Here come the world’s first voice coupons. Also: California takes a hardline on marketers who run afoul of its new privacy legislation… Yes, Google text ads are gone (at least for some people)... and the one simple change to your Instagram content strategy that will get you more engagement.
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Today: Here they come — the world’s first voice coupons. Also, California takes a hardline on marketers who run afoul of its new privacy legislation… Yes, Google text ads are gone (at least for some people)... and the one simple change to your Instagram content strategy that will get you more engagement.
It’s Mon Aug 31, 2020.
Happy Language Day Moldova
I’m Tod Maffin from engageQ digital. And here is what you missed, today - in digital marketing.
When you run a Facebook ad — an ad that directs people to a web site — one of the options you get on the ad setup screen is whether you want a CTA. A CTA is a call-to-action button. Most of the time people use “Learn More” but there are all sorts available — Book Now, Get Showtimes, Send Message, and a couple of dozen more.
You don’t HAVE to use a CTA button on your link ad, but most digital marketers have come to believe that you’ll get better results when there’s a button that directly tells people the action you want them to take.
But. Is that assumption true?
The beautiful bastards at Agorapulse’s social media lab have tested it, and I’ll have the answer — later in today’s episode.
More bad news coming for people who run marketing for bricks-and-mortar stores. A new study of American consumers by Amarsys has found that 62% of people polled said “no amount” of safety measures will convince them to shop in physical stores this Black Friday.
In fact, when asked directly “Do you plan to shop in stores?” only 4% said yes. 28% said they’ll do ALL their holiday buying online.
So, if you don’t have your ecommerce web site up or your email list in shape, start now.
There is a tiny glimmer of hope — a small number of people said if your prices are cheaper than what they find online, they take the risk and buy from you in-store. But that small number? Fewer than one in five shoppers.
We are starting to see the first lawsuits emanating from the California Consumer Privacy Act.
As a refresher, this state legislation says there’s a bunch of data you can’t collect from California residents in your marketing efforts, and if you do, you open yourself up to enforcement.
Enforcement that apparently has now started.
Quoting StreetFightMag.com: “The enforcement period began July 1, and two months later, numerous firms have received letters from the attorney general’s office about noncompliance. Multiple major companies, including Walmart, Sephora, and Ring, have been hit with class-action lawsuits.”
If this is the first you’re hearing of this, and you DO market to people in California, it’s worth doing a quick Google search for CCPA.
This applies regardless of which country YOU’RE in. If you’re in Canada and this whole thing stresses you out, you might want to search for the other CCPA: The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.
Is it just me, or are the NEW developments in digital marketing just plain creepy?
Take the new ad running right now on Peacock, that’s NBC’s streaming service. It’s for the shampoo Sauve, made by Unilever, and sold by Target, among others. The ad listens to the microphone on the device people are watching on and asks them to say the words "Save with Suave." If they do, they get a $5 coupon.
NBC calls it an “on command” ad, and says it’s better than asking people to remember a toll-free number or a web site URL.
Like it or not, these will probably be fairly commonplace in the coming years. Think about all the voice-reliant devices making their way into consumer’s homes: Alexa, Siri, Portal, Google Assistant. Even if you don’t have those, many TV remote controls these days have voice-recogition. Comcast’s X1 and Flex service has this. In Canada, Shaw’s BlueCurve uses it.
As for those streaming video sites that are funded by advertising, rather than a Netflix-type subscription model — that category’s ad revenue was up 31% last quarter compared to Q2 the previous year.
Instagram, as you know, has THREE media formats. Actually, did you know that? There are photos, videos, and the third — the carousel: a group of up to 10 media that people can swipe through.
Carousels are easy to post in the app, but that format isn’t yet in the Instagram API, meaning that if you’re trying to post a carousel through your account on Hootsuite or Buffer or Agorapulse or Sprout Social or whatever, that service will politely tell you how to do it manually on the Instagram app.
Well now, a new study that looked at more than 22 million posts, says — actually? It’s probably worth the extra efforts.
The new research comes from SocialInsider. Of those 22 million posts, they say about 3 million were carousels.
And they found — carousels generated the most engagement. Not a HUGE lift, mind you, but a lift.
In their dataset, they found carousels had an average engagement rate per post of 1.92%. In second place? I know you think I’m going to say videos here, but no — actually, images at 1.74%. Despite everyone saying video-first, that format only garnered a 1.45% rate.
