Home Ad Exchange News TikTok’s And Instagram’s Unfinished Search; The Age Of The Pop-Up

TikTok’s And Instagram’s Unfinished Search; The Age Of The Pop-Up


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Still Searching

TikTok and Instagram want search marketing budgets. But even those megaplatforms face a long road before they can catch up to true search players Google and Amazon, Ad Age reports.

Search advertising typically identifies people who are about ready to buy. Since TikTok and Instagram users are typically looking for content, not shopping, the social networks face a disadvantage.

Neither TikTok nor Instagram offers search reporting, a necessary first step if they really want to commit. They also don’t let advertisers control campaigns or even select keywords to target.

Because consumers, especially young people, buy en masse products that trend on TikTok, agencies and brands are becoming savvier with video captions, hashtags and popular terms so they rank higher in TikTok and Instagram search results – the new social SEO. And as TikTok and Meta evolve their search ad programs, marketers will be able to use more bells and whistles, like using tracking pixel data placed on their sites to retarget users on the social platform.

The Unpoppable Pop-up

Pop-up messages when you visit sites – publishers touting subscriptions to retailers offering discounts if you give them your email address – have proliferated across the web and the collective human psyche as a trigger for seething rage.

Lately, things are even worse. And not just in Europe, where the GDPR demands consent pop-ups.

“When I asked some marketers to explain themselves, I started feeling like I was talking to an AI assigned to the prompt ‘tell me why pop-ups are good, actually,’” writes The Verge, in a story about the recent increase in pop-up notifications.


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What the ad industry knows – and the innocent public will hate to discover – is that browser pop-ups are early on a trend curve, and the slope is only getting steeper. Not just for consent to use data for marketing purposes, but trendy vendor services for zero-party data collection, online customer and post-purchase surveys or live customer service chats are varieties of pop-ups.

Counterbalancing the public’s general hatred of pop-ups is the fact that they help achieve important conversion metrics and generate valuable data (in the short term, at least).

“Oftentimes, decision-makers look at what’s right in front,” says Jason Buhle, director of UX strategy at the agency AnswerLab.


Netflix CMO Marian Lee, the company’s third marketing chief in as many years, is rethinking how Netflix is branded to general consumers and also how Netflix marketing is perceived within the company.

“I also want the rest of Netflix to understand what the marketing strategy is: We support the content organization,” Lee tells The New York Times.

Netflix’s marketing spend ticked up from $2.2 billion in 2020 to $2.5 billion in 2022. But Lee is spending quite differently. For one, marketing will be directed to boost specific shows and movies, not the overall Netflix brand.

That means Netflix media plans can be more flexible and local, an approach the smash hit show “Wednesday” took. The Netflix team promoting the show went all-in on TikTok (which swallowed the money earmarked for Twitter and Instagram, per the Times), when choreographed dance bits from the show went viral.

Still, relative to its production budget ($17 billion in 2022), Netflix is a relatively low spender on marketing compared to Hollywood’s lavish marketing budgets.

Studios and actors begrudge its lackluster commitment to promotions, a complaint Amazon Studios, notably, also faces.

But Wait, There’s More!

Influencers say Instagram’s creator marketplace is full of low pay rates and lacks traction with brands: ‘Absolute crickets.’ [Insider]

Why every app now feels like TikTok, but worse. [New York Mag]

TikTok fined $15.8 million by UK regulator for misuse of children’s data. [WSJ]

With paid verification on the rise at social platforms, content creators and marketers have a mixed response. [Digiday]

You’re Hired!

Whitney Fishman joins iProspect US as EVP, head of innovation. [release]

The design studio ASTOUND Group hires Joshua Friesel as chief growth officer. [release]

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