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This week on the latest digital marketing updates: Google is sunsetting the expanded text ads, TikTok reveals a new and effective advertising strategy, InLinks comes up with a new keyword research and content planning tool, Meta introduces new updates on Facebook and Instagram Reels, and Ahrefs launches their new search engine.
Here are the latest news, trends, and updates in detail:
Starting June 30, 2022, Google will no longer allow users to create and edit expanded text ads.
Google announced this change back in August 2021, with the goal of simplifying the way search ads are created and driving performance with automated tools. After June 30, responsive search ads will be the only Search ad type that users can create or edit in Google Search campaigns.
The good news is, existing expanded text ads will continue to serve alongside responsive search ads, and you’ll still be able to access their performance reports going forward. Additionally, you’ll be able to pause and resume your expanded text ads or remove them if needed.
In 2021, Google’s global internal data found that advertisers who switch from expanded text ads to responsive search ads, using the same assets, see an average of 7% more conversions at a similar cost.
To prepare for this change, Google recommends that you have at least one responsive search ad in every ad group in your Search campaigns by June 30. They also shared the following best practices that help advertisers create effective responsive search ads:
Repurpose high-performing content from your expanded text ads and focus on reaching ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ Ad strength
Check your account’s Recommendations page
Pin headlines or descriptions to specific positions in your responsive search ads if needed
Use variations to test different ad versions
Review cross-campaign asset reporting to understand which headlines and descriptions resonate the most with your customers
Evaluate the success of your ads based on the incremental impressions, clicks, and conversions that your ad groups and campaigns receive
Most importantly, pairing broad match keywords and Smart Bidding with responsive search ads can help you reach new, high-performing queries and optimize your bids in real time.
For more details on the sunsetting of expanded text ads, read the Google announcement.
New data from TikTok shows how advertising can be made more effective when brands combine paid and organic content.
TikTok released new insights that reveal how brands can benefit from adding more organic content to their marketing strategy if they primarily post paid ads. The social media platform also found that users aren’t likely to be won over by ads alone. What they want to see from brands is organic content, in addition to paid and sponsored content.
Tiktok reveals that the way to supercharge your strategy in their platform is through the “Always Engaged” approach. According to them, an Always Engaged strategy “utilizes organic and paid, while leveraging creators to help brands reach unique business goals. This integrated approach allows brands to be dynamic, engaged, and active on the platform, leading to an increase in brand love, recall, and resonance.”
Why should you post a mix of organic and paid content on TikTok? These data reveal the answers.
173% increase in top of mind awareness after two exposures to a brand’s content on TikTok – When users are exposed to both paid and organic content from brands, the ads are perceived as less intrusive and don’t interfere with their experience on TikTok.
20% increase in brand love – Organic content is more likeable after viewing a paid ad.
27% increase in brand recall – Organic content has an increase in brand recall when viewers see organic before paid.
18% increase in brand relevance – Organic content is more relevant after viewing a paid ad.
2x increase in return on ad spend (ROAS) – The Branded Hashtag Challenge brought a 2x global increase in ROAS when that participation occurred — and that 2x ROAS amplified all paid efforts.
TikTok shared additional insights and best practices that can help you succeed with the Always Engaged strategy:
Use your organic strategy to test content and creator partnerships.
Work with creators through TikTok’s Creator Marketplace to amplify content.
Paid ads get attention faster and audiences gravitate towards the caption and call to action.
InLinks launches a keyword research and content planning tool that gives more context to keywords.
Most keyword research is based on looking up a keyword’s search volume and CPC value. With its new Content Optimization Editor launch, InLinks introduces meaningful clustering and a whole new approach to satisfying user intent.
Their new Keyword Research Tool aims to:
Take into account the context and verbs used in the search as well as the advertiser’s competition
Group relevant keywords into relevant topic clusters and include meaningful questions that Google searchers actually look for
Help advertisers develop a content plan that not only suggests the keywords and topics but also what questions need answering
In a nutshell, InLinks is launching a tool that goes beyond just keyword research to actually recognizing the context of keywords and the user intent.
