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Market reports

FCAI Sales Summary Q1 2024 & Motorcycle Market Brand Consideration Report

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) recently released its Q1 sales figures, giving a peek inside the Australian motorcycle industry. However, due to gaps in the FCAI’s figures stemming from major dealers not disclosing their sales, we have also included the findings from our latest Motorcycle Market Brand Consideration Report, to provide a comprehensive look at the state of the Australian motorcycle market in Q1 2024. 

Read on for our insights, and be sure to check out our other Q1 reports on the truck, caravan, and tractor industries!

Motorcycles: Decline Across the Board

In the first quarter of 2024, the motorcycle industry, including Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV), witnessed a noticeable decline in sales. A total of 19,903 units were sold during this period, marking an 11.0% decrease compared to the same period in 2023.

This downturn reflects broader economic pressures and potential shifts in consumer spending priorities within the automotive sector, as high interest rates and an ever-increasing cost-of-living have caused a pullback in discretionary spending, massively impacting the purchases of big ticket, ‘fun’ purchases such as street and dirt bikes.

Segment-Specific Trends

Road Motorcycles

These vehicles remained a significant portion of the motorcycle market, accounting for 41.3% of the total sales. However, sales for road motorcycles dropped to 8,217 units, a 10.2% decrease from the previous year.

Off-Road Motorcycles

Making up 36.5% of the total sales, off-road motorcycles also experienced a decline. The sales for this category reached 7,260 units, down by 11.9% compared to 2023.

Off-Highway Vehicles

Sales in this segment saw a substantial decrease of 16.1%, totalling 2,976 units and accounting for 15% of the overall sales.

Scooters

Contrasting with the overall downward trend, scooters saw a slight increase in popularity. Sales rose by 1.1%, with 1,450 units sold, which constituted 7.3% of the total market.

Market Dynamics

The decline in overall motorcycle sales is proof of the impact of the rising cost of living and increased interest rates in Australia. These factors have compelled consumers to reassess their discretionary spending, especially on luxury and recreational items such as motorcycles. Accompanying this general downturn, the increase in scooter sales underscores a shift in consumer preferences towards more economical and practical transportation options.

Scooters offer significant advantages for urban commuting, including easier parking, quicker commute times, and lower fuel costs, making them a more attractive option amidst financial constraints. This trend may indicate a shift in market dynamics, where practicality and economy become pivotal considerations in consumer transportation choices.

Q1 2024 Motorcycle Market Brand Consideration Report

Following on from our 2023 Motorcycle Market Brand Consideration Report, the Q1 2024 report paints a fairly similar picture, with some notable changes.

This report tracked 36 brands, 854 models and 37,149 keywords and search terms, comprising more than 7m searches across the quarter. To ensure we are keeping up with changes and developments in the market, we also added 31 new models that are releasing in Q1 and Q2 of 2024.

The impact of these new models was seen immediately in several categories, such as the Adventure Touring category, where both the CFMOTO 450MT and the Honda NX500 cracked the top 20 most-searched models, or the Yamaha XSR9000 GP, which claimed position 9 in the Super Sports category, despite it not releasing until June.

But one of the most interesting developments we saw was in the Adventure Touring category, where search volume grew 0.2% overall across the quarter, in spite of the leading model, the Royal Enfield Himalayan, seeing an almost 15% decrease in its search share. Whether this shift heralds bad news for the Himalayan remains to be seen, but it is certainly one we will be watching closely

Read on for more insights and intrigue!

 

The Most-Searched Motorcycle Brands in Australia

Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Harley Davidson were the most-searched brands throughout Q1 2024, with Yamaha seeing a 5.4% increase to its search share, Kawasaki experiencing a -1.5% decrease, and Harley Davidson overtaking Honda to claim third place, following a 7.4% increase in its search share between Q4 2023 and Q1 2024.

Most other brands in the top 10 experienced moderate gains in their search share, with the exception of KTM, who saw a -4.4% change, although this did not affect their overall position.

Most-Searched Models - All Brands

This section of the report looks at the most-searched models across all motorcycle brands. As in our previous report, this section was dominated by searches for supersport bikes. In fact, of the top-10 most-searched models, seven were what we would consider superbikes: high-performance, high-powered, and high-priced bikes such as the BMW S 1000 RR, Kawasaki H2, Yamaha R1, and Suzuki Hayabusa.

The remaining three bikes (Kawasaki Ninja 400, Honda Grom, and Yamaha PW50) comprise two mid-range bikes and one children’s dirt bike, with the Grom and the Ninja 400 having been discontinued by their manufacturers.

Interestingly, the volume of searches for the Grom has remained relatively stable over the past three quarters, while searches for the Ninja 400 nearly doubled between Q4 2023 and Q1 2024 – no doubt in response to rumours of it being discontinued circulating online towards the end of last year.

Outside of the Grom, Ninja 400, and PW50, searches for superbikes in the top 10 has (with the exception of the Hayabusa) been trending steadily upward over the past 12 months, confirming what we already knew: that flashy, flagship bikes generate a lot of searches, but not a lot of sales.

Most-Searched LAMS

The search market remains competitive in the LAMS category, with Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha all competing for the top spot, with Royal Enfield slightly behind, and KTM, Suzuki, BMW and Harley all sitting under 10% each.

Interestingly, although Honda retains the top spot, its search share has decreased steadily from 23.4% to 22% since Q2 2023. Meanwhile, Kawasaki’s has grown from 19.8% to 21% over the same period, while Yamaha and Royal Enfield have also witnessed slight gains, moving from 17.9% to 18%, and 12.9% to 13%, respectively.

Elsewhere in the top 10, KTM and BMW have experienced marked year-on-year declines, moving from 8.9% to 8%, and 2.8% to 2% respectively over the period assessed, with Suzuki (4.8% to 5%) Harley (1.9% to 2%) and CFMOTO (0.9% to 1%) making minor gains.

ATVs and UTVs

This section is different to our previous report and looks at the most-searched models in the ATV and UTV category, as opposed to the most-searched brands. However, despite this difference in the data set, the standout remains Polaris, with 5 of the top-10 most-searched models in the category.

What is interesting to note though is that the two most-searched models, the Polaris RZR Trail 1000 Premium EPS and the RZR Turbo R Sport EPS, are both sports side-by-sides, and not working UTVs as we might expect. This is in contrast to Can Am, who hold position three and four with the Defender and Outlander, a traditional farm UTV and ATV.

This contrast is also seen throughout the top-10, where, with the exception of the Polaris RZR XP 1000 and the Yamaha YXZ1000RR, the remaining models are all farm UTVs and ATVs. What this indicates is a similar problem to what we see in the most-searched models across all brands, where flashy and expensive sports models dominate the searches ahead of models that people are actually buying.

