Author: GA Agency

GA Agency Nominated as Global Agency Award Finalists 2022

We are excited to announce that GA Agency has been shortlisted as finalists in the Global Agency Awards 2022 in two categories:

  • Best SEO Campaign
  • Best Global Campaign

We’re so proud of our international and multilingual team as this is such a great achievement, they have continued to work hard and continually delivered outstanding results for our clients.

About the Global Agency Awards

“The Global Agency Awards is recognising and rewarding the work of agencies who are transforming businesses through innovative engaging strategies across multiple marketing media.”

The awards ceremony will be taking place on the 16th June 2022 and we’re excited to find out the final results!

Google Now Writes Its Own Knowledge Panels: What Affect Could This Have?

The content shown in Knowledge Panels on Google Search always came from third parties with a link to the source, mainly consisting of excerpts from Wikipedia, but sometimes other websites too. However, it’s now occasionally showing that it has been written by Google, suggesting that Google may be using AI or machine learning to write these knowledge panels, or even human writers. There has been a lot of discussions and speculations about this as Google dislikes AI-generated content, so it’s unknown how these are written.

Source: Google

Currently, it seems that they have started with cities, so if you were to search one of your favourite cities such as ‘London’ for example, you will see Google written knowledge panels citing themselves as the source.

What Affect Could This Have?

It’s difficult to understand if this change could significantly affect the number of clicks on Wikipedia and other websites that serve as the basis for knowledge panels. We know that Google is increasing their focus on providing searchers with central information about their query in the SERPS, hence why we have quick answers, knowledge panels, and areas such as ‘similar questions’ and ‘things to know’. This could have an impact on websites as these elements encourage no-click searches.

Google’s efforts to show information immediately in a bitesize format in the SERPs is beneficial for the searcher. It will be interesting to see how this develops in the future, and whether it will have a long-term impact on the traffic to Wikipedia and other information sources from Google. As with all changes, it’s important to stay informed about the changes within SEO and understand the impact these changes could have.

If you’re looking to improve your digital marketing strategies and grow your business, our multilingual team of specialists at GA Agency offers digital marketing services such as PPC, SEO consulting, copywriting, content marketing and Amazon marketing. So, if you’re looking for a strategic partner who can assist and take your marketing strategy to the next level, feel free to contact us! We always keep up-to-date with the latest Google changes, so we are able to act quickly based on this.

Google Ads Launches Manager Account Dashboards

Google Ads have announced that advertisers can now use dashboards at the manager account level, this allows advertisers to see performance across multiple accounts. Previously, dashboards were only able to pull in data from individual accounts, making it difficult to discover potential opportunities and problems across multiple accounts.

How Do I Access It?

You just need to go to the Reports menu of your Google Ads manager account and click on Dashboards to get started.

New Additional Updates from Google Ads

In additional to launching Manager Account dashboards, Google has also introduced other improvements to make your dashboards faster and easier to use:

  • Download reports faster and at a higher quality
  • Change date ranges and filters for the dashboard as a whole
  • Create a dashboard card by copying over existing saved reports
  • Resize cards and layouts dynamically based on window size
  • Add interactive table cards, rich formatting features, and conditional formatting

Why is this Important?

As dashboards previously only showed data from individual accounts, this change should make it easier to discover potential opportunities or issues at a higher level, across multiple accounts. This will be beneficial for marketers who manage paid accounts for franchises or multiple brands within a business, as it gives a high-level, aggregate view of Google Ads performance, costs, and other key metrics.

If you would like professional assistance with your media buy campaigns, our multilingual team at GA Agency can help. We offer a range of services and run media buy campaigns for our clients on different platforms such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. Contact us to see how we can work with you as a strategic partner.

BeReal: The New Social Media App Demanding Authenticity

BeReal is the latest trending social media app that’s skyrocketing in the download charts, capturing Gen Z’s attention, and giving the world’s mobile-first generation a new way to connect throughout the day.

What is BeReal?

BeReal is marketed as a more authentic social media app. Once a day at a different time, users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a photo in 2 minutes. It’s a completely new and unique way for users to discover who their friends really are in their daily life.

How is it different to other social media platforms?

As you only have a 2-minute window in which to capture and upload a photo, it encourages users to not over-think what they post, unlike Instagram where users can take hours to capture and edit the ‘perfect’ photo. It gives a more realistic insight into the lives of others, as everyone is showing exactly what they’re doing in real-time. Users on Instagram have started to try and be more authentic with Instagram photo dumps increasing in popularity, however they’re still curated to a certain extent.

Source: BeReal

How does BeReal work?

Once notified, users will have a 2-minute window to capture what they’re doing. You can upload a photo after these 2 minutes if you miss the window, however, followers will be informed that it wasn’t posted in real-time. There are no filters or photo editing functionalities within the app, and users are encouraged to use the app to connect with friends rather than trying to gain followers.

As an extra push towards authenticity, photos are taken from the phones front and back cameras at the same time. Also, users are not able to view other friends’ photos until they’ve uploaded their own, this forces them to participate daily instead of lurking online. It’s interesting from the apps side, as this means that users must engage with the platform to be a part of it.

