Creator Union aims to regulate the influencer marketing industry to protect the rights or freelancers and creators. 

In this digital age, the influencer marketing space had been getting bigger and bigger. Many apps today are influencer-based and created to give them a space to express themselves and monetize their skills in the process. It’s a space where brands and creators meet together to expand their reach. 

Creator’s pleas heard

Influencers in the UK have been asking for a unified voice that would air out their interests. Just this June, the Creator Union launched in the UK to address the issues and to represent the many bloggers, creators, influencers in the country and to ensure that they are treated fairly in all aspects related to their work. 

Nicole Ocran, the founder of the union, explained that influencers have been creating digital content for more than 15 years, and they’ve been monetizing these content before brand deals and partnerships came to exist. This market is now estimated to be worth $5.5 billion and expected to grow to $22.3 billion by 2024. 

Issues to address 

There are issues surrounding influencer marketing, including working for free, working with a tiny amount of products, and most often, not enough money to fund their creation process. Accordingly, ethnicity plays a huge role in the pay gap as white creators are paid more than creators who are Black, Asian, and Middle Eastern. Pay gaps also occur due to gender, age, religion, and disability. People who belong to the other side of the spectrum are paid much less than those considered normal by society’s standard. 

The union will be a community for influencers where they can seek out advice, a networking space, and a sounding board. The union also offers contract templates, pricing range advice, and the strategies for creating content in their niche. The organization aims to be more connected with industry leaders and make sure that the needs of creators are met. 

What does this mean for you?

Creators now have more room to be protected and treated equally regardless of their social status. The union will serve as a warning to brands and other businesses who want to partner with influencers. Compensation conversations are easier with an organization that will standardize the pricing. As a networking space for influencers, the organization is another way for them to be discovered by small businesses and brands as well.

Walmart Media Group announced its omnichannel analytics offering for advertisers.

Image credit: Walmart Media Group

Walmart launched its campaign performance dashboard for advertisers recently. It is on-demand access to omnichannel reporting for all of Walmart’s displays and sponsored product campaigns. At the moment, Walmart is now the largest omnichannel retailer across the US. With this omnichannel analytics, Walmart advertisers can now connect with their customers to their digital properties. 

Walmart’s self-serve ad platform was launched early this year and it gave advertisers access to real-time data on their ad performance. Walmart’s updates for its ad platform is very similar to the offers of Google Analytics. Customers these days want omnichannel integration, they expect for their order history and customer profile to follow them whatever platform they are. Walmart’s efforts are focus on omnichannel integration. 

The company has allotted $1.2 billion to improve its integration system focusing on omnichannel shopping. CEO Doug McMillion said that they are the first company to deliver a seamless shopping experience at a larger scale. He also shared that shoppers will have a better experience as they check out using their mobile devices (online) or when they are at a physical store purchasing what they need. 

Introducing the performance dashboard 

 Before the launch, Walmart piloted the Performance Dashboard to a dozen of its major marketers such as Procter & Gamble, Clorox, Mondelez, Nestle Purina, and more. The Director of Commerce Sales at Nestle Purina from North America, James Kristof shared that the new tool provided them with relevant data to help with their campaigns. 

The performance dashboard capitalizes on the strengths of Walmart, which is its omnichannel retail. Walmart is still the reigning giant when it comes to the brick-and-mortar industry as about 90% of all US households shop at Walmart’s physical stores. While Amazon is a giant in its own rights, it hasn’t been able to have the same retail presence.

There are two separate dashboards – for the display advertising campaign and for the sponsored product campaign. Each of the hubs has a specific function and distinction. The Performance Dashboard is accessible via Walmart’s new Ad Center, it’s an all-in-one center for ad managers to check and manage all their campaigns. 

What does this mean for you?

Walmart’s enhanced ad marketplace gives advertisers more options and control over their ad campaigns. With the available metrics and analytics, they are also given more transparency. Targeting has also been improved so as to reach a more specific audience. 

