Markestic Monthly

2020 December

Happy December! We know that 2020 has probably been one of the most challenging years for you, but as this struggling year comes to an end, we hope that when you look back, you are able to remember all the good memories that this year has brought and you are able to wait for 2021 with peace and joy. As Christmas is getting closer, a lot of updates have been introduced on the digital platforms, so let’s dive into these!

Every news starts with a short summary with the key points, however, if you are willing to dive deeper into a certain topic, you can always find an additional link for further reference.

1. YouTube update’s its Analytics report

Search Engine Journal

From now on, creators on YouTube will have additional insight on where the traffic comes from to an uploaded video. The new report is available in YouTube Studio, under Analytics. The report includes traffic coming from Notifications, Subscription feed, Recommendations (Home and Up Next), Channel pages and Other. This will allow Creators to have a deeper understanding of their audience. What’s more, the report includes historical data: next to the traffic source, there will be a green arrow upwards if there was an increase in traffic from that source, and a grey arrow downwards if there was a decline. YouTube also launched Audio Library, a library of free songs and sounds effects to add to your videos.

Read more about YouTube’s updates here.

2. Instagram Search Update: Now you can search by keywords!

Search Engine Journal

So far on Instagram, you were able to search using hashtags, geo locations, usernames and profile names – however, from now on, you can also search for keywords! However, there are still some unexplained questions: will it work only with exact match keywords? How will Instagram decide what a picture is about? Will it use AI for learning? Still, with all these important questions unanswered, there’s a potential in Instagram SEO in the future. The feature is only available in some English-speaking countries yet, and we’re still waiting for user’s reaction, since they might stick to hashtags when searching.

Read more about Instagram’s new search method.

3. Carousel Ads Are Introduced on Twitter!

Search Engine Journal

Carousel ads might be familiar, because Facebook has been offering this ad format for quite some time, and now Twitter has launched it as well! They let advertisers display 2 to 6 horizontally swipeable images or videos. It’s an effective tool to let you display multiple products or tell a story. According to statistics, there is a 15% increase in CTR when compared to single-asset ad campaigns, and the difference is even bigger when compared to App campaigns – there’s a 24%.

Read more about Twitter’s new ad format. 

4. Snapchat Introduces New Certification Courses

Search Engine Journal

Snapchat launched their Snap Focus certification program in June – a 6-video long video course which at the end of completion awards the participants the Snapchat Ads manager certification. Last month they introduced Snap Connect courses: they offer 3 certifications which are specialized by industry and regions. In the videos, marketers can learn directly from Snapchat advertising experts. The courses offer separate modules for North American and international advertisers. After the videos, there is an exam that the advertiser has to pass in order to earn the certification. The whole process is completely free.

Read more about Snapchat’s certifications and courses. 

5. Google Updates Smart Bidding

Search Engine Journal

Smart Bidding is Google’s solution to help you with your marketing efforts: it offers real-time bidding for a certain goal. From now on, there is a 90-day prediction available for your smart bidding campaigns. They also introduced a recommendation feature to help you make the best out of your campaigns: the Bid Strategy Report is available in the Campaign Tab, in the Overview Page or the Shared Library.

Read more about these new additions to Smart Bidding. 

You can reach the 90-day forecast in the Budget column, under Campaign Budget simulator

6. How Can You Optimize to Appear in Google’s Featured Snippets?

Search Engine Journal

Featured Snippets appear on Google when a user searches for a particular question(who is… what is… how to…) or lists (best SUV of 2019). In these cases Google tries to help its users by highlighting the answer in the form of a paragraph, list or diagram from one of the organic search results. SEMRush and Brado have analyzed 1 million totally random search results to help marketers optimize their page to appear in these snippets and to have a better understanding of the algorithm. They have found that in industries like travel, computers & electronics, art & entertainment and science there’s a higher chance for snippets to appear. Out of queries made up of 10 words, 55.5% have a featured snippet – and that is the maximum, since up to 10 the share is increasing, but after 10 it’s decreasing. URLs with up to 3 subfolders have the highest chance to appear as a snippet. Of course you have to create helpful content, and on your page you have to answer the question in order to appear. SEMRush also suggests creating articles with multiple questions to maximize your chances.

Find out more about Google’s Featured Snippets.

7. Predictions on Christmas Customer Behaviors


In HubSpot’s attempt to predict Holiday Shopping behavior this year, they have analyzed 300 general customers’ answers on how COVID-19 will affect their habits. While it’s not surprising that a lot of people tend to do only online shopping, it may surprise you that about 33% of customers plan to do only, or mostly in-store shopping. (The ratio is about equal between online – in-store – mixed shopping). It’s also worth to note that while Christmas is always a very busy season when it comes to retail, this year might be different: with the regulations of in-person gatherings, and with a lot of people living on a tighter budget, there’s a chance that they might not rush to buy gifts this year. Since people are buying mainly essential items that they really need, it’s worth shifting your campaigns to highlight the true benefits of your products. When it comes to in-store shopping, shoppers will take social distancing very seriously, so make sure your shop is as safe of a place as it can be.

Read more about HubSpot’s research. 

8. Say hello to Twitter Fleets!


After Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn, Twitter has also joined the group of social media sites with disappearing content. Twitter has introduced Twitter Fleets, after it has been testing the feature for the most part of 2020. Just like Instagram or Facebook Stories, Twitter Feelt is highlighted above the newsfeed, and contains images, videos, or paragraphs/thoughts that disappear after 24 hours, giving the users more confidence and comfort on the platform. These ‘ephemeral contents’ let brands highlight limited time offers on their social media, or provide behind the scenes insights to their followers. It also enables more communication between brands and their customers.

