increase by less than 1% year over year, the platform’s lowest annual growth rate to date. Much of this deceleration is due to last year’s faster-than-expected growth of 3.3%, which was driven by changes in media habits during the pandemic. That helped to push future accelerations forward, and as a result, Facebook will see slower user growth for the rest of our forecast period, which ends in 2025.
US lawmakers advanced legislation Thursday aimed at curbing the power of Big Tech firms with a sweeping reform of antitrust laws, setting the stage for a tough floor fight in Congress. In a marathon session that adjourned in the early morning hours, House Judiciary Committee members approved five of six bills which take aim at the business practices of Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook.
After years of solely focusing on its mobile product, Instagram is at long last thinking about letting users post from their computers. A number of Twitter uses noticed that the test feature had gone live Thursday, and Instagram confirmed the test to TechCrunch. “We know that many people access Instagram from their computer,” an Instagram spokesperson said. “To improve that experience, we’re now testing the ability to create a Feed post on Instagram with their desktop browser.”
In 2021, Amazon will make more than $386 billion in US ecommerce sales, according our latest estimates. That’s about $320 billion more than its biggest ecommerce rival in the country, Walmart. In fact, if you combine the US ecommerce sales of the next nine top ecommerce retailers, the total will still be less than Amazon’s this year.
Cryptocurrencies like blockchain are usually found in the financial industry, but the underlying technology is becoming increasingly valuable for digital marketing. Blockchain can transform the way marketers collect and use data, communicate with consumers, and handle advertisements.
June 18th, 2021
Mobile wallet transactions had been slow to take off but received a shot in the arm during the pandemic, when consumers looked to contactless payment options. Now, PayPal is leading the way in transactions conducted online and is also gaining ground among in-store shoppers who are looking to their phones to complete their purchases.
With live sports gradually returning to normal, with fans in attendance, Twitter has also seen a steady uptick in sports engagement, as shown in this new overview of rising sports discussion trends via tweets. Based on internal data, Twitter has shared new insights into how people are tweeting about sports events. There are now more than 24 million unique authors on sports topics (+59% daily avg. author growth). 30 tweets about sports are posted every second on the platform and all of the major sports have seen a significant rise in tweet engagement of late.
This past year, digital transformation became a reality for businesses of all kinds as the global pandemic accelerated the pace of change by years. The future trends you were using to guide your digital marketing strategy previously may now be outdated, while entirely new issues have sprung up to command our attention. Consumer needs and behaviors have dramatically changed.
The US Government made a range of significant announcements last week which could end up having major impacts on how social media platforms operate, including potential limitations and restrictions on what digital platforms can do in regards to buying other platforms, operating their ad businesses, utilizing user data and more.
“People used to hate QR codes,” Stern, co-founder of Ringpin, told Built In. But that was before the pandemic, during which many restaurants swapped out paper menus for digital ones that patrons accessed by scanning QR codes. Suddenly, the decades-old digital channel — once deemed a dying fad — is gaining traction with consumers. And marketers are rushing in.
As the US begins to emerge from the pandemic, people are re-entering the world with new habits, including new mobile behaviors. This year, the time US adults spend on mobile devices will continue to grow, albeit at a slower rate than last year. Nearly a third of their daily time spent with media will be on mobile.
June 11th, 2021
Last year, the average US adult spent more time per day with most media formats and devices, including TV. Although adults will spend nearly as much time with media this year, their TV viewing time will drop below pre-pandemic levels. Ultimately, 2020 was an anomalous year for TV. The medium picked up minutes for the first time since 2012, as people spent more time watching TV news about the pandemic, US elections, and social unrest. This year, however, TV will reverse its 2020 growth and fall below 2019 levels.
Consumer behaviors have changed drastically this past year. The pandemic has altered how consumers shop, research for new products and engage with brands. As a result, brands have also had to pivot to meet consumers’ changing expectations and shopping patterns. As marketers worked to evolve their strategies, one of the key areas of focus has been on digital transformation. Consumers have headed online and brands must also do so. However, this rapid digital acceleration has exposed many gaps in digital maturity.
With Google’s announcement that the Performance Max campaign would receive a broader rollout, there have been a lot of questions about what Performance Max is, how it compares to other campaigns, and how it performs. The primary difference between Performance Max and other campaigns is that Google automates the targeting and delivery of the campaign based upon the information that the advertiser provides. Performance Max is an automated campaign type, reminiscent of (but still slightly different than) a Smart campaign.
Are you in the process of setting up an online shop? Need help understanding the common terminology used in the eCommerce industry? The team from Red Website Design share 50+ terms and definitions, including explainations on bounce rate, drop-shipping, SEO factors and more. It could be a big help in understanding the key elements that you need to consider, and ensuring you cover all your bases.
Despite user safety concerns, and ongoing global tensions which could lead to growth impacts for the Chinese-owned app, TikTok remains hugely popular, once again leading the global download charts on both iOS and Android in May, according to the latest data from Sensor Tower. The app has held the top spot on the download charts for months, and continues to grow, despite varying regulatory concerns and the rise of alternative tools and options.
June 4th, 2021
According to a report, researcher Jane Manchun Wong posted photos on Twitter of the new feature, showing Twitter Blue in the App Store, where it’s listed as an in-app purchase option, offering “exclusive features” at a price of $2.99 per month. “For testing, I’ve become the first paying Twitter Blue customer,” Wong said. She added that the service comes with custom app icons, color themes, enhanced bookmarking and a new Reader Mode that lets users “keep up with threads by turning them into easy-to-read text.” While it’s not clear if this new Twitter feature will come with fewer ads than the original Twitter, Wong said she noticed a difference in the number of ads in her trial membership.
One of the pandemic’s overarching effects was accelerated digital transformation across the economy and society. A steep increase in the amount of retail sales transacted digitally buoyed digital ad spending last year and boosted digital advertising’s long-term prospects. By the end of last year, ads on properties where the primary activity was ecommerce accounted for 12.3% of US digital ad spending, up from 9.4% in 2019.
Twitter today is officially launching its first-ever subscription service, Twitter Blue, initially in Australia and Canada. The subscription will allow Twitter users to access premium features, including tools to organize your bookmarks, read threads in a clutter-free format and take advantage of an “Undo Tweet” feature — which is the closest thing Twitter will have to the long-requested “Edit” button.
Google had announced that they would no longer support third-party cookies but also saw a need to create advertising solutions with the goal of circumventing ad platforms from developing other, more invasive ways of tracking – such as fingerprinting. The outcome of those efforts were Federated Learning of Cohorts, or “FLoC”, for short. With FLoC, instead of individual cookies being aggregated at the individual level and passed from sites to platforms, browsing data would live within each individual browser.
Google has outlined a range of coming eCommerce tools, as it looks to help facilitate expanded user interest in online shopping, and changing search behaviors around product listings within its products. And these additions could have a big impact. According to Google, over a billion shopping sessions are now conducted across its apps every single day.
May 28th, 2021
Instagram announced it’s adding a new feature to help connect online shoppers to product drops through its app. Drops, which are a newer e-commerce trend, help sellers create buzz for forthcoming products in the days and weeks leading up to their availability. The products themselves are often only available in limited supplies or for a short period of time, increasing demand.
Snapchat has published a new report on the potential for branded AR tools to influence shopping behavior, and how augmented reality tools could change the eCommerce process in a range of ways. Snapchat notes that the usage of AR is rising, and looks to become increasingly influential in future.
The most followed celebrities on Instagram command massive attention, which sees them generate huge engagement every time they post. But have you ever considered just how significant their audiences are, in comparison to, say, the population of some nations?
As far as the public’s attitude to the business of digital marketing is concerned, the news only seems to get worse. In fact, we probably can’t call it news anymore, but just one more confirmation that consumers aren’t happy and real change had better be on the way. The latest indictment of the old ways of digital came with the first reports from Apple’s iOS 14.5 update, which revealed that just 4% of frequent US app users had opted in to be tracked through Apple’s IDFA (Identifier for Advertisers) – as they now must do before app developers are allowed to monitor their online activity.
Amazon reported its ad-supported streaming video content now reaches more than 120 million monthly users every month. The company said this is up from 20 million monthly viewers of that content in January 2020. Twitch is one main driver of the growth — although Amazon acquired the company in 2014, it only recently added ad inventory on Twitch to its programmatic advertising platform, whereas inventory previously had to be bought more manually.
Google and Shopify minted a new integration deal to bring Shopify merchants to Google’s “shopping journeys” as the search giant forges ahead with its ecommerce ambitions, per TechCrunch. Google says it has over a billion of these journeys every day, as customers go through Search, Maps, Images, Lens, and YouTube seeking out products and services. Merchants will have the opportunity to place their products across these journeys seamlessly with the new integration.
May 21st, 2021
Google expands its partnership with Shopify and introduces a simplified process for all 1.7 million merchants to get their products listed with a few clicks. In addition, Google is enhancing the ecommerce experience with more ways to shop, including the ability to find products depicted in screenshots. This new collaboration with Shopify enables merchants to get discovered by high-intent consumers across Google Search, Shopping, YouTube, Google Images, and more. All retailers who sell products through Shopify will be able to take advantage of Google’s free shopping listings, an initiative launched over a year ago at the start of the pandemic. Since eliminating fees, Google says it’s seen a 70% increase in the size of its product catalog, and an 80% increase in merchants.
Facebook is taking the next step in its evolving eCommerce push with the introduction of a new “Live Shopping Fridays” series, which will see the platform host live-streamed shopping experiences, in conjunction with selected retailers, that will invite viewers to ask questions about products, and make purchases, all in-stream.
When Amazon unveiled new digital ad products in 2019 to reach people who shop at its few brick-and-mortar AmazonFresh stores, company watchers forecasted the inevitable: eventually, advertisers would be able to connect in-store purchases made at Amazon-owned Whole Foods back to the digital ads Amazon showed them. This February, the company did just that. For the first time, Amazon provided advertisers with attribution data that showed when ads bought through its demand-side platform led to purchases made in-person at its more than 500 Whole Foods Markets across the U.S.
Amazon is finally cracking open the hood on its ad tech systems. The enigmatic digital platform is preparing to open up its advertising products for an audit by the Media Rating Council, as part of the 60-year-old rating service’s accreditation process, after agreeing to do so over a year ago. The MRC will initially inspect how Amazon measures its Sponsored Product ads and then poke at Amazon’s demand-side platform that advertisers use to programmatically buy ads on and off Amazon’s properties.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet, previewed a new conversational model called LaMDA, or “Language Model for Dialogue Applications,” at the company’s I/O event. The new language model is designed to carry on an open-ended conversation with a human user without repeating information. LaMDA is still in early-phase research, with no rollout dates announced. What differentiates LaMDA is that it was trained on dialogue, and Google has put an emphasis on training it to produce sensible and specific responses, instead of more generic replies like “that’s nice,” or “I don’t know,” which may still be appropriate but less satisfying for users.
Google announces several updates that will help provide site owners and advertisers with relevant data when cookies aren’t available. The new privacy-safe tracking methods, which don’t involve Google’s controversial FLoC technology, rely on consented first-party data and machine learning. These new solutions are designed to help marketers succeed in a world with fewer third party cookies and identifiers, by introducing ways to measure conversions and unlock helpful insights while respecting user consent.
