Digital Marketing Monthly: September 2021

by | Oct 7, 2021

Digital Marketing Monthly
15 min read

It has been an absolutely huge month in digital marketing with new shopping features coming to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, plus new ad options in the Microsoft Audience Network, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

ICYMI, here’s what happened in digital marketing last month.

Bing Testing “Skip to Web Results” Button

Bing Search is testing a feature that lets searchers skip down to the organic search results, past all ads, knowledge panels, direct answers and people also ask boxes. The button is on the left sidebar of the page and anchors you down to the organic search results, bypassing advertisements and rich results.

Bing Testing Skip to Web Results Button


Bing Content Submission API Out of Beta

You can now push your content and HTML directly to Bing Search without the need for crawling, with the Bing content submission API now available to everyone. After two and half years the Bing content submission API is now out of private beta. The content submission API differs from the Bing URL submission API because you can submit your content, images, HTML and more, directly to Bing’s index.

“The API provides the ability for webmasters to notify Bing directly about the changes in their site content in real-time.”

Twitter Developing New Shopping Features to Shop from Tweets

Twitter is developing a range of new shopping features that will eventually provide direct, in-stream product listings, tied to business profiles in the app. The tools will allow Twitter users to save product listings and make purchases directly from tweets.

Some users will already see a new “Purchases” tab in their Twitter functions listing. It shows a record of any subscriptions or ticketed Spaces you’ve paid for in the app. This will also be where Twitter will list products purchased through the app. Twitter’s product listings are being developed on several fronts, including new product display panels.

Twitter Developing New Shopping Features to Shop from Tweets


New “Conversation” Ad Placement in Reddit

After ditching programmatic ads earlier in the year, Reddit has launched Conversation Placement, a new ad unit that will sit within the conversation thread. Reddit has said this is its most engaging ad placement ever, with advertisers able to tap into a relevant and highly engaged audience. The ads will sit between the original post and the first comment in threads. Advertisers can target based on interests and topics discussed.

New Conversation Ad Placement in Reddit


Video Ads Now Piloting on Microsoft Audience Network

Microsoft has introduced video ads to the Microsoft Audience Network so you can reach potential customers on MSN and Microsoft News. You can upload snackable video assets as short as 6 seconds or use the rich format for storytelling with 30 seconds to 2-minute-long videos. Video ads are now piloting in the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand.

Video Ads Now Piloting on Microsoft Audience Network


Microsoft Adds Disclaimers in Ads

For advertisers not using Microsoft Shopping Campaigns, there’s now another option to keep your ads compliant: Disclaimers in ads. If you’re in a vertical that has regulation requirements such as finance or health, you can leverage disclaimers to share specific information related to your business in your ads.

Microsoft Adds Disclaimers in Ads


Microsoft’s Universal Event Tracking Integrates with More Third-Parties

Microsoft’s Universal Event Tracking (UET) now integrates with more third parties for easy implementation, most notably with Google Tag Manager, Shopify, WordPress and Squarespace. To implement, simply select the option when setting up tagging that says “Add the tag through a website editing platform” and you’ll get further instructions for your chosen platform.


Microsoft Ads Introduces Optimization Score

Microsoft Ads has announced Optimization Score, now available on the Recommendations tab. Optimization Score estimates how well your account is set to perform from 0% to 100% with 100% indicating your account can perform at its full potential.

You’ll also see a list of recommendations for your account to help you optimise each campaign. Each recommendation will display a score uplift percentage so you can see how much your Optimization Score will be impacted when you apply or dismiss the changes. Optimization Score is available at Account and Campaign level and is enabled for active Search, Shopping and Audience campaigns.

Microsoft Ads Introduces Optimization Score


Facebook to Direct 10% of Ads Traffic to Facebook Shop Instead of Third-Party Sites

Facebook is giving advertisers the option to direct ‘approximately 10%’ of the traffic generated by their conversion ads to their Facebook and Instagram Shops instead of their own site. Facebook has said that the process will provide it with more data to help optimise its traffic direction processes and ensure that it’s driving people to the surface where they’re most likely to convert. Facebook will cover the estimated cost of impressions which direct traffic to shops for those that opt in.

Facebook to Direct 10% of Ads Traffic to Facebook Shop Instead of Third-Party Sites


Introducing Microsoft Start, Bing’s Answer to Google Discover

Microsoft has announced Microsoft Start, which feels a lot like Bing’s version of Google Discover. “This personalized news feed and collection of informational content provides news from premium publishers, timely updates tailored to your interests, and is available when and where you want it.” Microsoft Start is rolling out now.

