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.
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.
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.
September 4th, 2020
The internet has become an increasingly important part of our everyday lives. While it’s hard to imagine modern life without Google or YouTube, it’s interesting to reflect on how much the web has changed over the last few decades. This animation by Captain Gizmo provides a historical rundown of the most popular websites since 1993, showing how much the internet has evolved since the early ’90’s.
Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, is planning to introduce mobile payment options which will include Facebook Pay. The move will give the 2.50 billion Facebook users an easier and more user-friendly interface to pay, according to a report in Finance Rewind.
Social media has seeped into virtually all aspects of modern life. The vast social media universe collectively now holds 3.8 billion users, representing roughly 50% of the global population. With an additional billion internet users projected to come online in the coming years, it’s possible that the social media universe could expand even further.
It’s no secret to paid search marketers that COVID-19 has hugely impacted performance and advertisers’ ability to spend on paid search marketing in ways varied across industries and business situations.
Facebook’s video destination, Facebook Watch, is introducing a new feature called “Your Topics” that will allow you to tailor its feed to include more of the content you want to see. Currently, Facebook leverages its existing understanding of each viewer’s interests to personalize the Watch Feed. Topics, however, will allow users to more explicitly tell Facebook what sort of things they like by exploring and subscribing to various content categories.
Twitter is working on adding automated captions to audio and video as part of a larger effort to make the platform more accessible. In an announcement, the company says it was recently made aware it’s falling short in terms of being inclusive of the disabled community.
August 28th, 2020
SMS may not be the most exciting marketing channel, but it is the most personal. When marketers want to build one-on-one connections with consumers, their efforts must be exactly that—personal.
Attribution in digital marketing is being done with plaintext urls and variables that anyone can see, copy, or attack. It is the weakest link in all of digital marketing that fraudsters have been exploiting since the beginning of digital marketing, to this day, and going forward too.
This year, digital out-of-home (DOOH) ad spending will increase by 1.6%, and in 2021 it will rise by 19.2%. We expect DOOH ad spending to increase from $2.72 billion in 2020 to $3.84 billion in 2023.
Despite the fact that they make most of their money in stores, multi-location brands have typically been slow to focus on local-digital marketing tactics such as local SEO, GMB optimization, review management and localized social media marketing. Many have traditionally relied on national strategies despite evidence that consumers engage with these entities primarily at the local level.
CPG companies have gained another retail partner in their efforts to reach consumers with digital ads. CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health, is introducing CVS Media Exchange (cMx). This new digital advertising platform is designed to enable CPG supplier partners to efficiently reach existing and potential customers.
Products traditionally associated with e-commerce are still among the fastest growing segments in global online sales, but other product categories are also moving online in rapid speed. According to the Statista Consumer Market Outlook, online sales of consumer electronics and apparel were still growing fast as a share of total sales.
August 21st, 2020
The demise of third-party cookies could disrupt targeted advertising, but marketers are determined not to let that happen. Some browsers—Safari and Mozilla Firefox—already no longer support third-party cookies. The announcement by Google that it too will block these cookies in Chrome within two years (i.e. by end of 2021) has provided the impetus for a range of responses from martech, adtech, advertisers and publishers.
Everyone wants to know “what’s the performance of my digital marketing campaigns?” That’s a good question. The answer is NOT how much traffic, how many clicks, how many impressions did my agency buy for me and how low were the CPM prices?
Though the B2B digital ad market represents a small slice of total US digital ad spending, it is thriving as the coronavirus pandemic continues to plague parts of the world and hinder the economy.
Google is updating activity cards with support for jobs, recipes, and online shopping. Now, searches for jobs, recipes, and products will have activity cards tailored specifically for those categories.
Premium digital technology company PubMatic announced that mobile advertising grew significantly in the second quarter of 2020, despite the Covid-19 economic impact. According to PubMatic’s Q2 Quarterly Mobile Index, mobile advertising spend increased globally, rising 71% over Q2 2019, and was also 8% higher than Q1 2020.
While the overall economy has suffered from pandemic-necessitated behavioral changes, some industries have been hit harder than others. We estimate that US retail sales will decline by 10.5% this year, and even though the shift to ecommerce will accelerate digital sales to new heights, retailers will grow their US digital display ad spending by only a sluggish 2.3% this year.
August 14th, 2020
There’s no getting around it — video has become a critical component of a marketer’s content toolbox. With 55% of people worldwide watching online videos every day, it’s an opportunity that no marketer can pass up (HubSpot).
Facebook is making it easier for businesses to leverage its Messenger service on their own websites. The company in November 2017 first launched a new customer chat plugin that allowed customers to talk directly with a business on the business’s own website using the Messenger service. However, that plugin had required the website visitors to be logged into Facebook, limiting adoption.
Google has announced a new range of audio advertising options in order to help businesses tap into the rising consumption of podcasts, digital radio and other digital audio forms.