User intent is traditionally classified as belonging to different categories such as navigational, transactional, and informational. However, InLinks is getting rid of those labels and instead they’re categorizing user intent using highly specific verbs.
For example, when you take the phrase “renewable energy” and run it by a keyword research tool, the research is done without knowing your website. There is no semantic analysis of the competitors ranking for the term and there is no secondary lookup of phrases, connecting themes together. Identifying intents by the verbs helps drill down to the right keyword topics.
Additionally, InLinks’ new Content Plan is able to automatically group topics into meaningful sections. It comes with little [+] buttons on each section which allows you to select only the content sections that apply to your campaign. The Content Plan also gives the writer a sneak peek into the competition’s way of looking at a topic.
InLinks assures users that although they have moved some of the old functionality around, all of the main capabilities of their tool are still available.
Capitalizing on their fastest-growing content format, Meta announced a range of updates for Reels, including longer clips and new stickers and audio editing options.
According to Meta, the new Reels updates “will not only make it easier to make and edit Reels, but also to get discovered by new audiences.”
These new tools are coming to Facebook Reels:
Create and schedule Facebook Reels on desktop – Users can now create, edit, schedule, and publish Facebook Reels from the web browser through Creator Studio.
Clip to Reels – Meta is starting to roll out video clipping tools on desktop that will make it easier for creators who publish long-form, recorded, or live videos to test different formats.
Enhanced audio tools – Facebook Reels now supports voiceovers and they’ve also launched Sound Sync, which automatically syncs video clips to the beat of a song.
There are also new tools coming to Instagram Reels:
90-second video – The length of Instagram Reels is now extended up to 90 seconds.
Interactive stickers – The poll, quiz, and emoji slider stickers will now be available on Reels.
Import your own audio – Use the Import Audio feature to add commentary or a background sound from any video on your camera roll that’s at least five seconds long.
Reels Templates – Templates let users easily and quickly create their own reel using the same structure as another reel.
On Facebook, Meta is rolling out suggested Reels in Feed globally to help users get discovered by people around the world. While on Instagram, creators have the option to recommend their reels on Facebook to expand the reach of their content.
As a general best practice, Meta reminds creators to focus on original content, since this is prioritized in places where they recommend Reels.
Ahrefs created a new $60 million search engine called Yep, the culmination of the plans that they first announced in 2019.
Yep is a general-purpose web search engine. Soon, it will be available in all countries and more languages. Ahrefs is positioning Yep as a Google competitor and they’re offering two things that can help them earn them the title of being a Google alternative:
Privacy – Yep will not collect personal information (e.g., geolocation, name, age, and gender) by default. They also won’t store search history and IP address. However, what Yep will use are the searcher’s entered keywords, the language preference received from the browser, and the approximate geographical area of the user at the origin of the search, which they’ll deduce from the IP address.
Profit-sharing – The plan for Yep search engine is a 90/10 profit-sharing model, where Ahrefs gives 90% of ad revenue to content creators. They’re doing this to encourage high-value content from publishers.
To put together their search results, Yep will collect website data using AhrefsBot. Every 24 hours this crawler visits over 6 billion webpages and updates Ahrefs’ index every 15-30 minutes.
Ahrefs CEO Dmitry Gerasimenko revealed in 2019 that their ultimate goal with Yep is to “attract the attention of larger companies like Microsoft who can afford to bring the idea to scale.”
Yep’s search engine results page (SERP) is minimal, with only two options: web or news results. There’s also a “knowledge” box on the right side of some SERPs, which shows information from Wikipedia about the search topic. Additionally, Yep gives users the option to try their search on other search engines like Google, Bing, Mojeek, and DuckDuckGo.
Create at least one responsive search ad in every ad group in your Google Search campaigns by June 30, 2022. Follow Google’s best practices in creating effective responsive search ads.
Utilize the Always Engaged strategy on TikTok by implementing both organic and paid content, and leverage creators to reach your unique business goals.
Take advantage of the new updates on Facebook and Instagram Reels and prioritize original content to get discovered by more people around the world.
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