Shopify & Microsoft Team Up To Help Merchants Reach More Shoppers
Microsoft announced a new Shopify partnership today that gives merchants access to more customers via the updated Microsoft Channel app in Shopify.
Currently available to merchants in the U.S. and Canada, the updated Channel app enables advertisers to utilize both the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network.
Products are then automatically eligible to display in the Microsoft Bing Shopping tab and the Microsoft Start Shopping tab free as Product Listings.
Bolar also revealed that Product Ads and Product Listings will “soon” have a Buy Now button to give shoppers a quick checkout option directly from the ad experience. The timeline for that rollout was not given.
These are the latest in a series of Microsoft Advertising updates designed to engage consumers and expand advertiser reach.
Source: Shopify & Microsoft Team Up To Help Merchants Reach More Shoppers
Google extends its shopping integrations to include BigCommerce
Google has rolled out an integration with BigCommerce, the company announced Thursday. Similar to Google’s integrations with Shopify, WooCommerce, GoDaddy and Square, which were announced earlier this year, this partnership will enable BigCommerce merchants to show their products for free on Google, create ad campaigns and review performance metrics from their BigCommerce store.
Why we care
The new integration provides BigCommerce retailers with an easy way to make their listings more discoverable across Google properties, which can help drive traffic to their products. This may be especially helpful for merchants that can’t or aren’t able to dedicate extra staff or enlist the help of an agency.
For Google, all these integrations may mean more product listings it can show to users, which strengthens it as a shopping destination and helps it compete with other e-commerce platforms. If Google is able to generate value for merchants via these integrations, then merchants may also be inclined to try the platform’s advertising tools, which is also good for Google.
Source: Google extends its shopping integrations to include BigCommerce
Facebook Has New Communication Tools For Businesses
Facebook is rolling out a series of updates targeted at small businesses, including audio & video calls in Messenger, live audio rooms, and more.
These updates are coming just in time for the holiday shopping season, which reportedly counts for 20% of annual revenue for small businesses.
Businesses will have more ways to communicate with customers this season, the ability to book more appointments directly in Facebook, and easier ways to create ads.
New Facebook Features For Businesses
Audio & Video Calling
Facebook is starting to test audio and video calling with select small and medium sized businesses using Business Inbox in Messenger.
Live Audio Rooms
Live Audio Rooms were introduced earlier this year and are widely regarded as Facebook’s answer to Clubhouse.
Small businesses can host live conversations on topics relevant to their customers, and people can discover them across Facebook.
Hosts can invite friends, followers, creators or any listeners in the room to be a speaker. Speakers can be invited in advance or during the conversation.
Small business owners can receive and manage appointments from new and existing clients using their Facebook page.
The ability to book appointments is being offered at no added cost to businesses.
Changes to Personalized Ads
The message will reinforce to the user that their engagement is helping the small business grow and get found by more customers.
Updates to Facebook Business Suite
Updates to Business Suite will streamline the ad creation process and provide business owners with new insights.
The full list of changes includes:
- Ability to create Instagram-only ads on desktop.
- New insights to help measure ad performance.
- Recommendations on audience targeting.
- Recommendations on campaign optimizations.
- Easy access to official best practices.
Updates to Ad Creation
Facebook is aligning the ad creation process in Ads Manager to better align campaign objectives with traditional marketing goals such as awareness, site traffic, leads, or sales.
The 11 goals businesses were previously asked to choose from are being consolidated into three:
Create an Ad
Boost Existing Content
Source: Facebook Has New Communication Tools For Businesses
Jetpack Launches Commercial Backup Feature as a Standalone Plugin
Jetpack is splitting out its commercial Backup feature into a standalone plugin that can be used without installing the core Jetpack plugin.
The commercial product includes automated daily or real-time backups with one-click restores, even for sites that are offline. Backups include all WordPress database, theme, and plugin files, which are stored on WordPress.com’s infrastructure with redundant copies on multiple servers. The product was built with WooCommerce in mind and can restore a site to any past state while keeping current orders and products in place.
Jetpack representative Rob Pugh said the product was split out of the core plugin because “many developers and site owners asked for the flexibility to use specific components of Jetpack as part of their own, custom-built ‘tech stack’ of plugins.”
The standalone plugin is available on WordPress.org and requires a user connection to WordPress.com. It is essentially a shell for connecting the commercial product, as the plugin doesn’t have a free tier or perform any function unless you click “Upgrade Now.”
The plugin’s description on WordPress.org is somewhat misleading, as it isn’t explicit that this is a commercial-only product. The “Get Started” section states, “Installation is free, quick, and easy. It only takes a few minutes to install Jetpack Backup.” The fact that it’s a paid product isn’t evident unless you dig into the accordion FAQ section about how to create a backup: “As soon as you purchase Jetpack Backup, it will be activated, and the first backup will be completed.”
Source: Jetpack Launches Commercial Backup Feature as a Standalone Plugin
Free AI Content Optimization Tool by MarketMuse
MarketMuse recently released a free version of their sophisticated AI powered content writing tool. This tool automates the content creation process so that the team can focus on the content plus it provides insights to help optimize the content before it is published rather than refining it after it’s been published.
AI Content Planning and Optimization
First-hand Experience With MarketMuse
The free version of MarketMuse is similar to the paid version. The free version contains the primary features of MarketMuse. The biggest difference in those primary features is scale. The paid version can focus on more queries.
Screenshot of Traffic Metrics Showing Increase After Using MarketMuse:
MarketMuse Free Version
The MarketMuse free version of their product was designed to be useful for smaller sites. The functionality is basically the same as the paid version which offers more queries to work with.
The free version of MarketMuse offers these primary applications:
Users of the free version receive 35 queries per month to run the applications and optimize their content before publishing it.
According to MarketMuse:
“Those who leverage our Free package will be able to improve the quality of select articles each month by ensuring:
- They answer the right questions
- Identifying the right links
- Covering the right topics before publication.”
Should You Try the Free Version of MarketMuse?
There are some content optimization tools that claim to optimize content but all they provide is a simple analysis of the search results consisting of statistical data about keyword usage of the top ranked websites. That’s not machine learning. That’s not AI.
MarketMuse helps automate the entire content creation process with AI and machine learning created by data scientists and computer engineers and experts in SEO.
MarketMuse is used and trusted by top organizations like The Motley Fool and Discover.
Source: Free AI Content Optimization Tool by MarketMuse
Facebook plans to change its name as part of company rebrand
Podcast knowledge panels go live in Google Search
Microsoft will shutter LinkedIn in China by the end of the year