June Digital Marketing News

Michele Baker

Digital Content Specialist

Google fined €220 million for abusing its position in online advertising

In a nutshell

Google has responded to a €220 million fine and ruling by the French Competition Authority, that it had been “us[ing] its vertically integrated business model in display advertising to gain an advantage over other competitors”, by announcing plans to improve transparency on its AdX and Ads Manager platforms.

What does this mean?

Google has promised to improve interoperability between Ads Manager and third-party ads servers, and will no longer use data from other side-sell platforms (SSPs) to optimise bids in its own exchange. While the immediate impact on publishers and advertisers may not be visible, increased transparency from Google will help level the playing field.

“We warmly welcome these types of changes which both level the ad tech playing field and contribute to the increased transparency around display buying,” says Lottie Namakando, Head of Paid Media at iCrossing. “Transparency in digital advertising has become an important topic, particularly since 2018, challenging ad tech companies and the subsequent rulings of this nature, all contribute to establishing a full understanding of how media is bought, and genuinely where the best return of investment can be obtained.

“I believe it is our responsibility, as digital advertisers, to play a part where we can, in continuing to question the companies involved in the digital supply chain. The persistent challenging of companies to be more transparent can only benefit the consumer and the industry.”

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Twitter introduces audio clips and Fleet ads to match competitor platforms

In a nutshell

Twitter has announced further rollout of its new Spaces tab, which allows users to share short audio clips, similar to emergent iOS social networking app, Clubhouse. Twitter is planning to make Spaces exclusively available to users with over 600 followers, targeting influencers, experts and journalists. Facebook and Instagram have also recently begun trialling audio-only content.

Ads on Fleets, Twitter’s answer to Instagram Stories, are also coming to the platform this month. The ads will run in full-screen vertical format with ‘swipe-up’ calls to action, replicating the model used on TikTok, Snapchat and Facebook.

What does this mean?

Not everyone is thrilled by Twitter’s new features, with many complaining that all social platforms are beginning to look the same. But as iCrossing’s Digital Strategist, Jill Alger, notes, they shouldn’t be overlooked by brands, as there’s plenty of potential across these new formats. Both Spaces and Fleets will be useful tools for marketers seeking to reach the notoriously difficult-to-target demographic set that makes up Twitter’s user base.

“My main tip to marketers is to think creatively about how these new formats are used,” Jill says. “For example - leveraging Fleets to share short-term promotions that allow followers to grab a deal for a limited time only; or launching a live Q&A forum in Spaces - giving your community a chance to ask questions about your services or brand. Testing and learning what users respond to best is the best approach.”

Read more about Fleet Ads

Read more about Spaces

Journalists speak out on the most overused press release words

In a nutshell

US communications expert, Cision, has revealed the 20 most over-used “cringe-inducing” press release words, according to journalists. As part of its 2021 Global State of the Media Report, outlining how the events of 2020 affected the news media, it surveyed over 2,700 journalists across 15 countries to create the list, which sees ‘best of breed’, ‘world-class’ and ‘unprecedented’ take the top spots. The long-list, made up mainly of adjectives, presents itself as a challenge to those writing about digital marketing, in particular. How can we transform our writing to leverage more dynamic language and create seamless, user-friendly copy? 😉

What does it mean?

To create impactful content, copy must be differentiated to attract attention, and reflective of language your audiences use and understand. These two elements form the backbone of the RAD (Reflective, Actionable & Differentiated) copy framework we follow at iCrossing. To cut clichés, flag over-used vocab and jargon to avoid in your tone-of-voice guidelines, with suggestions for alternatives.

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Google Page Experience update rollout

In a nutshell

Google has begun rolling out its latest page experience update, to highlight pages with great user experience, which is set to complete by the end of August.

What does this mean?

As with any Google algorithm update, search rankings are likely to see some fluctuation as the update beds in, but Google assures that these will be minimal: “While this update is designed to highlight pages that offer great user experiences, page experience remains one of many factors our systems take into account. Given this, sites generally should not expect drastic changes,” said Google.

iCrossing’s Senior SEO Manager, Cameron Lyall, anticipates that there will be a lot of movement for a while whilst Google plays around to make the update work in all countries and across all verticals. “It’s a technically-complex and slow rollout, which indicates that it’ll be a big change for Google algorithms. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Google pause and even reverse the rollout as they work through and make adjustments.”

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Pinterest Shopping Lists expands platform’s eCommerce offering

In a nutshell

Pinterest has announced an expansion of its shopping features, with Shopping Lists offering a new way for Pinners to keep track of their online purchases wish-list in the app.

What does this mean?

Pinterest is working hard to position itself as a key online shopping destination, and replicate some of the most-loved elements of an in-store shopping experience. It’s encouraging brands to create beautiful virtual storefronts and tidying up the way that Pinners can use the platform as a purchasing tool. As Pinterest expands from its widespread use as a virtual scrapbook to a more monetisable model, it offers marketers a fresh opportunity to follow awareness with conversions.

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A Day in the Life: Jill Alger, Digital Strategist for Talking Influence

Talking Influence's day in the life series aims to provide insight into the roles of some of the key players within the influencer marketing industry, enabling readers to understand more about the work that happens behind the scenes that allows the industry to thrive.

Jill Alger, our Digital Strategist shares what a day in the life in her role looks like.

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