Digital Insights: January

08 February 2017

Time to take five, sit back and reflect upon all that's happened in the world of PPC last month.

It is fair to say that January has seen a very interesting start to 2017.  Barack left the White House, Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States and we lost a legend, John Hurt.

However, January hasn't been all bad. For example, La La Land (and Ryan Gosling) swept us off our feet with 14 Golden Globe nominations and Ed Sheeran released two great songs.

It's also been a pretty big month in the PPC Digital Marketing world. Time to take five, sit back and reflect upon all that's happened in the world of PPC last month.

Google routinely weeds out Bad Ads. Now it Weeds Out Bad Ad Publishers

Thanks to an expanded set of policies and improved technology, Google took down 1.7bn bad ads last year, more than double the number it took down in 2015, according to its Bad Ads Report.  Mark McColgan, Account Strategist at Loud Mouth Media, says we are delighted that Google is continuing to tackle bad ads and content on its platform. Unfortunately, bad ads disrupt the online experience for users.  They promote illegal products and unrealistic offers, and can trick people into sharing personal information and infect devices with harmful software. Ultimately, bad ads pose a threat to all internet users, businesses and Google Partners.

Google also removed 200 publishers off one of its ad networks in the fourth quarter.  Google and Facebook both announced they were beginning to crack down on websites promoting fake news sites; the sites in question would no longer be able to use the advertising services both Facebook and Google provide. 

A New LinkedIn Interface Is Coming

LinkedIn has started to roll out a substantial redesign.   Not everyone has it yet, but it's coming soon for everyone, and it's definitely a bid to keep up with the cutting edge of web design.

The redesign cleans up the interface substantially, fully committing to the card-based look the site has been flirting with for the past two years. Icons are simplified and are a closer match to the mobile experience. And some features that were hard to find before are now front-and-centre.  We would go as far to say, the new LinkedIn is very like Facebook!

Google Brings Automated Call Extensions To Mobile Ads

This month we received notification from Google informing us that call extensions will be automatically included in mobile ads, where the landing page prominently features a phone number.  The change commenced on 6th February 2017.  Google has taken it upon themselves to roll this out by default. 

With regards to our clients, there are there are some cases where have built in mobile call extensions as part of their strategy.  However, for other clients we have opted out of these extensions as our clients prefer to capture leads/ convert in alternative ways.

Insights and Ads in Instagram Stories

There is no stopping Instagram - especially when it comes to Stories.   Instagram Stories now attracts 150 million active users to the platform every day, nearly as many as their rival Snapchat! So, it would seem only natural protocol that the social network is branching this opportunity out to advertisers in order to reach a wider audience.  

  • Ads in Stories

In the coming weeks, you'll soon be able to run immersive, full screen ads in stories. Ads in stories will let you use targeting, reach and measurement capabilities that make your ads are personally relevant to the people you want to reach.  Instagram is partnering with more than 30 brands including Airbnb, Netflix, Nike and Maybelline New York to test this new 15 second, sound-on, video Ad Format. 


  • Stories Insights

In addition to Ads in stories, Instagram Business Tools will now include insights on stories. For businesses converted to a business profile, you'll be able to see the reach, impressions, replies and exits for each individual story within Business Tools. By viewing these insights, you can learn how to create more relevant content that resonates with your audience.

Director of Marketing Operation at Instagram Jim Squires said: One of the requests we've gotten from businesses is that they want more advanced tools for targeting and reaching people even beyond their followers inside this new experience. We're going to take all the targeting, delivery and measurement that people have access to on Facebook and Instagram and apply that to stories with this new immersive format that will be available.

According to Instagram, these features will be rolled out globally in the next few weeks!

Google Display Network To Begin Serving Ads With No Targeting 

Google has announced changes to how it will be targeting ads starting on 18th January 2017. From that date forward, all ad groups with no targeting method selected will be displayed throughout the entire Google Display Network (GDN).  Display and video ad groups that don't have a targeting method were paused starting 18th January 2017 to ensure that ads weren't showing to audiences that weren't intended.

However, advertisers will have to be cautious about targeting any ad groups that are created, because after January 18th 2017, Google will be pushing them out regardless of whether or not they're targeted.  Going forward, it is imperative to always manually pause any new ad groups that aren't ready or that you don't want to show ads to.

At Loud Mouth Media, we recognise that it is best practice to evaluate the targeting options whenever we create an ad group, so we are can choose the one that best aligns with our client's business goals.

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