The Annihilation of Interest Targeting Has Begun
Missing some targeting interests? Yes you are. And more than you think. Plus: Best practices for Local SEO. Amazon gets further into bricks-and-mortar. And more!
TWITTER: Why Your Brand Needs To Stop Trying To Be Funny
Data from Twitter's OWN report says that users see very little distinction between brands on the platform.
Respondents from all over the world used the exact same two words to describe brands:
Here’s the problem:
One out of two people surveyed agreed that "brands that rely only on humour and jokes can feel outdated”, consumers aged 18-34 even more so.
80% said they expect "brands to evolve their tone with the times" because sometimes the moment "just doesn't call for an LOL."
So, how do you move your brand away from being "Funny", if that's the approach you've taken so far?
Survey respondents said do more good. They say brands should do more responding to social issues — issues that seem right for your brand, and not just what's trending or what's popular.
FACEBOOK ADS: Yes, Interests Are Missing For Other People Too
If you opened up your Facebook Ads manager to create a new campaign and couldn't find an interest you usually use, well, as the tech people would say: "Functioning as expected."
This past Wednesday, Facebook removed a whack of targeting interests.
To their credit, for once, this didn't come without warning.
On December 8th, in fact, they warned us about this. We reported on it that day.
Starting January 19, 2022, we will be removing some Detailed Targeting options because they relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive, such as targeting options referencing causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation. Examples include:
Health causes (e.g., “Lung cancer awareness”, “World Diabetes Day”, “Chemotherapy”)
Sexual orientation (e.g., “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture”)
Religious practices and groups (e.g., “Catholic Church” and “Jewish holidays”)
Political beliefs, social issues, causes, organizations, and figures
Okay, fair enough. Not great if you target people in the LGBT space, but whatever.
And then, there was this line in their announcement:
Additionally, similar to previous updates, we will also be removing targeting options that have not been widely used because they may be redundant with others or too granular.
Now that January 19th has come and gone, you may have noticed those interests gone — and others. Interests that you might think "How on earth is this a privacy violation?"
I'm seeing reports in industry Slacks about topics related to clothing and fashion accessories being gone now. Topics related to Veganism. And more.
So, if you're not seeing the list of interest options you're used to seeing, that's probably why.
Oh also, their Marketing API went down today, that copyright infringement phishing scam is back, there's instability in ads manager, personal profiles are still being banned for no reason and no appeal...
INSTAGRAM: You Can Still Post “Potentially Harmful” Content
At least Meta isn't screwing Instagram up, right?
Instagram announced today it will start taking action against posts that do not necessarily violate its community guidelines.
The posts in question are those that contain bullying or hate speech, or encourage violence.
(Or, as I think we all know here, posts that the algorithm believes contains those topics, even if your post is actually a product listing for a hat.)
What action specifically? Reducing reach and showing them lower in the Feed and in Stories.
But will this make it worse?
If "potentially harmful" posts are allowed to stay on and just be ranked lower, is that enough incentive for people to stop posting them?
Industry experts say there are only two instances in which a post would be removed:
if it breaks Community Guidelines (in which case that user will be informed)
if the algorithm decides your post about apple juice is hateful content that threatens people.
LOCAL SEO: Best Practices for 2022
There's not just one SEO — there's lots. There's Search SEO, Video SEO, Image SEO... and one of the most important: Local SEO. That's the part of the search world focused on your business listing. Do you show up in web maps, in reviews, and so on.
One of the best experts out there is Joy Hawkins. She runs the Sterling Sky agency in Toronto.
I recently had a chance to chat with her and asked her to either confirm the fact or bust the myth: Do bad reviews on your Google Business Profile bring your ranking in Google Search down?
My full interview with Joy is about a half-hour long and we cover all sorts of details, including:
what is the single most important task a business owner should focus on for local SEO
what things you should be doing less of
how to combat local SEO spam
how can you keep your brand's web site from being impacted negatively by a core update
and a lot more.
That will be coming out tomorrow on the Premium Podcast feed, which you can subscribe to at TodayInDigital.com/premiumfeed.
You can find Joy and her agency at SterlingSky.ca.
COMMERCE: Amazon is Going Offline
Just in case you're not completely sick of Amazon competing with you online comes word that Amazon plans to compete with clothing and shoe retailers in the bricks-and-mortar world.
The company has announced it is launching its first-ever “real world” retail store in an LA Mall that will sell clothing and shoes that will open later this year.
Here's what you can expect from the bricks and mortar shop:
An Amazon Shopping app, where customers can scan QR codes to see colours, sizes, and customer ratings.
Shoppers will be able to add items to a fitting room from the app.
Algorithms will give consumers clothing recommendations
The fitting rooms will be equipped with 'a magic closet', allowing shoppers to view and even try on products with AI without leaving the fitting room, or rate items and get new picks in real-time by requesting more styles and sizes to be delivered to the fitting room.
Fashion is clearly not Amazon Style's main draw, but its tech.
And with the new Amazon Shopping app, the biggest online retailer in the world will have a new way to collect consumer data.
TIKTOK: Will Paying for Content Be the Future of Social Media?
TikTok is beginning to test paid subscriptions... The news comes 24 hours after Instagram made a similar announcement.
Though the platform has not released an official announcement, it confirmed to TechCrunch that it is experimenting with the idea of allowing creators to charge for their content.
It is unclear how the paid subscription model will be implemented in the app. Currently, the feature is part of a limited test and not widely available.
If it is launched to a wider audience, there could be an opportunity for brands to create paid-only fan clubs, special membership groups, or regular events that people would pay to get access to.
GOOGLE: A Bug and a New Report
A couple of updates from Google Ads.
First, the company confirmed a bug with Discovery and Performance campaigns that was affecting a "significant subset of users".
The team uncovered a technical issue that affected serving on YouTube inventory between January 18th and today. This has now been resolved.
Advertisers using Discovery and/or Performance Max campaigns should take note of these dates because the issue may have affected your ads.
Second, Google has released new placement reports for Performance Max campaigns. These are a new resource for advertisers to see where on Google's channels ads have served and associated impressions.
BUSINESS: One of the Most Coveted Jobs in Marketing Is up for Grabs
2021 was the year of the great resignation, could 2022 be the great termination?
A couple of restructuring updates to tell you about.
Nick Tran, TikTok's global head of marketing is no longer at the company.
The New York Post reported that the company was unimpressed with his "side-show" marketing campaigns.
A few of his “stunt-marketing” strategies included:
Letting people apply to jobs at places like Target via TikTok.
NFT collaborations with celebrities.
And TikTok ghost kitchens... which was apparently the last straw.
And Twitter shook up the top ranks of its security team this week with the termination of the head of security and the exit of the chief information security officer.
Twitter has a new chief executive, and it seems like he's started to shape the platform in his own image.
Two Last Items
Apple Finally Has Promo Codes
Apple has finally added the ability for app marketers to generate custom codes in App Store Connect — each with a unique name that you choose (such as SPRINGPROMO). Each code can be redeemed through a direct URL or within your app.
A New Google Tag
Google has a new robots tag — this will help you point their crawler to embedded content on your pages.
The tag is named indexifembedded which will tell Google you’d still like your content indexed when it’s embedded through iframes and similar HTML tags in other pages, even when the content page has the noindex tag.
Today in Digital Marketing is produced byengageQ digital on the traditional territories of theSnuneymuxw first nation onVancouver Island. Scripting and promotional support by Steph Gunn. Podcast music licensing bySource Audio. And our podcast theme composer is Mark Blevis.