Weekly Roundup #54 – Fake Reviews, Spam & Keyword Research

It’s a new week and time for a new roundup! We’re going to be telling you the most notable news stories and letting you in on the best resources this week has to offer on topics like email marketing, SEO, social media and more. If you missed last week’s roundup then catch up here. Otherwise, let’s go!

Social Media

Instagram to Show Ads to 150 Million People on Stories

instagram ads


In a while, Instagram is going to start rolling out ads between videos and images in its Stories feature. This news comes out 5 months after they cloned the Snapchat Stories product. The Facebook owned social media giant has accrued a daily audience just as large as Snapchat and now they’re looking to make the $$$.

One hundred and fifty million people check out Instagram Stories each day, with the collections of the photos and videos people post expiring after 24 hours. That’s 50 million people more than were checking the feature out back in October, so you know this feature is growing fast. It marks half of Instagram’s daily audiences and matches Snapchat’s entire daily audience. So, in true social pioneering fashion, they’re going to start slotting ads between content to try and make the most of numbers. Again, they’re going to be mimicking Snapchat on this one but the feature will be boosted by Facebook’s technology and advertising relationships.

They’re going to start showing the ads “soon”, which is pretty vague. The company has signed up over 30 advertisers across the world. In the US, for example, brands like Nike, McDonald’s, and L’Oreal will be using the feature and here in Europe Pepsi and Adidas will be climbing on board. After an initial test over the next few weeks, the app will open up these ads to all advertisers round the world on a self-serve basis through Facebook’s Power Editor tool and through third-party ad-buying platforms that utilise Facebook Ads API.

Getting into detail, ads running with the stories feature will have a ‘Sponsored’ mark on the bottom of them, and will only appear when people are swiping directly from viewing one person’s Story to another’s. Ads will take up 100% of the screen, and will be formatted vertically. From an ad targeting standpoint they’re a lot like the rest of the ads available from Instagram and Facebook. You get the same targeting options and you can create Custom Audiences or retarget a brand’s app or site audience.

One difference is the fact that advertisers won’t be able to control after whose Story their ad will or won’t appear. Sure, it’s no different from how you can’t control when your ad will be seen and what it will be seen between on a News Feed but it may make some brands wary that whatever is seen before and after the ad is something they don’t want to be associated with. And videos really stick around in the memory. This sort of wariness has already turned people away from Facebook’s mid-roll video ads since people might not want to be associated with the content they interrupt.

Instagram will be adding Stories to their analytics tool that they rolled on out for business accounts last year. There will now be a “Stories” section within the insights tab on the profile pages. Here you’ll be able to see the daily number of impressions received, how many people clicked “reply” to privately message the business from that slide and the total number of people it reached. Businesses will be able to use these stats for stories posted within the last 24 hours, 7 days and 14 days. But, businesses which insert links in their Stories won’t be able to see how many people clicked on those links – although they will look at adding it in in the future.



Why Fake Online Reviews Must Be Addressed

Before he left, president Obama signed into effect a new law that stops US brands from punishing consumers who leave less than stellar reviews. As attention focuses in on reviews and social proof when it comes to online shopping, the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 makes the practice whereby businesses hide non-disparagement clauses in their terms and conditions illegal.

The aim of the bill is to stop companies who impose penalties on consumers who don’t give them positive ratings or leave negative comments on websites. Companies have been known to threaten consumers with lawsuits and penalties just for sharing an honest opinion. Amazon has recently put a limit on the number of reviews a shopper can leave on its site to decrease the risk of people selling positive comments.

It is indeed integral to allow consumers the opportunity to share their honest opinions – after all, it’s what will give you real credibility in the end. However, for brands who just come under fire with undeserved or malicious negative reviews, the bill may be quite irritating.

It’s important to remember that when handled appropriately, issues like this can be resolved and can build stronger relationships between your brand and the customer. Actually, 95% of unhappy customers will return to you if you resolve the issue efficiently and quickly. When you consider that 92% of consumers now read online reviews according to BrightLocal 2016, the influence of then becomes clear. To regulate customer reviews the industry needs to continue to welcome the benefits of honesty in feedback but also work harder to combat counterfeit opinions. There has to exist a better process and technology in order to eradicate the damage fake reviews can cause.


Digital Marketing

5 Digital Marketing Stats You Need to Know About


We’ll keep this one simple – we want to give you a quick fire round of all the digital marketing stats you might have missed:

Convenience and Location Drives Supermarket Shoppers

Despite the ongoing ‘price wars’ between the big four supermarkets, consumers are no longer choosing where to shop based on price, according to a new study by TCC. In their survey of over 1,530 UK shoppers, it was found that location and proximity were the biggest influence on where they choose to go, with 48% of Brits choosing this as the main factor. Forty percent of people said a decent range of products and services, 39% claim habit and familiarity and 34% remained with low prices.

