Unexpected.

 

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INSTAGRAM

We weren’t expecting this…

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Wait, no, we definitely were. Instagram launched its TikTok lookalike feature worldwide.

If this is the first time you hear about Reels, let’s just say that it is almost indistinguishable from its competitor, except for the fact that you need to be on Instagram to access Reels in the first place.

Here are a few key points and reactions concerning Reel’s launch:

  • The feature can be accessed from the Explore page on Instagram, but you can also see individual reels in your feed as you’re scrolling. It appears Instagram is doing its best to integrate Reels with the rest of the app – it feels pretty natural to jump in on the Explore page.
  • People are already complaining about the discovery algorithms. Cecillia Xie on Twitter, among many others, pointed out that Instagram’s algorithms are mostly serving Reels from accounts you follow, mutual connections, or verified accounts. We can confirm this so far as well – it’s difficult to find those golden videos from smaller, random accounts.

Though Reels has already been around for a few weeks in some countries worldwide, this global release is a landmark for Instagram’s attempts to thwart a competitor. And, with TikTok’s future up in the air, the timing couldn’t have been better. If you’re wanting to learn more, there’s a great blog post here on Later that serves as a great guide to Reels.

The Crew’s take: This is a big update, and it’s unlikely that Facebook will give up as easily on Reels as it did on Lasso, its previous attempt to undermine TikTok. Will Reels become the new TikTok? Probably not, but time will tell.


GOOGLE

Ready to generate some leads?

Google dropped some great news today for marketers who’ve been wanting to include lead generation forms in their ads – you now can in YouTube and Discovery campaigns, with the feature being added to Display later in the year.

Here are the main takeaways from Google’s lead generation update:

  • You can now collect leads directly in your ads, a feature that’s been popular – and effective – on other platforms. If you’re wondering what the new lead generation ad formats look like, they’re fairly similar to what you see on platforms like Facebook. The form shows up directly in your ad, and the customer can easily input their information.
  • There are plenty of options to choose from. As part of the update, Google has rolled out more options to help you collect better information from your leads: city, state, country, and business contact information are the most notable additions.
  • You can also add pre-set questions, by vertical. If you’re looking to really narrow down your leads, Google has a variety of specific questions, by vertical, that you can add to your lead generation forms.

This is a great addition from Google, and it will no doubt encourage some new types of ad campaigns on YouTube and Discovery. With all the new options, though, don’t forget – the more information you ask for from potential leads, the less likely they’ll go through with it. Sometimes, less is more!


SPONSORED BY VOLUUM

“These campaigns won’t optimize themselves” – Oh, yes, they will!

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Slow down and crack open a cold one! Because thanks to Voluum’s Automizer, your campaigns are truly going to optimize themselves!

Really?

Yeah… Thanks to a full API integration between Voluum and your traffic sources, all you need to do is set up desired “if/then” rules and Voluum will auto-adjust your campaigns for you!

There’s even more than that. The Automizer allows you to control all your ads from a single panel:

  • Activate and pause campaigns.
  • Bid down and bid up.
  • Auto-update costs.
  • Set up auto-rules and alerts.

Stop jumping between different dashboards. Do everything from one panel only, with Voluum!

And this isn’t even everything you’re getting with this tracker:

  • Traffic distribution AI: The engine automatically sends traffic to the offers, landing pages and campaign paths that perform the best. Maybe you switch to champagne instead of beer at this point…
  • Anti-fraud kit: Bot traffic is a pain, but luckily Voluum detects and blocks any suspicious clicks.
  • Alerts: Voluum offers you mobile & desktop push notifications. If your performance suddenly changes, you will know right away!
  • Super-friendly interface.
  • 100% server uptime since 2015: You’ll never miss a single click.

And guess what? All Voluum plans are now on sale! Catch their summer promo to save big and get a month of Automizer without any ad spend limits for free!

Close your laptop, and let Voluum do the work for you!


