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ADVERTISING

Lawsuit: Google and Facebook divided the ad market among themselves

Google has been caught colluding with competitors (again).

The details: According to the antitrust lawsuit, Facebook and Google struck a deal in 2017 to effectively kill header bidding.

Header bidding? In essence, header bidding allows publishers to auction off their ad space to all potential buyers at once, rather than allowing Google to act as the middleman. Google apparently saw header bidding as an “existential threat” and wanted Facebook to stop supporting it in exchange for favorable treatment.

How header bidding affects marketers: Header bidding usually results in lower CTRs (click-through rates) due to the ads loading slower. However, this is offset by increased demand for each ad unit, which drives up CPM. This is why many larger media and news sites use header bidding.

Sure, header bidding drives ad prices up, but it also gives you more control over where your ads will appear. At the end of the day, it’s about ROI (making more money than you’ve spent).


E-COMMERCE

Retail sales in December were down (not for the reasons you might expect)

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Retail sales fell 1.9 percent in December compared to the previous month, according to data obtained by Axios.

The reason: People began their holiday shopping early. According to a recent Mastercard report, if you “extend” the holiday season from November 1 to December 24th, U.S. retail sales actually increase. Mastercard also recently said that online spending last year has been “relatively positive.”

What we can take away from this: Consider starting your holiday promotions earlier this year. All reliable data we’ve found so far indicates that people are starting their holiday shopping earlier due to rising inflation and supply chain issues.


SPONSORED BY GENUS AI

2022 Prediction: This will improve your Facebook campaign performance

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If you could predict the future, you’d know things like who’s making it to the World Cup (Wales, maybe?) and which Facebook ad creatives to run.

Unfortunately, that’s really hard to do!

But knowing why most Facebook ads fail—and the keys to optimizing them—can save you hours of trial and error.

And this free ebook by Genus AI gets into both.

Genus AI helps brands like CookUnity and Sunday Citizen level up ROI and cut CPA.

And now, they want to drop some knowledge on you. Their free ebook reveals:

  • The top 5 reasons your Facebook campaigns are failing
  • Four keys to optimizing your campaigns
  • Why most marketers fail with social media ads—and what can help you level up

We’re predicting this ebook will help you improve your Facebook Ads.

Of course, there’s only one way to find out…

Get free tips for improving your Facebook campaigns now.


MARKETING

How to create outstanding videos to hit business goals

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We’ve got Amanda Natividad to thank for this Twitter thread where she shared the 10 things marketing teams need to do to create great videos.

1. Define the goal. It sounds basic but it’s key. Whether it’s to present your company, to start a video series, or if it’s about educating users about your product, just be specific.

2. Connect the goal with a single job function. For example, a video series is likely to be owned by your content marketing team, educating users will be owned by the product marketing team.

3. Align costs with the use case. If it’s a series you have to repeat, figure out a low-cost production model that does the job well. On the other hand, if it’s a homepage video, maybe you can splurge on production.

4. Repurposing the content. Most videos will have parts that can be used in ads, for example. The more you can repurpose, the more you can justify higher expenses for better production value.

5. Create a detailed Statement of Work. In other words, make sure the work is defined between you and the agency helping you with this. There will likely always be more edits needed, copy to be adjusted, etc.

6. Define what emotions you want to evoke. Amanda calls this a “vibe check with your agency,” but be clear on what emotions you want your viewers to feel after watching the video.

7. Collect feedback on the script. And do it from all departments like legal, executive, and marketing.

8. Ideally, use real customers and not actors. This is a tough one but if you do get real customers on the video, make sure you’re supportive and encouraging because they will not get everything right on the first take.

9. Shoot a great B-roll. Even more material to use here, and maybe even more authentic.

10. Over prepare for the shoot. Meals, extra products, props, first aid kit, and all that. You never know what can go wrong.

With these steps, you are more likely to make that investment into a great video.


SPONSORED BY TRENDS

These four products are going absolutely crazy on TikTok and you can capitalize on them

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Yes, you can take advantage of these viral products thanks to Trends.

