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Tag Archives: advertising

TWITTER ABRUPTLY CALLS OFF IT’S “BUY NOW” SERVICE, REVEALS BUZZFEED REPORT

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Twitter recently put brakes on its two-year-old eCommerce plan. The company is reportedly disbanding the team managing the “Buy Now” Button project. According to media reports, the company disclosed its e-commerce plans in September 2014 by rolling out the “Buy Now” button on its timeline. This button enabled users to complete the purchase of a product within their tweets on Android and iOS devices. On abruptly calling off its e-commerce plans, the company cited obvious reasons saying it’s plate is too full at the moment. This is the reason why majority of the team members handling the “Buy Now” project either opted to resign or shifted to other departments such as customer support desk or the Product Advertising section, which needed a beef up on an urgent basis.

Having said that, the decision made by the company hardly comes as a surprise, with the social e-commerce model not being in demand as seen in these two years. About the reasons behind the company calling off its e-commerce plans, Buzz media reports,

“people are not buying on social media right now.” If so, it doesn’t justify the continuation of development for a product that may not necessarily convert for the microblogging network. However, it appears that dynamic product ads are performing well, and customer service is a big focus for user retention. Social commerce may have been a consideration under Twitter’s former CEO, Dick Costolo, but with Jack Dorsey at the helm, it was important for the company to realign its efforts toward what makes sense for today, and social commerce just wasn’t part of that vision.

According to on-going social trends, the company’s dynamic ad platform is a proven performance model and as per the company, it is performing quite remarkably. This is the reason why the company wishes to keep investing in the platform. In its statement to BuzzFeed, Twitter stated that as per its current plans the company wishes to keep investing in the dynamic product advertising model.

But in distant future who knows if the company will again revisit its social e-commerce model.

GROWING BING SEARCHES HARDLY AFFECT GOOGLE’S SEARCH MARKET DOMINANCE

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If comScore’s last month’s search market report is anything to go by then the search market leader, Google has clearly been outperformed by the ever increasing Bing searches. On one hand, the second-ranked Bing searches grew by 0.2%, while on the other hand the number one ranked Google searches dipped by of 0.2%.

The last month dip reported in the number of searches takes Google’s overall existing tally of US-based desktop searches to 63.8% – a 0.2% dip in the previously held 64% mark, as opposed to Bing-powered US desktop searches which are sitting pretty at 21.6%.

The growth of Windows10 version could be the reason behind Bing desktop searches in the US overtaking Google, as Microsoft-powered Bing searches thrive mostly on integrated desktop operating platforms.

The other reason could well be the increasing number of voice-enabled searches being made on Bing’s platform, which rose to 25% largely due to contributions from Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. However, comScore’s report strictly takes into account only desktop searches.

Yet, Microsoft’s “Cortana” and the latest Windows10 version, both could have played a significant role in the increasing volume of voice enabled searches being made on Bing’s platform. Speaking of Windows10, it allows users to conduct a voice-based search from anywhere using “Hey Cortana” as the search command. This has led to more Windows users upgrading themselves to the latest Windows version, which could have contributed to the desktop voice search volume on Bing.

It will be interesting to see if the same trend continues in the next month as well. But Google, without any doubt still remains the desktop search market leader. It is next to impossible to see any change in that status in the foreseeable future, but credit to Bing for at least attempting to try the improbable.

GOOGLE RESTRICTS PAYDAY LOAN ADVERTISERS FROM USING ITS ADVERTISING PLATFORM

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Google recently updated its personal loan advertising guidelines that will have an impact on a lot of financial players in the market. According to its new advertising guidelines, Google’s not going to let misleading ads and sites that openly promote dangerous payday loan offers to use its AdWords advertising space.

…we’re banning ads for payday loans and some related products from our ads systems. We will no longer allow ads for loans where repayment is due within 60 days of the date of issue. In the U.S., we are also banning ads for loans with an APR of 36% or higher.

