It was a big month in Digital Marketing in October with new shopping features announced across Pinterest, Health Insurance Ads announced for Microsoft Advertising, plus more new ad types across Twitter, Yelp, Pinterest and Instagram. And of course, we can’t forget Facebook’s rebrand to Meta.
ICYMI, here’s what happened in digital marketing last month.
- Microsoft Advertising Key Updates for October
- Pinterest Launches New Shopping Features
- Measurement Changes for Unlinked Instagram and Facebook Accounts
- Twitter Updates Carousel Ad Format
- Facebook Adds Reels Ad Placements to the Instagram Marketing API
- Yelp Introduces Themed Ads
- Twitter Tests Ads in Tweet Replies
- Microsoft Combines Clarity and Advertising
- Microsoft and Yandex Announce IndexNow
- Instagram Adds New Audience Insights
- Snap Inc Launches Arcadia to Help Brands Utilise AR
- Microsoft Advertising Introduces Health Insurance Ads
- Microsoft Partners with Shopify
- Pinterest Introduces “Takes”, New Ways to Watch, Discover and Shop
- Instagram Introduces New Ways for Creators and Brands to Collaborate
- Facebook Announces New Tools for SMBs to Connect with Customers
- Facebook Expands Rights Protection
- LinkedIn Adds Customisable Competitor Analytics
- ACCC Wants Devices to Have Dedicated Screen to Choose Search Engine
- Facebook Announces Rebrand to Meta
- Instagram Enables Stories Link Sticker to All Users
Microsoft Advertising Key Updates for October
Microsoft Advertising has announced a whole host of key product updates for October, including:
- Expanding to 18 new markets so you can target users across more geos
- New view-through conversions with view-through conversion rate, view-through conversion CPA, view-through conversion revenue and view-through conversion ROAS
- Feed improvements on the Microsoft Audience Network so you can easily manage your feed-based campaigns and filter products with more granularity
- CPM pricing for the Microsoft Audience Network
- New open beta for audience targeting: Auto-generated remarketing lists
- RSAs will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited in standard search campaigns, starting June 30, 2022, aligning with Google Ads
- Competitive insights at the multi-account level so you can get a full picture of your competitive landscape
Pinterest Launches New Shopping Features
Pinterest is launching a range of new shopping features.
Slideshow for collections will pull products from your catalogue into an automatically generated collections ad.
“This new feature helps you easily produce lightweight, video-like hero content that’s dynamically created and tailored to every shopper.”
Pinterest has also unveiled merchant details to show your values on your profile. You can show brand values such as “responsibly sourced”, “inclusive”, etc. Pinterest has also expanded the Verified Merchant Program to more countries.
Pinterest is testing Idea Ads with paid partnership, a joint partnership between creators and advertisers. “The creator makes an Idea Pin, and tags a brand partner. From there, the advertiser can promote the Idea Pin as an Idea Ad.”
Measurement Changes for Unlinked Instagram and Facebook Accounts
Starting October 12, if someone does not have their Facebook and Instagram accounts linked in Account Center, Facebook will consider those accounts as separate people for ads planning and measurement. Accounts that are connected will continue to be counted collectively as a single person. This change will begin rolling out over the next few weeks. As the change rolls out, advertisers may see an impact to campaign planning estimates and performance reporting for unique metrics.
Twitter Updates Carousel Ad Format
Twitter has updated its Carousel Ad format with a new option to add custom headlines and landing pages into each frame. The update provides more options to build responsive ads for variable audiences within a campaign. Twitter stated that beta advertisers have seen a 25% lift in click-through rates on average for campaigns that optimise for site visit conversions (relative to single-asset ads).
Facebook Adds Reels Ad Placements to the Instagram Marketing API
Facebook is expanding the usage of Reels ads by adding Reels ad placements into the Instagram Marketing API to enable approved third-party platforms to facilitate Reels ads creation within their digital ads flow.
