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October 2021 News You Can Use

Will supply chain and labor force deficits turn holiday sales downward this year? Many believe that’s true. Others say we’re in for another record-breaking year for online sales. Digital marketers aren’t fretting over the barriers, though — they are embracing the possibilities. 

If you’re not sure whether it’s smarter to fear the future or be a part of making it happen, join us in this Stukent look at what’s happening in the world of digital marketing today.

  • Is TikTok now ahead of YouTube?
  • Why did Facebook team up with Ray-Ban?
  • Is online ad spend going up or down?

You’ll discover those answers, and more, in this issue of News You Can Use.

TIKTOK OVERTAKES YOUTUBE?

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: An App Annie report says the average view time per video is now higher on TikTok than on YouTube. That data pertains to users in both the United States and the United Kingdom. YouTube still leads in the number of active users per month (two billion), but TikTok is trending up rapidly and now boasts a user count of over one billion total users, according to the source.

Whether the App Annie data is correct or not, it’s tough to deny that TikTok is on a roll. What are the take-aways digital marketers can pull from the data? 

Here’s what the report has to say about the current situation:

YouTube and TikTok outrank the leading video streaming app, Disney+, showing that consumers are opening their wallets to the creator economy at a level we’ve never seen before — a positive sign for the industry . . . Short-video, authentic content and live streaming are pillars to cultivating deep engagement, with live streaming in particular driving growth in time spent.

DISCUSSION IDEA:

How do the YouTube and TikTok audiences differ? Will TikTok eventually overtake YouTube? How do their audiences differ?

ALSO SEE

TikTok Surpasses YouTube

TikTok Ads Are Sticky

TikTok Says “Thanks a Billion”

FACEBOOK AND RAY-BAN LAUNCH SMART GLASSES

Topic: Retail Marketing | Social Media Marketing

Key Point: Facebook teamed up with Ray-Ban to produce a new kind of smart glasses: Ray-Ban Stories. The move prompted “The New York Times” to announce “Smart Glasses Made Google Look Dumb. Now Facebook Is Giving Them a Try.”

Will Facebook and Ray-Ban succeed in a market Google Glass couldn’t capture? (To be accurate and fair, Google did introduce a second version of Google Glass in 2019).  On the plus side, Ray-Ban Stories are designed to give the appearance you’re wearing a stylish set of sunglasses, not wearing a computer. On the negative side, privacy is a huge issue the product will need to overcome.

You decide. Whatever you do, though, check the “Welcome back to the moment” video on the Ray-Ban Films YouTube Channel

DISCUSSION IDEAS: Few would deny that smart glasses will eventually catch on, but will Ray-Ban Stories be the first consumer grand slam in the marketplace? What could light the fire of consumer desire? What could extinguish it?

ALSO SEE

Google Glass: What Happened?

Introducing Ray-Ban Stories

FUNDING, ACQUISITIONS, PARTNERSHIPS GALORE

Topic: Ecommerce | Social Media Marketing

Key Point: The Facebook/Ray-Ban partnership isn’t the only financial hook-up to note, there’s been a flurry of deal-making in the digital marketing world lately. Companies are pushing hard to stay relevant and alive in the COVID-changed online reality.

Here’s a list of Stukent’s top picks to watch and consider:

On the flipside, Zoom announced it will not follow through on the planned purchase of Five9, but says the reversal “was in no way foundational to the success of our platform nor was it the only way for us to offer our customers a compelling contact center solution.”

LINKEDIN LAUNCHING 25M INCUBATOR FUND FOR CREATORS

Topic: Social Media Marketing

Key Point: TikTok and YouTube aren’t the only social media channels that love creators, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is rolling the dice in that direction too. The company is taking applications for its LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program, but you’ll need to hurry — the deadline to be considered for the first incubator cohort is 11:59 pm on October 12.

Successful applicants will participate in a 10-week incubator designed to help them “bring new concepts and visions to life, grow their audience, and engage with the LinkedIn community.” Onboarding will take place in December this year, with the action to get started in January, 2022.

Rules to apply are fairly simple: You must be over 18, a resident of the United States, and a current LinkedIn member. Those not eligible include current LinkedIn Influencer members and LinkedIn or Microsoft employees.

Get the full scoop here: Create more than content, create conversation.

WATCH OUT FOR INFLATED EMAIL OPEN RATES

Topic: Email Marketing

Key Point: Apple’s iOS 15 is causing a stir in email marketing circles. The Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) feature in that rollout will prevent email senders from accurately tallying open rates. That’s because Apple will now prefetch emails sent to their users, effectively blocking senders from seeing the IP address of the user and preventing them from determining whether the mail has been opened.

