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May 8, 2019

Facebook releases an automated ad builder. eBay trying to fight Amazon hegemony through on-site checkout. Google search dominance could kill affiliate links. Chrome restricts browser fingerprinting methods. $32M worth of unusable website...

May 8, 2019

May 8, 2019 2160 1440 The digital marketer's #1 daily briefing!

FACEBOOK

Automated Ads Platform

If you live in the USA, you’ll probably know about the ongoing National Small Business Week.

As the name suggests, it’s a week where the best entrepreneurs are hailed and many events take place.

FB wanted to celebrate this week by introducing new tools for medium and small businesses in order to make them reduce the stress of their marketing efforts. And, of course, to attract more of their marketing budgets.

Let’s see what these updates are about:

  • Automated Ads: This new tool will allow small businesses automatically create up to six different versions of an ad that can run across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network.

The tool will lead advertisers through a series of questions about their business and their campaigns goals. Based on these questions and their Business Page, the tool will suggest call-to-action buttons, text and creative details.

Not only that, but FB will also offer recommendations on targeting and budget too.

  • Video editing tools: The Ads Manager will have three news video editing tools: automatic cropping, video trimming and image & text overlays.

This aims to help marketers and businesses with smaller budgets to create video ads that perform well even without heavy investment into the production process.

  • Appointment tool: Businesses on FB and IG have been given access to appointment management tools that allow customers to book their services on its platforms.

Once the customer schedules an appointment, the system will send a reminder to them through Messenger.

What this means for marketers

While the last update is something that’s already been discussed at F8, the other two sound very interesting indeed.

Especially the Automated Ads Tool. It makes us think that Facebook is heading towards a hands-off ad platform. You put the money in, the system (hopefully) turns that money into more money.

That’s the real dream.


E-COMMERCE

eBay joins the on-site checkout run

Competition is good! There’s nothing more true than this. Especially after Amazon’s quick growth and utter dominance in the e-commerce industry, all the other businesses really needed to start innovating and release new tools to limit Amazon’s expansion.

Instagram released an in-app checkout. Google is trying to do the same with the Shopping Actions feature.

Now it’s eBay’s turn.

What’s in the pipeline?

eBay is partnering with Monotote, an instant checkout tool, to allow consumers to interact directly with products they are looking for. Without having to leave their other activities, they will be led to eBay to get more info about the product or to purchase it.

In other words, if you’re reading a blog post about a vacuum cleaner, and the blog post is linked to eBay, you can get more information about that vacuum cleaner without leaving the blog post: Price, shipping, product description and availability.

The key factor here is that the purchase process doesn’t interrupt your other activities. This is exactly like IG’s in-app checkout, but with blog posts instead of IG posts, and with eBay instead of some random e-commerce store.

This will benefit both eBay and publishers. For eBay itself, the purchase process will be simplified and streamlined, which should lead to more conversions.

On the publisher’s side, it will help them to squeeze more money from their content.

Is it enough to compete with Amazon?

Whatever happens, this is another innovation that proves a big trend: the purchase process is becoming simpler and easier, And the conversion occurs in the same place where the prospect has been inspired.

Amazon’s 1-click order, Instagram’s instant check-out, Shopping Actions by Google. And now, this.

It looks like nobody wants the customer to think about their purchase.

-Oh look at this bag, it looks nice.
-Sold!


GOOGLE

Everything that happened on Day 1 of Google I/O. Google’s search dominance could hurt small businesses

Well, as we expected, Google finally announced its new measures to handle cookie tracking. They also announced a whole lot of updates for several products. Although, there are concerns that it’s using its search dominance to limit small businesses.

Updates from Google I/O

Several new features have been released on the 1st day of the Google I/O developer conference.

We’ve picked some of them that are more relevant for marketers such as updates around top stories, images, Google Lens and more.

Let’s have a quick look at them.

Chrome’s new cookie handling: As we discussed yesterday, Google officially announced new Chrome tools for users to block or clear third-party cookies more easily. Also, a new browser extension that will show more information about everyone involved in ad transactions and tracking.

Browser Fingerprints: It announced new measures to restrict browser fingerprinting methods that are used as workarounds to keep tracking in place when users opt out of third-party cookies.

Incognito Mode in Maps: Like Incognito mode in a browser, the new Incognito mode in Google Maps will prevent your destination searches/routes from being saved to your Google account history.

Google 3D objects and AR: Augmented reality features are being added which will bring 3D objects into the search results. You will be able to view and interact with these 3D objects right there in the search results.

