Episode 181 contains the important Digital Marketing News and Updates from the week of Oct 2-6, 2023.

1. New Courses to Unlock the Power of Reddit Ads – If you’re a business owner looking to diversify your online advertising, Reddit has some exciting news for you. The platform has updated its “Reddit Ads Formula” marketing education program, adding a new “Boost 2.0 Certification” to its existing courses. What does this mean for you? It’s a golden opportunity to understand Reddit’s advertising tools better and use them to your advantage.

Originally launched last June, Reddit Ads Formula offers a straightforward guide to Reddit’s advertising options. The new Boost 2.0 Certification takes it a step further by providing in-depth knowledge and insights. The course covers essential topics like selecting the right bid and budget strategy, identifying performance opportunities, and effectively engaging Reddit communities. Completing the course earns you a certification badge, which can add credibility to your business. Plus, you’ll have the option to make a Reddit-funded donation to charity.

Why is this important? Reddit is a growing platform with a diverse user base, making it a fertile ground for advertising. The new courses aim to help you optimize your ad campaigns, thereby increasing your reach and ROI. With over 5,800 participants from 26+ countries already benefiting from the program, it’s time you consider hopping on the Reddit advertising bandwagon.

2. LinkedIn Testing Fully Automated Accelerate Ad Campaigns – LinkedIn is stepping up its advertising game with a new feature called “Accelerate,” designed to automate your entire ad campaign process. If you’re a business owner, this is big news. Why? Because advertising on platforms like LinkedIn can be complex and time-consuming. Accelerate aims to simplify this by recommending a complete campaign in as little as five minutes.

Here’s how it works: You provide a URL for the product you want to promote, and LinkedIn’s AI systems take care of the rest. The AI analyzes your company’s LinkedIn page, past ads, and the website you shared to create a tailored campaign. You can then fine-tune the campaign’s copy, images, and targeting parameters. The AI also adjusts your campaign bids and budget in real-time to maximize results.

Why should you care? LinkedIn claims that its AI tools have led to a 47% improvement in cost-per-conversion and a 21% improvement in average cost-per-lead. Essentially, you’re letting LinkedIn’s AI manage your ad budget in the most efficient way possible, which could save you both time and money.

The Accelerate feature is currently available to a limited number of customers in North America. It’s a hands-off approach to LinkedIn ads that could make your life a lot easier. So, is it time to let AI take the wheel in your LinkedIn advertising? It might be worth a try.

3. Meta Expands Roll Out of Generative AI Features for Ad Creation – Meta, the company behind Facebook, has recently expanded its Generative AI features for ad creation. These features include text variations, background generation, and image expansion tools. What does this mean for you as a business owner? It means you can now create more dynamic and personalized ads with just a few clicks, saving you both time and money.

In early tests, advertisers found that these AI tools saved them an estimated five or more hours a week. That’s almost a month’s worth of time saved per year! These tools not only speed up the ad creation process but also help in maximizing the effectiveness of your campaigns. For instance, you can quickly develop multiple variations of ad creatives, which allows for more strategic work and better performance.

But that’s not all. Meta is also developing AI tools for business messaging on platforms like Messenger and WhatsApp. These tools will help you engage with customers more effectively, offering instant conversational responses.

In summary, Meta’s new AI features are designed to make your life easier by automating tedious tasks, allowing you to focus on strategy and creativity. These tools are rolling out globally and are expected to be fully available by next year. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to take your advertising to the next level.

4. Meta’s New Subscription Model Could Change Your Business Advertising Strategy – Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is planning to introduce a subscription-based model that offers an ad-free experience for $14 a month. This move is in response to the European Union’s Digital Services Act, which will take effect on January 1, 2024. The act requires platforms to seek user consent for serving personalized ads, impacting businesses that rely heavily on ad revenue.

Why is this important for you as a business owner? Well, if users opt for this subscription, they won’t see ads, which could significantly reduce the reach of your advertising campaigns on these platforms. This means you might need to rethink your advertising strategies and possibly invest in alternative platforms for better visibility.