Because of the Short Payback Periods

As per new AdWords guidelines, Google will no longer accept and show ads promoting payday loans requiring repayment within a couple of months. The reason being, Google doesn’t intend to host brands that run ads promoting higher interest rates and short repayment cycles as they may lead a lot of borrowers to sink into unmanageable debts. By banning offers from websites that can possibly harm the end user, Google’s latest policy update will help businesses that offer better repayment options to the consumer.

This change is designed to protect our users from deceptive or harmful financial products and will not affect companies offering loans such as Mortgages, Car Loans, Student Loans, Commercial loans, Revolving Lines of Credit (e.g. Credit Cards).

Taking a cue from Facebook and other online advertising platforms, Google’s banning ads from websites that mislead users into buying short repayment cycle bound personal loans. As per its existing Ad policies, Facebook bans any form of paid advertising on its platform that promotes payday lending, irrespective of their repayment terms.

Because of the High APRs

Also, Google intends to restrict advertisers that promote personal loans having more than 36% of APRs. This, in turn can impact several online businesses which offer personal loan schemes, with over 36% cap through their site content or via SEM ads.

Short Repayment Loans and Payday Loans are particularly infamous for offering loans at higher Annual Percentage Rates (APR). However, escalation in the rate of interest can reach over 400% mark, which totally depends on the borrowed sum. Leveraging these kinds of loans puts greater financial burden on the consumer, who finds himself unable to clear the debts owing to the saddling of high-interest rates.

When reviewing our policies, research has shown that these loans can result in unaffordable payment and high default rates for users so we will be updating our policies globally to reflect that.

Google’s latest endeavor is so designed to protect consumers from getting involved in deals that could harm them financially. In order to protect borrowers, Google’s pushing for small loans at 36% APR cap on both federal and state legislationlevels, which will help counter the devastating impact that 300% loans have had on struggling families.

By restricting sites offering personal loans with high APR and short payback time, Google’s trying to protect the consumer from getting involved in deals that are difficult to pay off. However, this may take time, as the 36% Rate Cap is Gaining Renewed Acceptance and notices are being sent across to personal loan issuers to make their site content and offers compliant with the new personal loan based guidelines in the next couple of months.

BING LURES ADVERTISERS BY ROLLING OUT NEW CALLOUT AND REVIEW AD EXTENSIONS

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Improving the quality of your displays ads with extensions is one of the best ways to make your website stand out in front of your target audiences. To help advertisers achieve that, Microsoft-powered Bing network recently rolled out not one, but two ad extensions. According to reports, Bing rolled out two ad extensions last week, viz Review and Callout extensions, in all Bing ad markets; except in countries like Taiwan and Hong Kong. Hence, advertisers can make use of both these extensions to not only build trust but also increase their click through rate. Let’s see how advertisers can make use of both these extensions that will now be a part of Bing’s ad network.

Callout extensions

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As an advertiser, you can add up to 20 Callout extensions in your ad campaign and display as low as two Callout extensions in your ad group.

But, as to how these callouts show-up on the ad network may vary in terms of the ad format. The ad shown above displays two lines of callout ad extensions, wherein one features dot separators (“Free Cancellation”) and the other shows up with dash separators (“The 20 best hotels in Chicago, IL”).

Review extensions

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Review extension is quite useful as it helps to extend the authority of the site. To do that effectively, you need to get reviews from your industry specific, credible sources. Besides that, these reviews must show up on the landing pages that are specifically designed for this purpose. To have a positive impact on your site, reviews need to be worked out accurately along the lines of the original review idea.

The ad display shown above has two lines of callouts and extended site links which come along with review extensions, displaying a review from the World Travel Awards.

Advertisers can add both these new features from the Ad Extension tab on their Bing Ads dashboard.

GOOGLE ADDS TO LOCAL SEARCH MARKETERS’ WOES BY BRINGING TWO AD CHANGES

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Google likes to be in control and that’s why it keeps making changes in its search algorithm, to keep businesses guessing and the search industry on its toes. This time again Google made some changes to the local SERPs. These changes will have an impact on searches pertaining to the physical location of businesses, especially retailers and service providers.