Google Lens: The ability to translate more than 100 languages, the ability to read text out loud and the ability to highlight popular items on a restaurant menu.

Google Assistant: Google is bringing its AI-powered customer service tool Duplex to the web to help you with various tasks such as renting a car or buying movie tickets. A simple “Hey Google, let’s drive” will now shift Assistant into driving mode.

Google News: The top stories section from Google news will not just contain the most authoritative stories on the topics you searched about, but also the entire story timeline around the topic including playable podcasts. You will also be able to search within audio podcasts.

There are a bunch of other product launches and tech updates that you can read in detail here.

For more details about Chrome cookie handling and browser fingerprinting, check out this detailed article here.

Google’s attempt to fight Amazon e-com dominance could kill some affiliates

Doomsday? Not quite. Another clear sign that the only constant is change? Yes, pretty much.

It should come as no surprise that Google is always looking to use its search engine dominance, and that is becoming even more clear now that its advertising business is growing in strength.

Their latest experiment is one where publishers who rely on SEO and affiliate links could see their business model disappear.

Here’s what’s going on!

When searching for products, Google is experimenting with linking to a recommended shopping section where they feature products from smaller retailers. This move is mostly to fight Amazon because Google searches are still bringing up many Amazon results.

By taking this approach, Google wants to give smaller e-com sites a chance (and more rev for Big G itself, of course).

Sounds good, right? Well, not so much for Amazon affiliate sites relying on SEO, who could see themselves caught in the crossfire as their links get hit.

Let’s say you build a great review site for kitchen gadgets, and some of the best search traffic comes to you. All the products you review are from Amazon. When people search for product reviews, they come to your website before heading off to Amazon to buy the products via your links.

Well, if Google’s experiment becomes the norm, your results will get demoted in the search results to make room for direct sellers. Less traffic, less clicks, less revenue…


TOOLS

Automated marketing KPI tracker. Lead generation script for LinkedIn

Our fellow marketers keep pitching in to help the community with some great tools. We can’t help but share them with you and let you decide if they’re useful and relevant for your business or not.

We have 2 such tools today, one which can help you automatically track your marketing KPIs and another to help you generate more leads using LinkedIn outreach.

Automated tool to track your Marketing KPIs

We got an interesting tool by Angélique Toque that helps you automatedly track your marketing KPIs performance.

You can use this to keep a track of your content marketing, SEO, SEM, email and more with an automated dashboard.

Here’s the link to the tool. Got any feedback or questions, you can reach out to Angélique here.

Targeted outreach template for LinkedIn

Elias Benjelloun shared the step-by-step process he uses to generate leads from Linkedin.

It’s a target outreach template with instructional videos that generate 20-30 calls from his target audience every week.

Here’s what the document includes:

  • Finding target audiences
  • Messaging flow
  • Connecting with 100 target prospects
  • Sending follow-up messages prospects who connected
  • Engaging with targeted content

You can find the outreach document here.


INSTAGRAM

FB fact-checking tested on Instagram

Facebook has been pretty involved in the fight against fake and misinformative content. Now, the fight is extending to Instagram as well.

In fact, starting this week, FB will begin a test to fact-check Instagram posts. Basically, the photos and memes shared on IG will be shared with the same dashboard that it’s fact-checking partners already use to catch harmful content on FB.

If the posts are flagged as false, their reach will be limited. However, you will still see them if you follow the Instagram account that shared it.

Maybe Instagram is a bit different from FB, because most of the posts are pictures and memes, whereas FB is more about textual news and stories. So the way this system works to find harmful content on image-oriented Instagram is expected to work accordingly.

Let’s wait and watch the final outcome of these tests.


POOLSIDE CHAT

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

What’s the difference between Accenture and a Fiverr gig? $32M

 

Accenture costs you $32M for an incomplete site, Fiverr is only $5. Only difference!

We’re kidding. Fiverr is not always a waste of money and it’s not even always $5 these days. What we’re not kidding about is the $32M car rental company Hertz paid Accenture to revamp its platform.

If you’ve ever had to do a thorough update on a website or any app, you know things don’t always go as expected. This spot is the one where basically anything that could go wrong, did.

After paying $32M+ and being hit with countless delays that added over a year to the timeline for the project, Hertz found itself without a working website, without an app and a bunch of specs undelivered.

 

Accenture said it’s not a problem, they can do more… if Hertz pays another $10M.

Unsurprisingly, at this point, Hertz decided to take the dispute to court and ask for damages.

So, if your Fiverr and Upwork stories seem unbelievable, what should we make of this one? Lesson learned, don’t hire Accenture!

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