Have we hit bottom yet? What new earnings reports say about COVID’s impact on digital advertising

Have we hit bottom yet? What new earnings reports say about COVID’s impact on digital advertising

“We experienced a significant reduction in the demand for advertising, as well as a related decline in the pricing of our ads, over the last three weeks of the first quarter of 2020.” — Facebook (Advertising revenues increased by 17% year-over-year to $17.4 billion.) “. . . but then in March we experienced a significant slowdown in ad revenues” — Google/Alphabet (Advertising revenues increased by 10% year-over-year to $33.8 billion for the quarter.) “. . . a strong start to the quarter that was impacted by widespread economic disruption related to COVID-19 in March.” — Twitter (Ad revenue was flat year-over-year at $682 million.) “While many advertising budgets declined due […]

#SMTLive Recap: Social Media Team Structures, Management Processes, and Tools in 2020

#SMTLive Recap: Social Media Team Structures, Management Processes, and Tools in 2020

The title of this past Tuesday’s #SMTLive chat was “Collaboration Processes: Strategies for Managing Social Media Virtually.” We set out to learn how social media professionals are managing work efficiently in a remote-work environment. We got answers and more. Social Media Marketing Team Structures and Content Collaborators To start, we asked people to share what their social media teams look like (size and individual roles). Most people on the chat said they are a part of a one-person team or a small 2-3 person team. Our next question was “Who do you regularly collaborate with to produce and manage social media content?” Everyone, regardless of team size, had a lot […]

Microsoft: Search, LinkedIn ad revenue took a big hit due to COVID-19

Microsoft: Search, LinkedIn ad revenue took a big hit due to COVID-19

While Microsoft said the coronavirus pandemic had minimal net impact on total net revenue in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, its ad businesses saw significant declines. Overall, Microsoft reported a 15% increase in revenues year-over-year to $35 billion Wednesday. Search advertising hit. Microsoft’s Search advertising revenues (ex-TAC or traffic acquisition costs) grew by just 1% year-over-year for the quarter, well below company expectations due to “significantly reduced advertising spend” in March amid the coronavirus outbreak. Microsoft also noted that “the effects of COVID-19 may not be fully reflected in the financial results until future periods. Looking to the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, Microsoft CFO Amy Hood […]

After Weeks of Decline, Sales Metrics Showing Signs of Recovery [COVID-19 Benchmark Data]

After Weeks of Decline, Sales Metrics Showing Signs of Recovery [COVID-19 Benchmark Data]

The economic impact of COVID-19 is undeniable. Businesses all across the globe are learning how to adapt to these new circumstances and we’re all learning how to operate in a “new normal” that’s constantly changing. That’s why we’ll be publishing week-over-week trend data for core business metrics like website traffic, email send and open rates, sales engagements, close rates and more. We hope to establish useful benchmarks to measure your business against, and serve as an early indicator of when short- or long-term adjustments may be needed in your strategy. While this post focuses on the highlights of last week, you can explore all the data we’re publishing here.   […]

The Top 3 Reasons Consumers Read Blogs in 2020 [New Research]

The Top 3 Reasons Consumers Read Blogs in 2020 [New Research]

In 2020, there’s no question of whether or not blogs generate leads. In fact, marketers who prioritize blogging as a marketing strategy report 13-times the ROI of companies that don’t. However, many marketers still worry that blogging’s effectiveness could be losing steam. Fears that “blogging is dead” haven’t been eased by research. Recently, when we polled over 300 people to ask them how often they read blogs, roughly 40% said “never.” This followed HubSpot’s 2020 State of Marketing Report, which revealed that blogging fell from the first to third-most-common content strategy between 2018 and 2020. But, before you get wrapped up in all the negative data, it’s important to remember […]

LinkedIn’s up to 690 Million Members, Reports 26% Growth in User Sessions

LinkedIn’s up to 690 Million Members, Reports 26% Growth in User Sessions

As part of its broader Q3 2020 Performance report, Microsoft has reported that LinkedIn has seen ongoing growth in both total members and engagement. But there’s also been a slowdown in ad spend and job listings as the impacts of COVID-19 take effect. In terms of users, LinkedIn is now up to 690 million total members, increasing from 675 million back in January. Total members, of course, are not active users, the more common stat used to reflect social platform performance, but as an indicative measure, it does show that LinkedIn is continuing to expand, and gain traction in more markets over time. In regards to active usage, Microsoft says that […]

15 Content Marketing Statistics That Actually Matter In 2020 [Infographic]

15 Content Marketing Statistics That Actually Matter In 2020 [Infographic]

Content marketing is now a well-established approach for brands, and is being used by businesses of all sizes to generate leads and sales. However, the content landscape has also matured, and become increasingly competitive. That can leave some feeling unsure as to what their content focus should be. To help with this, the team from Graphic Rhythm Designs have put together this listing of content trends and insights, which provides more perspective on the most common content approaches, and how your industry peers are using content strategies. Of course, you don’t necessarily want to be like everyone else, but the notes here can help to provide some parameters around how you […]

TikTok Will Limit Which Employees Can Access User Data as it Continues to Review its Processes

TikTok Will Limit Which Employees Can Access User Data as it Continues to Review its Processes

While TikTok is seeing a significant increase in usage amid the COVID-19 lockdowns, questions still remain around how it tracks user data, how its algorithm surfaces content, and what types of information it is, and is not, obligated to share with the Chinese Government. Indeed, just this week, the UK Ministry of Defence issued an internal directive that TikTok is not to be used by staff, citing the app’s likely exposure to the Chinese government. Both the US and Australian military have initiated similar bans on the app – and while TikTok has been working to distance itself, and the data it collects, from the ruling Chinese regime, clearly, that association still […]

Google Makes Multi-Participant Video Streaming Platform Meet Free to All Users

Google Makes Multi-Participant Video Streaming Platform Meet Free to All Users

Google has very clearly had enough of the hype around video streaming platform Zoom, as Zoom usage takes off during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Google, of course, has its own, dedicated, multi-participant video conferencing option, called Google Meet, but up till now, Google Meet access has been limited to paying G Suite customers. Now, Google’s changing that – this week, Google has announced that Google Meet will be made available, for free, to everyone, for meetings of up to 100 people at a time, for up to 60 minutes in duration – and even longer untill September 30th. As explained by Google: “Today, we’re making Google Meet, our premium video conferencing product, […]

Instagram is Testing a New ‘DM Me’ Sticker to Prompt Messaging Interaction from Stories

Instagram is Testing a New ‘DM Me’ Sticker to Prompt Messaging Interaction from Stories

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this yet, but according to a new discovery by reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, Instagram is working on a new ‘DM Me’ sticker for Instagram Stories, which would prompt direct message engagement from your Stories content by tapping on the sticker image. I mean, it makes sense from a usage standpoint. Like all messaging options, usage of Instagram Direct has been on the rise over the last few years, and that’s spiked even further during COVID-19, with Facebook reporting a 50% increase in total messaging volume across its apps in March. In this respect, there’s clear logic to Instagram looking to […]