Another month has passed! As spring is getting closer, and some countries facing possibilities of lifting lockdowns, customers might be more happier to get their ‘everyday’ lives back! The past month more reviews of 2020 surfaced, and of course, Google and Facebook have some updates concerning their platforms as well, so let’s dive into it!
Every news starts with a short summary with the key points, however, if you are willing to dive deeper into a certain topic, you can always find an additional link for further reference.
1. iOS14 brings a big change to Facebook’s tracking algorithm
Search Engine Journal
Facebook’s ad targeting heavily relied on targeting based on user activity – tracking various actions they take on a website. Of course they are able to turn off sharing all this information, but it has been buried deep down in the interface – but now Apple has announced they are rolling out iOS14, which will give users the permission to opt-in for the tracking upon installing an application. Many are expecting users will opt out when given the choice so explicitly. Facebook has said that this will affect the following metrics: 28-day attribution of any kind will no longer be supported – historical data for them will only be available via the API. 7-day click attribution will still exist, however, 7-day view-through attribution will also be gone.
There is also an impact to offsite conversion events that are imported. Delivery vs. action breakdowns will no longer be available, and the conversions that happen will be reported based on when they occurred and not on when the ad impression happened. While advertisers will still be able to target based on geographic and demographic segments, it’s important to note they will no longer be able to see a reporting breakdown by these factors. advertisers will be limited to 8 conversion events tracked per domain.
While this data loss right now is tied only to iOS 14 users, it is very likely the start of how privacy will be handled in the future.
2. ‘First 24 Hours’ Report is now available in YouTube Analytics
Search Engine Journal
YouTube has updated its analytics report, and from now on, creators have the possibility to access their videos’ reports focusing on the first 24 hours – total watch time, subscribers gained, and revenue (if the video is monetized). They can also see how their video’s performance compares to previous ones. Since YouTube’s recommendation algorithm has a high focus on performance, this can help creators in the future.
You can access the ‘First 24 Hours’ report like this
3. Google’s updates in January
Gmail ads to merge into Discovery campaigns: Google has announced that as of July 1st, advertisers won’t be able to create Gmail ads on their own, they will merge into Discovery campaigns, and they won’t be able to select to appear only in Gmail ads. Gmail ads are those email-like ads at the top of Promotions and Social tabs. Discovery ads appear on YouTube’s home tab & Watch Next feed, Gmail and in Discover – where people search for their favorite topic every day. Read more.
COVID-19 checklist: Google has made some guides for several industries and just in general, on how to evaluate your campaigns in the middle of the pandemic. Find the guides here.
Changes in keyword match types: Soon, Google’s keyword match type, broad match modifier will move into phrase match – phrase match will expand to both cases. As of July, broad match modifier will no longer be a separate keyword type, you won’t be able to create them. Until then, it’ll be a changing period, where broad match modifier keywords will act as phrase match. Read more.
Standardized conversion attributes for video campaigns: Until now, there were different conversion attributes available for skippable videos, in-feed videos, etc. From now on, you’ll be able to create standardized video conversion attributes, to help you analyze and compare the campaign performance across all channels. Read more.
4. TikTok beats Facebook in Time Spent Per User
Search Engine Journal
App Annie has released its 2021 State of Mobile report and provides lots of interesting insights in how 2020 changed user behaviour when it comes to mobile. Probably the most surprising is TikTok’s popularity: while everyone has heard about the app in the last year, still, it comes as a surprise that in many countries (United States and European countries like France, Germany and the United Kingdom) users have spent more time on TikTok than on every other social networking app, beating even Facebook! Another interesting insight provided by the research shows that people spend way more time on YouTube than on Netflix – 23 hours per month vs. 5.7 hours per month.
