Every Thursday we are going to bring you a rundown of top news stories & thought pieces in growth marketing, B2B, and the SaaS industry. Welcome back to the Foundation newsletter!
Top Story of the Week: Matt Navarra revealed Facebook is removing the restrictions on the amount of text that can go over an ad image. Whoever said a picture is worth a thousand words no longer works at Facebook, or perhaps their mantra changed.
Hold up! Here’s More of What’s to Come:
- Zuckerburg shocks us with an ad algorithm change
- Is LinkedIn making way for B2B influencers?
- Google’s capitalization on courses
Keeping Up With the Kontent: Although we can no longer Keep Up With the Kardashians, AKA the original influencers, we believe that you can help fill the content void with quality and ideally educational material. Grab your copy of DREAM today, the distribution playbook.
Ups and Downs of Digital Ads
September 22, 2020, is when it all changed with a tweet.
For as long as we can remember, Facebook has limited the amount of text an image could have overlaying it to qualify as a Facebook Ad. Although this may have benefitted Facebook’s audience, it negatively impacted advertisers, creative agencies, and marketers who were left struggling to get their message across in 20% text or less.
Facebook might not seem like the most intuitive place for B2B marketing, but, with the rise of groups and video content, Facebook is a hidden gem for lead generation.
Your audience loves to see graphics, yet, in B2B, consumers require more information and evidence of success in making a purchase decision.
This restriction removal arms us with a lot more flexibility, creating the opportunity for B2B marketers to include more informational content and statistics on their images – better yet create infographic images to be promoted.
Facebook ads are often seen as useless to B2B marketers. Our take: those marketers are not aware of the many ways B2B can leverage Facebook ads to gain leads.
As they say, when one door closes another-erm window opens! This update to Facebook’s ad algorithm may have come just in time as Google begins to pull in the reigns on its targeting permission.
Back in January, Chrome joined the likes of Safari and FireFox, releasing a statement that they will phase out all third party cookies by 2022. At least Chrome is allowing all of us two years to figure out what we will do next.
The loss of third party cookies means we will need a new system of tracking the user’s journey around the web in order to run retargeting ads. Luckily, Facebook has moved away from cookies, and uses a system of people-based tracking.
While the rest of the internet catches up to the cookie-free version of the world wide web, Facebook remains one step ahead. Making this a reliable source for targeted ad campaigns as cookie-based targeting services become redundant.
Keep checking back in with us – as soon as we hear or can figure out what will replace the messy mappings of cookies, you’ll be the first to know. In the meantime, beef up your ad images take advantage of the opportunity to drive action the first time your ad is viewed, but don’t go overboard. Remain cognizant of limiting text over images for accessibility purposes and readability.
- Facebook has axed its 20% text rule for ads.
- Text on images will stop scrollers.
- Less is still more when it comes to using text over an image.
- Facebook works for B2B.
- Cookies are leaving Chrome, changing the way of retargeting ads.
LinkedIn is Making Way for B2B Influencers
As we know, B2B marketing has always thrived on LinkedIn. This is where the decision-makers are hanging out online, with 80% of active users employed in a decision making role. Traffic from LinkedIn is also the highest channel for visitor-to-lead converters, according to a 5,000 respondent survey ran by Hubspot.
Recently, LinkedIn shocked us with the rollout of a Stories feature.
Although we don’t expect the same content you post to Instagram stories to thrive here – people don’t want to see your food photos – we expect quality content to be shared. Film clips from events, product demonstrations, and company updates; for example.
Another thing to watch for is an increase in influencer marketing across these Stories. Following COVID-19 and the success of TikTok, consumers are spending more time watching and bonding with influencers. As Top Rank reports, 63% of consumers trust influencers over what the brand has to say about itself.
Another 32% of B2B buyers find value in user reviews and video content – enter Stories, the perfect format to blend these types of content and achieve results.
In the past, Instagram Stories have been a pinnacle part of influencer campaigns; 73% of marketers found Instagram Stories to be the most effective platform for influencers. With the new release of LinkedIn Stories, it is becoming, more and more, the Instagram for professionals.
