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TikTok Is Exploring Stories & Long Videos: Will Marketers Even Care?

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TikTok Is Exploring Stories & Long Videos: Will Marketers Even Care?

When TikTok went viral in 2019, pulling in millions of global users nearly overnight, almost every major social media channel quickly pivoted attention to short-form videos.

While Instagram – which notably innovated on Snapchat Stories – launched Instagram Reels, YouTube – known for its longer-form videos – launched YouTube Shorts.

Now, TikTok seems to be taking on its biggest social media rivals yet again by exploring two familiar — but still surprising — features: TikTok Stories and 10-minute video capabilities.

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If you love the short-form, in-feed, and non-ephemeral nature of TikTok’s platform, you might be surprised that they’re now launching features that other platforms are famous for – rather than continuing to make their own unique offerings.

You also might wonder, “Will these features make TikTok a more applicable channel for my brand?” Or, “Will TikTok’s Stories and long-form content go unnoticed and eventually be discontinued – just like Twitter Fleets?”

To help marketers try to determine if these features will make a difference in their TikTok or social media strategy, I’ll highlight how they work, why TikTok’s launching them, and if they pose any opportunities for brands.

We’ll discuss TikTok Stories first. But, if you’re just interested in long-form video instead, click here to jump down to that section of this post.

TikTok has expanded its Stories feature pilot after initially testing the feature in a few select countries like Brazil in Q1. While TikTok has not yet published a press release about Stories or pilot results, U.S. users began to see a notification announcing the feature on apps throughout the past month.

Tiktok stories announcement in tiktok app

As many marketers already know, this pilot comes after most major social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn have launched or explored their own version of this feature.

What’s the Story with Stories?: A Quick History

At the HubSpot Blog, the evolution of Stories features across social media platforms has taught us one thing: When one platform develops a viral feature, other major platforms will follow suit with an incredibly similar option.

Stories began on Snapchat, the first well-known ephemeral app where users could create a series of videos or pictures on their profile – or a Snapchat Story – that would only show up for 24 hours. Users could also send “Snaps” or a series of disappearing Snaps to other users who could only see them when they opened their message.

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Soon after Snapchat attracted millions of users with ephemeral content, Instagram launched Stories as a key part of its platform. Then, soon after that Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Twitter launched Story or Story-like features. While Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram still host Stories today, Twitter has disbanded its version – called “Fleets” and Snapchat has steadily lost interest from consumers and brands.

How to Publish a TikTok Story

If you are in the U.S. or another country where the feature is now available, creating a story is very similar to creating standard TikTok content.

1. Open TikTok’s Post tool.

First, you go to your profile and press the turquoise plus (+) on your profile picture, or go to your feed and press the Post button. You can also find a post button in the center of TikTok’s bottom navigation.

TikTok lower navigation with post button in the ceenter

2. Make your content.

Create a video, or upload or take a picture. Then add any background music, text, or effects as you would with any TikTok video.

TikTok video screen

3. Determine if your content is a Story or TikTok.

When you’re done recording or selecting a photo, you’ll see two options: Post to Story and Next. Tapping Post to Story will automatically send it to your Story and For You feeds of other users.

post story option appears on video publish screen of tiktok

One thing worth noting is that if you post a photo to your story, you’ll want to select a piece of music to go with it. Otherwise, TikTok will choose music automatically. In my case, this image was posted to my first test Story with an auto-selected Bruno Mars song.

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If you tap “Next,” and don’t post the content to your Story, you’ll be sent to the last page you usually see before posting a permanent TikTok, which allows you to add a description to TikToks while also adding privacy and sharing preferences.

Because Stories are ephemeral, it seems that TikTok doesn’t allow you to add a description, hashtags, or privacy settings when you publish, which is important to keep in mind if your brand requires extra settings on your content.

Viewing a Story

There are three ways to view Stories. All are a bit tricky and sometimes rely on happenstance.

1. Sit back and swipe into new Stories.

Stories from people you follow or accounts you might be interested in will show up in the For You page feed of the TikTok app along with standard TikTok videos. While they might not have a hefty description, you can still follow the account that posted it or “Like” the content like a regular TikTok video. However, some features, like video replies, will be disabled because this content is meant to be ephemeral and will disappear after 24 hours.

2. Find Stories through “For You Page” navigation.

Open up TikTok and go to your For You page (a.k.a. your main feed). As you swipe through, pay attention to the engagement and sharing navigation buttons on the right of each video. When you see a profile picture with a turquoise ring around it, tap it to see the account’s story.

