This month Instagram plans to make maps while Google makes deals on discounts, and the High Court keeps careful watch on comments…

It was a busy month for the world of marketing, especially for small businesses as consumers continue to lean towards authenticity and brands and influencers they can trust. Instagram and TikTok released the development of new tools to aid businesses, brands and marketers. We learned that post-lockdown retail is set to get a Christmas bonus, and that Google is ready to make deals on discounts. It may also be the start of a new era with a High Court Ruling that leaves us cautious about comments, but only time will tell. So let’s dive in.

1. Consumers demand authenticity from influencers.

New research has put the ever-changing role of the influencer into the spotlight, as consumers demand a shift to more user-generated content (UGC). Over half of consumers in Australia (57%) are found to prefer and trust the everyday social media user as an influencer, over those with an agenda. UGC’s seem more authentic, genuine, and transparent when it comes to product recommendations and reviews. However, Australians would also prefer tighter regulations on influencers to ensure authenticity of content. Marketers should keep this in mind when engaging with influencers, to ensure that they’re considered trustworthy among consumers.

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2. Instagram lends a hand to “shopping local”, with new tool Map Search

Following the year that was 2020 (and 2021!) the term “shop local” has begun to disrupt mainstream media. Now Instagram is releasing a new tool in Australia and New Zealand to support small businesses who have been hit hard by the pandemic. The Map Search tool makes it easier for users to find local businesses and filter them by categories. They can even search through hashtags. As most businesses turned online in the past two years, Instagram allows brand-to-consumer communication in effective and efficient ways. With more than 200 million businesses around the globe using Instagram each month, the Map Search tool might make them more visible to local consumers.

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3. Retail gets a Christmas Bonus: Aussies to Spend $11 Billion

With the easing of restrictions nation-wide, Christmas is set to be merrier than ever! In positive news for retail, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) estimates that Australians will spend more than $11 billion on Christmas presents this year. Not surprisingly, e-commerce will be seeing a lot of this cash, but with supply chains under strain, and lockdowns easing, regular retail is set to share in the spoils too! Nevertheless, campaigns should start early to get in on the Christmas chaos.

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4. Google deals on discounts, making it even easier to search for a bargain

Google searches for “discount code” increased more than 50% since last year and as the desire for best-value bargain hunting grows, Google has announced the release of a new deals section. This is a two-sided coin: helping customers find the best product deals for them, and allowing marketers to spread their promotional content wide, reaching more consumers! The section will follow a user’s search, highlighting the best deals and discounts related to their search terms. To be included merchants simply upload promotions in the Google Merchant Center (GMC).

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5. The High Court rules media must keep careful watch over their comments

This month the high court ruled that some of Australia’s biggest media companies can be found liable for defamatory third-party comments on their social media posts. The majority ruling found that encouraging comments amounted to “participation” of the defamatory material. This decision is expected to have strong consequences for Australian media companies as they are now expected to keep watchful eyes on comment sections or may even ban comments on posts entirely.

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6. TikTok to introduce new tools to help marketers, including TikTok shop and Creator Marketplace

TikTok has joined the ranks of mainstream marketing platforms as it launched its first global experience this month, designed to help brands and marketers connect with consumers in creative ways. Many large-scale brands such as Mecca and Afterpay have already utilised the platform, crafting ad campaigns to match their needs. TikTok will be growing its suite of brand and creator tools such as their TikTok Shopping, a game-changer for brands to reach consumers in-app, TikTok Creator Marketplace, providing brands with access to creators, and Customised Instant Page where brands can create landing pages that load 11 times faster than standard mobile pages – to let users dive deeper into a brand. According to recent data collected by the platform, 61% of TikTok users say TikTok videos are more “unique” and seven out of ten say TikTok ads are enjoyable. And we already know video is king, making TikTok a potentially untapped resource for many brands.

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