YouTube is launching a series of new features which aim to make community posts more engaging and give creators data on how their community posts are performing.

Since their creation in 2019, creators have had very little information on how many people are seeing their posts, instead having to rely entirely on likes, dislikes, and comments directly on the posts. 

Along with finally providing analytics data on these posts, YouTube is adding the ability to include more images in community posts, as well as letting iOS users schedule their posts ahead of time. 

Let’s explore all these new updates in more depth:

YouTube Community Posts Get Analytics Data

Creators can finally see data on their community posts directly in YouTube Analytics, after years of waiting. 

Specifically, the analytics suite will start showing information on how many times your posts have been shown and how the content is performing without having to look at individual posts. 

For the moment, these metrics are exclusive to the desktop version of YouTube Analytics, though the company says it will be bringing them to its Studio Mobile app at some point in the future. 

As the video announcing the features explained, the company wants to help creators who have been asking for community post analytics better understand their content’s performance and use this information to help create more engaging posts in the future. 

Add Multiple Images To YouTube Community Posts

Since their launch, YouTube community posts have limited creators to just a single banner image which was used as a thumbnail for each post. Thankfully, that is starting to change.

Creators can now add up to 5 pictures per each community post, allowing you to express yourself more, better engage readers, and create an experience more in-line with other social platforms. 

For example, you can use a post to tease an upcoming project with preview images, show the process behind your videos, or even showcase your experiences interacting with fans or clients directly in your content. 

At launch, this ability will only be available to users on Android devices. Support for iOS and desktop should arrive later this year. 

Schedule Community Posts on iOS

The last update is short and simple, but it has been something Apple device users have been begging for. Creators can now schedule their community posts ahead of time from iOS versions of the YouTube app. 

This feature has been available on desktop and Android for some time, so this means post scheduling is now available to everyone with the ability to create community posts. 

How To Create YouTube Community Posts

If you’re unfamiliar, community posts are a type of social content found in a channel’s “Community” tab which creators can share between or alongside proper video uploads. 

These posts can contain images, videos, text, playlists, GIFs, and even polls – making them a great way to directly connect with your audience. 

The only requirement to be able to create community posts is having 1,000 subscribers on your channel. Once you have hit that benchmark, the process to create a post is simple:

  • Sign in to YouTube
  • Click the “Create” button
  • Click “Create Post”

Though community posts might not be the most visible content on YouTube, they allow a way to directly communicate with your community without having to stream or record a full video on your channel. Additionally, this is where many turn for information about when to expect videos, what you’re cooking up, and find out exactly what your viewers are most interested in.

That makes these new features – all of which are available now to those eligible to share community posts – a valuable tool to build a robust community around your content. 

For more, check out the creator Insider video below:

As Google continues to promote its latest content format – Google Web Stories – the company is trying to help brands learn everything they can about the format, including how to use Web Stories to drive engagement and even revenue. 

To do this, the search engine has released a comprehensive Web Stories Playbook (totaling over 100 pages!) which does everything from explaining what Web Stores are, the technical process to create them, and strategic advice to get the most out of the format. 

What Are Web Stories?

Google Web Stories Playbook Showcase

Google Web Stories are a new, short-form “snackable” type of content similar to the Stories already popular on just about every social network. The big difference is that rather than being exclusive to a single, third-party service like Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, Google Web Stories can be posted directly to your site.

To make them more immersive and engaging, the clips (made with videos, graphics, audio, and text) can be expanded to a full-screen view with a click.

Notably, Google has also released plugins for popular platforms like WordPress, making it easy to get started creating and sharing Web Stories. 

Google Web Stories Playbook Site Embedding

Along with being placeable on your site, the short clips can also be found in Google Search, Google Images, and Google Discover, meaning there are tons of chances to increase your visibility using Web Stories. 

Even more, Google Ads integration means you can include call-to-actions, affiliate links, and even your existing campaigns in your Web Stories. 

By combining all these things, Web Stories aim to combine the quick, easily digestible allure of social Stories with traditional ads while simultaneously giving a chance to boost your SEO.

What’s In The Web Stories Playbook

As the book itself describes its purpose:

“This playbook will help you incorporate Web Stories into your website, so you can reach new audiences and help readers connect with content they’ll love.”

At over 100 pages, the Google Web Stories Playbook may sound intimidating, but don’t worry. The guide is made to be highly visual, with big graphics and short, bite-size paragraphs telling you all you need to know across three sections.

Google Web Stories Playbook Site Experience

Web Stories Playbook Sections

1) Overview – This section gives you the basics to understanding what Web Stories are and how they can be used to connect with new and old audiences in a more convenient and engaging way – even when on the go.

2) Entry Points – The Entry Points section explores the different ways Web Stories can be displayed and engaged with online. Specifically, it details five different  ways users might see your Web Stories, including:

  • Singletons (Single Web Story panel placement)
  • Carousels (Multiple Web Stories in a single panel)
  • Compact Display (An organized selection of Web Stories in a panel)
  • Author Highlights (Web Stories organized specifically by author)
  • Dedicated Page (An entire page showing browsable Web Stories)

Additionally, this section includes links to a Design Kit with files to help create different entry points on your site.

3) More Design Details – Here you’ll find more in-depth recommendations and best practices for Web Stories. These include implementation tricks for making Web Stories look the best on your site, tips for making your stories more browsable, and content creation best practices to get the most from your Web Stories. 