Ads to Now Appear in Local Finder Results

Business ads find themselves in a new space, in the Local Finder results as big brands are being forced out of the local SERPs. Locating these branded ads now becomes a task as the user has to click on the “More Places” option that is being served in Google’s three pack search results. Brian Barwig, the local SEO specialist spotted these ads first in the Local Finder results.

Panic will set in amongst businesses with ads being moved to a new place. But this also serves an opportunity for businesses, especially the lowly ranked service providers and retailers who will now have to figure out a new way to find a place in Google’s top three search rankings. They will have to do so quickly as the new functionality now requires a user to click on the “more listing” option in Google’s SERPs to search for information about the bottom listed businesses. Besides that, SEOs will have a hard time figuring out how to move their clients’ organic search ranking to the top of the SERPs.

The ads that now show up in the Local Finder results will make use of AdWords extensions to get a physical location for listed businesses. The process is similar to the updated Google Map feature that uses AdWords location extensions when searching for a business location. But unlike results in Maps, Business Ads listed in the Local Finder results are not pinned on the Map results.

Let’s see what a Google spokesperson has to say about this new experimental test. “We’re always testing out new formats for local businesses, but don’t have any additional details to share for now.”

Google Maps No longer a Search Partner

Besides announcing a few changes in how ads will show up in Google Maps, Google has now officially removed Google Maps as a Search Partner. On one hand, Google is doing away with the regular text ads and on the other it may soon display ads along with location extensions in Google Maps. Moreover, Google has also made it known to businesses about its decision to remove Google Maps services as a Search Partner.

Here’s what the changes in the Maps’ status may mean to the users

  1. Businesses using location extensions will now be able to run ads in Google Maps to see a surge in their click through impressions when their ads are displayed in the Maps.
  2. Businesses that are search partners but opted out of the location extensions could witness a drop in their click through impressions since their ads are no longer being displayed in the Maps.

Google plans to include more businesses in Maps Ad auctions, which is why it’s been included as a part of Google’s search inventory. Google’s emphasis on location extensions is purely on the basis of it’s over dependence on structured data and feeds, which online retailers will vouch for.

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

GOOGLE NOW INVITES ELECTRICIANS AND HVAC SERVICE PROVIDERS TO JOIN ITS HOME SERVICE ADS NETWORK

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As a part of its latest endeavor, Google’s inviting small business owners like plumbers, locksmiths, home cleaners and other home service providers to better advertise their services on its home service platform. This initiative by Google is directed towards revamping its home service ad platform, which fell short of the company’s expectations last summer after receiving a lukewarm response from customers.

To expand the home services ads platform, Google recently carried out an experiment that enabled users to call or text Google to find a local plumbing service provider. After plumbers, Google’s now inviting HVAC service providers and electricians to advertise their services on Google’s home service ads platform.

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After testing beta testing, Google rolled out home service based ads to the San Francisco Bay users in July, 2015. Generally, these home service ads contain listings of three service providers along with their ratings, contact numbers and a call to action button that sends a request to them.

This service enables users to send contact request to up to three local service providers, which now includes plumbers, locksmiths and electricians or HVAC service providers.

After taking care of the formalities, home service business owners can set up their account in Google AdWords to increase their search visibility.

Besides San Francisco Bay, Google’s home service ads are also available to Sacramento advertisers.

The move further indicates that Google has lost confidence in its algorithmic search capabilities to return reliable and trustworthy information or that it’s just trying to move in a new direction, away from the automated algorithmic searches.

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

IT’S TIME TO EMBRACE FUN AND INTERACTIVE IN-APP MOBILE ADS

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There’s no denying the fact that we all love to hate those annoying ads that pop up suddenly. The reason being, we don’t often find these time-consuming ads to be interesting and that’s why we tend to block them when they show up. But making these ads a bit more interactive could possibly make them more acceptable to the users.