The partnership between Microsoft Advertising and Shutterstock allows advertisers to make high-performing ads. 

Image credit: Microsoft

Microsoft advertisers now have access to Shutterstock’s collection of more than 320 million images. The advertisers can search, preview, and use the stock images in their Microsoft Advertising user interface. With this, they can create beautiful campaigns much faster. They no longer have to exit their ad creation workflow

Haily De La Cruz, the Senior Program Manager at Microsoft Advertising said that this seamless integration with Shutterstock enables their customers more resources especially in this time of difficulty due to the pandemic. Despite the ad budget cuts that many startups and brands have made, Microsoft Advertising aims to let their advertisers deliver effective and top-performing ads that will resonate with their target audience. Shutterstock is home to high-quality images that’s applicable to peoples’ daily lives. The site also has images that are region-specific, thus imperative for localized ad campaigns. 

How to use Shutterstock images

Microsoft advertisers can just tap on the Add images when creating new ads for their Audience campaign. They will then have to choose the relevant image or images from the Stock Images. You maybe see watermarks on the images but these won’t appear in the ads. 

Advertisers have to check Microsoft’s image policy. There should be no hate speech or text within the images that promote hate speech. Animations are also not allowed including animated GIFs. Advertisers can use the images in Shutterstock but they can’t edit the photos they have selected. The images can’t also be used for other reasons except for their Microsoft Advertising campaigns. 

What does this mean for you?

Images have huge effects on the performance of your ad campaigns. Images attract attention and many people may not remember the tagline, but most often, they remember the images attached to your brand. The right images can connect you to your target audience, however, if you use the same mages repeatedly, you are likely wasting an opportunity to engage with your audience. You need the right images, not just a single image. 

With this partnership, Microsoft advertisers now have access to millions of photos giving them more options. The stock photos are now available for all advertisers across the US and the UK for those who are participating in the beta for the Microsoft Audience Network. The feature is expected to roll out to other markets within the year. 

Hulu offers cheaper ad solutions to small businesses and brands with smaller marketing budgets. 

Image credit: Hulu

Hulu has just released a self-service tool for small and medium-sized businesses. The self-service allows businesses to buy ads on its service. The new Ad Manager tool launched and according to the company, it’s getting businesses to join in the beta test. Hulu’s director of Self Service Platform Sales, Faye Trapani said that this advanced advertising solution will allow small businesses to have a high-quality advertisement in the premium streaming television space. Using the Ad Manager, businesses can manage and track their ad campaigns in Hulu. 

The ads service costs $500 and advertisers who have the budget to invest or spare will be able to launch their ads in Hulu and manage their ads performances on the platform. Hulu has been working with several top brands in the US but the company wants diversity and thus created the cheaper offer. 

Hulu said that its ad selector is 150% more effective when compared to the regular TV ads. Looking at the stat, putting ad campaigns in Hulu works for businesses. Hulu air commercials and the company is very forward in how they will get the ads in front of the brand’s target audience. Hulu has choice-based advertising, unlike the traditional TV ads where campaigns are shown to anyone viewing the content, Hulu’s ads are more specific. This will be cheaper for advertisers in the long as they need not put out ads in multiple contents, they can put out fewer ads in content that matters to their audience. 

Hulu also has Branded Entertainment Selector (BES) that gives users the option between long commercials before the program starts or ads throughout a program. 

What does this mean for you?

Small and medium-sized businesses often have a hard time picking the ads platform because it’s not up to their marketing budget. Even Facebook with its flexible ads pricing can get expensive for some businesses. This is especially true today where businesses are trying to cut their ad spend and allocating budgets in a way that will help them thrive. 

Hulu’s self-serving ads will be another way for brands and businesses to grow in a different space. Their ads will not be limited to just social media platforms, they will now be able to include TV streaming ads to their marketing strategy. This will help expand their reach and grow their customer base. 

The new ban will be effective for all advertisers globally starting next month. 

