[Ep79/18Oct21] - Snap: Q3 Earnings Snapshot & Other Digital Marketing Updates from the Week of Oct 18, 2021

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1. Pinterest Announces New Features - 'Watch' Tab and 'Takes' - Pinterest has officially announced its new, TikTok-like ‘Watch’ feed for Pin content, as well as a new ‘Takes’ response option for Idea Pins.

First off, on the new Watch feed , Pinterest is adding a scrolling, vertical feed of content to both align with the latest social content consumption trends, and provide a new means to discover a broader range of Pin content.

Pinterest is also adding another interactive element in ‘Takes’. “A Take is an Idea Pin that is created in response to another Idea Pin. Takes appear as responses to the original Idea Pin and can also be seen in your home feed, from people you follow or on your profile.” Takes is also, of course, very similar to the way TikTok’s Duets feature is used to respond to an original clip.

2. Instagram Adds More Demographic Insights About Your Audience - Instagram’s looking to provide more data for marketers with an update to its Insights element for business and creator profiles, which will give you more specific info on who’s engaging with your content – whether they follow your profile or not – as well as the total reach of your posts.

The new data points will help guide your posting decisions, and provide more opportunity to optimize your approach based on more specific data points.

The new metrics being added to Instagram insights are:

  • Accounts engaged – This will show the total number of accounts that interacted with your content in a given time period
  • Engaged audience – This data will provide demographic insights into the users that are engaging with your content, whether they follow your profile or not, including top cities, top countries, top age ranges and gender
  • Reached Audience – Similar to Engaged Audience, this will provide demographic information about the people you’ve reached with your posts in a given time period, including top cities, top countries, top age ranges and gender

You can learn more about Instagram’s new Insights updates here.

3. Instagram Collabs - A New Way To Co-Author Feed Posts And Reels - The Instagram Collab tag is only available for Reels and feed posts. This isn’t a new content creation tool. It’s not a new post format and it doesn’t give you any more editing or analytics. But it does make it easier to communicate with your audience.

Until now, there were two ways to show a partnership on Instagram:

Tag a brand or creator in your posts, just as if you were tagging a friend. There’s no way to differentiate personal and professional tags so this lacks transparency.

Use the branded content tag to show that a post was sponsored. Only some creators are eligible to use this tag.

The Collab label gives you a third option. Anyone you tag as a collaborator will be shown as a co-author of the post. And they’ll instantly be able to reshare the post on their profile without having to use screenshots or a third-party regram app.

What’s more, any public account can use the Collab tag, regardless of their audience size. It’s a new, more straightforward way to signal a professional partnership.

So, to recap, the Collab tag…

  • Makes it faster to share content.
  • Gives full credit to all authors of a post.
  • Makes conversions easier, as users can simply tap the name of a brand or creator on the post to visit their profile.
  • Improves transparency for your followers.

4. Instagram Now Allows Us to Upload Photos And Videos From Desktop - Finally, Instagram has announced that it’s adding image and video posting functionality from the desktop version of the platform as of October 21st, providing a more centralized way for social media managers to maintain their IG presence.

The process, which will facilitate the posting of photos and videos of less than one minute in length, will not include Stories or Reels uploads at this stage. But it will make it a little bit easier for social media managers to stay across their various apps and posts, by providing a way to upload content for each platform from the one place – so you won’t have to keep saving images in varying ways to then upload from your phone, etc.

5. Microsoft Partners With Shopify To Help Merchants Grow Business - Because of this partnership, Shopify merchants in the United States and Canada can reach more customers using the updated Microsoft Channel app available in their Shopify store. Merchants can quickly connect through the Microsoft Channel using their Microsoft Advertising account or sign up for a new one in few easy steps.

Shopify merchants will be able to easily reach shoppers on the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network with just a few clicks. The onboarding is simple, allowing merchants to quickly connect with shopping offerings that showcase their products using free and paid listings.

6. Shopify & Spotify Integration Allows Artists To Sell Merch Easily - Using Spotify, artists can introduce products to the place where listeners and fans are already engaging with their music most. By connecting their Spotify for Artists accounts with their Shopify online stores, artists can sync their product catalogues and seamlessly showcase products of their choice directly on their Spotify artist profiles, making it easy for fans to browse and purchase.