A TikTok navigation bar shows a profile image with a circle around it indicating a story is available to view

3. Find Stories on TikTok Profiles

Go to a profile of a TikToker you enjoy and look at their profile picture. If the ring appears around that profile picture, you can tap it and be sent to their story.

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A profile picture has a ring around it indicating that a story's available to view.

Should You Leverage Stories?

The jury is still out on whether Stories will become a hit on TikTok. From a simple swipe through my feed, it was pretty hard to find people who were actively using them already. However, this feature is still very new and could grow in use as more people become aware of it.

Additionally, when accounts do use Stories, it essentially feels like a temporarily published TikTok video. It’s also not clear yet if posting a series of videos to your Story will be as effective as posting permanent TikTok videos with a “Part 2” link in the comments.

For example, the screenshot below shows a TikToker linking a follow-up video in the comment thread of another TikTok video where she demonstrates how to use a STEMPLAYER to isolate the vocals in Adele‘s music.

a tiktok user links a video to a part two of her tiktok content in her comment thrad

Because of the engagement of Stories compared to linking permanent TikTok content together, some TikTok users might be more interested in growing their following and evergreen views with more permanent content.

Aside from lower usage, one thing that could also hold TikTok Stories back is the features barriers to discoverability on the platform. However, while it might not be as easy to find Stories right now because it is still in the pilot phase, this could change if the app fully embraces them with a Stories page or search features as Instagram has.

At this point, Stories shouldn’t be the reason your brand decides to go on TikTok. You’ll ultimately want to look at its entire assortment of features, audience, and consumer behavior to determine if your brand is a good fit.

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However, if you already have a TikTok following and have time for light experimentation, posting a light-lift, on-brand test story likely won’t hurt your following. It’s possible that unconfirmed TikTok algorithms might even give you a boost.  

Multiple high-performing TikTokers I follow say they expect to see TikTok Stories get a discoverability lift in various TikTok feeds as the algorithm might favor or push content that leverages new features. While TikTok hasn’t spoken about this at length or publicly, here’s some example of advice from a user with over 350,000 followers.

If you do experiment with TikTok Stories, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Cater your Stories to TikTok’s audience and platform: Stories should be fast-paced, value-packed, or interesting in another way to the TikTok audience.
  • Stories will need promotion: It can be incredibly easy to miss Stories because there is not a designated location for them on the app. Users primarily know a Story is available when a profile image is outlined on the right navigation of a TikTok video. If you have a story you want people to see, consider making a TikTok that goes over the topic and encourages people to watch that story.
  • Determine if views or followers are most important: One way many accounts gain followers is when users click the plus sign on the profile icon that appears in video navigation. But, when you publish a story or launch a live event, tapping the profile picture just leads to this content. This is important to keep in mind if you want to gain followers quickly.

Long-Form Video on TikTok

In 2022, TikTok enabled all users the ability to add videos that were up to 10-minutes long. The company began exploring long-video features in the summer of 2021 by allowing just a select group of users to use them first. In its initial announcement of the long-video pilot, TikTok explained that the move aimed to give creators more tools and flexibility.

“Creative expression brings people together. It’s how we connect with our communities. It’s how we entertain, educate, inform, and inspire each other. This is also why we’ve focused on providing our community with a range of tools to help unleash their creativity – longer videos are now one more tool people can use to captivate the community with their creative expression,” read the statement.

Since then, the feature eventually rolled out to all users – who can now create videos that are up to 10 minutes long. And, to many of us, this continued rollout is still a bit surprising.

When TikTok began to go viral as a host for 1-minute videos, it seemed like an answer to Vine, a once viral and notably discontinued short-form video app. Even as viewership grow, TikTok still kept videos short by only eventually allowing a max of three-minute videos. Not only has TikTok strayed away from long-form in the past, but the platform’s virality led many brands and social media channels to recognize how consumers were shifting to short-form video consumption.

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While a post from TikTok explains that videos over one minute long have driven more than 5 billion global views, the platform still seems driven by short-form content, aside from occasional live streams that appear in the For You feed.

Why is engagement so important? While TikTok might give an unconfirmed initial boost to creators who use its new features, the company has shared that its algorithm is partially driven by engagement. Content with lower engagement will be deprioritized in its feed. Thus, if someone posts a video that feels too slow to start, boring, or too long, they could swipe to the next video in the feed before it ends, avoid liking or commenting on it, and might not follow the account holder. As a result, the content could be deprioritized.