Image credit: Search Engine Land, products with prohibited ads

Google is implementing a restriction on ads specifically regarding spyware and surveillance technology beginning this August. Google explained the updates on the Enabling Dishonesty Behavior policy. The blog post explained that Google will prohibit ads on products and services that are targeted at monitoring and tracking peoples’ activities without their permission. The policy update is applicable to spyware and technology that includes tech that monitors texts, phone calls, and browsing history. For Example, this would include GPS trackers that spy people without authorization such as cameras, dash cams, nanny cams, audio recorders, and the like. 

Enabling Dishonest Behavior policy

The changes will be implemented starting on August 11, 2020. The update doesn’t include two parties: private investigation services and products and services that are meant for parents to monitor their underage kids. 

A study on the ecosystem of intimate partner surveillance in 2018 revealed that thousands of Google ads appear in searches related to terms with the explicit aim of conducting surveillance. Term searches including: 

“Track my Wife’s Phone”

“how to track my husband”

“Track your wife without her knowing”

Google spokesperson told CNBC that it’s continually updating their ad policies and have been restricting ads related to searches related to ones related above. The site is updating its language to ensure that violators are caught. At the moment, Google has already prohibited ads that promote products and services that allow users to have unauthorized access to properties and devices. However, with the new dishonest behavior policy update coming next month, the ads prohibition will be expanded and will affect more products/services. 

Google will have to make the policy more foolproof as many spyware providers have changed their marketing strategy and list their products under child-monitoring apps. 

What does this mean for you?

Google aims to make its ads platform a safe market for brands and other businesses. The tech-giant has limited ads from appearing into surveillance-related searches. This previous effort is now expanded to other services and products. For businesses that market these products, you may need to have them removed from your Google Ads accounts before August 11, otherwise, Google will remove those campaigns from your product feeds. Failure to do so would mean account suspension. Google will send you a notification and warning seven days before it will suspend your accounts. 

“All these advertisers will be back,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. 

Image credit: BBC

Several brands and industry giants have announced that they are boycotting Facebook advertising and unless the platform makes changes in its policies regarding social issues, these brands aren’t coming back. Despite the loss, Zuckerberg isn’t worried and has not hinted at any changes in the company policies. 

As reported by The Information, he said that all these advertising will be back on the platform soon. For him, the boycott is more of a reputational and partner issue rather than an economic issue. Zuckerberg also noted that the revenue coming from all these brands who decided to temporarily stop their ads take up very little space in Facebook’s overall revenue. The threat is small, he added. 

#StopHateForProfit campaign

The campaign started a civil rights movement for the previous weeks and many bug companies and personalities have shown their support. The Boycott has shed light on the company’s lack of policies in fighting against hate speech and protecting the innocent lives of people of color and those from the minorities. The misinformation and threats of violence in the platform is too rampant that many are calling for changes. 

Previous UK deputy prime minister and now Facebook’s VP Global Affairs and Communications, however, reassured companies that Facebook doesn’t benefit from hate speech and the company is looking for ways to remove hate speech in its platform. 

Facebook is making efforts in hearing out what the critics have to say but no solid decisions have been made as that will ultimately come from its CEO. 

What does this mean for you?

Brands have good intentions for supporting the cause but it doesn’t mean that it’s good for their business as well. Research from the University of Oxford has shown that brands will suffer in the long run due to Facebook’s influence over other medial channels. Temporarily pausing their ads on Facebook and letting it on will affect their brand and will impact their overall effectiveness in all the other advertising channels. Facebook ads indirectly help make other channels more effective and taking out Facebook ads from their strategy will affect their ads on other channels in the long term. 

While it wasn’t wrong for advertisers to take down and temporarily withdraw their ads to emphasize the spread of unsafe and unacceptable content. However, for the advertisers, this decision may prove to be detrimental for them especially in this economy. 

CHEQ is the first company to offer a cyber security-based platform for ad prevention for both paid search and paid social. 