Over 50’s Spend 70% More Per Visit than Young Shoppers

Research from Coniq has discovered that shoppers over the age of 50 tend to spend 71% more money in shopping centres than younger people despite the fact they visit them 25% less. The research also found that over 50% complete 45% of transactions per trip which is also higher compared to the other age groups. Older consumers were found to make use of 31% more offers than the other demographics too. This proves the clear importance of older shoppers to retailers with over 55’s expected to make up two thirds of all retail activity by 2025.

Half of Student Predict Online Tracking Would Improve Grades

Kontext has found that 47% of students believe they will achieve higher grades if their lecturers were able to track their study habits throughout the academic year. A study into 1,000 former and current students revealed that 91% said they’d be happy for universities to be able to use analytics to track weekly progress while 76% claim monitoring of study habits would lead to less university dropouts. Interesting.

92% of Online Consumers Don’t Plan to Buy on the First Visit

Episerver found that too much focus on conversion means retailers could be missing out on key opportunities for engagement. Their study of over 1,000 consumers found that 92% of those who visit an eCommerce mobile app or website aren’t there with the intent to buy the first time around, and they rarely or never complete checkout. This stat shows the key importance of taking the time to build relationships with first time visitors, especially since they won’t pull out cash on the first visit.

Email Rated as Best Performing Marketing Channel

Well, we all saw this one coming. DMA’s latest bench marking report states that email remains in good health, with 41% of marketers rating it as the best performing channel. Now at 98%, email delivery rates are at their highest ever and this has increased by 11% since 2010. Despite a slight decline in recent years, unique click-to-open and unique open rates remain steady sitting at 20% and 15% respectively.



3 Free Keyword Research Tools for SEO

keyword planner

Source: Search Engine Round-table


We know how daunting it can be to start considering which keywords are best for your content or website so here’s 3 tools we know will be great for your keyword research (and they’re free so there’s no excuses!):

Google Keyword Planner

You might have already heard of this, but it really is keyword research 101, so we’re speaking to the beginners with this one. Google has a few tools that make it easier to conduct your research and it’s free to use their Keyword Planner. By the way, you’ll need to set up an AdWords account to use Keyword Planner but you don’t actually need to create an ad. When you put in one keyword, it comes up with multiple ones. You can even insert your website address into it and it’ll spit out a list of relevant keywords along with some simple metrics to gauge how much competition you have with them. Good stuff.

Google Trends

This is another free Google tool. It lets you enter a few keywords in and filter by location, search history and category. Once supplied with the correct information the tool will let you know how much web interest there is around it and what caused the interest – press coverage for example. It also details where the traffic is coming from. The best thing about it is that i doesn’t just give static keyword volume numbers like with most keyword research tools – it shows you interactive graphs that you can download or embed on your website if you wanted to. It has cleaner data results because it doesn’t include in repeated queries from a single user over a short period of time and it groups together searches that it infers to mean the same thing, like misspellings. One of the best times to use it is when you’re trying to decide between two keyword variations for your latest blog post title to see which is getting searched more.

Keyword Tool.io

The Keyword Tool is a pretty standard keyword research tool but if you’re just looking for a list of long-tail keyword suggestions related to one you already have in mind then it’ll be useful to you. Like our other suggestions it is completely free and you don’t even need to sign up to use it. The tool uses Google Autocomplete to generate a list of relevant long-tail keyword suggestions. This tool can give you insight into what people are searching for around your topics. You basically just get a list on the free version of this, but if you want things like search volume stats or CPC information you’ll need to upgrade.




The Holidays Are Over, So Why Are Retailers Still Spamming Inboxes?


The holiday season is well and truly over but it has been reported that retailers from Toys “R” Us to Amazon don’t seem to be quitting when it comes to their email marketing. Between December 26th and January 2nd, Amazon sent out 519 million emails – 15% more than the same period last year according to eDataSource. eDataSource tracks 2 million global consumers’ email boxes. Toys “R” Us mailed out 141 million – a ridiculous 71% more than the year before.

The issue with all this is most of these emails go unread. With the exception of Amazon which saw the highest percentage (33% of its emails read), the other retailers only had between 12% and 17% of their emails in the week after Christmas actually read according to the same source. Retailers are admitting that they have mostly fallen short of their own email marketing objectives – from getting consumers to spend more and increasing open rates – according to Magnetic and Retail TouchPoints. They did a survey of over 100 retail executives to source this information.

Inboxes are completely saturated, especially with the rise of social media and messaging apps. Retailers are partly to blame. Less than half of retail executives say they experiment with personalised email subject lines to capitalise on how often they send emails. The result of this is that only 35% of consumer survey respondents say they open at most 3 marketing related emails a week, 37% don’t even open any at all.

Senior Vice President of Client Success at Magnetic says,


“Personalisation and the use of it in email has been around for years…but retailers still continue to struggle with it. The main thing is about data collection and putting it to use. The more you can deliver personalised trigger messages, the more you can see higher open and conversion rates. It’s not about sending more messages to consumers, but smarter messages.”


At least we know even the giants struggle.


Don’t miss out on next week’s roundup!


Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

Controlling the chaos of the digital landscape, Sebastian is a multiplatform executive, project manager and photographer.