Pinterest’s fourth-quarter earnings report exceeded almost all of Wall Street’s expectations. 

Social platform Pinterest released its fourth-quarter report last Thursday and the company shares rose for up to 17.1% in the after-hours trading. Based on the financial report, the company’s revenue grew to 46% in its y-o-y amounting to $400 million. Aside from that, Pinterest’s monthly active users also increased to 26% and it now has 335 million users globally. Pinterest’s trading increase has been attributed to Pinterest’s advertising additions to its platform.

The company’s report surpassed the expected results from WallStreet and other entities. For its earnings per share, Pinterest increased to 12 cents as opposed to the expected 8 cents forecasted by Refinitiv. The same is true with the revenue, which was expected to grow to $371 million but went even higher to $400 million. FactSet also forecasted for Pinterest to have an average revenue per user of $4.14 but the company reported a $1.22 instead. 

Ben Silbermann, the company’s CEO, and co-founder said in their strong results for the fourth-quarter encouraged them more to keep pursuing goals on “delivering relevant content, ads and shopping experience for its users.”

Pinterest versus other social media platforms 

Facebook, Snapchat, and other platforms have released their revenue reports for the past few days. Snapchat reported a 44% growth from its 2018 report and its revenue rose to $561 million. Although it’s a significant rise, it still fell behind the expected $563 million. The company also reported global daily active users of 218 million users in the fourth quarter. Facebook, on the other hand, reported a revenue of $21.1 billion, that’s a growth of 24.6% growth from the previous quarter. Facebook beat Wall Street’s estimate of $20.89%. 

What’s in store for Pinterest?

Pinterest’s last quarter’s report was quite a blow to the company. The revenue fell and analysts’ expectations may have been lighter. However, Pinterest is able to turn it around. Through Pinterest’s Advertising options the platform has the chance to increase profits through even more avenues.

Pinterest has been busy improving its platform for the past year. Just recently, Pinterest added several new features that would help brands understand the consumers’ behaviors in the platform. Example of which is the Pinterest Trends Tool which shows the most search terms in the U.S. for the past 12 months. There’s also the Pinterest shop to improve users’ experience during the holiday season. 

Marketers, advertisers, and brands are given much thought in the development of Pinterest as an advertising platform. This makes it a huge competition from other advertising platforms. 

Expectations for Q4 were not a true snapshot of the results

Snapchat’s Q4 report shows increasing active users but still, its revenue fell short of expectations. The call transcript gave away the idea that the company may have suffered from continuous competition from other bigger digital media companies such as TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.

In terms of revenue

In this most recent quarter, Snapchat’s Parent company, Snap reported $561 million in revenue. While this is an increase of “44% year-over-year,” the company also lost 49 million more than in the 2018 Q4.

However, revenue analysts were expecting Snapchat’s revenue to be at around $563 million for this period. Snap’s shares dropped more than 10% only hours after the Q4 report was released.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel keeps his optimism in check as he placed an emphasis on the company’s core business. This core model is expected to grow the business and become more profitable in the future. 

Increased active users 

As recorded in the last quarter, snap had 210 million active users and has since increased to over 218 million monthly active users. This is the 4th consecutive year that Snapchat reported an increase to its user base. The number keeps climbing and this year, there’s a 2.58% increase in user growth. A little below the expected 2.62% increase. 

Despite the growth, there’s still a decrease in the ARPU (average revenue per user). The report has shown a 3% of the growth in ARPU. Though this was still under predictions.

Operating losses 

Business Insider reported Snapchat’s Q4 operating loss of $241 million. Compared to 2018 that’s a 49% increase. Much of this was due to a $100 million preliminary settlement agreement with the SEC on the company’s IPO. 

It’s time to put more focus on the ads

In regards to Snapchat’s ad platform, Spiegel stated, “we are getting better at increasing the value and relevance of each ad impressions.” crowded and anything snap can do to separate itself from the pack will be vital.

Snap’s Chief Business Officer, Jeremi Gorman, said that the company will now focus on diversifying its brand partners. Additionally, Snapchat is putting more effort into its AR-driven features that are expected to drive more brand partnerships. Snapchat has the ability to differentiate itself from other platforms due to its innate layout. It will be interesting to see how Snapchat reevaluates its ad platform moving forward. For more news like this subscribe to Holler Hustle.

The ad unit promoted trend spotlight, supports six-second videos, GIFs, and static images.

Twitter announced its launch of the new ad unit, the Promoted Trend Spotlight today on its official blog. It is a new feature added by Twitter to give brands exclusive premium access to real estate. This add-on can be seen under the social network’s Explore tab.

Explore tab allows tweet creators to see what’s trending in the social world. Advertisers took it as their advantage to connect to users and start an interaction. This is also where the collection of hashtags and topics on-trend are kept.

