Welcome to the Raka Weekly Roundup, where we cover the week’s news and trends and tell you exactly what you need to know. This week, YouTube TrueView for action ads are changing, DuckDuckGo is crushing it, and 2019 content marketing trends you need to know about.
YouTube makes a change to TrueView for action ads
YouTube TrueView for action ads allows advertisers to add a prominent CTA (call-to-action) and headline text overlay to video ads in an effort to help drive leads and conversions to their website. We’ve all seen them. Some find them annoying and pounce to hit the “Skip Ad” button as soon as it appears, but some find them entertaining and don’t mind enduring them and actually act on them.
So, what’s changing?
Essentially, the amount of time a person engages and/or converts after seeing one of these ads is getting cut by one third. An ‘engagement’ was counted if someone watched or clicked the ad after at least 30 seconds and a ‘conversion’ was counted if they purchased the product or service within 30 days. Now, an engagement will be counted if someone engages with the ad within 10 seconds and converts in just three days.
Why the change?
YouTube says it’s changing the default to “accurately assess the impact of your video ads,” since they claim many of these conversions are happening in much less than 30 days. However, one can’t help wonder if it’s less about improving an advertisers metrics and more about increasing Google’s bottom line since advertisers are charged per engagement.
I guess with any change, it’s going to be a watch and learn scenario. Advertisers will have to see if these engagements are truly converting and if their digital advertising spend is working to put money in their pocket instead of Google’s.
DuckDuckGo is running, not waddling
DuckDuckGo, a search engine that was built to calm the nerves of those who are tired of being tracked, hacked, and stalked, has hit a new milestone. According to their Twitter account, they’ve reached 30 million private searches per day in less than ten years.
These may not seem like big numbers in the eyes of a behemoth like Google, but if you look at the rate at which they hit this milestone, it’s pretty impressive. Seven years to reach 10 million daily searches, nine years to make it to 20 million, and just under 10 years to make it to 30 million. With that trajectory, they might eventually become the next Google. OK, well, that might take a while, but it’s still pretty outstanding.
This growth is not only turning the heads of consumers, but it’s also opening the checkbooks of investors. According to Crunchbase, Canadian pension fund company Omers VENTURES recently plunked down $10 million to keep this little duck quacking and it was only the second infusion of venture capital DuckDuckGo received since its initial funding round of $3 million in 2011.
DuckDuckGo is definitely a company to watch and one to consider next time you’re surfing the sometimes terrifying world wide web.
Content marketing trends for 2019
At the end of each year, just about every industry gives their predictions of what trends you’ll be seeing in the coming year. According to Forbes magazine, here are five things we can look forward to in 2019 for content marketing and our take on these predictions.
1. Content marketing becomes marketing
Forbes points out that “content is one of the best tools you have for earning trust, building your brand, generating site traffic and qualified leads, and everything in between.” We totally agree. The biggest brands have already figured this out, so we don’t see this as a new trend for 2019, but what we hope to see is that companies, large and small, learn how to get better at their content marketing. As an agency, we’ve seen too many companies that “go with their gut,” or write hundreds of blog posts and send a mind-numbing number of emails without knowing why or measuring the impact of these activities. This is something that needs to change.
2. Strategy will become more essential
This speaks to the point I was making above. If there is no strategy, then a lot of time, energy, and resources are wasted. It all starts with setting SMART goals and outlining a path to get there. Looking for more qualified leads? What steps will you take to attract them? These questions need to be asked and answered before you do anything.
3. Customer success will emerge as the new frontier
If you read our recent post about how HubSpot is ditching the sales funnel and rolling in the flywheel, then you’ll know why this trend makes sense. The number one rule has always been, “It’s all about the customer,” but somewhere along the way, businesses have lost sight of that. The saying for 2019 should be, “If you make your customers happy, they’ll bring you more customers.” And who doesn’t want more customers?
4. The marketing funnel will change shape
Once again, this speaks to the demise of the funnel and the introduction of the flywheel. It’s all about building trust with your customers and trust begets trust. Who do we listen to? People we trust. Who do we trust? Our friends and family.
5. Distribution will remain a driver of success
As Forbes describes it, “companies need to get creative and enthusiastic about getting their content in front of the right people.” Trust me, it’s easy to be a broken cog in a content creating wheel, even if it is a flywheel. You might build a sound content calendar, but over time, you’re just systematically cranking out content without checking the pulse of what’s actually happening. A certain social media channel might have been a good place to distribute content initially, but maybe six months down the road, this audience has moved on. You always need to assess and reassess your distribution channels to make sure the right eyeballs are seeing your content.
If you’d like to talk about these trends, or need help getting any of your marketing initiatives off the ground, reach out to us