Did Facebook and Google collude to kill a competing ad platform? Strange numbers are appearing in Shopify stores. What happens when you remove Accelerated Mobile Pages from your web site. And more!
PINTEREST: Men Are Quicker To Convert
There are some truisms in the world of social media marketing — truisms that, over time, become less true:
TikTok used to be all teens. Now, it's a lot of adults too.
Instagram was nothing but fashion influencers. Now... it's still mostly that. 😉
Pinterest — all women.
Except it's not. And this year, Pinterest predicts that male consumers will spend more on its platform this year than ever before.
First, the numbers — Pinterest is still predominantly women, but the company says it now reaches 27% of U.S. men aged 25 to 54.
As 75% of male Pinners plan to spend more money to reach their goals in 2022, there is a unique marketing opportunity for male-oriented brands and products on the app.
With that in mind, Pinterest this week released some data on the types of goals male Pinners have:
60% are looking for new activities to do with their families
55% would like to go to the movies and restaurants more often
50% want to host more parties
30% are looking to buy a new car (30%? That's actually kinda huge, if true.)
Pinterest has a tonne of data, of course, about online purchasing behaviour on its platform, and it says there are a couple of things to know about the men in its audience:
They tend to be very brand conscious, and they will pay more for the brands they know and trust.
Men are quicker to convert. Before making a purchase, male consumers conduct fewer searches and are eager to move quickly through the process.
As a result, Pinterest's personalization in its search results is a key benefit for male Pinners, with 85% of male users noting that the platform feels personalized to them.
The data has been provided by a new report from Pinterest titled "Why men plan to spend more in 2022".
LEGAL: Did Google and Facebook Collude on Ads?
More legal troubles for the two biggest players in our space — this time, allegations that Google and Facebook worked together to kill a competing ad platform.
This comes from a lawsuit led by the Texas attorney general. We've known about the lawsuit since last year, but this week some new details got unsealed.
Quoting the New York Times:
When publishers started using an alternative system for selling their ad space, Google worked to undermine it by creating a similar system that it controlled, according to the lawsuit. The states argue that Google reached a deal with Facebook to have the social network join its effort in an effort to “kill” the publishers’ competing plan.
The newly visible parts of the lawsuit also include details of programs that the states say Google used to mislead buyers and sellers of ad space about the precise nature of the auctions they were participating in, allowing Google to make more money in the process.
...The states [also] quote a February 2017 “Facebook document” that says that Google wanted to “kill” the competing system and that Facebook “baptizing their product will help significantly.”
At one point, Facebook employees working on the deal emailed Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and chief executive, saying, “We’re nearly ready to sign and need your approval to move forward.” Mr. Zuckerberg’s name is redacted from the lawsuit, but his title is not.
For their parts:
Google says the complaint is “still full of inaccuracies and lacks legal merit.”
Facebook says its deal with Google “and the similar agreements we have with other bidding platforms have helped to increase competition for ad placements."
Google has until next Friday to respond; the company says they plan to ask the judge to dismiss it entirely.
SEO: Weird Page Titles for Shopify Site Owners
Several Shopify site owners have complained that Google is showing a weird (1) in the title name for their pages in Google search results.
The issue is widespread, apparently not a Google bug — it seems to have been caused by a feature in Shopify.
The issue was with the chat feature dynamically embedding (1) in the title attributes of Shopify sites. The chat feature has been fixed and it should not appear anymore.
However, if you still see a (1) in the Search results, give it more time. In order to fix the issue, Google has to crawl and reprocess all impacted URLs, which could take some time.
If you want to expedite the process, you can use Google Search Console's URL inspection tool and manually submit that URL.
PLATFORMS: Which Social Media Platform Should You Be Focusing On?
Marketers continue to rely on Instagram.
40.5% say Instagram is the platform they will be focusing on in 2022 based on a poll on Twitter.
25.9% said TikTok
24.1% will be focusing on LinkedIn
Only 9.5% will be using Facebook
The same poll was posted on LinkedIn, which appears to have received some bias:
43% of respondents said LinkedIn would be the platform they were focusing on
28% said Instagram
TikTok came in at 19%
And Facebook is still in last place at 10%
Despite the platform bias, the priority still remains the same, as TikTok is a lesser priority than Instagram, and Facebook is ranked last.