There are no likes, however, users can comment and leave ‘RealMoji’ reaction pictures below their friends’ posts.

How many people are using BeReal?

BeReal launched in 2020 in France and started gaining interest last year, with nearly four million downloads on Google Play and the App Store between January 2021 and February 2022.

The app’s popularity has skyrocketed in 2022 as it has taken off in American universities, with nearly two million downloads in January and February alone.

BeReal has started sponsoring college parties in the US, offering free admission to attendees that download the app and add five friends. This isn’t a random number that they have chosen, but they found that users need at least five friends on the app to encourage them to use it.

What’s next for BeReal?

It’s worlds apart from the likes of Instagram with its heavily curated feeds full of aesthetic photos, and TikTok which regularly has videos going viral and receiving millions of views. Social media has become a far cry from real life, and people are craving authenticity and relatability, and BeReal is doing a great job at capturing that.

Its unique selling point of authenticity has been trending and increasing in popularity on social media over the past couple of years, they’ve tapped into the desire for people to express their real lives, on a platform where they feel comfortable sharing.

The challenge BeReal will now face is to make the platform interesting enough to return to daily, as generally, apps with just one feature tend to become a trend that quickly passes. However, as with all social media platforms, they will learn and adjust their functionalities and features as needed to keep users engaged and loyal to the platform. They’ve already mentioned that video content will soon be available.

If the popularity of the app continues to grow, we could see other social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok trying to replicate these unique features.

What does this show about the direction marketing is moving in?

It proves just how users are craving authenticity, and it’s an important factor that you can implement within your digital marketing strategies. Authenticity can help you stand out in an otherwise loud market, and it’s increasingly becoming a key factor for consumers when deciding what brands they like and support.

If you’re looking to improve your digital marketing strategies and grow your business, our multilingual team of specialists at GA Agency offer digital marketing services such as media buy, SEO consulting, copywriting, content marketing and Amazon marketing. So, if you’re looking for a strategic partner who can assist and take your marketing strategy to the next level, feel free to contact us!

How to perform a competitor analysis in organic search results?

What is a competitor analysis and why is it important?

Competitor analysis in SEO is one of the key activities in website positioning. Its purpose is to learn about the activities of the competition in organic search results in order to be able to adapt your strategy, in such a way as to overtake them. Competition in organic search results is the key word here, because in the Google search engine, competition may turn out to be completely different than in the local market.

Competitor analysis can be an invaluable source of information useful for planning your SEO strategy. However, it is important to verify it at the later stages of the campaign and to summarise the achieved goals. A well-conducted analysis of the competition will also provide answers to the questions around what you are good at, and what still needs to be worked on.

To understand your competition, you first need to get to know them better, and thus learn about their activities on the website. Below are some tips on how to conduct a competitor analysis that deliver the required information.

SEO competitor analysis step by step

1. Perform keyword research

Before starting the competitor analysis, you should have a defined group of keywords important for your business. Depending on the number of subpages on your website, a group of the most important keywords should be selected. It can be 20, 40 or even 150 keywords. In order to know what queries are the most important for your business, it is necessary to conduct a keyword analysis, which aims to select the appropriate inquiries to which your website should respond through landing pages.

In order to extract the most crucial ones, you can be guided, for example, by the popularity of a given phrase. Highly popular phrases can be defined as queries for which the average monthly search value is over 1000. It is important to choose the most important keywords dedicated to specific subpages on the website.

It is also worth taking into account a few long-tail keywords because despite the fact that they have a lower popularity, they are often higher conversion generators on the website.

2. Find your competition

As mentioned before, your business competition can differ significantly from your competition in organic search results. This is because business competition, by definition, are other companies offering the same or similar product or service dedicated to the same or a close group of recipients. In the search results, on the other hand, the websites that appear in the first places for keywords that are important to us are the competition. Here, the competition is not only the websites of business competitors, but also guides and educational websites, price comparison websites, classified websites, and for e-commerce stores, they will be primarily the largest trading platforms. This is because the search engine is designed to provide the most relevant content to the user’s query. The websites mentioned above may have a high reputation, so they will appear in the top places in the search, and will be your competition.

For example, imagine that we are a company that offers smartphones. By searching the main keyword for this industry in the search engine, we can see from the first positions that we compete with Wikipedia and large trading platforms like Amazon. Other pages are Tech Advisor and TechRadar which provide the user with content about smartphones, comparisons and the top phones to buy.

Importantly, the place in search results for organic items is shrinking. In the example above, you can see that sponsored results, videos or graphics appear at the very top. A map also appears for many results – it shows companies offering a given service within a user’s location. In order to be displayed for these results, you must have an account on Google My Business. This decreasing amount of space creates more aggressive competition, so it is worth carefully analysing what results appear on the first page, because you will have to surpass them.

Therefore, when analysing the competition, it is worth taking a closer look at your direct business competitors, but also analysing other results that appear for the most important keywords for us.

To find out about the closest competition from organic results, you can look for it yourself in the search results by typing the keywords and browsing pages appearing in the first positions, or you can use tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush.

