Going (Creatively) Digital


Facebook Audience Network Adds Two New Video Formats

Never a dull moment at Facebook. While some people were focused on the social giant’s method of parsing news stories for its users the company added two new video formats to its Audience Network sales arsenal. For the first time, Audience Network will serve video ads on mobile and desktop browsers—not just as standalone units but as pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll in video content, Advertising Age reports. In addition, Audience Network now supports the video ads that Instant Articles publishers have been selling on their own. When it was first introduced about a year ago, Audience Network was limited to apps. That changed in January of 2016 when it was extended to the mobile web.

Google Images Returns Images Plus Ads For Online Commerce

Having tested ads within Image Search with various brands, Google now is ready to roll out the program along with local inventory pickup features, according to ADWEEK. For example, an Image Search for the term “handbags” returns lots of the usual pretty pictures along with ads and prices for merchandise from such brands as Ted Baker, Kate Spade, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s. Clicking on the ads takes you to the companies’ websites for purchase. It’s a bid to reach the growing number of people shopping on smartphones. The local inventory feature lets buyers know which products are in stock at local stores by using store pickup links to local product pages. Kohl’s used the feature to drive between 40% and 50% more clicks from its local online storefront on Google to the Kohl’s website.

Snapchat Said To Be Eyeing Facebook-Like Algorithm

Snapchat is developing an algorithm that will act as a gatekeeper between publishers and brands and their audiences, according to sources cited by DIGIDAY. Such a move would make Snapchat a curator of content from publishers and, especially, brands, enabling the latter to purchase more prominent placement on the youth-oriented platform. Snapchat didn’t comment for the DIGIDAY story but the publication says that changes have been made to the platform that could easily incorporate curation.

After its March redesign, when users opened one photo or video they could tap the screen to continue viewing all the content without having to exit out to open a message from another account. Some brands and publishers saw a 40% increase in views but a 20% drop in completion rates, according to data from Delmondo.

How Brands Can Be Relationships By Changing Traditional Dynamics

Can brands really be relationships? The authors of a Harvard Business Review article say yes, and they cite as examples companies like Airbnb, Lyft and Uber. Eschewing the traditional host/guest dynamic in the hospitality space, Airbnb has taken instead to the neighbor-to-neighbor and citizen-to-citizen relationship. It promotes the concept of “belonging.” Within the taxi and livery space, the game has been driver/passenger but now it’s peer-to-peer (hence Lyft’s original tagline: Your Friend With A Car). Other examples of redefined brand roles include Virgin America and Southwest, plus Starbucks not as a simple purveyor of caffeine but as community hub.

Short Takes…

Can websites that Google would consider non-friendly for mobile users partially redeem themselves by having high-quality content? Citing another update from Google, Memeburn says yes.

The biggest barriers to more effective collaboration between agencies and clients are insufficient results reporting and a lack of marketing technology skills, per Forbes Insights and Oracle Marketing Cloud, as reported by MediaPost.

Recode reports that a product team at Google is working on a hardware device that would integrate Google’s search and voice assistant technology, akin to the Amazon Echo.

While not rigorously scientific, buzz analytics are a quick and cost-effective way to gain insights into the ways in which consumers are thinking about and using a company’s products, or relating to rivals’ offerings, McKinsey & Co. explains.