This week: Facebook is facing a lawsuit from advertisers, marketers are shifting ad budgets from Google to Amazon, and Pinterest has revamped its Ads Manager.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
TrueView for Action Ads Now Count ‘Engagement’ at 10 Seconds Instead of 30 Seconds
YouTube is making some changes to TrueView for action ads.
If you’re unfamiliar with TrueView for action ads, they’re YouTube ads that include call to action banners at the bottom.
Here’s what’s changing:
- Engagement will count at 10 seconds. In other words, when a user watches the ad for at least 10 seconds, YouTube analytics will register that as an engagement. In the past, YouTube counted engagements only when the user watch the video for at least 30 seconds.
- A conversion will be counted when a user takes action within 3 days of an engagement. That’s a change from 30 days.
YouTube says it’s making the changes to better reflect “the relationship between video ad exposure and conversions.”
Google Launches AdLingo, a Conversational Marketing Platform
How would you like people in your target market to literally have a conversation with one of your online ads? Now you can make that happen with AdLingo.
AdLingo is a conversational marketing platform. It’s a display ad with a built-in virtual assistant.
Think of it as an ad that functions like a messaging app.
Google is working with three companies to deliver the conversational part of the ad: Valassis Digital, LivePerson, and Take.
Here’s how it works: you run an AdLingo campaign on the Google ad network. It looks like a standard display ad except that it also includes a familiar chat interface. Your virtual assistant will start the conversation with something like: “How can I help you find what you’re looking for?”
There’s a field in the ad where people can type in a query. For example, they can type in something like: “Find me a mountain bike.” The conversation will continue from that point.
AdLingo ads are charged on a CPM basis.
Facebook Cracks Down on Sensationalized Ads
Facebook is making some changes to improve the quality of the ads displayed on its platform.
For starters, the company will demote or remove ads that withhold info. That includes ads that with sensationalized headlines designed to elicit a reaction but fail to deliver on the promise in the landing page content.
Next, Facebook is also cracking down on engagement bait ads. Those are the kinds of ads that lead with an interesting anecdote and end with something like “you won’t believe what happens next.” That’s going to hurt marketers who follow the example of classic headlines from the history of copywriting.
Facebook also says that it will disapprove ads featuring low-quality content.
The social media giant has been fighting clickbait headlines since 2014.
Just in Time for the Holidays: Pinterest Revamps Ads Manager
Undoubtedly, Pinterest engineers worked long hours to get some new ad platform features rolled out just in time for the holidays.
The new and improved Ads Manager includes a campaign setup wizard that guides you through the advertising process with step-by-step assistance. You can also use it choose a business goal, select an audience, and pick the pins you want to promote.
Additionally, you can select ad placement options at the ad group level.
It gets better. Ads Manager now allows you to schedule ads and create new pins without requiring you to exit the campaign setup.
In addition to the overhaul of Ads Manager, Pinterest also updated its Product Pins system. Now, you can add dynamic pricing and stock info to your ads.
Product Pins replace Buyable Pins. The new ad format is rolling out globally on pinterest.com and on mobile apps.
Google Rolls out Two New Landing Page Reports to the Report Editor
Google is adding two new landing page reports to the Report Editor. They’re unimaginatively called the Landing Pages Report and the Expanded Landing Pages Report.
Both of those reports were already available in the Landing Pages section of Google Ads. But now that they’re in the Report Editor, marketers can chart the data, play with the numbers, and add the info to custom dashboards.
The Landing Pages Report includes the page mobile speed score, its mobile-friendly click rate, and its valid AMP click rate.
The Expanded Landing Pages Report includes all of the same info in the Landing Pages Report plus the URL that users reach with custom parameters and contextual substitutions.
YouTube Enables Advertisers to Target Users on Connected TVs
Now you can target YouTube viewers on connected TVs.
That’s because Google is adding a new “TV screens” device type for ads. Google already includes computers, phones, and tablets in its list of supported devices.
People who watch YouTube on devices such as video game consoles and smart TVs are eligible to see the ads. So are Chromecast and Apple TV viewers.
Google also offers analytics for the TV screens device type so you can gauge the impact of your ads.
According to a statement by the search giant: “YouTube ads shown on a TV drove a significant lift in ad recall and purchase intent, with an average lift of 47 percent and 35 percent, respectively.”
The new device type is available as of this week.
According to him, the answer is: a lot.
Mueller also said that folks who specialize in technical SEO might become more valuable than their non-techie counterparts in the coming years.
DuckDuckGrow: That OTHER Search Engine Hits a New Milestone
Privacy advocates will love this news.
DuckDuckGo announced a new record this week: 30 million daily searches.
That figure, by the way, is a 50% increase from last year.
If you’re unfamiliar with DuckDuckGo, it’s a search engine that stands apart from the others because it offers privacy. It doesn’t track users.
That’s no good if you’re a digital strategist who’s into remarketing. But if you’re a casual Internet user who’d rather not be followed all over cyberspace, it’s an awesome place to find info.
The company’s mission statement says it all: “Too many people believe that you simply can’t expect privacy on the Internet. We disagree and have made it our mission to set a new standard of trust online.”
Even with its phenomenal growth, DuckDuckGo still has a long way to go to catch up to Google.
Survey: Marketers Shifting Ad Spend From Google to Amazon
Marketers are shifting a significant percentage of ad dollars from Google to Amazon. That’s according to a CNBC survey of advertising agency executives.
A Havas Media exec, for example, claims that 20-30% of his agency’s clients are moving as much as 70% of their search budgets to Amazon.
Two additional ad agency leaders say that some companies are increasing Amazon budgets by 200-300%.
“Every company I know that sells on Amazon is basically moving budget to Amazon because they have no choice,” says Mark Douglas, CEO at Steelhouse.
Unsurprisingly, the spend shift is coming primarily from consumer packaged good companies.
Lawsuit: Facebook Misled Marketers About Video Engagement
According to a new federal lawsuit, a group of Facebook advertisers allege that the company engaged in unfair business practices with bogus analytics that “significantly overestimated the amount of time users were spending watching video ads.”
Further, the plaintiffs also claim that Facebook discovered “irregularities” with the average duration of video viewed metric back in early 2015, but failed to take action until mid-2016.
That sluggish response time points to a deliberate effort to cover up the problem, according to the lawsuit.
Although Facebook did admit to an error in the metric, the company said it overestimated video watch time by a maximum of 80%.
Not so, according to the plaintiffs, who claim those metrics were inflated by 150-900%.
Facebook says the lawsuit is “without merit.” It’s moving to dismiss the case.