Have You Tried Google’s New Ad Innovations?

At the recent DEMEXCO (Digital Marketing Exposition and Conference) in Cologne, Google’s SVP of Ads & Commerce – Sridhar Ramaswamy made two major product announcements.

Universal App Campaigns

You can now just create a single Universal App campaign for your Android and iOS app. And Google will optimize and show it across all Google properties including Search, Play, YouTube, and the Google Display Network.

All you need to do is provide the text, starting bid and budget, and the preferred location and languages. Google will customize the formats of the ads based on the network, automate targeting and bidding, and test out different combinations to find out the optimal ads.

Watch this video:

Learn more at https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6247380

YouTube TrueView to Action Ads

You can now put a call-to-action display banner at the base of the video during and at the end of the video, as shown below:

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According to Sridhar, “This is especially advantageous for brands that offer products or services with high consideration, like financial services, automotive, or travel. TrueView for action can help you move your customers along the path to purchase by encouraging actions like scheduling an appointment or requesting more information.”

The feature is not available for all countries now. Google will start testing this new format with advertisers throughout the rest of this year in selected countries.

Facebook Rises Against ‘Ethnic Affinity’ Discrimination

Facebook advertisers for housing, credit and employment can no longer use the ‘ethnic affinity’ feature to target or exclude audience.

The announcement comes a week after a group of Facebook users filed a lawsuit against the site, arguing that the targeted ad practice violated the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, is seeking class action status. The complaint pointed out that there was no option for advertisers to exclude “White or Caucasian Americans from the target audience.”

Ethnic Affinity feature on Facebook targeting

Ethnic Affinity feature on Facebook targeting

The suit is a follow-up of ProPublica’s disclosure last month that advertisers are using the option to discriminate and explicitly exclude African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics. As an example, they showed a housing ad that was running on Facebook.

“We take these issues seriously,” Facebook said in a statement Friday. “Discriminatory advertising has no place on Facebook.”

This is what the Chief Privacy Officer of Facebook, Erin Egan has to say: There are many non-discriminatory uses of our ethnic affinity solution in these areas, but we have decided that we can best guard against discrimination by suspending these types of ads. We will continue to explore ways that our ethnic affinity solution can be used to promote inclusion of underrepresented communities, and we will continue to work with stakeholders toward that goal.

In the meanwhile, Facebook is developing tools to find and automatically disable ethnic affinity marketing for the covered categories.

Also, the company has vowed to offer more clarification and education regarding its advertising policies. It also plans to talk with policymakers and civil rights leaders to find “additional ways to combat discrimination, while increasing opportunity”.

You may read the official Facebook announcement regarding the issue.

Tried Google Data Studio to Represent Your Analytics Data?

If you are an agency managing multiple clients for Google AdWords and other channels, then Google Analytics is an important source for your data insights and analysis. And if you are using the paid version of Google Analytics or Google Analytics 360 Suite, then you have definitely used the Google Data Studio.

Thankfully, Google has also introduced this wonderful tool to the free Analytics users. Of course, right now, it is available only in the US, but very soon Google is planning to roll it it to other countries as well.

The tool helps you to convert the data of your clients into visual representations. The reports are easy to read, easy to share and are customizable per your needs. You can choose how you want to represent the data – in terms of bar diagrams, pie charts, line graphs or maps. Further, you can add your logo to the reports.

Another important feature is that the reports are dynamic – meaning, the representations will change as the data changes. And you can also import data from outside channels and ask the tool to make beautiful representations. Example, Facebook data. You just need to import the data into Google Sheets and the tool will make the visual reports for you. Also, you can share them.

Wonderful, isn’t it? So if you are in US, then try this https://www.google.com/analytics/data-studio

Google Has Started Advanced Verification Process For Plumbers and Locksmiths

Google wants to secure your life as an end user. You must be using Google to search for anything, even a local locksmith or, plumber. Post identification of a few fraudulent service providers, Google has initiated the ‘advanced verification’ process to minimise falsification of identities.

The process has been launched in San Diego initially. As per Google’s help document:

  • Intention is to provide its users with a functional list of service providers.
  • To reduce fraudulent activities and improve overall customer experience.
  • Service providers need to answer a few questions.
  • Apply to a third party for verification.
  • Pinkerton, a corporate risk management service provider has been engaged by Google for verification.
  • Verification is expected to be completed within two weeks.
  • Information provided to Pinkerton would remain confidential and only be used for verification purpose.
  • There would be no impact of this process on the web ranking of the service provider.
  • Failure to pass the verification would disable appearance on Google Maps and Knowledge Panel.

Pandora Redesigned Its Marketing Platform for Artists

Pandora has introduced a revised version of its Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) – the platform with a suite of marketing tools for artistes that includes Artist Audio Messages, Featured Tracks and AMPcast.

The new AMP provides feedback on an artist’s campaigns, evaluates their performance and provides them with ideas for new campaigns. Besides, there are other advantages as well.

  • Artists can now record customized short audio messages along with images using Artist Audio Messages. Such messages can be played before or after a track. It helps in marketing the music as per the local flavors of the place.
  • Artists can receive real time feedback (thumps up or thumps down) on their music and create separate stations to gauge affinity of listeners through Featured Tracks.
  • Artists can direct fans to a link from where they can buy show tickets. For this, Pandora has integrated Ticketfly to the AMP.