Reporting and data analysis inevitably encompass a significant amount of time as digital marketers. However, even experienced marketers can trip up and make a few common mistakes when looking at data and making decisions. You need to stay mindful of errors that can result in looking at the wrong data, reaching the wrong conclusions, or leaving the door open for faulty interpretations from a client or boss.
May 14th, 2021
AI (artificial intelligence) refers to intelligence demonstrated by machines to simulate human intelligence. Over the past few years, the number of businesses adopting AI has been steadily growing, and currently, more than 9 in 10 leading businesses have ongoing investments in AI. More and more organizations across different industries are starting to implement AI in a variety of applications as part of their marketing strategies.
Trying to figure out the best times and days of the week to post on social media has always been a tough nut to crack. Even if you had it figured out in 2019, the pandemic has changed things significantly. It has changed the way we connect online and the times in which we do it, so social media managers need to rethink their strategies.
The advertisement industry is constantly evolving, and several companies are adopting strategies to keep up. However, the pandemic’s impact has accelerated the digital evolution, with almost 50% of UK small businesses looking to upgrade their digital skills. With the current volatile environment, it can be challenging to know where to focus your arsenal.
Yelp is now rolling out Custom Location Targeting, machine learning-generated budget recommendations and a number of other new features designed to give business owners more control over their presence and ads on the platform. Businesses on Yelp can now designate specific locations for their ads to appear. Before this, they could only advertise in a radius around their location. CLT is available now to new self-serve advertisers and will be fully rolled out in the coming weeks. The platform has also redesigned its budget editing experience, adding machine learning-generated budget recommendations for advertisers.
The great thing about PPC is that we have so much data at our fingertips and we can make changes in real-time. Sometimes, though, it can seem like paralysis by analysis if you don’t stay focused on the right metrics — or worse, if you focus too much on the wrong metrics. There are so many great things to track and they each have their purpose. But when it comes down to it, each campaign should have priority KPIs and these should be the focus, above and beyond anything else. Ultimately, the most important metric to track is the one that ladders up to your business goals. Before developing a PPC campaign, it’s important to determine what success looks like.
After explosive user growth in 2019 and 2020, TikTok will reach a pivotal milestone with respect to its youngest users. By the end of this year, the video app will have a larger number of Gen Z users in the US than that of Instagram. And it will surpass Snapchat in terms of total users by 2023, according to the latest social user forecast. This year in the US, TikTok will have 37.3 million Gen Z users (born between 1997 and 2012) who access their accounts at least once per month. For comparison, Instagram will have 33.3 million users within the same demographic.
May 7th, 2021
As of April 2021, google.com was ranked first among the domains with the most referring subnets worldwide. Facebook.com was ranked second place on the ranking of the most linked to websites with 500,593 referring subnets.
TikTok is looking to help advertisers gain more direct insight on potential customers via a new Lead Generation ad option, which will enable brands to capture user data direct from their in-stream ads. Lead Generation ads on TikTok include a CTA which leads users into the form process. Much of the key response data can be auto-populated, streamlining the process, and making it as easy as possible for interested users to submit their information direct to your business.
Months after Apple’s App Store introduced privacy labels for apps, Google announced its own mobile app marketplace, Google Play, will follow suit. The company pre-announced its plans to introduce a new “safety” section in Google Play, rolling out next year, which will require app developers to share what sort of data their apps collect, how it’s stored and how it’s used. For example, developers will need to share what sort of personal information their apps collect, like users’ names or emails, and whether it collects information from the phone, like the user’s precise location, their media files or contacts. Apps will also need to explain how the app uses that information — for example, for enhancing the app’s functionality or for personalization purposes.
As digital consumption behaviors evolve, and new habits become embedded, traditional advertising approaches are also being completely transformed – and in many cases, flipped on their head. The latest big shift in this respect is now emerging, with YouTube gradually eating further into TV ad revenues, as it becomes the preferred consumption surface for video content in a broader cohort of consumers.
Google announced the introduction of new artificial intelligence (AI) tools to help fight against a range of spam. Internal estimate calculates that the AI has the ability to block 99% of spam. There are multiple forms of spam that Google fights at different points in which Google interacts with web pages. What Google has done is to create a spam fighting artificial intelligence that Google describes as providing an “unprecedented potential to revolutionize” spam fighting.
The digital age has created more savvy consumers, and the barrage of advertising on top of the plenitude of content online can be a lot. Many consumers have learned to hide ads or they simply scroll past them to their content of choice. Most business owners know that digital marketing is a crucial part of any ad strategy, and branded content and influencer marketing continues to grow in the market, because consumers see that it’s different from traditional advertising.
According to marketing professionals worldwide, website optimization is the highest priority for improvement next year, followed closely by social media presence and personalization. Outreach efforts like email marketing are a lower priority than those focused on customer experience.
April 30th, 2021
MessageGears, the customer marketing software provider, has completed a survey of B2C digital marketing trends. A key takeaway is that B2C marketers are planning to significantly increase the number of digital messages they’re sending, with one-third saying they would double their number of messages sent by the end of 2021, and 53% saying their total would double by 2024. Much changed in 2020 about the way marketers worked, from the technology they used to the frequency with which they visited company offices. But many things did not change, including the extent to which B2C marketers relied on digital messaging to engage customers and prospects. 91% of respondents to MessageGears’ survey said digital messages were extremely important relative to their organization’s other marketing strategies, and 90% said digital messages were extremely important relative to the goals of their company overall.
Alphabet Inc., the parent company of search engine Google, announced record profits in its latest financial results for the first quarter ending March 31. The company reported a net income of $17.93 billion — a huge jump from the $6.84 billion it had reported around the same time last year. Alphabet also saw a 34% increase in its revenues year over year, from $41.2 billion to $55.3 billion. Google search accounted for a majority of the revenues, making up $31.9 billion in sales in the first quarter. During the first quarter of last year, search made $24.5 billion in sales.
Farewell, advertising cookie. After years of debate, Apple Inc. and Google are making separate moves to effectively kill the software marketers use to track your online activity and tailor ads specifically for you. The moves are upending the way companies have reached audiences and made money from ads since the earliest days of the internet.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shares details about new features coming to Instagram that will allow creators to get paid for their content. The features, announced this week, will enable content creators to earn multiple revenue streams. Creators will be able to generate income through: Partnerships with brands, Selling merchandise, and Recommending affiliate products. There’s nothing to stop Instagram users from earning revenue in those ways already. But they have to do it through their own means, which requires contacting brands, setting up e-commerce stores, and joining affiliate programs. Instagram is aiming to streamline those processes by making it easy for creators to accomplish everything within the app.
Facebook stock price was up more than 6% in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the company released its first-quarter earnings, beating Wall Street’s expectations for earnings and revenue. The company reported revenue of $26.17 billion for the quarter, which was up 48% compared with a year prior. Facebook’s net income grew 94% to $9.5 billion, from $4.9 billion a year prior. Facebook attributed the significant increase in revenue to a 30% year-over-year increase in the average price per ad and a 12% increase in the number of ads delivered.
For digitally native brands, 2020 was a hard year, especially as the pandemic shifted shopping priorities to essential goods. Even so, collectively, these brands saw increased growth—and more than we expected. Last year, their direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce sales rose by 40.0%, an upward revision from our earlier estimate of 24.3% growth.
April 23rd, 2021
Traditionally, travel advertisers including online travel agencies are among the biggest search ad spenders on Google. That business tanked last year, but ecommerce-related search advertising outperformed thanks to the supercharged digital retail environment. It is estimated that search ad spending in the US reached $61.69 billion last year, up 10.4% over 2019 but more than $2 billion short of the March 2020 forecast for the year. Despite this, search ad spending will rebound in 2021 and reach levels higher than previously expected—and it will remain on a higher trajectory throughout our forecast period.
Since the pandemic, Gen Z has significantly increased online shopping but quickly becomes intolerant of poor digital experiences; retailers at risk of being abandoned. 80% are more willing to try new brands online since the pandemic. 63% have less patience with slow or poorly functioning websites. 57% are less loyal now to brands than before the pandemic. 37% either abandon a purchase or post a negative review with a poor digital shopping experience.
As Google prepares to roll out its new ‘Page Experience’ search algorithm update, which will incorporate its three Core Web Vitals considerations, it’s shared some new details on the timeline for the roll-out, and a new tool to help website owners prepare for any potential impacts to their rankings. As with past algorithm updates, the impacts can sometimes be more significant than expected, because Google can’t be 100% sure of the full effects until they’ve been released. To help website owners prepare for the update, Google has also launched a new Page Experience report, which combines its existing Core Web Vitals report with a range of additional elements (like HTTPS security, absence of intrusive interstitials, etc.) in order to outline potential areas to be addressed.
Google confirms that Target ROAS & Target CPA aren’t going away but are being grouped within other bid strategies. Here’s how you can continue to use them. Google confirmed in an email exchange that the machine learning that powers the Target CPA and Target ROAS bid strategies will not change. The bid strategies will continue to function in the same way that they had but the way that advertisers set them up will be slightly different. With this change, what advertisers have known as Target CPA and Target ROAS will be grouped under the Maximize Conversions and Maximize Conversion value bid strategies, respectively.
Whether mobile or desktop, global or local, Google is widely used by consumers. The search giant is the top referrer on the web, and search remains a reliable marketing channel for growing a business. Indeed, search overshadows the reach brands are able to get on social media platforms, by a significant margin. If you’re still not convinced about the value of investing in an SEO strategy for your business website, then the stats in the infographic, designed by Graphic Rhythm and compiled by Elite Content Marketer, should do the trick. And even if you’re already working on improving the presence of your site in SERPs, it’s worth integrating the learnings from these SEO statistics into your strategy.
April 16th, 2021
Despite a string of controversies and the public’s relatively negative sentiments about aspects of social media, roughly seven-in-ten Americans say they ever use any kind of social media site – a share that has remained relatively stable over the past five years, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of U.S. adults. YouTube and Facebook continue to dominate the online landscape, with 81% and 69%, respectively, reporting ever using these sites. And YouTube and Reddit were the only two platforms measured that saw statistically significant growth since 2019.
For many Americans, going online is an important way to connect with friends and family, shop, get news and search for information. Yet today, 7% of U.S. adults say they do not use the internet, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted Jan. 25-Feb. 8, 2021. Internet non-adoption is linked to a number of demographic variables, but is strongly connected to age – with older Americans continuing to be one of the least likely groups to use the internet. Today, 25% of adults ages 65 and older report never going online, compared with much smaller shares of adults under the age of 65.
Marketers face greater challenges with their digital marketing strategies, including efforts to personalize customer experiences. About two-thirds (63%) of digital marketing leaders said they continue to struggle with personalization, consulting firm Gartner found in a survey of 350 executives. A key challenge is implementing newer technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to support customer acquisition and retention. Only 17% of marketing leaders are using AI/ML broadly, even as 84% said the technologies enhance the ability to deliver real-time, personalized experiences, the survey found.
According to statistics from Statista, research on blockchain is currently in progress in diverse industries including media, telecommunications, and technology. According to Eugen Rosenmeier, a crypto expert, social media marketing professional, and digital marketing consultant for ICOs and blockchain companies, the rise of blockchain technology will have a significant impact on the digital marketing industry in the near future.