Discontinued Models

This section covers models that have been discontinued by their OEMs and are only available on the second-hand market. Overall, the discontinued category is dominated by Japanese brands, with Honda holding 10 of the top 20 positions.

The Honda Grom sits miles ahead of the competition, with 48.6% of searches over the last quarter, well clear of the second-place Kawasaki KLX250S, at only 9.2%. Overall, the preference within the discontinued category is for dirt bikes, with only four models in the top 10 – the Honda Grom, Yamaha XVS650, BMW R 1200 RT, and Honda CB300F – sitting outside this category.

For dealers, staying informed of consumer interest within the discontinued category is crucial to maximising trade-ins and preventing money becoming tied up in models for which there is no desire on the second-hand market.

Dirt Bikes

This section covers searches for dirt bike models. This category is one of the most competitive amongst all those we researched, led by KTM with 7 of the top 20 most-searched models, followed by Honda and Yamaha with 5 models each.

Interestingly, the top 10 features several children’s bikes, with the KTM 50 SX and Yamaha PeeWee 50 claiming position 1 and 2 with 16.3% and 11.8% respectively, and the KTM 65 SX in position 5 with 3.5% search share.

With a substantial portion of the overall search share accorded to children’s bikes, there is a significant opportunity for brands to capture young riders early in their journey and build brand loyalty – something that is especially valuable in such a competitive category. 

Road Bikes

This section covers searches for all road bikes, regardless of their individual category. As we saw in the all models category, searches were dominated by high-performance supersports bikes such as the Yamaha YZF R-1, Ninja H2R, and Ducati Panigale V4.

As we mentioned earlier, all this tells us is that high-profile bikes generate a lot of searches – nice to know, maybe, but not a lot of value for dealers.

Despite this, the back end of the top 10 was filled with regular road bikes, including the Honda CB650R, Kawasaki Z400, Royal Enfield Himalayan, and KTM 390 Duke.

In fact, positions 10 through 20 were filled almost entirely with mid-range bikes: cruisers, tourers, and adventure bikes.

Moreover, the back of the pack was far more competitive in terms of search share, with only a 0.6% difference between the 10th-ranked KTM 390 Duke, and the 20th-ranked Honda CB500X.

So, while the majority of searches may go to superbikes, there is a strong contingent of everyday riders out there looking for a solid, mid-range bike for their daily commute or weekend cruise, and it is these riders who will make a difference to a dealership’s bottom line.

Trust Retain Media for Automotive Insights

Overall, while there are some promising signs for the Australian motorcycle industry, 2024 seems set to be a challenging year. Although search patterns in certain segments might indicate that consumer confidence is returning to the industry, the continued decline in sales figures is indicative of ongoing financial pressures that consumers are unlikely to escape from any time soon.

Until then, we will continue to monitor Australians’ search habits and bring our insights to you each quarter. If you’re interested in learning how the wider Australian automotive industry is performing, be sure to read our other reports on the truck, caravan, and agricultural sectors, and don’t forget to download the data and dive into the report below!

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Market reports

Tractor & Machinery Association Sales Summary | Q1 2024

In conjunction with our recent sales summaries and market reports for the caravan, truck, and motorcycle industries, we are thrilled to present our first ever sales summary for the Tractor and Machinery Association of Australia (TMA). This summary was based on the TMA’s sales data for January, February, and March 2024, and offers a look back at the agricultural industry’s performance in Q1 of 2024.

Tractors: High Horsepower Machines Resist Overall Sales Decline

Total tractor sales have been down year-on-year throughout the entirety of Q1, with 2,345 units sold as of March 2024 – a 22.4% decline on the previous year. In January, sales started at 622 units, showing a 17.1% decrease from January 2023. February saw a slight improvement with sales increasing to 789 units, despite still being lower year-over-year. Although March sales leapt up to 934 units, this represented a marked decrease from 1,309 in 2023.

Despite the month-to-month variability, the overall quarter’s performance indicates a challenging market with a general trend of declining sales compared to the previous year.

Segment-Specific Sales

0-40 Hp Tractors

This segment experienced consistent declines throughout the quarter: -34.7% in January, -40.4% in February, and -26.1% in March. The consistent decrease suggests a shrinking market for lower horsepower tractors.

40-100 Hp Tractors

Similar to the smallest category, this segment also saw a steady decrease in year-on-year sales: -32.3% in January, 30.5% in February, and a steep 42.9% in March.

100-200 Hp Tractors

The declines were less severe but consistent in this mid-range category: -13.4% in January, -29.2% in February, and -28.9% in March.

200+ Hp Tractors

Contrasting dramatically with other categories, this segment showed growth in January by an enormous +158.1%, a massive jump in February by +130.3%, but experienced a minor decrease of -2.7% in March. The overall strong performance suggests a significant shift towards higher capacity and more powerful machinery.

Other Agricultural Equipment

The performance of other types of agricultural equipment varied significantly throughout Q1.

Combine Harvesters

Combines experienced a mixed performance year-on-year: an increase of +25.9% in January, a significant decrease of -53.1% in February, and a slight decrease of -17.9% in March. The overall trend points to volatility in this market segment.

Balers

Balers showed an increase of +40.0% in January, saw no change in February, and then decreased by -27.6% in March, indicating some instability but generally better performance than combines.

Out Front Mowers

This equipment category exhibited substantial growth throughout the quarter: increases of 47.7% in January, 54.6% in February, and 23.0% in March. The consistent growth across all months highlights expanding demand for this type of machinery.

Seasonal Considerations

The TMA’s own reports emphasise the importance of contextual understanding when analysing the sales data, urging that direct month-to-month comparisons should be made with caution due to the seasonal nature of the agricultural industry. This suggests that certain fluctuations might be heavily influenced by seasonal demands or operational cycles specific to the time of year.

This seasonality is clearly seen in the above graph, which shows consistent seasonal sales spikes in line with the 5-year average. However, it is worth noting that with the exception of the June spike, sales from March 2023 to March 2024 have sat well below the 5-year average, a potentially worrying sign as we continue to move through 2024.

Data Scope and Limitations

With that said, it is important to note that while sales data compiled in the report covers retail sales across all states and territories of Australia, it only includes contributions from most, but not all, machinery manufacturers and distributors. This comprehensive yet not exhaustive dataset suggests that while the trends observed are indicative of broader market movements, they might not capture every nuance or smaller market player, potentially skewing perception of total market dynamics.

Market Dynamics and Implications

The first quarter of 2024 highlighted several key trends within the agricultural machinery market:

  • A notable shift from lower to higher horsepower tractors indicates a possible trend towards larger-scale farming operations, which might be driving the need for more robust and efficient machinery.
  • The performance of combines and balers suggests some market volatility, possibly influenced by seasonal factors and changing farming practices.
  • The strong and steady increase in sales of out front mowers across all three months signals a rising demand for versatile and efficient landscaping and smaller agricultural equipment.


