March 2023 Digital Marketing News You Can Use


Topic: Social Media Marketing | Advertising

Key Point: On one side of the fence are hopes that TikTok will soon begin offering search ads. On the other are reports that the Chinese-developed app will soon be banned in the United States. Which side will prevail?

A TikTok representative had this to say: “We are in the very early stages of testing search ads in select regions. For clarification – at this stage, advertisers do not have the ability to bid on specific keywords for advertising purposes. This part of our testing is managed by TikTok based on keywords that would be most relevant and impactful to the advertiser and their specific ad.”

Time has certainly changed the game. TikTok is a favorite of “younger, more engaged audiences.” Google is the mature standby. TikTok may draw advertisers with attractive pricing strategies. Google Ads are costly and getting more so each year.

But, wait … what’s the news from Washington? Bloomberg Law says TikTok is “lawyering up” to challenge legislation now under consideration in Washington D.C. It’s not yet clear whether new laws will simply give the president enhanced ability to ban TikTok or confront the issue directly with an outright ban. The bottom line: action is underway.

One lawmaker pointed to the difference in usage between the United States and China: “If you look at what TikTok shows to the Chinese kids, which is all about science and engineering, versus what our kids see? It’s a radical difference.”

No matter which side of the TikTok fence you are on, this is a story worth following.


Topic: Funding | Entrepreneurship

Key Point: Verizon is offering $10,000 grants to selected small businesses via their Verizon Small Business Digital Ready program. Any business owner can access free training and networking via the service — and can also apply for the grant.

Here’s a statement from Verizon’s director of social responsibility: “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities. We developed the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready portal to give small businesses tools and resources that can help them succeed and, ultimately, help benefit their local economies.”

To apply for the $10,000 grant, small business owners must first complete at least two of the courses or other training provided before May 12, 2023. Get the full scoop here: Verizon Small Business Digital Ready program.


Topic: Digital Marketing

Key Point: A recent study says 60% of businesses are boosting their investment in marketing technology this year. Total spending is headed toward $8.5 billion for 2023. The study surveyed 659 senior marketers in three countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

As far as priorities, campaign spending led the pack, followed by services spending, then integration, and people. On the downside, businesses are increasingly reporting trouble in their stacks. Confidence in that regard dropped 12 percentage points from last year.

Martech has the story, and you can get more stats from the research here.


Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Think with Google dug into the YouTube Ads Leaderboard to find similarities shared by the most-watched videos. Google didn’t find a magic bullet, but the research did indicate three “proven approaches” every creator might do well to consider.

HBO Max relied on the first maxim — anchor your campaign in YouTube watch trends — to launch the 20th anniversary special for the Harry Potter series. The company leaned on the human tendency toward nostalgia to appeal to both current fans and those too young to have yet been exposed to the series. 

Not only does the article deliver two more YouTube power play methods, it also cites the specific moves companies made to address their audiences. This one is well worth the read for any marketer leveraging YouTube as a point of contact. Get it here.


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