While this shouldn’t necessarily discourage you, it shows that you should still be strategic about what you’re posting on TikTok’s fast-paced platform and how long it really needs to be to grab attention and engagement.

Should You Post Long TikToks?

While slightly longer TikTok videos or even TikTok Live could be a great way to engage your TikTok while also potentially getting an algorithmic boost from the app, keep in mind that much of TikTok’s audience tends to prefer things short and sweet.

If you do want to test out a longer video, you can simply go to create a TikTok and film or upload content that’s up to 10-minutes long.

Ultimately, you’ll receive solid engagement and memorability on fast-paced apps like TikTok if your videos quickly and concisely pull viewers into the action and give them all the key information they need. If you do go beyond three minutes, your content will need to be incredibly interesting. Otherwise, the second a user loses interest, they’ll move on to the next video with just a quick swipe of their finger.

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TikTok Pivots: Desperation or Competitive Maturity?

When TikTok first went viral, it was the go-to app for short-form videos. But now, as it matures at the top of app store and website charts, it’s starting to become a go-to platform for all things video.

And, while TikTok expanding to Stories and long-form videos might seem like a surprising play, the brand isn’t necessarily wrong to test these popular social media features.

Ultimately, once virality has been reached, platforms need to expand to have sustainable growth. Why? Because older competitors will likely copy or innovate on the unique features of smaller or newer platforms.

In 2019 and 2020, TikTok was in that situation. Although the app was viral and getting huge attention from brands, competitors like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter quickly began testing short-form video features. Yet, TikTok’s successfully kept growing and competing with these channels because of its continuous pivots, pilots, and evolutions. Essentially, TikTok is doing exactly what its competitors have done to capitalize on its features.

While TikTok was once that cool, edgy app that some had ever seen anything like before, it’s maturing into a channel that millions of people use daily. Sometimes, remaining relevant as you grow means you must release and test both never-before-seen and competitive features.

Is TikTok Right For You?

While some brands aren’t the best fit for TikTok and others still need to learn more about the platform to leverage it, this platform isn’t going away any time soon and it’s constantly growing and changing. Even if long-form content and Stories don’t become a hit on the app, the platform might still be relevant for your brand one day and is worth keeping on your radar.

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It’s ultimately up to you to decide whether these features will intrigue your TikTok audience or if TikTok is even right for you. For more help on that front, download the free resource below.

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Ecommerce evolution: Blurring the lines between B2B and B2C

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Ecommerce evolution: Blurring the lines between B2B and B2C

Understanding convergence 

B2B and B2C ecommerce are two distinct models of online selling. B2B ecommerce is between businesses, such as wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers. B2C ecommerce refers to transactions between businesses like retailers and consumer brands, directly to individual shoppers. 

However, in recent years, the boundaries between these two models have started to fade. This is known as the convergence between B2B and B2C ecommerce and how they are becoming more similar and integrated. 

Source: White Paper: The evolution of the B2B Consumer Buyer (ClientPoint, Jan 2024)

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What’s driving this change? 

Ever increasing customer expectations  

Customers today expect the same level of convenience, speed, and personalization in their B2B transactions as they do in their B2C interactions. B2B buyers are increasingly influenced by their B2C experiences. They want research, compare, and purchase products online, seamlessly transitioning between devices and channels.  They also prefer to research and purchase online, using multiple devices and channels.

Forrester, 68% of buyers prefer to research on their own, online . Customers today expect the same level of convenience, speed, and personalization in their B2B transactions as they do in their B2C interactions. B2B buyers are increasingly influenced by their B2C experiences. They want research, compare, and purchase products online, seamlessly transitioning between devices and channels.  They also prefer to research and purchase online, using multiple devices and channels

Technology and omnichannel strategies

Technology enables B2B and B2C ecommerce platforms to offer more features and functionalities, such as mobile optimization, chatbots, AI, and augmented reality. Omnichannel strategies allow B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to provide a seamless and consistent customer experience across different touchpoints, such as websites, social media, email, and physical stores. 

