This week: influencers ain’t what they used to be, YouTube is making it easier to generate income, and wait until you hear about what Google is putting in some Shopping ads.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Facebook Adds New Details to “Why Am I Seeing This Ad?” Feature
Facebook is giving its users more info about why they’re seeing ads.
Specifically, the social media app is showing people the interests and categories used to target the ad. Facebook is also sharing how it gathered the targeting data used to display the ad and whether that data was harvested from the app itself or a website.
Perhaps most useful, Facebook will also link to a tool where users can choose to hide ads or remove ad targeting data from their profiles.
Additionally, the Facebook Ad Preferences feature now includes two sections:
- A section that shows advertisers who’ve uploaded a list with that user’s info
- A section that lists businesses that have uploaded lists with that user’s info
Finally, the Ad Preferences tool will list an advertiser’s phone number and email address as well.
YouTube Is Making It Easier for Publishers to Make Money
Last week it was Facebook that made it easier for content creators to generate revenue. This week, it’s YouTube.
For starters, the video sharing app is offering Super Stickers. These are animated graphics that fans can purchase during live streams. Then, they can share those stickers during the broadcast.
Next, YouTube will offer varying levels of Channel Memberships.
If you’re unfamiliar with Channel Membership, it’s a program that enables qualified publishers to sell memberships to their channels for just $4.99 per month.
Going forward, YouTube is offering five different price points for membership. Each price point, unsurprisingly, has its own set of offerings.
Finally, YouTube is also offering more merchandising options. Beyond TeeSpring, publishers can now use Rooster, Represent, Crowdmade, Fanjoy, and DFTBA to monetize their content.
But they’ll have to sell their merch on YouTube.
Nielsen Offers Podcast Audience Insights
Interested in running targeted ads to podcast listeners? If so, Nielsen has a new service you should check out.
Specifically, the service offers insights on network audiences. Those insights include their genre preferences as well as purchasing habits.
Nielsen gathers the data by surveying 30,000 Americans on a biannual basis.
As of now, iHeartMedia, Cabana, Westwood One, Stitcher, and Cadence13 all participate in the program.
Vulnerability Discovered in WordPress Ad Inserter Plugin
If you’re using the Ad Inserter WordPress plugin, you’ll want to pay attention to this news.
According to WordFence, that plugin contains a critical vulnerability.
Or, more appropriately, an older version of the plugin contains the vulnerability. The developer responded to the threat assessment quickly and issued a couple of patches.
The older version allowed hackers to access vulnerable areas of the site with URL parameters. It also enabled registered users to execute code on the website.
Version 2.4.22 of the plugin addresses both of those threats. If you don’t have that version (or later), you should download and install it immediately.
Report: 5% of GMB Views Result in Customer Action
According to new research from BrightLocal, 5% of Google My Business (GMB) listing views result in the visitor taking some kind of action. That action could include a call, a direction request, or a website visit.
That 5% figure represents a 25% increase from 2017 to 2018.
On average, a business is found just over 1,000 times per month on GMB. That means you have about 33 opportunities a day to leave people with a great impression.
Three-quarters of searches for a local business happen with standard search. The other 25% occur on Google Maps.
Each business receives an average of 59 actions from its GMB listing every month.
Google Will Display Customer Photos in Shopping Ads
If you’re an ecommerce brand that’s looking to get some more social proof in front of potential customers, Google is rolling out a new feature that you’ll love.
Specifically, it will allow you to display customer photos in Shopping ads.
Where will you get the customer photos? From their reviews.
If the ad includes a review left by a customer and that customer also uploaded his or her photo, the ad will display the photo as well as the review.
Of course, no customer is required to leave a photo. When photos don’t exist, Google will presumably just show the text of the review.
When a customer does upload a photo, it will automatically transmit to Google for inclusion in ads. You won’t have to do any additional work on your end.
You will, however, have to work with one of a few third-party review platforms, such as Influenster, Bazaarvoice, and PowerReviews.
Google: Be Consistent With Your Use of Slashes at the End of URLs
You should always use slashes at the end of your URLs or you should never use them. That’s according to Google’s John Mueller.
This past week on Twitter, somebody asked Mueller the following question: “If a site has thousands of pages with two versions, with slash and without slash, what is the best solution?”
Here’s how Mueller replied: “The best solution is to be consistent and only use one version of a URL. Link to that version, redirect to it, use it in sitemaps, use it for rel-canonical, etc.”
YouTubers Complain Because Google Shows Non-YouTube Videos in Search Results
Some YouTube content creators aren’t happy with Google. That’s because the company’s search engine is displaying non-YouTube content in the results list.
They’re also a bit flabbergasted that the Big G is showing non-YouTube content in search because Google owns YouTube.
Here’s how Danny Sullivan responded to the fallout on Twitter: “Google Search is meant to show content from across the web. If YouTube videos are relevant, we do show them along with other videos. But YouTube isn’t given any advantage over other videos sources. People who just want YouTube can (and do) search on YouTube directly.”
Give Google credit for putting user experience above the company’s own financial interests.
Study: Instagram Influencers Are Driving Less Engagement
Looks like influencers aren’t as influential as they used to be.
According to a study from Mobile Marketer, engagement rates for both sponsored and organic posts are hitting historic lows.
Specifically, the engagement rate for sponsored posts in Q1 2019 was just 2.4%. That’s down from 4% in 2016.
The engagement rate of organic posts declined from 4.5% to 1.9% during the same timeframe.
Engagement dropped across every vertical, including fitness, travel, fashion, food, and lifestyle.
The study also showed that, despite the decline, sponsored posts are driving more engagement than organic posts.
Pinterest Unveils New Video Capabilities
Pinterest is rolling out new video capabilities for businesses that use its platform.
The new features include an uploader that makes it easier to share video content and a new tab in business profiles for video analytics.
Perhaps best of all, Pinterest is allowing brands to schedule video postings in advance with a Pin Scheduler tool.
The new features are available in all English-speaking countries.