It’s been a crazy last few weeks and, in case your eyes weren’t glued to the influencer marketing and social media news, we’ll break down the biggest stories you may have missed below:
November 10, 2020: TikTok announces integration with Shopify; Pinterest launches new shopping tools for brands; Instagram releases three updates to live streaming
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:
Shop Til’ You Drop on TikTok
TikTok has furthered its investment in social commerce with the announcement of a new global partnership with Shopify.
Give me the deets.
The agreement allows Shopify merchants to create, run and optimize their TikTok marketing campaigns directly from the Shopify dashboard by installing the new TikTok channel app from the Shopify App Store. Once installed, merchants will have access to the key functions from the TikTok For Business Ads Manager.
What does this mean for marketers?
TLDR; marketers can make their TikTok ads shoppable — as long as they are integrated with Shopify. With the ad tools TikTok now offers through Shopify, marketers can create native, shareable content that turns their products into In-Feed video ads. Marketers will have access to TikTok’s targeting tools, giving them the ability to target their audiences across gender, age, user behavior and video category. Lastly, Shopify merchants will be able to install or connect their “TikTok Pixel” to help them track conversions driven by their TikTok ad campaigns.
What’s Shopify saying?
Satish Kanwar, Vice President of Product at Shopify, has shared that, “TikTok is one of the world’s fastest growing entertainment platforms with over 100 million highly engaged users in the U.S. alone. The TikTok channel means Shopify merchants—even those without a strong TikTok following of their own yet—can connect with these new audiences using content that feels authentic and genuine to the TikTok experience.”
What happens when you combine the fastest growing social media/entertainment platform and the largest e-commerce platform for 1M+ businesses? A match made in heaven for just about everyone except consumers’ wallets.
As TikTok continues to ramp up its presence as a social commerce platform, brands have a tremendous opportunity to lean into the platform — especially now that it’s integrated its back-end with Shopify. If your brand already has a presence on TikTok, there’s no time like the present to start running ads on the platform — especially given the $350 ad credit the platform is giving marketers to kick-start their ads on the platform.
Not sure where to get started? Check out our guide for all things TikTok (advertising included).
Not Unrelated: Pinterest Adds New Shopping Tools for Brands
Just in time for the holiday season, Pinterest has released several new tools for brands on its platform.
- New storefront profile: This includes new ways for brands to present their products on the tab, such as featuring in-stock products organized by category, featured product groups and dynamically-created recommendations.
- Faster Catalogs feed ingestion: A streamlined connection process will make it easier for brands to upload their Catalogs and activate shopping ads, improving the on-platform shopping experience. Back in July, Pinterest reported that the Catalog ingestion had grown 10x in the first half of 2020. This update will likely increase this number even further, adding more shoppable Pins to the platform.
- Updates to collections: Pinterest is combining Catalogs and Collections to make collections a shoppable ad format. As part of this update, brands can select a main asset and a corresponding product group to create a multi-image ad unit. Brands also now have the option to use a video as the hero piece of content in a Collections ad unit.
- Automatic bidding: Aligning bids with defined ad objectives will make it easier for marketers to maximize their campaigns. This process is specifically aligned around maximizing sales, looking to showcase brands’ promotions to users who have a history of buying, or show signs of being ready to make a purchase. Pinterest reported that, on average, advertisers who tested automated bidding saw 29 percent more clicks and 28 percent more conversions.
- Conversion insights and analysis: Making it easier to show how Pins are performing for different objectives will allow brands to improve and accelerate consumers’ paths-to-purchase. This update allows brands to follow customers’ purchase journey and compare multiple attribution views to prove impact.
Lots of updates, so little time. Where do we begin? For starters, as the Wall Street Journal said, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Pinterest.”
We couldn’t agree more. Just take a look at Pinterest’s Q3 earnings. Not only did the platform add more than 26 million more MAUs in Q3 — making its total MAU reach 442 million — but of the new users who came to the platform, Pinterest reported seeing higher retention and higher engagement compared to a cohort of new users during the same time period last year.
From a revenue perspective, Pinterest saw tremendous growth, at 58 percent year-over-year. Taking a deeper dive into this growth, the platform noted that revenue from both conversion optimization and shopping ads continued to increase much faster than its overall revenue (hence the updates above).
With the holiday shopping season just around the corner, there’s no time like the present to activate influencers on Pinterest — especially given just how many consumers go to Pinterest looking for inspiration.
Not sure where to start? Check out this guide!
Live, From Instagram
Instagram has made three significant updates to its live streaming capabilities.
Users can now go live for up to four hours, compared to the previous one-hour time limit; live streams can now be saved for up to 30 days before they automatically delete; and there will now be a “Live Now” section in the IGTV app and on Explore so users can discover more Lives in real-time and not miss out.
Amidst the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, Instagram Live continues to be a place for people to connect and come together. Live usage has jumped 70 percent over pre-coronavirus numbers in the U.S.
Instagram’s updates make sense on a few fronts. The company explains the update is meant to help those who have had to pivot to virtual events (think: fitness instructors, teachers, artists, activists, etc.). These events often go longer than one hour and, up until now, event hosts/creators had to stop the live stream right before the one-hour mark and begin a new live stream. Evidently, this resulted in some level of viewer drop-off, as not all viewers rejoined the new stream.
Failure to follow this method would result in the live stream not saving, which frustrated event hosts/creators who wanted to save the content to IGTV to extend the initial 24-hour shelf life. Moving forward, this should be a non-issue due to the new, four-hour time limit and the ability to archive live streams for up to 30 days. As well, the new “Live Now” is also a win for creators — as it serves to increase discoverability of streams, which is a necessity given just how many creators have turned to live during the coronavirus pandemic.