However, with every great leap forward comes its own set of challenges. The convergence of B2B and B2C markets means increased competition.  Businesses now not only have to compete with their traditional rivals, but also with new entrants and disruptors from different sectors. For example, Amazon Business, a B2B ecommerce platform, has become a major threat to many B2B ecommerce businesses, as it offers a wide range of products, low prices, and fast delivery

“Amazon Business has proven that B2B ecommerce can leverage popular B2C-like functionality” argues Joe Albrecht, CEO / Managing Partner, Xngage. . With features like Subscribe-and-Save (auto-replenishment), one-click buying, and curated assortments by job role or work location, they make it easy for B2B buyers to go to their website and never leave. Plus, with exceptional customer service and promotional incentives like Amazon Business Prime Days, they have created a reinforcing loyalty loop.

And yet, according to Barron’s, Amazon Business is only expected to capture 1.5% of the $5.7 Trillion addressable business market by 2025. If other B2B companies can truly become digital-first organizations, they can compete and win in this fragmented space, too.” 

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If other B2B companies can truly become digital-first organizations, they can also compete and win in this fragmented space

Joe Albrecht
CEO/Managing Partner, XNGAGE

Increasing complexity 

Another challenge is the increased complexity and cost of managing a converging ecommerce business. Businesses have to deal with different customer segments, requirements, and expectations, which may require different strategies, processes, and systems. For instance, B2B ecommerce businesses may have to handle more complex transactions, such as bulk orders, contract negotiations, and invoicing, while B2C ecommerce businesses may have to handle more customer service, returns, and loyalty programs. Moreover, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses must invest in technology and infrastructure to support their convergence efforts, which may increase their operational and maintenance costs. 

How to win

Here are a few ways companies can get ahead of the game:

Adopt B2C-like features in B2B platforms

User-friendly design, easy navigation, product reviews, personalization, recommendations, and ratings can help B2B ecommerce businesses to attract and retain more customers, as well as to increase their conversion and retention rates.  

According to McKinsey, ecommerce businesses that offer B2C-like features like personalization can increase their revenues by 15% and reduce their costs by 20%. You can do this through personalization of your website with tools like Product Recommendations that help suggest related products to increase sales. 

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Focus on personalization and customer experience

B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses need to understand their customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors, and tailor their offerings and interactions accordingly. Personalization and customer experience can help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy, as well as to improve their brand reputation and competitive advantage. According to a Salesforce report, 88% of customers say that the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services.

Related: Redefining personalization for B2B commerce

Market based on customer insights

Data and analytics can help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to gain insights into their customers, markets, competitors, and performance, and to optimize their strategies and operations accordingly. Data and analytics can also help B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to identify new opportunities, trends, and innovations, and to anticipate and respond to customer needs and expectations. According to McKinsey, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times more likely to retain customers, and 19 times more likely to be profitable. 

What’s next? 

The convergence of B2B and B2C ecommerce is not a temporary phenomenon, but a long-term trend that will continue to shape the future of ecommerce. According to Statista, the global B2B ecommerce market is expected to reach $20.9 trillion by 2027, surpassing the B2C ecommerce market, which is expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2027. Moreover, the report predicts that the convergence of B2B and B2C ecommerce will create new business models, such as B2B2C, B2A (business to anyone), and C2B (consumer to business). 

Therefore, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses need to prepare for the converging ecommerce landscape and take advantage of the opportunities and challenges it presents. Here are some recommendations for B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses to navigate the converging landscape: 

  • Conduct a thorough analysis of your customers, competitors, and market, and identify the gaps and opportunities for convergence. 
  • Develop a clear vision and strategy for convergence, and align your goals, objectives, and metrics with it. 
  • Invest in technology and infrastructure that can support your convergence efforts, such as cloud, mobile, AI, and omnichannel platforms. 
  • Implement B2C-like features in your B2B platforms, and vice versa, to enhance your customer experience and satisfaction.
  • Personalize your offerings and interactions with your customers, and provide them with relevant and valuable content and solutions.
  • Leverage data and analytics to optimize your performance and decision making, and to innovate and differentiate your business.
  • Collaborate and partner with other B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses, as well as with other stakeholders, such as suppliers, distributors, and customers, to create value and synergy.
  • Monitor and evaluate your convergence efforts, and adapt and improve them as needed. 

By following these recommendations, B2B and B2C ecommerce businesses can bridge the gap between their models and create a more integrated and seamless ecommerce experience for their customers and themselves. 

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Streamlining Processes for Increased Efficiency and Results

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Streamlining Processes for Increased Efficiency and Results

How can businesses succeed nowadays when technology rules?  With competition getting tougher and customers changing their preferences often, it’s a challenge. But using marketing automation can help make things easier and get better results. And in the future, it’s going to be even more important for all kinds of businesses.

