This week: people are falling out of love with Facebook, LinkedIn rolls out more video options, and digital ad spend continues to outpace TV ad spend.
Here’s what happened this week in digital marketing.
LinkedIn Rolls out More Video Options
LinkedIn is offering brands two new video options on its platform.
First, companies can now run native video ads. They appear in the LinkedIn newsfeed as sponsored posts and auto-play on mute.
— LinkedIn Marketing (@LinkedInMktg) March 29, 2018
That’s similar to video content you see on other social media platforms.
Second, brands can now embed videos on their profile pages. According to LinkedIn, company page video is 5x more likely to start a conversation among members.
“B2B marketers and professional audiences and professional contacts — they can use the video [tool] we’re launching across their funnels. Whether they’re looking to generate brand awareness, sending people to websites to take an action or connecting leads, they can showcase the video and if the member watching is interested, they can collect the leads right away,” said Abhishek Shrivastava, director of product for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.
Instagram Adds Full-Screen Support for Story Ads
As you probably know, Instagram has evolved from 1:1 aspect ratio content to supporting landscape and full-screen content. That’s created a problem for advertisers who want to advertise on the platform but don’t want to manage multiple creatives.
That problem no longer exists.
This past week, Instagram announced that it will automatically convert square or landscape ad formats to full-screen format.
The change will apply to any single image or a video that’s 15 seconds in length or less. Of course, videos must also follow the recommended aspect ratio of the Instagram feed.
Instagram is rolling out the new feature to encourage more advertisers to run Story ads.
Forecast: Digital Ad Spend Will Continue to Outpace TV Ad Spend
Digital ad spend will eclipse TV ad spend again this year, according to a new forecast.
Zenith Media, a marketing company, says that TV ad revenues will reach $187 billion this year. Digital ad revenues, on the other hand, will amount to $227 billion.
The company forecasts global expenditures to grow by $77 billion this year, with the United States and China leading the way.
Unsurprisingly, mobile will be the single largest contributor to online ad growth.
The company also predicts that digital ad spend will take almost half (44.6%) of the overall ad market by 2020.
Facebook to Stop Showing Audience Reach Estimates for Custom Audiences
As if Facebook needed another PR mess on its hands.
This past week, a research team from Northeastern University said that it could infer the attributes of an individual included in a custom audience list of emails. The group said that other personally identifiable information (PII) was also exposed.
The team alerted Facebook about the vulnerability. In response, Facebook pulled the plug on reach estimates from campaigns that use custom audiences.
“We’re grateful to the researchers who found this issue, and we’ve suspended this feature to fix it. People’s privacy and security is incredibly important to Facebook, which is why we take any potential abuse of our service very seriously,” said Mary Ku, product management director at Facebook.
Bing Expands Ad Coverage to Bottom of Search Results Pages
If you like to advertise on Bing, you’ll be happy to learn that there will soon be more ad space available on the search site.
Bing is expanding ad coverage to the bottom of the search results pages.
According to Bing, bottom space ads allow for rich ad formats.
The company is, however, eliminating sidebar text ads. So that’s one opportunity you won’t have available in the future.
“As part of the constant evolution of the Bing search engine results page (SERP) to provide more value for our users and our advertisers we are regularly evaluating performance and quality of our ads, including ad position on the SERPs,” Bing said in a statement.
The changes have already started rolling out.
AdWords Releases New Keyword Planner Tool
For years, the Google AdWords Keyword Planner tool has been a favorite choice of SEOs everywhere. It just got a makeover.
While the overall design has been simplified, it offers new features that digital marketers will love, such as the ability to add keywords in bulk and show forecasts.
Also, you can view device and location info without busting through numerous tabs.
You can see the updated version of the tool if you’re using the new AdWords experience.
Google Formally Announces Rollout of Mobile-First Index
It’s here. At least, officially.
Don’t kid yourself, though: the rollout really began months ago. Google just put it on the record within the past few days.
Mobile-first indexing is Google’s way of crawling websites as a mobile agent instead of a desktop agent. That means it will “see” sites through the viewport of a smartphone, tablet, or phablet.
Sites that don’t perform well or look great on a mobile platform won’t rank well in the mobile-first index.
Google is also notifying site owners about when their websites have been moved to the mobile-first index.
Almost Half Plan to Use Facebook Less Because of Cambridge Analytica Scandal
According to a survey conducted by securities firm Raymond James, 45% of Facebook users plan to use it “significantly less” or “somewhat less” because of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Only 8% of users said they’d stop using it completely, though.
In 2015, Cambridge Analytica retrieved info about tens of millions of Facebook users in violation of Facebook’s terms of service.
In 2016, the Trump campaign and pro-Brexit group Vote Leave hired Cambridge Analytica. According to whistleblower Christopher Wylie, the company provided the ill-gotten Facebook user data to its clients for microtargeting purposes.
“We exploited Facebook to harvest millions of people’s profiles and built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons. That was the basis the entire company was built on,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, lots of people don’t appreciate that.