This week: Ecommerce is thriving, LinkedIn will let you host virtual live events, and we’ve already learned a thing or two about the most recent Google update.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
YouTube Expands Options for TV Ads
YouTube is giving you more options to reach people who stream content on TV screens.
First up: Brand Lift surveys. You can now run surveys optimized for larger screens so viewers participate with their remotes instead of tapping or clicking.
The surveys are available for ad recall, awareness studies, and purchase intent.
Additionally, YouTube will also offer skippable ads on TVs. Viewers can opt-out of viewing them after just five seconds.
Skippable ads can appear pre-roll, mid-roll, or post-roll.
Google Rolls out ‘Rising Retail Categories’ Tool
Google now offers a Rising Retail Categories tool that helps you find fast-growing search terms and topics.
You can find it in the ThinkWithGoogle domain. It’s a lot like Google Trends, but for ecommerce webmasters.
Google updates the content daily.
According to Google: “This is the first time we have provided this type of insight on the product categories that people are searching for.”
Data is currently available in the U.S., UK, and Australia.
GMB Now Allows Users to Link Gift Cards and Donations
It’s a tough economy these days. Some businesses need all the help they can get.
To that end, Google will soon allow businesses to add links to their Google My Business (GMB) listings so customers can purchase gift cards or make donations.
Google partnered with GoFundMe and PayPal to offer the new feature.
If you’d like to take advantage of that opportunity but don’t yet have a dedicated page that offers gift cards, you can sign up with one of Google’s partners: Square, Clover, Toast, or Vagaro.
The new links will appear in search results later this month.
Coming Soon: LinkedIn Pages Will Host Virtual Meetups
Looking to host an event while still practicing social distancing? There’s an app for that.
LinkedIn will soon include the ability to host virtual live events. The new feature combines the technologies of LinkedIn Events and LinkedIn Live.
According to LinkedIn, virtual live events drives much higher engagement than other types of video.
If you’d like to host a live event, you’ll have to apply via LinkedIn Live and get approved.
Google Beta Tests Curbside Pickup Feature in Shopping
Plenty of consumers still want to buy things. However, they’d like to do so while practicing social distancing.
That’s why many people love to shop online with businesses that offer curbside pickup.
Now, Google Ads allows users to put a curbside pickup indicator on their advertisements. The indicator appears as the words “CURBSIDE PICKUP” above the ads.
If you want to take advantage of the new feature, you’ll need to use local inventory ads. Also, your business must offer same-day or next-day pickup.
You can also let customers know that you offer curbside pickup on your Google Business Profile.
Retailers Can Now Link Their Google Merchant Center and PayPal accounts
Here’s some welcome news if you’re running an ecommerce site: you can now link your Google Merchant Center account with your PayPal account.
That’s helpful if you want to list your products on Google properties, including Google Shopping.
Recall that you no longer need to pay for listings on Google Shopping. The Big G now offers listings free of charge.
If you’re new to GMC, the PayPal integration will also help you speed up the verification process.
Keep in mind: even if you link to PayPal, you still need to select the “Surfaces across Google” option in Merchant Center if you want your products listed in Google Shopping.
Report: E-commerce Is Booming
It’s not all bad news out there. That’s especially true for e-tailers.
Although retail sales overall were down 8.7% in March, e-commerce saw historic growth.
According to Adobe’s “Digital Economy Index,” e-commerce grew by a whopping 49%. That includes a 58% growth in electronics sales and a 110% growth in daily grocery delivery.
Further, the buy-online-pickup-in-store grew by more than 200% year-over-year in April.
Adobe also pointed out that online clothing prices saw the largest April price decline in years.
But it’s not just Adobe that’s singing the praises of the ecommerce industry right now. Shopify CTO Jean-Michel Lemieux recently said that his platform was seeing “Black Friday level traffic every day.”
And PayPal CEO Dan Schulman voiced a similar sentiment during a recent earnings conference call, saying: “On May 1st, we had our largest single day of transactions in our history, larger than last year’s transactions on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.”
Schulman added that PayPal recently saw “unprecedented demand” for its products and services.
Shopify Merchants Can Now Pin Their Catalogs
Now you can use a Pinterest app within Shopify to create product pins from the items you’re selling.
Yes, the new app runs only on the Shopify platform. It’s an app within an app.
Further, the new tool will update your Pinterest pins daily. It also adds tagging so you can measure performance.
The new app also includes a feature that enables you to run Pinterest ads from Shopify.
Best of all: it’s free.
Google May 2020 Update: What We Know
“I haven’t witnessed an update as widespread as this one since 2003.”
That’s what Search Engine Journal’s Roger Montti had to say about the Google May 2020 update.
According to Montti, the algorithm change affected local search and health-related sites primarily. Additionally, the update went all over the world.
Other rank-trackers reports that finance, retail, and travel sites recorded significant volatility since Google reported the change.
Some of the early winners include “go-to” pages like local.com, yellowpages.com, and superpages.com.
Gaming sites, however, lost big time with poki.com, gamesgames.com, and crazygames.com all taking hits.
Music-related sites such as spotify.com, last.fm, and rateyourmusic.com also dropped significantly during the rollout.
Remember: it’s going to take a couple of weeks for the changes to work their way through the system. So expect your keywords to bounce around in the search results for a little bit longer.
Here are a few items to add to your To-Do list:
- If you’re on Shopify, use the new Pinterest app to cross-promote your products to Pinterest.
- If you’re in the B2B space, think about how you can use LinkedIn virtual meetups to promote your brand online.
- If you’re an etailer on Google Merchant Center, link your PayPal account to GMC. That will make it easier for you to take advantage of free listings in Google Shopping.
- If you’re running a local business, join the beta program to test the curbside pickup indicator in Google Ads. You could pluck some customers from competitors who don’t offer curbside pickup.
- If you’re running a local business, put a gift card or donation link on your GMB page. That might alleviate some cash flow issues you’re experiencing right now.
- Check out the “Rising Retail Categories” tool to learn about the hottest trends in ecommerce.
- If you run video ads, look at ways to run YouTube ads on TV so you can broaden your reach.