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July 2020 News You Can Use

Summer 2020 is underway, and more people are working online than ever before.

This issue of Stukent’s News You Can Use will cover stories such as

  • TikTok was declared a “data collection service” and banned by the nation that once was the number one market for the app
  • Facebook is under pressure to silence “hateful voices,” and one leading brand after another is pulling Facebook ads for July
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) will now be enforced, and small businesses may be hit hardest of all with compliance costs

Let’s get started!

TIKTOK AND 58 OTHER CHINESE APPS BANNED IN INDIA

Topic: Social media marketing

Key Point: The Indian Ministry of Information Technology issued a ban on TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps, claiming the platforms are “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.” 

A developer who reverse-engineered TikTok posted (on Reddit) that “TikTok is a data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network. If there is an API to get information on you, your contacts, or your device … well, they’re using it.”

The tech.co report on the ban said it’s “a reminder that TikTok truly is a data privacy nightmare due to the massive amounts of data that its users may not all be aware they are giving up.”

Will fears over privacy breaches and unauthorized data collection by TikTok spread to other countries? How will the move affect TikTok advertising? How will the issue affect social media platforms in general?

ALSO SEE:

TikTok for Business
TikTok makes moves into education market

GOOGLE RELEASES THE 2019 WEBSPAM REPORT

Topic: SEO

Key Point: The newly-released Google Webspam Report for 2019 sheds interesting light on the state of search engines and black hat ranking methods. Google says there are “hundreds of billions” of webpages in the Google index, but many of those pages are spammy.

The 2018, Webspam Report said Google had reduced user-generated spam by 80 percent. The new stats say spam is now down by 90 percent. 

Robots are spammers too. Auto-generated and scraped content is a growing problem, says the Google Webmaster Central Blog, that can deceive users and catch them up in a scam or fraudulent scheme. That content is now 60 percent less than last year.

The problem is still huge, though, and Google wants your help fighting it. Report spam, paid links, or malware here.

THE SHUNNING OF FACEBOOK HEATS UP

Topic: Online advertising

Key Point: Adidas, Colgate-Palmolive, and Coca-Cola are just a few of the brands committed to boycotting Facebook advertising — at least for the month of July. Microsoft curtailed Facebook and Instagram U.S. ads in May, and the company now says that decision is going global. HP is on the bandwagon too.

The actions stem from Facebook’s refusal to moderate talk by President Trump and others that some people have deemed “hate speech” against minorities and protestors. Facebook, in turn, announced the banning of a “boogaloo” network under the company’s Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy.

A Facebook Newsroom announcement had this to say

This [boogaloo] network appears to be based across various locations in the US, and the people within it engage with one another on our platform. It is actively promoting violence against civilians, law enforcement and government officials and institutions. Members of this network seek to recruit others within the broader boogaloo movement, sharing the same content online and adopting the same offline appearance as others in the movement to do so.

https://about.fb.com/news/2020/06/banning-a-violent-network-in-the-us/

Will banning a group of extremists prompt brands to reconsider and reactivate ad spend on Facebook? Probably not for July. As with the TikTok ban in India, though, this topic is certainly well worth monitoring by digital marketers.

MARKETERS BEWARE: CCPA ENFORCEMENT IS NOW UNDERWAY

Topic: E-commerce

Key Point:  Back in January, we asked whether you had yet “considered the implications posed” by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This month, we’re saying digital marketers should definitely give CCPA more than a passing glance. A report by Berkeley Economic Advising and Research warned that small businesses would likely be hit harder than enterprise-level companies, and total compliance costs would likely reach $55 billion by 2030.

Check Marketing Land for a recording of their July 2 discussion about CCPA. Formal enforcement of the law began on July 1. CPA Magazine offers a synopsis of the new law and asks a pertinent question: “Is your organization prepared?”.

AMAZON PARTNERS WITH SLACK

Topic: Digital marketing tools

Key Point: Amazon’s U.S. employees will begin using Slack as part of their project management protocol, and Slack will switch to Amazon Chime and Amazon Web Services (AWS). That’s the report from The Verge.