Meta has not yet made an official statement about this new model, but it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve. The cost of the subscription could be a determining factor for user adoption. If fewer people see your ads because they’ve opted for the ad-free subscription, you’ll need to adapt quickly to maintain your online presence and customer engagement.

Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story, as it could have a significant impact on how you approach advertising on social media platforms.

5. TikTok Testing Subscription Plan – TikTok is exploring a new avenue to enhance user experience: an ad-free subscription plan. This move comes as social media platforms are grappling with changes in digital privacy regulations, particularly in the European Union. The new plan would cost users around $4.99 per month to enjoy an ad-free TikTok experience.

Why is this important for you as a business owner? Ads are the lifeblood of social media platforms, helping businesses like yours reach potential customers. However, with increasing regulations and user demands for a cleaner interface, platforms are considering alternative revenue streams. TikTok’s ad-free subscription is not just a user-centric move; it’s a signal of changing tides in the digital advertising landscape.

This shift could impact how you allocate your advertising budget and engage with your audience on TikTok. It’s also worth noting that while this feature is currently in the testing phase and targeted at a single English-speaking market outside the U.S., it could potentially be rolled out more broadly in the future.

6. New Google Rules for Email Marketing: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Business in the Clear! – Google is tightening its rules for businesses that send bulk emails to Gmail users. If your business sends more than 5,000 emails per day to Gmail addresses, you’ll need to pay attention to these new guidelines, which will take effect in February 2024. The changes aim to reduce spam and improve email security, making it crucial for business owners to adapt.

  • Strong Email Authentication: Google will require you to authenticate your emails using established protocols like SPF, DKIM, or DMARC. This ensures that your emails are genuine and not spam.
  • Easy Unsubscribe: You’ll need to provide an easy, one-click unsubscribe option in your emails. All unsubscribe requests must be processed within two days.
  • Clear Spam Rate Threshold: Google will enforce a specific spam rate that you must not exceed. This will help keep your emails out of the spam folder.

These new rules are not just about compliance; they’re about maintaining a healthy relationship with your customers and ensuring your emails actually reach them. Even if your email list has fewer than 5,000 recipients, following these best practices is still recommended.

By adhering to these new guidelines, you’ll not only avoid potential penalties but also improve the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Make sure to update your email practices before the February deadline to stay compliant.

7. Google’s new GA4 feature! 🛡️ #DataProtection #GA4Updates – Google has rolled out a new feature in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) that you should know about. It’s called Data Redaction, and it’s designed to help you comply with privacy laws like GDPR. This feature automatically removes Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as email addresses and phone numbers before they are sent to Google. This is crucial for avoiding legal issues and maintaining customer trust.

Here’s the scoop: For new GA4 properties, this feature is enabled by default. But if you’re using an existing GA4 property, you’ll need to turn it on manually. The Data Redaction feature scans the data before sending it to Google and removes any PII. It’s particularly useful for redacting information that might accidentally be included in URLs.

However, it’s important to note that while this feature is a strong step toward data privacy, it doesn’t absolve you of all responsibilities. You still need to ensure that no PII is being sent to Google in other ways. Google also provides a “Debug View” to test and monitor how the feature works in real-time.

Why should you care? In today’s digital age, data privacy is not just a legal requirement but also a competitive advantage. Customers are more likely to trust businesses that protect their data. So, go ahead and enable this feature to take a step forward in responsible data management.

8. Google Launches October 2023 Core Algorithm Update – Google has rolled out its third core algorithm update of the year, known as the “October 2023 Core Update.” This is important for business owners because Google’s algorithm determines how websites rank in search results. A change in the algorithm can significantly affect your website’s visibility to potential customers.

The update is expected to take several weeks to fully implement, and during this period, you may notice fluctuations in your website’s search rankings. Google’s core updates aim to improve search quality and make it harder for websites to manipulate rankings. These updates can either positively or negatively impact your website’s position in search results.

If you’re concerned about changes in your website’s rankings, it’s crucial to review your web content for quality and relevance. Google values high-quality, relevant, and authoritative content. Factors like page load speed, mobile-friendliness, and ease of navigation also play a role in how Google assesses your website’s overall quality.