Promoted Trend Spotlight

Generally, the Promoted Trend Spotlight is available in Japan, the U.K, and the U.S. with plans to expand it into more countries such as Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, and Thailand.

This new ad unit allows users to get their message through six-second videos, as it also supports GIFs, static images, and is accessible on various mobile devices.

The new feature gets mixed reactions

There are business officials who reacted from the new feature released by the social media giant. Brooke Reno, the business director of The Media Kitchen group, expresses his sentiments about it.

“Twitter continues to innovate and take advantage of what makes it unique—real-time conversation and capturing what’s happening right now in the world,” says Reno. The product seems to lean on this trend, however, Reno worries that “adding more and more ad placements to an increasingly cluttered environment will annoy users and negatively impact a brand’s effectiveness.” 

How Twitter responded

The social media giant responded over this fear saying that branded content via Promoted Trend Spotlight will only appear for each user’s first two visits of the day. If brands and users wish to sequence their messaging, Twitter made an option so they can “switch out” creative within the day.

The Spotlight placement will also revert to standard editorial content following a user’s first two visits. This will allow the ad unit to receive a normal Promoted Trend placement that will occupy the first or second slot in the “Trends for you” section of the Explore tab or the user’s timelines.

The new feature yield positive result

EyeSee, a global behavioral research company conducted a study on the new feature and found out that people spent 26% more time looking at Promoted Trend Spotlight ad units than at Promoted Trend units. This leads to a 113% jump in the ad itself. Twitter further added that its internal data revealed that users were three times more likely to click on a Promoted Trend Spotlight ad compared to a Promoted Trend unit.

Facebook is making it even easier for advertisers to measure ad performance across accounts, channels, and publishers

The social media giant released its new tools for analyzing campaign features that assist advertisers in their ad campaigns. The ad reporting tools help advertisers to understand how their ads are performing, where the most conversions came from, and which demographics they are reaching.

Facebook released the cross-account reporting and custom metric building tool amidst the holiday season. These tools are designed to give advertisers insight on cross-channel and cross-device measurement especially during holidays when the platform is busy. The new features can be accessed from the dropdown in the Ads Manager dashboard.

Cross-account reporting

“This reporting surface serves as a one-stop-shop for a clear, concise report on your business’ performance and will allow you to save time that was previously spent manually building reports,” says Facebook. The reporting dashboard display metrics across multiple ad accounts.

The dashboard also shows de-duplicated reach, the unique people reached across accounts and campaigns. 

This enables advertisers to see and analyze the unique reach in multiple accounts. This new feature is not available on exported reports so it is a lot more convenient for the users.

Custom metrics and its use

The custom metric measurement allows advertisers to formulate and save their custom metrics and apply it to reports directly within the Ads Reporting manager. This eliminates the exporting of data for metric-based analysis. Advertisers can apply these custom metrics to cross-account reports as well. 

Who will benefit from the new features?

The new features benefit both enterprises and small marketing business advertisers. Cross-account reporting is vital for enterprise-level advertisers especially those running with multiple campaigns across various accounts. The report will display all of the ad accounts which are essential for advertisers to quickly measure ad performance without pulling reports for each account. This single-view dashboard is a great reference to view performances across different ad accounts.

Both enterprise-level and SMBs will be able to use the custom metric tool. This new feature builds reports based metrics that align with the company’s goal. It is an alternative to manually export and reports analysis which saves both time and effort while delivering insights anchored to the objective of the users and marketers.

Amidst issues Facebook has been facing, they have been consistently updating features for the benefits of marketers and advertisers. 

Fixating on data could be harming marketing efforts

ROI is an important term when it comes to marketing. When a client asks for a creative perspective to revitalize their business it’s not always easy to calculate their return on investment. Additionally, the venture may be a slow burn that shows progress over time, not instantaneously.

Adobe explains, close to half of the advertising professionals’ that were surveyed, their biggest concerns are displaying ROI. Creating visible increases based on statistics can be a difficult task in an industry that requires tactical creativity. Pinpointing how effective a marketing effort can be difficult and one success might not translate as a success to others.

For example, if a campaign to improve brand awareness is conducted, it’s hard it measure the impact when compared to a campaign intended to boost sales. 

One method advertisers use to convey how the effectiveness of a venture is by researching formulas and applying them to a campaign.  

Peter Field stated, “ROI is simply what you get back, divided by what you put in. In marketing, it is how much extra cost did you generate as a result of investing in marketing.”

The Adobe article went on to quote the Managing Director of Advertising Cloud – Adobe EMEA, Philip Duffield, who explains that while marketers and advertisers aren’t always working in the same direction the end goal is the same. 