Lastly, the Google Web Stories Playbook links to even more resources and tools, including a dedicated guide to using Web Stories on your site, tools and plugins, technical documentation, and even a Web Stories Github for discussion with others using Web Stories. 

To explore the Google Web Stories Playbook for yourself, just head over to the official announcement or click this link for the direct PDF.

Microsoft Advertising announced this week that it will soon start including broad match ad targeting for campaigns using phrase matching. 

The change will occur “mid-May” and is aimed to “simplify keywords and improve your relevancy when reaching customers,” according to the announcement. 

Notably, this means the ad service is keeping in line with Google Ads, who made a similar change in February. 

“So… What Does This Mean For My Ads?”

Essentially, this update means that your ads which are being matched with queries for phrases matching your targeted keyword will also be shown for searches related to the meaning of your keyword. 

For example, Microsoft Advertising says the new system would match a search for “winter vacation in Miami” to the targeted keyword “Miami vacation.”
The company also says it will respect the word order of your keyword “when it’s important – for example, it won’t match ‘milk chocolate’ to the keyword ‘chocolate milk.”

Broad Match Modified Keywords To No Longer Be Offered

With this adjustment, Microsoft Advertising says it will be removing the option to create new broad match modified keywords beginning in August of this year. Existing broad match modified keywords will be treated the same as phrase match keywords. 

With this in mind, there is no need to change over your existing campaigns or keywords.

Planning For This Change

While there is no action for you to take immediately, there are a few things to keep in mind as the update rolls out. 

With the more broad matching included in phrase match campaigns, it will be important to monitor what searches are connecting with your keywords. This more broad approach could lead to potentially irrelevant queries showing your ads. 

On the upside, this change means it should be easier for advertisers to manage their campaigns, especially if they are advertising on both Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising.

With vaccination rates on the rise and everyone on the country itching to return to something close to “normal”, Pinterest says many are turning to the internet to help plan their upcoming adventures, vacations, and more. 

In particular, the social network says Pinterest searches by Gen Z users have shot up more than 95% year-over-year, with much of this being attributed to a rise in searches for life after Covid.

The data from the company’s Q1 search trends report reveals a lot about how people see their lives as we get back out in the world and try to make up for the lost time. Find out more below:

Vacation Searches (Up 75%)

It’s not unusual for many to start planning their spring break trips and summer vacations once Christmas is in the past. What is unusual is to the rates for these searches to shoot up three times faster than average from January 2021 to March 2021. 

Even more, the searches show that users intend to make these trips something special. 

Pinterest says it saw significant leaps in all of these search terms:

  • Searches for “dream vacation destinations”: Up 13x
  • Searches for “luxury vacation”: Up 6x
  • Searches for “vacation fashion”: Up 3x
  • Searches for “travel tattoos”: Up 45%

Eye-Popping Fashion (Up 85%)

Overall, people are tired of wearing sweats, tank tops, and hoodies every day as they work from home. Users have shown a distinct desire to dress their best as we start to get out of the house more, with searches containing the word “outfit” at an all-time high. 

Compared to Q1 of 2020, the site has seen a 26% increase in searches containing the word “outfit”. Even more, searches with that word shot up 85% in April compared to last year. 

Notably, Gen Z seems ready to really do it up, with search terms for bold patterns, retro styles, dramatic accessories, and daring makeup all showing increased attention this year:

  • Searches for “outfit”: Up 26%
  • Searches for “Y2K outfit ideas”: Up 230%
  • Searches for “60s and 70s fashion”: Up 133x
  • Searches for “zebra pants”: Up 14x
  • Searches for “plaid pleated skirt”: Up 12x
  • Searches for “clay rings”: Up 303x
  • Searches for “hippie jewelry”: Up 16x
  • Searches for “nose chain piercing”: Up 8x
  • Searches for “makeup makeover”: Up 100x
  • Searches for “alt makeup”: Up 60x
  • Searches for “puppy eyeliner”: Up 30x

Socializing and Parties (Up 64%)

Of course, you need somewhere to wear all those stylish trends, right? 

It should shock absolutely no one to see that users – especially those among Gen Z – are looking to party as larger gatherings become allowed. 

From November 2020 to March 2021, searches containing the keyword “party” have risen 64%. Year-over-year, the number of searches has doubled

Interestingly, the interest in parties range from extravagant affairs  to tasteful small gatherings with search rates for all these terms showing heightened interest recently:

  • Searches for “party life”: Up 3x
  • Searches for “Euphoria party ideas”: Up 43x
  • Searches for “backyard dinner party”: Up 3x
  • Searches for “party food buffet”: Up 10x
  • Searches for “dinner date outfits”: Up 30x
  • Searches for “hotel room party”: Up 8x
  • Searches for “group tattoo ideas”: Up 13x

Home Renovations (Up 28%)

While we may all be a little tired of spending too much time at home, home renovation interest appears to be at an all-time high on Pinterest. 

Similar to vacation searches at this time of the year, the platform says it typically sees spikes in home repair and renovation searches during this season. What the platform has seen this year, though, still far outpaces what they’ve observed in the past. 

Compared to Q1 2020, searches for home renovations were 28% higher on Pinterest, and 65% higher than Q1 2019. 

Specifically, the company says it saw spikes in searches for these search terms:

  • Searches for “home renovation ideas”: Up 5x
  • Searches for “grand millennial decor”: Up 3x
  • Searches for “indie room”: Up 132x
  • Searches for “sage green aesthetic”: Up 32x
  • Searches for “eclectic home”: Up 9x

For more, be sure to check out the full report from Pinterest here.