Aside from the tasty chocolate candy many of us enjoy eating in the springtime, ‘Easter eggs’ have an entirely different meaning when they come from Google. An Easter Egg is an unexpected feature in games, movies — and in this case, Google Search or another of its products. These secret goodies are usually discovered through word of mouth or entirely by accident. Today concealed links, messages and features can be found anywhere and everywhere – including Google Search.
After working on the option over the past few months, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri has now officially confirmed the launch of a new test that will enable IG users to choose whether they display post Like counts or not within the app. According to Mosseri, “Last year we started hiding like counts for a small group of people to see if it lessens some pressure when posting to Instagram. Some found this helpful and some still wanted to see like counts, in particular to track what’s popular. So we’re testing a new option that lets you decide the experience that’s best for you – whether that’s choosing not to see like counts on anyone else’s posts, turning them off for your own posts, or keeping the original experience.”
A recent Google research paper on Long Form Question Answering illustrates how difficult it is to answer questions that need longer and nuanced answers. While the researchers were able to improve the state of the art of this kind of question answering, they also admitted that their results needed significant improvements. The research paper states that Long-form Question Answering (LFQA) is important but a challenge and that progress in being able to achieve this kind of question answering is not as far along as Open-domain Question Answering.
April 9th, 2021
As the pandemic drove consumers to move their spending online in 2020, Amazon benefitted in a big way. But it wasn’t just its ecommerce business that grew by double digits. Its advertising business grew by 52.5% last year, pushing Amazon’s share of the US digital ad market past 10% for the first time. This has only strengthened its position as the No. 3 ad publisher in the US.
Artificial intelligence (AI) was just an ambiguous term in the realm of digital marketing a few years ago. Today, when AI is delivering exceptional results, marketers no longer feel hesitant to embrace it. In a survey commissioned by MemSQL, out of 1600 marketing professionals, 61% of them considered machine learning and artificial intelligence as crucial data initiatives. Another 2018 Salesforce survey revealed that an impressive 84% of marketers have already adopted AI — up from 29% in the preceding year. This year-after-year growth has surpassed other emerging technologies such as marketing automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) that marketers continue to adopt.
The keyword is one of the most remarkable marketing tools known to humankind. A keyword is an advertiser’s means of selecting which search terms they want to advertise on. The search term tells you exactly what individuals want, when they want it. This gives advertisers the opportunity to position their product or service in immediate response to that communication, and to even determine what value (the bid) that exchange carries. Absolutely remarkable! Is still telling us as much as we think it does? Understanding this is important for our industry to move forward, because if the keyword is not telling us as much as we think it is, then we have an obligation to evolve with Google’s system for the good of the accounts we manage.
Over the past week, you’ve likely seen reports of new data hacks on Facebook and LinkedIn, which have exposed the personal information of millions of users. Both Facebook and LinkedIn have acknowledged the respective cases, but both have also played down the significance of each, noting that it was either publicly available, or information obtained via previously reported data breaches. The two cases will further stoke concerns about the misuse of user data held by social media platforms. That’s been a major point of contention of late in relation to Apple’s coming IDFA update, which will enable users to opt-out of data tracking in every iOS app. Breaches like this will only strengthen the case for limiting such, which could be a flow-on impact for Facebook and LinkedIn specifically. The cases could also spark a stronger push for regulation, and could see more penalties handed down to the companies.
Yelp’s latest local economic impact report reveals that searches for diverse businesses grew significantly over the past year. The report defines a diverse business as a women-owned, Black-owned, Asian-owned, or Latinx-owned establishment. Businesses that identify as either women-owned, Black-owned, Asian-owned or Latinx-owned can display attributes on their Yelp page to assist people searching for a diverse business. Business owners can opt-in to more than one attribute, if applicable, such as Black-owned and women-owned. Over the past year, which includes February 2020 to February 2021, searches for diverse businesses grew by 2,930%.
There are various approaches you can take to learning and adopting the latest digital marketing options, and there’s no one ‘right’ approach to doing so. Which is why this new research from the team at SkyNova is of interest. SkyNova recently surveyed over 400 entrepreneurs to glean some insight into how they’re approaching social media marketing. The research revealed that; 89% of entrepreneurs said they rely on themselves for social media support, Facebook remains the primary business platform for the vast majority of business owners and TikTok is the platform that business owners currently want to crack the most.
April 2nd, 2021
The SEO community has been rumbling over the past few days over a new study shared by SparkToro which suggests that more than two-thirds of Google searches now result in no click-through at all. The trend is a concern for SEO practitioners, as it suggests that, increasingly, Google is looking to limit the amount of traffic it’s directing from search, with new additions like info-panels, featured snippets, videos etc.
Facebook Analytics will stop being accessible after June 30, 2021, which gives marketers less than three months to export their data and find other solutions. Considering how marketers rely on Facebook Analytics to measure conversion data, this announcement comes with decidedly short notice. The announcement that Facebook Analytics is going away at the end of June was quietly published in the Facebook for Business help center. The company doesn’t offer a reason for its decision to shutter Facebook Analytics. Instead, it directs users to other business tools that are not exact 1:1 alternatives.
The pandemic’s remarkable impact on the app industry has not slowed down in 2021. In fact, consumer spending in apps has hit a new record in the first quarter of this year, a new report from App Annie indicates. The firm says consumers in Q1 2021 spent $32 billion on apps across both iOS and Google Play, up 40% year-over-year from Q1 2020. It’s the largest-ever quarter on record, App Annie also notes.
Microsoft stumbled back online Thursday after an hours-long outage in the middle of the U.S. west coast working afternoon. Besides its homepage, Microsoft’s Xbox and Office services went down, log-in pages didn’t load, and the company’s status pages were also knocked offline by the outage. Worse, Microsoft’s cloud service Azure also fell offline, causing outages to any sites and services that rely on it. Microsoft confirmed it was a networking issue. Microsoft also tweeted that it was related to DNS, the internet system that translates web addresses to computer-readable internet numbers. It’s an important function of how the internet works, so it’s not ideal when it suddenly breaks.
According to a December 2020 Lotame survey, six in 10 US marketers said that multiple identity solutions would be needed, so long as they were interoperable. However, 22% of respondents believed that just one solution would dominate. Publishers will likely adopt multiple solutions, but they also need to be flexible going forward. Post-cookie identity solutions will only be viable if they gain scaled adoption from both the buy- and sell-sides. Sources we spoke with said that the buy-side would likely lead solutions adoption and publishers would follow.
The team from Socialinsider recently teamed up with Sked Social to analyze over 102 million Instagram business posts, comparing performance over time, to get a sense of the latest engagement benchmarks in the app. The research reveals some interesting insights, such as; Instagram’s overall engagement rate is now on line with the same from 2019, following a spike during the first half of 2020. That spike in engagement was likely caused by the pandemic, and appears to have now normalized.
March 26th, 2021
With the emergence of TikTok and its success exacerbated by a global pandemic that kept people stuck at home and mindlessly glued to their phones, brands have started to move their relatability efforts onto the video-sharing app where a generation with rising purchasing power spends most of their time. Some brands and organizations like the NBA, Chipotle and Target are actually creating appealing, on-trend content. Target, for example, utilizes an already popular TikTok trend: shopping hauls and product recommendations. Much of Target’s TikTok account, which has over 800k followers, consists of popular TikTokers shopping at Target and highlighting items you “need.”
One of the challenges that some would-be TikTok rivals have faced is that they often lack the same robust set of content creation tools, like filters, effects and tools for repurposing others’ content — like TikTok’s Stitch and Duet, for example. It now appears that Snapchat is working to correct that latter problem, however, as it’s been spotted working on a TikTok Duets-like feature called “Remix,” designed for replying to Snaps. This feature will allow users to create new content using their friends’ Snaps — a “remix,” that is.
For years now, content marketing has been one of the main topics of marketing. But like anything, if you can’t measure it, it doesn’t get much love from higher-ups and it’s almost impossible to improve your strategy. Every piece of content should be created to fulfill a user’s intent, which are often explained in the form of a marketing funnel. Once you’ve identified what part of the funnel you are working with, you will be able to choose the metrics to define the success of that content.
Amazon today announced the general availability of Lookout for Metrics, a fully managed service that uses machine learning to monitor key factors impacting the health of enterprises. Launched at re:Invent 2020 last December in preview, Lookout for Metrics can now be accessed by most Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers via the AWS console and through supporting partners. Using the same machine learning technology behind Amazon, Lookout for Metrics automatically inspects business health indicators including revenue, web page views, active users, transaction volume, and mobile app installations. The service also helps to diagnose the root cause of anomalies like unexpected dips in revenue, high rates of abandoned shopping carts, spikes in payment transaction failures, increases in new user sign-ups, and more.
House lawmakers promised that stricter regulations on social media platforms are now inevitable as CEOs from Facebook, Twitter and Google faced intense scrutiny from Democrats and Republicans like at a hearing on Thursday. The hearing was aimed at addressing misinformation that spread on the social media platforms and contributed to the January 6 riot at the Capitol. Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone Jr., chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (ECC), said that Facebook, Twitter, and Google “played a role in fomenting insurrection” and accused the platforms of handing a “megaphone” to extremists who spread misinformation. “Your business model itself has become the problem and the time for self-regulation is over,” Pallone Jr. said. “It’s time we legislate and hold you accountable and that is what we are going to do.”
Social networks have transformed marketing and their popularity is still growing in the latest global social media statistics research summary for 2021. Networks vary in popularity with different demographics and they’re still evolving. Research by Global WebIndex shows that globally, 53.6% of the world’s population uses social media. The average daily usage is 2 hours and 25 minutes.
Neustar’s product marketing director Devon DeBlasio and eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence Nicole Perrin discuss how the deprecation of third-party cookies and changes to Apple’s policies will affect how advertisers can identify and track users across channels and what they can do to continue measuring their success by taking a unified approach.
Against a backdrop of turmoil in 2020, the retail industry overall is set for growth in 2021. With digital transformation efforts accelerating under urgent conditions, investments in digital infrastructure should grow this year. And as 5G networks are finally starting to take off, the technology could bring about positive changes for retail in the near and long terms. Retailers will invest in 5G to enhance the customer experience, both in-store and online. AR/VR applications and payment systems will be beneficiaries on the customer side.
March 19th, 2021
One year on since the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic, new data from marketing data specialist Emarsys sheds light on how much brands have increased their use of digital marketing tactics like email, SMS, push notifications and web notifications. Since March 2020, all digital marketing tactics have increased significantly, but it’s mobile push notifications that have seen the widest adoption — with the number of pushes increasing by 78% over the last year. Currently, this trend shows no signs of slowing down or returning to pre-pandemic levels, with mobiles remaining a vital part of both the online and in-store shopping experience.
With every new year it’s important to take a step back, understand the emerging trends, and align our digital marketing strategies to take advantage of recent events. 2020 brought unprecedented changes onto society, and with both the maturation of social media and popularity of video and story-centric content, 2021 will continue to challenge marketers looking to improve their digital marketing ROI as newer technologies such as AI become more mainstream.
The theory itself is that when you do just SEO or SEM by themselves, they will provide one visitor to your site, each. But when done concurrently, SEO and SEM produce a halo effect. Instead of getting two visitors to the site, you end up with three. Net-net, together they drive incremental growth. Based on this theory, if you do SEO work for a site, SEM should also be part of the marketing mix. In short, SEM and SEO just work better together. 1 + 1 = 3.
Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri confirms that a version of the popular photo sharing app for children under 13 is in the works, BuzzFeed News reports. The Facebook-owned company knows a lot of kids want to use Instagram, Mosseri said, but there isn’t a “detailed plan yet,” according to BuzzFeed News. “But part of the solution is to create a version of Instagram for young people or kids where parents have transparency or control,” Mosseri told BuzzFeed News. “It’s one of the things we’re exploring.” Instagram’s current policy bars children under 13 from the platform.
Glossier CEO Emily Weiss once said, “Amazon really solved buying, but it killed shopping in the process.” Implicit in this observation is the idea that up until this point, ecommerce has primarily evolved around conversion optimization, while ignoring much of what precedes that moment in the shopper’s journey. The dominant digital path to purchase begins with a product search—often unbranded—during which the consumer demonstrates intent.
Technology and the internet continue to influence business operations across various sectors. Today, many people use multiple digital marketing strategies to market brands. However, to succeed in digital marketing, you need to devise creative and workable strategies that will give you value for your money and time.
The era of “tCommerce” is upon us, if Amazon is to be believed. Amazon Studios Chief Operating Officer Albert Cheng said that after a long period of development, it seems consumers are ready to try out tCommerce, which is the buying of goods directly from their TV screens while watching programs, according to reports. Speaking on a panel, Cheng noted that Amazon has long sought to “leverage the reach of Prime Video and marry that with commerce.” The goal, over time, is to connect the Amazon Video ecosystem to the Amazon commerce ecosystem, mediated by its growing lineup of devices and delivered by its expanding voice ecosystem.
March 12th, 2021
According to eMarketer.com research, the total amount spent on digital advertising this year in the US will grow 19% to $129.34 billion, which is 54.2% of estimated total US ad spending. Those statistics include all internet-connected devices and various advertising formats, but mobile ads will keep the authority with almost two-thirds out of total ad spending with around $87.06 billion. Even as their revenues grow, Facebook and Google, as a combined share of the duopoly, will drop this year for the first time. The winner of digital advertising is Amazon, which takes more digital advertising market share from the duopoly. Its ad business is growing faster than anyone expected, and it continues to win the market share. The amount of Amazon’s US ads business will grow more than 50%, and its share of Digital Ad Market in the US will reach 8.8%.
Facebook has announced a range of new monetization options for creators, with a focus on short video clips – which could put more pressure on TikTok, which is still working on its own revenue-share programs. First off, on short-form video – Facebook has announced that creators will now be able to earn money from videos as short as one minute long, “with a minimally interruptive ad running at 30 seconds”. “For videos three minutes or longer, an ad can be shown 45 seconds in. Previously only three-minute or longer videos could monetize with in-stream ads, with an ad shown no earlier than 1 minute.”
Google, Facebook, and other big tech companies may have to negotiate deals with US news publishers to pay them for content if new bill passes. The bipartisan bill is led by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative David Cicilline, both Democrats. It’s sponsored by Senator John Kennedy and Representative Ken Buck, both Republicans. If passed, the bill will introduce legislation that will make it easier for news publishers to enter collective negotiations with companies like Google and Facebook. Print, broadcast, and digital news organizations will be able to work together during a four-year period to win favorable deals from tech companies. During that period those companies will not be subject to antitrust laws.
Internal company documents from March 2020 obtained by Insider reveal the retailer’s initiative—dubbed “Project Glass”—to strengthen its business and take on Amazon head-on. Although Walmart has an advantage over Amazon when it comes to brick-and-mortar retail, internal company research found that it was falling way behind on meeting online customer expectations related to needs and experience. Shopping for immediate needs and everyday essentials was 25% more common on Amazon than it was on Walmart’s site, for instance. Online friction and poor customer shopping frequency were key issues flagged in Walmart’s leaked documents.
Facebook rolled out the less data-intensive, Android-only version of Instagram (Instagram Lite) to 170 countries this week. The app takes up only 2 MB and is geared toward emerging markets, where consumers are more likely to use Androids and/or be sensitive to the costs of excessive mobile data usage. Many mobile apps already create lite versions for this very reason, but Facebook noted that this was particularly challenging for Instagram given the app’s wide array and ever-increasing set of features. The slimmed-down Instagram Lite will not include advertising, shopping, or the ability to make TikTok-like Reels, although users will still be able to view Reels. Facebook did, however, say that advertising will be coming to Instagram Lite in a future update.
Google uses a predictive method to detect duplicate content based on URL patterns, which could lead to pages being incorrectly identified as duplicates. In order to prevent unnecessary crawling and indexing, Google tries to predict when pages may contain similar or duplicate content based on their URLs. When Google crawls pages with similar URL patterns and finds they contain the same content, it may then determine all other pages with that URL pattern have the same content as well. Unfortunately for site owners that could mean pages with unique content get written off as duplicates because they have the same URL pattern as pages that are actual duplicates. Those pages would then be left out of Google’s index.
It’s pretty much a truism that you need to be keyed in to the latest digital marketing statistics and the hottest trends for your digital marketing strategy to remain effective in 2020 and beyond. Whether you rely on SEO, social media, content marketing, paid online advertising, or email marketing to generate leads for your business and convert users into paying customers, this carefully compiled set of statistics is just what you need to start the year.
March 5th, 2021
PageSpeed Insights (PSI) scores have recently improved across the board. But the improvements have nothing to do with any changes made to the websites experiencing better scores. The improvements happened over on Google’s side. Google announced an important change in how the PageSpeed Insights tools gathers information. The change is a switch to using the http/2 protocol for connecting to a web page. The performance boost is why the PageSpeed Insights scores are going up across the board, because the PSI data is now gathered using the new faster protocol.
The marketing world has had massive changes and search engine saturation has hit the lowest level in 11 years. What does it mean for brands and ecommerce businesses? How did macro changes impact the number of brands who appeared in both paid and organic search? Simply put it crashed. Overall, it was down by 60% year over year and 78% from 2018. This was mostly driven by a reduction in paid search results overall. Travel alone was down 78% since 2019.
Marketing today really boils down to one question: “How can we be heard?” And that’s getting increasingly difficult. Being relevant, interesting, timely, entertaining, and superior isn’t enough anymore. The central issue with content, now and into the future, is “How do we become the signal instead of the noise?” In many ways both large and small, the odds are stacked against us. There are a lot of hurdles we have to overcome. So if you don’t have built-in advantages (millions of dollars, a powerful website, or a PhD from Harvard), how can you build your own momentum?
Are you considering your social media plan of attack for the year ahead? Want to know the best social media platforms to help you grow your small business? The team from Tech.co share the stats you need to know about each social network. Here’s who makes their list; Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat.
Major changes are coming to how advertisers and others in the ecosystem can identify users across channels and devices. The loss of third-party cookies and changes to Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA)—rumored to roll out this month—will affect ad addressability, but also measurement and attribution. Advertisers are taking steps in response, including more emphasis on first-party data, data collaborations, and modeling-based approaches.
Twitter confirmed it’s testing a new way to display tweets that link out to e-commerce product pages — like products on a Shopify store, for example. With a new Twitter card format, the company is experimenting with tweets that include a big “Shop” button and integrate product details directly into the tweet itself, including the product name, shop name and product pricing.
February 26th, 2021
If 2020 was a year of rapid change for the digital marketing landscape, 2021 must be one of transformation. The events of the last year or so, from the deprecation of third-party cookies to the announcement of changes to Apple’s IDFA, have deeply impacted the way much of digital marketing works. Although third-party cookies underpin so much of digital marketing activity, they are fundamentally flawed, and have long been this way. Third-party cookies were not necessarily designed to be consumer first, and in combination with the fact they are tied to devices, rather than people, making it harder to target consumers precisely or across devices, it has long been time for a better way forward.
How do sentiment, landing page quality, and increasing ad spend impact PPC performance? Cambridge University compares Facebook, Microsoft & Google Ads. If you have to choose between Facebook and Google Ads for promoting your SMB, Facebook is your best bet. And in the debate between Microsoft Advertising and Google Ads, Google provides greater reach at a lower cost. Facebook Ads was the most cost-effective channel on average. Microsoft Ads was most responsive to increasing ad spend.
Users who have an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac can interact with Siri without even touching the device by using the voice command “Hey Siri,” which invokes Apple’s virtual assistant. As other assistants like Amazon’s Alexa also have similar commands, Facebook is now introducing a new, “Hey Facebook” wake word for its own smart devices. Facebook has its own lineup of smart devices called “Portal,” which are basically tablets or “Smart Displays” designed to be used at home on a table or desk. In addition, there’s also the Oculus VR platform, which is owned by Facebook.
Results of early testing, which Google published in a blog article, indicates audio search is harder to accomplish than it might sound. Details of these tests are shared in an article penned by Tim Olson, SVP of digital strategic partnerships at KQED. Google is partnering with KQED in a joint effort to make audio more findable. The greatest obstacle to making audio search a possibility is the fact that audio must be converted to text before it can be searched and sorted. There’s currently no way to accurately transcribe audio in a way that allows it to be found quickly.
Twitter announced a number of new features that the company is experimenting with, including Super Follow subscriptions, which will let users pay to see tweets from their favorite accounts. Twitter showed the new features during its annual Analyst Day. The company kicked off the event by announcing new goals to grow its user base to 315 million monetizable daily active users by the end of 2023 and reach $7.5 billion annual revenue in 2023, double the $3.72 billion revenue that the company reported in 2020. The features previewed are intended to help the company hit its 2023 user and revenue goals.
Facebook Groups, and online communities in general, are becoming more prevalent in peoples’ lives according to data from a new research study. A report from NYU’s The Governance Lab examines how Facebook Groups allow people to form meaningful communities they often wouldn’t have the opportunity to offline. Of those involved in the study, 77% say the most important group they’re part of now operates online. There’s over 70 million admins and moderators running active Facebook groups.
February 19th, 2021
With attention spans declining, and media consumption habits evolving, could 6-second video ads now be more effective than longer variants? That’s what Snapchat’s contending, based on its latest research report. To glean more insight into how people’s response behaviors are shifting, Snap commissioned MAGNA Global to conduct a study of over 7,700 users, on both desktop and mobile devices, in order to get an idea of their reactions to varying video ad types. The data highlights some interesting points of note – first off, Snapchat says that, regardless of length, full-screen vertical ads on Snapchat drove more than 2x the lift in awareness than other platforms tested.
For many, it is hard to imagine a life without social media, mobile phones or, indeed the internet. But although use is growing year on year, not every country in the world has access to the tools, internet access points and bandwidth that the US enjoys. But how important is social media for commerce, brands and consumers? Facebook utterly dominates the list of most-used social platforms with 2.74 billion users, closely followed by YouTube at 2.291 billion. No wonder social media users will spend a combined total of 420 million years using social media in 2021.
Google has made it official: Responsive Text Ads will now be the default ad type in Google Ads search campaigns. The ad format debuted in 2018. A Google spokesperson confirmed this update will not impact the way ads are served. Expanded text ads are still supported, and advertisers can still create them. The difference is the platform won’t default to expanded text ads when an advertiser goes to create a new ad.
