This week: Amazon’s Prime Day was big (and lasted for two days), DuckDuckGo continues to gain market share, and Snapchat had a great quarter.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
LinkedIn Makes It Easier for Businesses to Promote Their Services
Got a service you’d like to promote on social media? LinkedIn is making it easier for you to do that.
Now, you can list the services you offer on your LinkedIn profile page.
The advantage you gain by listing services is that your business will show up in relevant searches.
“From now on, members looking for help will be able to filter their general LinkedIn searches for service providers,” said Vidya Chandra, LinkedIn’s Group Product Manager. “When you add services to your profile, you’ll show up in these search results.”
The feature will be rolled out in the U.S. first to freelancers and small businesses with a premium subscription. It will be available to all SMB owners in the fall.
Facebook Is Shrinking Mobile News Feed Ad Space
Soon, you’ll have less digital real estate available when you advertise on a mobile platform with Facebook.
Starting August 19, the social media app will display mobile ads using a 4:5 aspect ratio instead of a 2:3 aspect ratio.
That translates to less space.
You’ll have fewer lines of text available for copy. You’ll also need to shrink the size of the images you’re accustomed to using.
Facebook says that the changes are needed to improve mobile experience consistency.
No Surprise: Prime Day Rocked
Amazon’s Prime Day(s) occurred on July 15 and 16 this year. It went as well as expected.
According to initial reports, it was the biggest shopping event in history.
In fact, Amazon’s haul topped its revenue for last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
“Prime members purchased more than 175 million items throughout the event. Prime Day was also the biggest event ever for Amazon devices, when comparing two-day periods,” said Amazon in a statement.
Small-to-medium sized businesses (SMBs) who sell on Amazon also fared well. They took in over $2 billion. That’s more than double last year’s $1 billion in sales.
But, as I noted above, Prime Day was really two days this year. So it’s not surprising that the sales numbers compared favorably with two big days from last year.
Last year, Prime “Day” was 36 hours, or a day and a half.
It’s safe to say that eventually we’ll be talking about Prime Week. For now, though, Amazon continues to call it Prime Day.
Other Retailers Benefited, Too
Amazon wasn’t the only etailer to see sales growth this past week. Other companies did as well.
According to Adobe Analytics, online retail sales passed $2 billion during July 15 and 16.
Additionally, large retailers saw a 64% increase in sales over the average Monday. Last year, they saw a gain of 54%.
The report also said that smaller retailers enjoyed a 30% increase in sales above a typical Monday take.
And those numbers are just for Day 1. On Day 2, large retailers saw a 72% increase in sales while their smaller counterparts were blessed with a 25% jump.
In a separate report, Salesforce said that non-Amazon sites saw a 37% year-over-year growth in sales.
Snapchat Had a Great Quarter
Some strategists have already written off Snapchat. That might have been premature.
This past week, the company announced that it saw significant growth, topping 200 million daily active users (DAUs) for the first time.
Snapchat says its growth is fueled in part by the popularity of face filters, which attracted between 7 and 9 million people to the app just this past quarter.
Face filters make users look like the opposite gender.
The company also attributes user growth to more focus on its Android app.
YouTube Masthead Ads Are Now Available to All Advertisers
You can now buy YouTube masthead ads.
The ads are available on a CPM (or cost per thousand impressions) basis. That means you can’t buy them on a pay-per-click basis.
In the past, you could only buy the masthead space for a full day. That would cost a fortune.
Now, you have the ability to limit your masthead ad impressions.
Even better, though, is that you can define your audience. In other words, you don’t have to run your ad to everybody who visits YouTube.
Google also offers a tool so you can see what your masthead ad will look like before you run it.
Microsoft Now Supports Longer Titles and Descriptions for Dynamic Search Ads
Microsoft is enabling you to say more about your brand with longer titles and descriptions in dynamic search ads.
The new features are comparable to what you can already do on Google.
With the updates, you can now:
- Add a second description field
- Use a maximum of 90 characters for each of the description fields
Keep in mind: the second description isn’t guaranteed to show up on all devices. Be sure to put the most important info in the first description.
Study: Paid Search Still the Most Preferred Digital Ad Channel
According to a new study by Marin Software, strategists still love paid search more than any other ad channel.
The research shows that paid search accounts for 39% of the total budget of advertisers.
Paid social took second place, capturing 18% of overall budgets. That was followed by display advertising (16%).
The study also found that ad spend on Instagram is on the rise.
More importantly, though, companies are increasing their investment in Instagram advertising without taking away ad dollars from other channels. In other words, they’re increasing budgets just so they can run ads on Instagram.
Finally, the study found that a majority of advertisers plan to increase spending on Amazon ads next year.
DuckDuckGo Now Handles 40 Million Searches Every Day
DuckDuckGo keeps growing.
The company was recently profiled in The New York Times, where it was revealed that it’s now handling 40 million searches daily.
Back in January, DuckDuckGo reported that it was supporting 34 million searches daily.
The search engine’s growth has tripled in just the past two years.
DuckDuckGo offers private searching. The trade-off is that, while you get more security, you also won’t find personalized results.
But plenty of people are willing to take that deal.
Google: Keep Your URLs the Same for As Long As Possible
Thinking about changing a URL to make it more relevant to the content? You might want to think again.
According to Google’s John Mueller, you should keep the same URLs “for the long run.”
The statement came in response to a question about updating titles. The person asking the question wanted to know if it was important to update the URLs along with the titles.
Mueller replied: “No need, just update the page. It’ll be crawled over time automatically.”
When the other person pushed back on the idea of not changing the title, Mueller offered free advice about keeping the URLs the same.
Google Says It Fixed the Bug With Reviews Disappearing
Earlier this month, SEOs complained when they noticed that reviews were disappearing from local listings.
It turns out, they weren’t imagining things. Google eventually acknowledged a bug that caused the reviews to disappear.
But there’s good news now. The Big G says it fixed the bug.
“All the reviews that have been removed for technical reasons have been reinstated,” Google said in a statement. “Any reviews that stay missing have been removed for policy violation and will not be reinstated.”
So it looks like the bug was a result of an automated attempt to remove reviews that violated Google guidelines.