Phaseout of Third Party Cookies in Google Chrome

In June 2021, Google announced their plan to remove third-party cookies by the end of 2023 within Google Chrome (in July 2022, Google delayed this plan to the end of 2024). The plan to remove third-party cookies did not come as a shock to most people, however, as other browsers such as Firefox and Safari already did the same back in 2013. Google made this decision amidst popular sentiment amongst consumers to have their personal tracking data limited, and when required, safe from hackers and other companies. Read on to learn how this change will affect digital marketers and businesses. 

How third-party cookies helped marketers

Essentially, third-party data helped marketers and businesses understand user behaviour across many websites. This allowed them to personalize their marketing techniques to yield high click-thru rates and conversions at a lower cost compared to traditional marketing (think of billboards, poster ads in public transport, etc. that are not as targeted). Marketers could also follow users through their buying journey and even remind them that they abandoned their cart. In fact, 80% of advertisers rely on third-party cookies to track user behaviour and deliver relevant ads, according to Epsilon.

Why did Google choose to remove third-party cookies?

The reason behind Google’s decision is similar to that of Firefox’s and Safari’s back in 2013: primarily due to consumers’ concerns about privacy and data selling. With third-party cookies being sold to external companies, there are ethical concerns about what the buyers are doing with the data, who they are selling it to, and how they are keeping it safe from hackers. While some data such as age and country of residence may not be as troubling to some if they were to be leaked, data can often include or link to sensitive or identifiable information such as full name and address - which are easily harmful in the wrong hands. This point is only solidified by research suggesting that only 11% of website visitors accepted cookies.

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What can be done after third-party cookies disappear?

It’s no surprise that with the prevalence and power of third-party data in personalizing marketing efforts, 41% of marketers believe the inability to track the right data will be their biggest challenge going forward. 

However, it’s important to note that Google is only phasing out third-party cookies, not all cookies. Businesses can still use first-party cookies, which include data and tracking within their own business that cannot be shared with others. This means that data collected on a certain domain is not shared with advertising partners or other websites (directly). 

Like all cookies, first-party cookies came into existence as a way to aid the user, for convenience, before being further engineered to connect and cater the buying or advertising experience. First-party cookies are what makes it possible to remain logged in to your favourite news feeds, social media platforms, and online grocery sites, offering conveniences with specific and hopefully reasonable allowances to deliver features. Before auto-fill-type browser features, first-party cookies pre-filled your username so you didn’t have to each time you logged into a website.

First-party cookies are used for clever and effective marketing. One method is to offer a special offer for first-time users, such as a discount or free offer. Another technique personalizes a website to each user based on their activity on previous visits. For example, you likely notice that Amazon retains information about what you were shopping for in order to personalize what you see when you arrive at the homepage next time.

When third-parties cookies are finally dropped, older marketing techniques may make a comeback. Contextual advertising, for instance, is the method of placing ads in content based on the type/category of the content. If you are marketing for a furniture brand, you could place ads in articles about home decor. There is less personalization in this method, but it is still likely to reach the right target audience.

To learn more about what UpOnline is doing to prepare for the fall of third-party cookies and how our services can provide maximum tracking without the use of third-party cookies, contact us today!

Video Marketing Ideas and Tips

Even with video marketing being a relatively less-used form of marketing, there is still a lot of competition. It can be hard to think of what types of videos to create and how to create quality videos that will get you the results that you are looking for. With this article, we hope to share the most effective types of video content and provide expert tips on how to produce high-quality videos.

Types of videos you can create

There are many types of marketing videos that you can create for your customers. Get inspiration from the following 4 video content types. 

Demo video

A demonstration (demo) video helps you to showcase your product or service while it is in action. Sometimes referred to as an explainer video, this is an interesting way to introduce your product's value to a prospective customer. This type of video allows you to give customers ideas on why your products stand out more than others. In fact, according to a survey by Wyzouwl, more than 88% of people were convinced to buy a product/service after watching a brand’s video!

Brand video

Tell your customers what your brand stands for. This video type is aimed at creating a positive association between the brand and prospective customers without necessarily promoting a product or a service. A brand video puts a face to a brand name.

Educational video

Educational videos are used to educate and inform the audience about a certain product function or problem that they may be experiencing. There is a thin line that divides a demo video from an educational video. Educational videos address how to address a problem with the product after it has been introduced through a demo video. In the education industry, these videos are used to impart lessons and training.