Overall, the market for agricultural machinery in Q1 2024 showed significant variability, with robust growth in specific high-value segments while traditionally popular segments have faced reductions. This variability might reflect changing economic conditions, technological advancements, and shifts in agricultural practices, suggesting that stakeholders need to adapt to the evolving demands and preferences of the farming community.

Trust Retain Media For Automotive Insights

Although the decline in small machine sales may seem like a concerning sign for the agricultural industry, it could also just be evidence of the market rebalancing, as small players and hobbyist farmers drift out in response to economic pressures. While we can’t say for certain, we will continue to monitor the developments and update you in our next quarterly summary.

For more insights on the state of the Australian automotive industry, be sure to read our other reports on the truck, caravan, and motorcycle industries.

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Market reports

Navigating Q1 2024: The Evolving Australian Caravan Market Through the Lens of Consumer Search Trends

The Australian caravan market is a vibrant and ever-evolving sector, where understanding the intricacies of consumer behaviour and preferences is paramount for brands vying for prominence. Our Q1 2024 RV Market Consideration Report unveils these pivotal trends, providing an insightful exploration into search behaviours, brand dynamics, and the critical role of reputation management in influencing consumer choices.

A Glimpse into Our Methodology

Our latest endeavour extends our series of in-depth investigations into the search habits within the Australian automotive industry. Leveraging advanced keyword research tools, we dissected search volume data across the nation for the first quarter of 2024, focusing on 92 diverse brands spanning campers, motorhomes, and caravans. This analysis, encapsulating over 9,000 search terms, revealed an average of 900,000 searches per month, offering a granular view into the Australian RV market’s pulse.

Key Insights from the Q1 2024 Analysis

Jayco's Dominance Continues

As was the case in our Q4 2023 report, Jayco stands clear at the top of the pack out with a significant 31.9% search share, up from 31.2% in the previous quarter. While this may 0.7% increase may seem insignificant, it represents a 5% jump from Q4 2023, or more than 40,000 additional searches across the quarter.

What this result illustrates is that, in addition to its continued dominance of the search market (and, by extension, consumers’ focus) Jayco is actually increasing in popularity and brand awareness. This is especially significant when we consider the decrease in search share other brands have experienced, and is further proof of Jayco’s marketing efforts paying dividends.

Australian Made vs. Imported Brands

This latest report also saw us add a new a distinction between Australian-made and imported brands, offering another lay of insight into consumer preferences. As expected, Jayco led the Australian-made segment, while Market Direct (MDC) topped the imported category with a 19.5% search share, significantly ahead of Ezytrail, Austrack, and Opus Campers at 13.1%, 12.2%, and 11.4% respectively.

While MDC has grown its search share among imported brands from quarter to quarter, its actual search volume is down slightly from Q4 2023, and only up by 3000 searches a quarter overall since Q2 2023. Similarly, although it is the third most-searched brand in Australian, Avan has seen a steady decline in overall search volume over the past 12 months, from 102k searches in Q2 2023 to 86k in Q1 2024.

These shifts are part of a wider decline across both the Australian-made and imported segments, as consumers refocus their attention towards the most-recognisable name and biggest brand: Jayco. Whether this trend will continue remains to be seen, but if the past year is any indication, Jayco will continue to expand its market share by incrementally poaching searches from its competitors.

Movement in the Middle

Although many of the top-20 most-searched brands in Australia have experienced a decline in their search share and search volume over the past two quarters, there are some brands who have managed to buck the trend.

In the top 10, Zone RV saw a 24.5% increase in search share from Q4 2023 to Q1 2024, having gained more than 12k searches during that period. Meanwhile, Patriot Campers experienced a 68% increase in their search share, gaining 20k searches from quarter to quarter and making a strong bounce back after seeing their searches plummet from 68k in Q2 2023 to just 28k in Q4 2023.

However, the true standouts amongst the small brands over the last quarter are Nova (+82% search share) and Wonderland RV (+138% search share). While it is important to remember that these increases are relative to their previous position, they represent thousands of additional searches and hundreds of potential new customers – an encouraging sign given the wider trends in the market, and one that should be celebrated.

Reputation Management Remains Critical

As with our previous report, this report also assessed search terms that included the words ‘problems’ and ‘reviews’. While the total number of searches mentioning these terms decreased 8.9% for the former and 10.7% for the latter from the previous quarter, it is important to note that searches mentioning these terms take place later in the sales journey.

Additionally, Q1 is always the quietest of the year for caravan sales, signifying that the decrease in the number of quality or reputation-related searches does not mean that its importance to consumers has decreased, but rather that there were fewer consumers at that point in their sales journey during the previous quarter.

We predict that these terms will see an uptick as the year progresses and consumers start researching a potential purchase ahead of next summer. In the meantime, brands would be well-served not to rest on their laurels, and should work hard to counteract any perception of problems with their product or reputation, before buyers start giving these factors their full attention once more.

Strategies for Brand Differentiation and Reputation Enhancement

Building from the previous point, it’s clear that effective reputation management and strategic marketing are crucial to avoid negative brand perceptions. With this in mind, our recommendations to brands remain the same as last quarter: develop strong relationships with publications for independent reviews and create a robust plan for generating owner reviews and testimonials.

Investing in both of these strategies will not only enhance search visibility but also serve to mitigate perceived purchase risks, ultimately improving your standing and consideration in the eyes of consumers.

Elevating Your Brand in a Competitive Landscape

The findings from our Q1 2024 report spotlight the transformative influence of consumer search trends and the paramount importance of reputation management in the caravan sector. For brands aiming to meet and surpass consumer expectations, these insights offer a blueprint for strategic engagement and market success.

If your brand seeks to distinguish itself, Retain Media is poised to assist. As automotive industry specialists, we’ve propelled numerous Australian brands to enhance their search share and cultivate brand loyalty, delivering high-quality leads that bolster their bottom line.

Connect with Us for Tailored Solutions

Embrace the opportunity to refine your market strategy and engage more effectively with your target audience. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation, and embark on a journey to solidify your brand’s presence in the Australian caravan market.

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Market reports

TIC T-Mark Q1 2024: A Strong Start with Record-Breaking Ambitions

The Truck Industry Council’s (TIC) first quarterly T-Mark report of 2024 offers a comprehensive overview of the Australian heavy vehicle market’s performance, highlighting both achievements and areas of growth. As we delve into the nuances of the Q1 2024 results, the market’s dynamics reveal an industry at the cusp of setting new records, tempered by segment-specific challenges.