With Shopify, artist-entrepreneurs have access to an all-in-one commerce platform to manage their brands across multiple touchpoints that not only include leading social and entertainment channels and marketplaces, but now the most popular audio streaming services in the world.

7. BigCommerce Merchants Can Now List Their Products for Free on Google - BigCommerce works with small, medium and large merchants around the world. With this new integration, BigCommerce merchants of all sizes will be able to easily list their products for free on Google, create ad campaigns and review performance metrics directly in their BigCommerce store. This also means BigCommerce merchants can now integrate with Google’s shopping features across Search, Shopping, Image Search and YouTube.

8. Google Rebrands & Launches 'Google for Creators' Platform - The launch represents a brand update and strategic shift from ‘Google Web Creators’ to ‘Google for Creators.

Google for Creators offers marketers and publishers resources to develop content strategy, monetize content, and build their web presence.

Julia Lee, Engineering Director, Search Ecosystem at Google, said that the rebranded Google for Creators is “a new home base for creators to learn, grow and get inspired.”

Google for Creators resources help marketers and content creators achieve four main objectives:

  1. Learn the essentials.
  2. Build your content strategy.
  3. Engage and find fans.
  4. Grow and make money.

The experience starts with a quiz on the homepage to help assess the visitor’s goals and surface the most relevant content. Guides are authored by a variety of expert content creators, social media influencers, successful digital marketers, and bestselling authors.

In addition to the guides on the website, you can find Google for Creators on Instagram and Twitter. There’s an email newsletter for those who want to hear from the program more often.

You’ll find upcoming events like Creator Conf, billed as the world’s largest event for creators, listed in the Creator Community section of the site, as well.

9. YouTube Announces Live Shopping - YouTube has announced a new series of live-stream shopping events, as it looks to tap into the rise in shopper behavior leading into the holidays.

“The YouTube Holiday Stream and Shop will kick off on November 15th, with seven days of shoppable live streams. Fans tuning in will be able to score new products, unlock limited time offers, and get their product questions answered through live Q&A and polls with creators and other viewers.”

Live-stream shopping is a key opportunity, combining the immediacy and FOMO-factor of live broadcasts, with the compulsion of in-stream purchases. The process has been a big hit in China, where live-commerce is on track to become a $423 billion market by the end of next year. Facebook, TikTok and YouTube are now all looking to link into the same, with the hopes that western consumers will also adopt the live shopping trend.

10. YouTube Adds Auto-Chapters as a Search Element - YouTube began rolling out auto-chapters back in July, with its system detecting segments of videos in order to provide more specific matching for search queries.

When chapters are enabled, YouTube can highlight specific segments in response to searches, giving it more capacity to help users find the key elements that they’re looking for in each clip.

This could play a much bigger role in video discovery over time, with each element of each clip becoming searchable, providing more data on what, specifically, people are looking for, while also facilitating more discovery potential based on your content.

Given that it’s now going to be used in this way, it could be worth checking the segmentation of your own YouTube clips, and optimizing your chapter names based on relative keyword search and likely matching.

It’s worth also noting that not all videos are subject to auto-segmentation, and you can opt-out (via your upload defaults in YouTube Studio) if you choose to as well.

You can find out more about YouTube video chapters here.

11. Snap: Q3 Earnings Snapshot - In the earnings call, Snap said that it failed to meet revenue expectations for its third quarter by $72million. They reported $1.07 billion in Q3 revenue, missing Wall Street’s hopes that the company would bring in $1.1 billion.

The company notched 306 million daily active users, up from the 293 million it reported in Q2. That growth isn’t stratospheric, but it looks plenty healthy for a platform that risked falling out of relevance entirely not long ago.

Snapchat attributed the revenue miss to Apple’s big iOS privacy change, which put new restrictions in place for apps seeking to track user behavior beyond their own borders. On the call, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel noted that the company was caught off guard by how disruptive the impact on advertiser tools proved to be. Without the wide view that many advertisers were accustomed to, they had to adapt to new, more restrained ways of measuring user behavior. “Those tools were essentially rendered blind,” Spiegel said.

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