How smaller social media networks are competing with the duopoly

How smaller social media networks are competing with the duopoly

Google and Facebook are known as ‘the duopoly’ in the digital marketing world. Together, the companies absorb more than half of all digital advertising dollars.

This scenario is slowly changing, however, thanks in part to the viable paid advertising programs being offered by smaller social media networks. Today, we’ll look at recent advertising announcements from LinkedIn, Twitter, and (Facebook-owned) Instagram.


Last month, LinkedIn announced the addition of Sponsored Content carousels to its roster of advertising products. The ads will include up to 10 customizable, swipeable cards which LinkedIn says will “add texture” to brands’ campaigns. Users can flip through the visuals, and advertisers will receive standard measurement metrics like impressions, clicks, click-through-rates, and leads generated.

Prior to the public launch, LinkedIn offered carousel ad access to 300 select advertisers, 75 per cent of whom reported improved click-through-rates.


In-stream video ads are now available to advertisers in Canada and 11 other global markets, Twitter announced last week. Originally launched for a small list of clients in April 2017, the ad format made an impression on users. According to Marketing Land, American Twitter users who saw in-stream video ads were 70 per cent more likely to recall the ad and 28 per cent more likely to be aware of the advertising brand than those who did not.

Expect more video advertising in Twitter’s future, and in digital marketing in general: this April, the company announced that more than half of the $575-million it generated in Q1 revenues came through video ads.


Instagram may be owned by Facebook, but its audience and advertising program are unique. Last month, the photo- and video-sharing network announced a new feature to facilitate ecommerce through Instagram Stories.

The product, which Instagram announced will be globally available by Christmas, allows online advertisers to add a shopping bag icon to their Stories. Users can tap the button to display details about featured products and access links to make purchases.

As a Premier Google Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media can ensure your company’s ads are seen by the customers that matter. Our experienced team can help you assemble a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that touches all corners of the web, from search engines to social media.


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Mary Meeker delivers her 2018 Internet Trends Report

Mary Meeker delivers her 2018 Internet Trends Report

Each year, venture capitalist Mary Meeker releases a highly-anticipated report identifying important trends in the tech world. The 2018 version was unveiled at the end of May and contained insights and observations on internet adoption, competition between some of world’s most prominent companies, and privacy concerns. Here are a few key points that apply to the digital marketing landscape.

Internet and mobile use

More than half of the world’s population now has access to the internet, which means user growth is becoming harder to come by, falling from 12 per cent in 2016 to seven per cent in 2017. Similarly, smartphone shipments remained stagnant year-over-year.

While fewer people are purchasing their first smartphones, time spent on mobile devices is growing. Indeed, smartphones have become the primary online access point for millions of users, an event that presents massive digital marketing opportunities. As TechCrunch recently reported, “people are shifting their time to mobile faster than ad dollars are following.” The future of online advertising revolves around personal mobile devices.

Ecommerce and online retail

Thirteen per cent of retail transactions occurred online in 2017, a troubling trend for brick and mortar businesses and a boon for Amazon, the site where most consumers begin their buyers’ journeys.

Amazon can’t function in a vacuum, however; it relies on a complex online retail ecosystem including YouTube, Instagram, and Google to generate interest in products and direct traffic. For retail businesses, advertising dollars must be carefully targeted across this ecosystem to reach the widest possible audience.

Privacy concerns

In 2017, users were awakened to the important role their personal data plays in tech companies’ pursuit of profits. As such, these companies faced what Meeker called a “privacy paradox”: users want their information protected, but also expect the personalized digital experiences that data-sharing enables. Expect this issue to feature more prominently in next years trends report, especially in the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal.

As a Premier Google Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media has a firm grasp on the most pertinent trends and issues affecting today’s online landscape.


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Digital marketing agencies can catch a glimpse of the future in teens’ online behaviour

Digital marketing agencies can catch a glimpse of the future in teens’ online behaviour

In a report titled Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018, released last month, Pew Research Centre showed that American teens’ online behaviour is evolving, with repercussions for any brand or digital marketing agency. Based on interviews with almost 750 teens and more than 1,000 parents, the report unveiled several important findings relating to social media use and connectivity.

