PPC News Roundup - April 23rd, 2019

Facebook Hybrid Carousel; Google monetizing Assistant; Pinterest IPO

PPC News Roundup is a weekly roundup of all news related to the major PPC and digital advertising platforms. Published on Tuesdays, “PPC News Roundup” will help you stay up-to-date on all the important PPC ads news you need to know.

PDFs this week

Linking analytics and ads: The solution to today’s marketing challenges

The rise of mobile devices and new digital technologies has resulted in customer journeys that are more varied than ever. To keep up with the changes, Google published a new step-by-step guide for how marketers can make the most of linking Google Analytics and Google Ads.

Google Shopping Ads Benchmarks for YOUR Industry

Ever wondered how your CTR compares with others in your industry? WordStream put together a report containing benchmark data for average CTR, CPC, CVR, CPA and budget per industry. They broke it down by industry, including Health & Beauty, Travel.

New Study Looks at the Impact of Influencers and Video on Consumer Decision Making

Olapic, a service that searches social media on behalf of brands for photos featuring their product, worked on a report on consumer behavior towards influencers and video. The report hasn’t been publically disclosed yet, but per SocialMediaToday, here is what to take away:

  • 64 percent of 16-22 year-olds follow influencers on social media
  • 51 percent believe the content posted by other consumers is more authentic
  • 37 percent of consumers trust images created by other consumers more than brand created images
  • 48 percent of respondents have purchased a product after watching a brand video
  • 52 percent of social media users have mentioned a brand in their feeds
  • 34 percent have discovered a new brand based on a post published by an influencer
  • 29 percent have purchased an item after seeing it on an influencer’s post (edit)

Emarketer’s New Forecast On Native Ad Market

Emarketer predicts that native ads, driven by social feed ads, will account for almost two-thirds of display ad spend in 2019.

Snapchat Publishes A Report On The Evolution Of Video

On Monday, Snapchat shared a new study from The National Research Group (commissioned by Snap Inc.), focused on the evolution of video and mobile content trends.

The key takeaways include:

  • Live TV viewership is diminishing, especially among younger viewers (ages 18-24)
  • TV season length is on the decline with 41 percent drop in season length since 2003
  • 6 of the 11 hours spent with media are devoted to video on any device
  • US adults spend an average of 3.5 hours daily on mobile in 2018
  • Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Gen Z say they have increased
  • the amount of mobile video they watch over the
  • past year
  • 92 percent of Millennials and Gen Zs said that watching  video via an app is a welcome distraction for them; 89 percent said it helps them discover new interests; 88 percent said it leaves them feeling positive and uplifted; 83 percent said that it keeps them “in the know.”

Survey Reveals Consumers’ Behavior In Relation To Ads On Social

A digital marketing agency, Blue Fountain Media, conducted a to determine consumer behavior and opinions on paid social media ads.

The survey focused on consumer perceptions of brand authenticity in relation to paid social, and what role organic social plays in that perception; the role that paid social plays in their purchasing cycle; as well as overall consumer awareness of what’s paid versus organic content.

According to the survey, the most paid ads are clicked on on Facebook (38 percent), followed by Instagram (37 percent), YouTube (14 percent), Twitter (5 percent), Pinterest (4 percent) and LinkedIn (2 percent).

New Bing report tackles tough questions on voice and AI

Can voice technology live up to the hype? Will tech builders be able to overcome trust issues from leery consumers? How does Cortana stand out from the competition? The Microsoft Market Intelligence team teamed up with Bing Ads Marketing to dig into these tough questions and others to find out what consumers are saying. Here are three of our key findings:

  1. 80% of digital assistant users report being somewhat or very satisfied.
  2. 41% of users report concerns around trust, privacy and passive listening.
  3. Over half of respondents believe that digital assistants will help them make retail purchases within the next 5 years.

Amazon Ads News

Some Amazon Sellers Are Paying $10,000 A Month To Trick Their Way To The Top
Third-party sellers are under constant pressure to rank high in search results, collect positive reviews and compete with Amazon's own products. This has forced some businesses to rely on 'black hat' services that use shady tactics to give marketplace sellers an advantage over their rivals, sometimes with the help of Amazon internal employees, and more often than not completely illegally.

Alexa owners can listen to Amazon Music for free -- with ads

On the same day that Google announced a free music streaming service for Google Home devices, Amazon said that Alexa owners would be blessed with the same perk; listen to Amazon Music for free with ads, regardless of whether they own an Amazon Prime subscription.

The decision comes against the backdrop of tightening competition in the music streaming market, with Spotify, Pandora and Apple also offering comparable services.

The difference is all these music streaming rely on Amazon's Alexa to be used. Amazon is hoping that by integrating its own music streaming service with Alexa users will prefer this more seamless experience and jump ship from these other music streamers.

Facebook Ads News

Facebook To Ad Swipeable Hybrid Carousel

Facebook might soon scrap its News Feed and turn it into a Story Feed.

