Exciting formats

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GOOGLE

Google wants to help you adapt to automated ads while it adapts to a cookieless reality

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When it rains Google updates, it pours.

So put on your poncho, it’s about to get wet…

Items and conditions: Automatic updates for item condition roll out on June 26. This change should help you keep products up to date without having to manually update each item.

But make sure you have the correct condition attribute set, or Google won’t approve your items.

Automation troubles: Having trouble with all the recent automations? Two official Google Ads guides just dropped to help you understand how everything works.

One guide is for search automation, the other is for keyword matching.

Analytics: The cookieless era is coming and Analytics is adapting. Google announced behavioral modeling for consent mode.

The feature will combine the data from users that opted-in with other “cookieless” data to make total user data estimations.

Will be interesting to see how accurate these estimations are…

Event tracking: Google also clarified that measurement protocol isn’t meant for full server-to-server events, but for expanding existing events collected via Google Tag Manager (GTM), gtag, or Firebase.

Whew, that’s it, we’re done with the Google updates. You can take off that poncho now.


MARKETING

Cannabis is getting meta

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Cannabis retailers seem to be finding their place in the “decentralized version of the web.”

What’s going on: Cannabis retailers are renting or acquiring property in various metaverse platforms to promote their CBD brands.

The virtual stores can’t actually sell products or merchandise, but they do offer ways to drive website traffic.

For example, one store has a mock cash register that takes you to their online shop when you interact with it.

Accepted in decentraland: Of course, the main reason cannabis brands are opting for the metaverse is they’re prohibited from promoting products on major advertising platforms.

And while some stores get more than 1,000 daily visitors, it’s still too early to know whether they drive qualified traffic or conversions.

Why we care: If the nature of your industry makes it hard to advertise on traditional platforms, there’s an entire virtual world available to try.

And if you’re just looking for a cutting edge marketing channel, it’s always smart to follow in the ad footprints of “controversial” industries.


SPONSORED BY STOKE TALENT

Here’s how fast-growing businesses leverage the world’s most flexible workforce

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Yes, working with freelancers can definitely help you to scale your business with no long-term commitments…

But managing freelancers can be a nightmare.

Contracts. Payment details. Tax documentation. Background checks. Project milestones. Budget approvals. Invoices. Ugh.

It’s a pain in the you-know-what…

So kiss those messy spreadsheets goodbye and automate the whole process with Stoke Talent.

Stoke Talent helped Similarweb boost their productivity by 20%. And they helped other fast-growing companies like Scale.ai and MinuteMedia save dozens of hours every month.

How?

They automate everything: Sourcing top freelance talent, onboarding workflows, consolidating freelancer invoices, legal and tax compliance, and managing projects.

With Stoke Talent, you can do all of this without touching a spreadsheet.

Stop managing freelancers and start growing your business.


E-COMMERCE

Shopify’s Lookalike Audiences: Yay or nay?

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About a month ago, Shopify launched Lookalike Audiences for Shopify Plus users.

By now, we have an idea of their effectiveness, thanks to a few marketers who have been using the feature.

But first, a quick recap…

What are Shopify Lookalike Audiences?

Here’s Karan Jassan’s simple explanation:

All participating Shopify merchants contribute their existing customer data into a shared data pool.

Shopify analyzes this customer data, then allows merchants to create a Lookalike Audience that matches the product they want to promote.

Then you upload this lookalike audience to Facebook and run your campaign.

So… Do Shopify Lookalike Audiences work?

That’s what Cody Plofker asked on Twitter.

Here’s the general takeaway:

  • The size of Shopify Lookalike Audiences is in the 1–2M users range. This means that if you have a medium–high daily budget, you’ll saturate the audience quickly and there won’t be enough room to scale.
  • The feature would probably benefit small stores with a tiny daily spend. Unfortunately it’s reserved for enterprise plans, so small shops might not be able to get access.

Karan Jassan wrote a whole blog post about his experience with Shopify Lookalike Audiences. Here are some of his takeaways:

  • The feature will likely get better with time as more merchants contribute data and the Shopify machine learning process improves.
  • The quality of a lookalike audience depends on the value of the custom audience, hence, the buyers’ data. However, since the buyers in your Shopify Lookalike Audience didn’t purchase from you, you can’t assign these people a value specific to your business.

The conclusion? Shopify Lookalike Audiences aren’t delivering the results advertisers were hoping for… yet. But it might be too early to say.


SPONSORED BY CHATTY

Tired of your first drafts always feeling second-rate?

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Book a free demo and see what Chatty can do for you today.


THE CREW’S INSIGHTS

Marketing is changing: 3 exciting new ad formats to replace dying tactics

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All marketing follows the law of shi**y clickthroughs.

In other words, over time, marketing channels that used to be fresh and exciting lose their novelty and get the same poor clickthrough rates that turned off marketers from the last “big thing.”

This is happening before our very eyes: Facebook Ads are becoming less effective, email open rates are declining, and traditional success is getting difficult to maintain.

But there’s good news: We did 100+ hours of research last month for a report on up-and-coming growth channels. In that report, there’s a section on the hottest new ad formats.

Here are our favorites:

  • YouTube audio ads: A feature launched back in 2020 (and still in beta), audio ads can be a fresh way to sidestep the frustrating results you’ll often see with video ads.
  • Reddit Conversation Placement ads: You know how you’ll sometimes Google for product reviews, then add ‘reddit’ to the end to find lots of opinions from real people? Reddit Conversation Placement ads let you show ad placements on individual posts, which means you can target the ones that rank for your conversion-related keywords.
  • Microsoft Advertising: Don’t underestimate Microsoft’s reach. Its ads now reach 1B people worldwide, and costs per click (CPCs) on Bing are consistently lower than Google. Plus, they’ve introduced new multi-media ad formats. If you want something non-traditional with lots of upside, look to Microsoft.

By the way: There are 5 more fresh ad formats in our full report on e-commerce growth channels.

To get access, sign up for Insights here.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

BUSINESS: Nobody can predict the future, but everybody can subscribe to TheFutureParty. Every morning, they break down the trends of today that influence the decisions of tomorrow. Get insights and analysis on the business of culture right to your inbox. It’s free to subscribe!*

APPLE: Move over cost per mille (CPM) and make room for cost per tap (CPT). Apple ads are moving to their version of cost per click (CPC), which divides ad spend with the number of users that tap on your app. Simple math.

INSTAGRAM: More than twice as long? A user noticed that Instagram apparently increased the name character limit from 30 to 64. That’s longer than the world’s longest word, according to Google.

INSTAGRAM: Also, the social media platform added a bunch of new features like Templates and interactive Stickers to Reels. Time to increase that engagement rate…

E-COMMERCE: Amazon and Walmart have a fierce competitor in India. Literally. The country is harnessing the financial power of banks and “other key players” to establish their own online commerce network and squeeze out the big two from the market.

*This is a sponsored post


BRAIN TEASER

“A little pool with two layers of wall around it. One white and soft and the other dark and hard, amidst a light brown grassy lawn with an outline of a green grass.

What am I?”

You can find the answer here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

The only database you’ll need over the weekend

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We dig a good community project.

And with the weekend approaching, this one’s especially handy.

BeerBase is a community project that collects data on breweries and beers they offer.

So if you’re looking to grab a tasty pale ale or lager, just look for it in the database. Chances are you’ll find a tall cold one nearby…

Brewery crawl anyone?

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