November Highlights: Digital Marketing and Industry News

As quickly as the weather changes, so does the digital marketing landscape! From pivotal industry shifts and emerging data to revolutionary platform updates and features, November has proven to be a crisp month. Continue reading for November’s digital marketing and industry highlights!


Social Media Updates

Nearly 95% of Internet Users Use Social Media Platforms

Almost 95% of internet users are on social media, showing a 4% increase from the previous year. Despite a slowed growth rate, the social media market has seen continuous expansion, with an average of 350 million new users annually since 2019. The global internet user count reached 5.3 billion in October 2023, with 4.95 billion engaged in social media, marking a 4.5% increase from the previous year, while the daily time spent on social media slightly decreased. Looking forward, a 25% growth in social media users is predicted over the next five years, exceeding 6 billion users, with Asia contributing significantly to this growth.


TikTok Launches New ‘Creative Cards’ to Provide Content Inspiration

TikTok has introduced Creative Cards, a series of over 100 digital prompts aimed at inspiring content ideas for businesses. The Creative Cards cover various themes, including community growth, “edutainment,” creator tools, trends, and storytelling tips, providing data-backed suggestions for engaging TikTok content. The initiative is designed to help businesses keep their content fresh, attract attention to seasonal products, and spark creativity on the platform, making it a useful resource for businesses looking to establish a presence on TikTok.


Social Media Could Be the Key to Connecting with Baby Boomers

Despite their significant purchasing power, only 10% of baby boomers feel represented in advertising, presenting an opportunity for marketers to engage this demographic through social media. In 2024, an estimated 36.4 million baby boomers (53.8%) in the U.S. will use social networks, with Facebook being the most popular, followed by growing interest in TikTok, Snapchat, Reddit, and Instagram. Building trust is crucial for marketing success, as knowing and trusting a brand is the top factor influencing purchase decisions for U.S. adults, especially those aged 55 and older, according to an August 2023 CivicScience survey.


Instagram Adds New Ways to Create Content

Instagram has introduced brand new features to enhance content creation, including streamlined video editing with undo and redo functions, text-to-speech and font style updates, and mood-capturing photo filters, to list a few. The platform is testing increased flexibility in creating Reels, enabling users to scale, crop, and rotate individual clips, along with new ways to add audio and create custom stickers from photos and videos. Instagram has also improved content performance analytics, introducing a new Reels metric called Replays and updating the definition of Reels Plays to include both Initial Plays and Replays.


TikTok Shares Insights into the Performance of Ads for CPG Brands

TikTok has partnered with Nielsen on a marketing mix model analysis of consumer-packaged goods ads from Canadian brands, revealing that TikTok ads achieved a 30% improvement in return on ad spend and a 58% increase in total incremental sales per 1,000 impressions in 2022 compared to 2021. The study also showed that TikTok’s Canadian media sales contributed 2.3x in 2022, the highest year-over-year growth rate compared to other media channels. Notably, TikTok ads were found to be 1.6x more powerful at driving both sales effectiveness and efficiency than TV campaigns, outperforming TV ROAS by 63%, emphasizing TikTok’s role as a key entertainment platform for younger users.


Industry News

Winners and Losers of Black Friday 2023

Inflation has posed a challenge for retailers, influencing consumer behavior, and prompting early promotions ahead of Black Friday. Despite record online spending of $9.8 billion on Black Friday, TD Cowen revised its holiday season guidance, expecting a 2% to 3% increase, down from the initial forecast of 4% to 5%. Unforeseen events and crises have occurred during in-person shopping days scaring away in-person sales, and experts suggest that despite any initial setbacks, retailers can anticipate increased consumer activity throughout the holiday season.


What Marketers Can Expect as Google Rolls out AI Asset Generation for Ads

Google is introducing generative AI features in its Performance Max ad product as a beta for all U.S. customers. The features aim to simplify the process of creating, testing, and scaling assets for cross-channel campaigns, addressing a key challenge for advertisers. Advertisers can now generate campaign assets by providing a landing page URL, saving time and resources, especially during the holiday season, and early beta testers have reported positive experiences. However, concerns about the use of generative AI, including content quality and safety issues, are noted, and Google emphasizes adherence to AI principles and safety measures.


Rethinking Lower-Funnel Tactics for Brand Marketing

The emphasis on making ads shoppable in digital channels like connected TV and retail media sometimes overlooks brand equity in the performance marketing conversation. Retail media is evolving into a branding tool as retail media networks leverage first-party data for targeted display, video, and streaming TV ads. The importance of organic search in brand marketing is highlighted, suggesting that SEO professionals should consider the brand’s identity beyond search rankings. Approaches to loyalty, including responding to product reviews and leveraging positive reviews as success stories, play a crucial role in building brand identity, emphasizing the importance of customer relationships.


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