It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… Dublin is getting ready for the festive season and with the first mention of a mince pie, digital marketers enter the pre-Christmas and Black Friday advertising pressure cooker.
Like it or hate it, Black Friday has transformed how consumers shop in Ireland, with more than €50 million set to be spent over the course of the weekend. It is the busiest time for many of our e-commerce clients, and with new advertising solutions rolled out recently across PPC and Social, here at VROOM we’re gearing up towards our best quarter yet!
‘A busy week, a busier month and a bumper quarter here at VROOM Digital, we have been working away developing out our service offering and optimising internal efficiencies within our teams. We did sign some great new clients ac’s lately; Comhar Linn, Spotlight Oral Care & Kearys BMW to name a few have teamed up with VROOM to deliver the goods online!
Still hiring for 3 more full-time roles at the moment on SEO, PPC and Paid Social. So take a look if you’re in market today to work for our Award winning team!’ – Shane Curtin, Managing Director said.
Now that we are back to our usual routine, it’s time to get back on track with the latest digital breaking news.
Google redesigned Shopping Ads and added some new features
Google’s new shopping experience makes it easier for users to track and filter by products available in local stores.
Price tracking: Users can now track the prices of products in Google Shopping with a simple “price tracking” toggle switch. When turned on, users receive notifications when the cost of the item falls.
Local inventory: Users can now filter the product search for what’s available in local stores so they can buy/collect what they’re looking for in-store. This feature serves to help buyers whilst boosting sales in the local business.
Other updates include quick & easy checkout, better customer support & more.
Responsive search ads are now available to all advertisers, along with new tools
Responsive Search Ads use machine learning to deliver relevant messages to your customers. Responsive Search ads are now available to all advertisers in all languages, as well as the Google Ads Editor, the API, and the mobile app. First, add at least one responsive search ad and two expanded text ads per ad group which Google recommends to do. Since the introduction of Responsive Search Ads, they have proven to help customers achieve great results. For example, Trovit has used responsive search ads to get 44% more incremental website traffic, resulting in 43% more conversions.
To get the most out of your responsive search ads, Google has introduced two new tools:
- The Performance column helps determine which of your creative assets will produce results in high-volume ad groups. You can then replace low rated assets with new ad copies to improve performance over time.
- Ad variations now support responsive search ads so you can run your own ad tests and see how different the variations of your ads perform.
To learn more about creating effective responsive search ads, check out this helpful guide from Google’s Help Centre.
Lead Form Extensions (in Beta)
This new ad extension is on the way to becoming an invaluable addition to the extension family.
Similar to Facebook Lead ads, it will give a user an option to easily submit a form with pre-populated details. However, unlike Facebook Lead Ads, here a user will have an option to go to the website instead as it’s only an addition to a standard search ad.
Google says that during lead form tests one advertiser reported “a 20% higher closing rate of sales leads”. Sounds promising.
Twitter Rolls Out Customizable Timelines
Twitter lists have turned into customizable timelines that you can pin to the Home screen and easily swipe between.
Lists are themed groups of accounts that don’t necessarily show up on your main timeline. They’ve been around for quite some time, but the new update puts them in the foreground of the Twitter app and allows you to add up to five swipeable themed timelines. And for the Twitter OCDs, there is also the possibility to change the list header image and prioritise certain members and subscribers.
If you haven’t noticed the new feature yet, you’re probably part of team Android, as for now it has only being tested for iOS users.
Click to Messenger Ads Now Display in Stories
Facebook added a new placement for the Click to Messenger ads: Stories. You can now channel people’s interests into an active conversation with your business with a simple swipe up, without the user having to leave the app.
With more than a billion daily active Stories users and over 2 billion messages sent between people and businesses every month, it seems like a great opportunity for businesses to “build unique, action-oriented experiences on the Messenger Platform or through live chat experiences.”
October Messenger Platform Update
A move towards a more secure, private conversation continues. The latest version of Facebook Messenger has been released last week, as announced in the recent platform blog post. The major novelties include:
- Private replies: businesses can now also send images, templates and quick replies in response to a post or comment on their Page.
- Dynamic Persistent Menu and Composer: this beta allows developers to dynamically change the persistent menu and the visibility of the composer, providing relevant menu options at different points in the customer’s journey.
- URL Buttons Have App Link Support: when people click on a URL button with the App Link metadata, they will directly open the target native app.
- Developer Opt-In to Changelog Notifications: developers can now subscribe to receive notifications for Messenger Changelog.
Facebook New Types of Interactive Mobile Ads
What’s new in digital advertising? It is going to be much more interactive, at least on Facebook. That means fewer words, more GIFs, Lives, reactions, emojis, face filters, and stickers.
