Facebook is contemplating ads within the Groups Tab.

Groups are a great place to find individuals in specific individuals and demographics. Facebook might capitalize on this by permanently adding ad placements into the group tab. The select advertisers will be able to utilize the new features in the Ads Manager. 

Business 2 Community explained their thoughts on the increased focus on community in the platform. Facebook has poured into its campaign aimed at increasing group engagement, and an example of this is an ad created by Facebook called “‘Game Day’ Commercial – More Together.”

Facebook’s Product Manager, Melissa Tokmak explained in an email to Marketing Land, “We’re running a small test to place ads in the Groups tab and will evaluate whether these ads are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it further.”

Lately, Facebook has been making frequent updates to their ad platform, whether it’s to recoup ad dollars lost during the Cambridge Analytica breach or because users are becoming more aware of their privacy, Facebook wants to make their ad platform more attractive.  Updates have included increased transparency, tools to better track ROI, rebranded ad offerings, and integrations with Facebook Pixel.   

The social media superpower has also had increased competition from platforms like Microsoft Advertising, Amazon, and Google Ads. These preliminary Group Tab ad tests further prove Facebook’s need to grow and offer more personalized offerings that are competitive in the crowded ad competition.   

This ad offering could give users the ability to take in products and ads that line up with their sensibilities. Marketers being able to aim ads at a target market within a group could be a huge benefit to brands from large to small.  

Google makes the sales funnel slicker by adding a feature that enables sellers to add photos from consumers

Earlier this month, Google released a feature that implements Images of products from users to help consumers through the research and purchase process. With the addition of this feature consumers can tac images of their products onto the product reviews. 

Though the service is currently refined to the U.S., Google has plans to expand the feature to more devices and additional countries.  

This new addition to Google’s search features could be a huge help to brick and mortar stores as well as solely digitally-based business that want to promote their wares through review with images. Pinterest has made a lot of recent additions to their platform to do just what Google is trying to accomplish with their new user-generated image feature.  

Why does it matter?

The feature is now accessible to shopping advertisers through Product Ratings. It’s important to note that the feature can only be accessed if the seller is accepted into the program. The quality of product images is important to users and plays a role in whether or not users make a purchase. Google backs this up with research that found that 50% of buyers used images to help them decide on a purchase. 

The first step to make this feature work for you is to apply for the Google product rating program. This new feature could be a great addition avenue by which to attract users who heavily research products.  

Google updates its search consoles to help creators’ videos appear in Google search and Discover. 

Video is one of the fastest ways for people to consume information. With that in mind, Google wants to give creators more tools to optimize their content’s performance.

Users search for videos on Google in three different ways: through the main Search page, the videos Search tab, and in Discover for mobile. 

Video appearances in Performance Report

Performance reports have been available in the Search Console but this time, but due to the recent updates the report is now more extensive. Google pointed out that “performance report already includes an option to see the performance of your video tab search results (type=video)…you can now also see the performance of your videos in the main Search results tab (type=web) and in Discover using the new “Videos” appearance.

This new tool allows creators to see how their videos are performing on the search engine. It will also enable them to identify issues in their videos and fix them. 

Video Enhancement report details

The other video report is video enhancement. This tool is especially important for sites that use structured data in annotating their videos. The enhancement reports include errors and warnings, as well as the ability to re-crawl sites after addressing. 

Structured data makes it easier for Google to see when videos appear on the page. In turn, the performance is shown including the video length, upload date, and other metadata.

What does this mean for you?

Videos are one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness and widen out audience reach. Many brands also invest in video creation to put their content into the Google search engine and Google Discover for mobile. 

How-to videos, tutorials, and the like do well in terms of traffic. Brands capitalize on putting videos on topics that resonate with their audience. Using these new tools, sites can easily see how their videos are performing and affecting their traffic. Seeing the videos that perform well on their site give them the opportunity to lean more into making similar content. This, in turn, helps in increasing not only traffic but also conversion. 

The Q&A platform is bringing more targeting options for its advertisers. 

Quora may not be most advertisers’ top choice when it comes to marketing options, but with its new targeting options, you might as well look into what Quora can offer. The platform has over 300 million monthly visitors searching for answers to specific questions often related to companies, products, and solutions that businesses can provide. 

This week, Quora added 3 new targeting options to better help advertisers in its platform perform well. These are the keyword history, gender, and browser-specific targeting

Keyword History 

This new feature is a combination of the already existing keyword targeting and question targeting on Quora. This option enables advertisers to reach more people who have an interest in subjects and topics relating to your business based on the keywords they use. 