The visibility chart, or rather the competitive position chart, helps in assessing your position against competitors. This visualisation provides information on the number of keywords for competitive websites and compares them with our results. Thanks to that we can determine how many websites are chasing us away in their visibility, and towards which companies we are ahead.

Below is an example for the paws.com pet store.

Source: semrush.com

In this case, the tool itself defines the closest competition and shows its positions in relation to the analysed page on the chart. Furthermore, after hovering over the competitive points, the tool shows how many keywords in total the given pages are visible, and the estimated organic traffic.

3. Conduct visibility comparison for each competitive website

Once you have found your competitors, it is worth starting the analysis by creating a table that will summarise their visibility and your website in terms of numbers.

Continuing with the example of paws.com, thanks to the SEMrush tool, we can easily retrieve such data and present it in the form of a table. The first provides a summary of overall visibility, and the second is broken down into visibility groups.

From looking at this data, we can already conclude that in relation to the competition, the paws.com website is in the penultimate place in terms of the popularity of TOP3 keywords in the overall pool of phrases for which it is visible. This situation will have an impact on worse traffic estimates that such a website can generate. The highest percentage for keywords in positions from 11 to 20 – 23% has the highest result among the competition. However, these are positions on the second search engine results page, that have a much lower conversion rate. The website therefore has to work on keywords in current positions from 4 to 20, so that they can reach higher positions.

4. What else should be analysed?

a) Get to know your competitor’s business

At the very beginning, it is worth analysing the competition’s business to understand better what you are dealing with. A few questions worth answering are:

  • Is it your direct business competitor?
  • Is it a large brand with high brand awareness?
  • How long has it been on the market?
  • What is our advantage over a competitor?

These few factors will influence the understanding of your competitor and their position in the search results. If we were a newly established online store with a limited number of products, the answers to these questions would help us plan our strategy for the future.

b) Content

Well-developed content on the website may be the answer to the question why some websites rank higher in the search results. A website with many subpages containing a lot of SEO-optimised content will be rewarded by the search engines with high positions. This is because a given website responds to many user inquiries and builds its authority on a given topic. Looking at how extensive the content of the competition is, you can deduce to which audience it is created, how it is created, whether it is optimised in terms of SEO principles, whether they are willing to comment, and most importantly – what should be done to gain an advantage over them.

It is worth paying attention to whether competing websites have a blog section where they publish SEO-optimised content, increasing the number of keywords on which the website is visible. In the case of blog content, to gain an advantage over a competitor, you should pay attention to niche topics and all that have not yet been answered by a competitor.

Other subpages worth paying attention to are the category and product pages. If those pages also have rich content, you know SEO is one of your competitor’s marketing strategies.

What to pay attention to when analysing the content of the competition? First of all, analyse elements such as:

  • High-order headers like H1, but also lower-order such as H2, H3 or H4
  • How the competition inserts keywords
  • What is the structure of URLs?
  • How long is the written content?
  • What the meta titles and descriptions look like (maybe the competition builds them in a better way, i.e. they have a better call-to-actions, or make better use of keywords)
  • How often are the articles published?

To find out more about how to optimise your content, read our article: 11 Tips on How You Should Optimise Your Blog Posts for SEO.

c) Backlinks

Backlinks from external sites can be compared to recommendations. If there are many external links flowing to a particular page, especially from high authority sites, a website will be characterised by greater trust from Google. In addition to creating content, this is another factor that influences building the authority of a website. To understand why your competitors rank so high in the search results, you should analyse the links leading to their website.

Thanks to tools such as ahref.com, you can easily track the number of incoming links and the websites that lead to it.

Source: ahrefs.com

What is worth paying attention to is whether the obtained links coincide with changes in visibility over time, whether they are obtained regularly, and what is the nature of the obtained links. Competition may sponsor many events, or be popular enough to be naturally linked many times from multiple sources. After such analysis, it can be known whether the competitor conducts special activities aimed at obtaining backlinks, or whether it happens spontaneously. Moreover, backlink analysis is a great way to discover new places to get links to your website.

d) Technology

It may be that your website has not yet been created and the competition analysis is aimed at researching the market. In this case it is worth looking at the technology in which competing websites are created. Do they choose traditional solutions or do they choose modern ones? Pay special attention to the architecture of the site. A good website architecture is one that allows you to find key information quickly and efficiently. Here you should pay attention to the arrangement of elements and their availability. The key element is also checking which of the website directories generates the highest share of traffic. You can also analyse this with the ahrefs.com tool.

Another important element is the page loading speed, which has been a hot topic for a long time. In the perspective of how the Google search engine presses strongly on the performance of the website, you should compare the results of the competition and yours. Another issue is adapting the website to mobile devices.

Below you can see the comparison for mobile page speed results for paws.com and their main competitor vetuk.co.uk. The results for both websites are not good and pages are considered as slow, however the results for vet.co.uk is better.

Source: PageSpeed Insights

It is also worth taking a look at the aforementioned content. If the competition has separate blog sections, it is also worth investing in a blog section on the emerging website and adapting your marketing strategy to its expansion and promotion from the very beginning. If this argument is not enough, read why you should optimise your blog posts for SEO.

