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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.

TikTok Adds Photo Mode for Still Images and Longer Video Captions For Increased Discovery

By Content Marketing, Social Media No Comments

In an unusual turn of events, TikTok has borrowed from Instagram by adding a new ‘Photo Mode’ for still images in the app. The new feature allows users to post carousels of still images that can be scrolled.

TikTok Photo Mode

TikTok explains the new feature:

“Photo Mode allows you to share carousel posts of still images that automatically display one after another. You can add music to soundtrack the images, which viewers can swipe through at their own pace.”

We expect the addition of carousels will spark new trends, like before and after shots of DYI projects, makeovers, lawn and garden improvements, and other views into progressive change will provide another way for brands to reach an audience.

TikTok’s also added some new editing tools to make it easier to refine content before posting and launched longer captions, allowing creators to utilize up to 2,200 characters with each clip.

TikTok editing tools update

This represents a significant increase from the 300 characters previously allowed for video descriptions. This is no surprise given TikTok’s increasing role as a discovery platform.

In fact, Google itself recently noted that almost 40% of young people now use TikTok and Instagram for search, instead of the search engine. Allowing for longer descriptions will help users grow their reach and their “search engine” value within the app via more keywords.

If you need assistance leveraging TikTok or any social media platform, please contact us today. Our award-winning social media team is here to help.

UK Retailers Are Optimistic About 2023 Sales Growth

By eCommerce and Marketplaces No Comments

Despite the increasing economic uncertainty, supply chain issues and changes in shopping behaviors, the majority of retail CEOs in the UK are confident of sales growth in 2023, according to a new Retail Week report.

Based on interviews with the leaders of 54 UK businesses, sustainability and ensuring diversity, inclusion and engagement among staff are also key focus areas for the industry.

Disruption is the ‘new normal’ for retailers in the UK: after Brexit came the pandemic and now a cost-of-living crisis, so retailers are focusing on the things they can control.

Some Key Takeaways

  • Two thirds (67%) of retail CEOs believe sales will be higher in 2023, versus 10% forecasting them to be flat and 14% expecting them to be lower.

  • 61% say PPC is the area where they will spend the most marketing budget, followed by 55% for Instagram; Facebook is expected to decline sharply (from 75% in 2022 to 47% in 2023). 

  • 31% expect more sustainable delivery options and click-and-collect to be the most in-demand delivery options next year.

  • Retailers expect an average 49% of sales to be online within three years, up from 46% now; in-store sales will decline from 38% to 35%.

  • 78% of retailers have a single view of their stock but only 58% have a single view of their customer.

The ideal channel mix and the right selection of marketing tactics is unique to each retailer. What is important, however, is to maintain agility and make decisions based on what resonates with the respective target audience.

At Acronym, we leverage neuromarketing triggers to ensure our campaigns connect with each target audience in the most meaningful way at every stage of the funnel. If you need assistance identifying the right omni-retail media mix, please contact us today. We are 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!

Expanding Your Attribution Window Can Lead To Higher Conversion Rates in Social

By Social Media No Comments

As talk continues about a potential recession ahead, it is imperative for advertisers discover the most efficient channels where people are buying. In the context of paid social, studies show that people who take longer to convert also spend more money, so including them in your measurement means getting more value out of every dollar you spend. 

For Pinterest ads in particular, advertisers large or small on Pinterest are much more likely to receive conversions when they extend their attribution window from 1/1/1 (1/1/1, or 1 day click, 1 days to engage, 1 days to view) to 7/7/7 (7/7/7, or 7 day click, 7 days to engage, 7 days to view). 

Studies have shown when people have more time, they buy more.

In times like these, marketers tend to rush to that last-click, bottom-of-the-funnel ROAS quick fix. But, that can be a mistake. You’ll get more value out of every dollar you spend if you account for the converters who take longer spend more money.  

Due to the possibility of an upcoming recession, consumer confidence is dropping rapidly.

Marketers must find ways to combat this slowing demand by discovering most efficient channels where people are still spending. Extending your attribution window to account for people who take longer to convert means squeezing more out of every dollar you spend. 

When you widen your attribution window, you will maximize ROAS for your media. Roughly 75% of conversions that occur after one week should not be missed. At the very least, examine the 7/7/7 if you are at 1/1/1. You’ll find the sweet spot when your 2022 and 2023 campaigns have a greater overall ROAS and you’re accounting for the big spenders who buy more. 

If you’d like help with your paid media strategy, please contact us today. We’re here to help.

How to Maximize Your Content Reach on Facebook

By Social Media No Comments

Although Facebook continues to lose new users to platforms like TikTok, the social networking site does still boast an active user base. With roughly 2.93 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2022, Facebook is the most used online social network worldwide.

Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2022 (in millions)

With this in mind, Meta published a new overview showing how marketers can maximize their reach on Facebook, and grow their fan base via News Feed distribution.

Facebook’s News Feed algorithm historically relied on these key elements when deciding who sees what content:

  • What content has been posted? What posts are available from friends, other creators and Pages that we can show?
  • Who might like this content? We consider a multitude of signals such as who posted the content, when it was posted, what was the topic and past user behavior, among others.
  • How likely are people to engage with the post? We try to predict how likely a given person is to engage with your post and find it meaningful. We make a variety of these predictions for each piece of content.
  • How interested will the audience be in this post? Based on all of the data we have gathered on the post, which pieces of content should get priority?

When considering Facebook engagement in 2022 specifically, Meta says that it now views Facebook engagement in two ways:

  • Connected Distribution – Your posts are seen by those who follow you on Facebook. This is your core audience on the platform.
  • Unconnected Distribution – Your posts are seen by those who don’t follow you, but may be interested in your content. This type of distribution can come through other users sharing and re-sharing your posts or from our recommendations in our “Suggested for You” sections.

Both of these types of engagement have existed in Facebook for years, but the latter element is getting more specific focus, as Meta looks to pump more AI-fueled content recommendations into your feed. In fact, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg flagged the company’s plan to double the amount of AI-recommended content in user feeds by the end of the year.

As per Zuckerberg:

“Right now, about 15% of content in a person’s Facebook feed and a little more than that of their Instagram feed is recommended by our AI from people, groups, or accounts that you don’t follow. We expect these numbers to more than double by the end of next year.”

In other words, ‘Unconnected Distribution’ is set to become a much bigger factor in determining your Facebook post reach – which means marketers need to consider how Unconnected Distribution works in the broader process.

Meta provided some guidance on how to maximize Unconnected Distribution

Facebook 'Unconnected Reach'

How each of these elements factors into Facebook’s ‘Unconnected Distribution’ algorithms is not yet clear, but this does indicate that Facebook will promote as much original content as it can, while optimizing for engagement remains a key consideration.

If you need assistance leveraging Facebook or any other digital platform, please contact us today.

You can read Meta’s full overview for creator distribution here.