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This week on the latest digital marketing updates: Google Ads creates ad recommendation bundles, Microsoft focuses on visually immersive ads, Google Maps updates their reviews guidelines, TikTok releases a new feature similar to BeReal, and YouTube introduces new solutions for vertical video ads.
Here are the latest news, trends, and updates in detail:
Google Ads opens up new ways to automatically apply recommendations to help advertisers save time and make the most of the existing budget.
Automatically applied ad recommendations help advertisers stay on top of potential optimizations and new opportunities. Now you have more flexibility in how you apply these recommendations through the new version of the “Manage” tab. It’s a place where you can explore recommendation bundles and learn more about each optimization.
To make it easier for you to decide which recommendations are right for your business, you can choose from two bundles with pre-checked applicable recommendation types:
Maintain your ads - Includes foundational recommendations to improve your responsive search ads, remove redundant keywords, and upgrade your conversion tracking.
Grow your business - Helps with advanced optimizations like upgrading your keywords to broad match, maximizing your conversions with automated bidding, and adding store visits as a conversion.
You can customize which recommendations you automatically apply and turn them off at any time.
The "Manage" tab also includes both a description of the recommendation and some potential benefits for your business. In addition, the Quick Help access provides you with more contextual explanations and links to additional resources.
To properly manage your automatically applied recommendations, visit Google’s best practices guide.
Microsoft innovates for visual storytelling by introducing new ad formats for Bing Search, Windows 11, and Microsoft Start.
As Microsoft moves towards giving users a more “visually immersive” experience, they’ve introduced new ad formats for Bing Search, Windows 11, and Microsoft Start. The top of the search results page now shows a collage of image and video content. When a search result is clicked, it expands on the right rail of the page so users don’t need to leave the page anymore to view the content of the search results.
Here’s an example of intuitive, interactive search results in Microsoft Bing:
Infographic-style search results are also available in Microsoft Bing.
You can personalize the Microsoft Start homepage as well to include news and topics that are of interest to you.
As Microsoft notes, our brain processes visual content at an incredibly high speed. By one estimate, visuals communicate information 60,000 times faster than text. Additionally, content with imagery results in 50% more recall.
Microsoft also announced that Multimedia Ads are available in all markets where Microsoft Bing is accessible. Advertisers can now serve Multimedia Ads on the Microsoft Search Network and Microsoft Audience Network. This responsive ad format uses Microsoft machine learning to combine images, headlines, and descriptions to create relevant high-impact visual ads.
Here’s how Multimedia Ads are displayed:
There’s only one Multimedia Ad per page, which ensures that you stand out and get noticed among your competition. Multimedia Ads leverage Creator tools, which are available directly in the Microsoft Advertising platform. These enable you to extract images from your site, and with Creator tools smart effects, you can quickly edit your images such as background blur, color, filters, and cropping.
For more information on how to get started on creating your own Multimedia Ad, visit Microsoft’s help page.
Offering incentives to customers in exchange for the modification or removal of their negative reviews is now prohibited.
The Google Maps reviews guidelines for deceptive content and fake engagement was updated to prohibit merchants from asking customers to revise or remove their negative review in exchange for discounts, free goods or services, or other incentives.
Negative reviews that are modified or retracted as a result of such a deal is considered by Google as “fake engagement,” along with the following:
Paying, incentivizing, or encouraging the posting of content that does not represent a genuine experience.
Content that is not based on a real experience and does not accurately represent the location or product in question.
Content that has been incentivized by a business in exchange for discounts, free goods, and/or services.
Content that has been posted by a competitor to undermine a business or product’s reputation.
Content that has been posted from multiple accounts to manipulate a place’s rating.
Fake engagement is a form of deceptive content that is not allowed in Google Maps. Anything that falls under this category will be removed from the platform.
To learn more about the prohibited and restricted content on Google Maps, visit this help page.
TikTok shows their competitive side with the launch of TikTok Now, a new feature that’s uncannily similar to the BeReal app.
As the BeReal app’s popularity rises, its top competitors are finding ways to keep users from shifting to the new platform. While Instagram quietly added a Dual camera feature, TikTok launched a new feature called TikTok Now. It’s a “daily photo and video experience to share your most authentic moments with the people who matter the most.”
TikTok Now works by inviting you and your friends to show what you're doing at the moment using your device's front and back camera. You'll receive a daily prompt to capture a 10-second video or a static photo to share what you're up to.
TikTok also reminds creators that they are in control of deciding who can view or engage with their content. You can block certain users and choose which comments appear on your content. And if you come across behavior that you believe may violate TikTok’s Community Guidelines, you can report it for review.
TikTok Now is a fresh feature that’s still being experimented on but it’s rolling out worldwide over the coming weeks. In the US, it’s accessible from the TikTok app, while in other regions, it may be available as a whole other app.
YouTube introduces new solutions and creative guidelines to help advertisers of all sizes make effective vertical video ads.
As YouTube continues to diversify the formats offered in their platform, they’re also opening new ways for marketers and advertisers to reach viewers in the video format of their choice. YouTube Shorts is one of the innovations undertaken by the video-sharing platform to ride on the short-form content trend. It’s an entirely mobile and vertical experience with over 30 billion daily views and 1.5 billion monthly logged-in users.
To help advertisers connect with the Shorts audience and drive better results, YouTube has added vertical video assets to Video action, App, and Performance Max campaigns which automatically scale to Shorts. Now they’re introducing new ways to make your vertical video ads stand out.
Instantly flipped video ads YouTube is experimenting with a new machine learning technology that reformats landscape video ads into square or vertical formats based on how someone is watching YouTube.
Businesses who may not have dedicated resources to create multiple assets can easily benefit from this technology, which automatically adapts their existing assets for several different formats. It’s currently available for App campaigns, and coming soon to Video action and Performance Max campaigns.
Customizable ad templates Four new, customizable vertical video ad templates and one square template are now available in the video creation tool in Google Ads, located in the Asset Library. These new templates follow creative best practices for YouTube and are built with specific considerations for a vertical viewing environment, complete with pacing, music tracks, and transitions. This offering is available for App and Performance Max campaigns.
Creative tips for vertical ads Lastly, YouTube also shared a few creative considerations to keep in mind when you’re shooting vertical video ads:
Match vertical ads with vertical platforms
Jump into the action quickly — there’s no need to set up a premise or establish a storyline with lots of extra context
Leverage emotions — bring some joy, drama, or laughter into your ads
Get proper guidance on running your ads by applying Google’s ad recommendation bundles. This will allow you to save time on optimizing your ads while maximizing your existing budget.
Given the benefits of visual content on communication and recall, Microsoft’s visually immersive ads are worth experimenting on. Present a more visually engaging ad and observe how the results differ from the usual search and display ads.
To stay relevant and continue engaging your audience, it’s essential to adapt your ad content and strategies to their evolving behaviors. For instance, utilize vertical video ads to capture audiences who prefer using their mobile devices and deliver content that’s quick and easy to consume for easier recall.
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