A Whisker Away from Historical Sales Records

In an exhilarating start to 2024, the Australian truck and heavy van market was on the verge of surpassing its previous sales record, underscoring a period of sustained demand and industry optimism. With 10,344 units delivered, the market fell just short by 115 trucks—a minor gap that underscores the industry’s potential for growth and resilience. This near-record performance, second only to Q1 2023, signals a robust year ahead for heavy vehicle sales in Australia.

Segment Analysis: A Mixed Bag of Performances

Heavy Duty Dominance

Leading the charge, the Heavy Duty Truck segment recorded 1,533 unit sales in March, contributing to a quarterly total of 3,788 units—a 4.8% increase over Q1 2023. This growth represents a notable ascent, reflecting the segment’s critical role in the market with its 173 unit sales increase over the previous year’s first quarter. Heavy Duty Trucks continue to be a preferred choice for their reliability and capability, indicating a market trend towards more substantial, efficient vehicles.

Medium Duty Resilience

The Medium Duty Truck segment displayed resilience with 653 units sold in March, culminating in a quarter total of 1,741 units. This represents a 9.0% increase over the first quarter of 2023, translating into an additional 143 trucks. Despite a slight dip in March, the segment’s overall performance in Q1 underscores a consistent demand for medium-sized trucks, known for their versatility in a variety of industries.

Light Duty Lull

In contrast to its counterparts, the Light Duty Truck segment encountered challenges, with March sales reaching 1,259 units and a quarter total of 2,911 units. This marked a steep 20.2% decrease from the previous year, equating to 793 fewer trucks sold. The downturn in this segment is notable, particularly given its past success, and suggests a shift in consumer preferences or market dynamics affecting demand.

Van Segment's Vibrant Victory

Demonstrating a remarkable turnaround, the Light Duty Van segment broke new ground with 1,686 units sold in Q1, a 27.4% jump from the same period last year, amounting to an additional 363 vans. This surge in sales set a new quarterly record, driven by a recovery from supply chain disruptions and an increased demand for versatile and efficient delivery solutions in both urban and regional areas.

Insights and Industry Optimism

Tony McMullan, CEO of the TIC, reflects on the quarter’s achievements with a sense of pride and cautious optimism. The strong start to 2024, especially in the Heavy Duty and Light Duty Van segments, showcases the market’s robust health and adaptability. McMullan’s hope for continued growth and a gradual renewal of Australia’s ageing truck fleet underscores a vision for a more efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly industry.

Looking Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities

While Q1 2024 has set a positive tone for the year, the mixed performance across different segments highlights the complexities of the market. The Light Duty Truck segment, in particular, faces hurdles that require strategic attention. Moreover, the industry’s broader challenge of modernizing the national truck fleet remains a critical priority, demanding collaborative efforts from manufacturers, government, and stakeholders.

Final Thoughts: A Promising Start with Room for Growth

The T-Mark report for Q1 2024 paints a picture of a dynamic and evolving heavy vehicle market in Australia. With new records within reach and segments experiencing varied success, the industry stands on the brink of significant achievements and challenges. As 2024 progresses, the focus will be on leveraging these early trends to address market demands and drive forward the agenda of fleet modernisation.

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Best practice Facebook Advertising

6 Reasons Why You Should Start A/B Testing Paid Social Ads

Paid social advertising is great because of its accessibility and low barriers to entry. When you started, you probably saw all these results rolling in, with increased traffic to the site, increased calls or higher foot traffic to the store. But you haven’t seen these results increase further. In fact, recently, your web traffic has started to decline, and fewer people have been visiting your store.

Yes, there are macro factors at play, but let me ask you this: are you A/B testing your campaigns? If you answered no, then this article is for you. This article will explore six ways you can easily A/B test your social campaigns. A/B testing is a way of testing new strategies, creatives and approaches to find out what works best for each advertiser, ultimately delivering better business outcomes.

Unlock new revenue streams

You’d be surprised how often marketers have this ideal of who their core customers are to the exclusion of all others. While niche and narrow targeting was trendy in 2017, in 2024, it’s hard to break old habits and test broader targeting that doesn’t exclusively speak to women 18-24 who are at university. 

Speaking of women, we’ve worked with advertisers who exclusively targeted women. In this example, there is nothing wrong because this was a beauty and cosmetics brand. But then, when we tested a broader audience targeting both men and women we found as much as 20% of our conversions were from male audiences. Why? Unbelievably, men can be beauty consumers too, or they could be buying from the brand as a gift for a loved one. 

The potential to unlock new revenue streams by expanding your targeting criteria sounds obvious, but it is not an avenue many advertisers are willing to try.  

Improved efficiencies

One outcome of always A/B testing across your paid social strategy is that you find things that work. Sure, you’ll have instances where tests don’t work, but like the world’s best sports teams, you can’t win them all. More often than not, though, continual testing will lead to better outcomes across your paid social ads. This usually comes in the form of cheaper CPMs, lower CPAs or stronger conversion rates, all of which mean your campaigns are working harder for your business with the same level of investment.

Gain a competitive advantage

Advertisers who continuously A/B test give themselves the best chance to gain a competitive advantage, usually in tandem with improved efficiencies, Discovering better ways to reach your audience effectively will give you an edge over your competitor set. Whether it’s finding a new potential revenue stream or making your budget work harder for you, odds are your competitors aren’t finding the same opportunity.

A parallel we like to draw is research into brands that continue to advertise during an economic downturn. Similarly, advertisers who continue to test tend to generate better outcomes compared to those who don’t. 

Avoid Creative Fatigue

One of the most common ways advertisers can A/B test is through ad creative. Not only could this identify messaging and creative styles that resonate with your core audience, but it can also help avoid creative fatigue. Creative fatigue happens when users are exposed to the same ads too often or over a sustained period of time. This has a negative impact on campaign performance, generally leading to a lower engagement rate and higher costs per result. 

Testing things like CTA buttons or headline copy are some quick ways to A/B test and keep creative fresh, although don’t let this limit your creativity. Don’t be afraid to go further and play around with creative elements like video framing.

Platforms will want to work with you

Budgets will always hold some influence over who the likes of Facebook, TikTok or Pinterest want to work with. If you don’t have the budgets of the Coles’ or McDonalds’ of the world, you can still be in the good graces of these social media giants by being flexible with your paid advertising approach and continually testing within your campaigns. Facebook, TikTok and Pinterest regularly release new updates and features they want advertisers to test. If you scratch their back by testing these new features, they might scratch yours with advertising credits or invitations to Beta testing groups down the road.

It’s simply best practice

Social media is dynamic. It is designed to be. One of the biggest traps advertisers fall into is once they find something that works, they stick to it and are reluctant to change and test new things. While this will work in the short term, over time results will decline if your paid social ads aren’t evolving with the platforms. 

