What’s new in marketing in February 2023
The marketing landscape is constantly evolving with new changes and updates from the biggest players and platforms in the industry. Marketers need to rapidly adapt and update tactics and strategies to ensure marketing activity remains effective in this ever-changing industry.
We’re only two months into the year and there is already a whole lot of change to unpack, from Meta announcing paid verification (blue ticks) to Instagram launching its Broadcast Channels feature.
On the digital advertising front, YouTube shorts is getting ads, Google Display and Video 360 is launching new features of connected TV campaigns, and TikTok is also stepping up its game by providing marketers with 70,000 new data insights to help them maximise advertising performance.
Over in search, Google has announced that it’s considering indexing content less frequently in a bid to reduce the carbon emissions associated with its search engine. And Microsoft has announced that AI-generated results powered by ChatGPT are coming to Bing. And if that’s not enough, Google is charging ahead with its AI rival to ChatGPT, called Bard. Let’s dive into these latest changes and what they mean for the future of marketing.
Meta has announced an initial test of paid verification on Facebook and Instagram
Ah, the elusive blue tick. Previously only available to public figures, large brands and accounts with a following over a certain size, the blue verification tick is now likely to become available to anyone willing to pay for it. Twitter was the first to launch paid verification a few months ago. So does Meta copying Twitter mean Elon was right? We can only hope this doesn’t result in the verification chaos that we saw unfold on Twitter as folks paid for verification and changed their account handles in the name of fun and internet sizzle. Remember when (fake) Trump was tweeting that Obama was the best president ever?
Product placements are coming to your DMs
Behaviours on social media have shifted over the years with people increasingly switching to messaging instead of posting publicly on feeds and Stories. Tapping into the growth of private messaging across its apps (Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp) Meta has reiterated its push to monetize messaging. And it’s looking like this will take the form of product promotions in Instagram group chats.
Instagram launches Broadcast Channels
Off the back of the push to capitalise on private messaging, Instagram has just announced the launch of Broadcast Channels. Which is kinda like a newsletter meets a group chat, right in your DMs. We’ve conducted some initial tests and so far the functionality is a great way for brands to connect to their most engaged community members and interact with them more in a one-to-many setting that feels more one-to-one. One of the cool features of Broadcast Channels is the ability to include polls – which offers brands a great opportunity to gain meaningful insights from their most valued community members.
TikTok provides 70,000 new data insights
In a move designed to help users, creators and advertisers better analyse usage trends and shifts, TikTok has updated its Insights Tool with 70,000 additional data points. Marketers can filter the results by a variety of topics and geographical areas and access insights on everything from how our community behaves and connects with brands to how ads on the platform are driving real business impact. The data can be used to advance strategic comprehension and direct TikTok marketing at the appropriate target audiences. Savvy marketers are pairing these insights with the content inspo’ found in TikTok’s Creative Centre – which has data on trending songs, hashtags, regional performance stats, and key influencers – and its Ads Library, which shows the top-performing ads.
YouTube Shorts is getting ads
Staying with the short-form video theme, YouTube Shorts (Google’s answer to TikTok and Reels) will is getting ads – meaning creators will be able to monetise their content and brands will have another way to reach target audiences. The new ad format will bring Shorts monetisation in line with YouTube’s other revenue streams. With YouTube Shorts ads, marketers can reach a broader audience demographic with trendy short videos, with the added advantage of tying Shorts material to pre-existing YouTube presences. Plus, Shorts offers a way to leverage short-form video to reach audiences that may not be on TikTok or Reels in high numbers.
Google is considering indexing websites less frequently
Did you know that Google has been carbon neutral since 2007? Pretty cool, huh. But while buying carbon credits is great, reducing emissions is better. In a recent episode of the Search Off The Record podcast, John Mueller, Martin Splitt, and Gary Illyes shared that Google is considering crawling websites less frequently as part of its carbon emissions reduction strategy. Crawling and indexing happens virtually, so we often don’t think about the environmental impact associated. But with more than 1.5 billion websites on the internet, there’s a whole lot of energy required to power the technology that’s necessary to crawl them all and keep results up to date. If Google makes this move, it will be even more important to get your SEO right – as you could be waiting a while for Google’s crawlers to come back around.
Google Ads is launching new connected TV campaign features
While Zuck continues to build the virtual world, Google is expanding its advertising reach to more placements in the physical world. Last year, Google announced digital out-of-home (OOH) advertising placements and this year it continues to follow that trajectory with Google’s Display and Video 360 introducing new features to plan, buy and measure connected TV (CTV) campaigns.
Microsoft announces ChatGPT results coming to Bing
In a recent announcement, Microsoft shared that it’s integrating ChatGPT-like capabilities into its Bing search engine and Edge browser. The AI integration will allow users to have more natural language conversations with the search engine, get direct answers to questions and perform tasks such as filling out forms and summarising documents. The new Bing is now available for a limited preview on desktop, and anyone can try it out by visiting Bing.com and performing sample searches. The chat interface will be available as a sidebar feature in the Edge browser, which will allow users to interact with it while still accessing other web pages. While AI-powered answers can be helpful, search results still include content from external sources as users will seek in-depth information. Meaning it’s more important than ever to build out your question-led and longtail SEO content.
Google charging ahead with Bard, its AI rival to ChatGPT
And of course, Microsoft going hard with ChatGPT has given Google a nudge to hurry up and launch its own AI technology Bard. According to a recent announcement, Google is set to introduce AI-powered features in its search results, allowing users to navigate the web in a more intuitive manner. The new AI tools will help users quickly understand a topic by transforming complex information into digestible formats. Google has a long history of using AI to improve its search results, and its latest AI technologies, including LaMDA, PaLM, Imagen, and MusicLM, provide users with entirely new ways to interact with information. Additionally, Google is launching an experimental conversational AI service and rival to ChatGPT called Bard, which will use its vast intelligence and knowledge base to deliver accurate and high-quality responses to users.
February has seen some significant developments in the marketing landscape and marketers must keep up with the latest changes and updates to stay competitive. Hold onto your hats folks, the future of marketing is full of exciting changes and innovations, and we can’t wait to see what’s next in March.