Users are simply abandoning the News Feed in favor of Stories, as shown by the popularity of the format in Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp and Facebook.

But the real reason Facebook is choosing to do so is because it offers a chance to squeeze more ad dollars out of users. With space for more ads on the newsfeed limited, integrating it into stories would be a way to move its ad business to the up and coming story feed.

Facebook Watch is unreliable for advertisers and creators

Facebook Watch has been an unreliable format for video creators and publishers ever since it was launched in August 2017. The reasons are Facebook's constantly changing algorithms, which sometimes sees creators earning incredible revenue some months and next to nothing other months.

In 2018 however, there was hope that Facebook Watch could become a legitimate rival to YouTube as creators began to notice greater revenue streams. However, with the first quarter 2019 now over, creators are once again complaining about the platform.

Facebook is working on a voice assistant to rival Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri

Facebook is working on a voice assistant to rival the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and the Google Assistant, according to several insiders.

The tech company has been working on this new initiative since early 2018. The effort is coming out of the company’s augmented reality and virtual reality group, a division that works on hardware, including the company’s virtual reality Oculus headsets.

Google Ads News

The massive Google shift you probably haven't noticed

Google is quietly re-positioning the very foundation of its business. Whereas before the search page was the cornerstone of everything the company did, and the foundation of its ad business, the company's future is one where Google Assistant is the centerpiece.

Last week Google indicated that Maps could soon see ads, and Google Assistant will soon follow.

Popular Apps In Google's Play Store Are Abusing Permissions And Committing Ad Fraud

Several popular Android apps from a major Chinese developer have been committing large-scale ad fraud and abusing user permissions, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found, raising questions about the extent to which Google polices apps in the Play store for fraud and data collection practices.

Google starts showing more images in web search results

Multiple tools that track the Google search results have been showing an increase in the percentage of time that Google shows image results in the core web search results. The image search result box that is sometimes shown in the main search results is now showing up for 1/3rd of all queries according to some reports. SEOClarity published their data this morning showing “images in the Top 10 leaped from an approximately 24% occurrence to a 34% occurrence.” The increase has started around April 13.

Google takes baby steps to monetize Google Assistant, Google Home

New Google smart bidding signals coming: price competitiveness, seasonality for Shopping campaigns

Pinterest Ads News

Pinterest Shuns Social-Media Label That May Help Demand for IPO

According to Bloomberg, while Pinterest doesn’t want the investors to think about the platform as social media, rather a “visual discovery” platform,” it might benefit from being compared to other social platforms.

Pinterest is a one humongous “inspiration board” for interior design, vacations, fashion, special occasions and other ideas, giving it access to millions of people looking to buy stuff.

Pinterest avoids the social media title, probably, because it sees itself as empowering creatives rather than a churn of conversation like Twitter and Facebook.

Reddit Ads News

Reddit Updates Its NSFW Advertising Policy

This week, Reddit updated its ad policy and announced that adult-oriented product ads and services will no longer be permissible on Reddit. NSFW subreddits will also no longer be eligible for ads or targeting.

While the new policy is preventing certain companies from advertising their products, it creates a safer environment for younger users on the platform.

Reddit will now reject and no longer run NSFW ads. NSFW subreddits will be removed from campaigns that may have been targeting them and these campaigns will stop tracking clicks or impressions on those subreddits. However, ads will continue to run on Safe for Work subreddits, if applicable.

Snapchat Ads News

TikTok Aggressively Recruits From Snap

Digiday reported on Monday that Bytedance, the owner of TikTok, has hired dozens of people from digital agencies and other social apps, most notably from Snap, to build TikTok’s sales and partnerships team.

The reasoning behind this approach is that TikTok and Snapchat are very similar: both specialize in the short-form vertical video content and both have younger audiences. Their ad products are also similar, with vertical video and augmented reality ads.

TikTok and Snap are based in Los Angeles, approximately five miles away from each other, so they have access to pretty much the same pool of potential employees. According to LinkedIn, TikTok has already hired at least 14 people from Snap. And the former Snap employees told Digiday that several of their former colleagues who still work for the app had been approached.

Twitter Ads News

Twitter Shares Its “Healthier Twitter” Progress

In a blog post, published on Tuesday, Twitter shared its progress in shaping a healthier conversation on the platform.

The idea is that a healthy environment on a social media platform brings about more user engagement.

Twitter Tests Mute Button

Also, on Tuesday, Twitter’s CEO, Jack Dorsey announced during a TED talk his plans to test mute button.

The mute button feature will give users more control over the content they are exposed to on Twitter.

If the feature is implemented, a person who initiates a conversation, as the original tweet’s author, will be able to hide any unwanted comments replying to the original tweet. Readers, on the other hand, will need to tap on the hidden tweet to reveal it.

Politics and Society

Google lets Android users in Europe choose rival browsers, search engines

Users of Android devices in Europe will be able to choose rival browsers and search engines from five options starting on Thursday, a senior Google executive said, as the company tries to quell EU antitrust concerns and stave off fresh penalties.

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