It’s this time of year when our social media feeds get filled with photos of friends soaking up the sun and sipping a fancy cocktail on some white-sand beach. To make it even more painful, there was a complete flop of the Game of Thrones finale. Really, Benioff and Weiss, that’s all you could come up with?
Despite the disappointment of Game of Thrones and a desperate need for some vitamin D, we are pretty excited about the recent features developed by Google, Facebook and Instagram. Read on to learn what’s new on the digital front!
We’re Busy & We’re Hiring
“May has been a month for mahoosive Audits where we’ve been busy delivering our most comprehensive audits yet!
Seven years in and we’ve become extremely proficient at identifying and fixing complex performance issues whether this manifests in a significant drop in SEO traffic, poor PPC account structure or a Social Strategy that needs serious love. Client results are the numbers that have always mattered and motivated us most here at VROOM.
At VROOM Q2 has been all about YouTube Ads, this channel has been getting a lot of air time in Merrion Sq at the moment what with the additional training Google have lavished upon us. Thank you big G!
As we’re one of just a handful of Irish Agencies with our Video badge, simultaneously holding all five Google specialisations, more and more we’re gravitating towards larger spending clients seeking growth in hyper-competitive markets. We are still hiring for a full-time Senior PPC based in Dublin. Yep, we’re picky about who we hire and that’s a good thing for all concerned, so take a look if you’re in the market today to work for our Award winning team, it helps that we’ve a lot of nice people too!’ – Shane Curtin, Managing Director
Google Marketing Live 2019
- Custom Audiences: Google is merging custom affinity audiences and custom intent audiences to give birth to Facebook-inspired custom audiences, but with the addition of search data.
- Audience Expansion tool: now that you have created a custom audience, you can make a lookalike audience. Yes, the audience expansion tool is nothing less than the possibility to target users who look and behave similarly to the people within your custom audiences. Sounds familiar?
- Semi-automated Local Campaigns for all advertisers: you can now promote your brick-and-mortar store across all placements providing some ad copy, a few images and your shop locations. As with responsive ads, Google will optimise delivery and maximise results.
- Smart Bidding Improvements: you have now new ways to optimize your smart bidding models: set campaign-level conversion goals, create a conversion action set to share across multiple campaigns and optimise bids for a specific period of time (for example for an upcoming sale or event).
Google Analytics UNServices SDKs
Google announced that next October will sunset Google Analytics Services SDKs for Android and iOS, the Google Analytics mobile-apps report. Does it ring a bell? No? That’s why they are turning it off.
If by chance you are one of the very few who actually used it, you can transition to tracking your apps with the Firebase SDKs and still be able to access historical data until January 31, 2020.
Google I/O Developer Conference
At Google I/O developer conference, the focus seemed to be “building a more helpful Google for everyone.” Besides the launch of a new line of mid-tier phones, the search giant unveiled a few interesting innovations:
- The Google Nest Hub Max: it is a video chat device, smart speaker and security camera all in one, simply activated with the “Hey, Google” command that sounds like coming from an episode of The Jetsons. The video chat has a lens that automatically zoom in and out as you move around; you can sneak into your living room by a live feed on your phone; it uses facial recognition to display personalised events, reminders and messages; you can pause or play video/audio just holding up your hand (like a music director!).
- Project Euphonia: it helps people with speech impairments to be understood by machines.
- Smarter and faster Assistant: users will be able to ask Assistant to call a person in your contact list based on their relationships, like “dad”, and find restaurant reservations in your email to guide you to that destination when you’re on the go.
- Duplex on the web: it’s a feature powered by AI that can fill out forms using your personal information and submit the request of renting a car on your behalf.
Incognito Mode on Google Maps and YouTube: clicking on your profile picture, you’ll be able to enter Incognito mode and avoid having this activity associated with your account while using Google Maps and YouTube.
Order Food Without Website Interaction
Why bother opening a website when you can complete your online order directly from Google search results, Maps or Assistant?
The Mountview Giant partnered up with DoorDash, Delivery.com, Slice, Postmates, ChowNow (and others coming soon) to allow users to order from local restaurant just by tapping on the “Order Online” button in Search and Maps appearing when you search for a restaurant or type of cuisine.
With Google Assistant, you don’t even have to bother with typing keywords in the search bar. Just say, “Hey Google, order food from Eddie Rockets!” and a juicy burger will get delivered to your door with zero-click effort. On your second time, you can just say: “Hey Google, reorder food from Eddie Rockets.” Google will pull up your past orders and select your favourite dishes.
Book Appointments on Instagram or Facebook
Appointment Bookings is a new (free!) feature rolled out by Facebook with small businesses and service providers in mind. It allows users to book an appointment directly on social media clicking on “Request appointment”, to be then transferred to the FB Messenger. Shop owners will be able to manage appointments, customers data and reminders from their phone.
To add the “Book Now” feature on your Facebook Page, go to Edit profile, then click “Add Action Button,” and select “Book Now.”
Instagram Gets Rid of Likes
Instagram is testing a new feature in Canada that will hide users’ public like counts on videos and photos.
“We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get,” Instagram announced at its F8 Developer Conference. Only the account users will be allowed to see the actual number of likes. This decision follows the acknowledgement of some people’s unhealthy obsession with likes – not getting “enough likes” is believed to lead to self-esteem issues among the online community. For brands and advertisers, moving away from these ‘vanity metrics’ can be beneficial too, allowing businesses to focus on their business goals, rather than – often inflated or meaningless – likes from fake accounts and dishonest ‘influencers’.
Some influencers expressed their concern about how this could affect their posts organic ranking. We guess it will be up to developers to update the algorithm and find a new method to rank content based on the “meaningful engagement” with a post, such as comments and DMs.
The company also admitted that it has plans to make followers number less visible. Will this be enough to combat the “popularity contest” on social media?
New Templates for Stories Ads
While creating some ads for a client, we stumbled upon this amazing new tool provided by Facebook and allowing advertisers to create funky assets for Instagram Story Ads. Simply select one of the templates provided, upload an eye-catching image, type in some catchy headline and watch your animation come to life. This opens up a whole new world of creative opportunities available to advertisers big and small!
May was such an exciting month in terms of innovation. At VROOM, we have been busy testing some of these new features and working with our clients on their campaigns across PPC, SEO and Paid Social. We’ve also introduced a new summer tradition, An Ice-Cream A Day Is OK, and we’re working hard on implementing it across all Teams.