The recent launch of Facebook Shops is taking on Amazon and Google by blending e-commerce with the world’s biggest social media platform. The timing is perfect, as many consumers remain homebound during the pandemic, and turn to digital sources to shop and stay social.
Digital marketing has changed immensely in the last decade. There have been a multitude of changes in tactics along with Google’s search engine algorithms. Low-quality content that has been referred to as “clickbait” has stopped generating the results it once had. Consumers are becoming pickier in terms of what they spend their time reading or viewing.
Many consumers’ shopping behaviors have moved online in recent months, and that trend is likely to continue through the holiday shopping season.
August 7th, 2020
More than one in five digital radio ad dollars will go toward podcasts. Podcast listenership in the US has been soaring in recent years and advertising dollars are following.
It’s official: More than 400 million people around the world now come to Pinterest every month to find inspiration. If our positive corner of the internet were a country, it would surpass the United States as the third largest in the world.
Technological advances are reshaping the marketing landscape. Learn tips and resources to add augmented reality and virtual reality into your strategy.
Conviva’s Q2 2020 State of Streaming Report Highlights Impact of COVID-19, YouTube’s Move to the TV Screen and the Rise of Smart TVs.
Major corporations including Coca-Cola, J.M. Smucker Company, Diageo, Mars, HP, CVS Health and Verizon will continue pausing their ads on Facebook after the official end of a major advertiser boycott of the platform.
Walmart has delayed the launch of its paid membership service, according to a Tuesday report by Recode. Walmart Plus, which will reportedly cost $98 a year and include perks such as same-day grocery delivery and discounts at Walmart gas stations, aims to be a potential competitor to Amazon Prime.
Lockdown measures enforced due to the Covid-19 pandemic brought about a surge in TV watching and online streaming, according to media watchdog Ofcom.
July 31st, 2020
Marketers have long turned to social media to hear and respond to what people are saying, gauge sentiment, and inform and support their team’s marketing strategy. But the coronavirus pandemic has put fresh emphasis on the practice known as social listening.
Google is notifying site owners via Search Console of an increase in searches related to work from home jobs. The increase in searches is directly related COVID-19’s impact on businesses and employment. The purpose of alerting site owners is to make them aware of an opportunity to use remote job structured data markup.
The leaders of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google took a brutal political lashing Wednesday as Democrats and Republicans confronted the executives for wielding their market power to crush competitors and amass data, customers and sky-high profits.
We’re starting to get a clearer picture of how the pandemic affected social platforms last quarter. This week, even as monetizable daily active users increased by a whopping 34% to 186 million, Twitter reported ad revenue fell by 23% year-over-year to $562 million in Q2 (total revenue was $683 million, down 19% year-over-year), that’s coming off flat ad revenue growth in the first quarter of 2020.
While we don’t know when we’ll be able to get back to a level of normal, most businesses will benefit from a specified content plan, and in order establish the best approach, you need to know what works, how others have maximized their content strategy, and how you can do the same.
Nowadays, marketers put a lot of emphasis on chatbots, Instagram influencers, and other new opportunities to reach their customers. But your contemporary communication methods shouldn’t distract you from one of the oldest and yet most effective messaging channels — email. You might be wondering if email is still a worthwhile marketing strategy. Well, it is.
July 24th, 2020
Click fraud is a $24 billion global problem that involves generating fake ad clicks either manually or via bots, and the issue has been getting worse on mobile devices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are now nearly 1,000 advertisers that have formally signed on to the Stop Hate for Profit Facebook ads boycott. The organizations behind the campaign have lobbied brands to promote the boycott and its objectives, but there has been limited effort to build public awareness and support.
Facebook is testing a new design for Facebook Pages that will, among other things, remove the “Like” count, offer a cleaner and more readable layout, and make it easier for those who operate Pages to actually use and manage them. These features and others were initially tested with a small percentage of public figures on the mobile app, but are now being expanded to a broader group of Pages.
A majority of Americans think social media companies have too much power and influence in politics, and roughly half think major technology companies should be regulated more than they are now, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that comes as four major tech executives prepare to testify before Congress about their firms’ role in the economy and society.
The global digital landscape is still evolving rapidly as we enter the second half of 2020, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continuing to influence and reshape various aspects of people’s daily lives.
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.
July 17th, 2020
Businesses are starting to reopen after months of quarantine, but it’s hard to know which stores are opening their doors to customers without calling or searching online.
In recent years image recognition has been hailed as a critical identifier of digital media to causal customer needs. But can it be an intrusion?
As market volatility and an uncertain end to the pandemic make it harder to predict the long-term growth of retail sales, how can marketers prepare for disruptions to shopping patterns as brick-and-mortar spaces reopen and consumers readopt aspects of their pre-pandemic lifestyle?
The vast majority of mobile time is spent while connected to the internet.
Whenever you post something on LinkedIn, the algorithm determines whether it’s good to go, low quality, or spammy. If it decides your content is good to go, it will appear temporarily on the feed.