It has been a busy April in the world of digital marketing and we mark it with a bumper edition of the Digital Revolution, with 3 headline updates about Google and Instagram, with a bonus update as well. 

Google to sunset legacy attribution models 

What is it?: Google announced on the 6th April 2023 that First Click, Linear, Time Decay and Position Based attribution models will be deprecated. This will start from May in GA4 and June in Google Ads. 
Why is it important?: These models have been available to use in Google Analytics and Ads for many years. Whilst Google have confirmed one of the reasons for deprecating is low adoption levels, we know that some of the models (especially first click and position-based models) have been popular for brands to use for business reporting and decision making. 
What action should you take?: We would advise that brands initially compare the data driven model vs. both last click and your preferred multi-touch point model to understand the differences. This is essential to understand potential changes in budgeting and optimisation. Alternatively, the creation of your bespoke model could be considered. 

New Instagram features announced to enhance Reels 

What is it?: On the 13th April 2023 Instagram announced 4 new features to support the promotion of reels. 
Discover Trending Hashtags and Audios – a dedicated destination to support content creators 
Reel Editing - streamlining ways to improve the workflow and speed of creating Reels 
Audience Engagement – expansion of gifts 
Measuring Success – two new metrics to support reel evaluation, including total and average watch times 
Why is it important?: According to Sprout Social, 49% of consumers and 59% of brands are planning to use Reels more, due to the increased engagement that is seen from the reel format. Instagram has recognised the need to make it easier not only to produce Reels, but also to make decisions based on data. These updates will certainly be music to the ears of brands, with the increase in Reels not automatically turning into the increase in resource required to create content. 
What action should you take?: All of these new features are openly available to all Instagram accounts and we recommend that you start to take advantage of these immediately. 

Google removes algorithm updates 

What is it?: In April, Google updated its ranking list to remove the below four from the list: 
Mobile Friendly 
Page Speed 
Secure Sites 
Page Experience 
Why is it important?: Last month we highlighted the effect that the Core update had and how to mitigate and measure whether you had been affected. The removal at first glance could cause confusion to marketers, in what purely looks like a technical change from Google’s side to reduce the amount of updates through a consolidation process. 
What action should you take?: Our main recommendation from this change is not to underestimate any of these factors. The removal of these is not a sign that these factors are less important than they were before change. Having a secure mobile first site that loads quickly and is optimised with unique and highly relevant content, is in its most simplest terms what Google, Bing and ultimately the customer is looking for. 

Bonus Update: Media platforms prosper, as Google, Meta, Microsoft and LinkedIn all report Q1 revenue growth! 

As we entered 2023, questions were being asked as to whether brands would continue to aggressively invest in acquiring new customers. If the platforms revenue growth is anything to go by, like our partners, holding back on ad spend is not on advertiser’s radar. A special note to Meta, who had seen declines in revenue, due to a reluctance to invest across Facebook and Instagram due to performance challenges, coupled with the growth of TikTok. 

Our final thoughts ... 

With less than two months to go until the sunset of Universal Analytics and the requirement to move to GA4, marketers must have felt that they had enough to contend with on the measurement front with this change. The attribution curve ball highlighted definitely needs reviewing over the next two months, as part of this change, to ensure that you understand the impact that using Google’s Data Driven attribution model will have to your reporting and decisions making. 
If any of our April updates have peeked your interest, don’t hesitate to get in touch to understand how we can help you. 
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