In summary, staying updated on Google’s algorithm changes and continuously improving your website are key to maintaining or improving your search rankings. Patience and ongoing effort are essential for staying competitive in the digital landscape.

9. Excluding Google Signals From Reports And Explorations – If you’re a business owner, you know how crucial it is to understand your customers’ behavior online. Google Signals, a feature in Google Analytics 4 (GA4), can help you do just that. It allows you to track how users interact with your website or app across multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. This is known as cross-device tracking.

Why is this important? Traditional tracking methods might count a single user using multiple devices as separate users, skewing your data. Google Signals solves this problem by associating session data with users who are signed into their Google accounts and have enabled ads personalization. This gives you a more accurate picture of user behavior, helping you make informed business decisions.

Google Signals also enables features like cross-device remarketing and reporting. For example, you can see how a user browses products on your site from a phone and later completes a purchase from a laptop. This data can be invaluable for optimizing your marketing strategies and understanding your customers’ journey.

However, there are some limitations. Google Signals doesn’t support iOS 14+ devices, and you need to have editor-level access to your GA4 property to activate it. Once activated, you can choose the regions where data is collected, and you’re subject to Google’s policy requirements for advertising features.

GA4 now has the ability to enable advertisers to exclude certain demographic and interest data from reports, particularly data from signed-in, consented users. If you’ve enabled Google Signals for your property, simply disable “Include Google Signals in Reporting Identity” on the Admin’s Data Collection page.

Turning this option off helps to minimize data thresholding (a safeguard to anonymize the data so that individual user information is not exposed.) if your property uses Blended or Observed reporting identity. However, even with this option off, GA4 can still gather Google Signals data, allowing you to use it in audiences and conversions. Additionally, you can share this data with linked Google Ads accounts for re-marketing and bid optimization.

10. X (Twitter) and Partners with Google Ads – Twitter, now rebranded as ‘X,’ has recently partnered with Google Display Network to boost its advertising capabilities. This move comes after a 59% decline in X’s ad revenue in the U.S. alone. So, what does this mean for business owners like you? You can now tap into X’s home feed inventory through Google Ads, reaching a vast audience of over 200 million daily users. This is a golden opportunity to expand your reach and potentially increase sales.

If you are already familiar with Google Ads dashboard then this is an opportunity for you to reach X’s vast audience of over 200 million actively engaged daily users using Google Ads’ familiar campaign set-up and targeting tools. However, there’s a catch. X doesn’t have strict guidelines for ad placement, meaning your ads could appear alongside content that may not align with your brand values. This partnership also raises questions about data sharing between Google and X, which could either enhance or hinder your advertising performance.

Elon Musk, who took over the platform last year, aims to resolve the ad revenue issue by outsourcing some ad sales to Google, one of the biggest players in the advertising industry. This collaboration could potentially create the most powerful marketing database out there, according to industry experts.

In summary, this partnership offers new avenues for advertising but comes with its own set of challenges and risks. It’s crucial to weigh these factors carefully as you consider incorporating this new opportunity into your marketing strategy.

11. 🚨 Google Removes Individual And Ad Group Keyword Forecasting 🚨 – Google’s Keyword Planner is a tool commonly used by businesses to forecast how specific keywords will perform in advertising campaigns. It helps you decide how to allocate your budget effectively. However, Google has recently made a significant change: it has stopped providing forecasts for individual and ad group keywords.

Why is this important? These forecasts were valuable because they gave insights into metrics like spending, helping businesses make informed decisions. Google decided to remove these features due to low usage, according to Ginny Marvin, Google’s ad liaison. While campaign-level forecasts and historical keyword-level data are still available, the absence of individual and ad group keyword forecasting could impact how you optimize your advertising strategies.

So, what should you do now? You’ll still have access to campaign-level forecasts and historical data, which can guide your advertising decisions. What this means is that you will view aggregated forecast at the campaign level across all keywords that you have entered based on the proposed targeting in the keyword planner.

Did you use this feature or you won’t be missing it?