CHEQ has always been centering its efforts on ad fraud prevention but this year, the company is intending to expand its reach tp ad verification solutions. Recently, it rolled out an ad solution for paid social and search advertising channels. The service is called CHEQ PPC and its goal is to aid companies to avoid losing large amounts of money due to ad fraud.

CHEQ’s Chief Strategy Officer, Daniel Avital wrote in an email that this new platform provides click prevention from almost all the major paid-search platforms including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, Yandex and paid social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snap, Pinterest, and more. 

The advertising fraud

Ad fraud is a deliberate activity that manipulates the delivery of ad content and keeps its serving to the targeted audience. There are several types of ad fraud: Cookie Stuffing, Traffic Fraud, Impression Fraud, Click Fraud, Action Fraud, Conversion Fraud, Retargeting Fraud, and Affiliate Fraud. The most common type is cookie stuffing which is used in affiliate marketing frauds. This type misleads audience information and disrupts the results of the whole ad campaign. 

Advertisers and marketers would get their ad performance and see a good turnout. Due to the good report, advertisers would let the ad campaign run for some time until the business starts losing money.

What does this mean?

Ad fraud has always been a problem for marketers and advertisers. Year after year, many businesses lose billions of ad spend due to fraud and malicious activities that mess up their ad campaign results. As reported by MediaPost, almost 14% of ad clicks are fraudulent. A small number but causes billions of dollars in lost ad spend. It’s expected that $3.8 billion will be lost on PPC campaigns by the end of the year. With the digital age and e-commerce, ad campaigns have taken front and center in terms of widening a brand’s reach.

With CHEQ PPC, brands and advertisers will be able to scale their ad campaigns and see how their ads are performing. The services offered by CHEQ are focused on brands, e-commerce platforms,  media agencies, SaaS agencies, and other companies that are spending their dollars on any of these media. 

CHEQ is but one of the companies that aim to protect businesses against ad frauds. You can also try ClickCease, Click Guard, among others. 

TikTok is ripe for advertisers and marketers. It’s a platform with various tools to help them use the app for their ad campaigns. 

TikTok, a ByteDance-owned company announced its new offering for businesses on its website. The TikTok for Business will be a new way to bring solutions to marketers and advertisers for their ad campaigns. There are tips, links to other TikTok tools, and note that will be helpful for them in creating creative and positive trends for their brands. 

This is TikTok’s first solid step in its plans of making the app more accessible for brands and advertisers. It’s the core of their strategy of building the platform towards the digital advertising front. 

Don’t make ads, make TikToks 

TikTok’s ad slogan is Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks, is call to action for advertisers to change the traditional means of reaching out to their audiences. Instead of using the usual marketing strategies, TikTok is encouraging brands to use their creative minds in creating TikTok content. 

The app has introduced some advertising options in the past including brand takeovers, hashtag challenges, AR content, customer influencer package, and more. Brand Takeovers are 3-5 seconds ads, either an image or a video. The Hashtag Challenges is a way for brands to get in touch and engage with their followers/customers directly. Brands can invite people to participate in the challenge and hashtag that they’ve picked. 

What does this mean for you?

Tiktok was the most downloaded app in the first quarter of 2020 surpassing other giant apps like Facebook and WhatsApp. This launch is putting TikTok front and center in the digital advertising space. With Facebook facing brand boycott due to its actions, or lack thereof, regarding sensitive subjects such as racism and injustice, it may be high time for brands to consider other methods in increasing their brand awareness. Based on a report from Apptopia last January, TikTok in-app revenue increased to 310% on a year-on-year basis. By far, it’s one of the most brand accessible platforms existing today. 

TikTok is an evolving platform and the trend changes by the hour. It’s also putting much effort into user experience rather than monetization. The apps’ algorithm isn’t easy to navigate, but with the launch of Tiktok for Busines, brands and marketers no longer have to rely on YouTube tutorials on how to use the platform. 