That’s why we recommend to have a testing plan in place as part of our best practice. As previously called out, A/B testing doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel but planning your test strategy will keep you accountable and generate the best results long term.

How do I start A/B testing?

Before you start A/B testing, we suggest coming up with a testing plan. It doesn’t have to be robust but start with two or three things you would like to test. From there, determine which of your tests are the highest priority and start from there.

Try not to run multiple tests at the same time. This way, you keep each test ‘clean’, so you can truly determine whether your test has been successful or not. 

It can be really easy to be discouraged, particularly if your first test or two fails. This doesn’t mean you should stop. Failure will be inevitable as not every test can be successful. 

Finally, don’t stop. Social media platforms are constantly making updates and releasing new products, which will enable you to continue testing strategies. Even if you do find testing that uncovers better results for your business, don’t become complacent – keep testing to keep improving.

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Facebook Advertising

Social Media Stats 2024

We Are Social have released their annual ‘Digital Australia’ report and with it comes some interesting reading… 

Internet usage is increasing, with Australians, for the first time ever, spending over 6 hours on the internet per day (6hrs 14mins). Despite this increase in time online, media consumption has declined across most key categories, with TV viewing (both linear and steaming) down 15%, press consumption (includes online) down 44% and radio listening down 13% 

Social media also took a hit, down 10%, but this was the smallest shift amongst recorded categories. Nonetheless, Australians are spending on average 1 hour and 51 minutes on social media per day. There are currently 20.8 million Australians who are active social media users, with 92% of P16-64 using social media. 

We look at the key outtakes and offer our perspective of the Digital Australia report so you don’t have to.

Why are people using the internet?

If people are using the internet more, why hasn’t this correlated into an increase in media consumption? It’s a valid question, which we suspect macro factors are at play.

The most obvious and spoken about is the current economic landscape. This has led to a time crunch with reduced media consumption as a result. In other words, internet usage has possibly increased because people are working longer hours or on their side hustle, leaving less time to scroll social feeds or watch the latest HBO series.

This is somewhat reflected in the top two reasons identified for internet usage, with both being functional uses rather than for personal enjoyment and connectivity.

Have we hit saturation point on social media?

Let’s be clear: social media usage is steady in terms of total people, this has not declined. But the decrease in time spent using social media has. This raises the question: Have we hit saturation point in social media usage? 

We only have 24 hours in a day, so there was always going to be a ceiling here. With people generally being more mindful of how they spend their time, it appears the 2024 report has identified the limit of social media usage.

Our prediction here is we don’t expect social media usage to spike much higher than 2 hours per day in the future, rather we expect time spent on social media to remain steady.

The Social Media Landscape in 2024

Spending nearly two hours a day, and having about 6 social media accounts each, we still love our social media. Below are the key platforms in the Australian market and their active user base.

*note, only platforms with paid ad formats are included

With most social media users having multiple accounts across platforms, there is platform crossover and platform exclusivity. The below illustrates how scale can be increased or capped based on your mix of channels.

The Usual Suspects: Facebook and Instagram Still On Top

Meta, parent company of Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp continue to dominate the Australian market for social media usage, representing the four most used social media apps by users. Over 78% of Australians aged 16-64 are active Facebook users, steady on previous years and on par with YouTube usage. Messenger sits in second place, followed by Instagram and WhatsApp.

As well as being the most used, Facebook (24%) and Instagram (19%) are still rated the most popular apps but it is losing ground to TikTok (more on that in a moment). What would be interesting to know, and what isn’t provided with the data in the ‘Digital Australia report is the breakdown of favourite platforms by demo, as I suspect younger demos would overwhelmingly favour TikTok. 

While scale continues to be the drawcard to platforms like Facebook and Instagram, it is our view that this is driven by indoctrinated behaviour over preference for these platforms over other social media sites. Facebook turned 20 this year. For early adaptors, giving up 20 years of social connections, photos, comments and engagements is a big ask.

TikTok’s Continued Upward Trajectory

Arguably the darling of social media apps at the moment, TikTok continues building its momentum from the COVID years. Users have hit 9.7 million, making it the 5th most-used social media site in Australia (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp). This represents a 17% growth year-on-year and means advertising on TikTok now has the potential to reach a third of all Australians.

But it’s not only the number of people using TikTok that has grown. Where it is dominating its competition is in how much time users are spending on the platform. TikTok users are spending over 42 hours on the platform per month, double the next platform, YouTube

Snapchat’s Audience Is Dedicated

While not considered a primary player, Snapchat continues to have its place and its audience within the Australian social media landscape. There are still 7.8 million active users of Snapchat in Australia, with a significant proportion of its audience being 13-34 years old.

Snapchat users are dedicated to their platform, with users recording over 600 app sessions a month, opening the app on average 20 times a day. Their dedication to the platform is also reflected in their exclusive use of the platform. A GWI study from 2023 found that 39% of Snapchatters do not use Facebook on a daily basis – so they are active on other social platforms, but not engaged.

The Discovery Journey on Pinterest 

Pinterest is by no means the biggest platform in Australia, but one could argue it is one of the most important for brands to take note of. Pinterest reaches 1 in 5, or 5.3 million Australians each month, but it’s who these users are and how they use Pinterest that is paramount.

While it doesn’t get the love or recognition it deserves from most attribution models (looking at you, last-click), very often Pinterest is the starting point for discovery and view-through attribution is very high. This is because 97% of pin searches on Pinterest are unbranded: they aren’t looking for Gucci, they’re looking for a designer purse. 

In addition to this, consumers who are on Pinterest are less likely to be influenced by price. They are 10% more likely to be earning $200k or more a year, so they are less susceptible to the economic challenges we currently face, and are also willing to spend more to ensure quality.

Seperate to paid media, Pinterest is a platform we strongly recommend brands use organically, as Pins are indexed across Google. This will have a positive impact on your organic and SEO ranking, and is why if you search for something on Google Images, a lot of your results are likely going to be from Pinterest. 

The Anomaly of X, formerly known as Twitter

According to We Are Social’s report, reported ad reach in Australia has increased by 847,000 users to 6 million users. Of the main social platforms used, Twitter is the one with the strongest male skew with 67% of users on-platform identifying as male. For comparison, Snapchat, which is relative in scale has a male skew of 46%

With all the changes and press associated with X since Elon Musks’ buyout of the platform, 

The increase in usage is surprising. Have these changes work? Are people subscribing to it’s Netflix-style model? Is the freedom of publishing without censorship a greater pull than the content being factual or correct? 

You can still advertise and be brand-safe on X. In fact, there are some brands that lean into X as it effectively reaches its target audience, but we do acknowledge that there are anomalies in the data available (as acknowledged by We Are Social) to make informed advertising decisions. 

 

Why Are You Considering a Paid Social Media Strategy?

How Are Audiences Discovering You?