Summary

Competitor analysis in organic search results is one of the key activities when planning and running an effective SEO marketing strategy. By tracking the key elements and comparing the competition’s results to ours, we are able to answer the question why other brands are more likely to rank higher in the search engines, and what we can do to stay ahead of them. Proper organisation of SEO activities can bring many benefits, including generating conversions, but also building brand image.

If you would like professional help from a multinational agency to create a SEO strategy with outstanding results, feel free to contact us at GA Agency, where our team of experts will be happy to help.

Understanding the Metaverse and How It Could Impact Marketing

At this point, most people on the internet have heard the word ‘meta’ and the ‘metaverse’, some have heard that it’s related to Facebook but not everyone completely understands what it actually is and its expansive potential. Meta is actually just Facebook rebranding to reflect the direction they are heading in; the metaverse.

What is the metaverse?

The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection, the company Meta’s vision is to help bring the metaverse to life, so Facebook is changing their name to reflect its commitment to this future. The metaverse hasn’t been created by Facebook, the metaverse is simply a new concept for the internet in which users can interact in a virtual reality space online, with other users and in a computer-generated environment.

Currently, social media is 2D, the metaverse wants to create 3D spaces, similar to virtual reality. It will allow you to learn, socialise, play and collaborate in ways that go beyond our imagination. Over time as technology advances, it could be as if we are physically in these virtual worlds, communicating with others just like in real life. These virtual worlds will continue to exist even when you’re not participating in them.

However, it’s also related to the digital economy, a place where users can buy, sell and create goods. Conceptually, within the virtual world you could buy some trainers, then wear them the next day to a concert. This persona that you create will be able to be transferred from one platform to another.

Games such as Fortnite have already started exploring virtual reality with experiences such as purchasing tickets and attending concerts through VR headsets. This example shows a very small part of what the metaverse could be like, however this could never encompass the entire scope.

Even with having a snippet of what it could be like, the metaverse can still be hard to understand as it’s a concept that doesn’t exist in its full entirety.  Matthew Ball has outlined the key characteristics of the metaverse to help understand this further:

  • Always active – Even when you’re not participating, the online worlds continue on indefinitely, just like in real life.
  • Fully functioning economy – Users and businesses can buy, sell, create, own, invest and be rewarded for ‘work’ that provides value that’s recognised by others. Similarly to how jobs work in the real world.
  • Different platforms – Platforms will work together so data, digital items, and content will be able to be brought over from one platform to another. As an example, a car designed for Ferrari could be brought over to work in Roblox (an online gaming platform).
  • Populated by content & experiences – Users will be able to go shopping together, attend concerts, hang out with friends casually, and a wide range of other experiences. However, it’s not just virtual spaces, users will also be able to create content for others to enjoy.
  • Individual sense of presence – You’ll have your own avatar/identity to interact in the world. Users can participate in activities together and separately, you’ll be able to move around and decide whether or not you make interactions.
  • Fully functioning universe –  It’s a living experience that exists in real-time.

How do we access the metaverse?

There are new technologies that are being developed to bring this concept to life. A couple of these include:

Virtual Reality – You may have already seen VR headsets such as those created by PlayStation for gaming, this will be similar but a much more immersive experience. Quest 2 allows you to join friends and family virtually for movies, sports events, concerts, and many more experiences from the comfort of your living room, no matter where you are in the world. Combined with the metaverse, you will be able to explore new worlds and share experiences like never before, the possibilities are truly out of this world.

Augmented Reality – This allows you to enhance shared experiences through photos and video, using virtual effects on your screen. You’ll be able to do this on a variety of devices such as phones, tablets, laptops and gaming systems. Specifically for Meta, they are building Spark AR which is software that will allow you to easily use a range of AR features. This will be for all abilities, from simple and easy to use templates, to advanced customisations and controls. It will allow you to expand your digital creative skills, no matter the level.

Smart Glasses – A huge part of fully bringing the metaverse to life, wearable technology such as smart glasses will allow you to interact with the world around you. Ray-Ban has partnered with Meta for their first generation of smart sunglasses and eyeglasses; Ray-Ban Stories. With just a touch you’ll be able to record audio and video while being completely hands-free, available in 20 variations including their classic Wayfarer, Meteor and Round styles.

Even though these new technologies are being developed to enhance the experience, participation in the metaverse will not depend on if you have these technologies or not. Companies want to broaden access to the platforms for users and creators, with a variety of different entry points, including mobile phones and laptops.

When can we use the metaverse?

As previously mentioned, technology has already been created to allow the metaverse to come to life and it already exists to a certain extent. In regards to Meta which is a hot topic at the moment, we don’t have any information about when it will be released. Meta has said that:

“The metaverse will be a collective project that goes beyond a single company. It will be created by people all over the world, and open to everyone.”

What we do know is that it will take several years for it to be built, however, this means that there is plenty of time to work on the issues surrounding this and segments of metaverses that already exist.

What are the issues around the metaverse?

The biggest issues are diversity, equality, inclusion, and privacy. In regards to Meta, as it’s currently been built, they will be able to build their metaverse focusing on these issues from inception.