Testimonial video

What is one of the best ways to promote your product? Your loyal customers. By using your customers' positive experiences to create video property, you can tap on a great resource to build trust in your brand. Testimonial videos tell a strong and more relatable story that is difficult to forget.

Tips for Content Creation

Grab Attention Quick

There are many other resources where your users can get information, so there are only a few seconds to grab their attention and convince them to stay longer. Ensure that you bring the story to life quickly as the average consumer attention span is just 8.5s. In this short amount of time, you should be able to introduce your product or service as well as relay its value to prospective customers.

There has been a shift in the optimal length of a video. Viewers now prefer shorter clips, and this can be reflected in the popularity of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Youtube Shorts (all of which focus heavily on videos under 1 minute).

Deliver Real Value

Customers expect your content to provide them with true value. Whether it brings them laughter or handy information, your goal is to keep them interested in your brand for awareness and future purchase.

Stay Consistent

Consistency in approach shows professionality. Stay consistent with your content, aesthetic style and wording. If your customers expect travelling-vlog content, then it would not be a good idea to post construction videos.

Don’t Ignore the Production Quality 

Video marketing brings more attention and engagement, but this is true only if your video has good quality. Pay attention to the quality of production, aesthetic style, and value that your videos will provide. A blurry or shaky video won’t get appreciated even if it provides great value. 

Optimize for Silence

Hubspot research shows that 85% of videos on social media platforms are watched with volume down to zero. Consider adding subtitles, and more attractive visuals to create engrossing content which cannot be missed even while being played without sound.

Add a Call to Action

Don't forget to incorporate appropriate CTA (Call-to-action) in your video. A call to action doesn’t have to be complicated. The CTA in the video could be a direct message from the speaker, a link to a landing page, a phone number to contact or even a share button. A clear CTA will ensure it is easy to engage with the video.


The importance of video marketing can not be emphasized enough. It brings challenges at the outset but much more potential when you are familiar with it. By applying the tips above, you will be able to create an effective video content strategy that will leave a lasting impression on your target audience.

Want to talk more about video marketing or any marketing-related topics? Contact an UpOnline representative today!

How Video Content Creation Can Benefit Your Marketing Strategy

 Marketing is more than the products you make and the services you sell; it’s about the stories you tell and what better way to tell a story than using videos? The significance of videos in marketing continues to increase in significance as an awareness and sales channel. So much so that video has (in many ways) become the center of marketing strategies for brands. There has been a linear shift from text to images to videos in a tug of war between capturing user attention and selling a product or service. Videos are being integrated across multiple social media and ad platforms, as well as brand-managed websites. Through this article, we aim to show and share the power of good videos and the important aspects of creating memorable video content.

Why your brand/business needs video marketing

Customer preference shift

According to SocialMedia Today,  72% of customers prefer learning about a product or service through a video in 2020. This number is only increasing. 

This year, it is expected that more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic will come from online videos. It also reflects on major social media platform trends: Instagram continuously promotes its video feature in the form of Reels and Stories, TikTok has over 1 billion active users internationally, and Pinterest Video Pins level up to a staggering one billion videos viewed a day.

Better SEO performance

By integrating videos on your website, it is more likely to appear higher on search engine result pages (SERPs). Most search engines can crawl both the video and the “alt tag” (descriptions) and take into account the presence of video in their algorithms. Beware: be sure to optimize your videos so that they don’t slow down your site and cause them to rank lower!

Raise brand awareness

Because of their retention value, videos are a great way to increase brand awareness. The storytelling format of videos helps to create relatable instances and strengthen the connection with customers. Depending on your target audience and objectives, you can choose from a variety of video content, and styles ranging from new releases of tech product videos for tech geeks to eco-lifestyle videos for environmentalists. 

Stand out from the competition

Even though video marketing is no longer a new concept, there are still plenty of brands that have not started incorporating videos as a part of their marketing strategy. If you start now, there are still opportunities that you would stand out more than the brands that are late in jumping on the video marketing wagon.

More conversions

Video is a great way to introduce your product or service in more dimensions than images alone  can. 97% of video marketers report that videos help customers better understand products and services better, and also help them increase sales. Websites that place videos on landing pages increase conversions by up to 86%. How-to videos and guides are also great ways to engage with customers and increase conversions.

