Here at HC HQ, we pride ourselves on the 16-strong team of creatives we have, and our dedication to keeping up with the latest and greatest innovations.
In the first of our new series of monthly digital marketing roundups, we’ll be looking specifically at those digital updates that ‘sparked’ our interest! These Sparks benefit both marketers and our clients, and we love keeping up with the latest changes to the digital landscape.
Welcome to our monthly roundup – here are our ‘Sparks’ for June!
Linkedin – Stories Feature, Virtual Live Events & Retargeting, Lead Gen retargeting.
Let’s kick it off with Linkedin Stories expanding its trial! This niche feature was first announced in February, although rollout has so far been limited to Brazil, the Netherlands and the UAE. In June, they’ve taken the big step of rolling LinkedIn Stories out to Australia, so all eyes will be watching to see how the new market picks it up and see when it might come to the rest of us.
Very similar to the stories feature we see on Instagram and Facebook, users in these markets will now be able to see what their connections on LinkedIn are getting up to on a day-to-day basis. It’s more than likely that LinkedIn stories will be getting a big push from the platform as they continue to roll out, so now is the perfect time to plan your content. Will Stories on LinkedIn bring a welcome new dimension, or will they bring unprofessional communications to the networking platform? Only time will tell!
Linkedin have also announced that as well as their new live video events – driven in part by the massive global surge of people searching for virtual alternatives to traditional live events – you will be able to retarget those who watched the live event in your future ad campaigns. Advertisers will be able to retarget those who watched 25, 50, 75 or 100% of their video, allowing for either wider or more engaged audiences, depending on your goals. Additionally, you will be able to create retargeting audiences from users who have opened or submitted a lead generation form on Linkedin.
These audiences are an exciting new move by LinkedIn to increase marketers’ abilities to target right down the funnel on the B2B platform, which typically has a longer lead time on sales than many B2C campaigns.
Get started with LinkedIn Live here.
Instagram – Product Tagging in Captions.
Now over to Instagram where they continue to expand their online shopping capabilities, making it easier than before. Enthusiasts may have already noticed that Instagram have added IG product tagging in the captions; this is a feature enabling you to tag & link your products directly in the caption, and a welcome change from Instagram’s older stance on only allowing a single link in a bio and none in captions. You’ll see a shopping icon next to the product name in the caption. Just click on the tag and it brings you directly to the online shop. This Instagram update is currently being trialled but should be available to Irish e-commerce users soon. Check out one of Victoria Beckham’s posts here, where she has been whitelisted for Instagram product tagging in her captions.
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UPDATE: FACEBOOK SHOPS! There's going to be a whole new meaning for 'Do you want anything in the shops?!' friends! Facebook is to roll out 'Shops' - a service that will enable businesses to set up a single online store accessible via both Facebook and Instagram. A checkout feature will enable in-app purchases, while an integrated messaging feature will allow customers to chat with businesses through WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct. Facebook will also roll out a tool to connect loyalty programs and a shopping feature showing product tags underneath live videos, allowing viewers to make purchases while watching. They have also proposed that they will work more closely with partners like Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce. Enjoy your new digital storefronts and selling directly to users more frequently with less drop-offs! 😊 #SME #SmallBusiness #ShopOnline #AdsRevenue #DigitalMarketing #HopkinsCommunications #FacebookUpdates #InstagramUpdates #Facebook #Instagram #OnlineShopping #DigitalStores #SocialMediaMarketing
Facebook – Shops
Facebook is also in the process of rolling out a stunning online shopping reboot. With the current pandemic changing the way we shop, Facebook is joining in on the online shopping action (again). With the ability to customise collections to showcase your featured products, and beautiful design options, it’s a sleek addition to your website and promises to make online shopping easier than ever (risky for us consumers!).
The good news for small businesses is that it’s simple and free to create, and it lives on your current Facebook Page. If you’re already set up on Instagram Shops or a Facebook Page shop, you can expect an email when your new Shop is ready for you to set up and explore! Like Instagram, shoppers can purchase from your page directly or be redirected to your website to complete the transaction.
Twitter – Scheduled Tweets (!), Fleets, Audio Tweets.
Our friends at Twitter have been busy recently testing out some new features too. Firstly, they have announced that you will now be able to schedule tweets… a bit late to the game with that one, but a welcome update all the same. If they could make everyone’s life a little easier and add an “Edit Tweet” option, we’d all be flying!
Twitter are also jumping on the Stories bandwagon with their new feature called ‘Fleets,’ in testing since March and rolling out to new countries. This is very interesting from a marketer’s perspective, as Twitter can be one of the more unwieldy platforms to plan your strategy around. It’s a volatile platform, and tweets have a notoriously short half life on the timeline, making crafting impactful strategies a challenge. Will ‘Fleets’ be the feature to make Twitter a more appealing platform for advertisers? Regular users will be able to compose Fleets up to 2min 20 sec, and whitelisted companies will be able to go as long as 10 minutes. See how it works here.
Twitter’s final update for this month is that they are rolling out audio tweets. Instead of tweeting 280 characters you will be able to record your voice and spread your message that way. An interesting update to say the least and one we are looking forward to seeing (or hearing) in use. See example here.
YouTube – Shop Now Ad Format
YouTube’s big update for June is a new shoppable ad format. Whilst an ad is playing, before and during a video, users will now be able to browse the products being advertised directly below the ad – a quick and handy way for users to find that dress without scrolling through a whole website! A ‘shop now’ button under the products completes the picture. Take a look at the example to the left for a quick visual.
Online shopping is really becoming way too easy! Must…resist…temptation!
Last but not least!
Just because we’re sound, we’ve included a longer list of more June updates below in case you want to do some more research for yourselves! We can’t wait to see what July brings.
– LinkedIn Stories Content
– LinkedIn Retargeting Features
– Instagram Guides
– Facebook/Instagram Shops
– Instagram Product Tagging in Captions
– Instagram – TikTok competition
– Facebook Video Calling App
– Facebook/Instagram Shops
– Facebook Email Tools – Page App for email outreach
– Audio Tweets
– Twitter Stories (Fleets)
– Twitter – Tweet Scheduling
– YouTube Shoppable Ads
– Google My Business Features Products
– TikTok for Business
– TikTok Advertising
– TikTok Learn
– Snapchat Dynamic Product Ads
Let Us Know About Future ‘Sparks’
If there’s anything in particular you want us to cover in our future Sparks Roundups, or if you need help planning and implementing your digital marketing campaigns, just pop firstname.lastname@example.org an email and we will be happy to get back to you.