Paid Media

Google Launches New Features to Performance Max in Time for the Holidays

By Paid Media No Comments

Google is upgrading Performance Max campaigns with new features specific to promoting holiday sales more efficiently.

Compatibility With Performance Planner

Brands and marketers can now forecast the results of Performance Max campaigns with the Google Ads Performance Planner tool. The feature was previously available for Search, Shopping, Display, App, Video, and Local campaigns and is now compatible with Performance Max.

Google explains:

“You can forecast how your campaign may perform in the future and simulate what could happen when you adjust elements like your campaign budget and ROAS or CPA targets. Assess how changes to campaigns could affect key metrics like conversion value. Performance Planner’s forecasts are also adjusted for seasonal events so you can explore your potential holiday opportunities in the upcoming weeks.”

Asset Group Scheduling

With this update, Asset groups in Performance Max can now have automated rules. This allows marketers to schedule campaigns and utilize asset groups when needed.

With automated rules, you can also set ads to run at specific times of the day and schedule asset groups, such as preparing a set of holiday-themed content ahead of a special sale or key moment in time.

More Testing of Headlines

Google is increasing the number of test headlines you can upload to Performance Max asset groups from five to fifteen.

Adding more headlines enables Google to test a greater variety of combinations to identify the grouping that performs best.

Explanations For Online Sales Campaigns

Google is also adding new explanations specific to Performance Max campaigns for online sales with a product feed. When running a Performance Max campaign for an online sale, you may see explanations that offer an analysis of your product status and top sellers.

With this data, retailers can understand better which products had the most significant sales spike during the holiday shopping season.

First-Party Audience Insights

It’s no secret that cookies are going away in the coming year. So, marketers are seeking new alternatives to capture data insights.

Advertisers can now add data segments as audience signals in Performance Max campaigns, which helps Google find more customers for your brand who are likely to convert.

Data segments will be added to audience insights on the Insights page in the coming weeks. This allows you to learn more from the data you’re collecting firsthand and see which of your customer lists are converting best.

Best Practices for the Coming Holiday Season

Google has shared the following best practices for advertisers using Performance Max during the holiday shopping season:

  • Adjust campaign budgets and ROAS or CPA targets leading up to peak holiday periods. This will help maximize visibility when customers are actively shopping.
  • Consider using seasonality adjustments when running a sale that will drastically change conversion rates for longer than seven days.
  • To promote sales of specific products, create separate campaigns with their own targets and budgets.

If you need assistance leverage Google’s Performance Max or with any of your digital marketing needs, please contact us today. Our experts are here to help.

Instagram Rolls Out New In-App Post Scheduling Tools

By Paid Media, Social Media, Uncategorized No Comments

Instagram is rolling out its new in-app post scheduling tools to all professional accounts in the app. The new option enables brands to schedule photos, carousels and Reels directly in the app, as much as seventy-five days in advance.

Here is how you can schedule Reels:

  • In the creation flow, tap ‘Advanced Settings’ before sharing the post
  • Tap ‘Schedule this post’
  • Select the time and date you want it to go live
  • Tap ‘Schedule’ in the post composer

Functionally, this doesn’t add anything new as users have been able to schedule posts via Creator Studio since 2020

But it could make it easier to manage your content on the go, and with the ability to schedule Reels so far in advance, this feature could help you maximize your content performance.

Instagram says that the option is rolling out from today, so if you don’t have it yet, you will shortly.

As usual, if you have any questions on how to get the most out of Instagram or any other media platform, please contact us today. We are here to help.

Expected Changes to Twitter and What It Means For Your Brand

By Paid Media, Social Media No Comments

Since his acquisition of Twitter, Elon Musk has plans to restore the social media platform to its former glory when it was once the go-to for breaking news and compelling conversation.

Twitter has become synonymous with troll and bots in recent years. It seems the answer to that for Musk is to re-vamp the platform into a subscription model. His stated goal is to generate 50% of Twitter’s revenue intake from subscribers, reducing the app’s reliance on ads.