There have been no reports as to the pricing of the business tool but it’s assumed to be lower as compared to other platforms. 

YouTube is making actionable ads to make their ads more shoppable. 

Image Credit: YouTube

The number of advertisers using TrueView for action Spiked to 260% last year. TrueView is a tool for performance advertisers. Due to this increase, YouTube plans to bring product selection to these TrueView ads. Advertisers can now show their products in the TrueView for action ads. This YouTube’s newest test to increase platform e-commerce and digital purchasing transactions. Users need to click the expansion arrow for the action banner to see the selection of products below the video. This new option is basically a crossover between TrueView shopping ads and action banners. 

Your ads as a storefront

Director and Product Management of YouTube Ads, Nicky Rettke wrote in the company blog that brands today are using video ads when trying to promote new products. YouTube is one of the platforms that offer the best funnel solution for brands, it’s a social media where brands can connect with their audience and get the highest likelihood of making a sale. 

Advertisers and brands need to sync their Google Merchant Center feed to their video ads to make their video ads more shoppable. Brands can pick the products they want to feature and the product pages they want to direct the most traffic. 

Video action campaigns for SMBs

Another way to drive more conversions is by using video action campaigns. This feature brings your video ads to drive action to YouTube watch pages and home feed. Companies of all sizes, especially small businesses can effectively use this to drive results a lot quicker. 

What does this mean for you? 

There’s a new culture of shopping and purchasing altogether. In 2019, Google’s shopping campaign was extended to YouTube’s home feed and search results. It was a way to keep Facebook and Amazon from taking away Google’s top pace in retail as dollars. 

According to YouTube’s data, 70% of people purchase products from a brand after seeing them on the platform. Due to this, more and more advertisers have turned into YouTube’s video ads to connect with their customers directly. YouTube also offers analytics that enables brands to see the effectiveness of their ad campaigns. For brands and advertisers, this new actionable ad test will be one way to encourage people into buying your products. It is also a great start for brands to further establish a strong e-commerce presence. 

Shopify and Pinterest partner up to launch a new channel that will enable merchants to reach out to Pinterest’s over 350 million monthly users. 

The new app will make it easier for Shopify merchants to attract new customers and increase their revenue. Shopify explained, that Pinterest is rolling out a new Shopify channel. Over the past few months, more than 80% of Pinterest’s weekly pinners made purchases based on the liked pins. Simply put, the app allows Shopify to turn their client catalogs into shoppable ‘product pins’ that retailers or merchants can update their products’ prices, availability, and product descriptions. They can also upload their product catalogs and products on Pinterest. 

Shopify image
Image Credit: Shopify

Pinterest app features 

The app comes with several features including tag installations, automatic inventory updates, catalog ingestion, also an ads-buying interface. The app automatically makes the connection between the retailer and the Pinterest platform to make it easier for retailers to go right into editing and updating their catalogs. There’s no need for learning codes and adding development resources to connect their store to Pinterest. 

Retailers can immediately go into setting up their Pinterest right after downloading the app. They can start doing adding tags on their website and making changes. Retailers will see a shop tab in their profile to ensure product discovery. 

Pinterest pushes on to improve shopping in its platform 

This update can only stand to benefit the two platforms who have both worked recently to improve their platforms. Pinterest has been updating its platform since last year with the release of its Lens update, its AR, and its all-new shop feature for SMBs

What does this mean for you?

Pinterest reported an increased number of Pinners in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Which makes the time ripe for small businesses and merchants in Shopify to get their products on the platform. Pinterest further added that they are seeing more people who are engaged in shoppable products. The products are seeing about 44% year over year increase.

People coming into Pinterest don’t just browse products, they have the intent to plan and make purchases. Shopify merchants can take advantage of that as it helps them target customers who aren’t only looking for pretty things but looking for a good buy. Shopify merchants and retailers can download the app here. The Pinterest app is now available for retailers across the US and Canada. It will also be available for merchants from other countries including the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy in the coming weeks.