The ads target people who visited questions pertaining to their business. Quora’s Product Manager, Franklin Horn wrote that the keyword history targeting is a way to follow up people who have already shown that they are from the same niche as you. It will enable advertisers to increase their profitable conversions. 

Gender targeting

 Another option is gender targeting which advertisers can use to focus their ads specific to gender. This is helpful for brands and companies that produce products and services specific to either men and women. The messaging can also be changed to tailor the needs of each gender.  Advertisers can create two ad-sets and specific call-to-action for each gender. 

A study done by Tinuiti shows that men splurge more than women. Brands can capitalize on this and tailor their ads towards men’s tendency to spend more. Quora notes that the beta of this targeting option helped some businesses to increase their conversion to up to 4% compared to their campaigns without gender targeting. 

Browser targeting

This option is already offered mobile platform but it’s just now that it’s offered to specific desktop browsers too such as Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. Platform and browser targeting allows advertisers to choose whether to target desktop and mobile devices individually or simultaneously. For mobile targeting, you can target users using iOs and Android devices. 

Quora says that making separate campaigns is more effective as it aids advertisers with their budget utilization and optimization. Budgets are determining at the campaign level so it’s not possible to put more ad spend to a device if you’re targeting both device and desktop in your campaign. 

Why does this mean for you?

Quora is slowly entering the advertising platform steadily and it’s been adding new options and updating its features to cater to the needs of advertisers and marketers. Its number of users comes close to Twitter, Pinterest, and Reddit and it won’t be surprising to see it increasing. 

The survey included 9,500 respondents with an average age of 15.8. Results show that Gen Z watched more YouTube videos than Netflix shows. 

Apparently, teens are spending most of their time streaming videos on YouTube rather than Netflix. A survey from 9,500 teens found out that 37% of teens’ daily video consumption was spent on YouTube as opposed to the 35% of daily consumption on Netflix. Meanwhile, Hulu has 7% of teen’s viewing time and 3% to Amazon Prime Video. 

The survey shows how popular YouTube among Gen Z and highlights the challenges that other streaming platforms are facing to reach these young consumers. 

Catching Gen Z’s attention 

Some of the biggest consumers are the Gen Zs and advertisers know this. Network TV ia looking for ways to shift their viewing habits from online streaming to traditional TV. However, Nielsen surveys show that the younger generation’s TV consumption dropped by half for the last five years. 

YouTube outranks all other social media platforms 

In terms of streaming, YouTube beats Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. According to Pew, the viewing time for platforms are as follows: 

  • YouTube 85%
  • Instagram 72%
  • Snapchat 69%
  • Facebook 51%

On the streaming front, YouTube got a total of over 250 million hours per day beating Netflix’s 164.8 million hours per day. 

This can be accounted to the massive library of content on the platform. Among its users, three personalities garner the highest of views among teens – David Dobrik, PewDiePie, and Emma Chamberlain. It’s also investing in making original programs that feature popular YouTube creators. Teens can watch it for free with ads or without ads using YouTube Premium, its subscription service. 

Breaking through Gen Z’s watching habits

Netflix’s success in targeting teen audiences can be accounted to its series such as Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why, and Stranger Things. In contrast to this, the creators of startup BratTV realized that Gen Z wanted longer content, a step beyond memes and short clips. Their brand works by creating videos that are free and putting it on YouTube on regular schedules on a platform that teens can tune into their channel for free. 

What does this mean for you?

Brands and advertisers want to be in on the things that attract the attention and interest of the younger generation. They are great in number and their purchasing power is doubled with time. As YouTube tops battle for attention, advertisers and marketers can put a portion of their ad spend on the said platform. 

Google will be using machine learning in managing ad frequency when third-party cookies went missing. 

Google first made an update in August based on its goal to improve its user privacy and preserve access to ad-supported sites. This week, Google is making progress on their goal. 

The changes will be felt in the coming weeks in both Display & Video 360, and will soon carry over to Google’s ad platform. This change came about in order to further improve user privacy but at the same time, enable marketers and advertisers to serve ads effectively. 

When third-party ads are restricted or blocked by users, the advertisers no longer have control over how many times their ads show. Users might end up seeing the same repeatedly without the advertisers knowing about it. This compromises their ads’ marketability and affects users’ experience. 