Paid Subscriptions and Verifications

To this end, Musk is reportedly considering:

At this stage, it’s hard to know when or if these will be tested or rolled out. But, we will monitor these changes for you.

If Twitter can deliver authentic and compelling content through these verified subscription packages, it would allow brands to once again leverage Twitter for thought leadership. The challenge will be convincing users to pay to keep using the app and whether or not that blue checkmark of certification will be sufficient enough to compel users to pay for it.

Staff Reductions

The Washington Post has reported that Musk will cull at least 25% of Twitter’s current roles.

Musk has already cut several senior execs, and he’s reportedly analyzing Twitter’s sales, product, engineering and legal departments,.

The Possible Return of Vine

There are hints that Elon is considering bringing Vine back from the dead, in order to directly compete with TikTok. While Vine fans are elated, we aren’t convinced a re-released Vine would go the distance beyond initial launch hype. Nonetheless, we will continue to monitor all the changes happening at Twitter and will help ensure you know how best to leverage this and all other media platforms.

If you need assistance with your paid media or social media strategy, please contact us. We are here to help.

Pinterest Launches New Tools to Help Advertisers Discover Emerging Trends & Measure Success

By Paid Media, Social Media No Comments

Because people on Pinterest seek inspiration with purchase intent, the platform can be a very successful way for brands to drive conversions. With this in mind, Pinterest has launched the Pinterest Trends tool, which helps advertisers gain deeper insights into user behaviors to inform campaign planning through creative and targeting. Additionally, Pinterest’s new API for Conversions is now globally available, providing advertisers a complete view of campaign performance to measure users’ behavior on their site. The Pinterest API will also integrate conversions features globally in the coming weeks with commerce partner Shopify and tag management partner Google Tag Manager.

This can show you the trends with your engaged users/followers in 90 days, trends by demographics (Age, topic, time and place) as well as seasonal trends that should help with the coming holiday season, making the platform more appealing to advertisers seeking an informed audience strategy/creative.

Integration of trends helps make media buying more robust on Pinterest with deeper level insights on trends by region, demo, account etc. It’s similar to a Google Trends tool, but within the Pinterest interface.

Using the Pinterest Trends tool can help advertisers win Q4 holiday season and beyond with industry first features including:

  • Trends your audience loves – this widget on the homepage of Pinterest Trends allows advertisers to see what is trending with their engaged users and followers in the last 90 days. 
  • Trends by demographics – the only tool that helps advertisers filter by age, topic, time and place
  • Seasonal trends – new trend types such as Seasonal trends help advertisers better align content and marketing calendars to when Pinners are most engaged with different topics

To date, hundreds of advertisers across the world have partnered with Pinterest to implement the API for Conversions in order to observe its impact on advertiser performance and reliability. According to the platform, the early results from those findings showed that the API for Conversions is not just the future of conversion measurement, but also acts as a current driver of performance for Pinterest advertisers. Pinterest reports that advertisers who adopted the API for Conversions have seen.

  • 14% Cost per action (CPA) improvements on average for oCPM campaigns when using both Conversion API and Tags, compared to using Tags only
  • 36% average increase in attributed conversion volume when using both Conversion API and Tags, compared to using Tags only

While the API for Conversions’ most frequent use case is lower funnel actions, such as checkouts, many advertisers have found additional insight in also using the solution for full funnel actions: add to cart and page visits.

If you are considering Pinterest in your media mix and need help ensuring you use this new tool to measure success/check trends effectively, please contact us. We’re here to help.

YouTube Launches New Ad Features for CTV and Audio

By Paid Media, Social Media No Comments

YouTube announced three new ad options as part of its Advertising Week New York showcase, including ‘Moment Blast’, which enables advertisers to highlight their offers to Connected TV viewers, and new audio ad options to reach viewers listening to YouTube content.

Here is how YouTube explained Moment Blast:

“Moment Blast is designed for brands looking to raise awareness during key moments – like major sporting events, movie releases or product launches. Moment Blast gives advertisers prime positioning on YouTube Select content on connected TVs (CTV) and other devices, plus a Branded Title Card and optional Masthead placement.”

