It’s Friday, so you know what that means: we’re back with the latest digital marketing updates! We have a few things to implement and watch for with our current clients, and if you have any concerns for your marketing strategy, contact us!
INFLUENCER MARKETING: Regulator Warns of Fines
The American trade regulator has sent a rather threatening letter to more than 700 businesses — including Facebook and Amazon — to warn them they'll get hefty fines if they don't crack down on fake reviews and deceptive endorsements.
But the move is a little weird:
How big are the potential fines? Apparently up to $43,792 per violation.
Apparently the letter is the first salvo American trade regulations require before the FCC can actually start levying fines. Specifically, here's what's on the naughty list:
Industry analysis seems to think this is aimed more at requiring brands to be more insistent with their influencers on disclosing that they've been compensated. To that end, that list of 700 or so companies could be quite valuable, as it seems to be a list of brands that use influencers.There are some surprising brands on that list, including:
How will my metrics change? You may see more mobile impressions and a lower CTR on Search, Shopping, and Local Ads. “We expect clicks, conversions, average CPC, and average CPA to remain flat,” added Farid in the Q&A document. “Search campaigns may see more impressions from top ads and fewer impressions from bottom ads.”
Why we care: This is an important change to communicate to clients and stakeholders who may be invested in the minutiae of campaign metrics. Google recommends reviewing your advertising goals and “monitoring your campaigns and continuing to optimize them based on your business objectives.” This change is only for U.S.-based queries right now but will roll out to additional countries and languages in 2022.
29 Creative Social Content Ideas
Google search quality guidelines updated
Google has finally updated the company’s search quality raters guidelines, this update comes after over a year of the document not being updated. This time Google expanded on the YMYL category, it clarified what constitutes lowest quality content, simplified the definition of upsetting-offensive and the overall document has been refreshed and modernized with minor updates throughout. In fact, the old document was a 175 page PDF, the new one is 172 pages.
Why we care: Although search quality evaluators’ ratings do not directly impact rankings (as Google clarified in the document), they do provide feedback that helps Google improve its algorithms. It is important to spend some time looking at what Google changed in this updated version of the document and compare that to the last year’s version of the document to see if we can learn more about Google’s intent on what websites and web pages Google prefers to rank. Google made those additions, edits and deletions for a reason.
Would you want an ad free Google Search for a monthly subscription fee?
Would you pay a monthly subscription fee to remove all the ads from the Google Search results? Neeva thinks so but so far, Google has not gone down that route. But Google is asking some users via a Google opinion rewards survey if they would like such an option.
Eli Schwartz spotted this survey and posted it on Twitter. The survey asks, how interested would you be in paying a reasonable price for a search service with that feature. The feature is “Results show no ads at all.”
Google does offer a premium service for YouTube without ads – so I guess it would be feasible for them to offer this for Google Search. But honestly, I’d be shocked if Google ever did this in search. The only way I can see this happening is if government regulation pushed Google to a point where this might make sense for their revenues.
Holiday sales are predicted to break a new record even though Cyber Week growth is slowing
U.S. online holiday sales will reach a new record, $207 billion, from November 1 to December 31, according to Adobe’s Holiday Shopping Forecast. That’s up 10% YoY, a strong growth rate after a year in which the pandemic drove customers towards e-commerce. However, major shopping holidays seem to be losing steam (see the chart above): While Cyber Week (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) is expected to drive $36 billion in online spending (17% of the entire holiday season), growth has slowed, coming in at just 5% YoY — half the rate of the season’s overall growth. Nevertheless, Adobe expects Cyber Monday to remain the biggest shopping day of the year, although the three major shopping days (Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving) are growing less than the season overall.
Here are some more quick stats from the report:
Why we care: “We are entering a second holiday season where the pandemic will dictate the terms,” said Patrick Brown, vice president of growth marketing and insights at Adobe, “Limited product availability, higher prices, and concerns about shipping delays will drive another surge towards e-commerce, as it provides more flexibility in how and when consumers choose to shop.”
Additionally, Cyber Week’s diminished growth is something we’re also seeing for other major shopping holidays — Memorial Day, Labor Day and President’s Day grew on average 16 percentage points slower in two-year growth than the seven days leading up to them, according to the report. This may indicate that retailers are spreading out their sales over more days and/or a shift in when consumers are shopping.
Facebook Ads announces new performance, reporting and measurement products in light of iOS privacy changes
Yesterday Facebook announced new products and features to help combat this lack of data for advertisers, including an easier way to connect to the Simplified Conversions API and new features for Aggregated Event Measurement.
The new products include several major updates:
Why we care: Many advertisers are feeling the crunch after Apple’s app-tracking privacy initiative began earlier this year. The missing data means campaigns aren’t optimized as well as they used to be and many advertisers are losing conversions. These new improvements on the Facebook Ad side are an attempt to fill that reporting and measurement gap while still maintaining user privacy.
Google extends its shopping integrations to include BigCommerce
Google has rolled out an integration with BigCommerce, the company announced Thursday. Similar to Google’s integrations with Shopify, WooCommerce, GoDaddy and Square, which were announced earlier this year, this partnership will enable BigCommerce merchants to show their products for free on Google, create ad campaigns and review performance metrics from their BigCommerce store.
Why we care: The new integration provides BigCommerce retailers with an easy way to make their listings more discoverable across Google properties, which can help drive traffic to their products. This may be especially helpful for merchants that can’t or aren’t able to dedicate extra staff or enlist the help of an agency.
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Summer and her team have years of experience in all realms of marketing. Her favorite is Search Engine Optimization and trying to figure out what Google is up to next.