May 2021 News You Can Use

Choosing top digital marketing news stories of the month can feel a bit like the cartoon of the dogs and the squirrel: It’s tough not to get distracted by all the action. 

This edition leads off with the dreaded by some, but applauded by others, launch of Apple’s ATT framework and finishes with the next blockbuster from Google … the page experience update.

Apple’s ATT Framework Now Enforced

Topic: E-commerce |Online Advertising | Social Media Advertising

Apple Headquarters

Key Point: Apple released the App Tracking Transparency framework with the iOS 14.5 update, prompting AdExchanger Senior Editor, Allison Schiff to observe this: “Apple’s moves will change the way personalized advertising and measurement functions on iOS devices.”

Here’s how Apple sees the move:

App Tracking Transparency will require apps to get the user’s permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies. Under Settings, users will be able to see which apps have requested permission to track, and make changes as they see fit. This requirement will roll out broadly in early spring . . .  and has already garnered support from privacy advocates around the world.

Critics say Apple is using ATT to boost the company’s own advertising business. Will advertisers who buy Apple Ads face the same hurdles other networks face? Will ATT push more advertiser Apple’s way, or will there be a marketplace outcry loud enough to turn ATT into an Apple catastrophe? Time will tell.

Discussion Idea

Read this article on the Funnel Blog. Do you agree with the author’s assessment of the ATT potential impact? Are the strategic suggestions accurate?

ALSO SEE: How iOS 14 Will Impact Facebook Campaigns

Facebook Analytics is Going Away

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Facebook Analytics pulled up on a computer screen

Key Point: Facebook says the Facebook Analytics tool will no longer be available after June 30 of this year. Saying the move is “part of an initiative to consolidate business tools,” this Business Help Center release says the Insight section of Facebook Pages and Instagram Profiles will not be affected.

Facebook says their Ad Manager, Events Manager, and Facebook Business Suite are the recommended alternatives. Question: Can you use Google Analytics to track Facebook ads?

Discussion Idea

How will digital marketing practitioners deal with the loss of the Facebook Analytics tool? Is Google Analytics a reasonable replacement?

Social Media Marketing Survey Infographic

Topic: E-commerce

iPhone with social media apps

Key Point: The online invoicing company, Skynova, collected responses from 402 entrepreneurs in various verticals to get their thoughts on the effective use of social media.

Here are three of those results:

  • 64% rely on help to perform social media tasks
  • 53% used Facebook as a primary social media platform
  • 58% spend money on social media marketing

You can get the rest of the story straight from Skynova

Discussion Idea

How would one evaluate the dependability of the statistics given in the Skynova report? What indications does the data hold for SMB marketers?

What is Clubhouse (and How Can You Get In)?

Topic:  E-commerce | Social Media Marketing

Clubhouse app pulled up on iPhone

Key Point: The new Clubhouse social media app used Google’s strategy for launching Google Plus: You can’t get in until you are invited. But what is Clubhouse, and why should you care?

Here are a few stats:

  • iOS only for now, but an Android app is coming soon
  • About 15 million downloads to date
  • Celebrities are participating and sharing excellent info
  • It’s a voice conversation, but it’s not to be recorded
  • Clubhouse Payments is now live

To check it out, download the Clubhouse App on iPhone and register for an invitation.


What Is Clubhouse?

The Twitter Clubhouse alternative

The Facebook Clubhouse alternative

Discussion Idea

 How much attention should digital marketers be giving to Clubhouse and the bandwagon alternatives popping up? Do you know of (or can you find examples of) social media platforms that gathered incredible attention, then fizzled out? Are there similarities?

Will WordPress Block FLOC?

Topic: Online Advertising | SEO | Webmaster

WordPress pulled up on a laptop

Key Point: A proposal under discussion on the Make WordPress Core site took aim at FLoC — Google’s own contribution to a privacy-first internet — causing more than a few digital marketing shockwaves (and maybe the beginning of a tsunami).

One observer says this: “If the proposal is implemented, that could be a devastating blow to Google’s ad-targeting capabilities.”

First off, it’s simply a discussion — not a decision as some headlines on the topic seem to say. Next, the proposal is for WordPress to “treat FLoC like a security concern.” Whether WordPress blocks FLoC or not, checking in on that discussion is something webmasters and website developers will likely find quite fascinating.


Privacy-first web advertising

The Privacy Sandbox

YouTube Algorithm: The Facts

Topic: Social Media Marketing | SEO

Red YouTube logo

Key Point: Frustrated marketers sometimes fall back on “nobody really knows how the algorithm works” when a campaign fails, but this SEJ article provides a list of 20 company-confirmed YouTube algorithm facts.

Here are a few of them:

  • YouTube relies on more than one algorithm
  • Viewer satisfaction is the number one factor in ranking
  • External factors also affect ranking

SEJ staffer, Matt Southern, focuses on the YouTube recommendation system for the 20 facts. According to Southern, that’s where YouTube videos gain the bulk of their traffic.

ALSO SEE: Video experiments boost creative performance on YouTube

Discussion Idea

Do you agree with the writer’s 20 confirmed facts? Can you confirm them independently? Are there other YouTube algorithm facts a marketer should consider?

Social Media Use in 2021

Topic: Social Media Marketing | E-commerce

Many people using their phones.

Key Point: A survey by Pew Research Center found that Facebook and YouTube are the most popular social media platforms for U.S. adults in general, but that Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok show a strong following in the 18-29 year-old age range.

There’s a ton of information in this survey to help inform social media strategy — this is a social media statistics gold mine. Click here to see the full report.

Google Postpones Page Experience Rollout

Topic: SEO

Google sign

Key Point: Digital marketers scurrying to get ready for the much-anticipated page experience update ranking change (which will affect all core web vital metrics) felt a bit of pressure release with Google’s announcement: The update is now scheduled to launch in mid-June, not in May as previously expected.

Here’s what Google says about the coming change:

“The page experience signal measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page. Optimizing for these factors makes the web more delightful for users across all web browsers and surfaces, and helps sites evolve towards user expectations on mobile. We believe this will contribute to business success on the web as users grow more engaged and can transact with less friction.”

Digital marketing kingpin Neil Patel blogged about the page experience update, then released a three-step plan to help (step one is to read the blog article) marketers get ready for the delayed — but headed your way — Google changes.

Discussion Idea

Check Patel’s recommendations, then use them to evaluate a website. Are there other factors a webmaster or SEO specialist should consider while getting ready for the soon-coming update?

Get Ready

You don’t need to look far to confirm that digital marketing is booming. Amazon and other e-commerce stores are booming, and the COVID-19 pandemic turned many people who seldom shopped online into regular customers.

What part will you play in the future of e-commerce? Where will your digital marketing education take you? Here’s a huge secret: That’s all up to you. 

Get ready!

Bonus Info

Check out the following:

How to Use Instagram Reels’ New Remix Feature

iOS14, the End of Third-Party Cookies

Automotive Ads: showcase your offerings on Microsoft Advertising

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