These past few weeks have been quite remarkable. Simone Biles landed a triple double on her floor routine for the first time in the history of women’s artistic gymnastics, a 19-year-old Hungarian boy shattered Michael Phelps world record at the world swimming championships, and the upcoming All-Ireland between Dublin and Kerry is sure to become one of the most talked-about games of the century.
Meanwhile, VROOM Digital were also busy over the summer, working hard on breaking the world record of Monthly Ice-cream Consumption per Digital Marketing Head!
We took our training regime seriously. “It happened because we believed in ourselves”, comments Davor from the SEO team. “For us, hard work and persistence were key” states Anna, Head of Paid Social. Cian from PPC, crying tears of joy, declares: “If you can believe it, you can achieve it.”
“We’ve been deep in the trenches working with the biggest tour Provider in the world on Trip Advisor! We were tasked with helping grow their PPC revenues! That’s been a big lot of fun of late, and as a team we are still basking in the pride of results!
With the holiday season upon us, it ain’t easy being an SME, but client work waits for no man! Or woman!
We have expanded the number of nationalities under our VROOM team roof again, our newest member, soon to be revealed, a native of Brazil nonetheless!
We’re busy doing the doing and preparing for the road ahead, thanks for the business y’all and putting your faith in our ever-expanding team!”– said Shane, VROOM’s Managing Director.
Our athletic achievements aside, last month was also busy in terms of innovations and cool new features that every digital marketing expert should know about – read all about it in our monthly #DigiJuice below!
Mobile News Feed Ad Formats Update
Facebook announced that starting from August 19th, there will be a couple of important updates involving creatives and ad copy on Mobile Newsfeed.
The first one is the reduction of the maximum height for media without links to 4:5 on mobile feed. Videos and images taller than 4:5 will be masked. The second update consists of the shortening to 3 lines of the primary text shown on the Newsfeed. Text longer than three lines will be hidden and people will have to click to view additional text.
These changes are aimed at simplifying formats and improve consistency on mobile, allowing advertisers to use the same assets across Facebook’s News Feed and Instagram feed. If that’s the case, a welcome format update!
Facebook Search Is Back
After an epic fail of Facebook Search Ads of 2012, the Menlo Park giant is trying again. After an initial test on the other side of the Atlantic, sponsored results are back from the dead. Advertisers are now able to place ads on the search results page on the European shores too – and we have seen this placement now available to some of our clients already (yay!).
Video ads won’t be allowed and search ads will only appear on mobile. While Marketplace search ads can show up on both iOS and Android, Facebook search ads are only showing on Android. For now, advertisers won’t be able to pick specific keywords like with Google search ads (we’re a top 3% Google Premier Partner across EMEA don’t cha know?!), but ads may appear for search terms related to auto or retail topics.
Instagram Tests Hiding Likes
After the initial test in Canada, Instagram introduced the hiding likes option for users in six more countries: Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.
As Instagram specified, you will still be able to see your own likes by tapping on the liker list – and therefore have an idea of the performance of your posts – but your followers will not be able to see the number of likes your post has received.
After being described as the most detrimental social media platform to young people’s mental health by a study by the Royal Society for Public Health, Instagram is making urging users to focus on the photos and videos their friends share, not how many likes they get.
“Likes” have become a universal sign of social recognition and approval, while not getting enough likes may lead to low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence.
While this move by the Mountainview giant is clearly an advantage for the wellbeing of general users, it’s not clear whether it will be beneficial for influencers and brands. Up to now, likes have been often used as a measurement of success for influencer partnership campaigns. If likes are not visible anymore – influencers complained – how will companies know if the collaboration was worth the investment?
The answer is more tangible and sales-driven metrics, such as click-throughs and sales, which might not be immediately visible on the influencer’s profile, but must be tracked at a deeper level. Reducing the reliance on vanity metrics as a measure of campaign success will also limit the phenomenon of fake popularity, i.e. the practice of buying followers and using bots.
The announcement triggered very contrasting reactions, ranging from praises to accusations of ruining people’s business, but we guess that only time will reveal how this change might benefit or harm everyone’s experience on Instagram.
Twitter ArtHouse Launch
Twitter is launching ArtHouse, a new initiative to help connect brands with influencers and creators. This project saw the formation of a global team of “content strategists, digital producers and influencer marketing specialists” who will “help brands launch new products and connect to what’s happening in culture.”
As shown by a Twitter-sponsored study, users on Twitter are 24% more likely to engage with ads that come from Creators than coming directly from brands. They are also 41% keener to purchase from branded creator posts, which also according to our own experience, reinforce the value of audience-first content.
As we have passionately preached in our previous blog, a huge part of your campaign’s success depends on creative. This initiative clearly sprouts from the need to develop unique, feed-first content that “drives brand love and business impact.”
Pinterest Ads on the Go
In a society where time is the most precious currency of exchange, Pinterest introduced Mobile Ad Tools, a feature that allows advertisers to create a campaign in four simple steps and manage it from a mobile device at any time.
With Mobile Ad Tools, marketers can choose a Pin from a profile, opt for building brand awareness or driving conversions, select automated or custom targeting options, pick the duration and the daily budget of the promotion and complete billing information on the go. Interesting, right?