So, let’s discuss how businesses can leverage marketing automation to stay ahead and thrive.

Benefits of automation marketing automation to boost your efforts

First, let’s explore the benefits of marketing automation to supercharge your efforts:

 Marketing automation simplifies repetitive tasks, saving time and effort.

With automated workflows, processes become more efficient, leading to better productivity. For instance, automation not only streamlines tasks like email campaigns but also optimizes website speed, ensuring a seamless user experience. A faster website not only enhances customer satisfaction but also positively impacts search engine rankings, driving more organic traffic and ultimately boosting conversions.

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Automation allows for precise targeting, reaching the right audience with personalized messages.

With automated workflows, processes become more efficient, leading to better productivity. A great example of automated workflow is Pipedrive & WhatsApp Integration in which an automated welcome message pops up on their WhatsApp

within seconds once a potential customer expresses interest in your business.

Increases ROI

By optimizing campaigns and reducing manual labor, automation can significantly improve return on investment.

Leveraging automation enables businesses to scale their marketing efforts effectively, driving growth and success. Additionally, incorporating lead scoring into automated marketing processes can streamline the identification of high-potential prospects, further optimizing resource allocation and maximizing conversion rates.

Harnessing the power of marketing automation can revolutionize your marketing strategy, leading to increased efficiency, higher returns, and sustainable growth in today’s competitive market. So, why wait? Start automating your marketing efforts today and propel your business to new heights, moreover if you have just learned ways on how to create an online business

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How marketing automation can simplify operations and increase efficiency

Understanding the Change

Marketing automation has evolved significantly over time, from basic email marketing campaigns to sophisticated platforms that can manage entire marketing strategies. This progress has been fueled by advances in technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, making automation smarter and more adaptable.

One of the main reasons for this shift is the vast amount of data available to marketers today. From understanding customer demographics to analyzing behavior, the sheer volume of data is staggering. Marketing automation platforms use this data to create highly personalized and targeted campaigns, allowing businesses to connect with their audience on a deeper level.

The Emergence of AI-Powered Automation

In the future, AI-powered automation will play an even bigger role in marketing strategies. AI algorithms can analyze huge amounts of data in real-time, helping marketers identify trends, predict consumer behavior, and optimize campaigns as they go. This agility and responsiveness are crucial in today’s fast-moving digital world, where opportunities come and go in the blink of an eye. For example, we’re witnessing the rise of AI-based tools from AI website builders, to AI logo generators and even more, showing that we’re competing with time and efficiency.

Combining AI-powered automation with WordPress management services streamlines marketing efforts, enabling quick adaptation to changing trends and efficient management of online presence.

Moreover, AI can take care of routine tasks like content creation, scheduling, and testing, giving marketers more time to focus on strategic activities. By automating these repetitive tasks, businesses can work more efficiently, leading to better outcomes. AI can create social media ads tailored to specific demographics and preferences, ensuring that the content resonates with the target audience. With the help of an AI ad maker tool, businesses can efficiently produce high-quality advertisements that drive engagement and conversions across various social media platforms.

Personalization on a Large Scale

Personalization has always been important in marketing, and automation is making it possible on a larger scale. By using AI and machine learning, marketers can create tailored experiences for each customer based on their preferences, behaviors, and past interactions with the brand.  

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This level of personalization not only boosts customer satisfaction but also increases engagement and loyalty. When consumers feel understood and valued, they are more likely to become loyal customers and brand advocates. As automation technology continues to evolve, we can expect personalization to become even more advanced, enabling businesses to forge deeper connections with their audience.  As your company has tiny homes for sale California, personalized experiences will ensure each customer finds their perfect fit, fostering lasting connections.

Integration Across Channels

Another trend shaping the future of marketing automation is the integration of multiple channels into a cohesive strategy. Today’s consumers interact with brands across various touchpoints, from social media and email to websites and mobile apps. Marketing automation platforms that can seamlessly integrate these channels and deliver consistent messaging will have a competitive edge. When creating a comparison website it’s important to ensure that the platform effectively aggregates data from diverse sources and presents it in a user-friendly manner, empowering consumers to make informed decisions.

Omni-channel integration not only betters the customer experience but also provides marketers with a comprehensive view of the customer journey. By tracking interactions across channels, businesses can gain valuable insights into how consumers engage with their brand, allowing them to refine their marketing strategies for maximum impact. Lastly, integrating SEO services into omni-channel strategies boosts visibility and helps businesses better understand and engage with their customers across different platforms.