In order to tackle these issues, Meta has partnered with Howard University, as an initiative to strengthen diversity and increase equality in artificial intelligence. They have also announced that they will be investing $50 million in global research and program partners, in order to ensure that this platform and the technologies are developed responsibly. However, other important players in the space such as Microsoft, Epic Games and Roblox will also have to tackle these issues.

In regards to inclusion, it’s important that everyone can be included all over the world, regardless of language. Meta are working towards building new translation tools that will give users and creators the ability to participate equally, no matter their preferred language. Over time, artificial intelligence will be used to translate hundreds of spoken and written languages in real-time, there will be no language barriers.

Understandably, there’s a lot of concern around privacy due to the amount of personal data that could be collected from those who chose to participate in the metaverse. Even though companies can currently tailor advertising campaigns for the individual, the metaverse could take it to a whole new level due to how immersive it would be. Companies could be able to monitor facial expressions, vocal inflections, and other physiological responses and biometric data. We can imagine just how targeted advertising campaigns could become, however, this will develop alongside privacy laws.

How will the metaverse change marketing?

It’s important for digital marketers to keep up to date and understand the latest technological developments that are happening online, and part of this includes understanding the metaverse and its potential. They will need to learn and adapt as it grows and develops. There are several ways that this can be done, and a few companies have already started looking at marketing within virtual reality, we’ve discussed a few of these examples.

Metaverse marketing parallel with real life

In this collaboration between beer brand Stella Artois and digital horse racing platform Zed Run, they created 50 Genesis digital racehorse non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with first edition Stella Artois skins to auction. 

At first glance this might seem like a strange collaboration, however, Stella Artois regularly sponsors sporting events. Therefore, creating an online platform where NFT horses are bought, traded, raced and bred is a great entry into the metaverse.

The French luxury house Balenciaga has also joined the metaverse by collaborating with Fortnight, bringing the brand’s clothing and signatures into the game. Balenciaga also created a limited-edition ‘Balenciaga X Fortnite’ series of physical products to commemorate the occasion, which was extremely popular as it completely sold out online.

This isn’t the first luxury brand to step into the metaverse, Louis Vuitton partnered with League of Legends on both virtual and physical clothing, whilst Gucci partnered with Roblox on a virtual world. It’s a great move for those brands who want to tap into Gen Z through 2.7 billion gamers worldwide, with the global gaming industry now exceeding $300 billion.

Should I consider the metaverse in my marketing strategy?

The metaverse is only going to grow in popularity and improve with constant technological advances, it’s already becoming an integral part of digital marketing, especially in e-commerce, providing consumers with an unparalleled shopping experience. This is a unique opportunity for brands to reach customers in new ways, and come up with creative campaigns to engage and create a loyal following. As Gen Z is the dominant presence in the metaverse, integrating it into your strategy is key if you want to get ahead and keep your brand relevant in the future. It also allows businesses a new way to reach this valuable demographic.

As discussed, there are many ways your brand can thrive in the metaverse including selling virtual goods, NFTs, virtual showrooms, collaborations, and product customisation. It allows brands to reach a new audience, and the reach is boundless.

As the metaverse evolves, opportunities will continue to expand, with new ways for your brand to grow and thrive. At GA Agency, we are gaining expertise in how you can grow in the area of Web 3.0 and the metaverse and offer a range of digital marketing services such as SEO consulting and media buy. So if you’re looking for a strategic partner who can assist and take your marketing strategy to the next level, contact us!

GA Agency Nominated as European Search Awards 2022 Finalists

We are excited to announce that GA Agency has been nominated for the European Search Awards 2022 in five categories:

  • Best Use of Search – Retail/Ecommerce (SEO): Large
  • Best Use of Search – B2C (SEO): Large
  • Best Use of Search – Fashion: Large
  • Best SEO Campaign: Large
  • Best Pan European Campaign: Large

This is such a great achievement for our international and multilingual SEO team that has continued to work hard and deliver outstanding results for our clients. We’re also grateful to the Caldezonia Group which has allowed us to apply for these awards with an incredible global SEO case study.

About the European Search Awards

“The European Search Awards reward and celebrate the very best companies and people working in PPC, SEO, and Content Marketing across a variety of business sectors, in a shifting digital landscape which inspires innovation, creativity and connectivity.”

There is a rigorous two-stage judging process by a panel of search industry experts from across Europe, hand-picked for their expertise, experience and insight.

The esteemed awards ceremony will be taking place on the 26th May 2022 in Barcelona, and we’re excited to find out the final results.

What Do Marketers Need to Know About NFTs?

Since the beginning of 2022, the marketing industry has been filled with heated discussions on the Metaverse, Web 3.0 and of course, NFT. On one hand, it seems like these topics oscillate between science fiction, ambiguous speculations and possible scenarios of what is yet to be achieved. However, we have seen the first marketing campaigns of haute couture houses in virtual reality, and observed with confusion, major NFT purchases of many public figures such as Reese Witherspoon and Gary Vaynerchuk. 

All things considered, despite the pervasive uncertainty, one thing we know for sure – there is plenty of space for discovery and experimentation. In fact, as the NFT market is still to be explored on a mainstream scale, becoming a trailblazer in the digital marketing of the (not so distant) future, is something relatively realistic and doable. So, can we finally cross off the outdated statement that everything has already been done and have some fun? 