SocialMediaToday conducted the research by asking "Which platform will your business be focusing on in 2022?" on Twitter and LinkedIn. The LinkedIn poll generated over 2,100 responses, while Twitter only garnered 230.
SEO: AMP is Dead. (And That's Probably a Good Thing.)
A while back... before mobile really became a thing... before responsive web pages... Google developed what ended up being a shortcut to having mobile-friendly content. They called them Accelerated Mobile Pages. Basically, they were scaled-down versions of web content that Google would cache on its side, making the user experience really fast.
Last year, Google said now that pretty much everyone is using responsive web pages, there's not really a need for AMP so they retired the format.
Many digital marketers were nervous — after all, if those pages had decent traffic, would people stick around if they were served the non-AMP web responsive pages instead... which, almost certainly would load a little slower?
We have some data now on that and it seems the impact has been negligible.
Search Engine Land reports that it stopped publishing content using AMP as part of an "experiment".
They say they didn't see any year-over-year declines in traffic that they could tie to AMP aside from the loss of pageviews to a handful of pieces that routinely spike for organic traffic.
If anything, lower numbers would have been good, since some of those might be dupes.
Quoting from their piece:
Users were undoubtedly being double-counted as unique in both the AMP and our native website dashboards. The clearest indicator that this was true is in the change we’ve seen in return visitors since we turned off AMP.
The number of sessions by return visitors has jumped by 30% since we made the change, and now we have a far better picture of our most valuable audience set.
The big picture, of course, is that AMP was always intended to be a stopgap until we all got our act together and made our entire web site responsible and mobile-friendly. Which you've done... right??
SMM: How To Become One of TikTok’s Top 100 Advertisers
With a combination of programmatic ads and organic engagement, SmileDirectClub is getting some solid results on TikTok.
MarketingDive reports that the teeth-straightening company consistently ranks among the top 100 TikTok advertisers by conversions, including spots at No. 2 and No. 3 for its videos.
According to the company's CMO, the key to operating effectively on the platform is not just to use it to place ads.
SmileDirectClub has a three-pronged strategy that includes reworking TV ads and creating content specifically for the platform.
Here's the strategy:
Create customized videos for TikTok
The company uses a brand ambassador and offers comparisons with its biggest competitor Invisalign.
Create original content that will resonate with your audience
A content strategy manager monitors viral trends, and a doctor creates videos to answer frequently asked questions for the brand.
Identify creators who can become customers
MarketingDive.com has a great piece breaking their strategy down even further if you're working on or considering TikTok.
TWITTER: Spaces Now Have Recordings
If you've always wanted a podcast for your brand, but didn't have the time or energy or creative juices to start one... here's a shortcut: Twitter Spaces.
And today, Twitter announced that all Spaces hosts will now be able to record their chats, on iOS and Android devices.
By recording your Space you can re-share it to generate more interest, or use it for repurposing content.
Here's how it works:
Turn on the 'Record Space' toggle in the setup process.
When a chat is being recorded, the red 'Rec' indicator will appear in the top left corner of the main Space screen, and the host can stop recording at any time.
Your recorded Space will be available for public playback on Twitter for 30 days. Hosts can download the audio which could be used to edit into a podcast or smaller audio clips.
APPLE: A Big Gift for Zuckerberg
Apple just handed Zuck a big gift.
Apple's long-awaited VR/AR headset may not launch until 2023.
Bloomberg reports that the tech giant had planned to unveil the headset at the Worldwide Developers Conference this year, but development challenges related to overheating, cameras, and software have hindered progress.
The fate of the metaverse could rest entirely on Zuckerberg if this is true.
God help us all.
Today in Digital Marketing is produced by engageQ digital on the traditional territories of the Snuneymuxw first nation on Vancouver Island. Scripting and promotional support by Steph Gunn. Podcast music licensing by Source Audio. And our theme composer is Mark Blevis.