In another month dominated by social media, we saw a big announcement about the future direction of Facebook as CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Meta as the parent brand name along with plans to create the Meta verse. The other platforms should not be forgotten ... in this edition we report on the latest updates on Pinterest and TikTok in addition to the search engine giants. 

Confidence in Pinterest Ads after MRC accreditation? 

What is it?: Pinterest have recently announced that both Pinterest impressions and clicks have been accredited by the Media Ratings Council (MRC), providing more assurances to advertisers, who had shied away from advertising on the platform. 
 
Why is it important?: Like the Google and Microsoft dynamic in search, Pinterest’s market share is small in comparison to Facebook/Instagram and the emergence of TikTok in social. Despite a drop in usage post lockdown restrictions easing, Pinterest can help you reach and engage with new audiences, especially for retailers and direct to consumer. 
 
What action should you take?: 2021 has been a challenging year for Facebook and Instagram, with the iOS updates causing many advertisers to make their activity work to a positive ROI. Whilst the user volume isn’t as strong, Pinterest should be considered as part of your 2022 mix; we recommend investing in your organic content first, prior to commencing any paid social advertising via Pinterest. 
 
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TikTok Investing in Supporting Brand Adoption with New Educational Content 

What is it?: TikTok have launched various initiatives over recent weeks to help brands grow their activity with the brand including the Small Wins SMB showcase and step by step guides to creating branded content. This follows recent product updates to support retailer and brand adoption. 
 
Why is it important?: TikTok saw exponential growth in users both during the pandemic and in 2021. Whilst growth rates are expected to slow as the platform matures, further increases in users is forecasted by eMarketer, with a 26.3% in the UK by 2024. 
 
What action should you take?: As well as using the content available from TikTok, we recommend you start to use TikTok as a consumer (if you haven’t already). Whilst we appreciate this isn’t the most revolutionary advice we will ever provide, with this being a new channel to the marketing, there is limited best practice available, TikTok are still learning as they collate more data and our experience shows that there is no one size fits all approach. Consuming the content as a user will help you understand what types of content is receiving high engagement and what resonates with you as a person.. 
 
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Microsoft follow Google with latest search changes 

What is it?: Microsoft announced changes to its search product. Focussed on improving customer targeting and making adoption easier for advertisers, the latest announcement includes expansion of in-market lists and generation of automated remarketing lists. The deprecation of Enhanced Text Ads (ETA’s) has also been announced to be in line with Google, at the end of June 2022.  
 
Why is it important?: Often an underrated channel, due to its smaller market share in comparison to Google, Microsoft allows you to reach a new customer base who doesn’t search via Google. Our experience shows that new customer rates and Return on Ad Spend are both higher, providing incremental sales. 
 
What action should you take?: All of the new features should be available to all Microsoft Search customers. If you are not using Microsoft Search as part of your marketing mix, we would highly recommend that you add it to your 2022 digital marketing plan. As per our recent recommendations for Google ETA’s, we recommend that you commence testing these in Q1 2022. 
 
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Google SEO Results Reported to Be More Volatile Than Ever 

What is it?: Semrush, one of the leading SEO technology providers have reported that SEO results have changed at a higher rate than they had in 2021 across both desktop and mobile devices. This latest report also comes in a month where the impact of page experience has been questioned, with little initial evidence to suggest that page speed improvements has positively impacted rankings. 
 
Why is it important?: With costs to acquire a customer continuing to rise in paid marketing channels, getting the art of SEO right, to subsidise this higher cost is more important than ever. 
 
What action should you take?: Whilst there is no silver bullet to driving improved performance via Organic Search and the search engine volatility reported by Semrush cannot be controlled, investment across all aspects of SEO (technical, content and Digital PR) is essential. 
 
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Our final thoughts ... 

The volatility of SEO results, as reported by Semrush shows that you not only need to continue to invest in the area but also reinforces that reliance on this within your 2022 forecasting, shouldn’t be a given.  
When planning for next year, make sure you have additional budget allocated for your paid marketing channels, to support with potential traffic and sales reductions which these fluctuations could bring . 
 
If any of the above has peaked your interest, don't hesitate to get in touch to understand how we can help you. 
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