POV

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28.12.21

December digital marketing news

Michele Baker

Digital Content Specialist

LinkedIn introduces new Creator Mode tools

In a nutshell

LinkedIn content creators have two new tools to grow their audience on this platform. Live videos and newsletters are now available to users with Creator Mode turned on, encouraging greater use of the platform for creators to boost their presence and thought leadership.

What does this mean?

LinkedIn users are 20 times more likely to share video posts than any other type of content – and live video is even more powerful. According to LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions page: “Live videos get on average 24x more comments and 7x more reactions than native video produced by the same broadcasters”.

The new newsletters feature also offers creators another medium for reaching their audience, since subscribers automatically receive in-app notifications, and can opt into email and push notifications to remind them when one has been published. This could be a great opportunity for them to boost their online presence and keep their followers up to date.

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Instagram is bringing back the chronological feed

In a nutshell

Instagram phased out the chronological feed in 2016, replacing it with an algorithmically-sorted one that surfaces ‘relevant’ content designed to tailor to individual users’ interests.

What does this mean?

According to The Verge, users have indicated a preference for timely content over what Meta’s algorithm deems most worthy.

“While the return of the chronological feed may seem like a major update from Instagram,” says iX Digital Strategist, Jill Alger, “it's rumoured that this won’t be a default setting, meaning users will need to manually change their settings to view their feed in chronological order. Brands should keep an eye on their performance metrics to monitor engagement once the feature has launched, but we aren’t expecting a significant direct impact from this change.”

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Microsoft Advertising launches four new ‘Marketing with Purpose’ business attributes

In a nutshell

Microsoft Advertising has added four new inclusive business attributes to search ads, enabling advertisers to promote diversity and inclusion through their values. Asian-owned, Latin-owned, Women-owned and Diabetic-friendly business attributes now join the 32 ‘Marketing with Purpose’ business attributes that Microsoft introduced in September.

What does this mean?

There are four key focuses within the ‘Marketing with Purpose’ attributes available for ads: inclusion, environmental, community and social responsibility, and accessibility.

iCrossing UK’s senior SEO manager, Laura Davies, says these new additions “show a focus on user values to help entice click-through rates. It will be interesting to see if they begin to roll this out for organic search, and whether other search engines take note of this too.

“It’s great to see a shift towards customer ethics and values, but Microsoft needs to ensure these are validated correctly to prevent misuse and distrust from users.”

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Using social media to drive brand awareness

In a nutshell

Brands report that they’re targeting strategy and objectives in their social media marketing this festive season, putting brand awareness and engagement at the forefront. A different tact is required to address the current environment of rising ad inflation, the decline of the cookie, and – of course – disruption caused by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

What does this mean?

With the changing ads landscape and the necessary move away from third-party data, engaging current customers and inspiring brand loyalty is zeitgeist right now. The main focus for paid social is on nurturing, with an aim to push conversions at a later date; so, fewer calls-to-action, more dialogue building. Messaging has also taken a new angle, with an emphasis on community and sharing with loved ones. It’s an interesting insight into strategy for the post-cookie, first-party data era.

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GymShark to launch flagship London store focusing on customer experiences

In a nutshell

Online fitness brand GymShark is opening its first brick-and-mortar store in London this summer, bringing experiential retail to the spotlight. Unlike other big retailers who’re closing their high-street stores to go online, the brand is now investing in a physical store, to offer engaging fitness experiences rather than sell products.

What does this mean?

Amid a global pandemic and the ongoing risk of intermittent lockdowns, investing in bricks-and-mortar seems like a bold choice. There is, however, a lot to be said for the tangibility of in-store vs online, as well as the opportunity to create strong brand loyalty through experiential shopping strategies. Plus, as GymShark’s chief brand officer, Noel Mack says, positioning GymShark on Regent Street right beside established household brands like Apple, is a firm statement from the brand as to where it sees itself in the market. Despite the sharp rise in online shopping due to outside factors, balancing ecommerce and in-store is still the best way for many ecommerce brands to maximise reach and build engagement and loyalty.

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Yelp says 9 in 10 customers more likely to overlook negative reviews if the business responds adequately

In a nutshell

Yelp has published a survey on review quality and transparency. 88% of respondents said that they would be inclined to look past a negative review if the business responds and addresses the issue appropriately. And 97% of respondents said that written reviews, combined with a star rating, are the most helpful when it comes to local businesses.

What does this mean?

“When buying online, you never really know who you are buying from, which is why reviews are so important,” says iX SEO Director, Cameron Lyall. “Most customers also know that you can’t make everyone happy all of the time, but what they want to know is that they will get good service, even if there is an issue. This builds brand trust. Acknowledging your reviews (both positive and negative) with a polite response can have such a powerful impact on how consumers see your brand. It shows a level of personal service – a trait which isn't often attributed to large companies.”

Cameron also reminds us that replying to reviews can also help boost a business’s local visibility on search.

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iCrossing panel discussion of our Marketers Priority Index Report to be released in January

In a nutshell

Following on from our study into consumers’ and marketers’ priorities for 2022, we will be publishing the video of our expert panel discussion in January.

In the 45-minute video, Nicola Kemp, Editorial Director of Creative Brief; Emma Roffey, VP Marketing EMEAR at Cisco; Faye Turner, Head of Commercial Strategy and Insight at Hearst UK; and Ruth Cobb, Head of Marketing Communications at YMCA, take a deep dive into the report and share their insights for the year ahead.

What does this mean?

The Marketers Priority Index Report 2022 explores, through surveys with YouGov and Hearst, the impact of this period of intense change on consumers and marketers. With exceptional disruption from Covid and Brexit, and a cultural shift towards equality, equity, and sustainability, we’ve sought to uncover what it’s going to take to adapt and survive as a brand in this brave new world.

Don't miss our panel of industry experts as they interrogate the insights identified in the report in detail. It’s a must-watch for any marketer looking for inspiration for driving strategy in the coming year.

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