News and insights • Posted on 30 May 2024

Insights from below deck: May 2024

Big Google AI news, summer OOH campaigns, and Instagram’s new stickers 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. 

Google AI is steamrolling ahead

From Google I/O ‘24 to Google Marketing Live 2024, the past couple of weeks have seen Google drop some big developer and marketing news. One of the biggest takeaways from I/O is what the company is calling AI Overviews in Search, made possible by its new Gemini model. By the end of the year, AI Overviews are set to provide billions of people with quick answers to complex questions – questions that are more like 10 questions in one. Soon, you’ll also be able to ask Google questions with video. For example, uploading a quick clip into the search bar of a new camera you’re having trouble setting up while asking “why is this switch not working?”. Google AI will suggest an overview of reasons it might be happening, with steps to troubleshoot. 

What does this mean for SEO? Well, content designed purely to attract clicks has been penalised in recent core updates. Instead, creators are advised to focus on creating helpful, reliable, people-first content: we believe that's the content Google wants its AI to draw from to provide answers, so displaying genuine expertise and answering real questions in line with Google’s E-E-A-T principals is the way to go.

Liam Hayward, digital marketing executive, The Bigger Boat

Two new OOH campaigns making us feel summery

The UK weather might be unpredictable right now, but there are some seriously hot out-of-home (OOH) campaigns turning our heads in the lead-up to summer. First up, Homebase’s ‘All Your Home Needs’ May campaign is blooming genius, with serious attention to detail and simple, functional copy. Each billboard features summer plants suitable for either north- or south-facing gardens, depending on the direction the poster faces, giving practical and personal advice based on a home's orientation.

Second, a tube-based M&S takeover that actually allows people to smell summer. The multi-sensory campaign – exclusive to the London Underground network – involves applying a thin layer of sun cream-scented aromatic oil to the ads. Smells are tied to our emotions: they can stir strong memories, alter our heart rate, and even make us salivate. But recreating this kind of experiential advertising doesn’t necessarily need a Marksy’s budget. From scented packaging to samples at events, it can be incorporated into your own marketing efforts. The question is: if your brand had a smell, what would it be?

Nina Cresswell, senior content writer, The Bigger Boat

Who’s sliding into your DMs?

In a recent update, the social media platform Instagram has unleashed four new interactive stickers, in hopes of encouraging more engagement with followers and communities. These include:

  • A fresh ‘Add Yours’ feature to share music with your following, and vice versa — similar to the ‘Add Yours’ photograph sticker that’s been around since 2021.

  • Frames have also been included, giving you the opportunity to turn photos into old-school Polaroids — and yes, you can shake it (as eager as André 3000, I hope).

  • A ‘Reveal’ function allows you to keep your story blurred until the viewer directly messages the creator, prompting engagement and opening up a direct chat. However, there is no set requirement for the message sent to reveal the image.

  • Finally, the Cutouts sticker has been unleashed to the masses — previously available to some users since the beginning of 2024 — enabling you to create recurring stickers to reuse in later stories.

Alongside the previous update of broadcast channels, you can see Meta is trying to steer the app toward smoother and easier ways to encourage your audience to respond to content. Which sticker will you be using on your next story?

Lauren Boyles, PR executive, Scriba

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