YouTube Select is a showcase of select video content from across YouTube that enables advertisers to reach specific audiences, based on various interests and categories.

With Moment Blast, brands can better amplify their messaging through these channels, which could help to maximize their reach.

YouTube is also expanding its audio ads, including podcast targeting, enabling advertisers to reach engaged audiences in the app. YouTube first launched its audio-only ads back in 2020, as part of its broader push to maximize YouTube Music, and has been expanding its audio offerings ever since. Now that podcasts have become a preferred platform for Millennials and GenZers, with podcasts are being steadily integrated into the platform.

YouTube podcasts

YouTube’s also expanding its product feed options to Discovery ads, providing another way to promote products direct in the app.

YouTube Product Feed

Product feeds, like the example above, allows users to add a listing of products to ads, enabling viewers to easily make a purchase, which could also drive more direct response from your campaigns. As YouTube explains:

“Soon, product feeds will also include local offers, allowing brands to show real-time availability for products in their Google Merchant Center so people can find the most convenient place to buy.”

YouTube is also looking to expand more product display capacity to Shorts:

“Creators will also be able to transform their content into virtual storefronts; this quarter, more creators will have the ability to tag products in their videos and Shorts.”

Shorts has become a much bigger focus as social media platforms continue to compete with TikTok. YouTube is exploring more ways to better facilitate monetization opportunities for Shorts creators, while also enabling brands to tap into this rising element.

If you need assistance leveraging YouTube or any media platform for your brand, please contact us today. We’re here to help.

Six Paid Media Trends for 2023

By Paid Media No Comments

In an increasingly competitive world, marketers want to get most out of their ad budgets. But with new tools and technologies emerging all the time, it can be hard to know which ones deliver the greatest value.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled six paid media trends that will matter in 2023.

1. Amazon’s Emergence into Paid Advertising

While Google and Facebook still dominate paid advertising, Amazon is now the third-largest and fastest-growing advertiser. Amazon ads are displayed on and off of Amazon, which has skyrocketed its popularity with online retailers.

In fact, buyer intent is the greatest advantage Amazon has over Facebook and Google.

While Facebook and Google give access to the largest audiences, users aren’t usually looking to buy something. When compared to Amazon’s buyer intent, this usually results in lower conversion rates on these platforms, so brands could be spending more for less.

2. Going Social

Around 70% of people check at least one social media platform a month (most check social platforms daily) and these numbers are growing. If you are ignoring social media in your PPC strategies, you are missing opportunities for personalized brand awareness.

As a result PPC marketers are focusing on ads for social media platforms. Facebook and Google are still the bread and butter of paid advertising but you should look to expand your horizons in 2023.

3. The Rise of Voice Search

Smart homes and personal assistant speakers such as Cortana, Siri, and Alexa have nearly reached critical mass in the U.S.

Paid voice search advertising hasn’t yet made it to the mainstream, but due to a rise in technological changes, it’s nearly certain we will see these advancements start to emerge soon.

One good strategy to get ahead of the game is to adopt a more conversational tone on your website. People are more conversational when making voice searches, so it will improve your ranking in voice search results. Updating FAQ pages on your website by using ‘long-tail’ keywords is another way to set yourself up for voice search success.

4. Surge in Visual Searching

Visual search works by using a picture as the search query as opposed to text. Imagine you are seeking a specific type of product with desired colors and/or patterns. Visual search results will drive a much faster click-through response than descriptive words.

People want results faster than ever and visual search helps them find exactly what they want must faster than text searches.

5. Collaborative Filtering

Collaborative filtering is a grouping system that groups users by shared tastes or preferences. If Bob has similar reactions to content as Sue, it’s likely they could have other similar tastes. Filtering can be based on almost anything from age, interests, locations, and more to guide them to content that would appeal most.

Collaborative filtering tailors your content to your recent likes, browsing history, or trending topics. This allows websites to remain interesting, new, and relevant to individual users.

