News Marketing

What’s New in Digital: Know Thy Audience

Evelyn Ritzi
Communications Specialist
Evelyn Ritzi
BY: Evelyn Ritzi ON January 21, 2021

Every week, our digital media team gathers the most interesting news and trends in the social media and digital marketing world so you can stay up to date. Here’s a look at the latest:

Instagram likes: Here today, gone tomorrow

You might remember that Instagram stopped displaying “likes” on its posts for most users back in 2019 as part of an initiative to support audience wellbeing. The idea was that removing like counts would reduce competition and negative social comparison, especially among young people. But now, it seems that Instagram is backtracking on its decision. The social media platform is reportedly testing an option for users to hide or unhide the like counts on their posts.

For brands, the ability to hide likes can be useful when content is effective at telling a story but doesn’t necessarily garner many reactions. The downside is that if a post does gain traction, it can lose its social proof. If Instagram is part of your digital strategy, be sure you have a plan for hiding or displaying likes.

Google Surveys for market research

Need to conduct quick, cost-effective market research? Consider giving Google Surveys a try. Google Surveys is a marketing research platform that allows an organization to ask custom questions through Google’s publisher networks, often news websites and blogs. Users can be targeted by demographic or geographic buckets, or organizations can include screening questions for even more specific targeting. The surveys are published across a variety of content to provide a more representative sample of respondents.

A Google survey will often act as a gatekeeper to accessing additional content through Google’s publisher networks, so respondents may be motivated to answer the questions quickly rather than honestly. Google Surveys are also online-only and tend to work best on a desktop computer rather than smartphone or tablet, so this starts to shape the type of respondent from the beginning.

Like most surveys, online and otherwise, Google Survey results should be considered somewhat skewed or biased. Despite a few drawbacks, this tool offers a quick, low-cost solution if you’re looking to gather basic market research.

Short-form ads make a big impact

We already know that popular platforms like TikTok are training users to consume and internalize shorter form video content. But what does that mean for digital advertisers? A new study found that 6-second video ads are just as persuasive as longer, 15-second ads. The shorter ads were also as effective as longer ads across devices and age groups.

In shorter ads, content can focus on the benefit without needing to add a longer story behind the messaging. These ads usually work better for brand awareness rather than product demonstration or conveying complex information. Short-form and long-form ads can also complement one another in the same campaign — the key is to focus on your audience, the platforms they use, and how they use them.

We’re here to keep you updated on the ever-changing world of digital marketing. If you have questions about any of these updates and what they could mean for your business, drop us a line or reach out on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.


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