LinkedIn has been steadfast on its stance as a social network site and not a social media platform. What we should see is thought leaders being reached out to as an influencer to talk about a brand’s product, new feature, or trendsetting idea, and leveraging industry experts to discuss the quality of your product.
Could influencer marketing be a part of the future for B2B marketing? Experiment with the new Stories features to see what works for your brand.
- Key Takeaways:
LinkedIn has launched stories.
- B2B content marketing thrives on LinkedIn.
- There is an uptake in influencer trust.
- Stories are a leading platform in influencer marketing.
Google is back at it again. And this time, they’re taking on universities and taking control of what and how we learn.
Just like most products, Google created these courses to respond to a pain point they were experiencing. For a long time, they were encountering a lack of human capital in the IT field. Positions were open for IT support roles with no one qualified to fill them, leaving Google at a loss.
Enter the IT support experts at Google, who decided to take the problem into their own hands and create a solution that would not only benefit themselves but those who aren’t interested or able to attend universities. Now with school closures and the push to online education (thanks, COVID), Google courses couldn’t have been released at a better time.
To make this program accessible to everyone, the Google IT support experts built the 6-month 5-course certification program on Coursera. Not only to increase their talent pool but also to make education available to anyone looking to learn a new skill.
Google is currently tapping into a trillion-dollar industry of education; that is a game-changer! Even a 1% pull of that industry results in a billion dollars worth of revenue.
At this time, they have only released the Google IT Support Professional Certificate and the Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate (Python is one of the most in-demand coding languages at the moment), but they are planning to release more shortly. Right now you can access each course of the certificate program individually if you choose.
Google’s programs function to prepare anyone for an entry-level role or looking to increase their skill set, making them applicable to entrepreneurs, small business employees, large business employees, and those seeking employment. For those pursuing a degree, these programs will give students a recommended 12 college credits (equivalent to four college courses).
Now is the time to get involved in these programs to expand your knowledge, increase expertise, and gain the power to create content you couldn’t before, be it the IT support program to gain a better sense of the technical background of SEO, or the Python program to give you the ability to create a new tool or restructure your website in-house.
If taking courses isn’t of interest to you, think about building your own.
Now, it’s a bit of a stretch for marketers to tap into the education industry as a whole, but SEO is seldom taught in school. Creating an SEO course, or a content marketing course will help increase your talent pool like Google is increasing its talent pool while supporting your bottom line. Plus, there are plenty of online course platforms to help you begin building today.
- Google is creating online courses, tapping into the education industry.
- Problems aren’t a stopping point, they are a starting point for innovation.
- Courses and training programs are a great way to deliver value.
OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK:
💰Ingrid Lunden reports on Twilio’s largest acquisition to date as “Twilio confirms it is buying Segment for $3.2B in an all-stock deal”
🤖 Kyle Wiggers is here to tell us about the future of AI in software after “Coralogix raises $25 million to parse software logs with AI”
💻 John Stanbury says edtech is here to stay as “Thinkific Raises $22M to Meet Surging Demand in Online Courses”
☕ Proving their brew is the hottest around, “Business Insider Parent Nears Deal to Buy Controlling Stake in Morning Brew.” Late to the brew news; check out their CMO series interview with our very own Ross Simmonds.
BRAIN FOOD FOR THE WEEK:
Once upon a time, disinformation campaigns required a lot of human effort, but artificial intelligence is making it easier than ever for “fake news” to reach the media.
Renee Diresta, a technical research manager at the Stanford Internet Observatory wrote an insightful piece in the Atlantic about how AI and technology is making it easy to pitch stories that aren’t backed by data or reality. Here’s a snapshot of the future (our take):
Marketers will be able to use AI to not only create content at scale but to send personalized outreach emails to journalists, respond to HARO requests, reply to tweets and publish engaging content online without any manual effort. This might be good for marketers yet bad for society.
ALBUM OF THE WEEK:
Big Sean – Detroit 2 (Best Track: Deep Reverence (Feat. Nipsey Hussle))
Originally Sent Out Thursday, October 15, 2020. Stay up to date with all of our latest findings by subscribing to our newsletter today.
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