What Is an NFT?

Starting from the very basics, NFT stands for a non-fungible token. Non-fungible (non-interchangeable) assets are things like unique trading cards, songs, digital art or generally, any common goods that because of their distinctive qualities and value cannot be simply traded for something else as opposed to dollar bills or bitcoins. One dollar bill has an identical value to the other dollar bill, but an NFT of classic meme character Nyan Cat does not equal an NFT ticket to a prestigious fashion event, or an NFT of original Banksy artwork. NFTs are also similar to cryptocurrency in the way that both of them are stored on the blockchain, a digital ledger, but this is where the similarities end.

You might think, why would I pay for an NFT of a meme that has been spread across the entire internet and can be easily downloaded with one click? Well, the exclusive value of NFT lies not necessarily in the particular object, but in the purchase of the original digital asset with a specific encryption key, and a detailed record of the ownership. For this reason, Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, was able to sell an NFT of his first tweet from 2006 for nearly 3 million USD, despite the fact that anyone can access it at any time globally.

NFTs have been popularised mainly thanks to CryptoPunks, CryptoKitties and The Bored Ape Yacht. All of the above are available on Ethereum, a blockchain with the second most popular digital currency after Bitcoin, Ether.

Initially aimed for collecting, purchasing digital commodities like CryptoKitty or Bored Ape over time gained prominence similar to entering an elitist membership club with exclusive access to private concerts and events. Snoop Dogg (on Twitter, known as Cozomo de’ Medici) even called himself a grand patron of the digital arts, not only actively investing in full sets of rare BAYC (Bored Apes),  but other famous NFT collections too.

Why Are People Buying NFTs?

In the simplest terms, NFTs can express support towards a brand, platform or person, hold a personal sentimental value, serve as an investment for long-term business objectives or simply, be part of a bigger collection of unique items, similarly to those accumulated through traditional auctions of art and antiques. However, while some NFTs are designed solely for trade or admiration, others can also be used for gaming, for instance, in the form of personalised avatars or custom-built equipment in virtual reality.

But if games make you think about purchasing NFTs only as a playground for teenagers, NFT-friendly platforms like Upland will encourage you to think again. Upland, nicknamed by the founders an Earth’s Metaverse, enables you to create your own world and flip virtual properties navigating the trade thanks to the basic economic principles of supply and demand. The platform uses its internal coin, UPX, but it is powered by the EOS blockchain ensuring the ownership of its users. Upland is an intersection of the real and virtual worlds with its Play-To-Earn gaming model, where you can enter an open marketplace generating your own tokens with UPX and earn real-world money using USD.

Most importantly, the explosion of NFTs reflects the potential of the decentralised ledger for not only digital art but also e-commerce, finance, and even music, representing a multitude of opportunities for investment, engagement with consumers, authentication and protection of the products, traceability of transactions and a lot more. 

Creating Value & Scarcity for Digital Goods

The exclusivity of NFTs lies in their limited edition, who minted (‘generated’) and previously owned them. Over the past few years, the NFT market has attracted a lot of celebrities, artists and entrepreneurs raising the stakes of purchase and fuelling the trade. For instance, one of the largest NFT markets, NBA Top Shot, enables you to purchase moments like Jordan Poole’s Layup Base Set in Series 3, or an NBA All-Star VIP Pass NFT.  

However, the uniqueness of digital collectibles is not only about the creator but also the owner. Because of the use of blockchain technology, each user has access to a detailed record of the ownership. The NFT, therefore, is more likely to have its value increased when previously owned by a famous public figure. In recent months, the rarefied group of NFT holders extended to such prominent names like Eminem, Mark Cuban, Serena Williams and Neymar Jr.

NFTs are also easily tradable, facilitating the purchases and subsequently, impacting the gradual increase in value of some of the minted digital assets, especially when created by celebrities or sold as limited editions. On top of that, NFTs stand out from other digital collectibles because they are not as easily copied as other digital files and their authenticity can be effortlessly verified. 

If you’re still not entirely convinced about the exceptionality of NFTs as opposed to other digital collectibles, think of an NFT as a rare and well-known artwork such as Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. You can easily obtain a perfect copy of The Starry Night anywhere in the world. You can print it, buy a cookie-cut replica, or download it online and save it as your desktop wallpaper. But there is only one original piece, in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. What if you were able to become its owner? That is the beauty and magic of NFT ownership. 

Commerce & Engagement Opportunities for Brands

Some brands have been considering using the NFT system as a verification of authenticity of their products. For instance, Nike secured a patent for blockchain-compatible sneakers, CryptoKicks, this way, blending the real and the digital realms together. Each bought pair of physical shoes would be sold along with an NFT token, a digital asset with information of their ownership. US Patent Office granted a patent for CryptoKicks at the end of 2019. 

But businesses can benefit not only from adding some nice tweaks to the existing physical product. Upgrading the strategy can also entail producing a line of digital products in the form of NFTs. In 2021, Dolce & Gabbana launched an NFT Fashion collection Collezione Genesi (Genesis Collection) using a Polygon blockchain. Genesis Collection comprised nine unique pieces that have been sold for nearly 6 million USD.

