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Amanda Koehler

Digital Marketing Practice Director

For more than a decade, Amanda has helped Northwoods clients achieve their digital marketing goals through impactful, data-driven digital marketing strategies. Her approach is centered on careful listening, meticulous research, and a deep understanding of data analytics, and she holds certificates in both Google Analytics and Google Ads. An experienced lecturer and webinar presenter, Amanda is one of our top digital trail guides and has helped countless students, clients, and marketers better understand the complex world of SEO and analytics. Away from Northwoods, she enjoys spending time cooking, traveling, and painting.

Digital Marketing Trends, News, and Updates

December 2019

December 19, 2019 | Amanda Koehler, Digital Marketing Practice Director

5 Minute Read

We know it can be hard to keep up with ever-changing digital marketing news and trends. But no need to stress – we’ve got you covered! Check out our roundup of the latest news and trends in the world of digital marketing for December 2019.

YouTube Ad Extensions

What is it: Google’s new extensions for YouTube ads make it easier for customers to take action. They echo similar popular extensions on Google Search, such as store location, interest forms, and additional calls-to-action.

Google Home shopping example

What This Means for Marketers: Marketing channels emerge, evolve, improve and, sometimes, become obsolete. Any change dictates testing to determine whether a given channel remains right for your market and your business. This big extension calls for testing and re-evaluation of your YouTube marketing.

How You Should Respond: Has your company overlooked YouTube, because of how the ads convert and are formatted? Examine these new extensions. Try one or two that appear appropriate for your business. Test to see how your customers respond.

Google Merchant Center Updates

What is it: Chrome intends to warn visitors about slow web pages. According to a release from Chrome, “This may take a number of forms and we plan to experiment with different options, to determine which provides the most value to our users.”

How will Chrome implement these warnings? Google suggests these possibilities: A loading-progress bar and, possibly, a badge to inform users before they click. Google describes these moves as part of its long-term goal “to define badging for high-quality experiences, which may include signals beyond just speed.”

Shows where the progress and speed badge are

What This Means for Marketers:Page speed will likely become an even more important metric.

How You Should Respond: First, evaluate your website performance. Use tools such as PageSpeed Insights or Lighthouse to see the current speed of your website. This can lead to an easy win; faster speed plays to Google’s algorithm and will improve organic and paid traffic. Second, monitor your click-through rate and engagement right after Google releases these changes. For example, it could be that users might be more tolerant of a slower speed and, therefore, engagement may increase.

YouTube Updates Due to Fines from the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

What is it: The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act has been around since 1998. The act applies to the online collection of personal information by persons or entities under U.S. jurisdiction for children under 13 years old. On Sept. 4, 2019, the FTC fined YouTube $170 million for COPPA violations. Consequently, YouTube stated that it would require channel operators to mark their videos as “child-oriented” and would also use machine learning to automate marking of clearly “child-oriented” videos.

What This Means for Marketers:YouTube channel operators face fines of up to $42,000 for incorrectly marked videos. With more and more videos being marked as containing youth content, YouTube will have less information than it previously had on younger demographics. It also may mean that older audiences who view child content, such as teachers looking for classroom activities, may become more difficult to target.

How You Should Respond: If your audience advertising strategy includes “child-oriented” videos, it may be wise to diversify your advertising channels. If video brings in the most conversions, then investigate interest-based audiences or lookalike audiences on Facebook.

The good news is that Google has incredible resources for targeting keyword and interest-based audiences. Through custom intent and other traditional sources, you will still be able to reach audiences who engage with youth content.

The main thing to note: Google will provide fewer data points than in the past. Once again, in digital marketing, testing is your best friend. It will tell you which audiences respond to your online marketing strategy.