In order to make them user-friendly, CrossInstall, a mobile programmatic platform recently announced the launch of interactive PrePlay ads. These ads allow users to try out the demo version of a game, before being directed to the App Store or Play Store to install it on their devices. According to Newzoo’s 2015 Mobile Marketing Report, the net worth of the gaming industry comes to round about $35 billion. This means that acquiring new customers to play games could prove to be a bit more challenging due to the rise in user acquisition costs. Ads may be annoying but they are a necessary part of the marketing campaign and often end up providing great marketing solutions. Hence, serving playable ads to users could help achieve more compelling views from potential customers.

Here’s what Jeff Marshall, CEO and Co-founder of CrossInstall was quoted as saying through a press release:

“CrossInstall’s PrePlay ads are designed to be interactive, playable ads that are tailored to the individual user, from casual to hardcore gamer, creating a fun and dynamic engagement. For users to return to a game, they have to experience and enjoy the first session. Playable ads remove this first step so the first point of contact happens before the download.”

Noticeably,  CrossInstall conducted an experiment and found that 30% of users went on to install an advertised app after a trial run.

GOOGLE TARGETS US AUTOMOTIVE ADVERTISERS THROUGH AUTOMOTIVE MOBILE SEARCH ADS

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This time Google’s doing its bit to help the cause of US automakers by launching specialized mobile search ads for US auto manufacturers and dealers. Google had initially announced this in May last year, but it is only now being made available to Google AdWords subscribed US advertisers.

The US automotive advertisers, especially the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) can now run Model Automotive ads via Google’s mobile search ads for automakers and models. Google’s mobile search ads include large resolution automotive model images, performance details along with the manufacturers’ website links, nearby available dealers and other information.

At present, US auto manufacturing giants such as Ford and Toyota are relaying their ads on Google’s model automotive ads platform for some of their models. About the customer engagement rates, Google says that on an average it’s 30% on the higher side as compared to standard text ads.

Dionne Colvin-Lovely, Director of Traditional and New Media for Toyota Motor Sales, USA says, “Across our core line of car models, we’ve seen a 45-percent increase in conversion events and a 30-percent decrease in CPA compared to standard text ads.”

The US automotive franchise and authorized dealers can also make use of the new format for mobile ads on Google. The new format for automotive ads includes location and directions with the click-to-call functionality for local dealers, which is currently being displayed at the top of mobile SERPs. The dealer ads combine well with the Model Automotive Ad version, which is easily accessible from the “Dealers” tab.

The fact that more than half of Google powered automotive searches now happen on mobile is what Google took into consideration while coming out with automotive search ads for US auto dealers and manufacturers. Besides that, Google image searches of car and truck brands increase by 37% year over year and the mobile platform contributes to 80% of these searches. Also, Google searches for nearby car dealerships is now twice more than in the previous year, with the mobile platform again contributing to almost 80% of these searches.

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com. You can also check out our Pay Per Click packages if you’re looking out for professional help.

MOBILE AD BUDGET UP BY 150% WITH PUSH-ENABLED USERS BEING MORE ENGAGED

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Recently, similar mobile app reports were released from Kenshoo and Localytics. The former one talked about the key trends noticed in app acquisition data of 2015, while the latter one talked about the engagement and customer retention benchmarks set in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Of the two, the Localytics report took into consideration global data, whereas the Kenshoo report selected 100 countries across the globe for data on the advertising spend and the number of app installs.

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According to the two reports, the ad spend to attract app installs in the fourth quarter of 2015 had increased by over 150%, as compared that in the fourth quarter of 2014. This data includes the click through rates, the number of app installs and the user based impressions, which also grew significantly during the same time period.

According to Kenshoo report, the seasonal price fluctuation had minimum or no impact as compared to the other digital metrics. The cost stability was at its normal best, conceding a meaningful price cut in the cost-per-install ratio. As per Kenshoo report, the ever so pricey iOS platform delivered low performance metrics in comparison to the Android platform.