“We now allow for Reels Ads placements on Instagram via the Instagram Marketing API. This will be available on all current Marketing API versions, and does not require an upgrade.”
Yelp Introduces Themed Ads
Yelp is introducing themed ads for services businesses running search ads. The new ads highlight the specifics of a business that may differentiate them from similar businesses. Current themed ads include “fast-responding” businesses that reply to Request-A-Quote projects within 2 hours and businesses that provide special offers. There is no additional cost to be highlighted in themed ads. Yelp plans on rolling out additional themed ads over time.
Twitter Tests Ads in Tweet Replies
Twitter is expanding its ad inventory by testing ads in tweet threads. The new ad option will show the ad within the first few replies to a tweet. Twitter stated that the test is in early stages and that it will be trying out different frequencies, layouts and ‘contextually relevant placements’ over the next few months.
Starting today, we’re trying something different and testing a new ad format in Tweet conversations. If you’re a part of this test (which is global; on iOS & Android only), you’ll see ads after the first, third or eighth reply under a Tweet. 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/kvIGeYt2vp
— bruce.falck() 🦗 (@boo) October 13, 2021
Microsoft Combines Clarity and Advertising
Microsoft is combining two products to create Microsoft Clarity offering insights for Microsoft Advertising. The new Clarity experience will help you better understand post-click user behaviour and engagement on your landing pages. Through Clarity, you’ll have access to session recordings, instant heatmaps and a powerful analysis dashboard.
Microsoft and Yandex Announce IndexNow
Microsoft and Yandex have announced a new initiative called IndexNow. Any search engine can participate to enable site owners to have their pages and content instantly indexed by the search engine. For now, Bing and Yandex are the two search engines fully participating.
Microsoft wrote that IndexNow enables “websites to easily notify search engines whenever their website content is created, updated, or deleted.” Microsoft also wrote, “By telling search engines whether a URL has been changed, website owners provide a clear signal helping search engines to prioritize crawl for these URLs, thereby limiting the need for exploratory crawl to test if the content has been changed.”
Instagram Adds New Audience Insights
Instagram is introducing new insights about your audience with accounts engaged, engaged audience, reached audience and new transparency for creators who partner with brands. Accounts engaged highlights the total number of accounts that interacted with your content in a given time period.
Instagram is also showing key demographic insights including top cities, top countries, top age ranges and gender as well as a breakdown by followers and non-followers. Instagram will also be providing demographic information about your reached audience. Plus, creators that partner with brands will be able to see the performance of a post when a brand promotes their post with the paid partnership label or creates an ad without a pre-existing post.
Snap Inc Launches Arcadia to Help Brands Utilise AR
Snap Inc, the company behind Snapchat, has launched Arcadia, a new studio to help brands utilise the power of augmented reality (AR) in advertising. Arcadia will be platform agnostic and develop experiences that can live across platform, web and app-based AR environments.
Jeff Miller, Global Head of Creative Strategy said,
“Arcadia is the newest member of Snap’s AR ecosystem that we’ve been developing for the last decade and we have seen proven results with our over 40 trusted partners and success in tools like Lens Web Builder and Creator Marketplace. By launching Arcadia, we are further cementing Snap’s commitment to Augmented Reality as a format that truly pushes the boundaries of creativity and performance in digital marketing”
Microsoft Advertising Introduces Health Insurance Ads
After recently announcing, travel, automotive and credit card specific ads, Microsoft Advertising is now introducing Health insurance ads. The ads will be piloting in the US and are eligible to advertisers targeting US customers with Medicare queries for this year. Health insurance ads are intent-triggered rich placements that provide real-time information to consumers and inspire action, with no keywords required.
Microsoft Partners with Shopify
Microsoft has announced a new partnership with Shopify. Shopify merchants in the US and Canada will now be able to reach more customers using the updated Microsoft Channel app available in their Shopify store. Merchants will be able to reach shoppers more easily on the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network with just a few clicks.
