Read Time: Approx. 5 Minutes 60 Seconds 
Author: Liv Rutter & Lewis Stretton 
Welcome to the April edition, where we share the updates in the world of digital. 

Meta rolls out new tool to support with audience targeting and insight update 

What is it?: Meta announces the launch of its new audience insight tool, featuring within Advantage+ Shopping campaigns. This means that you can now create reports that breakdown your audience and target individuals interested in your products or services who haven’t made a purchase yet. The new feature is called engaged customers audience segment. 
Why is it important?: The update allows you to understand your audience better. This will allow you to optimise your campaigns, with more precise targeting capabilities, enabling your campaign to reach a larger amount of high value customers. This should result in the success of your campaign as you should see an increase in conversions. 
What action should you take?: We advise you to examine the segment and analyse the outcomes firsthand. Navigate to Ads manager and access the breakdown menu. Then, select “Demographics by Audience Segments”. This feature enables you to view separate rows for the three customer types: New, Existing and Engaged. This means that within Advantage+ shopping campaigns you can specify your engaged customers using a custom audience. 

LinkedIn introduces CTV ads for B2B campaigns 

What is it?: On April 4th, LinkedIn introduces CTV ads, allowing marketers to include ads on CTV platforms. CTV ads also known Connected TV Advertising is a form of digital advertising that appears within streaming content on internet connected television devices e.g. Smart TVs. You can now advertise LinkedIn campaigns on a network of partners including Paramount, Roku and Samsung Ads. 
Why is it important?: CTV (Connected TV) is increasingly becoming a pivotal channel for marketers, including B2B businesses. According to studies cited by Demandbase, 90% of B2B marketers utilising CTV in 2023 reported that it effectively facilitated customer reach. LinkedIn has now joined this trend by partnering with NBCUniversal to introduce CTV capabilities. This video content, broadcasted on television, offers an avenue to engage and capture new audiences across streaming television platforms. 
What action should you take?: To effectively utilise CTV as a marketing channel, it's crucial to assess its alignment with your marketing objectives. Once you've crafted a compelling video ad, accessing the campaign manager allows you to select your objective, whether it's a focused CTV campaign or a broader multichannel approach. From there, meticulously define your target audience, ensuring precision in reaching the right viewers. Lastly, establish a budget and schedule for your campaign to optimize its impact and resonance. 

Why could Meta Ads be used as an alternative to LinkedIn 

What is it?: LinkedIn is B2B platform that allows professionals to connect over a variety of different subjects. It is great if you are looking to create target ads for specific professions or businesses however, it is also known to be fairly expensive. So, what’s the alternative? If you think about it, all the people who used LinkedIn will probably also use Facebook and Instagram just not in a professional setting. Facebook isn’t as targeted as LinkedIn, but you can tailor the creative to make it more appealing for your audience. 
Why is it important?: This new targeting provides a lower cost opportunity when compared to LinkedIn ads, however with the same targeted efficiency. This could be a great opportunity for small/start-up businesses who want to advertise in front of a more targeted audience. 
What action should you take?: Try it for yourself. Create a simple but tailored ad that fits your target audience. If you don’t have the budget to experiment with your ads, then an alternative would be to take a small portion of your already allocated budget to test Meta Ads and see if they are worth allocating budget for. 

Significant shift for YouTube’s monetisation approach with the launch of their new Affiliate Hub 

What is it?: YouTube has launched a new Affiliate Hub so creators can easily find the latest list of shopping partners, competitive commission rates, promo codes and samples that creators can request from brands. Influencers can now add a selection of products from any theme to a shopping collection, allowing them to create virtual stored across their YouTube channels. Creators can also now tag products within their videos. 
Why is it important?: This is a more efficient way for creators to discover popular brands, their codes and request gifting to try out. It also helps creators earn more revenue from older content with high traffic. These new features make the conversion path easier and more efficient for customers as it eliminates them researching the product the creator mentioned, as they can find it by a simple click on the video. 
What actions should you take?: Start tagging products in your videos and create a list of all your favourite products. You can then create your virtual store of products for your viewers to try. If you wanted to track your earnings, then you can do this by going into your YouTube Studio App and selecting Analytics -> Revenue -> Affiliate Programme. Underneath you can also find Top Earning Products and Top Earning Content. 

TikTok tries virtual Influencers for Video Ads 

What is it?: The TikTok app is developing new virtual AI-powered influencers that will be capable to compete against real life influencers for lucrative contacts. The new AI Avatars can read scripts for video ads created by brands and TikTok Shop sellers submitting prompts. The feature is still in its testing phase, so everything is still subject to change. 
Why is it important?: The rise of virtual creators could steal business from real-life influencers, potentially causing some users to leave the platform. There has also been concerns that the new AI-influencers could be used for manipulative marketing techniques. During testing, researchers discovered that the AI Avatars haven’t generated as much eCommerce sales as the average real-life influencers. This is reportedly why the new feature hasn’t been made available to marketers yet. 
What actions should you take?: Although TikTok haven’t released their own AI influencers as of yet due to them still testing and developing, other agencies and creators have got ahead of the curb and started creating their own AI influencers. Check out this AI influencer below, she has made over $10 million so far. 

Will Google now expand its cookieless test to 10% of Chrome users? 

What is it?: Professionals in marketing are predicting that Google may expand its cookieless test to 10% of Chrome users. Recently Google announced that they were delaying the death of cookies until early 2025. Prepare yourselves for a world without cookies. 
Why is it important?: It is important as this means that less third-party data will be able to be tracked. This is a large increase of users so using platforms or campaigns that use cookies, you will start to see performance change and possibly decline. It will also impact on marketing as well. Many experts suggest that Google make this change quickly as a 1% sample isn’t sufficient and would be better to increase it to 10%. 
What actions should you take?: Although there is no immediate action to take, as this is only a possibility, we do recommend you start to use platforms that doesn’t rely on third party cookies. First party cookies are recommended as this is collected by you or a website owner. With the addition to GA4 being cookieless, it allows you track performance and create cookieless campaigns to support this. 

Our final thoughts ... 

Looking back at April, it proved to be a bumper month, with the launch of six new updates being released. Whilst all were standouts in their own rights, our pick of the bunch is the development of the YouTube affiliate hub. As specialist in partnership marketing, we’ve observed a significant growth in content creators monetising their content via the affiliate marketing channel. Updates such as this will further support this growth and make the channel more valuable for creating growth brand awareness and consideration. 
For further information on any of the latest product updates or anything new that is on your mind, get in touch with our team of digital experts today. 
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