This week: Google rolls out new ad position metrics, Oracle has a new tool for pre-bid ad filtering, and holiday sales are projected to hit a new record.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Oracle Data Cloud Offers Pre-Bid Ad Filter
This past Tuesday, Oracle announced a new pre-bid ad filter service. It evaluates inventory for viewability and invalid traffic before a programmatic bid is placed.
If the technology detects any issues, then no bid will be placed.
The new solution combines two technologies, both owned by Oracle:
- Grapeshot – Scans web pages for brand safety.
- Moat – A verification and measurement service. Moat also produced the pre-bid software.
Oracle’s pre-bid filtering integrates with demand-side platforms such as Adobe Advertising Cloud, dataxu, Amobee, The Trade Desk, and MediaMath.
Demand-side platforms are tools used by digital marketers to manage programmatic ad buying across several networks.
US Christmas Sales Forecasted to Top $1 Trillion for the First Time
We’re going to set a new record in 2018.
For the first time ever, U.S. Christmas sales are expected to top a trillion bucks.
According to eMarketer, American merchants will haul in $1.002 trillion between November 1 and December 31. That’s a 6% increase from the previous year, or the strongest growth since 2011.
Low unemployment, an increase in disposable income, and higher consumer confidence will all contribute to the record-breaking holiday sales.
“While e-commerce will continue to see strong double-digit gains, brick-and-mortar retail should be a particular bright spot this holiday season,” says Andrew Lipsman, a principal analyst with eMarketer.
“Not every brick-and-mortar retailer is thriving, and several have shut their doors this year, but others are really capitalizing on the strong consumer economy. Retailers are luring in shoppers with remodeled stores, streamlined checkout and options to buy online, pick up in-store.”
E-commerce will capture 12.3% of total U.S. Christmas sales, representing an increase of more than 16% from 2017.
Shocking Study Shows That Brand Trust Affects Purchase Decisions
A new SurveyMonkey survey shows that brand trust affects consumer purchase decisions.
According to the research, brand trust matters “a lot” or “a great deal” to 65% of those polled. It matters “some” to 27%.
Further, trust is an important consideration for:
- Financial services products (90%)
- Medical services (91%)
- Consumer electronics (83%)
The study also showed that brand spinoffs are trusted by 73% of respondents.
How can brands generate trust? According to the research, they can do it by “listening to [their] customers’ voice and opinions, and then acting on those insights.”
A good web presence can help as well, especially with millennials.
Here are the different ways businesses can lose trust:
- Poor experience with the product (75%)
- Poor customer service experience (71%)
- Product or service that doesn’t live up the promise (67%)
Also, offensive ads could affect brand trust. Twenty-one percent of millennials said that lack of diversity in an ad would diminish their trust in the brand.
Booking Spent More Than a Billion Dollars on Google Ads Last Quarter
That’s “billion” with a “b”.
Booking.com, the company that owns Kayak and Priceline, invested $1.3 billion in “performance marketing” last quarter. That spending was “primarily related to the use of online search engines (primarily Google).”
Be sure to recite that figure the next time a client complains about spending too much money on online ads.
According to Mark Mahaney, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, “north of 80%” of Booking’s “performance marketing” dollars go to Google.
That’s about 3.6% of Google’s total third-quarter ad revenue.
LinkedIn Updates Campaign Manager for Objective-Based Workflow
This past week, LinkedIn announced that its new Campaign Manager will include an objective-based workflow.
Here’s what that means: when you create an ad on LinkedIn, instead of starting with the ad format (Text Ad, Sponsored Content, etc.), you’ll instead begin by identifying a campaign objective. That object could include a conversion, a website visit, or more engagement.
Once you’ve identified your objective, LinkedIn will let you select from relevant ad formats.
The new Campaign Manager also includes additional features:
- A forecasting panel that projects ad results
- A comparison utility that shows how your campaign stacks up to similar campaigns
LinkedIn says the beta design of Campaign Manager will be available to all users on November 14. The new version with objective-based ads will roll out around the middle of next year.
