Digital Marketing News #92

Weekly Roundup #92 – Christmas Bookings, Black Friday & Programmatic Adverts

Here we are again, with another round up of the week in digital advertising! If you missed last weeks, you can read about Twitter’s new ‘Promote Mode’, how to use AI to improve customer loyalty and how industry leaders are using Bots… Once you’ve caught up, you can take a look at this weeks offering:


How to Drive More Christmas Bookings

Improve Christmas Bookings eCommerce

Christmas bookings have increased by an impressive 200% in the past 15 years, with 72% of firms throwing a Christmas party (with an average cost of £56.49 per person, in London).

This presents companies with a huge opportunity, but how should you market yourself to make the most of this? There are several simple changes that you can make:

Appropriate imagery – Replace summery images with more cozy, Christmas-related images as this encourages customers to read your content, according to a study that showed that using colourful imagery makes users 80% more likely to read what you’re putting out there.

Perfect copy – Make the best first impression with punchy and concise content. Less is more when it comes to copy, so make sure to communicate your offers in a short and easy-to-read manner – also add a clear call-to-action to help customers navigate the site, making a booking or purchase even easier.

Event related emails – these generate open rates between 25-40% according to Event Bright, which means that sending out email marketing is a powerful way to communicate your seasonal offerings.

Be active on social media – using it to reach out to your existing customers as well as being seen by new and potential customers. Social media has a great record of converting followers into customers, who, as a bonus, may also promote and recommend you through social media.

Add animations – to your site, or in your communications, as this is a preferred medium for selling a story and creating interest.

Video – is another way to capture your audience, and customers feel reassured by video content that shows them that what they have just read on your site is as good as it sounds.

A dedicated Christmas page – is a good way to ensure that customers see the offers that you want to them to look at, whilst also allowing you to have seasonally bespoke SEO that helps spread the word.

Christmas Microsite – for a larger company that has multiple venues with a variety of Christmas offers, consider a Christmas microsite as a way to condense all of your information in one place. This also allows you to better communicate with your customers and to optimise SEO.


Microsoft’s New App Uses AI to Help the Blind

Microsoft has launched their Seeing AI app in the UK, which has been created to help blind and partially sighted people. The free app recognises objects, people, products, scenes and text, and describes them to the user helping people with visual impairments to perform everyday tasks.

Saqib Shaikh led the development of the Seeing AI app, has explained that,

“It’s been amazing to see how people with visual impairments have been using the app to increase their independence, and we are excited to bring the app to the UK … At Microsoft, we aim to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more, and Seeing AI achieves this in a very real sense.”


Google’s G Suite and Salesforce Partner Up

G Suite & Salesforce

Google has launched a partnership with Salesforce, meaning that Google’s G Suite and Analytics products will be integrated with Salesforce’s range of cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) products. One of several integrations sees the digital marketing and advertising data from Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Sales Cloud combine with Google Analytics.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior VP of Ads and Commerce at Google, has said that the collaboration between the two companies is,

“tackling one of the biggest challenges facing our customers – connecting the insights in their CRM with the rich data in their analytics… For the first time ever, our customers will be able to seamlessly connect what’s happening across sales, marketing and advertising, and take action across our ads platforms and Salesforce.”

Paul Muret, the VP of Display, Video and Analytics at Google noted that, “This has been one of the number-one asks from our customers. We’re just focused on what our advertisers have been asking us for.”

And Tariq Shuakat, President of Partners and Industry Platforms at Google reinforced the idea that this partnership – which will see Saleforce’s customers have free access for a year to the G Suite – is something that is very much in demand, explaining that companies,

“see G Suite as the central nervous system as they do Salesforce – they consider both of these solutions core to running their business. We’re looking forward to expanding the number of people who get access to that combined solution.”

Read more on the Salesforce blog here.

The Rise of Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic Advertising

With much discussion around brand safety, viewability, fraud and kickbacks, it would seem that programmatic advertising is in decline. However, this is not the case at all.