Average Monthly Time Spent Per User Among Top Social Networking Apps by Hour Spent in 2020 in the UK
5. State of Video Marketing Report 2021
In another recently published research, Wyzowl gives us an insight on how the pandemic changed how consumers and marketers think about video ads. In a HubSpot article, they provide us with the most important takeaways: although marketing budgets may have been a bit tighter in 2020, still, video remained the most popular and most effective type of advertisement. It’s also important to note, and we have written about it in a previous newsletter also, that last year the amount of video content people consume has increased dramatically, and video ads have become an important and integrated part of the consumer journey. Probably the highlight of the research is that more than 99% of those who currently use video ads told that they will continue to use these types of ads in 2021, and the majority of them (96%) plan to increase or maintain their spend.
6. Google’s about to leave Australia?
Search Engine Journal
The year had a rough start down under for Google. Australia plans to introduce a law that would make Google and Facebook pay royalties for news publishers. As a result, Google started to run an experiment that would only show 1% of Australian news stories on the Search Engine Results Page. Furthermore, if the law is passed, Google threatens to leave the country. Facebook also said that they would block Australian-based users from posting and sharing news links, since there’s no commercial benefit for them. Both giants claim that they are providing service to the media industry through referral traffic, and this new law would cause operational and financial risks for them. While this happened in Australia, regulating tech and social giants has become a more and more urgent topic in a lot of countries.
7. Snapchat Year in Review 2020
Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Journal has published some interesting facts about Snapchat users of 2020 – while the facts are about UK users, other countries may rely on this data as well. We know that Snapchat is mainly popular amongst the younger generation, but still it might be surprising that 90% of the 13-24 year olds are on the platform. They are also very active on the platform, about 4 billion snaps are created every day. What’s different about Snapchat compared to Facebook or Instagram is its effect on its users’ mental health: 95% of users claim that opening the app makes them happier – and it’s also important to note that this generation has a big buying power, and they are very likely to complete a purchase online. While the app might have been more popular a few years ago, it’s clear to see that it still has a significant impact in the digital marketing industry.
8. How does Google help the online world to become more privacy-first?
Google Ads & Commerce Blog
Putting a higher emphasis on how personal information is treated in the online world has become a more and more important topic in the last few years. While cookies are a way to track your website’s visitors, it’s not the most privacy-friendly solution. Google aims to eliminate third-party cookies, and replace them with privacy-first alternatives. Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox is working towards this goal. In this article, they introduce some solutions and explain how they can keep measurement as accurate as it is today. One of these solutions, called Federated Learning of Cohorts, suggests a new way to create a large group of people with similar interests, this way hiding individuals in the crowd, but still making businesses able to target large audiences with relevant content. This approach uses on-device processing to create the large groups and also keeping a person’s web history private. They intend to roll out test versions on how advertisers can create new audiences and optimize their bidding for them this year. Conversion measurement will be available through API – it’s a solution that will limit the amount of data that gets sent from the device, protecting user privacy. One thing’s for sure: privacy will be a hot topic throughout the year, and Google plans to roll out different test periods to experiment with their solutions.
9. How can you successfully engage a new generation?
Think with Google
In the United States, one of the largest children’s hospital, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital found themselves in a weird situation last year: 80% of their funds were coming from individual donors, and since they couldn’t organize in-person fundraising events, they had to find new ways to communicate with their supporters. They opened the digital marketing tool kit and used every tool they could: their fundraising events were moved to YouTube (an effort resulting in $3 million in donations in a single day). They have realized a long time ago that one of the most effective ways of communication for them is sharing emotional stories about their patients. Using these content and implementing machine learning methods to find new Google and Facebook users, they could reach new, younger and more diverse audiences. To measure the impact of the ongoing innovations, they have implemented a common measurement framework in the company.