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The most noticeable feature of the report was the rise of Instagram as an app marketing platform. According to the Kenshoo report, the low priced Instagram ads were also found to be less productive as compared to Facebook when it comes to attracting app installs. The company, however, didn’t share a similar viewpoint and stressed that its platform is indeed an effective medium for driving app installs.

According to the app install report, a maximum number of users (67%) removed apps from their devices in the second month itself, after using it for first 30 days. After the initial period of first three months of an app install, the retention rate of the customers dropped to 25%.

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Let’s see what the Localytics report suggests regarding the general app engagement

  • The average number of App Launches  — 11.48 average app launches on a monthly basis.
  • The average period of Session Length — 5.17 minutes on an average spent in any individual app on a monthly basis.
  • The average time spent in an app — 59.35 total minutes spent in apps on a monthly basis.

According to Localytics report, app engagement of the users who enable push notifications is likely to differ from those who don’t. Additionally, it’s likely that more than half of the users, who don’t have push notifications enabled on their devices may visit the app only once. The push notifications enabled users have a healthy average of 15.5 app launches on a monthly basis, as compared to the average 6.2 app launches by users who disabled push notifications on their devices.

Here are the top five channels listed by Localytics through which US app users acquire their apps

  1. Organic Channels
  2. Facebook
  3. Opera Mediaworks
  4. Tapjoy
  5. Instagram

For more info, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com.

THIS IS WHY YOU MUST USE HASHTAGS

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The hashtag is a tagging system used in social media to categorize content & deliver relevant search results. Just adding a hashtag in front of any keyword or phrase, transforms it into a hyperlink. When clicked, it leads to all the content containing that same hashtag. Adding hashtags makes your content public as it becomes viewable to anyone on the network, even if they are not connected to you.

Hashtags are extremely effective when used properly and can provide you with many benefits. Some of them are listed below:

1. Increase Brand Awareness

You can boost your brand awareness by adding hashtags to your content. It will enhance the reach of your posts by luring the audience that is searching for content mentioning the same keywords or phrases. For example, Apple launched a new phone & everyone is searching for it on social media using the hashtag #AppleNewPhone. So if you post information about the new phone & use the same hashtag, you will be able to cater to those thousands of information hungry searchers, even when they are not following you or connected to you by any means.

2. Elevate Promotions

Product-based hashtags not only help you with promotions but also let you monitor your progress. Use product-based hashtags if you are launching a new product, as it has proven to be powerful in raising awareness. You can also encourage other social media users to use your hashtags by offerings some kind of reward in return.

3. Seek Out New Trends

Hashtags are also great for finding out current trends in your specific industry. All you have to do is click on a hashtag & you will be able to see the discussions carried out by your competitors, customers & everyone else who is part of your industry.  Of course, not every result will be relevant, but you will get the required information for sure.

4. Start Your Own Conversation

You can start your own conversations through hashtags. Of course playing around with popular & trending hashtags will save you some time & promotional efforts. But that doesn’t mean that you are compelled to follow others; you can first promote your hashtags and then try and start an entirely new thread. You can use it either for commercial purposes (Direct branding) or for social welfare (Indirect branding).

5. Organize Social Dashboards

Keeping track of relevant & trending hashtags allows you to stay on top. There are many websites that allow you to organize trending hashtags into columns, thus providing you with valuable insights into news related to your niche. You can either search for trending topics and then create content around it or you can do it the other way around.

Final Thoughts

Hashtags are very easy & effective in categorizing, finding & enhancing the reach of your content. But don’t overdo it, otherwise it will hurt the readability of your posts. Use relevant & trending hashtags and keep track of all the popular ones so that you can utilize them to the maximum.

For more info on how to effectively utilize hashtags, write to us at sales@ebrandz.com and our reps will be in touch with you right away.