6. SEO and PPC Integration

PPC and search engine optimization go hand in hand. You’ll see better results when you integrate your SEO and PPC campaigns. A good way to sync up your PPC and SEO is to analyze your top-performing ad copy. Create your content and blog posts based on that copy to boost your ranking.

You can use long-tail terms to boost your rankings and improve paid search bidding strategies.

If you need assistance with your paid media strategies, please contact us today. We’re here to help!

Mobile Drives In-Game Advertising Growth

By Mobile, Paid Media No Comments

Mobile gaming ad spend is 3.2 times bigger than console and according to a new IDC study, mobile app gamers are willing to see ads in exchange for free content and services.

The value proposition for gaming ads is similar to what streaming services like Netflix are mulling over. The question remains: will consumers accept more ads for free or reduced subscription fees?

The console and mobile experience is also merging; mobile devices are now capable of offering console-like graphics and gameplay experiences along with cross-platform competitive and social gaming features. But mobile also offers an important channel for a large range of gaming subgenres across the full gaming spectrum. On mobile, gaming is truly for everyone.

Forty-seven percent of the top 1,000 grossing mobile games skew to Gen Z, up from 41% two years ago. For gamers ages 45 and up, monetization from games skewed to them accelerated even faster, up to 31% of the top 1,000 games, up seven percent from two years ago.

Acronym’s Vice President, PPC, Oscar Au explains the opportunity for brands:

“Mobile Action and Card games are extremely popular (likely among commuters) and around 80% of mobile gamers are willing to tolerate ads in exchange for a fun, free mobile gaming experience. We expect users to continue to accept this deal. 

Advertisers should give thought to how relevant their product offering is to the placement. Also, carefully consider ad format (Reward, Playable, Interstitial, Native, Offer Wall). Reward ads are most effective as they are opt-in and offer rewards to a game the user is already invested in. Considerations include brand safety, low quality or fraudulent clicks, and whether to offer purchase in app.” 

While in-game ads are a terrific option for brands wanting to connect with these target audiences, the game experience can’t be compromised by negative consumer sentiment toward the ads. Marketers should take the time to understand the gaming community – tied to each specific game – and determine the least intrusive ways to integrate their brand into the existing gameplay.

If you need assistance with this or any paid media opportunity, please contact us today. We are here to help.

Pinterest Continued to Lose Users in Q2, Despite Ramping Up eCommerce Features

By Paid Media, Social Media No Comments

According to Pinterest, there are now 433 million monthly active users on Pinterest worldwide, down 5% from last year.

It is predicted that Pinterest will slowly shed users over the next five years.

Here’s a brief look at the numbers:

  • Pinterest anticipates third-quarter revenues to increase by “mid-single digits” versus last year, falling very short of analysts’ expectations of 12.7% growth.
  • Pinterest’s revenues rose 9% year-over-year (YoY), its slowest growth in two years, due to softening advertising demand from CPG companies, big-box retailers, and mid-market advertisers.
  • Average revenue per user (ARPU) grew 20% in the US & Canada, going from $4.87 to $5.82. Global ARPU jumped 17% overall.
  • CFO Todd Morgenfeld said on the company’s earnings call that shopping revenues are growing twice as fast as overall revenues.

An Increased Investment in Social Commerce

Due to this decrease, Pinterest’s new CEO Bill Ready is hoping social commerce will return the platform to future growth.

However, Pinterest will have to compete with the more prominent social commerce platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. If Pinterest can grow its user base and lean into personalization and social commerce, it could potentially outshine the competition since the platform is great at monetizing its current and loyal audiences.

Younger Audiences Aren’t Interested in Pinterest

Although they are making a push towards social commerce and personalization, Pinterest still struggles to reach teen users, which proves to be a blocker for many brands. This could further limit Pinterest’s ability to attract retailer and advertiser spends. Pinterest has loyal consumers; however, it lacks the attraction of new users.

The Platform Still Plays A Role In The Customer Journey

Pinterest has the unique position of being social media, search, and commerce. Since the platform is a tool for inspiration and product discovery, it’s important for brands to capitalize on the consumer shopping journey, which gives it a more valuable insight for consumer purchase intent, making it more attractive to retailers.