As per Sara Clemens, COO and head of Pandora’s Music Maker Group, Pandora has around 78 million music lovers engaged with it. The platform aims to connect all artists – veterans and new, to their desired audience. The focus is on promotion of new music, shows and campaigns, albums.

Check more information about the platform in the official blog.

 

Facebook is Experimenting Ads in Groups Now

One topic that dominated Facebook’s second quarter earnings call last July – was the issue of ads overload on users’ news feeds.

According to Facebook’s CFO David Wehner, by middle of next year Facebook will max out the ratio of ads to organic feeds in users’ news feeds. Till then though, this is what he has to say: ““We anticipate ad load on Facebook will continue to grow modestly over the next 12 months”.

Facebook now is looking at new avenues for revenue. One idea is ads in Facebook Groups.

Ads in Facebook Groups is a win-win situation for both Facebook and advertisers. By reducing ads on the news feeds, Facebook will be able to give users a more satisfactory experience. And on the other hand, advertisers will have access to more granular demographics as the audience in the Groups are organized around specific topics or communities and classified by interests.

According to Facebook, its Groups feature has more than 1 billion users. At present, Facebook is running a trial by placing ads on the mobile and desktop versions of the Groups in Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.

The Groups ads will look the same as those appearing on users’ news feeds now. They will be targeted by Group topics and the standard identity-based targeting.

It however, remains to be seen how this ‘incursion’ will be taken by members of the Groups – especially those from the closed and secret Groups.

More Features Added to AdWords Editor

The latest 11.6 version of AdWords Editor has added some new features corresponding to the innovations in different Google properties, primarily in AdWords.

1. Universal Ad Campaigns

With Universal Ad Campaigns, you can now find potential customers for your app across Google Search, YouTube, Play, within apps and mobile websites on the Display Network. Create and edit universal app campaigns in AdWords Editor itself.

2. Gmail Ad templates

With Gmail,ads, you can reach the 1B+ Gmail users around the world as they browse their promotional ads. AdWords Editor now supports Gmail image templates and Gmail single promotion templates. You can now easily create, manage, and edit your Gmail ads, individually and in bulk.

3. Expanded Text Ads

You can create Expanded Text Ads in AdWords Editor now. Expanded Text Ads provide more ad space to help you highlight additional details about your brand, products, and services.

4. Responsive Ads

Responsive ads adapt to the unique mix of content types and screen sizes across the Google Display Network. You can now create and edit responsive ads in AdWords Editor.

5. Device Bid Management

You can now set individual bid for each device type and manage the bidding of a consolidated campaign that reaches across many devices.

6. Advanced Search

Check out the enhanced options to create filters and search within your AdWords Editor.

7. Schedule Downloads

You can do it for different performance metrics data and stay on top of what is happening in your accounts.
Read more about these at the AdWords Editor Help Center.

Google is Becoming More Visual on Mobile

On Sep 15, Google announced through Google+ that it has introduced ‘new, more visual mobile search results at your service.’ Look at the screenshot below.

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For any given search query, the results appear as thumbnails on the right of the search results page on the mobile screen. Google has been testing this feature for some time; we have often seen that more than half of the search results on mobile have thumbnails.

This means that websites should ensure they have good thumbnails that Google can display for different queries related to their products and services. This is an important to-do action item from SEO perspective. From all such innovations, we see that Google is tending towards a more visual search results page.

 

Twitter jumped on the bandwagon of Snapchat and Instagram

Twitter jumped on the bandwagon of Snapchat and Instagram, and introduced its new feature to showcase curated content – named Moments. Below is the official announcement:

twitter-new

In essence, the feature can be termed as a combination of services like Storify, Facebook’s Canvas and Snapchat’s Live Stories.

Twitter’s Moments guide is customized to show current topics that are popular or relevant, so you can discover what is unfolding on Twitter in an instant. You can select Moments categorized by News, Sports, Entertainment, Fun, and more. When you see a Moment you’d like to explore, click it to view the entire story.

The feature was in fact, launched last year. Twitter now is following up on its initial promise to eventually open up the platform to all users. At present, Moments tab is available in the United States, Canada (English), Australia, United Kingdom, Brazil (Portuguese) and Mexico (Spanish).

Want to create your own Moments? Check this official guide.

Deadline to migrate to Expanded Text Ads (in AdWords) extended to Jan 31, 2017

Google has extended the deadline to migrate all Standard text ads in AdWords to Expanded text ads to  January 31, 2017.

For the uninitiated, Expanded text ads can be explained as the next generation text ads primarily designed for mobile audience.

The main features of Expanded text ads are:

Two headlines instead of one: You can have two headlines now of 30 characters each, and separated by a hyphen. If the screen size of the user is narrow, then the cumulative headline will spread over to the second line.

Single Description line of 80 characters: Instead of two description lines of 35 characters each, you now get one long description line of 80 characters.

For more information on Expanded text ads, you may like to look at the video below. We highly recommend all advertisers to migrate their Standard text ads to Expanded text ads immediately.