This week: AI is on the rise, marketers are increasing ad spend on LinkedIn, and wait until you hear about how many people use Instagram Stories every day.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Reddit Rolls out CPC Ads
This past Wednesday, Reddit announced that it’s launching cost-per-click (CPC) ads. Believe it or not, that’s a first for the platform.
Ad formats include links and promoted posts.
“While cost-per-click advertising isn’t innovative, in itself, the launch marks a big moment for the Reddit Ads business,” said Zubair Jandali, VP of brand partnerships. “This is a point of inflection that helps get us to parity in the market and will change the way advertisers think about our capabilities.”
Brands that were given early access to the CPC ads include Wayfair, Kabam, and Hired.
Study: AI Is Becoming a “Way of Life” for Sales
Most people in sales “understand that AI truly enhances a sales rep’s role and makes it more efficient.”
That’s according to InsideSales.com VP of marketing Gabe Larsen, who co-authored a study released this week called “State of Artificial Intelligence for Sales & Marketing/2018 Report”.
The research also shows that “AI is becoming more than just mainstream. It’s becoming a way of life.”
Still, only 9% of people surveyed believe that AI will eventually replace humans.
Almost all (90%) of respondents said that AI improves sales performance. Nearly three-quarters (71%) said they are using some kind of artificial intelligence system at work.
Close to 12% said they use AI “all the time” at work.
There are several ways that sales reps use AI to improve performance, including:
- Lead scoring and prioritization (43%)
- Contacting and qualification (38%)
- Content and messaging (32%)
“AI can collect and analyze large amounts of data to look for patterns and provide recommendations to give companies a competitive advantage,” Larsen said.
Study: 81% of People Think Less of a Brand If Its Website Is Outdated
What your website looks like says a lot about your brand. That’s according to a new survey of more than a thousand U.S. respondents.
According to the research, 81% of those polled said they think less of a brand if its website is outdated.
Additionally, 39% said they’d think twice about a brand if its website wasn’t current.
And here’s one you might not have seen coming: almost a third of respondents said they’re put off if a website doesn’t have a search box!
More than 40% said that the search box is the most important part of a website.
The study was conducted by Blue Fountain Media.
Report: Almost 70% of Consumers Say Page Speed Affects Purchasing Decisions
This one isn’t too surprising.
According to a new report from Unbounce, 70% of consumers say website speed influences their purchasing decisions.
The same study shows that only 3% of marketers say that improving page speed is their top priority of 2019.
However, there is one part of the report that some marketers will find astonishing: average page speed load time is 15 seconds.
That’s not a typo. Fifteen seconds.
Maybe more than 3% of marketers should make improving page speed a top priority in 2019.
Survey: Marketers Are Shifting Ad Spend to LinkedIn
Marketers are shifting advertising dollars away from Facebook and Twitter and instead moving to LinkedIn.
That’s according to a programmatic advertising survey conducted by DigiDay.
The research shows that 42% of media buyers plan to increase LinkedIn spending. Almost half (47%) plan to keep their LinkedIn budgets the same.
Of course, one reason why marketers might be increasing LinkedIn ad spend is because ads on LinkedIn are expensive.
However, some marketers feel the high cost is worth it because of the platform’s rich targeting features. As a result, LinkedIn ads tend to drive more quality leads.
Foursquare, for example, says that every five figures spent on LinkedIn generates six figures in return.
Google: Don’t Put “Organization” Markup on Every Page
If you’re using schema markup to give the search engines a little more info about your brand, make sure that you don’t put the “Organization” markup on every page.
During a recent Webmaster Central Hangout, somebody asked Mueller about the best place to put the “Organization” markup.
He said that it doesn’t matter as long it’s not everywhere.
Feel free to put it on the home page or on your contact page. Just make sure it isn’t in the header or footer because then it will appear on every page.
Mueller also said that the “Organization” markup doesn’t change anything as far as Google search is concerned.
Google Will Manage Your Google Ads Campaigns Unless You Opt Out
This might be a bit of overreach.
Google Ads is sending emails to users telling them that their campaigns will be managed by “Google Ads experts” unless they opt out.
“We’ll focus on your campaigns, so you can focus on your business,” the email reads.
Although there are some really smart people who work at Google, they probably don’t understand your business as well as you do. If you receive that email, you might want to opt out.
The Google email also says that it can’t guarantee better results by managing your campaigns.
Google: Disavow Links That Can Trigger Manual Actions
This past week, Google’s John Mueller said that you should disavow links that can lead to a manual action.
In other words, you shouldn’t wait until you receive the manual action notice. Instead, be proactive and disavow bad links ahead of time.
So if your backlink profile includes links that the webspam team at Google might find questionable, go ahead and disavow them now.
Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Instagram Stories Used by 500 Million People Daily
Apparently, Instagram Stories are a big hit.
This past week, during the Facebook earnings report conference call, the social media giant reported that its Instagram app is seeing half a billion people use Stories every day.
If you haven’t yet considered using Instagram Stories in your marketing, 2019 might be a good year to get that ball rolling.
Surprisingly enough, Instagram didn’t invent the concept of social media stories. That was initially rolled out by Snapchat.
Instagram “borrowed” the idea. Seems like a good move now.