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  Volume 6 Issue 26
July 2, 2021
Why Google Search Ad Prices Are Surging For E-Commerce Brands
Google search advertising prices are way up, especially for e-commerce-hungry marketers, according to digital ad specialists, who say the post-pandemic world is having a cascading effect that is wreaking havoc on their digital strategies.

The DL: In the post-pandemic world, Google Search Advertising is up. Costs are going up 30-40% compared to the same time last year. Retail e-commerce skyrocketed in 2020, but, this year, it's coming back down to Earth. Last year, online consumers were easy to get. Now, advertisers have to compete much harder. Also, last year Amazon and Walmart weren’t even buying ads on Google. This year, Amazon is back which increases the competition. 

Search advertising is expected to grow 19.3% in 2021. Overall, e-commerce retailers are driving the biggest increase and the smaller retailers are feeling the increase the most. A lot of retailers forecasted unrealistic e-commerce goals for 2021 with shoppers starting to go back to brick and mortar. What sold last year during the lockdown is not going to sell this year. Retailers' strategies need to change for 2021.
Experience Marketing Returning To Normal: 75% Of Brands Have Resumed Live, In-Person Events
In another potentially leading indicator that the life of brand marketing is returning to normal, 75% of brand marketers have resumed live, in-person experiential marketing. And just as importantly, a significant percentage of consumers are coming back in person to experience them.

The DL: With consumers feeling more comfortable being out and about, reports show that a significant number of people are returning to experimental marketing in-person (think workshops, live events, etc.). 

Analysis finds that only 4% of people experienced in-person in events as of May 2020, but now more than two-thirds (68%) have returned to in-person marketing events.
How To Improve SEO With User Experience Factors
Google’s algorithm has consistently taken the user experience into account. For example, Google doesn’t rank directories because sending users from a page of 10 links to a page of 20 links is a poor user experience.

The DL: In a continuous effort to improve the user experience, Google recently introduced its Passages algorithm. This new update allows Google to direct searchers straight to relevant sections of a long web page to find answers. Google continues to better understand searcher's expectations when they seek information online. These advances have greatly improved SEO. Google tends to rank sites that are relevant to users, previously matching keywords to questions. With this recent update, they are now able to match questions to answers. This will shift focus from creating content around keywords to creating content for users. 
Why Customer Experience Extends Beyond the Interactions Brands Control
A growing trend of the digital age is that businesses rarely own all of their customer touchpoints. From food delivery apps to online shopping to banking, customer experiences are increasingly taking place via third-party apps and occasionally entire services that brands don’t directly control.

The DL: It’s becoming integral for companies across almost all industries to take ownership of customer interactions, whether they directly control them or not. Due to Covid-19, much of our interaction is now digital, often based in apps. You may use a third-party app service to manage portions of your business, but are you getting all the information from that app service about your customer and how they like the experience? Make sure you get the data you need to understand your customer’s journey, likes, and dislikes. The full picture will help you make improvements.
Instagram Launches Live Test of Image And Video Uploads From The Desktop Version Of the App
Instagram is launching a first live test of the capability to publish feed posts from the desktop version of the app, with a small group of users now able to access the full suite of upload and posting options.

The DL: The long-awaited launch of publishing Instagram feed posts via desktop is finally here! This live test is only available for a small group of users, but it is expected to roll out for everyone in the next few months.

After uploading visuals to the desktop version of the application, users will have full access to the regular in-app features for editing feed posts including filters, image formatting tools, and more. At this point in time, the launch will not support the upload of Stories or Reels posts. However, additional tests have noted that IGTV video uploads are also currently in the works.

Having the ability to upload from a desktop is going to be an exciting addition for those who work in the social media space. This will allow social media and content marketing professionals to streamline their workflow and give them the ability to publish edited graphics and visuals made directly from their desktops.

As mentioned, this launch is not readily available to everyone just yet, but, we are excited to see how this launch plays out for the future of social media!
Around The Town...
Happy Independence Day! The Fourth of July has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941. However, the Independence Day tradition has been celebrated dating all the way back to the 18th century. "On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later delegates from the 13 colonies adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson."

From 1776 to the present day, the Fourth of July has been observed to celebrate the birth of American independence. So, whether you're celebrating by watching fireworks, hosting a cookout, attending a parade, or even just enjoying your day with friends and family - we wish you a great one!
Stay safe and healthy everyone!
If you would like to pick our brains on how to navigate the evolving integrated media landscape during this time,
we'd be happy to help.

Hoffmann Murtaugh
 Pittsburgh, PA 15212 (412)741-8618
Hoffmann Murtaugh is an integrated media planning and buying agency based in Pittsburgh, PA with offices in Cleveland, OH and Rochester, NY. Our approach combines media strategy and intelligence with formidable negotiations to deliver smart, efficient, and customized media solutions to our clients.