This week: retail ad spend skyrocketed in the second half of last year, Pinterest has some new advertising goodies, and Google is making it easier to promote your most recent offerings.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
Pinterest Formally Launches Shopping Ads, Introduces Catalogs
Pinterest is making it easier to sell your products on its platform.
Additionally, Pinterest launched Catalogs, a feature that lives up to its name. Now, you can upload multiple product images, organize them by category, and promote them as dynamic Product Pins.
One caveat: if you want to use Catalogs, you need to claim a domain on Pinterest.
Pinterest is also beginning to roll out new sections that include products from specific retailers. Users can access those sections by clicking a “More from…” link.
Additionally, Pinterest users will see a “More Ideas” button that will show them product pins related to products they’ve already viewed.
Amazon Launches New Program to Combat Counterfeiters
This past week, Amazon announced a new plan to reduce counterfeit products on its platform. The program is called Project Zero.
As of now, though, it’s by invitation only.
How does it work? It starts with automation.
Machine-learning technology scans all five billion products offered for sale on Amazon. It will proactively remove any counterfeit products.
The program also offers a self-service removal tool. It gives sellers the ability to remove counterfeit products on their own.
In other words, they won’t have to file a report and wait for Amazon to take action.
Finally, Amazon is also rolling out a product serialization service. It issues unique codes to sellers so they can place them on their products.
When a customer orders a product that includes a serialization code, Amazon will scan the code to verify authenticity.
Quora Rolls out Bulk Ad Creation
Apparently, Quora will never stop upgrading its ad platform.
This week, the company announced that you now have the ability to create and edit ads en masse.
How do you do it? Just list your ads line-by-line in a CSV file or Excel spreadsheet.
Thankfully, Quora Ads Manager offers a template that you can download so you’ll know how to structure the document.
Once you’ve included all your ads, you just need to upload the document to Quora. The system will parse it and start running the advertisements on its platform.
The new feature is a great way to streamline the ad creation process if you’re serious about using Quora to promote your brand.
Google Allows Businesses to Create Offer Carousels
Now you can create a carousel of offers that appear in your business profile.
Here’s how it works: when people find your business via search, they’ll see your most recent offers in a carousel. Each offer is displayed as a card.
If people want more info about an offer, all they need to do is click the “View offer” link at the bottom of the card.
You’ll need to create each offer as a post in Google My Business. Once you categorize a post as an offer, GMB will allow you to specify the following info:
- Start date
- End date
As of now, Google allows you to include as many as 10 unique offers in your carousel.
Instagram Unveils Local Business Profile Pages
Instagram is making it easier for its users to learn more about your business.
This past week, the company rolled out a new feature: in-app profile pages. They look strikingly similar to Google local knowledge panels.
Instagram profile pages include business hours, its phone number, the address, and a website link.
If there’s a profile page for your business, you can claim it as long as you have access to the Facebook page for your business.
Once you claim the page, you can edit its info.
Instagram hasn’t formally announced the new feature as of yet.
Facebook Fights the Fraudsters
Facebook is cracking down on companies that offer fake likes, fake followers, and fake accounts.
In a related story: don’t be one of those companies.
This past Friday, Facebook filed a lawsuit against four companies and three people for fraudulent activity.
This is a recurring theme among well-known high-tech companies. In November, Instagram announced that it was purging fake followers, fake comments, and automated likes.
A while back, e-commerce giant Amazon announced legal action against people who buy fake reviews.
Google: That 301 Redirect Trick Doesn’t Work
Let’s file this one under: “You Can’t Outwit Google.”
Many black hatters have used the so-called 301 redirect trick in an attempt to rank their websites.
It might have worked in the past. It doesn’t anymore.
That’s according to Google’s John Mueller, who wrote about this tactic on Reddit recently.
He was responding to somebody who asked the following question: “Whitehat or blackhat? Seo consultant advised me to buy a similar domain to the main, they will create web2.0, backlinks, blog comments and forum posts to that domain. I then use a 301 redirect to the main domain. He says that’s how everyone’s ranking quickly these days.”
Here’s how Mueller answered that: “The 301 basically makes the main site canonical, meaning the links go directly there — you might as well skip the detour, it’s just as obvious to the algorithms & spam team.”
TikTok Was Downloaded More Times Than Instagram Last Year
Keep an eye on this one.
According to app analytics site SensorTower, short-form video app TikTok has been downloaded more than a billion times.
Additionally, it was downloaded more times than Instagram last year.
In fact, TikTok was the fourth most-downloaded app in 2018. The top three positions went to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Facebook.
The app is particularly popular in India. In January, 43% of new TikTok users were from that country.
Google: Never Stop Trying to Improve Website Speed
Did you optimize your website for mobile speed and now you think you’re done with that task forever?
According to Mary Ellen Coe, president of Google Customer Solutions, every business has room to improve when it comes to the mobile web.
Milliseconds can earn millions, she says.
Coe also says that, no matter how fast a site is today, it’s will slow down unless site speed is a consistent priority.
If you haven’t checked your mobile site speed in a while, now would be a good time to do so.
Google Ads API Emerges From Beta
The Google Ads API is now available for use.
Among the new features: the Google Ads Query Language. It offers more flexible queries.
Further, updated client libraries will be released today.
The beta version of the API will go away at the end of April.
Retailers Accounted for Almost 50% of Mobile Ad Spend in the Second Half of 2018
Retailers accounted for 49% of mobile ad spend in the second half of last year. That’s according to a report by mobile ad company Smaato.
E-tailers Amazon and Walmart were among the biggest spenders.
By comparison, retailers only captured 35% of total mobile ad spend in the first half of 2018.
Smaato said that the jump in retail ad spend was expected because of the holidays that occur in the back half of a calendar year.
The company also said Cyber Monday saw more mobile ad spending than Black Friday.
The study looked at mobile ad spend across several different industries, including
media, automotive, retail, healthcare, and food and beverage.