Machine learning feature 

The new feature will use machine learning to see and analyze traffic patterns when third-party cookies are used. It then builds models to predict the pattern when the third-party cookies are restricted or blocked. Google’s product manager for ad privacy, Rahul Srinivasan said that the feature will allow them to estimate how likely users visit different publishers who are showing the same ads through Google Ad manager. Even without the third-party cookie, they will be able to optimize how the ads are shown to their users. 

Google raises the bar 

Google is always a front runner when it comes to setting standards in delivering products and at the same respecting users’ privacy. Using AI to manage ad frequency is another step closer to the search engine’s goal of helping advertisers and publishers maintain their access to the content on the internet. 

What should you care?

Cookies have been crumbling down according to reports. This new feature is a response to Apple when it continued to push against cookies and ad tracking to improves Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention. The ITP blocks advertisers and ad networks’ abilities to use cookies. Along with privacy concerns from both GDPR and CCPA, advertisers have been battling against the system. 

Google now relies upon the models to inform advertisers how their ads are delivered when the advertisers don’t have the access to that data. Advertisers can turn to Google to see how their ads are doing and how they can improve it despite the lack of third-party cookies.

 Toys R Us partners up with Target to launch its new website. 

Toys R Us faced some major financial struggles last year but are now trying to get back to their feet with new partnerships including Target. Target announced a partnership with the toy company to help it relaunch the site ToysRus.com. This deal will give the toy company an online presence since they’ve filed for bankruptcy.

Richard Barry, Tru Kids’ CEO shared that Target was tapped to be the partner company since they already have good command in the toy business. Aside from that, Target also has a strong supply chain and a clear understanding of how the toy industry works. 

The new website 

Barry added that the new site isn’t only for making purchases. It’s also expected to become a source for parents to look for the latest toys to buy for their children including the newest educational tools for kids. The site will also have video content and product reviews. 

“…the website is immersive and heavily content-oriented… One of the things we have been working on with the initial launch is to make the site very relevant for consumers this holiday season,” says Barry.

With Target backing the toy company, Toys R Us can focus their efforts on ensuring the success of their relaunching and secure their longevity in the industry. Target will then take over their online portion and brand dealings. 

What’s in it for Target?

Target has been expanding its investments in the toy industry. To prepare for the holiday season, Target added a quarter-million square feet to over 500 stores in the U.S. for their toy section. There are also some 100 branches that will get a remodeling to get a toy aisle. 

Last August, Target partnered up with Disney for their stores to have exclusive rights on selling Disney toys, apparel, and accessories. There have been 26 stores to date with more stores to open for the next year. 

This new partnership with Toys R Us’ mother company, TRU KIDS will further Target’s reach into the toy industry. Nikhil Nayar, Target’s senior VP of marketing said that this partnership will accelerate their business. 

Online presence for brands

Toys R Us knows that online presence is imperative to keep the business going. The online marketing industry is important for businesses, as it has a huge influence on how consumers, make their purchasing decisions. 

Advertisers and brands best make their investments for digital presence in order to become competent in their industries.

A merger is the next best thing for many digital marketing companies as S4 Capital’s MediaMonks announced a $150 million merger with Silicon Valley’s biggest digital marketing agency. 

Founder of S4 Capital, Martin Sorrell announced its expansion, in which they acquiring Firewood, the largest advertising agency in Silicon Valley. Sorrell said that Firewood has a list of clients comprised of Silicon Valley’s finest. This merge is expected to help S4 Capital with its expansion goals of doubling the size of the company by 2021. 

MediaMonks was also acquited by S4 Capital in 2018 as part of the plan for a better, faster, and cheaper advertising solution, it’s partnering up with the digital agency, Firewood. 

Firewood digital agency

Founded by Juan and Lanya Zambrano in 2010, Firewood has grown to have headquarters in Silicon Valley and six more offices around the globe. The company’s 300 employees are focused on creative, strategy, planning, and performance media, and technology services. Firewood digital agency has worked with Google, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Waze, and other platforms in the past.

The digital agency makes an embedded model for its clients. These models act as an extension to its clients’ marketing team. 

S4 acquisitions 

S4 Capital has been busy looking out for companies to merge with to accelerate their plans of expansion, and the acquisitions don’t stop with Firewood and Mediamonk. The company acquired the programmatic solution provider MightyHive last year. In April this year, S4 Capital acquired the Amsterdam-based video production Caramel Pictures and ProgMedia which is a Brazilian programmatic advertising specialist. 

