This July brought strikes, heatwaves and several high profile resignations… but what it also brought was a whole host of new digital marketing updates for webmasters and marketers to sink their teeth into. From partnerships to product launches, explore our digital marketing highlights of July 2022.
YouTube partners with Shopify to bring new shopping features and tools to the platform
Hot on the heels of competitor video-first platform, TikTok, YouTube has partnered with ecommerce giant Shopify to expand its shopping features. New tools will allow creators to manage how their products appear across their channels and enable users to make purchases without leaving the platform.
This is part of YouTube’s wider effort to expand its ecommerce integrations, and comes alongside new features in its Studio Shopping tab. Eligible creators will now have full access to live shopping features, such as the ability to tag products within a live stream from YouTube’s ‘Live Control Room’.
Launching initially in the US, India and Brazil, the integration will also allow creators to link their Shopify account directly to their YouTube dashboard. Shopify will monitor inventory in real time to ensure stock levels are always up to date.
With 40% of global shoppers reporting they have purchased products after discovering them on YouTube, these additional monetisation features are likely to be a game changer for the world’s largest video platform, capitalising on consumer interest in its peak and strengthening the ever-growing creator economy. We’ll be watching the space on this one!
Google launches Ad Creative Studio
After a year of testing in Beta, Google has launched its much-anticipated Ad Creative Studio.
Blending “creativity and strategy”, the platform will make it easier for advertising teams to collaborate on video and display ads, and personalise content for a variety of audiences.
Responding to growing demand for highly personalised ads, Creative Studio enables teams to create hundreds of versions of a single display or video ad. By setting certain parts of the ad (such as text or image) to ‘swappable’, the tool enables teams to customise creative for different audiences, locations, languages and contexts – at a fraction of the time it would take other platforms.
The platform is already live for video content, and will be live for display creative soon. We look forward to delving into this tool and seeing just how much time can be saved. We’re also keen to hear from any creative agencies out there who have already welcomed Creative Studio into their workflows.
Instagram puts local businesses on the map
When travelling to a new city or browsing new haunts in our hometown, many of us are partial to a quick Instagram search. In an aesthetically pleasing, visual-first format, we can browse official business accounts, view tagged photos and assess popularity from content quality, follower count and reviews.
In fact, 40% of 16-24 year olds are surpassing Google entirely, turning to visual platforms such as Instagram and TikTok to discover new businesses.
Recognising this growing demand, Meta has introduced a searchable Instagram map, helping users to search, browse and discover popular local businesses in one location.
Announced by Mark Zuckerberg on Instagram Stories just last week, the feature will allow users to filter by categories (such as hotels or restaurants), view distance from their location, compare opening times and browse content under accompanying hashtags.
With more and more consumers turning to Instagram and TikTok to find new businesses, Zuckerberg has tapped into a golden opportunity for discovery tools. It will be fascinating to see how Instagram ads will be incorporated into this feature, including hyper-local targeting based on location and behaviour within the map.
Google delays plans to phase out cookies by 2023
In 2019, Google announced its Privacy Sandbox initiative with the aim of providing digital businesses the tools and insights they need to thrive online, without compromising the privacy of users. Part of this initiative involved pledging to phase out third party cookies by July 2023 to reduce cross-site and cross-app tracking.
Just this week, Google shared plans to delay this phasing activity until Q3 of 2024. This is to ensure the “privacy-preserving” alternatives offered by Privacy Sandbox are fully functional and effective before the switch is made.
While this isn’t great news for the privacy-conscious users among us, it does give marketers and analysts a little more time to prepare for the shift. But, as more and more consumers choose to ‘opt out’ of online cookies and become more savvy to tracking tricks, it’s likely that Google’s latest initiative will provide a welcome alternative for both parties.
Google releases latest product reviews update
In our final snippet of Google news, online product reviews are in for an upgrade as the search giant announces its fourth product reviews update.
Today we released the July 2022 product reviews update. We'll update our ranking release history page when the rollout is complete: https://t.co/sQ5COfdNcb
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) July 27, 2022
To combat the sea of templated and standardised review content online, the updated algorithm will favour higher-quality content based on original research and insightful analysis, written by subject matter experts (SMEs).
To accompany the announcement, Google laid out comprehensive advice on how to achieve this higher quality content, such as including key decision making factors, demonstrating supporting evidence and adding links to multiple sellers.
If your website includes product reviews, it’s worth keeping tabs on these pages over the coming 2-3 weeks to monitor ranking. To futureproof your pages for the update, or set new guidance for your content team, explore the full list of official advice here.
Mackerel Media is a full-service digital marketing agency based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Providing a diverse range of digital marketing services, from organic SEO and consultancy to paid social and PPC, we can build targeted short and long term campaigns to take your business to the next level. Explore our success stories here.