Let’s see a great video in action!

Check out this video marketing campaign from Canadian Tire called “Wheels.” It shows a boy in a wheelchair who isn’t able to play basketball with other kids in his neighbourhood. But then one of the kids creates a version of basketball made just for him, and he is able to join in! 

This video really appeals to the viewers’ emotions, namely empathy. Although the topic of the video is not directly related to Canadian Tire’s business goals or products, a unique campaign such as this one can create an association between the brand and positive emotions. Going back to our reasons why your business needs video marketing, this video allows Canadian Tire to both stand out from their competition (their competitors did not create videos as unique as this one) and raise brand awareness (people are more likely to remember something that is unique).

Checking out other successful video campaigns can provide ideas on how your brand can implement video marketing into your digital marketing strategy. Get started and ahead of your competitors with video marketing today! 

Want to talk more about video marketing or any marketing-related topics? Contact an UpOnline representative to chat today!

Aligning Your Digital Marketing Strategy With Your Brand Goals

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When we speak about brand goals and digital marketing strategies, we are talking about two extreme ends. To align them, you should examine your brand through several steps to determine the best digital marketing strategies to maximize your desired results. To begin, we will assume that you have a brand identity. If not, we believe you should start by reading our article on Branding.

Now let’s talk about Brand Goals. What is it that you aim to achieve through your branding? Is it to build awareness, create an emotional connection with your target audience, differentiate yourself by conveying what makes you unique, gain credibility and trust among the consumers in the market or become memorable? 

In order to create these goals, it’s important that you review your brand by researching where it stands currently, the market, industry, and your target audience and consumer trends. This is where we do a little Marketing 101 refresher. When it comes to research, do a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis or a PEST (Political, Economic, Social, Technological) Analysis. These can help you determine which areas of your business would benefit from an updated digital marketing strategy.

Next, let’s talk about Objectives. Quite often, in the marketing world, we tend to interchange goals with objectives. There’s a difference - and that is specificity. Goals are general aims you plan to achieve that are broad and long term, but objectives are specific - they define the actions to achieve the goal. And the best objectives are SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound. 

For example, let’s say as a dental practice, your goal is ‘to become memorable for Invisalign Treatment’. An objective would be to ‘Rank #1 on Google when people search for the term “Invisalign dentist” in the next 6 months. Here, we are specific with what we want - to rank #1 on Google for ‘Invisalign dentist’ organically, in our local area. The objective is measurable because you can see the rankings on Google. It is attainable and time-bound, given that we have left ourselves a good time frame to achieve as organic SEO can be a slow process.

Now, once your goals and objectives are aligned, let’s create digital marketing strategies.


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Digital Marketing is a broad term and can be divided into many sub-categories. Each category has a different impact, which helps you create your strategies based on your goals and objectives. These categories include:

  • Content Marketing Strategy - Content marketing involves creating valuable and relevant material that can be shared online, such as blogs, videos, how-to guides etc.
  • Social Media Marketing - Utilizing various social media platforms and their specific features to help find and connect with your customers, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more.
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing) - Optimize your website to improve visibility on search engines such as Google, and look into options to enhance your digital presence, such as paid online ads.
  • Email Marketing - Keep your customers engaged with regular updates and content via periodic newsletters or e-blasts.
  • Paid Ads - As budget allows, place strategic paid ads for relevant search phrases to compliment your organic efforts and appear in more competitive searches.

Some or all of these digital marketing strategies can help you achieve your goals, but they easily overwhelm you if you don’t have a clear objective. To determine which strategy you should prioritize, you should set SMART objectives and establish a timeline according to the stages of growth of your brand.

Ready to take your brand to the next level? Chat with one of our UpOnline representatives today to learn more!

Social Media Listening: An Effective Way to Understand Your Audience

One of the most important aspects of a digital marketing strategy is to understand exactly what it is that your audience likes, doesn’t like, and struggles with. Getting this answer is easier said than done, and this is where social listening comes in. Social listening is the process of tracking social media platforms for conversations related to your brand or industry. Read on to learn more about social listening, how it can benefit your business, and tips to implement it in your strategy.

