This week: Google enhances smart bidding, Facebook has a new toy for advertisers, and wait until you hear about the percentage of marketers who don’t care about voice search optimization.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Facebook Releases Automated Lead Generation Feature for Messenger
Are you a Facebook click-to-Messenger advertiser who’s also in the market for an automated question-and-answer solution? If so, you’ll want to pay attention to this news.
Facebook is rolling out an automated Q&A experience within Messenger. It launches in response to a user clicking the “Send a Message” button on a click-to-Messenger ad.
You can integrate the new tool with your favorite CRM platform. Additionally, you can continue the conversation with the customer via the Facebook Page Inbox.
The tool also automatically sends reminders to folks who haven’t responded to questions.
Facebook Might Remove “Like” Counts
This past week, Facebook confirmed that it’s considering hiding “Like” counts.
The company offered no further comments.
Facebook-owned Instagram is already testing the removal of “Like” counts in seven different countries.
If both platforms follow through on eliminating “Likes,” it will likely have an impact on brand-influencer relationships. Companies that are willing to pay social media influencers for product promotions will have to find some other way to determine the reach of specific accounts.
YouTube Will Phase out Exact Subscriber Counts to the Public
YouTube is showing abbreviated subscriber counts for accounts with more than 1,000 subscribers.
Publishers will still see their full subscriber counts. However, the rest of the public will only see abbreviated numbers.
For example, if a channel has 12,345 subscribers, the public will see “12.3k subscribers.”
In other words, it’s a distinction without much of a difference.
The change is rolling out gradually during the entire month of September.
Report: Very Little Correlation Between Online and Offline Consumer Conversations
Social media listening might not be as valuable as you think.
According to a new report by Engagement Labs, online and offline consumer conversations are very different.
Here are a few of the key takeaways from the report:
- Marketers shouldn’t rely on social media listening to gauge public sentiment or to evaluate the impact of a business decision
- Brands should measure online and offline conversations separately
- Marketers should study the differences between online and offline conversation participants
Engagement Labs is on record as saying: “Success in one ecosystem does not translate automatically into the other. Only a marketer prepared with a good map, a smart strategy, and the right gear can expect to thrive in both the online and the offline ecosystems.”
Google: 55% of Consumers Use Videos to Make Purchase Decisions
According to Google, more than half (55%) of consumers use videos for research purposes.
“For more and more shoppers, video is becoming indispensable when they’re ready to buy,” Google said in an article. “In fact, more than 55% of shoppers globally say they use online video while actually shopping in-store.”
Here are the three ways that online video influences shoppers, according to the report:
- A shopping list – People identify items they need to buy from videos. Examples include ingredients in a recipe or tools used in a DIY project.
- Self-confidence booster – Netizens often research how to do something on YouTube. Once they’ve seen a few demos, they get a dose of self-confidence and believe that they can repeat what they’ve just watched. As a result, they go shopping for the necessary materials.
- Social proof – People use video reviews to make informed decisions, especially when it comes to high-ticket items.
Unsurprisingly, Google uses its own study to recommend YouTube advertising.
New Research Highlights Most Annoying Ads According to Consumers
A recent study by Bizrate Insights reveals the kinds of ads that consumers find most annoying.
You won’t be in the least bit surprised to learn that two-thirds of U.S. digital buyers found auto-play ads with sound on websites the most irritating type of advertisement.
Second place? Auto-play video ads that play without sound.
That was followed by:
- Audio ads
- Ads that display based on searches
- Banner ads for products already purchased
- Social media ads that display based on interests
- Banner ads for products browsed but not purchased
Ten percent of respondents said they didn’t find any digital ads annoying.
Report: 72% of Marketers Have No Plans to Optimize for Voice Search
According to a new study, almost three-quarters (72%) of marketers have no plans to optimize for voice search.
In a related story, you could have a serious competitive advantage if you decide to optimize for voice search.
Only 17% of marketers polled for the study said they’ve already optimized or will optimize for voice search within the next year.
Only 35% of those polled said they plan to optimize for image search during the next 12 months.
The study identified video marketing as the top priority for strategists in the coming months.
Google Showing Competitor Ads on Local Business Profiles
Well this isn’t very nice.
Google is starting to show competitor ads in local business profiles.
How does the ad show up there? It’s part of a Local Campaign. The advertisement is designed to drive customers to a local business.
Some people think that Google will start charging the owners of business profiles to remove competing ads.
That wouldn’t be very nice, either.
Google Penalizes Domain Leasing
Warning: Google does not look kindly on domain leasing.
If you’re unfamiliar with domain leasing, it’s the practice of leasing out subdomains to other businesses so they can improve search rank.
In the past, Google warned sites not to lease out subdomains. This past week, the company took action.
Several members of the SEO community recently tweeted out examples of sites that the Big G penalized for leasing subdomains.
Interestingly enough, the un-leased subdomains from those same parent domains aren’t getting hit at all. Google isn’t quite ready to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Google Ads Now Offers Seasonality Adjustments for Smart Bidding
The summer is past so now it’s time for seasonal smart bidding. Fortunately, you can do that with Google Ads.
In a nutshell, seasonal smart bidding gives you more control over search and display campaigns.
“Let’s say you’re planning a flash sale for the weekend,” Google said in a statement. “Historically, you’ve seen a 50% increase in conversion rates when you’ve run a similar sale. With seasonality adjustments, you can apply a predicted conversion rate adjustment and Smart Bidding will consider that adjustment for the date range selected, while trying to hit your target CPA.”
You can find the new feature under “Bid Strategies” in Google Ads.