NFT is also a great opportunity for deepening the relationship between brands and consumers. In 2022, one of the key areas of development for Youtube is to incorporate new technologies including NFTs, enabling users to purchase unique digital items produced by their favourite creators. Snapchat’s new ad formats also prepare for the capabilities of the internet of the future by constantly advancing their beloved avatars, BitMoji, which attracts NFT fans who make purchases mainly to update their Twitter profile picture or personalise their characters in the virtual reality world.

The rise of NFTs can also create new possibilities for innovative monetisation and greater control over branded content. Until now, platforms like TikTok and Netflix, while distributing any digital asset, have served as an intermediary between the user and the creator. Such distribution requires the creators to give up a certain amount of their ownership rights and power over their work. The content can also be monetised through advertisers or the traditional subscription system. Non-fungible tokens enable previous owners and creators to earn money each time their NFT has been resold. On top of that, because the ownership record is transparent to everyone, brands gain more protection over their digital assets without the fear that going viral would endanger their image.

Tokenised access management is another creative way of using NFTs. In order to enable users to unlock access to a rarefied digital experience, early fandom merch or an exclusive event, purchased as NFTs can serve as authentication and reward at the same time. This is because such NFTs not only perform a specific function such as tickets, but are also unique themselves because of their distinctive qualities.

OpenSea: the Amazon of NFT

Russell Brand, the policy editor of the Verge, in one of the interviews compared purchasing NFTs on OpenSea to buying products on Amazon. And indeed, this comparison appears to be quite accurate and justifiable as OpenSea is the first and largest marketplace for NFTs amassing digital art, photography, collectibles and even, domain names and entire virtual worlds. 

According to Forbes, at the end of 2021, the platform had nearly 1.8 million users with transactions reaching 2 billion dollars a month. On top of that, OpenSea NFTs can be purchased on the Polygon blockchain by using not one, but various cryptocurrencies such as Ether (ETH), USD Coin (USDC) and DAI.

What is Next for NFTs?

According to Jeremy Gilbertson, a Metaverse methodologist and Web3 strategist, the core characteristic of future NFTs should focus on their utility. For instance, people buy NFTs to voice their emotional attachment to brands, artists and musicians. They are part of the bigger community that shares the same idols or music taste. But this exceptional sense of belonging and community does not need to end necessarily with fandoms collecting branded NFTs. The Song That Owns Itself (STOI) offers decentralised digital ownership where fans can co-own the piece and also gain profits from the revenue. Projects like STOI represent the potential for collaboration by breaching the gap between creators and recipients in the near future.

This growing importance of participation indicates that one of the desired characteristics of the Metaverse and NFTs is to involve its users to not only co-own the products, but also co-create. This way, for instance, fans would be able to contribute to the process of making music with their favourite bands by selecting the minted combinations of the presented versions of the piece, as opposed to passive consumption of one fixed song.

Another category is the evolutionary capability and the interrelation of the physical world with the virtual one. As explained by Gilbertson, the evolutionary capabilities of NFTs, in this sense, would resemble the real world where, for instance, your purchased NFT of a tree would change with each season automatically.

The other sought-after point is domain transportability within different virtual platforms and the real world alike. For instance, Tom Sachs: Rocket Factory created a platform where you can assemble your own rocket from different NFT components. Next, your unique rocket can be turned into a physical one when you opt for the Launch Option and delivered to you when recovered from the launch. As explained by the founders, Tom Sachs: Rocket Factory represents a Singular Transdimensional NFT where the ownership consists of the Completed Rocket NFT, the Physical Rocket twin and the video recording of the launch. The NFT version is updated with metadata throughout the entire process.

Lastly, NFT has immense potential for driving social impact. On one hand, technological advancements connected to NFTs could enable consumers to address major challenges and create opportunities that were not possible before. For example, Code Green uses blockchain to raise money for grassroots organisations concerning social and climate justice, as well as humanitarian emergencies and gender equality. Code Green connects donors, artists, activists and other people driven by social change by hosting charitable NFT auctions, educating them on NFTs and executing other philanthropic endeavours aimed to make NFTs inclusive, accessible and impactful.

On the other hand, the electricity-consuming blockchain system of NFTs raises a serious threat of carbon footprint which sparks further questions on how to nurture the NFT market without it becoming a peril for the climate. While some people are advocating for renewable sources of energy to power cryptocurrency machines, others are prone to give up using Ethereum and instead, support more sustainable blockchains such as Hedera, Tezos or Algorand. The other potential solutions for more eco-friendly NFTs are on their way with helpful guidelines already circulating across the Internet.

Summary

When it comes to digital marketing, it appears that NFTs are the key that could open a lot of new doors. From the fantasy-like digital clothes and exclusive immersive experiences to new business models and engagement opportunities, NFTs represent an entirely new reality that, like anything new, generates a lot of contradicting emotions.

