This week: Google rolls out shoppable image ads, Pinterest lends a hand to influencer marketing, and 90% of consumers say they’re brand-loyal.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
YouTube Drops the Number of Subscribers Required for Channel Memberships
YouTube has cut the number of subscribers required for access to Channel Memberships in half, from 100,000 down to 50,000.
If you’re unfamiliar with Channel Membership, it’s a program that allows YouTube publishers to offer $4.99-per-month subscriptions to their channels. It’s an additional monetization option besides running ads.
One YouTube channel, run by Swedish instrumental band Wintergatan, reportedly increased revenues by 50% after using Channel Membership.
PR Play and Tristar Gym are also monetizing content with paid subscriptions.
Pinterest Gives Influencer Platforms Access to Its API
Pinterest is making it easier for marketers to identify and connect with influencers on its platform.
This past week, the company announced that it’s expanding the Marketing Partners program by giving eight influencer tools access to Pinterest’s content marketing API.
The participating influencer tools include:
- Open Influence
“Starting today, we’re opening our content marketing API to third-party influencer marketing platforms to help brands and influencers collaborate more effectively and create exciting new things on Pinterest,” said Aaron Ru, a member of Pinterest’s business and corporate development team.
Amazon is the Third Largest Digital Ad Seller in the U.S.
Amazon’s ad platform continues to thrive.
According to a new report from eMarketer, the e-commerce giant is the third biggest digital ad seller in the U.S.
Unsurprisingly, the companies that take the first two spots are Google and Facebook, respectively.
Amazon is on track to rake in more than $4.6 billion in digital advertising this year. That number represents about 4.1% of all domestic digital ad spend.
The report also predicts that Amazon ad revenue will increase 50% annually through at least 2020. During that time, Amazon’s market share of digital ad spend is expected to rise from 4.1% to 7%.
Survey: 90% of Consumers Say They’re Brand-Loyal
Brand loyalty is alive and well.
According to a new survey by Yotpo, more than 90% of consumers say they’re equally or more brand-loyal than they were last year.
Almost 80% of those surveyed said they considered themselves brand-loyal after three or more purchases.
Only 37% said they weren’t loyal until they’d made five purchases.
“I love the product(s)” was the leading reason for brand loyalty according to 55% of respondents. That was followed by “great sales/deals” (25%) and “above and beyond customer service” (7%).
That low customer service score will come as a shock to many analysts.
The survey also showed that 45% of those surveyed identified Facebook as the platform of choice to interact with a brand. Instagram took a distant second with 9%, followed by Twitter (7%), Snapchat (4%), and Pinterest (1%).
Finally, 51% of respondents cited poor product or quality as the #1 reason for quitting their loyalty to a brand.
Twitter Brings Back Reverse Chronological Timelines
Twitter is listening to user feedback and returning to a reverse chronological timeline.
In 2016, Twitter followed the lead of other social platforms and opted for algorithm-based feed designed to display relevant tweets.
On Monday, the company announced that users can opt out of that algorithm.
The change isn’t expected to affect Twitter’s ad targeting filters.
This change could, however, affect your organic reach on Twitter. If the algorithm previously determined that your tweets were relevant and showed them to your followers, you might lose some impressions if a lot of those followers adopt a reverse chronological display.
On the other hand, with a tool like Buffer you can take advantage of the reverse chronological feed. Schedule your tweets throughout the day so that followers who use the reverse chronological option are likely to see them.
Check your analytics to see what time of day your tweets are most likely to get impressions and engagements.
Instagram Rolls out More Shopping Features
Instagram continues to capitalize on e-commerce.
First, the company is expanding Shopping in Stories worldwide. Instagram first tested that feature in June with a few brands.
If you’re unfamiliar with Shopping in Stories, it helps e-commerce brands close sales. The app displays a shopping cart in the Story that users can tap for more info about the product. They’ll also see a link that they can tap to visit the product website and make a purchase.
According to Instagram, more than 90 million accounts have tapped the shopping bag icon in Stories every month since the feature was rolled out.
Additionally, the company is also launching a Shopping channel in Explore. People can use it to find products from brands they follow.
They can also check out the Shopping channel to find brands they might like to follow.
Survey: Social Media Will Take the Bulk of Holiday Ad Spend
Small-to-medium sized business owners plan to invest heavily in social media ads this holiday season. That’s according to a new survey by Marketing Land.
Specifically, entrepreneurs plan on targeting audiences via Facebook and Instagram.
Respondents also said that two-thirds of their ad spend this season will go towards digital marketing.
Ninety percent of small business advertisers identified geotargeting as an important component in their digital strategy.
The largest plurality of business owners (27.75%) said that they’ll change their marketing messaging in October to highlight holiday promotions. November took second place with 20.42%.
Google Rolls out Shoppable Image Ads
Google is introducing a new ad unit. It’s a shoppable image ad that appears on publisher websites.
The Big G says that a third of all holiday shoppers check out images before going out to shop. The company also said that “[t]he growth of ‘street style’ and online influencers all show the movement towards looking at lifestyle images for visual inspiration.”
The new ad unit will roll out to select publishers at first. More will be added next year.
Google eventually plans to include the ad unit in image search results.
Google: Use HTML If You Want Your Content Indexed Quickly
Do you have some content you’d like to index quickly? If so, then put it in HTML.
Why? Because Google uses two passes when it crawls and indexes content.
The first pass only looks at the HTML. That’s usually done pretty quickly after Google discovers new content.
However, the second pass can happen weeks after the first pass.
So do yourself a favor: use HTML for your web pages whenever possible.
Google Ads Now Supports Video Content in Showcase Shopping Ads
You can now include video content in Showcase Shopping ads.
This is a big “first.” In the past, you could only add images.
Google made the change because video content is more appealing to shoppers than still images.
“When it comes to finding new products and narrowing down their choices, nearly two-thirds of shoppers say online video has given them ideas for their next purchases, and over 90 percent of these folks say that they’ve discovered new products and brands via YouTube,” the company said in a statement.
Google: Ignore the Studies, We Index Content in Accordions
Forget about what the studies say. Google really does index content in accordions. That’s according to Google’s Gary Illyes.
This past week on Twitter, Illyes responded to some confusion about how Google handles content behind tabs.
Here’s what he said: “[W]e index the content, its weight is fully considered for ranking, but it might not get bolded in the snippets. It’s another, more technical question how that content is surfaced by the site. Indexing does have limitations.”
The fact that there’s confusion, though, is probably a good enough reason to stay away from accordions in your UI until more evidence comes in.