September digital marketing news

Michele Baker

Digital Content Specialist

App users in the UK and US now spend more time on TikTok than YouTube

In a nutshell

Over 2 billion people use YouTube each month, which explains why the established video platform still ranks highest for overall time spent. However, according to a recent report by App Annie, TikTok’s user base has skyrocketed to over 700 million monthly users, with individual users spending more time on the platform than they do on YouTube. For a little perspective on how quickly TikTok has grown: YouTube was founded in 2005; TikTok initially launched (as Musical.ly) in 2016.

What does this mean?

TikTok can no longer be dismissed as a platform for lip-syncing, dancing teenagers. There’s strong opportunity for consumer brands to make their mark with TikTok’s increasingly diverse user base and variety of content.

Google is updating the way it generates page titles in search 

In a nutshell

Title tags are getting an overhaul. Google wants more accurately descriptive titles for pages, and is considering more factors before generating the page title users will see in results, as explained by Google’s Danny Sullivan:

“We consider the main visual title or headline shown on a page, content that site owners often place within <H1> tags, within other header tags, or which is made large and prominent through the use of style treatments.”

What does this mean?

Optimising HTML title tags is just as important as ever. Sullivan has emphasised that the original HTML title tag will still be used over 80% of the time. Though if Google decides it likes its title tag better, you may not have much of a choice. iCrossing senior SEO manager, Cameron Lyall, assures us it’s not all bad news:

“Although this seems like a big change, Google will actually be pulling through content that best answers the searcher’s query, which should help your click-through rate – as long as you have good content. True, it won’t always look the most optimised, and we might see more truncated titles, but it should show users that your content answers their search.

“If it’s a really big issue, there are no-snippet tags that can be used to stop Google showing particular information directly in search, but this can lead to loss of other SERP features.”

Facebook scrabbles to update its business ad offering

In a nutshell

Facebook’s historically laissez-faire approach to user privacy no longer cuts the mustard. As such, Facebook is rolling out new features that give users more autonomy in how they interact with businesses, while businesses are handed better tools for reaching audiences in a respectable way.

What does this mean?

James Mortimer, paid social director, says:

“Over the last year, Facebook’s advertising business has faced the biggest disruption since it was introduced over a decade ago. Apple’s privacy-first approach has led to 70-90% of iOS users opting out of tracking from Facebook and Instagram. This has made tracking the impact of adverts bought on the platform harder. 

“These issues have impacted all advertisers across Facebook’s network but small businesses, who don’t have agency teams to support them, have been hit the hardest. Facebook’s restructure of its business tools is aimed to help these small companies who often rely on Facebook’s network to reach customers. These moves are also interesting because it shows the start of Facebook merging its services together. This has been hinted at for the last 18 months and would make it much harder for lawmakers in the US or the EU to attempt to break up the apps into separate businesses – something that is becoming a real threat to Facebook.”

Livestreaming will drive the future of consumer spending on social media

In a nutshell

Livestreaming is predicted to drive consumer spending to $17.2bn a year by 2025. This spending isn’t going to brands, though. It’s going to content creators.

Consumers are gifting content creators directly during their livestreams; including a $75,000 donation to Twitch streamer, ExoticChaotic, during a live session on Fortnite. On some social apps, creators are raking in $24,000 a month. In the first half of 2021, $3 of every $4 spent in the top social apps came from those which offered livestreaming.

What does this mean?

In two words: influencer marketing. Leveraging the power that this new era of influencers holds over audiences could prove extremely fruitful for brands. Those that are prepared to adapt to the light-hearted approach that influencers now take to brand promotion have a shiny new way to market on social.

Google ads begins rollout of Smart Display campaigns

In a nutshell

Google Ads is starting to combine the existing standard Display campaigns we’re all used to with its new Smart Display product. Along with this, Google Ads users can expect to find optimised targeting for their Display campaigns. Users will be able to choose the level of automation they prefer for bidding, creative and audiences.

What does this mean?

Bonnie Pericolosi, director of product management at Google Display ads, assures users that existing campaigns won’t be affected. Once the rollout hits your account, you’ll see the new Display option when you come to create a campaign. Soon, however, the original Display format will be subsumed by the new Smart Display campaigns, with its souped-up features inherent in all future campaigns.

Twitter gets more immersive with edge-to-edge tweets for iOS app

In a nutshell

Twitter is finally trialling a cleaner, more up-to-date display format for image and video content. No longer will imagery be offset with that chunky left-hand margin, but will instead be presented full-width – the layout preferred on other social media platforms.

What does this mean?

For creators, this update will be hugely welcome. Twitter has always positioned itself as a ‘text-first’ platform, but that just isn’t the way social media works anymore. Visuals are, as any social media manager knows, absolutely key to driving engagement. We’re interested to see how much of an engagement boost the new layout will offer.

We've been nominated! 

Thanks to the ratings and feedback of our clients, we were nominated for FIVE Drum Recommends Digital Awards last week.

  • Client service 

  • Effectiveness 

  • Search 

  • Service Delivery 

  • Strategic Thinking

The winners are announced next month so watch this space for updates!

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