POV

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29.11.21

November digital marketing news

Michele Baker

Digital Content Specialist

Shoppable video - the future of retail?

In a nutshell

Last month, we covered Google’s plans to make YouTube more shoppable on connected TVs. This month, Google has published an article on its Think With Google blog, further solidifying its mission to push shopping on YouTube, presenting the results of research conducted by Comscore and by Google itself.

What does this mean?

In June 2021, the average online UK adult watched 60 minutes of YouTube a day across all devices. Google also found that 63% of YouTube viewers say they’ve bought from a brand as a result of seeing it on YouTube. And a third stat for you: brands that add product feeds to their video action campaigns achieve over 60% more conversions at a lower cost.

These impressive stats should make retail marketers sit up and pay attention. With the pandemic stimulating ecommerce to unprecedented levels, YouTube has become a largely untapped source of inspiration for shoppers in the UK. Google’s figures cement our previous claims that capturing consumer demand on YouTube through its video action campaigns and product feed functionality is where we need to be right now.

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Facebook removes sensitive detailed ad targeting options

In a nutshell

Thousands of Detailed Targeting options for Facebook Ads will disappear by 17 March 2022. Options referencing causes, organisations or public figures that relate to political affiliation, religion, race and ethnicity, health, or sexual orientation are to be scrapped. It’s all part of bringing Facebook in line with evolving privacy regulations.

What does this mean?

“We want to better match people’s evolving expectations of how advertisers may reach them on our platform,” Facebook said on its blog, “and address feedback from civil rights experts, policymakers and other stakeholders on the importance of preventing advertisers from abusing the targeting options we make available.” ​

This could prove tricky for brands who have made certain issues part of their brand messaging. Non-profits will be hit by changes that prohibit targeting of health causes and will have to rethink their paid social strategy. “Although frustrating for some advertisers, this is a small but important step in the right direction for Facebook” says iCrossing UK’s senior paid social and display analyst, Katie Spooner. “Facebook has long been criticised for prioritising profit over the safety and security of their users, so this is a step in the right direction.” ​

These changes are a summons for marketers to build their own first-party data and actively learn what makes their audience tick. Ultimately, the change could be beneficial, as it’ll force brands to take control of their targeting outside of Facebook itself and – hopefully – result in much better understanding of their audiences.

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New logo schema mark-up requirements

In a nutshell

Google has updated its guidelines around schema mark-up for logos. Now, any logos submitted must look good on a pure white background. If a logo doesn’t render well on white backgrounds, it may not qualify for inclusion in search.

What does this mean?

The marked-up logo could appear in the Knowledge Panel of Google results, Top Stories, and ‘People also searched for’ sections. As your logo represents your organisation, it goes without saying that you’ll want it to look its best.

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Google’s November 2021 Core Update

In a nutshell

Google’s latest Core Update began rollout on 17th November and, as usual, will take two weeks to fully bed in. There’s been a bit of fuss over the timing of this latest update, which began rolling out just nine days ahead of Black Friday, the biggest online shopping event of the year.

What does this mean?

While webmasters brace themselves for Google’s Core Updates at the best of times, the fear of dropping off search results pages just as a hoard of customers come a-clicking has caused a minor kerfuffle. ​

Despite concerns, Google’s Danny Sullivan reminds us: “We did an update last year in the middle of the shopping season and that largely seemed not a huge issue, [so] getting one out of the way BEFORE the season didn’t seem a problem. Especially as … most won’t see any changes.” ​

The majority of websites tend to survive Core Updates with little disruption. Plus, any ripples caused by the update will have likely dissipated by the time the update’s fully bedded in. But the time-honoured tradition of claiming that the sky is falling each time a Core Update comes around, it seems, is still alive and well. As with any Core Update, we recommend keeping a close eye on your website traffic and search performance. If you think your site’s been impacted, here’s Google’s page about Core Updates, and advice on recovering.

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Are accelerated mobile pages on their way out?​

In a nutshell

Twitter has quietly removed support for accelerated mobile pages (AMP). Now, users clicking on a link to your website from Twitter will just be directed to the mobile version of the page. Google has also recently announced that AMP will no longer be required for Top Stories, and there’s some speculation around whether LinkedIn has also dropped AMP support.

What does this mean?

The big platforms dropping support for AMPs raises the question of whether it’s worth having them in the first place. ​ iCrossing UK’s SEO director, Cameron Lyall, doesn’t think there’ll be an impact on SEO from dropping AMPs: “AMP was an initiative to create faster-loading pages on mobile, as a user wouldn’t have to leave Google to see an AMP. But it didn’t really take off, so the fact that Twitter isn’t supporting them anymore just highlights the decreasing need to put effort into these.”

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iCrossing’s report shows priorities for marketing decision makers in 2022

In a nutshell

iCrossing UK has produced a report titled the Marketing Priority Index, created in conjunction with data from YouGov. It considers the views of marketing decision makers in the UK and uncovers their priorities for the year ahead as well as the challenges faced. The full report is set to be released in the near future.

What does this mean?

The report unearthed a number of fascinating insights, including some surprising results on areas that are falling by the wayside. For example, a quarter of decision makers claim their business doesn’t have enough time to focus on digital marketing. A further quarter say they don’t have enough understanding of SEO in their organisation, while others are missing knowledge about analytics, digital strategy and PPC.

iCrossing UK’s managing director, Jamie Clifford, says: “The past 18 months has further shown the profound effect digital and data has had on marketing, but due to the complexity that this brings, there are clearly still many organisations and marketers struggling to find the time, skills and knowledge to adapt and deliver an effective digital marketing strategy.

“With the end of the cookie in sight, managing data, and measuring and monitoring performance is only set to become more complex.”

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