It’s an ad, ad, ad, ad world.

Now that so much media consumption has moved online, advertising dollars were sure to follow. This week, we look at how digital ad offerings are expanding as the industry continues to mature.

Picture This: Google Image Search Ads

Google continues to expand its offerings for placing relevant digital ads in every nook and cranny of the internet. The latest innovation is that shopping ads will now show up in image searches. Organic listings will take a hit, but for those brands with e-comm as a part of their sales experience, getting the Google Shopping Feed set up and then placing those shopping ads in digital image searches is just another way to sell, this time visually instead of text-based. We think that this new ad placement, combined with remarketing (RLSAs), this is a powerful 1-2 punch for advertisers.

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Putting Your Business on the Map

Here’s another innovation coming out of Mountain View. As one of the few Google Managed Agency Partners in Texas, we got a visit this week from our reps, who gave us the inside scoop on some Google innovations for digital advertising. Among them was the introduction of “promoted pins” within Google Maps. Simply put, “Maps users may start to see promoted pins for nearby coffee shops, gas stations or lunch spots along their driving route.” In an obvious integration of a Waze feature, brands can now advertise and add value during a user’s normal experience of getting (and using) driving directions. We’ve experienced more difficulty trying to integrate Waze into our clients’ ad campaigns, especially since its user base is relatively small (though very active). So, we are excited to try these ads for some of our retail and restaurant clients, since Google Maps has a higher user and adoption rate.

Facebook Expands Video…Again

Meanwhile, Google’s main competitor (in terms of digital ad platforms) is starting to run video ads on its own ad network, called Audience Network. While they originally rolled out direct response ads, Facebook is now turning its attention to brand awareness ads, with their “optimized CPM” method of measuring impressions. While we aren’t fans of impression-based marketing, we are interested in seeing how this will help Facebook expand its ad network, as well as how effective it ends up being. With Google rolling out CPC-based performance display (and video) ads, it’s becoming more fun (and complex!) to figure out how to allocate our clients’ digital advertising budgets.

Those Crazy Kids and Their Ad Preferences

While Facebook rolls out more ad options, young users are showing signs of fatigue when it comes to targeted social ads. That’s no surprise, but what is interesting is that Facebook ad revenue continues to grow like crazy. The reality is that while young users don’t like OVERT ads, they do accept and engage with high-quality sponsored content. The other type of branded content they appreciate and respond to? Content produced by influencers and celebrities, sponsored by brands.

It’s exactly what we are seeing, and preaching to our clients: focus on producing compelling, delightful content that actually adds value to the user’s experience. Bonus points for collaborating with micro (or major) online influencers.

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Mo’ Money, Mo’ Online Video Ads

A major part of the engaging content mentioned in the last article commentary is video. We are seeing more and more clients shift dollars meant for TV into mobile (and desktop) video content. Whether it be animated GIFs, motion graphics, or 5-10 second video clips, the future of digital advertising is in video. Combine that with the fact that both Google and Facebook are incentivizing video ads and promoted posts by charging a fraction of the cost of running static visual ads. The result is that brands are investing more in high-quality, message-focused, short snippet videos. Our clients are moving more in that direction, and we have staffed up an in-house production team to help those clients ride the incoming wave of cost-efficient video content.

 

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So how do you put all of this to use and build a successful digital advertising campaign? It just so happens that we published an in-depth recipe for paid media success earlier this week. Of course, if you hate to “cook” or simply don’t have the time, you can always contact us for help.