Duffield states, “The risk is that by pursuing two very different strategies, one rooted in creating a connection and the other in data, is that the end customer receives a very fragmented, and inconsistent brand experience. Both strategies have merit, but to be turbocharged they need to be integrated. The report outlines how customer experience management can unify advertisers and marketers to build a brand in the longer term.

Essentially focusing on RIO can create a barrier that can negatively affect your business. Based on the fact that businesses who are “customer-centered” find more success and growth, focusing on engagement and less on the return of marketing and advertising efforts could prove to have lasting benefits for companies.   

Facebook tightened the implementation of Special Ad Categories in housing, employment, or credit.

Facebook’s advertising policies have prohibited unlawful discrimination. To address this issue, Facebook released Special Ad Catagories set in place to fulfill its commitment to protecting users and advertisers from discrimination and to improve their ability to detect and deter potential abuse. 

The social network giant mandated that every user must indicate when their ads are promoting housing, employment or credit by selecting the special ad category in the Ads Manager. This is a must specifically for advertisers, developers, and other partners. Companies that fail to implement the special ad categories, starting this Wednesday, will be paused for non-compliance.

Ads about housing in the Ad Library

A new feature called the housing ad section will be incorporated in Facebook’s Ad Library starting Wednesday. It will provide details on all active housing opportunity ads targeted to U.S users. 

The housing information can be searched by page name, or the city or the state in which the ads are targeted. Facebook said that separate ads for employment or credit opportunities will be added to the Ad Library next year. The company is currently working with civil rights groups concerning the matter. 

Special Ad categories implemented on all Ad buying platforms

Facebook announced that advertisers must use new processes with restricted targeting options to buy ads that offer housing, employment, and credit. The enforcement is required for all the tools businesses use to buy ads including Ads Manager, Instagram Promote, the Marketing API (application-programing interface), and ads created from pages.

Facebook’s changes to its target policies

Facebook implemented several changes to its targeting policies for ads dealing with housing, employment, and credit. This is part of the company’s settlements of several class-action lawsuits and complaints in March. 

Facebook no longer allowed age, gender, and ZIP code as targeting policies. The interest segments for ads are down into a hundred from thousands due to the deletion of those targeting details. 

What does it mean for you? 

Advertisers and marketers need to comply with Facebook’s usage of special ad categories as it is essential in providing a safe and law-abiding promotion and advertisements. It’s required for marketers to submit to the social media giant’s new measures to continue using their ad services. 

U.S. advertisers invested more than $57 billion into the programmatic digital display advertising.

A significant portion (56.3%) of the $57.30 billion is being funneled into digital display ads will go to social networks. It will be utilized for banners, videos, and other display ad units across social platforms. As advertisers continue to prioritize the video and network ad formats, it is predicted that social shares of the programmatic ads will rise in 2021.

Programmatic advertising is defined as the use of automation for the buying, selling or fulfilling of digital ads. The report from eMarketer predicted that 83.5% of the total digital display ad will be spent this year. Continued investment in areas such as digital audio, social video, connected TV, and over-the-top (OTT) advertising will drive U.S. programmatic ad spending to approximately $80 billion for the next two years.

Why invest more in Social Networks

“Advertising in a cookie-free mobile app environment where users spend much of their digital time is complicated and difficult,” says Eric Haggstrom, the forecasting analyst at eMarketer. Social networks prove to be the major exception. He further added that “they have made it relatively easy to target audiences at scale in an in-app environment.” Social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat proved to have a strong performance as forecasted. It has been expected that advertisers will continue to search for social networks for the upcoming months.

“These sites have the scale and identity capabilities that advertisers want,” says Lauren Fisher, principal analyst at eMarketer. She added that this matters because if advertisers are having a hard time tracking, targeting, and measuring due to privacy restrictions. Brands investing more in programmatic digital ads may want to increase the revenue of marketers across their social networks.

Impact of programmatic display ads in the future

The primary method of buying digital media in the U.S is made over automated media. Social networks have been categorized as programmatic and being known as dominating the display landscape. The report of eMarketer estimated that Facebook, in particular, will consume 83% of social ad spending. This enables marketers to make a decision about focusing more on social media platforms for their ads rather than another marketing strategy.

eMarketer also forecasted an increase of 57.6% social share by 2021. This kind of marketing has seen to be the future of advertising across websites. It is essential for marketers to have the knowledge and learn the processes involved with programmatic display advertising.

Walmart is making its moves to compete against the retail giant, Amazon. 

Walmart Media Group is gearing up to launch its first self-serve advertising tool along with an API next year. Walmart has long relied on its relationship with sales reps but it looks like it’s not going to stay that way for long. The company has been busy hiring marketing partners and acquiring ad tech companies to support its goals in growing its advertising business. 

