Read Time: Approx. 5 Minutes 52 Seconds 
Author: Dave Trolle 
It has been a busy June in the world of digital marketing and we mark it with a bumper edition of the Digital Revolution, with 4 headline updates about Linkedin, TikTok, Google and Microsoft with a bonus update as well. 

LinkedIn Moves into the Generative AI Space 

What is it?: This is the first of a few new ad launches which are coming out soon, to include In-Stream Video Ads, Conversation Ads and Thought Leader Ads, as LinkedIn beefs up its ad offering. The AI solution is only available to advertisers in North America, however we anticipate that this will be rolled across other markets including the UK soon. 
Why is it important?: LinkedIn is the perfect paid channel to target your B2B customers, however adding another channel and target audience can often become challenging, due to the resource that businesses have in place. Whilst LinkedIn’s new release won’t and shouldn’t take all of the time away from campaign creation, it will definitely help! 
What action should you take?: Since the turn of the year, there are so many use cases where Generative AI solutions can be used to enhance your marketing activity. We recommend that as a business you embrace the change and understand how these solutions can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your operations. We are leading working groups across our clients to support this, and it is something we would highly advise. 

TikTok Shop Tests Visual Search 

What is it?: On June 13th, TikTok announced a further step to help them achieve their ecommerce targets, by introducing a feature allowing users to upload a picture of a product, to find the same or similar products via TikTok Shop. This is available to trial to all markets outside of the US. 
Why is it important?: Whilst TikTok shop hasn’t seen the anticipated adoption rate, it was announced this year that TikTok had become the most shoppable social platform. A report from Channel X, suggests that 10 consumers a year are shopping via TikTok vs 9 for the Meta platform (Instagram and Facebook). This new feature will help consumers improve the discoverability of the products they are looking for, another potential step to TikTok becoming a search engine channel. 
What action should you take?: TikTok is clearly not for every sector, brand or target audience and the question of whether TikTok shop is worth the time and investment is still questionable for brands. Irrespective of this new feature, we would recommend that you review the market to see what other people in your sector are doing. 

Looker Studio Makes New Data Fields Available from GA4 

What is it?: With less than a month until the official migration date to Google Analytics 4 (GA4), Google announced that they had made 170 new data fields, previously not available to utilise in Looker Studio (formally known as Data Studio). 
Why is it important?: Looker Studio is one of the most commonly adopted data visualisation tools, due in part to its seamless integration with Google products, the ability to add connectors such as Zapier or for other channels and the fact that is free to access and use. Most marketers and data analysts will have had some real challenges transitioning existing reports, which used Universal Analytics data, as Looker did not have a large chunk of the metrics available. Whilst not all the data views are replicable, this release is a massive move forward. 
What action should you take?: Whilst there are new data visualisation capabilities available directly in GA4, our view and from speaking to other industry peers, is that solutions like Looker Studio have a place and allow more flexibility for reporting. We would recommend that if you haven’t already, you attempt to migrate all the existing dashboards you have (refresh your data sources in GA4), understand the gaps and see if GA4 is able to support with this. 

Microsoft Rolls Out Predictive Targeting to all Advertisers 

What is it?: Following a successful trial launch, where advertisers have seen on an average a 46% increase in conversion rates, Microsoft has launched Predictive targeting as part of its audience network to all advertisers to use. This new feature for Paid Search / PPC allows advertisers to target prospects that are more likely to convert for a brand. 
Why is it important?: Whilst Google’s market share in the UK is significant, we always recommend that if you have enough ad budget to do so that you utilise some of your budget across the Microsoft network. This is especially the case due to the lower levels of competition across all sectors, resulting in lower click prices, which often result in a strong Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and / or Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). Microsoft has shared best practices on how to take advantage of this feature. 
What action should you take?: To use this feature, you will need to activate audience campaigns. This feature will then become your default audience setting, which can be adapted to include other audience signals including your own first party data or in-market list. 

The Best of the Rest … It’s all about Meta 

Meta has clearly been busy in recent months, with new features and platforms launching, along with new transparency to support marketers using Instagram: 
Meta’s increased organic transparency – it can often seem as though you are working with black boxes as a marketer, left guessing and using trial and error to understand how to get the best out of the marketing mix. Whilst test and learn will always be essential, the Instagrams Organic Search Ranking Algorithm Release provided at the start of June, explaining how content is ranked on Instagram and how it has evolved since 2021 is great news. The information provided gives great context to teams managing Instagrams organic social channels on how to maximise your Feed, Explore, Reels and Stories 
Meta launches Thread to rival Twitter – whilst it’s still early days and officially launched in July, we are seeing strong adoption from both consumers and brands of Thread, the new platform launched by Meta. As a consumer, the adoption is easy, allowing you to automatically transition your Instagram settings across. This makes the prospect of launching on Thread more interesting than Twitter, with Twitter primarily being seen as a B2B channel. The questions are, to what extent should the usage differ and how (if at all) will Meta monetise the offer. Our early thoughts being is that this should be seen as a conversational channel, where brands can provide advice and expertise to unique and common consumer challenges. We will cover more off in next month’s Digital Revolution 
Meta extends ads on Reels trial – whilst Meta have been challenged by the industry for creating a platform with too much advertising, this next step is seen as a potential solution for this. The increased popularity of Reels to both consumer and marketer alike, seemingly has forced Meta’s hand to monetise this, with the reel ad format extended to more marketers. Our initial understanding is that the native way that the image integrates into the ad, will not negatively impact on consumers. Lets watch this space! 

Our final thoughts ... 

Once again social media marketing is dominating this month’s updates, with many new features available for both organic and paid for marketers. We are seeing a shift with smaller to medium size businesses either employing specialist social agencies, dedicated teams or a hybrid approach, to make sure that there is enough time being spent on the channels. The launch of Thread coupled with the potential of AI solutions such as Chat GPT, creates another question too for brand owners and marketing directors. Failing to add the right level of resource to these areas will mean you are left behind in one of the most innovative areas of marketing! 
If any of our June updates have peeked your interest, don’t hesitate to get in touch to understand how we can help you. 
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