News and insights • Posted on 01 June 2023

Insights from below deck: May 2023

TikTok’s new search widget, Meta’s AI ads, and the end of ‘climate-friendly’ marketing 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 June and beyond.

TikTok introduces search widgets

TikTok’s recent addition of search widgets for both iOS and Android devices adds another string to TikTok’s bow, furthering its popularity as a search engine. In the UK, Ofcom recently posited that TikTok is the fastest growing source of news among UK adults. Across the water, a study found that 40% of 18 to 24-year-olds in the US use TikTok or Instagram to search for lunch spots, rather than Google Search.

This presents an opportunity for brands to leverage by attempting to optimise their ads or associated content, not only to suit Google’s search algorithm, but perhaps TikTok’s too.

Amy Taylor, digital marketing executive

Meta tests generative AI ads

On the back of ChatGPT’s success, there’s been an influx of investment in generative AI tools. It’s no big surprise then, that Meta has revealed it’s currently testing AI-powered ad tool technology in its ‘AI Sandbox’ – granting access to a select group of advertisers, with expansion plans for later this year.

In an attempt to automate elements of campaign creation, the tools incorporated are: a copy generator capable of creating multiple captions from one product description, an ‘outcropping’ editor that automatically fills gaps in a resized creative asset, and an image background generator. But remember, it’s important not to confuse automation with optimisation – saving time and resources is one thing, but using human creativity and experience to drive the best possible outcome is quite another.

Liam Hayward, digital marketing executive

‘Climate-friendly’ marketing gets a clampdown

Advertising regulators, consumer watchdogs, and even governments are introducing stricter rules on the use of vague environmental claims. Terms like environmentally friendly, nature positive, and carbon negative are facing scrutiny from regulators in London and Brussels, with offsetting the subject of special attention. This has been influenced in part by January’s investigations into the environmental integrity of carbon offsetting claims, which revealed that more than 90% of those made by the biggest certifier are worthless.

The risks of getting ‘climate-friendly’ marketing wrong are huge, with brands being shamed publicly when they’re guilty of misleading the public. Our advice? Do shout about the positive changes you’re making, but be specific, measurable, and transparent.

Alice MacLaverty, content writer

Google leaves Analytics ‘Notes’ function behind

With GA4 taking the place of Universal Analytics (which will be sunsetted in July), there are inevitably some changes. One feature that’s been left behind is Notes in Analytics, which allowed us to easily keep tabs on when things changed on a website, and made it easier to make comparisons by date. For example, did the data improve or decline after the change occurred?

To compensate, we’d recommend creating a spreadsheet with columns for key pieces of information, including the date the change was made, an explanation of the change, and the date you think data should be reviewed, following the change. This is something we’ll be doing for all our retained clients going forward, as reviewing data is crucial in continuously improving our strategy.

Ewan Burkinshaw, digital marketing manager

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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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