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YouTube Tests New Product Tags for Shorts, Expands Music Options for Shorts Clips

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YouTube Tests New Product Tags for Shorts, Expands Music Options for Shorts Clips

YouTube’s launching another monetization option for Shorts, with a new experiment that will see some creators able to tag products for purchase within their Shorts clips.

As reported by The Financial Times, YouTube has begun a new pilot program with selected creators in the US, which will see product tags displayed within Shorts, with viewers in the US, India, Brazil, Canada and Australia able to see the tags and shop directly in the app.

As per FT:

[YouTube’s] currently piloting its ‘affiliate marketing’ scheme – paying commission to creators that sell products – with a select number of US-based creators. YouTube, the merchant, and the creator all take an undisclosed cut of the sale.”

That could provide a key lifeline for Shorts creators, and another key element in YouTube’s favor, as the battle for creative talent heats up in the space.

The challenge with short-form video is that you can’t just insert pre and mid-roll ads, like you would on longer content, which makes direct monetization difficult. YouTube has already announced a new ad program, which will see ads displayed in-between Shorts, with a percentage of all revenue generated split with creators based on Shorts performance.

But direct monetization, via product listings, could be a more lucrative and direct means to allocate funds to creators in the app, which could make Shorts a more appealing option for those looking to make money from their clips.

TikTok is also developing its own in-stream commerce options, with live-stream commerce a specific focus. TikTok has already seen great success with the integration of commerce in Douyin, the Chinese version of the app, which is why it sees buying links as a key path forward for its app.

TikTok also already has its own version of product tagging options for its video clips.

Whether YouTube’s new product tags look similar to this is unclear, but as noted, it’s another step in YouTube’s development of enhanced monetization pathways for short-form creators in the app.

In other Shorts news, YouTube will also now enable Shorts creators to include more than 15-seconds of popular tracks in their Shorts clips.

YouTube Shorts music

Creators: You’ve been asking for the ability to use more than 15 seconds of audio in your Shorts, and now you can! You’ll be able to use 30s-60s of music for most tracks and up to 60s of original audio from eligible Shorts and VODs.”

That will provide more capacity to use music in the app, which will help boost music promotion, while also fueling new creative trends.

The audio picker will display how much audio you can use from each music track or video (15s, 30s, or 60s) and you’ll need change your video recording duration to 60s to use more than 15s of audio.”

YouTube says that the new, longer music clips option is being rolled out to users from today.

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Key Notes on Building Your Brand via Your Social Profile Visuals [Infographic]

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Key Notes on Building Your Brand via Your Social Profile Visuals [Infographic]

Looking to give your social profiles a visual refresh for the new year?

This could help – the team from Giraffe Social Media recently put together an overview of the whys and hows of building your brand via your social profile visuals.

There are some good notes here – a key consideration is consistency, which ensures that you’re building your brand with every post and update.

Check out the full infographic below.

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Publicis Performance Marketing Unit Acquires Influencer Platform Perlu 01/30/2023

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Publicis Performance Marketing Unit Acquires Influencer Platform Perlu 01/30/2023

Publicis Groupe-owned performance marketing agency CJ, which specializes in affiliate marketing, has acquired Perlu, a Syracuse, New York-based influencer networking and technology platform.
Perlu’s platform enables companies to activate, network, and collaborate with a community of influencers.   

Perlu will initially retain its name and organization as it is
integrated …



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Reports Show that Facebook Usage is Up, as Meta Continues to Develop its AI Targeting Models

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Reports Show that Facebook Usage is Up, as Meta Continues to Develop its AI Targeting Models

While Facebook is no longer the cool app, especially among younger audiences, it remains a key platform for many users, and its capacity to keep people updated on important updates from friends and family is likely to ensure that many continue to return to the app every day for some time yet.

But more than that, Facebook usage is actually increasing, according to internal insights viewed by The Wall Street Journal, which also include some interesting notes on overall Facebook and Instagram usage trends.

As per WSJ:

Data gathered in the middle of the fourth quarter showed that time spent on [Facebook] was up worldwide, including in developed markets, over the course of a year.”

Which seems unusual, given the subsequent rise of TikTok, and short form video more generally. But actually, Facebook has been able to successfully use the short-form video trend to drive more usage – despite much criticism of the platform’s copycat Reels feature.

Indeed, Reels consumption is up 20%, and has become a key element in Meta’s resurgence.  

How is it finding success? Increased investment in AI, which has driven big improvements in the relevance models that fuel both Reels and its ads, which are also now driving better response.

On Reels, Meta’s systems are getting much better at showing users the Reels content that they’re most likely to be interested in. You’ve likely noticed this yourself – what was initially a mess of random clips inserted into your Facebook feed has now become more focused, and you’re probably finding yourself expanding a Reels clip every now and then, just to see what it’s about.

Reels has actually been too successful:

“Because ads in Reels videos don’t currently sell for as much as those sold against regular posts and stories, Reels’ growing share of content consumption was denting ad revenue. To protect the company’s earnings, the company cut back on promoting Reels, which lowered watch time by 12%.

So again, while Meta has been criticized for stealing TikTok’s format, it’s once again shown, just as it did with Stories, that this is a viable and beneficial pathway to keeping users engaged in its apps.

You might not like it, but replication works in this respect.

But for marketers, it’s likely the development of Meta’s AI targeting tools for ads that’s of most interest.

Over time, many performance advertisers have been increasingly recommending that marketers trust Meta’s AI targeting, with newer offerings like Advantage+ driving strong results, with far less manual targeting effort.

Advantage+ puts almost total trust in Meta’s AI targeting systems. You can choose a couple of targeting options for your campaigns, but for the most part, the process is designed to limit manual impact, in order to let Meta’s systems determine the right audience for your ads.

Which may feel like you’re ceding too much control, but according to Meta, its continued AI investment is now driving better results.

Heavy investment in artificial intelligence tools has enabled the company to improve ad-targeting systems to make better predictions based on less data, according to the interviews and documents […] That, along with shifting to forms of advertising less dependent on harvesting user data from off its platforms, are key to the company’s plans to overcome an Apple privacy change that restricted Meta’s capacity to gather information about what its users do outside its platforms’ walls, the documents show.”

That’s likely worth considering in your process, putting more trust in Meta’s targeting systems to drive better results. At the least, it may be worth experimenting with Meta’s evolving AI for ad targeting. 

It’s not all good news. Meta also notes that while time spent in its apps is on the rise, creation and engagement is declining, with fewer people posting to both Facebook and Instagram than they have in the past.

That’s particularly true among younger audiences, while notably, usage of Instagram Stories is also in decline, down 10% on previous levels.

So while Meta is driving more engagement from Reels, which draws on content from across the app, as opposed to the people and Pages you follow, that’s also led to a decline in user posting.

Is that a bad thing? I mean, logically, engagement is important in keeping people interested in the app, and Meta also relies on those signals to help refine its ad targeting. So it does need users to be sharing their own content too, but if it can get more people spending more time in its apps, that will help it maintain advertiser interest.

In essence, despite all of the reports of Facebook’s demise, it remains a key connective platform, in various ways, while Meta’s improving ad targeting systems are also helping to drive better results, which will keep it as a staple for brands moving forward.

If you were thinking of diversifying your social media marketing spend this year, maybe don’t reduce Facebook investment just yet.

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