Given that email open rate is a primary data point email marketers use to determine the effectiveness of their campaigns and that Apple users comprise about 48 percent of the email platform market, iOS 15 is a gamechanger.

The big question, then, is “Now what?” Litmus tackled that question in their article, “Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection Is Here: What It Actually Means for Email Marketers and What to Do Now.”DISCUSSION IDEAS: What tactics can email marketers use to combat the effects of iOS 15? Will Google and Microsoft follow Apple’s lead and restrict access to information about the email actions of their users?

ALSO SEE

Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection is Here

Watch for inflated email open rates now that iOS 15 is out

GOOGLE ADS CHANGING ATTRIBUTION MODELS

Topic: Online Advertising

Key Point: With the move towards user privacy on the A-list of company and regulator concerns, Google says the company will put less focus on last-click as a primary indicator. Instead, “data-driven attribution will soon be the default attribution model for all new Google Ads conversion actions.” 

That change will rely on machine learning “to more accurately understand how each marketing touchpoint contributed to a conversion, all while respecting user privacy.” Both quotes are from Search Engine Land’s article, “Google Ads announces machine learning-based attribution models in new privacy landscape.”

Advertisers will still have access to five rule-based acquisition models, but that may not be the case for long. Google lists the benefits and describes the now-preferred attribution model on their “About data-driven attribution” page. The claim is that data-driven attribution provides superior results to the rule-based method — and that could be the case —  but digital marketers should be scrambling to get ready for the change. 

DISCUSSION IDEAS: How much of the move towards data-driven attribution (DDA) can be attributed to Google’s desire to help digital marketers improve their results, and how much is prompted by the demand for more user privacy? How will this affect the effectiveness of Google Ads campaigns?

ALSO SEE

The future of attribution is data-driven

About “Switch to DDA” (data-driven attribution)

WHY GOOGLE IS CHANGING MORE TITLES THAN EVER BEFORE

Topic: SEO | Ecommerce

Key Point: You work hard on the title to a blog post or web page, but then find that Google Search isn’t using your amazing title at all. Why does that happen? And why is it happening now more than ever? Under pressure from the digital megaverse, Google explained why.

It seems that many publishers don’t put sufficient effort into their titles. Google says some aren’t real titles at all, some list dates that make the work obsolete, others are inaccurate, and some are way over-used — those are the primary reasons, but not the only ones.

Digital marketers have raved about the issue for years, though the search giant claims it is now using titles as they are 87 percent of the time. Rather than complain, though, smart marketers are looking at themselves and asking, “How can I write titles that pass Google’s sniff test?”

Here’s the gold standard straight from Google Search Central: “Create good titles and snippets in Search results.”

ACTIVITY IDEA: Scour Google Search to find examples of titles that are different in Search than on the page the link resolves to. Why did that happen? Do you see violations of Google standards?

AD SPEND EXPECTED TO PASS TWO HUNDRED BILLION IN 2022

Topic: Online Advertising

Key Point: MarketingTech predicts digital advertising spend in the United States will exceed $190 billion in 2021 and cross the $200 billion mark in 2022. Those figures are decidedly difficult to tally, and they will vary according to source — but the trend is plain: Advertisers are increasingly turning online with their advertising budget.

If those numbers play out as predicted, they would represent a 25.5 percent jump in 2021 over 2020 (when the COVID epidemic held the world hostage) and a 15.6 percent increase in 2022. To quote eMarketer InsiderIntelligence, the originator of those numbers, “[2021] growth will accelerate this year as digital surpasses two-thirds of the US ad market.”

If you need inspiration to help get past the pandemic and into the future of digital marketing, let reality set in and get to work. The world needs digital marketers more than ever.

There’s Never Been a Better Time to Learn Digital Marketing

We know you’re tired of COVID-focused news, classroom shutdowns, and limited accessibility to the activities you love. Everyone is tired of it. You can’t control the future, and you have limited control over how the virus affects you and your loved ones. But you can control your reactions to the situation.

Some students are downcast, not trying their best, and hoping for relief. Others are upbeat, taking the heat head-on, and putting more extra effort into their studies and getting ready for an exciting, well-paying career.

Which describes you? You’re the only one who can call that shot for yourself, but we can tell you one thing for sure: Stukent and your professors are on your side all the way. We want you to succeed, and the companies making the headlines happen need you badly.

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