Nearly 44% of US adults say absolutely not—in fact, only 12.8% of those surveyed say that the email newsletter ads cluttering their inboxes have an influence on what, when, and from whom they choose to buy.
The race is on to find an alternative technology to replace the third-party tracking cookies advertisers use to target and measure online ads. Google, owner of the world’s most popular web browser, set the countdown clock ticking last year when it said it would end support for third-party cookies in Chrome by 2022. It’s been experimenting with tools in its “Privacy Sandbox” that are designed to allow advertising to continue to work on the web but in a less privacy encroaching way.
The use of digital platforms changed significantly over the course of 2020, with the lockdowns and COVID mitigation efforts forcing people to find alternate ways to socialize, to shop, and to work, all of which have flow-on effects. That’s sparked new trends, like audio social, and new approaches in how businesses connect with their target markets. If you’re not aware of these shifts, you may limiting your marketing performance.
February 12th, 2021
Google has 12 new types of manual action penalties which involve violations of Google News and Google Discover policies. This marks the first time a website could potentially receive a manual penalty for violations of News and Discover policies. Previously, manual actions were limited to violations of Google Search. That’s not to say Google hasn’t been enforcing its policies around News and Discover. It has – but up to this point enforcement has been automated. It’s unclear what the repercussions will be when hit with a manual penalty for violating Google News and Google Discover policies.
The great subscription rush is on. It seems like every day another traditional subscription-based business reports big numbers or there’s another big name making new subscription plays. Take, for example, Twitter. It has been the attention-getter in the crowd as the social media giant announced its acquisition of the Revue newsletter platform in January. Twitter’s expansion into the subscription service realm comes as it looks for ways to hold on to its revenue gains. The firm just enjoyed its second $1 billion quarter in revenue ever and increasingly facing pressure as to whether it can keep it up, particularly with a new political administration.
Today, a nationwide coalition led by Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) announced $25 million in investments towards a goal to put one million connected devices in the hands of students without access to the basic tools needed to engage in digital learning, a need that’s been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. One Million Connected Devices Now is the latest effort from the Take on Race Coalition – a group P&G developed in partnership with CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion. Partners Dell Technologies, Intel, Dow Jones, Fidelity, Microsoft Corp, PNC Bank, PolicyLink, Walmart, and Comcast have joined P&G in Phase One of the initiative that has raised $25 million towards devices, and the companies invite others to become involved in helping address the digital divide.
Facebook, a company known for ripping its ideas from competitors, has reportedly set its sights on social audio. The New York Times reports today that the company is working on a copycat of Clubhouse, the buzzy invite-only social audio startup. The Times reports the product is in the “early stages of development,” so it’s unclear if and when it might launch. The news comes only five days after CEO Mark Zuckerberg joined Clubhouse and participated in a room to talk about the future of augmented and virtual reality. His presence on the app was shocking, given it’s a new social network, so the fact that Facebook might now be cloning Clubhouse is no surprise.
In October 2020, Google announced passage indexing, a new way of Google ranking specific passages from a web page in search. Google has updated us that passage ranking, as they are now properly calling it, went live on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, in the afternoon Pacific Time for queries in the US in English. Google said passage-based indexing will affect 7% of search queries across all languages when fully rolled out globally.
A pandemic-disrupted 2020 led to even more time spent with digital media than anticipated. US adults spent an average of 7 hours, 50 minutes (7:50) per day with digital last year, a 15.0% increase from 2019. That growth will mostly be retained in 2021. US adults spent 13:38 per day with all media in 2020. Of this total, 7:50 was spent with digital media. By 2022, time spent with digital media will account for 60.2% of total US media time.
February 5th, 2021
Facebook published an article that explains how the Facebook News Feed algorithm works. Compared with Facebook’s news feed algorithm patent, both documents explain much about how Facebook ranks posts in the news feed. Facebook’s news feed algorithm is a machine learning ranking system. It’s not just one algorithm though. It’s a combination of multiple algorithms that work together in different phases.
Amazon’s e-commerce dominance is quickly expanding to advertising. The pandemic has drastically cut ad budgets as marketers reign back their spending, but e-commerce advertising is booming as people shop more from home — with Amazon leading the pack. EMarketer forecast that e-commerce advertising would rise 39% to $17.4 billion in the US in 2020, to represent 12% of digital ad spend.
Twitter unveiled a feature Monday meant to bolster its efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation by tapping users in a fashion similar to Wikipedia to flag potentially misleading tweets. The new system allows users to discuss and provide context to tweets they believe are misleading or false. The project, titled Birdwatch, is a standalone section of Twitter that will at first only be available to a small set of users, largely on a first-come, first-served basis.
Saying that most people spend a good part of their days on social media would not be an exaggeration. Not in today’s world. Social media has become an integral part of people’s lives and daily routines. Some are addicted to it so much that the first thing they do after waking up is to check their social media feeds. Given the importance of social media in consumers’ lives, marketers and businesses flock to social platforms in the hope of connecting with their target customers. However, there is a content overload on social media, and the competition is very high. It can be challenging for you to stand out unless you have a clear social media marketing strategy.
We all know, social media is an essential part of a ton of people’s lives. Which means it’s one of the best places to gain exposure and market your brand. But the truth is, it can be exhausting. You keep getting targeted by ads. Annoying sponsored content pops up when you least expect it. You’re not even sure if you’re talking to a human or a bot. You want to quit social media, but that means letting go of a huge opportunity to market your brand or network with other people in your field.
How much advertising would one Super Bowl ad get us online? More than you can imagine. Most organizations wouldn’t even be able to use all of the online impressions or digital ads in a lifetime.The average price of a national Super Bowl ad during the game costs around $4 million.
Facebook is building tools to help advertisers keep their ad placements away from certain topics in its News Feed. The company said it will begin testing “topic exclusion” controls with a small group of advertisers. It said, for example, a children’s toy company would be able to avoid content related to “crime and tragedy,” if it wished. Other topics will include “news & politics” and “social issues.” The company said development and testing of the tools would take “much of the year.”
Brands are using SMS in various customer communication applications, including marketing messages, customer support, transactional messages, and more. But consumers consider transactional messages more valuable than other types of text messages—68% of US adults said that reminders of important appointments were highly valuable, compared with just 14% who cited discount alerts, according to a January 2020 Zipwhip survey.
January 29th, 2021
Amid the pandemic, US adults spent 1 hour more per day on digital activities (across all devices) than they did in 2019, according to eMarketer’s latest time spent forecast from Insider Intelligence. Total digital time is now on track to surpass 8 hours by the end of 2022. In 2020, US adults spent 7 hours, 50 minutes (7:50) per day consuming digital media*, up 15.0% from 6:49 in 2019, the biggest increase since 2012. It’s also considerably higher than our Q1 2020 projection (7:31). Digital time accounted for 57.5% of adults’ daily media time in 2020, and that figure will reach 60.2% by 2022.
If you spend any time online, it’s likely you’re familiar with some of the world’s most visited websites. On today’s internet, a handful of giants have unmatched dominance. Together, the top three websites rake in 152 billion visits monthly, outpacing the next 47 websites combined. What’s more, as the pandemic transformed everything from the way we work, learn, communicate, and shop—a majority of these activities migrated online.
As Google continues to dominate in terms of search engine marketshare, website owners are constantly seeking new ways to bring traffic from there to their own sites, as well. Getting listed in Google News is a fantastic way to earn more attention for your content, thanks to the increased visibility Google gives top stories. In the past, there were several steps to being considered for listing in Google News.
Facebook Inc’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday the company would no longer recommend civic and political groups to users of the platform. The social media company said in October that it was temporarily halting recommendations of political groups for U.S. users in the run-up to the presidential election. On Wednesday Facebook said it would be making this permanent and would expand the policy globally.
Tech companies with big digital ads businesses look poised to report exceptional fourth quarters on the back of a stay-at-home holiday shopping season and a continuing ad rebound from the beginning of the pandemic. Facebook will be the first of the ad-supported internet companies to report earnings on Wednesday, while Alphabet’s Google, Snap, Pinterest, Twitter and Amazon will follow in the coming weeks. Analysts will be listening closely for those positive signals, but also will have questions for these companies about how they plan to deal with upcoming privacy changes.
Apple is urging iPhone and iPad users to update their devices to fix security flaws that might have been “actively exploited” by hackers. Apple made the software upgrades available Tuesday, adding a rare note suggesting it was a serious threat. The company credited anonymous researchers for pointing out the vulnerability but provided little details about the nature of the threat.
January 22nd, 2021
Much has changed in the world since we last checked in on PYMNTS Provider Ranking of Shopping Apps, and there’s much to report in the January 2021 edition. Winter gifting holidays undoubtedly played a role in the movement we see in the new Provider Ranking, as mobile eCommerce apps made the gifting season recently ended merrier and brighter than it otherwise might’ve been.
Last year saw an explosion of martech tools, increased integrations, and AI automations. It’s clear digital connectivity has skyrocketed, with massive amounts of data from multiple sources seamlessly moving from one platform to another. Studies from McKinsey have said that in 2020, digital transformation vaulted five years forward in about eight weeks’ time. While most of us faced new challenges over the past year, technology has actually made it possible to execute more efficient and accurate marketing campaigns – if you have the right information.
DuckDuckGo celebrates a milestone as it reaches 100 million searches in a single day. DuckDuckGo’s public traffic data indicates the record was hit this past Monday, January 11. Including Monday’s milestone number, DuckDuckGo is on track to hit around 90 million daily average searches for the month of January. For comparison, DuckDuckGo averaged around 52 million daily average searches in January 2020. That’s means this month’s numbers represent an increase of 73% year-over-year.
Last year, the virus disrupted lives and livelihoods everywhere. It even caused some marketers to pause their wanton spending in digital. Without this “external shock” most marketers would have been content not rocking the boat and would have carried on as usual.
One of the biggest challenges advertisers and media will face in 2021 is being able to communicate with consumers and transact effectively in a cookie-free world. Lotame, a firm specializing in data enrichment solutions to meet consumers, revealed the four trends that will mark the digital marketing industry in 2021.
Without software to automate marketing tasks, many small businesses are at a disadvantage as owners determine digital marketing strategies for 2021. Almost two-thirds (64%) of small businesses in the U.S. admitted to conducting email marketing without marketing software or a CRM in 2021, according to a new survey report from Visual Objects, a visual guide to finding and hiring the best creative firms. Without CRMs such as HubSpot or Salesforce, small businesses must handle email marketing manually.
January 15th, 2021
Not every marketer does influencer marketing, but a large majority do. Although some marketers cut spending on influencer marketing during the pandemic (such as travel marketers), the interest in working with influencers actually increased; between 2019 and 2020 the percentage of US marketers using influencers grew from 55.4% to 62.3%. Budgets for influencer marketing look ready to rise. In July 2020 research by Kantar Media, senior marketers worldwide said they expected to increase budget allocation for branded content shared by influencers by 48% in 2021.
Digital brands looked headed for a reckoning a year ago, with bloated valuations, rising advertising costs and ever more competition. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit the US and gave a giant gift to brands that mainly sell directly through the web. With their brick-and-mortar competition shuttered and the virus raging, Americans flocked online and loaded up on home goods, comfy clothes and much more. And this was not just 20-somethings, but pretty much everyone. This helped remove a big hurdle to continued growth for direct-to-consumer brands: finding new customers.