Read more about Twitter Fleets here. 

9. COVID-19’s Impact on Customer’s Decision Making

Think with Google

You might be familiar with the term ‘messy middle’ – everything between the trigger in a customer’s mind and the purchase of your product. The ongoing pandemic made this messy middle even messier and more complex, customers need more help to make the final buying decision. In Google’s research, they state that “exposure” during these times has a higher value and importance, since brands need to communicate that they are able to dynamically react to restrictions (for example) and they also need to show empathy and care. They highlight six main takeaways. #1 social proof has dialled up, people have a higher influence on one another’s buying decision. #2 There is also a higher emphasis on communication and development, and it’s really important that these don’t contradict with governmental guidelines and restrictions. #3 Marketers also have to keep up with customer preferences, since there might be a need to add new product specifications, or highlight already existing ones – e.g. in the travel industry, flexible cancellation terms are now more crucial than ever. #4 Free gifts are now more valued than before, but keep in mind that this gift also has to deliver value to your customer. #5 Be careful with communication of products with scarce amounts. Don’t be too pushy, let them make a decision. #6 The power of now has higher relevance. Assure your customers that they will get your products or services as soon as possible.

Read more on Google’s research. 

10. YouTube Introduces Audio Ads

Search Engine Journal

YouTube has introduced audio ads, another way for marketers to reach their audience on the platform. While audio ads on a video platform might sound strange at first, it’s important to note here that YouTube is getting more and more popular among music and podcast listeners. With a lot of people staying at home, they have turned to YouTube to provide a background noise effect – with that in mind, inserting ads doesn’t sound strange at all, it helps to create a radio-like effect. Audio campaigns offer advertisers the same audience targeting options, bidding strategies and measurement capabilities as YouTube video campaigns.

Read more about YouTube’s audio ads.

11. The Power of Personal Meaning on YouTube

Think with Google

As people spend more time online than ever before, it’s crucial for marketers to understand their audience’s viewing habits and how different kinds of content make them feel. Research carried out by Google included almost 2800 YouTube viewers in the UK and further 32 for in-depth interviews. They have found that the most effective videos for marketers revolve around the following topics: ‘what I know’ – informational and educational content, ‘who I am’ – nostalgic content that reminds viewers who they are and what their beliefs are, ‘who I could be’ – inspirational content. It’s also important to note that videos with lower view counts don’t imply a lower personal meaning or effectiveness – on the other hand, it might imply that the video has a very high level of personal meaning. To discover further information about the audience of your YouTube videos, you can use the Find My Audience tool.

Read more about Google’s findings. 

12. Instagram’s Userface Changes with a Focus on Shop and Reels

Search Engine Journal

Instagram is making an effort to promote its recently introduced functions, Shop and Reels. Shop is Instagram’s shopping feature, while Reels is a platform created for short vertical videos, a direct competitor to Tiktok. However, users don’t approve of this idea: they don’t like the new functions, especially Reels, and they just want a simpler interface.

Read more on Instagram’s new update and users’ reaction. 

13. How to Use Personal Data?

Think with Google

Businesses have more and more data available about their visitors, and slowly personalization is getting more and more attention in digital ads, offers and discounts. Research conducted by Google focused on 4000 consumers from European countries and tried to identify how brands can leverage personal data and anticipate customer needs. They found that at first, it is ‘OK to use’ generic information, such as gender or age group, however try not to be so specific with these, don’t make your offer sound too personal. On the other hand, the stronger the brand-customer relationship, the more customers welcome and accept brands to use their personal information for personalised service. When there’s a strong relationship with the customer, you can use date of birth, clothing size or current location to personalize your offer. Customers prefer these offers when they are in a public setting (public transportation, work, store), and when they are in a hurry. In other settings, they are ‘more patient’. The most likely to accept these offers are women between 18-34 with younger kids, and the least likely are 50+ men.

Read more on Google’s findings.

14. Snapchat introduces a new feature, a rival to Tiktok

Search Engine Land

Similar to Instagram, Snapchat has introduced a new feature, a possible new rival to Tiktok. ‘Spotlight’, the new feature is basically a ‘list’ of the best Snapchats of the day. Creators can submit their content, and if they are selected, they can win a share of 1 million dollars every day – a move to motivate content creators to stay on the platform. This presents a big shift in Snapchat’s approach, since exploring new creators hasn’t been in the focus of the platform before. 

Read more on Snapchat’s new feature. 

15. Google Tests New Snippet Features

Search Engine Land

We have talked about Snippets in this month’s newsletter earlier. Google is testing a new feature: to help users understand different expressions and jargon, it adds additional links to a snippet (from a page) which are marked with dotted lines, and reveal a detailed explanation of a word or expression when the user hovers over it. However, it also contains an additional link to a third-party website, not the original one, where the original content (which they user searched for) is quoted from. This, in the long run, can result in fewer clicks on some websites. It’s important to note that Google is still testing this feature.  

Read more about how this new Google feature works. 

This is what the new Snippets feature looks like.

16. Google updates Shopping

Search Engine Land

With the holiday season gearing up, Google has released some new features in Shopping, which are beneficial both for users and marketers. From now on, users can see if a product’s price is high, low, or general compared to other products online and in their area. Promotions are also available in Shopping, so you can promote your discounts as well. From now on, you can also set separate conversion values for new customers in Smart Shopping. These updates are only available in some countries yet.

Read more on Google’s new features in Shopping.