Will landing a key enterprise-level customer like Amazon position Slack to better battle competition from Microsoft Teams? Slack CEO, Stewart Butterfield, says Microsoft wants to “kill Slack.” Partnering with Amazon will help keep the giant at bay.

Speaking about the new agreement, Butterfield expressed enthusiasm for the deal:

The future of enterprise software will be driven by the combination of cloud services and work stream collaboration tools. Strategically partnering with AWS allows both companies to scale to meet demand and deliver enterprise-grade offerings to our customers.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/4/21280829/slack-amazon-aws-partnership-amazon-chime-voice-video-calls

It’s another development to watch: Slack users will enjoy Chime’s add-on features and other expanded capabilities that will especially be helpful during the COVID-19 crisis.

YOUTUBE UPGRADES ANALYTICS REPORTING

Topic: Analytics | Social media advertising

Key Point: YouTube live-streams are getting enhanced analytics reporting. Two new features will help creators with improved metrics and promotions. The first upgrade is an integrated channel performance chart for Creator Studio. The second is a Live Alerts for Merch feature to highlight merchandise sales within the live-stream comments thread.

Social Media Today says the new channel performance chart is “sort of like a mini Google Analytics display within YouTube.” To take advantage of Live Alerts for Merch, channels must be eligible for monetization and integrated with Teespring.

WHAT MATTERS IN VIDEO RIGHT NOW: 2020 EDITION

Topic: Digital marketing

Key Point: Techsmith announced the 2020 version of their “What Matters in Video Right Now” report — tagging it “The five essential elements you can use today to make your videos more effective and engaging.”

Why care about video? Projections put it at 82 percent of all internet traffic within two years. It’s “the fastest, most effective, and efficient way to highlight new product features, provide quick and easy customer support, or teach someone a new skill or concept.” 

The Techsmith research team analyzed almost 100 videos survey participants recommended as exceptional. The aim was to identify common elements.

What are those elements?

Here are a few tips:

PowerPoint slides didn’t rank in the top five. Nor did outro clips, background music, or a visible speaker. Coming in number one on the list was an easy to understand narrator with clear audio quality. To discover the other top indicators for video success, check the TechSmith write-up

You’ll also discover which video lengths are preferred, how to make sure audio is clear, why camera video (versus screen recordings) is important, and when to use text overlays.

FACEBOOK LAUNCHING FREE DIGITAL MARKETING CLASSES

Topic: Digital marketing education | Social media

Key Point: Students of digital marketing can now attend a series of Facebook courses for SMBs … free. The six-week series will include “insightful interviews with business experts, and presentations from renowned entrepreneurs – all to help businesses get back to business.”

You can learn how to use Instagram, gain insight on choosing the best tools for your business, learn to build an online presence, and more by visiting this page and logging in to your Facebook account. That should get you on the notifications list.

PayPal, American Express, and Dell Technologies are listed as partners in the venture and Kevin O’Leary (Mr. Wonderful) will take your questions. What’s not to love about this?

ALSO SEE:

Facebook Launches Summer of Support

NEVER STOP LEARNING

Digital marketing is unlike other professions — a lot of professions change over time, but the day-to-day work is fairly constant. However, the tools and rules of e-commerce can change in an instant. Internet marketers who don’t pay attention to the changes can quickly fall behind. Competition is stiff and mistakes can be costly.

Digital marketers are needed now more than ever before. Our economy can’t sustain itself without them.

Rolling with change isn’t easy. We have to work for it. We have to do the hard stuff. We have to commit to the idea that we’ll never stop learning, never stop growing, and never stop believing the world can become a better place for us all.

BONUS INFO

Microsoft wants to help you get certified

TikTok launches TikTok for business platform for marketers

Google My Business added four new attributes

How Facebook uses machine learning to deliver ads

Facebook and Instagram will let users turn off political ads this election cycle

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