How TikTok knows what you want
Ever got the feeling that social media knows you better than you know you?
We definitely do (hence the marketing memes flooding our recommended feeds on social media), and yesterday we got an inside look into how one of the largest social media platforms out there recommends its content.
TikTok is the name, and a genius algorithm is the game – here’s what the company revealed:
- It all starts with 8 videos. When a user opens TikTok for the first time, the algorithm presents them with 8 popular videos based on a variety of trends and topics. Based on their engagement with those videos, the algorithm begins to build a profile of what the user likes and doesn’t like.
- Once the user and the algorithm have gotten to know each other pretty well, the user is grouped into a cluster. TikTok puts you in groups with other users who have similar preferences – it does the same with videos, too, so it can match user and video clusters together.
- The algorithm tries to avoid redundancy. If a user has recently watched a video with a specific song or creator, the algorithm will try to avoid serving similar videos to that user.
You can check out the full list of updates, reported by Axios, here. There’s more information on ‘filter bubbles’ and security, but the features we mentioned above are the most relevant for marketers.
It’s not too often we get an inside look at social media like this – if you’re on TikTok, this might explain how the app always knows what you want! This information is also great for understanding how you can better serve your audience with the right content.
Five strategies to immediately improve your ad performance
Advertising is a never-ending rabbit hole – and if you’ve been getting bogged down in the weeds lately (we’ve all been there), Savannah Sanchez just shared a list of five simple strategies that can lead to an immediate boost to your Facebook Ads performance.
Ready to start selling like Don Draper after a couple of drinks? This is what Savannah came up with:
- Go back to the basics. Savannah recommends looking at some of your historically best-performing ads and relaunching them to a broad audience. Sometimes, all you’ve got to do is play the hits!
- Consolidate your ad sets and use broad targeting. It can be easy to over-diversify your ad sets, resulting in instability – this can also make it tough to scale. A simple way to avoid this is by consolidating some of your ad sets and broadening your audience.
- Give some options to the algorithm. Include at least 5 top text variations and headlines for each ad, as this will give the algorithm more options for delivery. It’s simple, but works wonders if you’re not doing it already.
- Diversify your creative types. Videos, stills, carousels, collection ads, and Instagram story polls are a few of the options to consider – don’t get stuck with just one type of ad!
- Launch organic Instagram posts as ads. Creative, organic content can show authenticity to your customers, and it’s a great tactic to use if you’re not already.
Props to Savannah for sharing this list, as it’s a good reminder that no matter how much we love to immerse ourselves in the technical details of advertising (and we most definitely do), sticking to the basics can often be just as rewarding.
Running a multilingual website? Here’s how to improve your ranking on Google
If you work with multilingual or multi-country websites, there are different ways you can communicate to Google on how to recognize the language and country of different pages on your site.
These configurations allow you to give Google signals about your audience targeting. These can be:
- By having language and locale-specific URLs.
- Effectively localizing the web content of each one of your versions to their targeted audience.
- Allowing the crawling of all page versions (avoiding automatic redirects).
- Using ccTLDs, subdirectories, or subdomains in gTLDs that are geolocated to their relevant country (by using the Google Search Console “geolocation” feature).
- Using hreflang annotations to specify each page language and alternatively, also country target.
However, we found this blog post from Aleyda Solis focusing on using hreflang annotations, which are incredibly important if you’re running a multi-lingual site.
But first of all…
What are hreflang tags, and why should you implement them?
Hreflang annotations are tags that specify the language, or country, of each page on your site. They’re useful when you have a different language version of the same page.
This because hreflang tags facilitate Google to select the right page to show in a different language. In addition, hreflang tags communicate to Google that, despite the content of the two pages being very similar, it’s not duplicate content.
Working with hreflang annotations can be complex, though – this is especially true when working with an elevated number of languages and sites with loads of URLs.
If you’re interested in learning more, Aleyda’s article will walk you through a step-by-step guide to properly implementing hreflang tags for your multilingual site. You can check that out here.
AFFILIATE MARKETING: Codewise, the company behind Voluum and Zeropark, will be acquired by CentralNic in a $36M deal. Codewise will continue to run independently, but the two companies will share technologies and expertise. Here’s the official announcement by CentralNic.
ADVERTISING: It’s been all over the news. The Outbrain and Taboola deal has fallen apart, which could have some effects on marketers and publishers. Outbrain’s statement can be found here, and you can read Taboola’s blog post about it here.
TIKTOK: Last month, TikTok announced a new creator fund. However, the implementation hasn’t been well-received for many creators, who claim that the funds are limited and that there’s very little transparency as to how money is distributed.
APPLE: In some strings of code found in the new Apple Music app for Android, a service product ‘Apple One’ is referenced multiple times. It’s likely that this may be Apple’s new subscription bundle, which was rumored just a few weeks ago.
FACEBOOK: Do college students even use Facebook anymore? Probably not, but Facebook doesn’t seem to mind. Announced yesterday, Facebook Campus aims to connect students in a virtual campus experience.
BING: Hot take: is Bing the new Google? Unfortunately, that answer is no – but the company has been continuously releasing tools for SEOs to understand their site on the search engine. Yesterday, they launched a handy URL inspection tool.
If I’m a man and Jake’s son is my son’s father, what relationship do I have to Jake?
You can find the solution here.
Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.
Jacinda Ardern just visited one of New Zealand’s most popular Twitch streamers
For (probably) the first time, a world leader appeared on a Twitch stream, and it was just as entertaining as you might expect.
If you don’t know who Jacinda Ardern is, she’s the Prime Minister of New Zealand – aka the land of Middle Earth, the home of the Flight of the Conchords, and also the home of popular wood carving Twitch streamer Broxh.
Broxh went viral during the spring when he urged his viewers not to donate to his stream. He even disabled donations at one point, emphasizing that his fans shouldn’t be obligated to give him money. And, just this week, Jacinda Ardern visited him during one of his streams.
The video of Jacinda and Broxh chatting on Twitch went up on Monday, and it’s already passed 1M views on YouTube. You can check it out here.
We don’t want to put too much of a marketing spin on this, as the video itself is a pretty wholesome one. But, it’s still worth mentioning that the appearance may have coincidentally been a positive marketing and PR event for Jacinda Ardern – not to mention the popularity it brought to Broxh!
It’s not every day you see a politician joining a Twitch stream!