It’s no secret that media has been fragmenting over the past decade. TV viewing is no longer linear, radio listening is more broadly defined as audio streaming and print circulation continues to decline in favour of its digital counterparts. Along with this fragmentation comes a shift in how audiences discover brands. No longer can you run a national TVC and expect 4 million people to see it. Social media ads are increasingly becoming a source of brand discovery for consumers, with 29% of people new products from social media ads. This is quickly catching up to TV and is now double the brand discovery achieved by radio ads

Audiences Are Doing Their Due Diligence

Like a questionable date from Tinder, audiences are more considered and wary of how they engage and purchase from brands. This includes more brand research before making a purchase decision. While the usual suspects of search engines, reviews and brand websites hold the top 3, social media is a source many are turning to to gauge authenticity. Is the brand real? Are they posting regularly? Is the content spammy? Are their social accounts littered with complaints and dissatisfied customers? While a paid social strategy doesn’t necessarily address these concerns, investing in social advertising will show that you are legitimate in trying to engage with your audience. 

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Best practice

The Power of YouTube and Google Video Campaigns

In today’s digital world, using video content in your marketing strategy is like finding a key to unlock new levels of business growth. Google Video Campaigns, especially when linked with YouTube, provide a golden opportunity for businesses to share their stories, connect with people all around the globe, and turn viewers into customers. This deeper look into YouTube and Google Video Campaigns reveals how any business can use these tools to grab attention, build stronger brand recognition, and drive sales, all through the power of video.

The Scale of YouTube

Since launching in 2005, YouTube has grown to become one of the biggest platforms in the world. In 2023, 15.9M Australians* accessed YouTube, with the potential ad reach in 2023 reaching 20.8M* when you take in co-viewing environments (more than one person viewing a screen, usually smart TV devices). This is second only to Google Search.

If you are looking to expand your digital advertising footprint beyond search, it makes sense to include the second-largest website in Australia.

Numerous Buy Types and Objectives

Some could consider Google Ads’ PPC model to be its greatest limitation. While the PPC model drives to a desired business outcome, it can be limiting for brands looking to exploit the full funnel and channel some of their budgets on brand-building and awareness tactics. Both with its objectives and buy types, YouTube offers advertises this flexibility.

For those who like certainty, you can run to fixed-cost outcomes. If you only want to pay $0.05 for a person to view your ad, you can. If you want to only pay a cost per thousand impressions of $15, YouTube can deliver that. However, while fixed-cost outcomes offer predictability, they could impact efficiency. Alternatively, you can also buy YouTube ads based on performance outcomes such as completion rates. A buy type like this will have a fluctuating cost, but will generate stronger performance outcomes.

With available marketing objectives, it is our belief that YouTube works best for top-to-mid-funnel outcomes. However in saying that, YouTube offers ad solutions for all stages of the consumer journey, with objectives available designed to assist customer acquisition and e-commerce.

Evolving Digital Narratives with Google Video Campaigns

The inception of Google Ads marked a pivotal shift in digital advertising, introducing a pay-per-click (PPC) model that revolutionised how businesses connect with consumers. The platform’s expansion to encompass video advertising through YouTube has opened new vistas for storytelling, enabling brands to craft immersive narratives that captivate and resonate with viewers worldwide.

The Pillars of Video Marketing on Google

TrueView ads, the cornerstone of Google’s video advertising offerings, present a versatile and user-friendly format that respects viewer choice and engagement:

In-Stream Ads

These ads transform the viewing experience by seamlessly integrating promotional content with YouTube videos. Their unique value proposition lies in the “skip” feature, empowering viewers to choose engagement, thus ensuring advertisers pay only for ads watched for at least 30 seconds or interacted with, fostering a positive user experience and cost-effective advertising.

Video Discovery Ads

Positioned in YouTube’s search results or alongside related videos, these ads beckon viewers with a compelling invitation to explore further, marked by their “ad” designation. This format thrives on voluntary viewer engagement, charging advertisers only when a user opts to click and watch, epitomising precision targeting.

In-Search Ads

Tailored to keywords, these ads appear in search results, capturing the attention of users actively seeking related content. Although lacking the skip feature, their strategic placement ensures visibility to an audience with expressed interest, enhancing the potential for engagement and conversion.

Strategising for Impactful Engagement

The journey to leveraging Google Video Campaigns effectively begins with strategic foresight and meticulous planning:

Defining Campaign Goals: Clear, measurable objectives are the bedrock of successful video campaigns. Whether aiming to elevate brand presence, drive targeted website traffic, or stimulate product sales, establishing your campaign’s purpose guides the creative direction and strategic execution.

  1. Crafting Captivating Video Content: The efficacy of your campaign hinges on the quality and appeal of your video content. Engaging narratives, compelling visuals, and a clear call-to-action are vital components that ensure your message not only captures but holds audience attention, encouraging interaction and fostering emotional connections.

  2. Precision Targeting: Google Ads’ sophisticated targeting options empower advertisers to pinpoint their ideal audience with unparalleled accuracy. From demographic and interest-based filters to behavioural insights, these tools enable brands to tailor their messaging to the most receptive segments, enhancing relevance and maximising campaign performance.

  3. Continuous Optimisation and Analysis: The digital marketing landscape is dynamic, necessitating ongoing campaign evaluation and adaptation. Leveraging insights from Google Ads and YouTube Analytics, marketers can track a wide array of performance metrics, identifying opportunities for optimization and refining strategies to boost engagement, conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI).

Embracing the Future with Google Video Campaigns

As digital consumption patterns evolve, video marketing is poised to play an increasingly central role in brand strategies. Google Video Campaigns offer a powerful platform for businesses to showcase their brand story, connect with audiences on an emotional level, and drive meaningful engagement. By embracing these campaigns’ full potential, businesses can navigate the complexities of the digital landscape, achieving not just visibility but a lasting impact in the minds and hearts of consumers globally.

In essence, Google Video Campaigns are not just a marketing tool but a catalyst for business transformation, offering a bridge to the future of digital engagement. With a strategic approach, creative excellence, and data-driven optimisation, the possibilities are boundless, promising a new era of business growth and brand affinity.

Trust Retain Media for Video Ads that Connect

If you’re struggling to stand out in the changing media landscape, we can help. As automotive industry experts, we’ve built video campaigns that deliver quality, qualified leads to some of Australia’s biggest brands. To learn more about how we can help you make an impact with video, contact us today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.

Categories
Best practice Google ads

Why You Should Run a Brand Campaign on Google Ads

How to Use GSC to See What You're Ranking For

Navigating the complexities of search engine optimization requires a robust set of tools, and Google Search Console (GSC) is an indispensable asset for anyone looking to elevate their website’s search engine visibility. This guide delves into the strategic use of GSC to pinpoint the keywords your site ranks for, empowering you to refine your SEO and content strategies with unparalleled precision.