Trends analyses and discovers the best opportunities in business, and provides you with a community that can help you execute on these findings right away.

This time you have not one, but four whole products… We will let you know the first big opportunity which is… *drumroll*… Minifridges.

Why? How? What are the other 3 products? And how can you make money with them? Everything is answered in this article.


THE CREW’S INSIGHTS

How to build a high-converting category page

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Category pages are often overlooked when optimizing the conversion rate of a store.

However, while the homepage is the first touchpoint you have with a visitor, and the product page is the final match before the conversion, category pages are still part of the purchase journey.

They need some love too. And if you want to give it to them… here are some guidelines from the Ecommerce Checklist website:

  • Use clear and understandable category names.
  • Have a consistent style of images. This decreases the cognitive load and increases the webpage scannability.
  • Use the consistent size of product cards.
  • Show the number of products available in a category so shoppers know how many options they have.
  • Add relevant filters and allow users to select different filters at once. This makes the research easier for the shopper. You’re saving them time and making their shopping experience better.
  • Automatically update the page after a filter is selected. Don’t make shoppers take unnecessary actions.
  • Show prominent product titles, and add further information below the title. This way shoppers don’t need to go back and forth between the product page and category page to get more information.
  • Show the product price. The reason is the same as before. Save visitors from taking unnecessary actions.
  • Simplify the decision-making process of buyers by showing trending and best-selling items on the top of the page.
  • Have special category pages (best-sellers, new, sales) to put users into shopping mode.

ROUNDING UP THE STACK

SMS MARKETING: Learn how to craft captivating SMS campaigns that create connections, increase customer LTV, and maximize your sales. All for free using this SMS Analyzer tool from Yotpo. Add your text message and get your score and text analysis report. Give it a quick try for free.*

ANALYTICS: It’s Google’s turn to defend. The company published a post on Analytics data privacy after an EU court ruled that using Google Analytics violates GDPR.

YOUTUBE: Who were the highest-paid YouTubers in 2021? This Forbes analysis has some answers.

PPC: Google Ads has a bug again. This time, there’s a problem with Gmail on Safari browsers.

APPLE: This sets a new precedent. Dutch dating app owners will be allowed to accept third-party payments, according to a court ruling.

BUSINESS: The results are in, here are Product Hunt’s “products of the year.”

APPLE: A court decision can get you paid. If you’re a US developer and have an app on Apple’s App Store, you could get paid by Apple as part of a $100M App Store settlement.

SEO: Alternative search engines are gaining some serious traction. DuckDuckGo recently passed 100 billion searches.

*This is a sponsored post.


BRAIN TEASER

I am wet when drying. What am I?

You can find the solution here.


FROM THE CREW

Win one of the top 3% sites on Shopify

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Here’s a great business you could choose if you win our US$25,000 giveaway:

We Heart Decor is a home decor brand that was built from scratch and is now one of the top 3% of Shopify websites.

The store made a profit of $27,000 last year with dropshipping, print-on-demand, and self-fulfillment inventory.

Its main acquisition channels? Email marketing and SEO.

Since it has recently been listed for auction in the Flippa Marketplace, there’s a good chance it will be available by the date the giveaway ends.

To enter the raffle, you have to share your unique referral link, and get at least one referral – grab it here.

You have until February 4th, 2021, to get at least one successful referral. Each referral equals one entry.


POOLSIDE CHAT

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

A college where you can learn how to become a social media influencer

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In China, social media influencing has become a serious business.

“Livestreaming salesperson,” for example, became an officially recognized profession in July 2020, thanks to a decision by China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

Colleges are also catching up. A growing number of Chinese universities are offering courses on how to become a social media influencer. Some exams even require you to have more than a certain number of followers in order to pass.

One student, for example, posted a video hash-tagged “SOS” in which she urged people to follow her so she can reach 10,000 followers in order to finish her course.

Will all of this become “a thing” in the West as well?

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