Live or Streaming - What Video Provides The Best Opportunity For You?

Important new details on Facebook/iOS14 changes. Why your business should not be blogging in 2021. And you will never guess who makes up the fastest-growing cohort of online shoppers.

Thanks for subscribing to Cache - a weekly summary of the most important stories, trends, & commentary in eCommerce marketing, curated by Rob Bettis.

Last week’s issue had a 40% open rate. Share this issue with your favorite Twitter follow.

In addition to this week’s stories, I wanted to highlight a few follow-up notes from the Apple vs. Facebook tension we have documented in previous issues.

  • Changes to the Facebook UI have already begun rolling out.
  • For many marketers, this rollout has resulted in a broken UI, with basics like column totals missing.
  • If you are experiencing column total bugs, a quick-fix was discovered. Change your ad sets so they all utilize the 7-day attribution window. The totals seem to break when either a) there are multiple attribution window types in a single campaign, or b) not every ad set is utilizing the 7-day window. It is not clear to me which setup is causing the issue, but there seems to be a consensus that changing everything to 7-day does resolve the problem - although updates may send your ad sets back into review.
  • Google Analytics should be (hopefully remain to be) the bedrock of your reporting. So make sure your URL parameters in Facebook are buttoned-up.

Should a Small Business Have a Blog in 2021? - Sterling Sky Inc

If a business has interesting news to share or things that would provide value to your customers that don’t fit into the core pages then go for it. Just stop thinking of blogging in terms of “blogging for the sake of blogging”. Focus on optimizing existing core pages, and continually analyzing the content gaps that exist between you and your competitors.

Google Chrome 88 Performance Recordings Adds Core Web Vitals Data

Within Chrome 88's developer tools, under the performance recordings, you now have an option to display Google Web Vitals information. After recording your load performance, enable the Web Vitals checkbox in the Performance panel to view the new Web Vitals lane. This information lane currently displays Web Vitals information such as First Contentful Paint (FCP), Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and Layout Shift (LS).

🗣 Social

Social ad spend surged over holidays, with video content commanding spotlight | Marketing Dive

Livestreaming has climbed to the top of the agenda and increasingly stands as an outlet to generate direct sales, with top platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok integrating new shopping capabilities. Facebook Live was the most engaging format on the social networking site in Q4, per Socialbakers, while video made up 18% of all Instagram posts.

"The increasing popularity of Live Video content and the momentum around Live Shopping experiences highlights just how important social media is as a revenue generation tool," Socialbakers wrote.

Directly shoppable media, including livestreams, are forecast by the Interactive Advertising Bureau to become one of the fastest-growing advertising categories in the near future amid the emergence of a "storeless economy" the industry group says notched $120 billion in global sales last year. The desire to blend commerce and content — particularly when targeting smartphone-savvy young shoppers — manifested in several ways around the holidays.

Facebook Business Suite: What Marketers Need to Know : Social Media Examiner

Additionally, Facebook hasn’t yet announced whether Facebook Business Manager will be going away for good to be replaced by Facebook Business Suite but it seems clear to me that this would be a next step.

Both Facebook Business Suite and Facebook Business Manager were developed to help small businesses manage their business assets on Facebook and across Facebook entities using a simplified interface. Currently, if you have access to both, you can switch freely between the two.

However, Facebook Business Suite does offer expanded access to certain tools such as the unified inbox. Once every business has access to Facebook Business Suite, the next step is likely to be to phase out Facebook Business Manager along with Facebook Pages Manager.

Given the current state of Facebook’s ad platform, it’s hard to think this will end well. For example, both Business Suite and Business manager are accessed at the same URL ( - certainly no confusion there.

Pinterest Launches New 'Dynamic Creative' Automated Ad Targeting and Creation Process | Social Media Today

Definitely, the process makes sense, and will provide more ways to reach users based on their individual behaviors and interests. But it could also be impacted by Apple's upcoming IDFA changes, which is expected to reduce data-tracking capacity within apps. And with some 85% of Pinterest's 442 million users accessing the platform via the app, that could render this option significantly less beneficial - though, of course, not all of those users are on iOS, and we have no idea how many will choose to switch off in-app data tracking.

Pinterest officially launches new Story Pins format in beta | TechCrunch

Asked yesterday how Story Pins differ from the stories we’d see on Snapchat, Instagram or any other social media platform, Pinterest’s head of content, creator and homefeed product David Temple told reporters that Pinterest’s approach is different in a few key ways.

“Story features on other platforms are designed to show you what people are doing,” Temple said. “Story Pins are designed to show you how people are trying new ideas and new products. That means the features and intent are dramatically different.”

For one thing, he noted that they’re not ephemeral, meaning that they don’t disappear after a set period of time, and can still be surfaced via search or other discovery mechanisms: “The best ideas and Story Pins remain relevant for months.”

In addition, the main interaction with a Story Pin (as with other forms of content on Pinterest) is to save it for later, rather than a simple like button. And they can include lists of the necessary supplies or ingredients.

💃 Influencers

Social ad spend surged over holidays, with video content commanding spotlight | Marketing Dive

Yet, traditional influencer marketing, especially #ad sponsored posts, continued to slide in Q4, suggesting marketers have retooled how they leverage internet stars in their marketing campaigns. Socialbakers said the number of brands working with influencers who have a following of at least 100,000 was almost level with pre-pandemic numbers, suggesting the channel has not felt the windfall. The relative stasis could be a sign that brands opted to work more with influencers who have smaller audiences in recent months, Socialbakers said.

🛍 Marketplace

Baby Boomers are shopping online for groceries - The Washington Post

The coronavirus pandemic has reshaped habits and behaviors of even the most resolute shoppers as social distancing became a key line of defense against infection. But one of the most significant and unexpected shifts, experts say, was the almost immediate embrace of online shopping by people in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

As baby boomers move online, retailers and consumer goods brands are scrambling to meet them there with round-the-clock customer service, detailed nutrition information and interactive videos aimed at simplifying e-commerce for the uninitiated. Instacart, the nation’s largest online grocery provider, has created a service that helps older consumers set up accounts, fill their carts and place their first orders. The program has been so popular — helping onboard hundreds of thousands of new shoppers.

“There has been a significant increase in consumers over 50 who had never shopped online and are now saying, ‘Oh wow, this is so much easier than I thought,’" said Deborah Weinswig, chief executive of retail consulting firm Coresight Research. “There’s going to be a lot more mixing and matching: ‘Maybe I want to go to the store to squeeze my own vegetables, but I’ll get non-perishables and dry goods delivered.’”

Consumers 65 and older, on average, spent a total of $1,615 online from January through October, a 49 percent increase from a year earlier, making them the fastest-growing cohort of online shoppers, according to NPD Group’s Checkout Tracking, which captures data from consumer receipts both online and in stores. Frequency of purchases, meanwhile, climbed more than 40 percent.

🛠 Tips & Tools

Hush – Noiseless Browsing for Safari

Block nags to accept cookies and privacy invasive tracking in Safari on Mac, iPhone and iPad.

🤷🏻‍♂️ Just For Fun

Twitter’s decentralized social network project takes a baby step forward - The Verge

Bluesky, Twitter’s decentralized social networking effort, has announced its first major update since 2019. The Bluesky team released a review of the decentralized web ecosystem and said it’s hoping to find a team lead in the coming months. The review follows Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey discussing Bluesky earlier this month, when he called it a “standard for the public conversation layer of the internet.”

I love Twitter but struggle with many of the shortcomings that came with monetization efforts. This new project is intriguing.

👋 Holla!

Questions, comments, inquiries? I’d love to hear from you! Email