The popularity of social media isn’t going away anytime soon, making it an important part of your overall marketing strategy. According to Statista, an estimated 3.6 billion people use social media worldwide, and that number is expected to grow. Assuming your target audience is part of that overall user count, you have a chance to reach them through the platforms they’re already using. However, at the same time, you need to be cautious about avoiding any social media pitfalls along the way.
As Google Ads has matured, it’s more challenging to stay on top of features and potential problems. Despite every Google Ads account having its own quirks and challenges, there are many commonalities that emerge. With how much the interface has grown and changed over the years, it’s easy to see how things get missed, ignored, or forgotten.
Around a third of Americans regularly get their news from Facebook, according to the latest study from Pew Research Center, whose surveys aim to better understand the current media landscape in the U.S. In the updated report, Pew Research found that around half of U.S. adults, or 53%, said they “often” or “sometimes” use social media to get their news. This is spread out across a number of sites, but Facebook is at the top of the list.
January 8th, 2021
2020 was a year of monumental digital change on just about every front. Politically, sociologically, economically, culturally and from a technological perspective, we saw major shifts sure to have long-lasting ramifications. As we enter this new year with trepidation amidst the ongoing uncertainty of a persistent global pandemic, enterprise organizations and their leaders are looking for proven, cost-effective ways to understand these continuous shifts in consumer behavior and demand.
Liana Technologies recently put together an infographic, highlighting marketing trends that will possibly show prevalence across 2021. Well, congratulations seem to be in order. We’ve all collectively made it out of 2020, and are immediately setting our sights towards the new year, hoping for better prospects. Liana has prepared this infographic that brands and businesses can look towards in their preparations to build customer bases and communities.
What the heck is going on? Big brands turned off millions of dollars of digital ad spending, and saw no change in business outcomes. Small businesses tuned their digital marketing and reduced the number of ad impressions, clicks, and traffic to their sites, but saw business activity go up, instead of down. Much of the problem with digital advertising today stems from marketers’ obsession with big numbers. But big numbers of ads and clicks do not translate into more business activity and sales. They are just large numbers in dashboards and spreadsheets.
Wondery will become part of Amazon Music, which added support for podcasts (including its own original shows) in September. At the same time, the announcement claims that “nothing will change for listeners” and that the network’s podcasts will continue to be available from “a variety of providers.” Media companies and streaming audio platforms are all making big bets on podcasting, with Spotify making a series of acquisitions including podcast network Gimlet, SiriusXM acquiring Stitcher and The New York Times acquiring Serial Productions. Amazon is coming relatively late to this market, but it will now have the support of a popular podcast maker as it works to catch up.
As socially inclined creatures, human beings have embraced technology that connects us with others. Every year, there is an increasing number of people signing up for and using social media. While there weren’t even a billion people using social media back in 2010, the number exceeded more than 2 billion within just five years. In 2019, there were around 2.77 billion people using social media. And, with smartphones and internet connectivity becoming cheaper and easier to access, we should expect to see these numbers grow even higher. By 2021, more than 3 billion people will be using social media.
LiveIntent, the people-based marketing platform that reaches 250 million logged-in users each month via its 2,500 brands and publisher partners, and MediaRadar, the leading advertising intelligence and sales enablement platform, today released their joint report, revealing how COVID-19 impacted holiday advertising in 2020. The study analyzed ad spending across email, digital, TV and print between October – November, 2020, discovering that retail digital ad spend was up 22% year-over-year (YoY), fitness ad spend across digital, TV and print is up over 2x YoY, and much more.
December 24th, 2020
The use of the marketing agency will help you to reach potential clients. The good thing with a digital agency is that they help you reach the potential customer where they spent their time and money. They have leads and network for potential customers. The small business may have no connection yet, but you can start getting more connections with an agency. The agency has the skills to allocate to the potential customer, and you know exactly what works for you best.
Google and Facebook reportedly made a deal in September 2018 in which Facebook agreed not to compete with Google’s online advertising tools. In return, the social media giant was given “special treatment” when it used them itself, according to the Journal. The lawsuit reportedly states that Google and Facebook knew their deal could result in antitrust investigations.
Nike has long been developing a digital-first, direct-to-consumer (D2C) presence long before COVID-19 hit, and that investment paid off in the firm’s fiscal Q2. In investments, social media-focused attire reseller Poshmark recently filed for an initial public offering, hoping to catch an IPO wave that saw massive first-day increases for DoorDash and Airbnb. And in dining, quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are working to upgrade their digital channels and are entering into digital-only offerings.
PwC has released its latest annual Global Entertainment & Media Outlook report, a comprehensive study that contains projections for online and offline media advertising markets through 2024. Needless to say, marketing has not been immune from the impact of coronavirus. The estimated market sizes across most categories for 2024 are now lower than what PwC predicted for 2023, with the notable exception of video games, digital music streaming, and podcasts.
For over half of its 22-year history, Google has been the most prevalent search engine in the United States. Over that term, its perception has gone from quintessential Silicon Valley startup and underdog to the gatekeeper of the internet, presiding over algorithms that have massive business implications and developing a reputation for expanding its business into different sectors in the name of providing a better experience to its users. More recently, increased scrutiny over its business practices has led government regulators to crack down on perceived improprieties and some users have shown a slight sway towards a more privacy-oriented search experience.
In a year with so much uncertainty, holiday shopping will likely look much different from past years. But how exactly will consumers approach buying gifts this season, and does their age play a role in their approach? 71% of consumers feel confident that online transactions are safe. The level of trust between generations differs in a way that may be unexpected. 82% of consumers from the Greatest Generation, shoppers 74 years old or older and also referred to as the Silent Generation, reported confidence in online shopping security. Only 49% of Gen Z consumers, ranging in age from 17 to 24 — feel the same.
December 18th, 2020
AWS today announced the preview of Amazon Location, a new service for developers who want to add location-based features to their web-based and mobile applications. Based on mapping data from Esri and HERE Technologies, the service provides all of the basic mapping and point-of-interest data you would expect from a mapping service, including built-in tracking and geofencing features. It does not offer a routing feature, though.
Facebook told employees on Tuesday that it’s developing a tool to summarize news articles so users won’t have to read them. It also laid out early plans for a neural sensor to detect people’s thoughts and translate them into action. Those announcements and product demos were part of an end-of-year, companywide meeting at the social networking giant, whose year has been pockmarked by controversy, employee discontent, and multiple state and federal antitrust lawsuits.
The search engine giant is testing a new discrete icon. When the users click it, the images that are featured on the web page will be revealed. According to Search Engine Journal’s latest report, Google’s new feature could affect click through rates. It can do this by allowing sites, with descriptive images, a chance to influence users to click or visit their website. However, the search engine company hasn’t released any documentation yet for its new feature since it is still testing the new interactive search results.
The “messy middle” is where people decide what to buy, according to research by Google’s Market Insights team in the U.K. That’s why the future of SEO lies in the “messy middle” of the purchase journey. CMOs understand the importance of getting their brand’s content found when people decide what to buy. So, if SEO professionals learn how to explain the role that they – as well as the content marketing and digital PR teams – can play in the complex space where customers are won or lost, then they can build the business case for getting a bigger budget.
A global pandemic, widespread social unrest and polarizing political events. With 2020 almost in the rearview mirror, is it wise to predict what next year holds? Following widespread cuts to ad budgets earlier this year, a rebound is anticipated in 2021, with Zenith forecasting that ad spend will recover by 5.8% globally.
eMarketer forecasting analyst Eric Haggstrom and principal analyst at Insider Intelligence Nicole Perrin discuss what an advertising rebound will actually look like next year. They then talk about how to reach ad-free streamers, new podcast measurement guidelines, and whether WarnerMedia just killed the movies.
December 11th, 2020
Amid the pandemic, Amazon’s ad revenues along with its retail sales have increased as consumers continue to shift to ecommerce at elevated rates. Amazon has a unique place in the eMarketer US digital ad revenue breakout: It’s the only company for which they revised their 2020 estimate upward between March and October. They now expect Amazon to earn $14.55 billion in net US digital ad revenues in 2020.
This year — 2020 — was a year for the books, with COVID-19 throwing a gigantic monkey wrench into our personal and professional lives as marketers. As we look into 2021, we have to ask: Which changes in consumer behaviors and associated marketing strategies will have a lasting impact, once a vaccine is readily available? There is reason, for example, to be somewhat optimistic about digital advertising’s future. While ad spend decreased overall in 2020, some ad channels (like podcasting) have already rebounded, while popular channels (like search) are estimated by eMarketer to benefit in the long-term from the pandemic.
Facebook studied anonymized data of topics important to people on Facebook and Instagram to understand user trends. They discovered multiple insights that suggest the most important topics and trends will be for 2021. Facebook’s report showed how online shopping continues to become the standard way of purchasing goods. It also shows how consumers are focused on purchases that enhance their home life. These trends are predicted to continue through 2021.
The Federal Trade Commission today announced a new antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, alleging that the social network has used monopoly power “with the aim of suppressing, neutralizing and deterring serious competitive threats,” and must be broken up. The suit is separate from, but was investigated in coordination with, one from 48 attorneys general also announced today. Both suits allege that Facebook has engaged in illegal patterns of behavior, which the states and federal investigators worked together to characterize. But the state lawsuit is concerned with violations at the state law level, while the FTC alleges violation of federal law. Therefore the two lawsuits, while objecting to the same actions by Facebook, will be pursued and adjudicated separately.
ouTube is the single biggest source of supply in US connected TV (CTV) advertising. The digital video platform’s outsize role in the US CTV space is particularly striking given that advertisers can’t access CTV inventory on YouTube on non-Google platforms (e.g., Roku). We expect YouTube’s gross US CTV ad revenues to reach $2.89 billion this year, accounting for more than one-third (35.7%) of total US CTV ad spending.
The coronavirus outbreak, elections and Zoom meetings were on the minds of U.S. consumers this year, according to Google’s list of the U.S. top trending searches in 2020. In order, the top trending searches of 2020 were: Election results, Coronavirus, Kobe Bryant, Coronavirus update, Coronavirus symptoms, Zoom, who is winning the election, Chadwick Boseman and PlayStation 5.
December 4th, 2020
The great digital shift didn’t start in March. Though the world before then seems hard to remember, consumers were already in the process of shifting shopping habits toward digital before then, while workers were already leveraging the digital world to work from home. Cash was already on the decline, and digital banking was already on the rise. But as Guy Atzmon, senior vice president of product and creative at SundaySky, told PYMNTS in a recent discussion, COVID-19 rapidly accelerated that digital shift — pushing a host of holdout customers who had been slow to start making the change jumping into the great digital shift head first.
A majority share of consumers are now taking to marketplaces first when shopping online. According an August 2020 survey from ecommerce ad agency ChannelAdvisor conducted by Dynata, 53% of US adults said they began product searches at Amazon when planning to make a digital purchase.
Twitter is bringing back verifications after shutting down public applications three years ago. The program is relaunching with a few changes made to the process. Currently the plan is to relaunch applications in early 2021, which allows for time to gather feedback about how the verification program should be handled going forward.
