February is a very short month. With only 28 days, there seems not to be enough time for things to change in the digital marketing world. However, there are some remarkable events to take note of and we have gathered the most important digital marketing insights and updates from February 2021 just for you.
Digital Marketing Insights and Updates from February 2021
Search Marketing Updates
Responsive search ads now the default in Google ads
Responsive search ads are ads adaptable to show more text and relevant information to customers. When creating one, you can enter multiple descriptions and headlines that Google will automatically test with different combinations and, in time, learn which ones perform better. The goal is to discover what type of messages adapts better to customer’s searches and ultimately improve the performance of your paid search ad campaigns.
Google recommends to have at least one responsive search ad per ad group. Very recently, they announced that they’re making responsive search ads now the default in Google ads, based on how promising result are:
Using machine learning, responsive search ads automatically identify the best combination of headlines and descriptions to deliver the right ad to the right person. In fact, we’ve seen advertisers that add responsive search ads in their ad groups achieve up to 10% more clicks and conversions. – Sylvanus Bent, Product Manager, Google Ads
Google claims that Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way consumers conduct online searches, thus accelerating the need to change how those results are presented to them. According to Google responsive search ads (RSAs) are the answer to that need and they can offer much better results for businesses.
They have shared a list of best practices to optimise RSAs as much as possible:
- Use Ad strength when writing headlines and descriptions to understand the effectiveness of your ads.
- Take advantage of location insertion and countdown customizers to show ads that are relevant and meaningful.
- Use Smart Bidding and broad match keywords.
- Review cross-campaign asset reporting to understand which creative assets resonate most with your customers.
New association functionality added to Search Console
Google also announced they’ve added a new association functionality to Search Console that will allow to connect a Search Console property with another Google property such as Analytics, a Youtube channel or a Google Chrome Web Store.
This new feature allows sites to access and unlock other functions:
- Google Analytics: View your Search Console data, such as organic search queries, in your Google Analytics property.
- Google Ads account: View the paid and organic report in Google Ads.
- YouTube channel: Link your videos to your associated website.
- Play Console app: Use App Indexing.
- Actions Console project: Verify your brand and enable cross-platform functionality.
- Chrome Web Store account: Publish apps and extensions to the Chrome Web Store on behalf of your site.
The association features depend on the association type and you can access them through the Association Page via the settings menu in your Search Console account.
2. Marketing Tech Updates
Microsoft announced limited access to neural text speech AI
The Microsoft Custom Neural Voice text-to-speech AI allows developers to create custom synthetic voices. The recently announced limited access to this technology.
The Custom Neural Voice is a Text-to-Speech (TTS) feature of Speech in Azure Cognitive Services that allows users to create a one-of-a-kind customized synthetic voice for their brand. – Azure Microsoft
The neural speech AI has many possible applications for different brands and industries that can benefit both customers and businesses. Chatbots, voice assistants, audio books, online learning and translations can take advantage of this technology and improve customer experience by customising their synthetic voices.
The technology consists of three main components that improve results: text analyser, neural acoustic model, and neural vocoder. These three elements work together to reduce by 50% pronunciation errors and optimise workflow.
Interested brands must apply and be approved by Microsoft to access it. “Alternatively, developers can add text-to-speech (TTS) capabilities to their apps quickly by creating an Azure Speech instance and selecting from a rich choice of over 200 voices” stated de Microsoft announcement.
Magento released Magento Commerce 2.4.2 for Digital E-commerce Growth
Magento recognizes the importance of digital businesses, especially since 2020 and the migration of many stores to a digital environment. That’s why they keep focusing on offering their customers the best service and experience possible.
Early this month Magento released Magento Commerce 2.4.2 along with security-only patches 2.3.6-p1 and 2.4.1-p1 that focus on enhancing performance and increasing security.
Magento Commerce 2.4.2 assists merchants in maximizing their opportunities with enhancements to B2B purchase approvals, expanded PWA and GraphQL support, and improvements to the Page Builder and Media Gallery performance and developer experience.
The update includes improvements to:
- B2B capabilities for purchase approvals
- Image optimisation
- Faster time to market
- In-product guidance
- Several enhancements to platform quality
3. Social Media Updates
Twitter develops “Spaces” a competitor for Clubhouse app
If by now you don’t know what Clubhouse is, I’m sorry to tell you that you’re living under a rock. The popular only-voice based app has been causing a bit of a stir in the social media world. It’s gaining popularity and subscribers by the second and everyone wants to get invited.
No wonder competitors are starting to raise and Twitter has rolled out Spaces. This new feature allows Twitter users to create audio-only chat rooms with up to 10 speakers at a time with no limit on number of participants. To create a Space, the users has to long press the compose icon and tap a new Spaces button that will show on the far left.
The user that creates the room gets to decide who has permission to speak, choosing from everyone, people you follow or specific individuals. Spaces requires users’ permission to access the microphone and it will activate automatically as soon as the “Start your Space” button is clicked.
To this moment, this new feature is only available for a small group of iOS users while Twitter gathers feedback from users. They claim that soon, Spaces will be available for more people and for Android devices as well.
LinkedIn is developing a new freelance marketplace
As an effort to help professionals face the working crisis created by Covid-19 pandemic, LinkedIn is rolling out a new Freelancers Marketplace. The objective is to help professional freelancers and businesses to find each other, connect and work together.
LinkedIn’s network counts with over 740 million users and the new Freelancers Marketplace will compete with similar websites like Upwork, Freelancer of Fiverr. It will count with a digital wallet through which businesses can pay professionals, facilitating the transactions and offering some type of insurance to all parties.
The general opinion is that this is a very smart move from LinkedIn as it will revalue the platform for many professionals. Due to the pandemic, this new feature could open the door to professional freelancers to work from home to any part of the world and for businesses to find the perfect candidate for the job anywhere around the globe.
Instagram to launch multi-participant live stream
Digital meetings and e-gatherings have never been so popular (and necessary) as they have since last year. The appearance of softwares that allows groups of people to join video chats is on the rise and, so far, Instagram has been a little behind on the run, until now.
Earlier February, Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri, revealed that the popular social media platform was working on a multi-participant live stream feature to be launched at the end of the month.
“We have been working on live groups – finally. […] We’re releasing the ability to go live with more than one other person, so with up to four other people, in the next couple of weeks, which we’re really excited about.”
Instagram has been working on this feature for a while now. Since last December they rolled out a version in India as an attempt to capitalize on the ban on TikTok. They had very promising results with a rise of 60% of views.
While there’s still no official date for the new multi-participant live stream release on Instagram, from what we’ve read, it doesn’t seem like we will have to wait much longer.
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