Digital Marketing Roundup – July 2019

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 01 Aug 2019 by Paul Hogg
Digital Roundup

What Happened?

  • Facebook Reports High Ad Revenue Growth – read
  • Topshop Launches Gameshow Video Series – read
  • “Request A Quote” Button Added to Google Business Listings – read
  • Facebook Is Removing Thousands Of Interest Targets For Advertising – read
  • Quality Over Vanity – read

Facebook Reports High Ad Revenue Growth

In Q2 2019, Facebook reported a whopping $16.62 billion in ad revenue – a 28% year-on-year growth.

While the social giant’s revenue is up, the growth in daily active users has been dropping since Q4 of 2016 – while it currently sits 8% (less than half the YoY growth in 2017), this is a difference of millions each quarter, helping secure the #1 spot of most popular social platform.

Why this is significant: While other social platforms may be growing faster in terms of daily active users, Facebook is still the king of social and offers the biggest opportunities for highly targeted display advertising (for B2C at least) and shows no sign of slowing down to a significant degree (Zuckerberg himself has said himself that Facebook wants to able to make sending money as easy as sending a photo, opening up new opportunities for businesses).

Topshop Launches Gameshow Video Series

Topshop Topman has taken its content marketing strategy up a notch by launching ‘Date Dash’, a dating gameshow set in Topshop branches around the UK.

Developed in collaboration with Vice Media’s creative agency Virtue, contestants are given 2 minutes to assemble an outfit that will impress their suitor, who then chooses a winner to date.

The episodes are available on Vimeo, Youtube, and Topshop and Topman’s respective websites. On the shop’s sites, viewers will find links to the individual items of clothing featured in the episodes, where they can easily be ordered online.

Why this is significant: This is a great example of how a brand has accepted that it needs to take risks and consider brand new directions in order to stand a chance of appealing to Generation Z.

“We believe, in order to reach a Gen Z audience, brands need to be entertaining and contributing rather than demanding,” said Gemma Knox, managing director of Virtue Northern Europe.

Jason Griffiths added “Partnering with Virtue has taken us in a new direction, one that shines a spotlight on entertainment-first content that inspires in an inclusive, fun way.”

“Request A Quote” Button Added to Google Business Listings

Recently, some Twitter users noticed a big blue “Request A Quote” button on branded searches on Google.

Request A Quote Google

The button appears in the Knowledge Panel on the right-hand side of search results when a user does a branded search on Google.

The “Request a Quote” button doesn’t show up for every business.

To activate it, you need to use the messaging feature of Google My Business App.

Pros and Cons:  The benefit of this feature is that searchers can now request quotes from businesses without ever visiting the business website. This has the potential to generate more leads for businesses.

The downside to the feature is a possible drop in organic traffic to the company’s website, even if just by a little. However, it’s a good trade-off for a more direct way to engage with people searching on Google.

Facebook Is Removing Thousands Of Interest Targets For Advertising

If you have ever used Facebook ads to promote your products or services, you will know the benefits of using interest targeting to focus in on your ideal audience. It allows you to select interests that relate to your product or services that Facebook users have also expressed an interest making it more likely for you to be seen by users that will be the most likely to interact with your ads.

Facebook demographics targeting

So, how will this affect your ads?

Luckily, the announcement from Facebook on Tuesday was that they will be removing thousands of outdated and infrequently used interest targets such as old movie and band names and other old cultural references that may not be relevant to today’s audience.

Most people won’t even notice the removal of these interests, which is a good thing.

Will this be a positive change for Facebook advertising?

It’s hard to say whether this change will positively or negatively impact the way we use Facebook advertising. On the one hand, you are less likely to fall into the trap of selecting interests that no-one is interested in. On the other you may be sucked into to broad an interest pool, meaning that you may get your ads seen by more people, but those users may be less likely to interact or convert with your adverts.

Facebook Interest Targeting Selection

Will it affect ads with those target interests?

The interest targets being removed will no longer be available to select when setting up a new campaign. Anyone with ads currently running that are using those targets in the existing adverts will start to be notified in August that they can no longer be used. They will be allowing users that already have ad sets running with those interests will be allowed to run for a few months or so before being prompted to change their targets. However, a specific fate hasn’t been made yet as to when they will have to stop running with those interests.

With the new Business Manager redesign on top, it seems like Facebook is currently in a phase of out with the old and in with the new to help make the platform easier and more consistent for advertises. We should all expect to see a continued focus from the company on streamlining all their processes and features.

Quality Over Vanity – The State Of Influencer Marketing On A Platform With No ‘Likes’

So, as most of you may have heard, Instagram has made the bold and seemingly selfless decision to remove the public display of ‘likes’ on the platform in a number of countries around the world. This has shaken the marketing industry, a world which tends to revolve around vanity metrics – for those of you that don’t know, these are likes, views & followers (the things we’d all like to have in order to call ourselves ‘popular’).


Following a trial in Canada, Instagram has rolled out the update in 6 more countries Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Italy, Ireland & Brazil. At Facebook’s annual developer conference the news was unveiled, followed by a statement which read “we want followers to focus on the photos shared, not the number of likes”, with the general feeling that this will help the users of the platform with mental health, a real hot-topic in the digital ‘sphere’ and something which Facebook is being careful to avoid in scandal.

Now, despite Instagram seemingly doing this out of the goodness of their heart, wanting to take away the stress and anxiety which ‘social currency’ is placing on its users, some experts claim this is simply a pleasant by-product of a money-making move. A group of marketing experts claim that the decision was made to increase engagement on branded ads vs sponsored posts by influencers. Instagram has struggled in recent months to promote branded ads with any great effectiveness.

Instagram likes

My thoughts on the update are varied. From a bird’s eye view, I see this impacting slightly on user’s mental health, but only time will tell if users still being able to see their own ‘likes’ will actually reduce the flocks of users holding Instagram responsible for their mental health stresses. I think that users will post more, as the pressure to get likes will be reduced, this can only be a good thing for business as people will spend longer on the app. I think users will feel less obligated to ‘like’ content as the social currency exchange has no real value and the ever-common ‘sheep’ behaviour becomes less prevalent. I see engagement falling slightly, but I see views & exposure remaining relatively similar.

I think we will see an uptake in the average user posting real and organic content, without fear of social judgement, but I think influencers will have to really step up their quality of content as ‘likes’ will be harder to earn. I don’t see the influencer landscape being impacted financially as any influencer who can prove their actual ‘influence’, and who truly understands their audience will still be worth investing in to create brand awareness and drive traffic to your product or website.

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