Click Through Reads #27: Google Analytics 4 Unveiled, Facebook Political Ads, and Google Shopping Updates

Johanna Gumbrill
October 29, 2020

Happy Halloween Click-Through-Readers! There are no tricks, only treats, in this news roundup. Some of the things we will cover are new Google Analytics 4 with some early details, new updates to Google pricing and promotions (right in time for holiday sales!), Facebook political ad updates, tips for using online events to build your digital marketing, and finally details surrounding Cyber Month 2020. Grab your kids’ candy and get ready to enjoy the news!


Google Unveils Google Analytics 4

Earlier this month Google announced that Google Analytics 4 is now available. The new version includes more intelligent insights, a combined App + Web property (released in beta last year), and consideration for the evolving restrictions that make it more and more difficult to track users.

  • Intelligent Insights - Google built this analytics variation with machine learning models front and center. The platform alerts you to rising trends, calculates churn probability and more all designed to help businesses improve ROI and retain customers. Predictive metrics will continue to be improved and expanded.

  • Combined Web + App Properties - The new analytics alleviates the fragmented data experience businesses get by separate sets for device or platform. This will help fill the gaps on cross device measurement and touchpoints. Google Analytics 4 also provides additional clarity into the entire customer lifecycle from acquisition to retention.

  • Future-Proof Reporting - Google Analytics 4 was built with regulatory demands and stronger privacy protections in mind. It is designed to use modeling to fill in any data gaps in a cookie or cookieless future.

Businesses now have the option to upgrade their current Google Analytics to this new version, although Google recommends creating a new property to test the environment before fully replacing your current property.

Google Releases Promotions and Pricing Updates

As the holiday season quickly approaches, Google has made further updates to the user and advertiser experience for Shopping campaigns.

  • Price Comparison & Deal Alerts: Users will be able to see whether a price is considered “high, low or typical compared to other prices from across the web and in nearby stores.” They’ll also be able to see whether there’s a deal or promotion directly on the Shopping ads, and compare pricing and shipping options.

  • Faster Promotion Approvals: Google has announced that it will speed up the approval process of promotions, and allow advertisers to edit them after they go live. This will be beneficial for retailers who have flash sales.

  • Improved Visibility: Merchant promotions (Google refers to these as simply “promotions”) will have more inventory on Google and are available to all retailers in the US.

  • Get New Customers in Smart Shopping: The new customer acquisition goal in Smart Shopping campaigns is now available to all advertisers. They are also able to choose from “sales to new and existing customers,” and “store visits.”

Facebook Political Ads

As of October 27th, Facebook stopped allowing any new ads related to the election. Ads that had previously been running can continue to run. After polls closed on November 3rd, Facebook will temporarily stop running all ads in the US that fall under the category of social issues, elector, or political. This will last around a week and is to help reduce confusion or abuse.

How Virtual Events Can Improve Your Digital Marketing

Everything is virtual right now, and marketers can take advantage of virtual events to save on traditional event costs of travel, accommodations, food, clothes, etc all while reaching a global audience at scale. These events can be live, recorded, or a combination of both, and they can be used to improve your digital marketing program.

  1. Organize an online event

    Engage with your customer base, stakeholders, shareholders and potential customers while offering things such as educational webinars, conferences with various sessions, online workshops, live drawings and more.

  2. Participate in a virtual events

    Become a digital sponsor of an online event or sign up as a presenter / guest speaker. Both options give you an opportunity to pitch your business, brand, services, etc to a global audience.

  3. Familiarize yourself with upcoming events

    Now that more events are available virtually, this is a great time to attend one yourself and learn new skills to improve your digital marketing! Two great sources of events are Eventbrite and TechEvents.online.

Get Ready for a Month Long Cyber Mondays

As with everything during the era of COVID, holiday shopping behavior has been unpredictable: studies show that 1 in 4 US holiday shoppers said they had already started shopping for the season as early as July.

73% of US holiday shoppers have said they plan to shop online more for the holidays during COVID-19. Whether you’re a major retail company or a small business, holiday shoppers are already looking for ways to save on their holiday purchases.

Advertisers should be ready for 5 shifts in shopping behavior:

  • A month-long Cyber Monday

  • Digital Newcomers Driving Growth: 69 percent of US shoppers plan to shop online for the holidays more than in previous years

  • 77 percent of US holiday shoppers say they intend to browse for gift ideas online, not in-store

  • 66 percent of US holiday shoppers say they will shop more at local small businesses

  • Shoppers are ready to discover new brands and retailers as they shop for what they already know.