Teens are increasingly migrating away from Facebook, Pew reported. In 2014-15, 71 per cent of teenagers said they used the network; today, just 51 per cent do. Worse still for the social media giant, just 10 per cent of teenage respondents said Facebook is their most-used platform.

YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are now the three most popular social media networks for teens, with more than 80 per cent saying they use one of those three platforms most often. Here, the implications for every digital marketing agency are clear: if teens are your target audience, avoid Facebook and embrace media-sharing sites.

The survey also revealed that a whopping 95 per cent of US teens have smartphones, and that nearly 90 per cent are either “almost constantly” online or go online several times a day. That means brands that market to teens can reach their audience with hyper-local, hyper-relevant messaging.

More importantly, this finding suggests that always-online lifestyles are about to become a reality for everyday consumers. Today’s teenagers are unlikely to give up their mobile devices as they age, and next-generation wireless networks, combined with a growing repository of user data, will enable brands to deliver personalized messaging to a massive, diverse audience.

As a Premier Google Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media can help you develop an online strategy tailored to your target audience. Our team can help your business reach the right consumers with the right messaging and the right time.

Local Search is Evolving

Local Search is Evolving

The changes have been incremental, but local search is evolving. For local search marketing professionals and their clients, that means engaging more than ever with Google’s growing suite of monetized platforms.

Today, Google search results pages (SERPs) are dominated by the company’s products, including paid search ads; the Knowledge Panel; reviews, news, and image carousels; Google Shopping links; and the local pack. For small- and medium-sized businesses hoping to be discovered through search, appearing in these spaces is crucial, and Google holds the key.

Google My Business, for example, has never been more important. In addition to providing relevant contact information and addresses, users can now access Google Posts, Google Q&A, and business reviews through their My Business profiles. Maintaining an accurate and updated My Business account, a task that local search marketing agencies are equipped to handle, can improve your company’s visibility.

Businesses who don’t purchase paid search engine advertising through Google AdWords may want to consider doing so; SEO is a great way to get found and ensure that your site is functional and user-friendly, but even high-ranking pages are sometimes difficult to find on crowded SERPs. An aggressive and carefully implemented AdWords strategy will ensure that your company is visible to the clients that matter.

Voice search is also expected to have a major impact on local search as users move away from screen-based devices. While this transition remains incomplete, companies that optimize for voice search today will be better prepared for the rise of digital assistants.

As a Premier Google Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media strives to understand your business’s unique needs and create a comprehensive strategy that works for you. If local search visibility is your aim, a thorough review of your Google accounts is an excellent place to start.

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Protect Your Rep on Social Media

Protect Your Rep on Social Media

Last month, Twitter announced that it will punish bad behaviour by making tweets from wayward users less visible as part of the company’s strategy to improve the climate of online discourse. Twitter’s move is representative of a broad, inter-industry effort to promote safer digital environments, an effort to which brands and their digital marketing agency can – and should – contribute.

To do so, companies must view social media presence as more than a delivery system for highly-targeted paid digital advertising. Rather, it should see each social property as a platform to share ideas, communicate values, build an identity, and develop a healthy online reputation.

“Since for many consumers, social media is one of the primary means by which they encounter brands and their messages, it follows that social media has an important role in shaping brand reputation,” wrote contributor Mark Traphagen in a column for Marketing Land. “A business’s social media posts are an opportunity to emphasize those things that people find most commendable and relatable about a brand, and also to help to counter any negative perceptions that may exist.”

There are many ways to develop a positive online reputation through social media. As Traphagen points out, brands may choose to emphasize the quality of their products or services, their positive and unique work environment, or their financial success. Or, to follow Twitter’s recent lead, they may choose to tout their optimistic vision for the world and their commitment to social responsibility. In either case, an experienced digital marketing agency can help brands develop, plan, and implement a comprehensive social media strategy.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media can help your company develop its reputation on social media and ensure the visibility it needs to compete in a highly competitive, always-online world.


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