This week: Facebook has a new tool for partners, Google shuts down the social media site you never used, and wait until you hear about how much marketers are spending on video ads.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Facebook Rolls out Ad Effectiveness Tool for Marketing Partners
Facebook is making it easier for marketing partners to gauge the effectiveness of online ads.
This past week at Facebook’s annual Global Partner Summit, the social media giant unveiled a new ad diagnostic tool called Creative Compass.
Creative Compass “scores” various elements of a Facebook ad, including message comprehension, brand association, and visual quality.
Facebook already displays a relevancy score for ads, but Creative Compass offers much more granular detail.
At this point, Facebook is testing the new tool with select Facebook marketing partners (FMPs).
If you’re unfamiliar with FMPs, they’re vendors screened by Facebook to assist advertisers with ad technology, creative platforms, offline conversions, and analytics.
“Creative Compass is an innovative tool that provides us with a quick, non-biased review of creative,” says Jonathan Hendrickson, CEO of mobile ad creative firm Shuttlerock. “As we continue to scale mobile-optimized creative globally, the ability to diagnose positives and negatives of ad creative across regions empowers us to make accurate creative decisions for different cultures. Meaningful and standardized reporting like this is fast and convenient, and we can quickly learn if what we’re doing works.”
Google Will Shut Down Google+
Here’s some news that probably won’t affect you one bit.
As of August 2019, Google will officially shut down Google+.
If you’re not familiar with Google+, you’re not alone. It’s Google’s social media channel.
Hardly anybody uses it.
Of those that do use it, 90% of sessions are less than five seconds.
To add insult to injury, Google reported this past week that third-party developers gained access the data of hundreds of thousands of Google+ users. The company didn’t want to disclose the breach “because fears that doing so would draw regulatory scrutiny and cause reputational damage.”
Did you catch that last bit? Google tried to keep it a secret because it was concerned about damage to its reputation.
Fun fact: it almost never ends well when companies try to hide bad news from the public.
Now, Google looks even worse and the company’s PR team is working overtime.
Forecast: Video Expected to Reach 25% of Digital Ad Spend This Year
Here’s more evidence that video advertising works.
According to a forecast by eMarketer, online video ad spend will reach $27.8 billion this year. That’s about 25% of all digital ad spend.
eMarketer also says that video makes up more than half of the ad dollars spent on Snapchat and Twitter. It’s about 30% of the total spend on Facebook advertising.
Here’s the dollar breakdown per social media channel:
- Facebook/Instagram: $6.81 billion
- YouTube: $3.36 billion
- Twitter: $633.3 million
- Snapchat: $397.3 million
Finally, eMarketer predicts that Facebook and Instagram will make up 24.5% of all US video ad spending this year.
Facebook Unveils First-Party Cookie Solution
This past week, Facebook announced a solution to the problem created by browsers that eliminate third-party cookies.
If you’re unfamiliar with cookies, they’re digital footprints that some websites leave in a browser. Marketers rely on them to target people who’ve visited their sites.
The problem is: some folks don’t like to be followed around cyberspace. They enjoy their privacy.
A couple of browsers (notably Mozilla and Safari) have responded to that consumer angst by adding technology that blocks cookies. As a result, marketers can’t retarget people who use those browsers.
In response, Google developed a first-party cookie last year. It’s a way to capture campaign and conversion data while still playing nicely with browsers that don’t want to support third-party cookies.
Bing also jumped in with its own first-party solution. And now Facebook has followed suit.
Here’s how it works: when a Facebook user clicks an ad, the platform will append a unique string to the landing page URL. If there’s a Facebook pixel on the site, and the user opted in to share first-party cookie data, the browser will accept the unique string as a cookie.
Bottom line: you can continue to retarget people with Facebook. And that’s what’s really important, isn’t it?
Bing Ads Editor Now Supports In-Market Audiences
This past week, Bing announced that it’s added support for in-market audiences in Bing Ads Editor.
An in-market audience consists of people who are likely to respond positively to an ad. Bing creates the audience by looking at the browsing history of its users.
Here’s what Bing has to say about the feature: “Let’s say you’re a car entertainment supplier looking for potential customers ready to buy new car audio systems. Bing Ads finds audience segments who have recently shown interest in this category via search and online activity for car audio systems or related products. You can simply associate the ‘Car Audio’ audience segment with one or more ad groups at once, to instantly reach them knowing they are ready to buy.”
The recent update also enables marketers to create, update, and delete in-market audience associations in bulk.
Google: Word Count, Anchor Text, and Link Count Don’t Have Anything to Do With Quality
A funny thing happened on Twitter this week.
Somebody found an article that ranked at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). He evaluated the article from an SEO perspective and learned the following:
- It had 760 words
- It had 335 anchor text words
- It had 972 backlinks
He tweeted out those stats and tagged Google’s John Mueller with the following snarky comment: “Real quality sites winning in the SERPs.”
Here’s how Mueller responded: “None of those numbers are indicative of quality.”
In other words, quality is determined by the nature of the content itself. It’s not determined by the anchor text ratio, the number of words, or the backlink count.
But note that Mueller chose his words carefully. He said none of those things determine quality. He didn’t say they don’t determine rank.
So it’s still a great idea to create high-quality, longform content that doesn’t rely on keyword stuffing.