The importance of social listening

Imagine that you are an automotive company and believe that your target audience struggles with most cars not having enough legroom; however, in reality, they don’t struggle with this issue. If this is the case, your marketing efforts and all of the changes you make in your products to fix that issue will not be very effective, since they are not solving a real and/or common problem! That problem stems from misunderstanding your audience. Did you know that to decide what type of movie or show to create next, Netflix uses data including their most popular genres, actors, and other data points, all as a form of listening? This is part of the reason why they are so successful and know exactly what their users would want to watch next.

Effective social listening provides a big-picture view of your audience’s demographics and interests within your industry. Social listening also helps to understand your audience’s views towards your own brand, such as whether they like a certain product or service. In addition, social listening can provide insights into your competitors, such as what they are doing well and what they aren’t. This information is very useful in shaping the future of your own brand since you won’t need to make the same mistakes that your competitors have made.

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Benefits of social listening

The most important and obvious benefit of social listening is that you can better understand your audience. You can see specific interactions, including when people really love one of your products,  have a specific problem with it, or even when they mention a struggle they are having that one of your products solves.

Furthermore, with social listening, you can stay ahead of the game (and ahead of your competitors) and solve new problems or answer questions before your competitors do. Often, political and social issues may have impacts on your brand and its products, so keeping track of recent events can allow you to act in a proactive manner rather than reactive.

Finally, social listening can identify possible collaborations with other creators in your industry whose expertise and/or large following can greatly benefit your brand awareness. Creators and influencers are respected within their space, so their audience will readily believe and engage with the content they share. According to Hootsuite, “If people within the community see you as an active partner in supporting the creators they admire, they’ll be more likely to trust that you have their best interests at heart too.”

How to implement social listening

Follow these few steps and you will be well on your way to better understanding your audience:

  1. Listen for relevant keywords and topics: Pick keywords such as your brand name, products, key people in your company, industry keywords, and competitors’ names.

  2. Focus your efforts on platforms that you know have a lot of conversation: Different social platforms have different types of uses and content. For example, Twitter is a much more conversation-heavy platform than TikTok, so social listening on Twitter is likely to be more insightful and useful than on TikTok (but this all depends on your brand and where its target audience is most active).

  3. Filter searches: If you are a local business in Toronto, you likely do not need to worry about opinions from Europe, so it will save you time if you filter your listening by location.

  4. Use insights gained from social listening to create change: Social listening is useless if it is not used to create meaningful change within your brand that benefits your audience and creates a better brand image. Identify trends in your research and use them to guide the direction your brand goes in.

  5. Use the best tools: While manual listening (conducting individual searches separately and then manually combining data into meaningful results) is possible, it is highly time-inefficient. Some of the best tools for automatic and comprehensive social listening include Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Talkwalker.

Key takeaways

With there being so much competition between brands in every industry, it is important to focus your marketing efforts and brand goals in ways that most benefit your audience. Efforts are wasted if they are not focusing on the correct target audience, so your brand should use social listening to better understand your audience, industry, and competitors.

If you have any questions about social listening or are wondering how we can help your business, contact an UpOnline representative today!

The Rise of Conversational Marketing and Chatbots

We’ve all visited a website where a chatbot notifies you as soon as the page is loaded, asking if you need help or have any questions. Chatbots, and conversational marketing as a whole, have gained popularity and maturity very quickly in the past few years, so we thought it’s worth discussing the good and bad and promoting best practices in this particular niche. Read on to see how your business can benefit from conversational marketing and how to implement it effectively!

What is conversational marketing?

According to Giosg, conversational marketing is defined as a dialogue-driven approach to marketing whereby customers can engage in a live conversation with either a human or an automated and AI-powered chatbot. Real-time conversations with customers can be effective and efficient methods of reaching your brand’s goals, whether that is to create stronger customer relationships or generate additional sales. Conversational marketing also allows brands to communicate more in real-time and leave behind day-long response wait times for questions.

Trending social messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp have made it very easy for brands to communicate quickly and directly with their customers. It is no surprise that these platforms have grown to 1.5 billion and 1.3 billion monthly users, respectively, and exist as a destination where brands often want to leverage their presence. Many brands have established a very reachable presence on these social messaging apps to make it known to customers that they are available to them quickly and easily.