Again, not HUGE differences.
But when they looked at how MANY slides were in each carousel, they found something even more interesting. When all 10 carousel slides were used, engagement climbed to 2%. And yet only about 1 out of 16 carousel posts maxed out at 10.
Quoting SearchEngineJournal.com: “Engagement drops off after three slides, though interestingly picks up again at 8 slides and above. According to the data – if you’re going to post a carousel with more than 3 slides, you might as well go all out and make it 8-10. Also, a combination of images and videos in the same carousel is found to generate the highest engagement rate per post (2.33%).”
And finally, according to the study, carousels with messages that encourage users to swipe left did increase engagement a bit. Only 5% of carousels use this messaging.
So there you go. The perfect Instagram post, it seems, is a carousel with 10 slides, a mix of videos and images, and where you say “Swipe Left” in the text.
If you use Google Ads, you may have woken up this morning to a bit of a shock — the option to create Text Ads is gone!
Put down the pitchfork and torch, this isn’t happening for everyone — yet. Google confirms it’s testing removing that option to encourage people to use an RSA instead.
An RSA is a Responsive Search Ad. Despite its title, it doesn’t mean that it looks good on both mobile and desktop… that’s usually what digital marketers think when they hear the word Responsive. No, in the case of Google Ads, they mean an ad where you give it a bunch of different headlines and body copies and it will try to figure out which variation is getting you better results.
Most people in the space believe Google eventually will just retire regular old-school text ads entirely, and this test certainly supports that theory.
If you find yourself in the test, and you STILL want to create text ads — create a campaign, go into your Ad Group, and you’ll find a small link saying “Switch back to text ads.” You will ONLY find this on the Ad Group page.
Google isn’t the only platform to offer RSAs. Microsoft has them too.
Today they released some data on how THEIR perform.
They say brands that used RSAs saw an increase of 13% in clicks, 16% in conversions, and 6% in conversion rate.
- CenturyLink, an internet service provider that is supposed to keep websites up and running, was down itself for much of Sunday morning. That meant Cloudflare, Hulu, the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, Feedly, Discord, and dozens of other services reported connectivity problems Sunday morning.
- Now it’s easier to resize your tiles in Hootsuite Analytics: Just hover over the bottom right corner and drag to your desired size. We’ve also added more size options to fit in your reports.
- Google has historical data older than three years in the AdSense dashboard. That’s NOT Google Ads… that’s the AdSense platform. Why? Depends which part of Google you ask. Their support page says it’ll improve the site’s speed and usability. The announcement said it was done to have more accurate reports. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that neither are true, and the real reason was cost savings.
- And Google search engineer John Mueller this weekend again busted a common myth about SEO that you might have heard. He said, again, that word count is not a ranking factor, nor is it indicative of quality. He says Google can rank short content just fine.
Oh, and as for Agorapulse’s study on CTA buttons?
Their social media lab tested ad posts with and without CTAs and found that ads without a call-to-action button performed better than those WITH!
I think it’s fair to say that’s the opposite of what most digital marketers assume.
If you’re a numbers person: They spent $750 for each of the two ad sets.
Ads with a button got 586 clicks… without? 639.
Ads with the button got about 43,000 reach… ads without got more than 48,000
And the average cost per click was 16 cents cheaper on ads without that button.
There’s a link in this episode’s description if you’d like to read the full study, or to listen to a special episode WITH the Agorapulse social media lab’s director, where we talked about how companies can set up their own tests, you’ll find that in our Slack community. It’s free to join - just go todayindigital.com/slack
Also in the #exclusivecontent channel there — extended interviews with an expert in the TikTok content algorithm and a Google My Business consultant that manages thousands of profiles.
Again, it’s all in our Slack — go to todayindigital.com/slack or tap the link in this episode’s notes.
Yes, it’s National Language Day today in Moldova. Do you even know where Moldova is? I didn’t. I had to look it up. Turns out, they’re between Romania and Ukraine.
Most people there actually speak Romanian — in fact, they used to call this “Romanian Language Day”. But Moldovan is — if not its own language, then certainly an established dialect of Romanian, so that’s why the holiday was renamed.
The date isn’t arbitrary — it was on August 31st in 1989 that the then-Soviet government of Moldova caved in to pressure from the Moldovan people to officially adopt the Moldovan dialect of Romanian as the state language.
I’m Tod Maffin. Talk to you tomorrow.