The Human Element

While automation offers many benefits, it’s crucial not to overlook the human aspect of marketing. Despite advances in AI and machine learning, there are still elements of marketing that require human creativity, empathy, and strategic thinking.

Successful marketing automation strikes a balance between technology and human expertise. By using automation to handle routine tasks and data analysis, marketers can focus on what they do best – storytelling, building relationships, and driving innovation.

Conclusion

The future of marketing automation looks promising, offering improved efficiency and results for businesses of all sizes.

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As AI continues to advance and consumer expectations change, automation will play an increasingly vital role in keeping businesses competitive.

By embracing automation technologies, marketers can simplify processes, deliver more personalized experiences, and ultimately, achieve their business goals more effectively than ever before.

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Will Google Buy HubSpot? | Content Marketing Institute

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Why Marketers Should Care About Google’s Potential HubSpot Acquisition

Google + HubSpot. Is it a thing?

This week, a flurry of news came down about Google’s consideration of purchasing HubSpot.

The prospect dismayed some. It delighted others.

But is it likely? Is it even possible? What would it mean for marketers? What does the consideration even mean for marketers?

Well, we asked CMI’s chief strategy advisor, Robert Rose, for his take. Watch this video or read on:

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Why Alphabet may want HubSpot

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, apparently is contemplating the acquisition of inbound marketing giant HubSpot.

The potential price could be in the range of $30 billion to $40 billion. That would make Alphabet’s largest acquisition by far. The current deal holding that title happened in 2011 when it acquired Motorola Mobility for more than $12 billion. It later sold it to Lenovo for less than $3 billion.

If the HubSpot deal happens, it would not be in character with what the classic evil villain has been doing for the past 20 years.

At first glance, you might think the deal would make no sense. Why would Google want to spend three times as much as it’s ever spent to get into the inbound marketing — the CRM and marketing automation business?

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At a second glance, it makes a ton of sense.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I and others at CMI spend a lot of time discussing privacy, owned media, and the deprecation of the third-party cookie. I just talked about it two weeks ago. It’s really happening.

All that oxygen being sucked out of the ad tech space presents a compelling case that Alphabet should diversify from third-party data and classic surveillance-based marketing.

Yes, this potential acquisition is about data. HubSpot would give Alphabet the keys to the kingdom of 205,000 business customers — and their customers’ data that almost certainly numbers in the tens of millions. Alphabet would also gain access to the content, marketing, and sales information those customers consumed.

Conversely, the deal would provide an immediate tip of the spear for HubSpot clients to create more targeted programs in the Alphabet ecosystem and upload their data to drive even more personalized experiences on their own properties and connect them to the Google Workspace infrastructure.

When you add in the idea of Gemini, you can start to see how Google might monetize its generative AI tool beyond figuring out how to use it on ads on search results pages.

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What acquisition could mean for HubSpot customers

I may be stretching here but imagine this world. As a Hubspoogle customer, you can access an interface that prioritizes your owned media data (e.g., your website, your e-commerce catalog, blog) when Google’s Gemini answers a question).

Recent reports also say Google may put up a paywall around the new premium features of its artificial intelligence-powered Search Generative Experience. Imagine this as the new gating for marketing. In other words, users can subscribe to Google’s AI for free, but Hubspoogle customers can access that data and use it to create targeted offers.

The acquisition of HubSpot would immediately make Google Workspace a more robust competitor to Microsoft 365 Office for small- and medium-sized businesses as they would receive the ADDED capability of inbound marketing.

But in the world of rented land where Google is the landlord, the government will take notice of the acquisition. But — and it’s a big but, I cannot lie (yes, I just did that). The big but is whether this acquisition dance can happen without going afoul of regulatory issues.

Some analysts say it should be no problem. Others say, “Yeah, it wouldn’t go.” Either way, would anybody touch it in an election year? That’s a whole other story.

What marketers should realize

So, what’s my takeaway?

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It’s a remote chance that Google will jump on this hard, but stranger things have happened. It would be an exciting disruption in the market.

The sure bet is this. The acquisition conversation — as if you needed more data points — says getting good at owned media to attract and build audiences and using that first-party data to provide better communication and collaboration with your customers are a must.

It’s just a matter of time until Google makes a move. They might just be testing the waters now, but they will move here. But no matter what they do, if you have your customer data house in order, you’ll be primed for success.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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