Campaign controls and editing options are also available via the mobile app, as well as some basic metrics, such as advertising spend, remaining campaign duration, impressions, clicks, click-through rate and saves.
LinkedIn New Feature For SMBs Service Promotion
Recognizing the importance of “word of mouth” for small and midsize businesses, LinkedIn rolled out a new feature allowing owners to list the services they offer directly on their LinkedIn profile pages.
Once added to the company profile, these services will automatically be eligible to show up in relevant search results. For example, if you provide accounting services, your profile will show up amongst the search results of people typing in this keyword.
At the moment, this feature is only available for small business and freelancers who have a Premium Business subscription in the U.S., but hopefully, it will soon reach the Old World too.
More Payment Options For YouTube Subscriber
YouTube Premium, a paid membership that gives you ad-free access to YouTube, YouTube Music and YouTube Gaming, broadened its payment options.
Thanks to the partnership with Paysafe, a prepaid online payment method based on vouchers with PIN code, YouTube subscribers can now also pay with cash to avail of the video streaming platform services.
This decision is aimed at reaching those consumers who don’t have a credit card or access to digital banking. As astonishing as it may sound, there are around 130 million Europeans who prefer to avoid digital banking for security concerns. Unbelievable, right?
Google’s New “Shopping” Platform
On July 23rd, the new Google Shopping portal went live in the U.S. Launched after the Amazon Prime Day shopping frenzy, this is clearly a shot at the world’s biggest retail platform.
Indeed, Amazon has been eating away a substantial portion of Google’s shopping searches, with the consequent movement of budget from Google to Amazon advertising.
We have already mentioned a few novelties introduced in the new platform in our May Digijuice, but here is the complete list:
- The “Buy with Google Guarantee” tag (available only on selected products) will refund customers if they do not receive the ordered items on time.
- Users can browse their favourite categories including Electronics, Home & Garden, Apparel, etc.
- The new site will point you towards products for sale in Google’s own store or from its chosen third-party sellers.
- Google will not have warehouses to stock the merchandise.
- Google will offer personalised recommendations, based on browsing history and web activity.
Despite Amazon being the undiscussed king on online retail, Google does have our entire search history. And us, tiny gear wheels in the big consumerism machine, can just sit back and see who will win this battle between Titans!
Reach More Customers with Close Match Variants
Late last year Google allowed exact match keywords to show in more search auctions by allowing ads to show for search terms that are close match variants. This targeting has now been expanded to “Broad Match Modifier” & “Phrase Match” keywords meaning that you will start to see an increase in Impressions and clicks from keywords using this match type.
It’s important to monitor performance after this release as traffic may fluctuate and show ads for search queries that may not be relevant so keep an eye on your search terms report and use negative keywords when appropriate.
YouTube Masthead Ads Available to Everybody
YouTube Masthead ads, a digital billboard that runs on YouTube homepage, can now be bought by all advertisers on a CPM basis.
Until earlier this year, Masthead ads used to run for 24 hours, reaching around 60 millions people, by only one company per country at a time. As it’s displayed in front of a non-targeted audience for a full day, this option comes at a very steep price and is not affordable for most SMEs. However, since last February, YouTube has been testing the possibility to buy this ad type on a cost-per-thousand impression (CPM) basis and some advanced targeting solutions in selected countries.
Now, this “more affordable version” of Masthead is available worldwide, despite remaining a reserved placement “to ensure that brands can drive the visibility they need on the dates that matter most”.
Robots.txt Noindex No Longer Supported
It’ s official! Some fresh news from Google which was confirmed recently: robots.txt noindex will be no longer supported by Google.
The reason for this change is that the robots.txt noindex implemented were no always working properly for everyone and therefore, they wish to unify and ease the whole process of indexing. The official date of rolling out is September 1st – that’s one month to get prepared for this change!!
“In the interest of maintaining a healthy ecosystem and preparing for potential future open source releases, we’re retiring all code that handles unsupported and unpublished rules (such as noindex) on September 1, 2019. “ Google confirmed.
Here are five steps to control indexing to prevent your website from any upcoming issues related to this change before September 1st (officially published on Google’ s Blog):
- noindex in robots meta tags,
- disallow in robots.txt,
- 404 and 410 HTTP status codes,
- Password protection,
- Search Console Remove URL tool.
Read the official announcement of this change on the Google Webmaster Central Blog here.
Google Images Search easier and more user-friendly
When it comes to the latest Google updates, there was a major Google Images update properly called “Swipe to Visit”. What is interesting about this feature, it’s available just on mobiles.
How does it work? When clicking on a particular image in Google Image search results, a preview of the website header appears at the bottom of the screen and you can swipe up to visit the web page straight away. When you finished viewing the web page, you can simply swipe the header down and continue in the image search on Google. However, this feature will be allowed just for websites which have the AMP HTML implemented in the code. This allows an easier and more user-friendly experience for users and will benefit websites which are fast-loading.
Not sure if your digital strategy is up to date? Planning a website migration? Need some help with your Google Shopping campaign, or would like to test some Paid Social campaigns for your business? Get in touch (and we may offer you an ice-cream when you visit our Merrion Square HQ)!