Furthering their expansion with Firewood digital agency, Sorrell said that this merger is an opportunity to create a new era in communications services. With Firewood’s client list, the S4 Capital family is very much excited about the many things they can do together. This deal increased S4’s employee number to 1,800 in 23 countries and a market cap of $600 million. 

Despite the merge, Firewood will still operate under its own name and its office. The organizational structure will also be the same. Zambrano said that their company had several suitors due to their explosive growth but it was S4 that proved to be willing to take up their requirements. Firewood wanted to keep the culture of its company, diversify its clients, and enhance more opportunities for their employees. 

Firewood digital agency will be paid $112.5 million, in cash and in shares and will also be paid an additional $37.5 million if the agency reaches its expected operating target this year. 

Snapchat isn’t just for sharing your short videos, it’s also a platform for achieving business goals.

Snapchat has 200 million daily users worldwide making it one of the biggest digital platforms around. Despite Snap having a massive number of users, marketers have been hesitant to use a portion of their ad spend due to the misconception that reaching an audience can be difficult. Brands reservations also stem from the platform’s lack of ability to track conversion but that’s changed now. 

However, some big brands were able to break through the barrier such as Gatorade and Warby Parker. These brands are now making an excellent return due to their Snapchat marketing campaigns. 

Here are some suggestions –  

Invest in branded lenses and filters

Snapchat lenses and filters build hype and increase engagement. The filters are premade and are added to your Snapchat photo while the lenses are AR to change one’s appearance and voice. 

Using filters and lenses make your posts funnier and more in the loop. It’s a great way for brands to invite and users to check out your brand thus improving brand awareness and presence. 

One great example of this is Gatorade’s use of geo-filter that enabled users to pour drinks of their heads. The Superbowl fans enjoyed their game experience and built up more excitement due to that branded geo-filter. The excitement was apparent with over 160  million impressions on Snapchat. 

Track Your Insights

Its Snapchat Insights, which is fairly new, is a huge help for brands to check how their ads and contents are doing. Users have access to detailed information about their content. 

Always check the metrics that matter:

  • Number of story views
  • Length of time that viewers watched your content
  • Daily numbers of users reached
  • The age range of the target audience 

The results of these analytics will help you refine your marketing strategy and reach your niche audience. It’s also a huge help when making targeting campaigns. 

Verizon Media uses a 5G mobile network to support is updates and AR ads. 

The rise of technology is inevitable and it’s coming for all of us. Verizon Media is fast on its feet with the new updates in mobile networking and it’s now putting its faith to the 5G technology to stay ahead of the game. 

The media company launched its 5G technology to almost 39% of the 30 cities it’s planning to by the end of 2019. Ivan Markman, Verizon’s chief business officer said that using 5G on their AR ads is like putting the ads on steroids. It makes it more vivid and more instant. He further explained that they’re doing a bunch of experimentation on how to incorporate 5G into their system. 

Verizon Media opened its 5G Labs back in April and its purpose is to test out 5G concepts before they launch it to the public. This is where all their magic happens. 

As of now, the media company is focusing on its AR ads using 5G to allow a more interactive experience between AR and live events. Verizon is also planning to launch AR ads in full-screen native Moments ad-platform. This will be seen in Verizon’s family apps in Yahoo such us the News, Weather, Finance, and Sports. 

Other benefits of 5G technology

One of the many ideas that are piloted in Verizon’s 5G Labs is the use of 5G and robots for human safety. Based on the test, a mini humanoid robot is controlled nearly in real-time and automatically computes and adjusts one’s gait. The robot’s ‘eyes’ will send the video data to a human operator who will respond to the call. 

5G’s fast connection is helpful to efficiently transmit data between the robot and human support. This new feature will decrease minor to major accidents from happening. Another Verizon initiative is its partnership with the Mcity Test Facility where they are looking out for ways to use 5G to improve pedestrian safety and veer away from traffic accidents. 

What does this mean for you?

As for public safety, 5G will be helpful to improve conversations between people and improve the safety of many. 

As for the ads, AR ads weren’t a thing looking back two-three years ago. However, recently the trend of AR ads is ever more increasing. According to the Verizon Media, this interest in AR advertising isn’t going anyway anytime soon. In fact, it will only become more prevalent in the future. Just this year alone, marketers will spend roughly $44 million for AR advertising.