AI regulations, TikTok in the SERP, Amazon’s Cookieless World, and more…

February 9, 2024

Hello again, Digital Darlings,

Buckle up, because I'm about to spill the latest digital marketing tea—and it's scalding. We're diving straight into the juicy bits: SEO drama, social media scandals, and those pesky AI-generated images that everyone loves to hate. Ready for the ride? Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a sassy scroll. Let’s start with some AI drama…

Facebook is going to start labeling AI-generated images

And I fully support this. We have to maintain the integrity of real, human artists’ work. But it may alter your workflow slightly if you’ve been using AI to generate images for organic or paid social posts. Interestingly, this announcement came on the same day that…

Youtube’s CEO announced his big bets for 2024

And number one is that ‘AI should empower human creativity, not replace it’. He wants to make sure that YouTube creators have access to AI tools. But how does YouTube plan to stop AI from taking over? Luckily, AI-created videos are still in the ‘weird’ stage and can’t compete with a human vlogging about their real life. But I worry about the future… For now, YouTube has cool features like Dream Screen, which enables anyone to make AI-generated backgrounds for YouTube shorts. Note that they’re pushing shorts to compete with TikTok. So if your brand has a TikTok account, consider posting similar content to YouTube and taking a Shorts-first approach. I have a hunch that shorts will never be able to compete with TikTok and Reels, but who knows?

Speaking of TikTok…

Universal Music Group pulled their catalog from TikTok.

This means that any videos you’ve created in the past that feature songs from big artists like Drake, T-Swift, or Billie Eilish will now be muted. And, of course, you won’t be able to use songs from those artists in future posts. Universal Music Group published an open letter to TikTok calling them out for three things: unfair compensation for musicians, safety for TikTok users, and, you guessed it, not protecting human artists from the harmful effects of AI. I’m glad someone is doing something about this unsettling AI takeover, but I must say I miss the sound of Drake’s voice on my TikTok feed. 

Universal Music Group seemed preeeetty angry in their letter. And TikTok fired back with a statement accusing Universal Music Group of “putting their own greed above the interests of their artists and songwriters” and saying they created a “false narrative”. DRAMAAAA!! I’ll keep an eye on this beef and update you lovely readers if anything changes. A partnership between the two businesses is so advantageous for both parties that I feel like they’ll find a way to put their differences aside… And meanwhile, TikTok is only getting more influential. I mentioned a few weeks back that TikTok is becoming the go-to search engine for Gen Z. In response to that trend,

Google started featuring TikTok videos in their SERP.

TikTok videos are now being featured in Google’s Featured Snippets, an area highly coveted by SEOers. Basically, the best thing that can happen to you as an SEOer is for your website to get a structured snippet on Google. But now, that space is being occupied by TikToks, leaving less room for landing pages to hit those top ranks. And they’re appearing as part of Google’s new AI-powered Search Generative Experience. While TikTok is clearly a controversial platform, its growing power cannot be overstated. It’s time to get on TikTok if you want to be a thought leader in your industry. And social media is taking over the paid search world in more ways than one…

PPC is looking more and more like paid social.

Targeting has shifted from a keyword focus to an audience focus. Account structures have changed, with more settings than ever available at the ad group level, mimicking the ad sets of paid social. The advent of Performance Max campaigns embodies this shift, with its focus on asset groups that marry audiences and creatives. This Search Engine Land article has some great tips for navigating the socialization of paid media that I recommend all my PPC readers check out.

Now, let’s sync up on the status of the ‘cookieless world’...

Amazon will track users in the cookieless world with Reach PLC’s help.

Reach is the UK’s largest publisher, and thanks to a new partnership, they will start sharing ‘contextual’ first-party data with Amazon to fill the data gap left by third-party cookies. Basically, Reach will give Amazon data about which articles their readers are viewing, and Amazon will use that data to serve targeted ads on Reach’s websites. While this data isn’t quite as valuable as the data provided by cookies, it closes a huge gap in the cookieless world. This quote from Frazer Locke, Amazon Ads director of EU adtech sales, sums it up…

“As the industry shifts towards an environment where cookies are not available, first party contextual signals are critical in helping us develop actionable insights that enable our advertisers to reach relevant audiences without sacrificing reach, relevancy or ad performance.”

Does this help us digital marketers? Yes, if we’re advertising on Amazon. But there’s nothing tangible we can do with this info right now. Some more tangible tips come from Microsoft’s Seasonal Spotlights series… 

Check out Microsoft’s Tips for Valentine’s Day Advertising.

Some of this year's search trends include - shoppers looking for value, with volume trending up on price-sensitive search terms like ‘sale’ and ‘discount’, and more searchers shopping local, searching for terms like ‘flower delivery near me’. Good news for retailers that run sales at their brick-and-mortar stores! The article also includes handy tips for targeting shoppers on Bing, so be sure to check those out.

And that's a wrap, my Digital Darlings. We've sipped the tea and thrown the shade, all in the name of digital marketing dominance. Remember, in this wild world of clicks and content, your moves make the magic. Catch you on the flip side with more gossip, glam, and game-changing strategies. Stay bold, stay brilliant, and above all, stay tuned.

You know you love me.

Maddie Marinsider

Marin Software
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