10. How did Adidas react to the changes brought by the pandemic?
Think with Google
At Adidas, focusing on apps have been a center element of their strategy for some years now, and when the pandemic hit, they realized the sudden urge towards their applications, and that they need to help their customers in that uncertain situation. By understanding their customers’ needs, they were able to leverage from the sudden demand. They realized that users of their applications like Runtastic did not only used it to keep fit, but also needed it as a form of motivation: as a reaction, they created the Hometeam Hero Challenge – they donated $1 for every minute a user worked out to WHO, which skyrocketed the popularity of the application, reaching a 600% increase in demand over a day. Besides delivering purpose-driven connections, they also used their membership program, Creator’s Club to their benefit: they introduced by-appointment browsing, contactless purchase options as added benefits. The key takeaway of the article is to never stop developing, and asking the question: how can we leverage our resources to adapt to the ever changing needs of our customers?
11. What is the Role of Pricing in User Ratings?
Search Engine Journal
In Search Engine Journal’s article, they introduce a research carried out by Harvard Business School about the effect of price increase on consumer ratings. For the study, they used data from Yelp Transactions Platform in NYC, Los Angeles and Houston, from 2013 to January 2019. We always knew that a rating depends on the price and quality of the service combined – but it might be surprising that an increase in price can lead to decrease in ratings – but only from new customers. Therefore, a bad rating isn’t given as a form of ‘punishment’ from return customers, it’s more likely that a higher price has a bigger impact on how new customers perceive our business. Usually, a 1% increase in price can result in a 0.05-0.14 decrease in ratings.
12. How to prepare your business for a more private web?
Think with Google
Privacy is at the top of Google’s mind for sure! They are working towards making Chrome cookie-free, testing period is about to start in March, until then, they have some suggestions on how you can prepare your business for the change. First thing first, they suggest to rely on first-party data. Your customers share information about themselves at key moments of the customer journey, don’t be afraid to use all these combined with loyalty programs to learn more about them to improve your business. But also, keep privacy top of mind, and communicate what they are agreeing to when sharing information. They also suggest using Google’s own Global Site Tag – to help you improve the accuracy of your measurement, and prepare for the shift in cookie consent.
13. 5 key consumer insights for 2021
Think with Google
Google has analyzed several search trends, and landed on 5 key insights concerning how consumer behavior has changed last year, in order to help brands better understand their customers’ needs. People desire control over their life – they try to stick to a routine, search for fitness apps, and look for safety and reassurance, ways to proactively take control of and improve their lives. But how can marketers help customers not only survive, but actually thrive in these conditions? While some kind of balance in daily life was always crucial, since the pandemic began, it has a higher importance – the demand for meditation apps grew significantly, and brands need to tackle these and figure out how they can contribute to some kind of balance in their customers’ life? While social distancing was a must, we were looking for ways to connect with our loved ones in unusual ways – searches for ‘with friends online’ and ‘local businesses’ skyrocketed – marketers also need to help consumers maintain their existing relationships while creating new ones. It’s also important to note that as people spent more time in their homes, they were looking for new ways to make it a safer and more comfortable place – as we can see in the search volume increase of terms like ‘simple home design’, or basically anything with ‘at home’ in the end. As a result (?) of the pandemic, people started to put a higher emphasis on social-responsibility – and this is of key importance for companies all over the world.
14. The key takeaways from 2020 for the world of PPC
Search Engine Land
2020 has definitely been a year like no other, and it’s worth having a deeper insight on how the pandemic has affected consumer behaviour – and how that affects the world of PPC. It’s important to note that a lot of businesses has been saved by the world of PPC – since a lot of people were staying at home, advertising on digital platforms had an even larger effect. While some people were afraid how quarantining and #stayathome would affect commerce – and yes, tourism and catering have been deeply affected by the pandemic – people still shopped online, skyrocketing sales in home improvement, gym equipment and many other industries. We also learned that people LOVE convenience – and shopping while laying on our sofas has become the new normal. But when we think about convenience, we also have to think about the more complicated buyer’s funnel – people don’t just search on one channel. We also had to keep our focus on the sudden changes in demand – just think about March, when everybody was buying toilet paper all over the world. These unforeseen events can have a huge impact on our business’ reputation – and it’s important to automate our ads based on our current stocks. 2020 has taught us a lot of things – it’s best to learn from all these, and keep looking ahead!