September Online Marketing Roundup

September Online Marketing Roundup

This month has been a lot of changes! Pinguin 4.0 is finally here, we now have longer tweets and Instagram advertisement keeps growing. Read all about these news in our September Online Marketing Roundup.

1. Google Announces Two Mobile-First Products at DMEXCO

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s SVP of Ads & Commerce made announcements about two new products at DMEXCO 2016.

A. Universal App Campaigns

According to Google, its app ads have now driven 3 billion installs for developers.

It previously announced crossing the 2 billion threshold at Google I/O  back in May so this extra one billion installs have come in just four months.

Facebook also announced in May that it had also driven 2 billion installs so it will be interesting to see what the social network makes of Google’s sudden growth.

On the back of this announcement, Sridhar unveiled a new update giving advertisers around the globe the ability to carry out event-based optimization in Universal App Campaigns.

Universal App Campaigns works by evaluating countless signals in real time to continuously refine ads so a brand can reach its most valuable users at the right price across Google’s largest properties.

As people start to engage with your ads, Google learns where you’re finding the highest value users.

To use Google’s example: Google may know that the users who tap into the most hotel deals are those who watch travel vlogs on YouTube.

Using this information, Google will show more of your ads on those types of YouTube channels.

B. YouTube ‘TrueView for Action’

Google found in a recent study that 47% of US adults aged 18 to 54 say YouTube helps them at least once a month when making a decision about buying something – that’s around 70 million people going to YouTube every month for help with a purchase.

On the back of this research, Google is rolling out a new YouTube campaign type called ‘TrueView for Action’.

This new campaign allows brand advertisers to make their video ads more actionable with tailored to calls-to-action during and after the video, like “Get a quote,” “Book now” or “Sign up.”

This is an effort to make TrueView work as a direct or performance marketing tool for brand advertisers, in addition to driving brand value.

Learn more about these new products here!

2. Google’s Latest Desktop SERP Experiment: A Whiter, More Spacious Background

Google has begun experimenting with a cleaner, whiter, brighter user interface.

As reported by Barry Schwartz over at SER, this new layout test appears to offer a more spacious, desktop experience.

This follows on from Google’s previous recent experiments with its desktop SERP layout, where it offered a  mobile-style card view and an increase in the spacing between results.

It’s clear that big changes may be coming to the SERPs as we know them, although of course these things take time and various iterations – who knows what the SERP will look like this time next year.

Check the new layout here!

3. Longer Tweets Are Here

Twitter has just made a big change to the way tweets work. From last week, Twitter is cutting back on what types of content will use up its 140-character limit

Now, @names in replies, media attachments (like photos, GIFs, videos, and polls) and quoted Tweets will no longer be counted against the valuable 140 characters that make up a tweet.

This allows for richer public conversations that are easier to follow on Twitter and ensures people can attach media to tweets without sacrificing the characters they have to express themselves.

Twitter first announced this update back in May but didn’t quite confirm a date when these changes would reach Twitter’s 300m+ users. However, last week the company confirmed the update has been rolled out.

What’s changed? This image from Twitter’s blog make it clear.

September Online Marketing Roundup

If you want to know more about this Twitter’s changes, check out buffer’s article!

4. Instagram Now Has More Than 500,000 Active Advertisers

A year after officially opening up its ad business to all advertisers, Instagram is getting more and more brands to buy its ads and getting even more businesses to convert to its new-ish business profiles.

Instagram now claims to have more than 500,000 advertisers actively buying its ads each month, up from more than 200,000 in February 2016.

And since officially rolling out business-specific Instagram accounts in July 2016, more than 1.5 million business have converted their accounts to business profiles, which let them buy ads within the app and get a better look at how their organic posts are performing; these business profiles are now globally available.

Instagram’s director of market operations, Jim Squires, attributed the photo-and-video app’s advertiser base more than doubling over the last seven months to the ad business’s grand opening, as well as a wave of new capabilities like the roll-outs of direct-response ad formats, a self-serve ad-buying platform and ways to buy ads through third-parties’ automated tools and using Facebook-level targeting.

The types of advertisers spending the most money on Instagram’s ads are consumer packaged-goods brands, e-commerce companies, retailers, entertainment companies and tech firms, according to Squires.

The app’s biggest sources of advertisers, in order, are in the US, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, he said, declining to update the company’s seven-month-old stat regarding what share of Instagram’s advertisers are outside of the US.

5. Facebook Rolls Out Further Retail-Driven Ad And Marketing Product Enhancements

Facebook has announced new capabilities for retailers to drive sales to their bricks-and-mortar shops.

Last June, the platform launched new capabilities around this area, but it's now expanded this with the launch of dynamic ads for retail and a Shop Visits variable.

Dynamic ads basically try to drive online and mobile sales with more relevant product adverts. The extension of this to retail means shops can now create ads showcasing products that are in stock in shops closest to consumer.  

If a certain product sells out at a particular location, for example, people will no longer see it advertised.

In addition, advertisers can showcase 'similar' products available at the nearest shop and use Facebook-hosted product summaries to let people know about a particular thing without having to leave the Facebook app.

In a nutshell this what Dynamic ads will allow retailers to do:

  • Local availability: An availability indicator on the ad shows people that a product is available at a store near them, and the store locator makes it easy for people to get directions.
  • Product summaries: Advertisers can use Facebook-hosted product summaries to give potential shoppers the information they need without leaving the Facebook app.
  • Different actions: Product summaries include ways for people to take actions like contacting the nearest store, buying online, or saving the product for future reference.
  • Similar products: Similar products available at the nearest store are featured so people can browse the aisles right from their phone.

6. Penguin 4.0 is Finally Here, Google confirms

After a couple of years waiting, and various algorithm fluctuations described as ‘normal turbulence’, Google has finally confirmed today that it’s Penguin algorithm update is rolling out in all languages.

The last update in 2014 – Penguin 3.0 – may have only affected less than 1% of US/UK searches, but that ultimately translates to 12 billion queries.

Here we’ll detail all the changes you can expect from Penguin 4.0 according to Google’s blog post.

Penguin is now real-time

Historically, the list of sites affected by Penguin was periodically refreshed at the same time.

Once a webmaster considerably improved their site and its presence on the internet, many of Google's algorithms would take that into consideration very fast, but others, like Penguin, needed to be refreshed.

With this change, Penguin's data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page.

Penguin is now more granular

Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.