November Digital Marketing News

Tanya Spence-Kelly

Digital Marketing Account Executive

TikTok forecast to surpass 1 billion active monthly users in 2021

In a nutshell

According to mobile data and analytics firm App Annie, TikTok, the short-form video social network, is expected to reach 1.2 billion active monthly users next year. It will join the likes of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other social media giants that have cruised past the 1 billion milestone.

What does this mean?

With nearly 2 billion app downloads worldwide, TikTok has quickly become one of the biggest players in the social media space. Platforms such as Instagram, who recently released Reels to rival TikTok’s video montage ability, are having to up their game to compete and stay relevant.

Advertisers who are not already making the most of this popular platform to target new and existing customers should consider their TikTok strategy. Due to current low competition, the average cost per mille (CPM) on TikTok is significantly cheaper than on Facebook and Instagram, so now’s the perfect time to experiment, even if you have a limited budget.

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Google confirms Core Web Vitals roll out date and tweaks to existing Page Experience Signals

In a nutshell

Earlier this year, Google announced that additional page experience signals would be included in Google search ranking; three new KPIs known collectively as ‘Core Web Vitals’. Google has now confirmed this will roll out in May 2021, and that existing page experience signals will also be updated in the algorithm.

Existing page experience signals that will be tweaked:

  • No use of intrusive interstitials (such as pop-ups and banners)

  • Mobile friendliness

  • Use of HTTPS

  • Safe-browsing (no malicious or deceptive content)

In a Webmaster Central Blog post, Google explained “these signals measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page and contribute to our ongoing work to ensure people get the most helpful and enjoyable experiences from the web.”

Google also announced that pages that pass all of these Page Experience Signal tests will now be marked as such in search results, making it easier for users to pick user friendly pages.

What does this mean?

The new Page Experience Signals combine Core Web Vitals with Google’s existing search factors, including mobile friendliness and safe-browsing.

Cameron Lyall, SEO manager at iCrossing UK, advises marketers to “continue working on the loading speed of your site and providing a great user experience. We now have a deadline to work towards, so get your site in the best possible position. And in May 2021, keep an eye on the impact.”

Reflecting on the latest updates from Google, SEO director Dave Cousin adds “while most of the existing Page Experience Signals are standard in good web design today, we still see mobile-friendliness issues surprisingly frequently. Any sites that haven’t addressed this already should identify and fix these issues as a priority. A Page Experience ‘Pass’ mark from Google could mean a big click-through rate boost."

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Instagram confirms ads are coming to Reels

In a nutshell

CEO of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has confirmed ads will eventually come to Reels – the app’s TikTok-competitor feature. This comes as part of Instagram’s mission to make it easier for users to browse for and purchase products, having also moved its Shop and Reels tabs to the main navigation bar.

Mosseri said “I think that we can leverage the story ad format because it’s the same immersive experience…that’ll be helpful because you don’t need to get advertisers to create a bunch of new creative [ads].”

What does it mean?

Elevating the Instagram shopping experience could enhance ad effectiveness, speeding up the in-app purchase journey to make it easier for users to go from seeing an ad to buying a product. Although the format is not yet confirmed, we are expecting it to be similar to IGTV shoppable videos, launched earlier this year.

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TikTok partners with Shopify

In a nutshell

TikTok has announced a global partnership with e-commerce platform Shopify, making it easier for Shopify’s 1m+ merchants across 175 countries to create, run and optimise marketing campaigns, reaching TikTok’s younger audience.

According to Shopify, merchants can create In-Feed shoppable video ads using templates specifically designed for commerce and to resonate with the TikTok community. The partnership will launch in the U.S. first and will roll out to the rest of North America, Europe and Southeast Asia in 2021.

What does this mean?

Mike Angastiniotis, our paid media analyst says "TikTok’s partnership with Shopify means greater exposure for merchants. The partnership is being set up efficiently for virtual shop owners, allowing them to kick start their TikTok marketing campaign within their Shopify dashboard by simply installing a dedicated plugin. At a time where both Shopify and TikTok are experiencing exponential growth, this move benefits both parties; merchants looking to engage new customers, and TikTok, which has been steadily increasing its social shopping features.”

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Instagram introduces new features for creators

In a nutshell

Instagram continues to up its game when it comes to helping brands and creators develop lucrative partnerships. The platform has introduced a range of new Instagram Creator account features including Product Tags in Reels and Lives. Changes also mean brands can post new ads directly from a creators’ account, as opposed to the creator having to post it organically first, and for the first time, Stories with Product Tags can be promoted, too.

What does this mean?

Jill Alger, our social media strategist believes that these new additions are no doubt going to be attractive to brands and creators. “They’ll unlock mutual benefits, from both a content and revenue perspective.”

“We can also expect the new capabilities to have an impact on other platforms – particularly TikTok, which has found itself in an ongoing competition with Instagram. While TikTok already has its own Creator Marketplace, it will be interesting to see how well it fairs against Facebook’s more established advertising platform once the features have fully rolled out.”

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Queen Elizabeth II: The Original Influencer? iCrossing writes for the IAB

Despite only being added to the English dictionary in May 2019, the word ‘influencer’ has been in our vocabularies for many years – especially in the digital marketing industry. But how long has this form of marketing actually been around? We’d argue it’s much longer than you might think. Is the Queen the longest-standing lady in the game? Robinson’s squash, Hunter wellies, Strongbow cider. Aside from being Glasto packing essentials, these things all have one thing in common: they all hold the Royal Warrant.

Jill Alger, social strategist and Sam Colebrook, content strategist reflect on the influence of the Royal Warrant, share insights gained from surveying Cosmopolitan readers and give advice on modern day influencing.

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