March Digital Marketing News

Tanya Spence-Kelly

Digital Marketing Account Executive

YouTube adds additional insights to YouTube Analytics

In a nutshell

Thanks to the rise of smart TVs with pre-installed YouTube apps, and world-wide lockdowns driving more people to seek video entertainment, YouTube is fine-tuning YouTube Analytics. New insights will share information on how many viewers watch content on their television vs desktop or mobile devices.

The video platform is also introducing an update to its ‘new’ and ‘returning’ viewer stats, which will provide valuable insight into audience retention.

What does this mean?

iCrossing UK’s planning director, Joe Webster, tells us “this is most significant to content owners and creators regarding their organic content performance. It will give creators greater insight to their audience and behaviours – particularly understanding how audiences are viewing and interacting with their content and channels on different devices.

“But when it comes to paid ads on YouTube, this isn't anything new, as advertisers are already able to analyse performance across devices, including connected television (CTV). Whilst CTV is a strong channel for delivering reach and awareness, at present, there aren’t many ways for users to interact, such as clicking a call to action and visiting a site. So if you're looking to drive deeper actions and engagement beyond views, then for the time being, mobile, tablet and desktop placements should still be a priority.”

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Twitter allows advertisers to control promoted tweet replies

In a nutshell

In August 2020, Twitter gave users the ability to limit who can reply to a tweet, allowing them to choose from “people you follow” or “only people you mention”. This option has now been extended to advertisers and their promoted tweets.

What does this mean?

Having the ability to limit (or restrict) the conversation around promoted tweets allows advertisers to get creative with the way they interact with users on the platform. For example, they could start an interview and allow only replies from the tagged interviewee, creating a clear conversation for readers to follow. It also provides more control for brands who are concerned about ‘trolls’ causing harm to their brand image.

That said, this feature should be used with caution, as allowing your audience to interact with your brand should still be a key part of your social advertising strategy. Digital strategist, Jill Alger, warns that “getting complacent with content messaging, or muting your audience for the sake of a risky message is a dangerous game to play.”

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Tik Tok to default all accounts to personalised ads

In a nutshell

From 15th April, TikTok will make personalised ads the default setting on user accounts. Currently, users are served general ads, but this shift will see TikTok able to serve ads based on the videos users watch as well as the accounts they interact with.

What does it mean?

While users are still able to change back to general ads, this announcement has created confusion amongst TikTok users who are concerned about their privacy. According to TikTok, the platform is “committed to both respecting user privacy and building a personalised experience that enables meaningful connection between businesses and users."

For advertisers, this change seems positive, as ads will be shown to users that TikTok calculates as having relevant needs, wants or interests. This, in turn, could lead to higher engagement levels and click-through rates.

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Twitter to introduce in-app shopping functions

In a nutshell

In the same way users on Instagram can discover and purchase new products without leaving the app, Twitter will soon introduce in-platform e-commerce tools. Various features are being tested, including adding a Shop button to tweets and on-profile stores.

Paid social director, James Mortimer reflects, “just like Snapchat did with Stories, Clubhouse has created a new type of social feature that could be applied across any of the big networks and add value. We're currently seeing a rush from all the big platforms to figure out how to open audio conversations on their platforms. Five to ten years ago, Clubhouse would have had a few years to figure out their product and business but today they've only had months before others try and take them on.”

What does this mean?

Twitter is a great platform for brands to engage with their customers and start conversations. These new functionalities could really help to increase sales, reducing the friction between a customer engaging with a brand and buying their products.

While the features are still in development, once live, there will likely be strong uptake from the start; given many have had practice with in-app purchasing through channels like Instagram.

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Google predicts permanent pandemic changes

In a nutshell

A year into the pandemic, Google has forecast which lifestyle changes are likely here to stay. Using search and shopping data to back up its claims, Google predicts:

  • A year into the pandemic, Google has forecast which lifestyle changes are likely here to stay. Using search and shopping data to back up its claims, Google predicts:

  • Whilst live events will return, holding virtual events will continue, as people will think twice about traveling when they can just log in from their living room

  • Working from home is here to stay. Although search and shopping data suggests this desire to ditch the commute started before the pandemic, the closure of offices has forced 9-5 workers to make their home their office. More will be working with their teams virtually, and as a result, spending more time online.

  • Online shopping is now the norm, with convenience being key.

What does this mean?

As so many have shifted their lives online, digital marketing is more important than ever. For e-commerce businesses, having a solid strategy in place is essential to success.

Our strategy and insights director, Maria Bain, tells us “with online shopping under the spotlight, brands must continue to sharpen their consumer journey. But as so many brands have turned their attention to shoppable ads and social commerce, there’s pressure to think differently. How can brands tell their story and interact with customers to stand out from the crowd?

“Expect to see more marketers explore augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (Al) to add personalised and interactive opportunities to the online shopping experience.”

Read more and discover what our head of strategy and planning has to say about marketing in 2021.

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iX in the latest WARC and IAB Guides

IAB: A guide to the State of Search 2021

Get the most out of your search spend with the new IAB State of Search Guide which includes contributions from our head of paid media and IAB Search Advisory member, Lottie Namakando.

Download the IAB State of Search guide.

The WARC Guide to shoppable media

Strategy and insight director, Maria Bain’s paper “Future gazing: Social commerce is the new ecommerce” is featured in the new WARC Guide on shoppable media alongside contributors from across the digital media ecosystem.

Download the WARC Guide to shoppable media

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