SEO

An advanced log file analysis system for SEO

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Before we get started: what is a log file? In short, it’s a file output within a web server that records any request the server gets.

Every time a user or a crawler visits your website, those requests are all considered logs.

They exist for technical auditing, error handling, and troubleshooting. But they’re also extremely useful for in-depth SEO analysis. In this piece, Suganthan Mohanadasan walks us through a log file analysis – what it is, how to do it, and why you should be doing it for your business or your clients.

How log files can be useful for your website SEO?

What can studying log files actually do for your SEO? These are the primary purposes:

  • Manage crawl budget: The crawl budget represents the number of pages that a bot can crawl across a period of time. Therefore, your crawl budget should be spent on the right pages, and log files help you with this. However, Google recently clarified that unless you have a massive site, you probably don’t need to worry about crawl budget.
  • Fix status code errors: log files allow you to find and fix any errors encountered by search engines.
  • Verify whether your site has switched to the Mobile-First Index. This is a new change coming in the near future, but many sites have already been switched over to mobile-first indexing – your log files can help you figure that out.
  • Prioritize your crawl: If you have product pages or other strategic pages of your website that are not crawled, you are probably missing some juicy traffic. Log files can help you find which pages have (and haven’t) been crawled by bots.
  • Manage your crawl frequency.

How can you analyze log files?

The first step is to actually access your log file, and that can be harder than it sounds. Suganthan provides a solution here, but mind that it requires some services (some of them paid), such as Cloudflare, Logflare, a Data Studio Account.

Once you get your log file, Suganthan lays out some of the most important data you’ll need to extract:

  • Most crawled pages.
  • Pages not crawled by bots.
  • Error reports.
  • Crawl volume and visits frequency.
  • Bots crawl behavior by page.
  • And more.

This just scratches the surface of log files. Fortunately, Suganthan’s full piece provides a comprehensive overview of how you should be using log files to improve your SEO. Check it out here!


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

E-COMMERCE: If Etsy’s Q2 was any indication, the future is bright for e-commerce. Revenue rose 137% year-over-year, a product of mask-buying in addition to a general online shopping increase.

TWITTER: As per Matt Navarra, Twitter is testing a new layout for its Suggested Follows feature.

GOOGLE: Afraid of the dark? G Suite for mobile just got a dark mode update, Smart Compose for documents, and more.

YOUTUBE: New insights and analytics are available in the Creator Studio dashboard, including better real-time viewing and more Stories analytics.

TWITTER: We’ve all been playing video games more than normal lately – and according to Twitter, we’ve been talking about it more too. Check out some of the biggest trends.

TIKTOK: The question of how much TikTok is worth continues to be a hotly debated one. Official predictions are rolling in at between $10B and $30B.


BRAIN TEASER

How far can a rabbit run into the woods?

You can find the solution here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

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

Mac ‘n cheese just got a major upgrade

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One of the greatest foods of all time just got taken to a whole new level – in our eyes, at least. If you’re not a fan of Flamin’ Hot cheetos, then we may not be on the same page.

Wondering what we’re talking about? Yesterday, Pepsico announced a line of Cheetos flavored mac n’ cheese, modeled after popular Cheetos flavors. You can pick from Flamin’ Hot, Bold & Cheesy, and Cheesy Jalapeño.

Things can sometimes get weird when brands combine snack flavors (looking at you, Mountain Dew Doritos), but this has all the signs of being delicious in the most unhealthy ways possible.

The new flavors are also a great marketing stunt, too – we’re reporting on it, right? The new flavors got attention all over big news outlets, and we probably aren’t the only ones who’ll be heading to the stores to check this out. In fact, we might already be on our way to the store…

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Stacked Marketer was built to filter through the daily noise that exists in the marketing world. It’s a digital marketer’s 7-minute daily read, jam-packed with the latest news, trends, tech and actionable advice.

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