This week: Instagram adds GIFS, Google allows users to mute remarketing ads, and more stats on the growth of PPC.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Google AdSense Now Offers Automated Styling for In-Feed Ads
Google will now let you automate the design of your AdSense native in-feed ads.
If you opt to do that, Google’s AI will adapt the style of the ads to your overall look and feel.
Just select “Let Google suggest a style” when you create an in-feed ad unit. Then, select an element from the feed (font, color, etc.) that you want the ad to match.
You can still use manual styling if that’s what you want.
Google Allows Users to Mute Repetitive Remarketing Ads
At some point during your voyages through cyberspace, you’ve undoubtedly seen the same remarketing ads repeatedly. Now, you can mute those ads.
Google recently updated its ad settings so that web surfers can silence retargeting ads that they’ve seen too many times. They’re called “reminder” ads in the user interface.
When a user mutes a “reminder” ad, he or she no longer sees remarketing advertisements from that company for 90 days.
Of course, if you’re the advertiser who’s running remarketing ads, the new feature is necessarily a good thing.
Huffington Post Kills Contributor Program
Way back in 2005, The Huffington Post launched a contributor program. It allowed people to effectively guest-post on one of the most popular websites in the world.
If Google forgets about them in a month, you have bigger problems than SEO 🙂
— John ☆.o(≧▽≦)o.☆ (@JohnMu) January 24, 2018
If you’re one of the contributors who wrote for Huffington Post as a way to boost your brand, you’ll have to look for new marketing channels.
You’ll still be able to login to the Huffington Post contributor platform and access your old content, though.
Marin: Paid Search and CPC Growth Doubled Last Quarter
Marin Software saw paid search grow 10% year-over-year in Q4 2017. The company also reported that CPC growth reached roughly 20% during the same period.
Mobile CPCs hit 25% year-over-year and accounted for 53% of total ad spend.
Google captured 89% of the search spend share. Only 11% went to Bing.
Marin also reported that click-through rates (CTRs) increased from about 1.75% to 2.5% during the quarter.
The findings are reported in Marin’s Q4 2017 Digital Benchmarks Report.
Twitter Improves Image Cropping
Twitter uses an automated cropping system to improve display consistency. Unfortunately, that system often highlights the wrong part of the image.
Now, Twitter will use a neural network to predict the most interesting part of the image. The new cropping system will highlight that part of the picture.
Here’s more from Twitter on the subject:
Academics have studied and measured saliency by using eye trackers, which record the pixels people fixated with their eyes. In general, people tend to pay more attention to faces, text, animals, but also other objects and regions of high contrast. This data can be used to train neural networks and other algorithms to predict what people might want to look at. The basic idea is to use these predictions to center a crop around the most interesting region.
Twitter says the updates are currently being rolled out.
You Can Now Add GIFs to Instagram Stories
If you’ve been looking forward to the day when you can add animated GIFs to your Instagram Stories, that day is here.
Now, there are numerous GIFs available with transparent backgrounds that you can add to your existing Instagram images. The new images are available thanks to an Instagram partnership with GIPHY.
Have had this functionality for a while now – looks good pic.twitter.com/GYUhGOhgKX
— Niks Evalds (@NiksEvalds) January 23, 2018
Here are the instructions from Instagram:
When you tap to add a sticker to a photo or video in stories, you’ll now see a new GIF option. Tap it to open a library full of hundreds of thousands of moving stickers powered by GIPHY. You can browse what’s currently trending on GIPHY or search their extensive collection to find a sticker for just about anything. From bouncing letters and twirling hearts to dancing cats and pizza in space, these animated stickers help you make any photo or video funny, interesting or creative.
Some analysts believe that the new feature is yet another threat to Snapchat.