Instagram Allows Users to Add IGTV ‘Previews’ to Stories
Soon, you’ll be able to add a screenshot from an IGTV video to an Instagram Story. Users can watch the full video when they tap the screenshot.
If you’re into marketing with both Stories and IGTV, you might find a use for the new feature.
Obviously, though, Instagram is rolling out the change to help IGTV gain a little traction. So far, it hasn’t attracted very many publishers.
In fact, a number of brands have said it’s too early to determine what types of content will work on IGTV.
Facebook Rolls out Instagram Analytics and Advanced Analytics for Facebook Pages
Facebook is rolling out a couple of new analytics tools.
The first is Instagram account analytics. It gives you much better data than you can get from Instagram Insights.
Here are some of the features in the new Instagram analytics tool:
- Retention rates and lifetime value of users who interact with your Instagram content
- The ability to create segments with engaged audiences to determine overlap between users who’ve visited your site, downloaded your app, or interacted with your Facebook page
The second tool is the advanced analytics tool for Facebook pages. Here’s what Facebook has to say about that: “Now, beta advanced Page analytics give you a broader view of the impact of your Page by including more valuable events (defined as actions people take on your Page), including Post Impression, Page follow/unfollow, Page like/unlike, and more.”
The Facebook analytics tool also allows you to create audience segments, follow the path to purchase, and track conversions.
Google Releases Document Showing How to Handle Lazy Loading
This past week, Google released a document explaining the right way to do lazy loading for SEO purposes.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of lazy loading, it refers to the web practice of loading images and other resources only on an as-needed basis. That way, the page loads quicker.
The downside to that practice is that the Googlebot might “miss” some content that’s lazy loaded. That content won’t get indexed.
And when content doesn’t get indexed, it doesn’t rank.
You should read the document. If you’re in a hurry, though, here are the need-to-know bits:
- Load content when it’s visible in the viewport.
- If you have an infinite scroller, be sure that you also use standard pagination so Googlebot can jump around from page to page with scrolling forever.
- Use Puppeteer or some similar solution to test lazy loading.
Bing Allows Advertisers to Set Targets and Monitor Progress
Now you can set targets on Bing Ads and monitor your progress towards reaching those targets.
Here’s what Bing’s Performance Targets allow you to do:
- Set periodic targets for ad spend, clicks, and cost-per-click on whole groups of campaigns
- View a forecast of campaign performance
- Check if you’re on track by comparing projected performance to actual performance
- View the history of your performance targets
Google Chrome Cracking Down on Abusive Experience Ads
You’d better make sure that the ads on your website are delivering what they promise.
Google Chrome 71 will target websites that deliver abusive experience ads. It will block ads on sites that fail to comply.
What’s an “abusive experience ad”? It’s an ad that tricks users into taking an action that they didn’t want to take.
For example, a button that tricks users into downloading a file is an abusive experience ad.
Google has given publishers until December to fix any problems currently on their sites.
Pinterest Rolls out Ad Format That Allows Advertisers to Promote Multiple Products in One Ad
Pinterest is introducing a new type of ad format that allows you to promote up to five products in a single ad. It’s called the “Promoted Carousel.”
As you can imagine, the ad format lives up to its name. It’s a carousel. You’d use it to show images of products that you’re selling.
When users click the product image, they’re taken to the product detail page.
You could use the new ad format to display five different images of the same product. But it’s probably best to use the carousel as a mini-shelf highlighting different items.
Each image in the carousel can have its own image, title, description, and landing page.
Google Ads Rolls out New Ad Position Metrics
Google Ads is giving you four new ad position metrics:
- Impressions (Absolute Top)% – The percentage of your ad impressions that appear at the very top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Impressions (Top)% – The percentage of your ad impressions that appear above the organic results.
- Search (Absolute Top) IS – The number of ads that appeared at the very top of the SERPs as a percentage of the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in that location.
- Search (Top) IS – The number of ads in the top spots as a percentage of the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in those locations.