Introducing Microsoft Start, Bing's Answer to Google Discover


Shopify Introduces Shopify Markets

Shopify is introducing Shopify Markets, its answer to optimising eCommerce stores for international markets from a single Shopify site. Previously, if a store wanted to reach a global market, they would have to sell on a marketplace or through another retailer. Shopify Market removes the need for a third-party and allows retailers to sell directly to international customers.

With this solution you don’t have to worry about currency conversion, language localisation, providing local payment methods and duty and import taxes. All cross-border tools are available to Shopify merchants right out of the box.


Facebook’s Targeting Expansion Shows Ads to a Broader Potential Audience

Facebook’s new Targeting Expansion enables Facebook’s ad algorithms to show your ads to a broader potential audience than those who fit within your specified ad targeting.

“You can use this option when you want us to show your ad to additional people who we think would get you more and/or cheaper results. Our system implements targeting expansion when it determines that doing so could improve performance.”

Instagram Launches Map Search in ANZ

Instagram is testing a new feature in Australia and New Zealand called ‘Map Search’, which shows businesses and locations of interest to users in the in-app map. Users part of the test are prompted to tap on the map icon at the top right of the Discover tab. Map Search highlights cafes and restaurants primarily, but also shops, entertainment venues and more.

Instagram Launches Map Search in ANZ


Facebook Introduces New Products for Businesses

Facebook is introducing a suite of new products and features for businesses. First up, Facebook is introducing new messaging and communications features, including ads that click to message, WhatsApp chat from Instagram profiles, quote requests on Messenger and qualifying leads in Instagram.

Facebook is also adding new features to Facebook Business Suite and providing greater control with Work Accounts to allow business users to log in and operate Business Manager without requiring a personal account. Facebook is also expanding Facebook Business Explore in the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, and the UK.

Facebook Introduces New Products for Businesses


Facebook Says It’s Underreporting iOS Web Conversions by 15%

Facebook has revealed that it estimates it is underreporting iOS web conversions by approximately 15%, however, there is a broad range for individual advertisers. Since App Tracking Transparency came into play from Apple, Facebook stated “We’ve heard from many of you that the impact on your advertising investment has been greater than you expected.”

Facebook has outlined actions advertisers can take right now to help reach customers and outlined the actions it is taking to improve campaign performance.


Microsoft Releases Marketing with Purpose Business Attributes

Microsoft has released Marketing with Purpose Business Attributes to highlight unique attributes that showcase the ways your brand demonstrates responsibility. There are 32 total attributes across four categories: Inclusion, Environmental, Community/social responsibility and Accessibility.

Microsoft Releases Marketing with Purpose Business Attributes


Facebook Updates Organic Post Testing Option in Creator Studio

Facebook is rolling out an updated organic post testing option in Creator Studio, which includes a new layout and expanded post options. The new post testing platform now enables testing of different post formats, including text, link and image posts. For each post, you can choose a key metric to measure (Comments, Shares, Reactions, People Reached or Link Clicks). You can then re-post or boost the most effective version.

Facebook Updates Organic Post Testing Option in Creator Studio


Facebook Testing Additional Information in Ads

Facebook appears to be testing a way to provide more context around paid ads, with a horizontal scrolling display of additional information below the ad image display. The additional information summarises key information about the ads associated Facebook Page, including information around location, user check-ins and Page followers.


TikTok Announces New Advertising Opportunities

TikTok has announced new advertising opportunities at its first-ever TikTok World business showcase event. TikTok is continuing to evolve its in-stream shopping tools with new partnerships with Shopify, Square, Ecwid, PrestaShop and with Wix, SHOPLINE, OpenCart and BASE to soon be supported.

TikTok is also working on new Collection Ads which will enable brands to show product cards in their in-feed promotions. Plus TikTok is currently developing a new ad option called Dynamic Showcase Ads to allow brands to automatically promote their products, with ads aligned to specific user preferences and interests. TikTok is also looking to improve ad experience with Customized Instant Pages, new stickers, Story Selection ads and introducing Reach and Frequency ad buying.

TikTok Announces New Advertising Opportunities


Microsoft Unveils Credit Card Ads

Microsoft Advertising has announced the open beta of a new ad type: Credit card ads. The ads are in line with previous announcements around travel and automotive-specific ads. As of this week, Credit card ads are now eligible to serve for advertisers targeting customers in the US and Canada.

Credit card ads are dynamically generated based on the data you specify in your feed file. No keywords are required and your site will not be crawled to generate content.

Microsoft Unveils Credit Card Ads


Thank You for Reading

Check back in next month for more Digital Marketing Monthly updates or follow us on LinkedIn for daily updates on all things digital marketing.

Kirsten Tanner

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