Walmart+, the retailer’s lower-cost alternative to Amazon Prime offering same-day delivery of groceries and other items, is making its service more appealing with today’s launch of a new perk. The company says that starting on Friday, December 4, it will remove the $35 shipping minimum on orders from Walmart.com for its members. However, this doesn’t apply to the same-day orders of groceries or other items fulfilled by Walmart stores, but rather online shopping where orders are placed through Walmart’s traditional e-commerce channels.
Business leaders spend a lot of time debating what to name a company. Many feel that the right company name may make the difference between being known in every household or merely falling by the wayside. In the digital age, companies have even been known to change the name of their company because a specific domain name wasn’t available. When it comes to domain names, specifically suffixes, there is usually one which reigns supreme — .com. According to Statista, 51.6% of websites around the world use a .com top-level domain name (TLD).
November 27th, 2020
Wearable device sales have shot up at least 30 percent this year as consumers looked to technology to help them monitor their health during the ongoing global pandemic, according to a top Samsung executive. The market for wearables is expected to reach nearly $70 billion by 2025, according to research firm IDTechEX, with healthcare-related products seeing the most growth. CNBC noted that the smartwatch market alone has doubled in size to $13 billion over the past three years, with Apple, Google and Samsung all actively competing in the space.
A major challenge in measuring connected TV (CTV) audiences is that most of the time people spend streaming happens devoid of advertising. The ad-free services Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+ accounted for nearly half of all time spent with streaming in Q2 2020, according to Nielsen. The two most popular services with advertising, YouTube and Hulu, feature subscription ad-free tiers, so a portion of viewing on those platforms also happens without ads. The top five streamers accounted for about three-fourths of all time spent with streaming.
Social media is, without a doubt, one of the most effective outreach channels for businesses. Effective social media marketing goes way beyond drafting ads to share with your target demographic. Businesses need to look at social media as more than just a place to serve ads, but as a location to promote relationships with customers. The brands that are most creative on social media tend to stand out.
We often use social media because of Memes. They are a fun way to keep people engaged on social media. Memes are becoming a trend. Our social media feed is filled with memes. To understand the meme post, the viewer needs to be aware of the online discussion on the topic. If your marketing campaign is aimed at an older audience, it is recommended that you do not use meme marketing. Memes are fun and entertaining. Memes can be useful when you use them rarely and in equal time intervals.
Keyword mapping is the process of assigning each page to a target keyword cluster. Learn what has changed recently and why keyword mapping remains relevant. Keyword mapping is the hidden art of meeting search intent. Search intent is the reason why someone is searching on Google. The keyword phrase is what they enter into the search bar. If you are the best answer to their search intent, Google will find you most relevant and reward you with the rankings and traffic that you desire.
CPRA builds on the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). When it takes effect in January 2023, CPRA will enshrine a tougher set of data privacy rules for businesses, give consumers more rights on how their data can be used, and establish a separate agency for rule-making and enforcement called the California Privacy Protection Agency (CPPA). If the act goes into effect in 2023, most personalized advertising will no longer be possible in California, and many parts of the data ecosystem will struggle to adapt.
With retail sales rebounding strongly due to continued consumer resilience, the National Retail Federation today forecast that holiday sales during November and December will increase between 3.6 percent and 5.2 percent over 2019 to a total between $755.3 billion and $766.7 billion. The numbers, which exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants, compare with a 4 percent increase to $729.1 billion last year and an average holiday sales increase of 3.5 percent over the past five years.
November 20th, 2020
All too often, brands think about their desire to send out an email before they consider the recipient’s desire to receive the message. Customer-centric emails often perform the best; for marketers to win, they must align their email organizations with that manner of thinking. An August 2020 study from email production platform Dyspatch and SurveyMonkey found that relevancy trumps newness when persuading US consumers to purchase something from a marketing email.
Google has been saying that they will provide months of notice before the algorithm changes, and now it appears that we’re just about there. Google announced earlier this year that it was launching a major algorithm update in 2021 and that it would have Core Web Vitals as a key part of it. The company describes the Core Web Vitals as “a set of real-world, user-centered metrics that quantify key aspects of the user experience. They measure dimensions of web usability such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads.” The main considerations include “Largest Contentful Paint,” “First Input Delay,” and “Cumulative Layout Shift.”
A major challenge in measuring connected TV (CTV) audiences is that most of the time people spend streaming happens devoid of advertising. The ad-free services Netflix, Prime Video, and Disney+ accounted for nearly half of all time spent with streaming in Q2 2020, according to Nielsen. The two most popular services with advertising, YouTube and Hulu, feature subscription ad-free tiers, so a portion of viewing on those platforms also happens without ads. The top five streamers accounted for about three-fourths of all time spent with streaming.
Instagram is upgrading its search functionality and letting users find content by keywords for the first time. Until now, users have only been able to search for content by hashtags, location tags, usernames, and profile names. That left a swath of unsearchable content in the caption area. According to a report from TechCrunch, users are now be able to search for posts using keywords that may appear in photo & video captions.
Twitter’s new Stories feature, “Fleets,” appears to be struggling under the load. Launched this morning to Twitter’s global user base, Fleets appear at the top of the Twitter app, allowing users to post ephemeral content that disappears in 24 hours as well as view stories posted by others. But user demand and curiosity about the new addition seems to be impacting the product’s performance. Many Twitter users are reporting Fleets are lagging and moving slowly. Some even say the feature is crashing their Twitter app.
Talkwalker and HubSpot collected data and have predictions for social media in 2021 — so, there’s an opportunity to take a look at where trends are headed, and strategize for the upcoming year. According to the report, tested and proven methods of engaging with your audience is a ‘safer’ way to set strategies during uncertain times. With more people spending time online and engaging with brands digitally during the pandemic, conversational marketing has proven to be an expected norm with consumers.
November 13th, 2020
Not all that long ago, consumers would head to local business districts or malls without necessarily having set plans about what they might buy or which shops they might enter. The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally altered the age-old tradition of going shopping, however. The vast majority of United States consumers now know what they want to buy before they begin making purchases — and once they have made up their minds, they are far more likely to reach for their computers and mobile devices than they are their car keys. The share of all consumers making purchases with digital devices has increased from 27 percent in March to 42 percent.
Customer expectations have changed substantially in the last five years. They now expect real-time and personalized responses, greater ease of use, and accessible digital and mobile channels. As customer expectations have shifted, so have organization’s digital transformation strategies, as well as their understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
AI makes it possible to create unique, personalized customer journeys online, by customizing content and delivery based on location, likes, dislikes, online behavior, devices and more. The digital marketing landscape has seen a huge transformation in the last 5 years, and a huge contributor to this has been the prominence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). As digital marketing activities give us access to a huge minefield of rich data, AI can help us not only make better sense of the data, faster but also formulate more effective digital strategies and implement them better.
Search ad spending is on the rise this year as retailers shift their focus to driving sales online. Search ad spending is seeing an estimated 5.9% growth in 2020, according to a new forecast from eMarketer. Advertisers are estimated to spend $59.22 billion on search ads this year, which is up from previous estimates of $54.37 billion. The growth is primarily driven by mobile search ads.
What new social media trends are there to look forward to in 2021? Considering how much the world has changed, trends have taken a quick turn into a direction that is, well, unexpected. When you take into account all the adaptations to the ‘new normal’ this year, it’s no surprise that marketers are going to have to be even more vigilant to whatever social media trends come their way in the new year.
COVID-19 has changed how we live and technology is used more widely now than ever. With people spending most of their time inside, the holiday season is going to look a bit different this year. More people than ever will be shopping online from the comfort and safety of their homes. To understand how shopping patterns will change this year, Facebook has provided an insight guide to help you plan for the unprecedented holiday season ahead.
The 2020 holiday season is shaping up to be like none other before. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our everyday lives, dramatically shifting consumer behaviors and expectations, and forcing businesses to quickly adapt to a new and unprecedented retail environment. To stay afloat, many retailers have switched gears, prioritizing online shopping and other safe options for a consumer base wary of virus exposure.
November 6th, 2020
Google shares new data revealing how the behavior of holiday shoppers is changing in 2020. While the holidays may look a little different this year, it’s still a season of peak demand and a critical time for businesses to connect with customers. Today’s shoppers are not averse to change. While the pandemic may have disrupted the shopping experience, it’s not going to stop people finding new options.
Mobile messaging apps were already gaining ground before the pandemic, but stay-at-home mandates accelerated their adoption worldwide. Engagement has slowed since earlier this year, but many new users will stick around, boosting the global monthly user base. According to the latest forecast, there will be 2.77 billion monthly mobile messaging app users worldwide in 2020. Previous expectations had the number of mobile messaging app users worldwide to reach 2.70 billion, meaning that the pandemic will help add roughly 70 million new monthly users this year.
Two years’ worth of e-commerce growth is about to be packed into one holiday season, according to a new forecast, as Americans turn in droves to online shopping to avoid crowded stores and malls during the coronavirus pandemic. Online sales this November and December are forecast to surge 33% year over year to a record $189 billion, Adobe Analytics said Wednesday, based on web transactions of 80 of the top 100 U.S. internet retailers.
In recent months, both Instagram and Snapchat have made several product changes that are reminiscent of growing contender TikTok. Instagram launched its highly anticipated feature Reels, which allows users to create short videos set to music, and Snapchat introduced a slew of new features, including adding music and a test for vertical navigation.
Microsoft announced a free GDPR compliant user behavior analytics tool. The analytics tools helps publishers understand how site visitors are using a site and identify areas of improvement, including reporting on the amusingly named “rage click” metric. Amazingly, there are no traffic caps. Even a site with a million visitors a day can use it. Additionally, it is said to be optimized to not slow sites down.
While business experimentation is — rightfully — framed as a gold standard by scholars and leading practitioners, the practice has yet to find its way into most firms’ day-to-day advertising strategy. Many firms are used to non-experimental approaches to advertising measurement, such as marketing mix models, and hesitate to adopt experimentation-based measurement in part because they overestimate its complexity.
October 30th, 2020
The pandemic has changed how customers shop. As businesses continue to find innovative ways to make sure customers feel safe and in control of their environment in stores, QR codes have become a go-to method for creating contactless payment experiences that customers have now come to expect. For customers, this technology allows them to easily access menus and pay for food at restaurants, pay for a carton of milk at the grocery store or nectarines at the farmer’s market and more.
Amazon will drive roughly three-quarters of the market, but another retail giant continues to gain share. Marketers will spend $17.37 billion on advertising on ecommerce sites and apps this year, according to eMarketer’s first-ever forecast of ecommerce channel ad spending. Ad spending on ecommerce properties will be up 38.8% from 2019—an acceleration of spending growth, thanks to the pandemic. By the end of this year, ecommerce channel advertising will represent 12.2% of US digital ad spend.
The number of people engaging with digital media activities such as gaming or live video is growing faster than was expected before the pandemic lockdown began. But other activities—such as social networking and digital video viewing—haven’t had a similar bump.
Instagram users can now stream live up to four times longer than before following a significant extension to live stream time limits. In addition, Instagram is making live streams more discoverable and keeping them available to watch for a greater period of time after they’re concluded.
While consumers are big on discounts and deals they’re also still big on having a satisfactory online experience and aren’t willing to put up with slow loading websites or having to hunt for a price. They’re even likely to jump away from shopping on a retailer’s site if a phone number isn’t displayed or in easy reach.
