News and insights • Posted on 31 August 2023

Insights from below deck: August 2023

Google’s Search Generative Experience, YouTube Shorts’ content links, and Gen Alpha’s top brands are some of the topics that have got the team talking this month. Here, we discuss the latest news from the digital marketing landscape and how we expect brands to leverage updates throughout September and beyond.

Generation Alpha wants brands that are brave

A study from Beano Brain, an insights agency specialising in kids and families, has uncovered the top 100 coolest brands among 60,000 of the UK’s 7-14 year-olds, with Netflix, YouTube, and McDonald’s taking the top spots. 

According to Helenor Gilmour, Director of Insight at Beano Brain, factors that win favour among the participants include a clear and salient brand proposition (think Nike’s ‘Just do it’), the ability to create a sense of occasion to share with family and friends (like the ritual of Oreo dunking), exposure to interesting collaborations (for example, Nike Chunky Dunkys in collaboration with Ben & Jerry’s) and brave content that can help them shape their opinions within a safe space (such as Disney tackling puberty in the movie Red).

Our tip? When it comes to the youngest generation, go bold - your target audience and boss will both thank you for it.

Alice MacLaverty, content writer

Google to supercharge Search with generative AI

To better deliver what users seek, Google is testing Search Generative Experience (SGE) so searchers can see topic summaries and engage in dynamic conversational modes. For example, in a search for a “good bike for a five-mile commute with hills”, the AI-generated text might highlight the aspects to consider when choosing a commuter bike and conclude that an e-bike is best for hilly communities. Then, it might list the best e-bikes to consider - all above any organic or paid search listings. 

To make the most of Google’s Search Generative Experience, optimise your images and videos, blogs and articles, Google Business Profile content, and messaging and chatbot content to meet the evolving searcher’s needs and expectations.

Ewan Burkinshaw, digital marketing manager

YouTube introduces content links to Shorts

From September, your YouTube Shorts can be linked to long-form videos through the use of 'content links'. This will be huge for driving traffic to grow your audience, and will make it easier to grow your channel than ever before.

This will especially be a turning moment for podcasts and other long-form content. We’re intrigued to see the potentially huge impact this has on both content types on the platform.

Aidan Tyas, junior account manager

Midjourney’s photography prompt hack

Almost all content writers and web developers will have heard of ChatGPT by now, but graphic designers are more excited about Midjourney. This generative AI program generates images from natural language descriptions called ‘prompts’. 

If you’re wanting a photography-style image, our top tip is to include specific camera lens usage in your prompts to get exactly the type of shot you want, rather than just typing ‘photo’. For example, for portraits, street photography, and general-purpose shooting, try ‘Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens’. This lens has a wide aperture that’s excellent for low-light conditions and creating a shallow depth of field.

Doug Main, creative director

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Written by Alice MacLaverty

Resident wordsmith Alice is dedicated to creating top-quality content that turns heads, builds audiences, gets clicks, and makes money.

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