A range of new technologies and initiatives may see 2018 be the best year yet for programmatic – with Emarketer predicting that 81.5% of digital display spend will be spent of programmatic in the coming year. We take a look at the 10 innovations and changes in the world of programmatic that will aid in it success…

  1. Ads.txt has already been adopted by 25% of publishers, and with this number expected to grow, it could see the end of ad fraud, and an increased sense of trust in digital advertising.
  2. The introduction of Header Bidding, which allows competition against direct buys. Joel Livesey, Director of Partnerships, EMEA at The Trade Desk, explains Header Bidding as a way to, “compete against those direct deals. And therefore an agency/client can use programmatic to compete and to pick and choose the impressions they want from all impressions on a publisher…For a publisher that’s super important because you can sell each impression for more you could before, and for a buyer it’s important because you get visiblility of everyone of the publishers impressions rather than just the ones that made it into programmatic realm.”
  3. After the initial excitement around the possibilities of personalisation within advertising, it seems that we are taking a more common-sense approach to the idea. As Livesey says, “you don’t want to be too personal, there’s an inefficiency involved – if you’re selling shampoo or trainers, being too personal is a waste of your time, because everyone has hair … If you’re selling Bentleys, it makes sense. But you can’t personalise too much outside of email without freaking out the user.”
  4. Cross-device solutions are becoming more widely used as a sophisticated way of understanding the user. More and more channels are open to programmatic – audio, web, mobile app, mobile web, connected TV etc. – meaning that you can tell your story on each of these platforms, targeting and retargeting for a better result.
  5. There has been a crack-down on ad fraud thanks to the partnership between The Trade Desk and White Ops, who work together to block non-human impressions or ‘sophisticated invalid traffic’.
  6. Transparency has become more and more important as clients spend higher percentages of their online ad budgets on programmatic. Wanting to focus on value rather than price, Ads.txt, White Ops and the declaring of first and second price auctions mid-stream are all factors that are increasing the sense of transparency around programmatic.
  7. There is much more knowledge and interest around programmatic, with clients bringing in experts who can improve their strategies, which is vital if they are to understand white lists, ad formats, bidding strategy, fraud, cross-device and attribution….


Tips to Improve your site Ahead of Black Friday

Black Friday is big business. With spending expected to rise by 47% this year, competition for the consumers attention and purchases will be fierce. SEO could make a significant difference to an eCommerce business, and by making a few tweaks it might be possible to rise to the top of the results pages, which would doubtless bring in greater revenue.

The Black Friday week brought sales of £6.5 billion in the UK last year, so planning for this event should be a vital part of your holiday strategy. Here we bring some last minute changes and tips that could bring a boost to your performance over the Black Friday period…

  1. The searches that customers make change over this period, with searches such as ‘best’, ‘gift’, ‘deals’ or ‘cheap’ becoming popular keywords for those searching for Christmas presents. Adding these terms to basic SEO elements, like internal links, title tags and meta descriptions could make a huge difference, so make sure to do this to target the huge number of seasonal queries.
  2. Pages that are authoritative – who have a positive and popular history – always rank highly on SERPs, and retailers have made the most of this by having a Black Friday page that has been in place for years, which has accrued backlinks and SEO value. For those with a Black Friday page, add ‘2017’ into the copy and the title tag to increase its relevance for this year, and for those who do not already have a dedicated Black Friday page – make this the year to start one.
  3. To help put yourself at ‘position zero’ in the SERP, use mark-up to provide Google with structured data about your product features or prices, and use a tool such as Moz Keyword Explorer to identify popular questions.
  4. More than 70% of digital shoppers do not have a particular gift in mind when holiday shopping – meaning that their search journey hasn’t ended when they arrive on your site. Trying to match the consumer’s intent with the experience that they have with the site is the ultimate in digital marketing. Segmenting content and using live chatbots will improve your ability to please the customer, and do not forget to have an effective internal search engine.
  5. Slow page load times are a no-no in eCommerce, so take every step possible to create a quick and frictionless site.
  6. A study from Astound Commerce asked consumers, ‘Which of the following will most likely prompt you to visit a retailer online this holiday season?’ Promotions, discounts and coupons came out as the top answer, meaning that companies should add relevant deals into on-page copy and meta tags.
  7. Finally, be prepared for an upsurge in the number of visitors to your site – meaning that your servers should also be ready for the holiday period. Take a look at the site’s error logs to see if there is anything that can be fixed beforehand, and make sure to have a dedicated point of contact on standby over the period in case any issues do come up.


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Sebastian Paszek

Marketing manager

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