What you need to know about Walmart’s upcoming ad tool

Advertisers and marketers who wish to buy Walmart ads need to speak with human reps. The company hasn’t been able to play with the major leagues in the advertising industry partly because of its position in the mix. Other big companies including Facebook, Amazon, Google, Pinterest, and SnapChat all who all use APIs to connect with their marketers. APIs let advertisers have free reign for their ad prices and ad spend. 

Similar to Amazon’s API, advertisers who wish to put up ads in Walmart can buy search and display ads. Wavemaker’s director of e-commerce, Kacie McKee, noted that Walmart is pushing itself to be like Amazon as it slowly builds the infrastructure to become a big name in media. Walmart is already testing the self-serve tool with CPG advertisers and its planning to make it available early next year. 

Walmart’s media effort

Walmart ended its partnership with Triad last February and since then, it’s been busy improving its advertising program. It acquired Polymorph Labs, a San Francisco ad-tech startup to help deliver full campaigns and reports to brands. 

The addition of Polymorph Labs strengthened Walmart Media Group’s ad platform. This acquisition has helped the company take full advantage of its cost per click and cost per impression metrics as it evaluates real-time bids from buying models. 

What does this mean?

As far as the ads industry experience goes, Amazon is much more advanced as compared to Walmart. Amazon already has search tactics that enable marketers to target their competitors or target their specific audiences. As of now, around 70%-90% of the overall ad spend of e-commerce businesses go to Amazon. 

With Walmart’s new self-serve tool, advertisers may soon consider investing and putting their ad spend to Walmart instead of putting it all in Amazon. A few years from now, Walmart may become a worthy competition of Amazon in the advertising industry.

Marketers and creators can now use their social media stories as ads for Instagram and Facebook. 

The world’s biggest digital discovery and publishing platform added a Story Cloud suite and Issuu Promote last Monday at the Adobe MAX conference in L.A. The newly released Issuu Promote is a story integration tool that allows marketers to shoot two birds using one stone. They’ll be able to create and launch their social media stories directly from Issuu. Additionally, these stories can then be turned into actual ads for Facebook and Instagram. 

Create and share everywhere 

Issuu partnered up with Adobe InDesign to create the Story Cloud, Issuu’s suite of storytelling products. With InDesign, users can create and quality designs for print and digital media. The features in InDesign are now available for Issuu users and this will result in a seamless creation of Story ads. 

Stories now play a huge role in content marketing and the company capitalized on the brands’ need to create compelling stories and share these with their social platforms. 

Joe Hyrkin, Issuu’s CEO said that stories are now used by marketers and it has opened many opportunities. However, the time and effort that goes into creating content can be too much for many brands thus leaving them out of the game. He further added, their goal is to reduce how complex it is to make Story ads and to allow marketers to recreate their existing assets and use them as ad campaigns. The Issuu Promote feature also makes it easier for marketers to link their Facebook Business Manager and Google AdSense account to their Issuu account to make the creation more efficient. 

Issuu stories for marketers 

You can start using Issuu Stories by downloading the plugin for the InDesign. Then the “Create Story for Social” option will be visible in InDesign.  

The stories created can be integrated into your brand’s marketing strategy and shared across social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Issuu Stories has several templates that users can choose from.

What does this mean for you?

While some companies a have creative team to craft Stories for them, other startups and new brands may have limited manpower and funds to pour to your story ads. Issuu Promote makes it easier for you to create high-quality stories and turn them into story ads that would resonate to your target audience. 

A guide detailing the proper practices for Influencer disclosures

Influencers are a great way for businesses to promote their products or brand without doing it directly. Influencers have become so common that users almost expect brand promotions from those in the limelight. It’s so prevalent in fact that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has released a guide to help inform those that have such an influential platform.  

The influencer industry isn’t something new that was born out of social media. Social Media Today touches on a prominent example of a clever potter profiting from a Royal Influencer. In 1760 a potter named Wedgwood made a tea set for the Queen of England, and due to this product promotion, the “Royal Approved” brand stands today.   

While social media has brought people together, it’s also created a platform for some. To prevent the genuine promotion from being confused with paid promotion, the FTC has drafted the “Disclosure 101 for Social Media Influencers.”  

The FTC’s job is “to protect consumers and promote competition.” Part of this job is protecting consumers from ads that are disguised as a p2p promotion of a product. Additionally, this guide can protect influences from legal action if they aren’t properly informed. The FTC’s guide is complete with videos and could be seen as preemptive protection for consumers. Though the guide has the potential to prevent consumers from falling for an ad.  

The FTC now requires any relationship with the brand to be disclosed in the description of promotional materials. “Telling your followers about these kinds of relationships is important because it helps keep your recommendations honest and truthful, and it allows people to weigh the value of your endorsements,” explains the FTC.  

A good place to start when disclosing a sponsorship is adding #ad #Sponsor or #paid

Knowing the guidelines provides influencers with the information to avoid legal action while also being transparent with their audience.