October 23rd, 2020
Direct-to-consumer (D2C) selling has taken wing with the ascendance of eCommerce to retail’s throne. What was once a small but meaningful constituency — online shoppers — suddenly seem to be holding all the cards. How consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands and subscription-based businesses respond to this important trend will be make-or-break for many.
The number of US digital gamers will grow by 5.0% this year to 174.7 million. That’s roughly 8 million more than last year, and an increase of 5 million gamers from our previous forecast for 2020. The last time growth was this high was in 2015, when the number of digital gamers increased by 5.5%.
Holiday email marketing is stressful and confusing enough in ordinary times. This year, we’re trying to focus on marketing when 90% of our meetings take place on Zoom, when we’re working from home and not in the office where collaboration happens. So here are three ways you can keep your head on straight through the chaos and focus on what you need to do to survive hurricanes, elections, COVID, working from home and everything else that’s piling on for you right now.
In recent months, both Instagram and Snapchat have made several product changes that are reminiscent of growing contender TikTok. Instagram launched its highly anticipated feature Reels, which allows users to create short videos set to music, and Snapchat introduced a slew of new features, including adding music and a test for vertical navigation.
Google announced a new Chrome 86 feature that included the news that Google’s “automated web crawling service” can subscribe to push notifications. The reason for doing that is to identify abusive push notifications for the purpose of blocking them in Chrome.
More than half of all the people on Earth now use social media. Social media user numbers have surged in the past 12 months, with Kepios analysis showing that more than 450 million people started using social media for the first time since October 2019. That equates to annualized growth of more than 12 percent, or an average 14 new users every second.
October 16th, 2020
“Addressable advertising relies on being able to identify users to serve them the right message at the right time. But the identifiers that marketers use to do this are coming under threat as platforms and regulators work to improve data privacy and protection practices for consumers—namely by killing the third-party tracking cookie.
“The last six months have seen a climatic mix of chaos, uncertainty, empathy, challenge, and opportunity. All over the world, companies have had to adjust operations. They rapidly scale up or down, and rethink their entire business model as conditions continue to change. At the same time, the transformation to digital accelerated, with the demand for SEO at its core.
“It has been a strange year, because there are bright spots. We’ve gotten a tremendous tailwind for our business, because people are moving online and learning about new marketing strategies. But at the same time, this is a very hard time for our customers and our employees. So there’s a strange mix of bright spots and really dark moments in this year.” The words of Meghan Keaney Anderson, HubSpot’s VP of Marketing, and how true they are. Both in B2B and consumer marketing, the first three quarters of 2020 were a rollercoaster, created immense challenges which some brands overcame, and to which some succumbed.
In order to take full advantage of everything digital marketing has to offer, banks and credit unions should carefully consider how to be proactive versus reactive. Research demonstrates that many financial institutions may be missing out on the low-hanging fruit that today’s technology offers.
Google has announced the launch of a new set of insights for advertisers which will highlight key search trends within your niche to help you make more informed decisions about targeting and outreach.
Long before consumers were stuck at home during the pandemic—and forced to rely on technology as the only way to communicate or spend time with friends and family—tech addiction was making headlines. Many struggled to put down their phones and enjoy real-life facetime, leading some to intentionally unplug.
October 9th, 2020
The pandemic has caused reduced advertiser spending overall, leading to lower growth of in-app ad spending despite significantly higher numbers of ad placements. While in-app purchases (IAPs) never stopped growing amid the pandemic, publisher revenues have recently been shifting from in-app advertising to purchases.
While the global pandemic has taken a toll on almost every business, consumer demand for all things touchless is surging — and has even been a driver of growth for QR codes. Although the 20-year-old technology has long enjoyed strong adoption in Asia (especially China), 2020 could go down as the year that U.S. merchants and shoppers fully embrace those ubiquitous square squiggly merchant codes.
Just like Instagram and Facebook, LinkedIn has now joined the lineup and has the ability to create stories. LinkedIn has been testing stories over the last few months in different regions. Following all of that rigorous testing, LinkedIn rolled out stories last week to all users in the United States and Canada. They will continue to roll out to the remaining regions in the coming weeks.
For some people, the removal of that barrier between home and office has gotten so bad that they’ve stopped saying working from home and are now saying living at work. The latest Global Advertising Trends report from WARC Data stated that brands will spend $58.5 billion, an increase of about 18%, on e-commerce advertising this year in response to the boom in online shopping. This report comes amid a global decline in overall advertising expenditure of about 8.1%, or $49.6 billion, as COVID-19 continues to re-shape where customers spend their hard earned live-at-work earnings.
Google is testing a new feature in Google My Business called “call history.” It’s designed to help businesses see and respond to missed calls coming from Google Search and Maps. It’s opt-in and currently available to “a select group of businesses in the US only.”
As much as consumer behavior and the wider economic situation influence the app economy, so do Apple and Google. With their commissions on in-app purchases (IAPs) and subscriptions, and with their rules surrounding data and advertising, they can make or break different monetization strategies. The changes set to take effect in early 2021 under Apple’s iOS 14, especially, have upended app monetization.
US adults will spend an average of 4 hours, 1 minute (4:01) on mobile internet per day in 2020, with 3:35 of that time spent on mobile apps. Mobile app time will be up by 25 minutes from 2019, well above the long-term growth trend, with the pandemic as the main driver for this increase.
October 2nd, 2020
When it comes to protecting users’ personal information and providing a safe online environment, social network users in the US give lower marks to Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter. According to Insider Intelligence’s annual “US Digital Trust Survey,” LinkedIn is the most trusted social platform overall. We define digital trust as the confidence users have in a social media platform to protect their information and provide a safe environment for them to create and engage with content.
When Microsoft introduced its customer data platform last February, the focus was on simply connecting silos of data to help customers get the data into the system. But as the pandemic has taken hold this year, customers need deeper insight into their customers, and Microsoft has made some enhancements to the platform today.
Facebook has taken its biggest step yet in integrating its various messaging platforms, allowing select users on Messenger and Instagram to message one another app to app. In addition to the launch of cross-platform messaging, Instagram is also getting a major overhaul of its DM system, which will be expanded with features taken from Messenger.
Last year at Google Marketing Live, Google said it would be unifying custom affinity and custom intent audiences under a custom audience option. Custom audiences are available now in Google Ads for Display, Discovery, Gmail and YouTube campaigns.
Google cautioned that updating a web layout can affect rankings, even if URLs and content remain the same. Someone asked John Mueller on a Google Office Hours hangout if just changing a web design layout can affect rankings. Mueller answered right away and without any ambiguity. He said yes, it could affect rankings.What might make that answer surprising to some is that the content and URL structure remained the same. But a web design layout comes with considerations that can impact on-page ranking factors.
You’ve probably already heard a little bit about how small businesses are using email marketing to grow their revenue, reach new customers, and better engage current customers. But is email marketing really worth it? With more digital marketing options than ever before, including social media marketing and Google Ads, does email still hold its value when it comes to actually generating revenue?
September 25th, 2020
Some smart speakers, video doorbells and other hardware manufacturers hit roadblocks when trying to buy advertisements in search results. A report, published by The Wall Street Journal, cites Amazon employees and executives at rival companies and advertising firms. “Amazon has barred competitors from selling certain devices on its site entirely,” per sources.
Media buyers in Facebook’s platform began to notice recently a big change: their images were no longer being disapproved for a lot of text. It’s been confirmed via a few sources the long-standing rule for Facebook Ad images being no more than 20% text has been sunset. Buyers started receiving direct communication from Facebook this week regarding this change.
Subscriptions may be ideal for certain services such as Netflix, with its constant flow of new content, but for a suite of tools like Microsoft Office? Paying every month doesn’t suit everyone, especially if all they want is access to the word processor and spreadsheet. Thankfully, a new perpetual license edition of the suite arrives next year.
LinkedIn said Thursday that it’s rolling out a new design for the business-oriented social network, introducing more messaging features and planning to offer Stories, which lets users post photos and videos that vanish in a day, globally. LinkedIn has been testing Stories in certain countries such as Brazil, Australia, France and the Netherlands.
September 18th, 2020
Three-quarters of U.S. adults say technology companies have a responsibility to prevent the misuse of their platforms to influence the 2020 presidential election, but only around a quarter say they are very or somewhat confident in these firms to do so, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted July 27-Aug. 2. The survey comes as Facebook and other major tech companies make efforts to limit political misinformation ahead of the November election.
Digital marketing is constantly evolving, and professionals must stay on top of trends to remain competitive in their respective industries. This year in particular has presented new and unprecedented circumstances for businesses around the world. As a result, companies have had to adapt their digital marketing strategies to customers’ ever-changing needs. Although this situation has been challenging, it has also already led to incredible innovation.
A small — though prominent — group of public figures is taking a 24-hour break from the platforms that magnify their celebrity to protest what they see as Facebook’s failure to control disinformation and hate speech. The campaign, #StopHateForProfit, is aimed at Facebook and Instagram and has attracted such disparate individuals as Kim Kardashian West, Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Ruffalo.
Marketers at brands are increasing online media budgets for the holidays, but unlike past years, timing for the start of the holiday season and logistical concerns seem to be top of mind. This year’s challenges and questions focus on when the shopping season will begin and whether FedEx and UPS can keep up with the deliveries.
We forecast that US digital radio ad spending will shrink from $4.48 billion in 2019 to $3.72 billion this year, a 17.0% decrease. We expect digital radio advertising will have a strong rebound next year and continue to increase throughout our forecast period. However, if there is a second US outbreak, it could create more economic havoc that will require us to readjust these figures.
The coronavirus pandemic and changes set to take effect in iOS 14 are the latest shocks to the app ecosystem. With people spending more time on smartphones—and more money while on them—app economics continue to evolve. With these changes, advertising options will evolve as well.
September 11th, 2020
Traditionally, retailers have leaned by a small margin toward direct-response advertising, rather than branding. Thus, we expect retail will slightly exceed the US digital ad spending average in search, but not display, this year. The industry will, nonetheless, be extremely balanced in allocating its digital ad dollars, splitting them almost evenly between formats, and within formats as well.
Online advertising is a game of scale, but one attempt to consolidate two competitors to better take on Google and Facebook has fallen apart. Taboola and Outbrain, startups that each provide publishers with ad-based content recommendation platforms, have called off a planned $850 million merger that would have valued the combined company at more than $2 billion.
A recent study finds a positive correlation between backlinks and content with less than 700 words. Shorter content earns the most backlinks, on average, according to an analysis of thousands of articles. Fractl analyzed over 5,000 articles to find the most linked-to articles are roughly 695 words in length.
How to respect user choice and still market in California effectively. Facebook’s response to CCPA, Limited Data Use (LDU), was late and continues to be confusing and challenging for advertisers. You might not even know if your Facebook marketing is CCPA compliant right now. And, if your Facebook results in July looked wonky, Limited Data Use might be to blame.
Most shoppers are more likely to make an e-commerce purchase if they can return the item in a local store. A burning question this holiday season is whether people will return to physical stores or buy substantially everything online? The Mary Meeker formulation is: what percentage of retail spending will move online? But that binary “brick and mortar vs. e-commerce” narrative is crude and fails to appreciate the role stores play in driving online sales.
The social media space is always evolving, and this year, it’s seen significant growth due to our in-person social interactions being restricted, and people seeking alternative ways to stay in touch with the wider world.