In its announcement on the 19th September, “Facebook Invites People and Businesses to Play”, the Menlo Park giant writes that “brands and people are becoming more intertwined and it’s changing digital advertising from a one-way push communication to an ongoing dialogue powered by creativity.”
To encourage a playful experience between people and businesses, Facebook is rolling out new types of interactive ads:
- Video poll ads: with 60% of businesses already using interactive elements like a @mention, hashtag or poll sticker in Stories every month, Facebook extended this feature to mobile feed ads.
- Augmented Reality Ads: another feature that has gained popularity in Stories and is now being expanded to the Newsfeed ads is the AR experience. Face filters and fun animations are proved to have a positive impact on purchases for the brands that tested them.
- Playable ads: the playable ad format allows users to play a game to drive downloads, conversations and brand objectives.
Facebook Lets you Add Text and Logo to Videos
This brand new feature spotted in one of our client’s account allows Facebook advertisers to add text overlays and a logo to an uploaded video. No more expensive creative changes required!
This is a pretty useful tool, as up until now, it was only possible to add text and logos to slideshows based on a static image.
Reminders for Product Launches on Instagram Shopping
Instagram is testing a new feature to set reminders about upcoming product launches in the US for a selected number of brands.
Users will be able to set a reminder about an upcoming product launch, preview details and check out directly on Instagram, without leaving the app.
Adidas, one of the brands beta testing these features, stated that “the progress Instagram has made with Checkout gives Adidas’ customers the power to go from inspiration to purchase in an instant. We see adoption improve month on month. With new features like Product Launch Reminders, we expect to see an engagement increase as we can create simple, immersive and user-obsessed experiences Adidas creators love.”
Instagram New ‘Create’ Mode
Instagram updated the Stories Camera replacing the existing “Type” Mode with “Create” Mode.
This new way of grouping the app’s various Stories tool allows easier access to GIFs, Countdown Stickers and Polls and to get a better idea of how your Story frame is going to look. In other words, you won’t have to go through Stickers to access the various creative tools available on the platform anymore.
“Create” Mode also allows users to combine interactive stickers, drawings and text even if they don’t have actual new pictures or footage to share, thus increasing the volume of people’s posting.
The update also turned “Throwback Thursday” into an official feature with “On This Day”, an option that allows you to share a feed post you published last year as an embedded post in a Story. C’mon Instagrammers, let’s get the #nostalgia rolling!
“nofollow” is no-followed now
Google has surprised us with a few Algorithm Updates and News over the couple of weeks, again.
One of these affected the “nofollow” links. Two new attributes were added which Google will now recognise: “sponsored” links on a website for sponsorships or agreements, and “UGC” user-generated content links that equal to links left in the comments and forum posts. Google explained the aim of this update in the following words: “Links contain valuable information that can help us improve search, such as how the words within links describe content they point at. Looking at all the links we encounter can also help us better understand unnatural linking patterns. By shifting to a hint model, we no longer lose this important information, while still allowing site owners to indicate that some links shouldn’t be given the weight of a first-party endorsement.”
Google rolled out another update marked as September 2019 Core Update. As every “broad update” doesn’t target anything particular or niche. This kind of update generally helps to improve the system. Following the June 2019 Core Update, this Update was another “big” update Google issued this year and the effect can be hard to predict, however, Google officially announced its launch a few days before it went out so that website administrators can expect some changes or possible fluctuations in websites’ performance.
Another piece of Google News is the introduction of user-generated images in product reviews on Google Shopping. As a website administrator, you should be able to display these images by implementing “reviewer_images” schema. This feature will allow to show possible customers images of products taken by existing customers and make the shopping experience more real.
BERT is having a closer look at your content now
Google introduced us to BERT, a Core Algorithm Update (another one…) that aims at improving the way Google understands complicated search queries. This update affects 10% of all search queries by better understanding context by using a machine learning algorithm that understands the content on the page better. Translated into practical terms, this will help Google understand conversational queries and natural language better than ever before.
A good example is the query “can you get medicine for someone” which questions if you can pick up a prescription for another person. Before BERT Google would understand this as “what you need in order to get medicine” or “where you can get medicine”. BERT understands the query from context and the first result shown now answers the question “can I pick up a prescription for someone else?”.
And if you’re wondering how to optimise for this, there is a simple answer… write for humans, not bots.
If you would like to read more about Mr. BERT, check the official Google Blog here.
Did you plan your Christmas advertising strategy meticulously? Contact us for some professional advice for Christmas or indeed 2020!