With Pinterest’s personalized shopping experience, it is important to cater ads and lean into personalization to ensure the user’s experience is relevant, and that you speak to the user journey with sequential messaging.

If you need assistance leveraging Pinterest or any other media platform for the upcoming holiday season, contact us today; our experts are here to help.

Ads Coming to Android Lock Screens: Here’s What You Need to Know

By Paid Media No Comments

Android users will soon see their mobile home screens filled with ads. Glance, an India-based mobile ad company owned by InMobi, plans to roll out its lock screen platform to Android devices in the U.S. in the coming months.

When an Android user turns on their screen when the device is locked, they’ll be met with a slew of new content; they might see video content and recent news stories — alongside ads. When the device is unlocked, the dynamic display will disappear.

Glance is already pre-installed on devices around the world, acting as an extension of the Android operating system in many markets.

A new prospect for brands

For advertisers, the prospect of lock screen ads is attractive. “Lock screens are seen hundreds of times a day and free from any visual noise, they are primed to be high-impact and high-engagement ad placements if done the right way, which Glance seems to be willing to do,” says Julien Verdier, the general manager of advertising at social engagement platform OpenWeb and cofounder of adtech firm AdYouLike. “Mobile home screen-based advertising is a concept that has been around forever with small startups trying to capitalize on this unique piece of real estate, but it never took off. Glance seems to be onto something and has relationships with brands and agencies to make it successful.”

Skeptics Aren’t Sure Consumers Want More Ads

Other industry players are more skeptical, pointing out the risks at stake. As Paul Roberts, chief executive officer at adtech company Kubient, puts it, “This has the potential to backfire.” The main issue, he argues, is that consumers are already weary from digital market saturation. “Consumers already feel bombarded by digital advertising and have shown concern with things like digital tracking. For example, 96% of users have opted out of iOS tracking [via Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency framework], which is a big sign there is a reluctance for more ads.”

Acronym’s POV

Acronym’s Vice President, PPC, Oscar Au weighs in:

“This opportunity offers the potential to help advertisers to cut through the noise and to be seen by consumers before they even open their phones. By enabling ads on the Lock Screens, prospective customers can begin to engage with all sorts of content, especially if it is targeted well.

However, this is another opportunity to test to the U.S. consumer base to determine how open and accepting they are to ad placements everywhere they look, especially on their phone’s lock screens.”

If you need assistance with Lock Screen Ads or any other paid media strategy, please contact us today. We are here to help.

Global Ad Trends: The Rising Cost of Incremental Reach

By Paid Media No Comments

Maintaining campaign reach in a fragmented media market is a growing challenge. WARC Media released a report on the rising cost of incremental reach.

Key findings include:

  • Linear TV represented 37.9% of daily media consumption in North America; by 2022, that percentage is forecast to drop to 24.5%.
  • In the US, TV CPMs are forecast to reach $73.14 in 2022, an increase of 40.0% on pre-COVID levels in 2019.
  • Channels like BVOD provide an alternative source of incremental reach; however, OTT ad costs are rising, too.
  • Attention research suggests that not all incremental reach is equally effective; channels with higher CPMs may deliver better-quality attention.

What This Means For Brands:

Mass reach via linear TV may become harder to achieve as media consumption fragments. In 2013, linear TV represented 37.9% of daily media consumption in North America; by 2022, that percentage is forecast to drop to 24.5%. Meanwhile, linear TV ad costs have spiked since the pandemic.

This trend of declining linear television viewership and rising TV media costs is encouraging advertisers to pursue incremental reach elsewhere, especially online where channels with higher CPMs may deliver better-quality attention. In paid social, for example, CPMs increased by 33% between 2019 and 2021.

As media consumption behaviors change, cross-channel measurement is vital to optimizing reach strategies. Brands need to be able to pivot quickly to meet shifts in consumer trends.

If you need assistance understanding where and how your audience is consuming media, contact us today. We’re here to help.