Digital Round Up – September 2021

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 29 Sep 2021 by Matthew McKillop
Digital Roundup

We’re officially heading towards the busier periods of the year now and we’ve got all the updates from the digital marketing industry ready for you to make use of for your upcoming marketing work. Keep reading to learn more about the new LinkedIn updates, what the new IOS update means for email marketers, Microsoft Advertising’s new attributes and more:

LinkedIn and Google Join the ‘league’ to Offer a Dark Theme Browsing Experience

The much-awaited feature of the dark theme is finally live on LinkedIn and Google. With the new update, LinkedIn offers its more than 774 million members an option to browse on a dark background.

Following suit, Google officially rolls out a ‘dark theme’ background as well for its desktop users. Google trends indicate an inclination towards using dark theme backgrounds over the years, this pretty much explains why online platforms are embracing dark mode to enhance the browsing experience for their users.

While it’s good to dabble with dark theme backgrounds, brands might have to give a rethink about crafting their graphics, logos designs, etc to be compatible with both white and dark-coloured backgrounds to offer a seamless, user-friendly experience. 


Google Ads To Drop Expanded Text Ads For Responsive Search Ads In 2022

Google will soon be dropping expanded text ads for responsive search ads, potentially by June 2022. Google recently announced that the responsive search ads will be the only Search Ad type that can be created in a standard Search campaign. 

Google’s responsive search ads will automatically test different combinations, learn which combinations work best for your ad headlines and descriptions, and put the best together for you, using its intelligence.

While Google strongly encourages users to move to responsive search ads, users can still see reports on expanded text ads performance going forward. Users would also be able to pause and resume the expanded text ads or remove them if needed. 


LinkedIn Removes Stories From the Platform

After Twitter, it’s the professional social network’s turn to bid goodbye to its Stories format. LinkedIn has decided to put an end to these short-form videos, as they didn’t quite meet user expectations from the perspective of professional networking. LinkedIn, however, expressed its intention to experiment with different video formats to make it more engaging for the users soon.


Much Ado About TikTok

Launched in 2016, TikTok is still a relative newcomer compared to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, but its growth has been so rapid that it is hard to dismiss it as ‘teenagers lip-syncing and dancing’ anymore.

TikTok’s user base now exceeds 700 million and it is the world’s most downloaded app so far this year. Even more crucially, in key markets like the UK and US the average time that users spend in the app surpassed YouTube in the first half of 2021. So, should businesses look to embrace TikTok as part of their digital marketing strategy?

We think that the answer to this depends on the type of business you are running, and we would strongly advise taking a serious look at how well the content that is popular on TikTok will align with your branding. Not every business will find that their messaging will work on TikTok, but one thing is certain it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.


What iOS 15 Means For Email Marketers

For Apple enthusiasts, the release of new versions of iOS, iPadOS or macOS, is an exciting event. However, for those of us who are also email marketers, the release of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 is more of a mixed bag this year. Now users will have the opportunity to opt-in to a privacy feature that lets users mask their IP addresses and block third parties from seeing when an email has been opened.

As around 46% of emails are opened on Apple devices, the consequences for email marketers is potentially significant. The Mail app, after the updating, gives users the choice to either ‘Protect mail activity’ or ‘Don’t protect mail activity’. As we saw when iOS 14.5 gave users the option to control whether apps had permission to track their activity outside the app, around 96% of users decided to opt-out. It is reasonable to assume that the opt-out rate for this new mail privacy setting will be similar.

What can companies who rely on this information to optimise their email marketing do? One of the first things we would suggest is to look at other ways of marketing such as SMS. Over 48 million people have signed up to receive SMS marketing from companies and SMS marketing has a 98% open rate. Using a digital marketing agency can also be helpful, at SocialB we use tools that help you to understand who visits your website and the actions they take on the site. We can also look at web traffic and highlight the content that is bringing the most visitors to you.

This will be an adjustment for both marketing agencies and companies that rely on digital marketing, but the digital world changes fast and there will always be new opportunities to explore for companies and agencies that are looking to the future.


Microsoft Advertising Adds Attributes For Advertisers

We all have different shopping habits, but one thing consumers have in common is that they’d much rather shop from businesses that share the same values as themselves. Microsoft Advertising’s new feature lets you explore these brands easily and lets the brands advertise their attributes.

Whether you are a sustainable, pet-friendly or small business, now you can add that attribute next to your ads and show people these important attributes at first glance! There are 4 categories (Inclusion, Environmental, Community/Social responsibility, Accessibility) and over 30 different attributes to choose from.

You can set it up at account level by clicking on all campaigns and then settings, and you’ll see all the different attributes available and you can choose the ones that are relevant to your business.

These days when the consumers are more conscious than ever, updates like this one will be invaluable. Read more about the announcement here.


Amazon Now Offers Buy Now, Pay Later

The eCommerce giant Amazon has announced that they were working on offering Buy Now, Pay Later to online shoppers. The feature’s now being tested by a small group of customers and will be available for a wider audience in the future. Instalment plans have always been something people look for, especially when making bigger purchases.

With more people willing to buy higher-value products online, this is a feature that was actually long overdue, and will surely increase sales! The question is, what kind of an impact will this have on the smaller retailers? If you own a small business, let us know what you think! Would you consider selling on Amazon once this feature is rolled out to everyone?


Twitter’s Paid Subscriptions

Content creators on Twitter can now start making money by sharing exclusive content with their followers. At the start of September, Twitter rolled out their premium subscription feature which will let your followers subscribe to your Twitter account for a monthly subscription fee and get exclusive content in return.

Creators can charge $2.99, $4.99 or $9.99 per month and then choose which tweets they’d want to mark as ‘for subscribers only’.

They will still be able to tweet regularly that their followers who are not subscribed can still see.

The paid subscribers will be tagged with a Super Follower badge so creators can tell them apart from their regular followers.

If you’d like this opportunity as a content creator, you can apply now. And if you’re wondering when you can start super following your favourite accounts, the feature’s currently available in the US and Canada for IOS Twitter users but will be rolled out to more users globally in the next few weeks.


What’s your take on these recent updates from Digital? Do let us know in the comments section below.

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