July digital marketing news

Katerina Iliaki

Digital Content Specialist

Payments in Chat: Instagram introduces a new way to shop

In a nutshell

Meta is launching a new ‘payments in chat’ feature, allowing Instagram users to buy from small businesses through direct messages. Using it is simple, just message a qualified small company you’re interested in buying from. The merchant will then send you a payment request link, enabling you to ask questions, purchase and track your order within the chat thread.

What does this mean?

“Each week, one billion people message a business across our family of apps – whether it’s chatting with brands, browsing products, asking for support or interacting with stories. We want to help them start conversations with businesses they care about, find and buy products they love in an easy, seamless experience, right from the chat thread,” Meta said, in a recent announcement.

Instagram makes the transition from inspiration to purchase within the app easier, offering an improved experience for users who will no longer need to click on multiple pages or websites. It also helps small business owners who won’t need to use other applications to create orders and accept payments as the new feature allows them to communicate with their customers in real time. This could also encourage merchants to trust it as a reliable app, helping them to drive more sales and grow.

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TikTok launches Inventory Filter for safe ad placements

In a nutshell

In a move to promote and prioritise brand safety, TikTok is adding Inventory Filter for advertisers – meaning brands now have more control over where their content appears. The new filter is embedded in the existing Ads Manager and offers additional layers of content filtration. Built in line with TikTok’s own policies and the GARM standard, it gives advertisers the chance to choose from three categories: full, standard and limited. According to the platform’s blog post hundreds of major brands have leveraged its new feature within the testing period, seeing impressive results, to the tune of 95%-99%+ "safe delivery rates".

What does this mean?

“The Inventory Filter ensures a brand’s image doesn’t appear alongside any sensitive content on TikTok. This gives control back to the brand and allows their TikTok placements to align with their business values at a time where it’s most necessary to portray their most authentic self,” says Alice Giddings, paid media analyst at iCrossing UK. “It shows the advanced detection technology TikTok has, in their bid to rival Meta. However, with TikTok’s strict app safety measures, the feature may potentially impact results due to less available placements.”

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Ads Creative Studio now available to all advertisers

In a nutshell

Google has announced that Ads Creative Studio is now globally available. The tool enables advertisers to create multiple versions of a single display or video ad by choosing a different set of rules and customising it for different audiences, locations, languages and contexts. This makes it easier to reach the audience they want, they just need to provide creative elements and targeting information, and let Google do the rest.

What does this mean?

“There is no denying we’re at a precipice; we’re having to adapt to a cookie-limited world while consumer behaviour is evolving rapidly. Despite privacy concerns and increased dual device behaviour, consumers still expect relevant ads,” says iCrossing UK’s senior programmatic display manager, Michaela Maffia.

“With the launch of Google's Ad Creative Studio, marketers have a huge opportunity to reach untapped audiences at scale with personalised video and display ads like never before. They can heavily customise a single ad's product image, text, and sound. It's no longer about 'keeping creative fresh' to avoid ad fatigue, it's levelling up to make every single ad work smarter.

“As more agencies begin to test the studio it will be interesting to see more case studies emerge and how it impacts performance benchmarks overall. As an industry, it’s a reminder that behind every single ad served there’s a real person open to relevant storytelling.”

Google introduces new features for Performance Max campaigns

In a nutshell

Aiming to give advertisers more control and help them improve their campaign performance, Google has added four new features to their accounts:

  • Optimisation score could support users to improve their results through recommendations.

  • Seasonality adjustments allow them to adjust their bid strategy based on changes they’re anticipating in conversion rates for events like promos and sales.

  • Data exclusions prevent potential issues with conversion tracking from affecting their Performance Max bid strategy.

  • Explanations offer deeper transparency into performance, enabling advertisers to identify fluctuations and diagnose issues.

What does this mean?

“These features are a really welcome addition to Performance Max campaigns and will help marketers provide greater insight to clients, as well as optimise their campaigns more effectively,” says Rob Dennis, iCrossing UK’s paid media manager. “Seasonality adjustments and data exclusions in particular are extremely useful, as they’ll help marketers maximise the opportunity that sale periods bring without affecting the ongoing performance. Conversely, if there were tracking issues for a period, the ability to ignore them is very welcome, as it will minimise disruption to ongoing bid strategies and campaign performance.”

Google Search Console rolls out new video indexing report

In a nutshell

According to Google’s announcement, the company is gradually rolling out a video indexing report over the next few months. The goal? To help users understand the performance of their videos on the platform and make improvements to increase performance. More specifically, the report shows how many pages of your website include videos, as well as on how many of these pages a video could be indexed.

What does this mean?

Users can now use the report to answer key questions and find out which of their videos are indexed successfully, as well as what issues are preventing them from being indexed. After resolving any problems, they can validate the fix, and track how their fixed video pages are updated in the Google index. Want to learn more about video indexing best practices? Check out Google’s video best practices guide.

iCrossing UK’s Roger Barr on the digital transformation of the fitness industry

In a nutshell

The pandemic increased focus on health and wellbeing, but also created problems for fitness industry providers who couldn’t react quickly to changes and respond to ever-changing customer demands. In his latest article on The Drum, iCrossing UK’s chief digital officer Roger Barr discusses why digital transformation and innovation are essential in the wellbeing space, which brands adapted well to the new normal and whether trends seen in 2021 and 2022 will continue.

What does this mean?

“Providers will need to closely monitor behaviour and listen to their consumers. Here to stay is the need to continually innovate. New digital and in-person fitness, health and holistic wellbeing products and services are key to getting ahead,” says iCrossing UK’s chief digital officer Roger Barr on his recent article published on The Drum.

“For me, the smarter money is on creating experiences that embrace a multitude of inputs and are agnostic to the type of activity, device, level or location (in the gym, at home, in the park or up a mountain). Brands that get creative in how they engage, educate and support customers will benefit most.”

Sports marketing: What are the new rules of engagement?

In a nutshell

iCrossing UK’s chief digital officer Roger Barr joined The Drum Network Podcast to discuss the new trends and rules of engagement in the fitness sector, as well as emerging opportunities for marketers and brands in the metaverse around sports.

What does this mean?

So, what is it about sports that works well in the metaverse? Roger advises brands to focus on testing and learning: “I think there’s a huge opportunity with product in particular to use the metaverse as a relatively kind of cheap environment. So actually, test what resonates, what works with people and what they’re going for. There are various examples of brands that are launching products in metaverse and showing their expertise, but from a market research perspective it’s just another way they can tap into creating audiences. So, I think that’s kind of interesting.”

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