The Purpose of Google Search Console

Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, is a robust, free platform provided by Google that enables website owners to monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot their site’s visibility in Google Search results. Beyond merely tracking your site’s performance, GSC is instrumental in understanding how Google and its users view and interact with your website. It offers detailed reports on search traffic, the performance of your content, and technical issues that might be hindering your site’s optimal performance in search results.

GSC is pivotal for ensuring that Google can access your content, helping you monitor content that delivers in search results and which queries bring users to your site. Additionally, it provides alerts on issues Google has encountered on your site and validates when these issues are resolved. By leveraging GSC, you gain insights into how to enhance your site’s search engine rankings, thereby increasing visibility to your target audience.

The Importance of GSC for Keyword Research

While Google Search Console is not traditionally marketed as a keyword research tool, its utility in this realm cannot be overstated. Keyword research lays the foundation for successful SEO by identifying the terms and phrases your target audience uses to search for products or services like yours. GSC uniquely positions itself as a vital source of keyword data by showing you exactly what queries your website appears for in search results, directly from Google’s perspective.

Using GSC for keyword research allows you to see your website through the lens of actual search performance data. This includes which keywords your site is ranking for, the frequency of these keywords in search queries, and how users interact with your site based on these queries. By analysing this data, you can uncover valuable insights into user search behaviour and preferences, enabling you to tailor your content and SEO strategies to match. Moreover, GSC helps you identify gaps in your keyword targeting, revealing opportunities to optimise existing content or create new content that addresses unmet user needs or queries.

In essence, GSC provides a direct line to Google’s understanding of your website’s relevance to specific search queries. By leveraging this data, you can fine-tune your keyword strategy, focusing on terms that drive traffic and align with your business goals. This strategic approach not only enhances your site’s visibility but also improves the likelihood of attracting more engaged and targeted visitors.

Identifying Keywords Worth Targeting

Navigating through the large numbers of search queries can seem daunting, but GSC simplifies this process. Start by focusing on queries with high impressions but lower click-through rates (CTRs). These are golden opportunities—keywords where your site is visible but not capturing as much traffic as it could. Enhancing content around these queries, improving titles and meta descriptions, and ensuring your pages best match the search intent can dramatically improve your rankings and visibility.

Viewing Your Keyword Performance in GSC

To delve into your keyword performance, navigate to the ‘Performance’ report in GSC. Here, you can view the queries leading users to your site, along with data on clicks, impressions, CTR, and your position in search results. Sorting this data by impressions or clicks can help you identify which keywords are driving the most visibility and engagement. By analysing trends over time, you can gauge the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Practical Steps to Use GSC for Keyword Insights

  1. Access Your Performance Report: Log into GSC and select ‘Performance.’ This report reveals the keywords and phrases that users have typed into Google to find your website.

  2. Analyse Queries for Insights: Scroll down the page to view the queries driving traffic to your site. High impressions indicate visibility, while high clicks signal engagement. Aim to optimise for queries with high impressions but low clicks.

  3. Identify Keywords to Target: Focus on queries related to your business or niche that have a reasonable balance of impressions and clicks. These are your low-hanging fruits—keywords you’re already ranking for that can potentially bring in more traffic with a bit of optimization.

  4. Monitor Your Progress: Regularly check your performance in GSC to see how changes to your content and SEO strategies affect your rankings and traffic. This ongoing analysis is key to iterative improvement and sustained success in SEO.

Use Google Search Console to Enhance Your Digital Marketing

Google Search Console is more than just a tool—it’s a treasure trove of insights waiting to be leveraged for keyword research and SEO optimisation. By understanding how to interpret and act on the data GSC provides, you can significantly enhance your website’s visibility and performance in Google Search. Remember, the goal is not just to rank for more keywords, but to rank for the right keywords that drive valuable traffic to your site. Armed with GSC and a strategic approach to keyword research, you’re well on your way to achieving SEO success.

Trust Retain Media for Proven SEO Strategies

If you’re struggling to stand out in search results, we can help. At Retain Media, we use Google Search Console in conjunction with industry-leading keyword research tools to generate insights and inform a strategy that delivers results. To learn more about what we can do to help your business stand out, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Categories
Best practice

How to Use GSC to See What You’re Ranking For

Navigating the complexities of search engine optimization requires a robust set of tools, and Google Search Console (GSC) is an indispensable asset for anyone looking to elevate their website’s search engine visibility. This guide delves into the strategic use of GSC to pinpoint the keywords your site ranks for, empowering you to refine your SEO and content strategies with unparalleled precision.

The Purpose of Google Search Console

Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, is a robust, free platform provided by Google that enables website owners to monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot their site’s visibility in Google Search results. Beyond merely tracking your site’s performance, GSC is instrumental in understanding how Google and its users view and interact with your website. It offers detailed reports on search traffic, the performance of your content, and technical issues that might be hindering your site’s optimal performance in search results.

GSC is pivotal for ensuring that Google can access your content, helping you monitor content that delivers in search results and which queries bring users to your site. Additionally, it provides alerts on issues Google has encountered on your site and validates when these issues are resolved. By leveraging GSC, you gain insights into how to enhance your site’s search engine rankings, thereby increasing visibility to your target audience.

The Importance of GSC for Keyword Research

While Google Search Console is not traditionally marketed as a keyword research tool, its utility in this realm cannot be overstated. Keyword research lays the foundation for successful SEO by identifying the terms and phrases your target audience uses to search for products or services like yours. GSC uniquely positions itself as a vital source of keyword data by showing you exactly what queries your website appears for in search results, directly from Google’s perspective.

Using GSC for keyword research allows you to see your website through the lens of actual search performance data. This includes which keywords your site is ranking for, the frequency of these keywords in search queries, and how users interact with your site based on these queries. By analysing this data, you can uncover valuable insights into user search behaviour and preferences, enabling you to tailor your content and SEO strategies to match. Moreover, GSC helps you identify gaps in your keyword targeting, revealing opportunities to optimise existing content or create new content that addresses unmet user needs or queries.

In essence, GSC provides a direct line to Google’s understanding of your website’s relevance to specific search queries. By leveraging this data, you can fine-tune your keyword strategy, focusing on terms that drive traffic and align with your business goals. This strategic approach not only enhances your site’s visibility but also improves the likelihood of attracting more engaged and targeted visitors.

Identifying Keywords Worth Targeting

Navigating through the large numbers of search queries can seem daunting, but GSC simplifies this process. Start by focusing on queries with high impressions but lower click-through rates (CTRs). These are golden opportunities—keywords where your site is visible but not capturing as much traffic as it could. Enhancing content around these queries, improving titles and meta descriptions, and ensuring your pages best match the search intent can dramatically improve your rankings and visibility.