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The benefits of conversational marketing

There are quite a few benefits that conversational marketing provides and that have contributed to its rapid implementation. As you read through these benefits, think about how your brand is currently doing in these areas and how conversational marketing can improve them:

A convenient way for customers to get answers

More people navigate websites on their phones than on their computers. Mobile users also prefer messaging-based interactions, largely because it is perceived that it can be easier to get an answer through messaging than through scrolling chunks of text on a website.

With the increase in usage of chatbots, customers are also able to get their answers 24/7. Customers’ patience levels are gradually decreasing, and many don’t want to wait until your business opens up to get their answer. If they see that you’re not available at the time that they want their answer, they will likely find a competitor that is! 24/7 chatbot availability also appeals to businesses that have customers in other countries and timezones; it can be hard to have a human support team available 24/7 for all timezones, but chatbots shine in this area.

A great way to gather insights about customers

Messaging with customers allows them to provide open-ended responses with the freedom to express their thoughts and feelings about your services or products. In addition, in cases where it is a human representing your brand, they also have a bit of freedom to comment on customer feedback and engage in further conversation. Contrast this with many other digital marketing methods (websites, ads, and email marketing), which are mostly one-sided and event-driven. It is relatively hard for customers to provide feedback through these channels. For example, although some email newsletters are able to accept replies that go directly to the brand, customers don’t typically think to do so. In other cases, the company may have set up a do-not-reply email address, in which case it is not possible for someone to send direct feedback or comments. Combine the open discussion that comes from conversational marketing with the possibility of keeping a record of the conversations, and it’s evident how conversational marketing can be used to identify trends and pain points within your customer demographic.

An effective way to build customer relationships

Many people would be ashamed or embarrassed to ask some of their questions to a real person, so using a chatbot to ask them is the perfect solution. And the same goes in the opposite direction: chatbots can ask customers questions that would otherwise be awkward or uncomfortable if it was part of real-life interactions.

Chatbots also allow your brand to express itself through the use of personalized/unique replies, emojis, images, and more! If customers have a fun and unique time interacting with your brand, they will be more likely to remember you and come back again. 

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Disadvantages of conversational marketing

Although conversational marketing presents a great opportunity for businesses to invest in and grow their business, there are a few pain points to be aware of. At the end of the day, chatbots simply aren’t human, so they will not be able to converse as naturally as a human would. Even with the best programming and automation currently available, there will be times when the response that the chatbot gives doesn’t really make sense or doesn’t give the customer the answer that they are looking for. This can lead to frustration from the customer and a negative experience with your brand, making them less likely to convert or return. Furthermore, in cases where you have a live human representing your brand, it can be costly to have someone engaging in 1:1 conversations with customers.

How you can implement conversational marketing into your brand’s strategy

According to Drift, there are three key steps to successfully implementing conversational marketing within your brand:

1: Engage

Compliment existing lead forms on your website by adding chatbots. Even if the questions that you use in the chatbot are similar to those asked in the lead forms, visitors that have a preference for chat-based interactions will find it easier to use the chatbot. 

A key benefit of chatbot over lead forms is that you can use them across multiple pages (in a non-obstructive way) so that they are visible to customers at any point of their visit. You can also customize the chatbot to target people based on their actions on the website. For example, if someone is viewing a page for a specific service, the chatbot can display a message catered to that service!

2: Understand

With chatbots and live messaging, you’ll be able to understand what your customers want within just a few messages, rather than across multiple emails and several days. Chatbots often have features built into them that allow them to recommend the most relevant next steps. But note that customers may not complete major actions or decisions based on suggestions of the chatbot. This takes us to the next step…

3: Recommend

Connecting your customers with a real person will make them much more likely to take the actions that you want them to, such as booking an appointment. For example, after a chatbot interacts with a customer and provides them with some information about the service they are interested in, you could recommend that the customer books a free consultation appointment with one of your staff.

Key takeaways

In the past few years, there has been a big shift in how businesses see and interact with their customers. Businesses are being less business-centric (focusing on methods and experiences that work for them) in favour of being customer-centric, where they focus on giving customers personalized experiences based on what works best for them. This is the new standard that companies are expected to adopt if they want to compete with others in their industry.

With this information, we hope that you were able to come up with ideas on how your company or brand could benefit from conversational marketing. Even if you have already implemented conversational marketing, there are many ways to improve the customer experience.

If you are interested in conversational marketing or chatbots, contact an UpOnline representative today and learn how you can give your business the boost that it deserves!