What a difference one month can make!

A lot can happen in a month. When it comes to marketing trends and news within the industry, a month can feel like an entire year. New insights, information and announcements can pop up almost every single day. That’s why we’ve decided to put together a monthly bulletin to showcase everything that’s new and exciting within the industry.

Welcome to the first one! For May, we saw the launch of Facebook Shops, Disney’s Head of Streaming making the move to the biggest app of 2020 and GIPHY got acquired by Facebook. We also take a look at how people’s downloading habits have changed over the past year and how you can now list products for free* on Google Shopping. Grab a cup of coffee and read on for the biggest news of this month.

1. Facebook Shop is Here

It’s been a long time coming and after a few smaller iterations along the way, Facebook Shops is finally here. With smaller businesses massively impacted by Covid-19, the push to support them has become more important than ever. As a result, Facebook has geared their shop feature towards small businesses directly, as they team up with key partners like Shopify and BigCommerce.

Here at The Township, we love making the user experience and click to purchase path as seamless as possible for customers, so the introduction of Facebook Shops will be massively important for brands focusing on their e-commerce strategies, whether this is new to them or not.

More Info here

2. Disney Stream CEO makes the move to TikTok

We’re not surprised by the news that Disney’s Head of Streaming Kevin Mayer has decided to take the leap to the video-sharing social network TikTok. Since 2019 TikTok has only gone from strength to strength, even more so thanks to the current situation which has given people the spare time to use the app, whether they’re creating videos or getting lost in feeds of random challenges, funny voiceovers and intricate dance moves.

We launched TikTok content for our brands this month and we are already seeing phenomenal organic reach with just one video clocking in 115K+ views as we write this! We’re expecting the video app to grow even more throughout 2020 with a brand new CEO so watch this space. Not sure what TikTok is? Check out our Tik Tok blog post from the end of last year.

More Info here

3. Google Shopping opens up to free product listings

Okay, so this is news from April, but we thought it was definitely worth the call out as this is a massive change for Google. They have decided to open up the listing on the Shopping Tab to all merchants, whereas previously it was only available to merchants running Google shopping campaigns. This means that from right now, all you have to do is get your product feed ready and set up your merchant account. Of course, we have done this a million times at The Township, so if you’re stuck let us know!

*Before you get too excited, it’s Important to note is that this doesn’t affect the main search engine results page for Google. These listings are still paid – the shopping tab is where the free listings will now show up if your products are relevant to what the person is searching for.

Read More Here

4. How have people’s downloading habits changed since last year?

Since this is our first bulletin, we thought we’d be allowed to note a change that has progressed over a full year and not just a month. People’s downloading habits are always interesting to look at as they usually correspond to a wider picture with what is going on in the world. If you compare what people were downloading in April 2019 to March 2020 you can get a real insight into changes in digital behaviour, which can help brands plan their own content around this data.

Last April, the number one spot for downloads was Whatsapp, but by March this year that had been well overtaken by, you guessed it, TikTok. Another messaging app, Facebook Messenger, moved from 2nd place to 5th, being overtaken by the new kid on the block Zoom. Google Classroom also entered the table this year due to the rise of video schooling because of Covid-19. These changes highlight the importance of video content and communication and is something to bear in mind when planning your content this year. Remember, video is king.

Interestingly, phone games also completely disappeared from the top rankings this year, being replaced by Netflix as people’s preferred entertainment.

View March 2020 Downloads

5. Facebook Buys GIPHY

Here at The Township, we love sending GIFs. There isn’t an emotion in the working day that can’t be expressed through one. Did you know that 1 billion GIFs are sent per DAY? It makes sense then that one of the biggest social networks, Facebook, has acquired GIPHY to further weave the animated videos and stickers into its apps, including Instagram. Facebook has said that it will let most of GIPHY’s operations remain the same, they just want to use it to step up people’s use of visual communication. We’re thinking creating branded GIFs could be the future.

Facebook Buys GIPHY

6. Instagram adds a new ‘Guides’ profile section

Instagram already has a section for posts, tagged images and IGTV on business profiles, but they have now introduced a Pinterest-style ‘Guides’ section, where users can create collections of posts with dedicated topic titles. This will be an incredibly handy tool that will allow brands to curate a feed based on topics, rather than a feed in chronological order. It has only been rolled out to a few users for now, but if it reaches all businesses it could be a great way for brands to showcase their products based on specific groups, making it easier for the user to discover products and shop them.

Instagram New Guides Section

7. The Original Ballers

Finally, we want to do a shout out to a project we’ve been working on with our sister company – The Original Ballers. They have launched The OB. podcast which explores the world of successful individuals from different walks of life. In their inaugural season, Australian professional basketball player Liz Cambage talks nutrition & mental health, the founder of Untitled Group Tom Caw talks festivals & music management, while Collingwood Captain Scott Pendlebury talks leadership and football. Check out their website for more information on upcoming episodes.

Listen to the Podcast