Viewing Your Keyword Performance in GSC

To delve into your keyword performance, navigate to the ‘Performance’ report in GSC. Here, you can view the queries leading users to your site, along with data on clicks, impressions, CTR, and your position in search results. Sorting this data by impressions or clicks can help you identify which keywords are driving the most visibility and engagement. By analysing trends over time, you can gauge the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and adjust your strategies accordingly.

Practical Steps to Use GSC for Keyword Insights

  1. Access Your Performance Report: Log into GSC and select ‘Performance.’ This report reveals the keywords and phrases that users have typed into Google to find your website.

  2. Analyse Queries for Insights: Scroll down the page to view the queries driving traffic to your site. High impressions indicate visibility, while high clicks signal engagement. Aim to optimise for queries with high impressions but low clicks.

  3. Identify Keywords to Target: Focus on queries related to your business or niche that have a reasonable balance of impressions and clicks. These are your low-hanging fruits—keywords you’re already ranking for that can potentially bring in more traffic with a bit of optimization.

  4. Monitor Your Progress: Regularly check your performance in GSC to see how changes to your content and SEO strategies affect your rankings and traffic. This ongoing analysis is key to iterative improvement and sustained success in SEO.

Use Google Search Console to Enhance Your Digital Marketing

Google Search Console is more than just a tool—it’s a treasure trove of insights waiting to be leveraged for keyword research and SEO optimisation. By understanding how to interpret and act on the data GSC provides, you can significantly enhance your website’s visibility and performance in Google Search. Remember, the goal is not just to rank for more keywords, but to rank for the right keywords that drive valuable traffic to your site. Armed with GSC and a strategic approach to keyword research, you’re well on your way to achieving SEO success.

Trust Retain Media for Proven SEO Strategies

If you’re struggling to stand out in search results, we can help. At Retain Media, we use Google Search Console in conjunction with industry-leading keyword research tools to generate insights and inform a strategy that delivers results. To learn more about what we can do to help your business stand out, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Categories
Best practice

Depreciation of Cookies & the Importance of Conversion API

Depreciation of Cookies - Retain Media

A brief history: Where we are on the cookie-less journey

Technology has developed exponentially over the last few decades. Smart Phones. Social Media. The ill-fated Google Glasses. Technology has evolved at such a rate that it is only in the last few years that the average consumer has understood how their privacy has been impacted. Enter Cambridge Analytica in 2018 and internet users the world over became privy to how their personal data and internet behaviours were being used.

While most advertisers and organisations have acted in good faith to their consumers, the behaviour of the few has resulted in sweeping changes. The most notable and wide-reaching prior to cookie deprecation was the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation in 2018 across the EU which required all websites to disclose how their data would be used and give the consumer control.

In January 2020, Google announced the Privacy Sandbox Initiative which outlined the company’s goal of depreciating third-party cookies from its browser and devices. It set an ambitious goal to phase out third-party cookies, with the undertaking so large that even the behemoth that is Google had to push out its timeline to early 2024

In January 2024, Google began depreciating third-party cookies through its browser Chrome for 1% of its users, officially marking the beginning of the end for cookies. This will ramp up throughout 2024, with the aim for 100% of Chrome browsers to be cookie-less by Q3 2024.

A Quick 101: What is the difference between first and third-party cookies?

You’ve heard of cookies but there are also different types of cookies. It might sound confusing but the difference is simple.

First-party cookies are essentially the cookies generated on your site. These are typically considered more reliable than third-party cookies from a raw data point of view in that it tells you how people behave on-site. The benefit that third-party cookies provided was that advertisers were able to pass back additional data points to platforms such as Meta and Google that defined who that user was. You can see why this is invaluable to advertisers when they want to identify their high-value customers.

Oversimplified, first-party cookies show how users interact with your website, while third-party cookies give these users attributes i.e. interests, behaviours, patterns, habits or perhaps even life stages, such as being newly married.

Will this impact the Meta Pixel?

Meta Pixel - Retain Media

In a word: yes. Let me explain: Meta’s pixel will continue to function, passing data from your website to the platform. However, the data that will be passed back to Meta won’t be as robust, which could impact reporting, measurement and targeting.

Why is this? When you install the Meta pixel onto your site, the default pixel setting is set to pass back first-party and third-party cookies. The deprecation of third-party cookies will mean only first-party cookies are being passed back to Meta, so we still see how they engage with the site, but not who they are.

This is where Conversion API comes in.

What is Conversion API (CAPI)?

Let’s be clear on one thing: Conversion API won’t be replacing third-party cookies. What CAPI will do allow advertisers to better manage and use their own first-party data from their site, limiting the impact of the loss of third-party cookie. 

Conversion API is a direct and more reliable way for your website to feed back marketing data to Meta. It works by establishing a connection server-to-server between your website and Meta which is privacy and GDPR compliant. 

Advertisers with CAPI implemented should see stronger results from their marketing campaigns as the data that is shared between the platforms is more reliable and robust, allowing for stronger automation, optimisation and personalisation.

How to set up CAPI on Meta

Conversion API - Retain Media

There are three ways you can implement CAPI through Meta. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach, so think about which solution works best for your business based on the resources available to you.


1. Commerce Platform Partner Integrations: This solution is the easiest to implement but is only suitable if you already use a partner platform compatible with Meta. This solution is most relevant to e-comm advertisers who use the likes of Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix or BigCommerce to name a few. 

2. Direct Integration using Code: This is the most resource-heavy and time-consuming method of CAPI setup. Direct integration using code is exactly what the name suggests. This will require IT and developer support to build the integration but the key benefit for the direct integration is it is more customizable than the other solutions

3. The Conversion API Gateway: This solution was developed for advertisers who aren’t purely e-commerce, but don’t have the dev resources to build a direct integration. It is code-free, self-setup enabled so a marketer should be able to implement easily enough. There are two ways you can set up the API Gateway: first, and can be set up via a partner integration like Google Tags Manager or Adobe. Alternatively, if you don’t use a gateway partner, you can set this up via Amazon Web Service although this will incur the cloud storage fees.

Should I prioritise installing CAPI?

If you are currently advertising or planning to advertise on Meta, then yes. As mentioned earlier, while the Meta pixel isn’t dying, its functionality and effectiveness will be reduced in the cookie-less world. For advertisers who want to continue making their marketing budgets work their hardest, then CAPI is needed to navigate these changes.

Should I prioritise installing CAPI?

To keep up to date with the latest developments in digital marketing, make sure you check out our Insights.

If you’re looking to expand your digital marketing, we can help. As automotive industry specialists, we’ve worked with some of Australia’s biggest brands to generate thousands of quality, qualified. For more information, contact us today to book a free, no-obligation consultation.