Therefore, the best way to navigate through the market of NFTs is to maintain a well-calculated balance between verified and experimental practices. Adapting to the newly-emerging trends is a natural cycle of any successful marketing campaign, and trial-and-error will definitely be a necessary measure to move forward with NFTs and eventually, succeed in the digital space.

As the NFT marketplace is still in its early stages, it is also equally important to not abandon more “traditional” marketing strategies. With the rise of user-generated content, the demand for Influencer Marketing has never been more on-trend. Practices like SEO or Digital Ads are going to stick around too, helping you achieve your business goals, improve your content and expand the visibility of your brand. 

Whether you are a new start-up or an established company, contacting GA Agency is a great opportunity to take your business to the next level. The experience, knowledge and expertise of GA marketing professionals can help you create a perfect blueprint for your brand and prepare it for new technological advancements in the future.

Google’s Search Algorithm Update: Improved Quality of Product Reviews

Google regularly make changes and update their ranking systems, improving them further for users to ensure they’re working their best. This week they announced they were updating their product review ranking, as they received a lot of feedback that people prefer detailed reviews with evidence of the products actually being tested.

As explained by Google, this latest update will ensure that product reviews in Search meet specific criteria, such as:

  • Include helpful in-depth details, like the benefits or drawbacks of a certain item, specifics on how a product performs or how the product differs from previous versions
  • Come from people who have actually used the products, and show what the product is physically like or how it’s used
  • Include unique information beyond what the manufacturer provides — like visuals, audio or links to other content detailing the reviewer’s experience
  • Cover comparable products, or explain 

This update will be rolled out over the next few weeks and have warned that it could impact the rankings for English-language product reviews across many websites. They will be expanding these updates beyond English, however have not yet given any indication of when this will be happening.

As high quality product reviews are becoming increasingly important, Google has published an article on how to write high quality product reviews, helping potential customers discover your product reviews in Google Search and other Google platforms. Their main aim is to help users find trustworthy and reliable advice, to guide them in their decision making.

At GA Agency, our multilingual team can help you develop your marketing strategies and mitigate any issues around Google updates that might impact your website. Contact us to find out more about our marketing services including SEO consulting, copywriting and media buy.

What You Need to Know About Google’s Performance Max Campaigns

One of the most important changes in PPC is Google’s Performance Max campaigns which use automation to help marketers drive more conversions, gain more transparent insights and expand their customer reach.

What are Performance Max Campaigns?

Performance Max is a new goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. It has been designed to help you find more converting customers across all of Google’s channels (e.g. Display, Search, YouTube, Maps), complementing your keyword-focused search campaigns through automated bidding and targeting. The automation capabilities have made it an exciting option for those wanting to enhance their search campaigns.

How Do Performance Max Campaigns Work?

Performance Max campaigns use your conversion goals, audience signals and advertising objectives to ensure your ads reach your targeted audiences at the right time. Automation is used to help improve results and grow your business across Google’s channels. It helps you achieve your goals in four main ways:

  1. Increase conversions and value – The use of automation optimises your budget and bids to help capture new conversion opportunities in real-time.

  2. Find new customers – You’ll be able to unlock new audience segments using Google’s real-time understanding of behaviour, content and user intent. This allows the most relevant ads to show at the optimal times.

  3. Gain richer insights – Performance Max campaigns have been added to the Insights page which helps you understand how you can improve your campaigns and how automation is working. Additionally, you can see how your top-performing assets are being combined to build creatives using the Combinations report.

  4. Work together with automation – You can share expertise about what audiences are most likely to convert and provide high-quality creative assets to aid automation.

Best Practices for Performance Max Conversion

In order to get the best out of your campaigns, these are the best practices for Performance Max conversion:

  • Choose conversion goals important to your business and set values for your conversions – After selecting your main objectives and conversion goals, ensure that accurate conversion measurement is set up, and set conversion values to represent the relative importance of your goals.

  • Choose the bid strategy that best fits your goals and set the right budget – Smart Bidding based on your goals is used by Performance Max to set the right bids in real-time to help drive better results from your budget. You can use existing campaigns in your account as a guide to set the budget for these campaigns.

  • Keep Final URL expansion turned on to drive more conversions and relevant search queries – This will help find more converting search queries that are likely to perform well based on customer intent and their relevance to your landing pages.

  • Create a variety of creative assets for your asset group – You should add as many different versions of text, image and video assets as possible; this is because the more assets you provide, the more ad formats the campaign can create.

  • Add audience signals to indicate which audiences are more likely to convert – This is important as it helps to guide automated targeting.

  • Include ad extensions – This helps your ads provide more detail to your customers and show up more prominently.

  • Evaluate performance – You want to focus on relevant performance metrics that align with your bid strategy, account for conversion delays, check for campaign alerts, and compare conversion performance before and after adding Performance Max. You can also view the Insights page which will help you understand what’s driving performance.

Performance Max campaigns help drive better performance and convert more customers across all of Google’s advertising surfaces. It’s an exciting new campaign that marketers will want to implement to expand their customer research and drive more conversions.

If you would like professional assistance with your media buy campaigns, our multilingual team at GA Agency can help. We run media buy campaigns for our clients on different platforms such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. Contact us to see how we can work with you as a strategic partner.

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