The Hype - December 2017

Welcome to The Hype, FABRIC8’s monthly round-up of the latest CRO and digital marketing news.

Each month, we'll look at what’s been happening in the industry and ask, ‘is it really worth the hype?’

That way, you get to learn all about the super-important stuff, and find out if new fads really are all they’re cracked up to be.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's dig in to November’s digital marketing trends:

Tweets now have 280 characters – has Twitter lost its integrity?

The social media giant Twitter has ditched its USP and perhaps a little bit of its integrity along with it.

The main attraction of this platform was that it forced you to write to-the-point, concise messages to share with your followers. This was sometimes a challenge, but all part of the fun! It really set Twitter apart from other platforms, so we're surprised it's made this massive change.

And, we're not the only ones ... The entire Internet has been up in arms about it!

J.K Rowling expressed her disgust with one perfectly formed tweet (within the original 140 limit):



Stephen King was even more concise ...


Still, some are embracing the change. President Trump used an outrageous 176 characters to deliver this Mean Girls-style tweet about Kim Jong-un ... Make of it what you will!



We agree that Twitter upping its character count perhaps misses the point. If we really wanted to write longer posts, we'd just hop over to Facebook. However, businesses could really benefit from it; more characters mean more hashtags, which means better targeting and increased visibility - result!

However, the whole thing really isn't worth getting worked up over. Our guess is that original users probably won't use the extra characters. Twitter's research backs this up too; in the September test-run, only 5% of tweets exceeded 140 characters, and just 2% exceeded 190.

Once everyone gets over the novelty of a higher character count, everything will go back to normal, just you wait.

Is Concurra all it’s cracked up to be?

This Halloween was full of spooky clowns, red balloons and even the return to the big screen of 'Jigsaw'. It also saw the release of Concurra; the first all-in-one user experience and conversion rate optimisation platform.

Sounds pretty good, right? Have a look at the key features:

  • Real-time monitoring of all user interactions
  • Personalisation of pages
  • Rapid A/B testing
  • Near-instant prototyping

It’s a really good idea. The fact that it’s built through first-hand experience of optimising websites with several (costly) tools makes us think that it’ll be a great platform.

If it does everything it claims it will be awesome, and we want in! However, we might give it some time first.

We think it’s probably best to wait for version 2 or 3 to come out, that way Concurra can iron-out all the kinks, make improvements and create a nice bank of user support documents. The price might go down a little, too – always a plus!

We’d suggest keeping an eye on Concurra, but if you’re a small business you’re better off sticking to other tools for now, or using a top-notch CRO agency.

Should you be thinking about Amazon’s digital marketing?

We all know Amazon as the giant online shop that comes in handy when you've forgotten Mum's birthday present.

With Christmas just around the corner, it's likely that Prime delivery is going to become your best friend very soon. But have you ever considered using Amazon for digital marketing?

ClickZ Intelligence found that 55% of shoppers begin their search for a product with Amazon. That shocked us too - we thought search engines had this in the bag! However, they only achieved a measly 34%, while online retailers themselves got just 21%.

So, maybe it's time to step back from traditional SEO and explore digital marketing within Amazon?

We suspect that many marketers haven’t heard of Amazon Advertising.

This platform allows you to reach shoppers programmatically, even if you aren't selling products directly on Amazon! Use the automated or manual approach to latch onto Amazon's behavioural data, to benefit from more relevant ad placements and increase revenue.

A whopping 63% of businesses are planning to allocate budget to Amazon activities in 2018. That's compared with Google (54%) and Facebook (53%) ... so we think that Amazon is worth considering. Why not check it out today?

TV sponsors have been voted the most trustworthy, but it’s really about who has the most money

Channel 4 have just announced the results of a pioneering study into the effects of TV sponsorship.

It found that sponsoring a TV show delivers value, increases brand awareness and drives positive viewer perceptions. (Please forgive us if we're not altogether shocked by this.)

However, the study did turn up one interesting finding, 89% of TV viewers saw brands that sponsor TV shows as more trustworthy than those that use other forms of advertising.

This is probably because they think TV sponsorship is expensive, so the brand must be more successful than others to support the cost. In fact, 91% perceived these brands as more ‘premium’ because they supported a TV show.

Well, they're right about one thing, sponsoring a TV show is an expensive business! However, that doesn't necessarily mean the company behind it is more trustworthy or better than its competitors. It just proves it has a bigger marketing budget.

Yorkshire Tea demonstrated this point when asked why they weren't sponsoring C4's Bake Off. The company replied with:

"We looked into sponsoring Bake Off. All we say is that Dr Oetker must be minted."

So, for brands, TV sponsorship is still a matter of choice, but as it’s not perceived that way by the public, you might need to consider it as part of your strategy. Remember, you can still build trust in lots of other (less costly) ways. It's probably best to try those first.

Should we worry about ‘Dark Social’?

Don't worry, we're not talking about advertising your business on the Dark Web. Dark social is a much less clandestine affair.

Dark social is where customers share content via instant messaging or email. It's tough to track, but it can really help you gauge customer intent.

This form of sharing goes into overdrive around Christmas, because most people share links to determine which presents to buy their friends and family.

It's a great way to assess user intent and drop-off points in the conversion funnel – if a visitor shares a product page they probably think it will make a good gift. There's a high probability that this user will then go on to purchase, however the likelihood does differ between sectors.

  • Beauty - One in ten that share in the dark go on to purchase
  • Fashion – One in three that share in the dark go on to purchase
  • Tech – One in two that share in the dark go on to purchase
  • Grocery – One in four that share in the dark go on to purchase

A whopping 80% of Christmas online shoppers use dark social, and 72% use it as their primary method for sharing Christmas content. So, you should probably start thinking about it! Figure out a way of tracking dark social traffic, and you'll gather more data that will help you create effective content around your customer's journey.

So that’s it – a quick round-up of the latest news in CRO and digital marketing. Check in with us next month to find out what the hype is then!