Pinterest Introduces “Takes”, New Ways to Watch, Discover and Shop
At its second annual Pinterest Creators Festival, Pinterest has announced a new suite of creator and Pinner products and experiences globally.
- Pinners now have the option to “watch” with a new feed of Idea Pins users can scroll through.
- “Takes” is a new way for users to respond to a creator’s idea with their own Idea Pin.
- Pinterest also announced “Creators Rewards” its first-ever in-product monetisation program for creators.
- Pinterest is also continuing to make the platform more shoppable, now integrating with AR Try on, enabling Pinners to try on and shop straight from the Idea Pin.
- Additionally, creators can now make their Idea Pins automatically shoppable by enabling shopping recommendations on their Idea Pins.
Instagram Introduces New Ways for Creators and Brands to Collaborate
Instagram is making it easier for creators and brands to collaborate with a few new features.
- Creators are now able to add participating brands they’re interested in working with to their preferred brands list, which gives them priority when brands are searching for creators.
- There is also a new folder in DMs for “partnership messages” where brands and creators can easily find and manage their partnerships.
- Brands can now use data and unique filters to find the right creators for their campaigns and organise shortlists.
- Brands can now expand their reach in Reels with branded content Reels ads.
- Plus new account permissions means creators can enable trusted brand partners to create branded content ads from any of the creator’s tagged feed, stories and reels featuring them.
- Instagram has also announced shops for affiliate creators.
Facebook Announces New Tools for SMBs to Connect with Customers
Facebook has announced some new tools for SMBs, including video and audio calls direct from the inbox and new appointment booking functionality.
Facebook is testing an option to enable businesses to make audio and video calls via Business Inbox in Messenger. Facebook is also expanding live audio rooms to selected SMBs. Facebook is making its appointment tools available to all small businesses. Businesses will be able to set up quick and easy appointment scheduling on their Facebook page.
Facebook Expands Rights Protection
Facebook is expanding its rights protection to help businesses crackdown on unapproved use of intellectual property across its apps, with a new update to its Commerce and Ads IP Tool (which has now been renamed ‘Brand Rights Protection’. Businesses can now upload and save up to 10 images for reference in scanning content across Facebook and Instagram. In addition, Facebook is also expanding the search capacity for the tool beyond paid ads. Brands will now be able to search across Instagram accounts and posts that may be infringing on their rights and report them.
LinkedIn Adds Customisable Competitor Analytics
LinkedIn has added customisable competitor analytics to your LinkedIn Page Analytics Tab. You can add up to 9 of your competitors to benchmark their LinkedIn performance. This new feature enables you to track and compare their follower growth and organic content performance with your own. Soon, you’ll also see more metrics, including engagement rate.
ACCC Wants Devices to Have Dedicated Screen to Choose Search Engine
The ACCC (Australia’s competition watchdog) wants Google to provide a dedicated ‘choice screen‘ for all Android users to choose which search engine they want to use. The call comes after a finding of over a third of consumers don’t know how to change the default browser on smartphones. The call was made as part of the ACCC’s third interim report for its five-year Digital Platforms Inquiry, which specifically looks at the market dominance of Google Search.
Facebook Announces Rebrand to Meta
Facebook has now become Meta. The new name is based around Facebook’s Metaverse. In July, Zuckerberg said that over the next several years, Meta would “effectively transition from people seeing us as primarily being a social media company to being a metaverse company.”
In his founder’s letter, Zuckerberg essentially calls it the next level of virtual reality:
“You will be able to teleport instantly as a hologram to be at the office without a commute, at a concert with friends, or in your parent’s living room to catch up.”
Earlier in the week, Meta said it would spend $10 billion over the coming year to develop the technologies required to build the metaverse.
Instagram Enables Stories Link Sticker to All Users
Instagram is opening up its Stories link sticker to all users. Previously the link sticker in Stories was only available to select accounts. Instagram started testing the sticker option as a replacement to the “Swipe Up” link in August. The feature was only available to verified accounts or those that met a 10,000 follower count.
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