Each episode of the EDGE include a bonus news roundup segment to keep you up-to-date on the latest digital marketing headlines. The latest features host Erin Sparks and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann along with special guest John Wall, Partner at Trust Insights. Here’s the news roundup from episode 356 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 


Veritone Says AI is Helping Ad Buyers Sort Through Sea of Podcast Options

From InsideRadio we learn that Veritone Says AI is Helping Ad Buyers Sort Through Sea of Podcast Options. In a new white paper, Ryan Steelberg says AI-based technologies are already making a difference as the number of podcasts grow – not only in numbers but also in the variety of subjects they cover.

  • Erin Sparks: Steelberg is the president and cofounder of Veritone, an ad-tech company that’s deep into artificial intelligence. Steelberg notes that audio content is in a real renaissance, and that’s something we’ve certainly seen as well in the last few years with the rise in popularity of podcasts.
  • John Wall: Veritone is a great company and full disclosure I do work with them. They really are good at using machine learning and AI to figure out which podcasts to hit and even churning through the specific content of podcasts to find out what it covers, what’s mentioned and which spots would be good for ad placement. 
  • Erin Sparks: The automatic transcription that’s available now certainly opens up being able to unpack the content, which previous felt like an impenetrable wall. Now we can really pinpoint contextual ad placement based on specific topics in a show.
  • John Wall: Yes, for the first 10 years of podcasting, that simply wasn’t possible. It was like podcast show content was hidden or buried. And now there’s also the possibility of tying podcast content into smart speakers so that bits of a relevant show can be served up in search results through that channel.
  • Erin Sparks: And when you think about it, this particular way of marketing is theoretically going to be a very organic way to reach people who are solidly in your lane if they’re engaged in listening to content in a podcast. But if the ads served up are not done right in terms of being highly relevant, it could really backfire. It’s a very potentially ripe harvest.


Facebook Announces ‘Shops’ for Facebook and Instagram

According to Andrew Hutchinson on Social Media Today, Facebook Announces ‘Shops’ for Facebook and Instagram. After years of working around the edges, and trying to find ways to make a bigger dip into eCommerce, the COVID-19 pandemic has finally given Facebook the push it needs to take the next major step. Today, Facebook has launched ‘Shops’ on both Facebook and Instagram

  • Erin Sparks: This could be really big for smaller companies that don’t have their own ecommerce capabilities because now they can just jump into this new ecommerce option through both Facebook and Instagram. And creating a shop is FREE. 
  • John Wall: This is a great opportunity, and especially for anyone who already has brand presence on Facebook or Instagram that’s already working for them. This will be a fantastic way for them extend that presence right into making sales. And it’s impressive all the integrations they’re talking about right from the start: Shopify, Cafe24, WooCommerce, all the big players, which means being able to just flick a switch and have all your inventory from those sites rollover into these shops. But I’m also wary of it being free, because it’s probably only free for now. Facebook does have a history of rolling something out that’s free and then charging for it down the road. You wouldn’t want this to be your only ecommerce presence just because it’s free because it probably won’t stay that way. 
  • Erin Sparks: And it also says setting up the shop is free, but it doesn’t say transactions are free.
  • John Wall: Exactly. Transaction fees would be a natural way to monetize it, and then we’ll see a Facebook credit card not too far down the road, probably.


Google’s May 2020 Core Update Mess Up Google’s Search Results?

On Search Engine Roundtable, Barry Schwartz asks if Google’s May 2020 Core Update Mess Up Google’s Search Results? Barry posted on Search Engine Roundtable insights from a number of SEO’s regarding their thoughts of the “quality” of the search results – did Google mess it up?

  • Erin Sparks: Some have noticed that grouped Pinterest results have been duplicating the same Pinterest results. Quite a few knowledgeable contributors to this article have noticed various things amiss with Google search results, and especially with forums and sites with a lot of user-generated content. And those sites are seeing a lot of positive impact from the core update.
  • John Wall: It feels like we’re back to what things were like 10 years ago when Google would do a core update and companies would go out of business and there would be an uprising. It was interesting to see how one of our clients had a big drop in terms of incoming traffic, and yet overall conversions stayed about the same, which could indicated what they lost was only a lot of “junk” traffic. The client was happy because although inbound went down, conversion percentage went way up. A lot of this is just anecdotal evidence, and a lot of it will be fixed very quickly, like the multiple repetitions of a Pinterest result.

Connect with John Wall, Trust Insights, and Marketing Over Coffee

Twitter: @johnjwall (https://twitter.com/johnjwall

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnjwall

Website: https://www.trustinsights.ai

Trust Insights Twitter: @TrustInsights (https://twitter.com/trustinsights

Marketing Over Coffee podcast: https://www.marketingovercoffee.com

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