Helloooooo, lovely marketers.

How the Devil are you all?

abstract-1233873_640 Ads, Ads, Ads, Ads! – Your Digital Marketing Weekly Roundup

Good, I hope – refreshed and ready for a busy week of concentration ahead. I’ve got four important updates for you this week, all of which concern social media ads. The Black Friday, Cyber Monday and general silly season shenanigans are in the air, methinks, and our favourite networks are getting prepared for all the no-holds-barred advertisements that we are all going to be creating in the coming weeks.

It’s never too early for the ‘C’ word, you rowdy bunch of content marketers – so let’s take a look at the updates so we can start to think about what our Christmas ads might look like this year…

Snapchat’s 3 New Ad Targeting Features

You read that right – Snapchat is rolling out three brand new ad targeting options for business users of the mobile app.

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If you think that Snapchat is still just one of those applications that has little use beyond teenagers sending pictures of their bits to each other, then you need to get with the program, grandma.

Here are the stats:

“Over 100 million people use Snapchat every day to Snap with family, watch Stories from friends, see events from around the world, and explore expertly-curated content from top publishers. Snapchatters watch over 10 billion videos per day, which is more than a 350% increase in the last year alone. In short, Snapchat is about great storytelling — our stories, and yours.”

So, what’s new?

Here’s what’s new:

  • Snap Audience Match
  • Lookalikes
  • Snapchat Lifestyle Categories

The aim of all of these three new ad targeting options is to let brands aim their ads at the app’s 150 million users – something that Snapchat has repeatedly in the past said is “rude” and “creepy”. I wonder what’s changed (money, money, money)…?

Brands can now (most unsavourally) target specific Snapchat users based on their email address, their similarity with a defined audience, and unique advertising identifiers attached to their mobile phones. All good stuff that advertisers will be willing to pay for – and, for the moment at least, users can’t opt-out of having ads targeted at them.

So, if you’re lucky enough to have a target demographic for your products or services that chimes with Snapchat’s core user-base, then for the foreseeable future you’ve got a captive audience for your ads. Give it a bash, and let us know how it works out.

Facebook’s New Ad Targeting Feature

Just the one ad targeting update for Facebook, but hey-ho, it can’t win them all.

The update now allows brands who use Facebook Custom Audiences to target users who have viewed their Canvas ads – the full-screen ad experience that Facebook introduced this February.

It’s just a cheeky little update really, which hasn’t been accompanied by any particular fanfare from Facebook.

Indeed, all the update really includes is a couple of extra options on your Custom Audiences panel:

CreateACustomAudiencePeopleWhoOpenedThisCanvas Ads, Ads, Ads, Ads! – Your Digital Marketing Weekly Roundup

(Image source: adweek.com)

Perhaps, then, the advice here is to take the incentive to start experimenting with Canvas ads on Facebook, which

Facebook describes thusly:

“Canvas helps advertisers achieve any objective by giving businesses a fully customizable digital space on which to build multimedia stories. Canvases open from Facebook ads in News Feed to reveal a full-screen experience where advertisers can use a mix of video, still images, text and call-to-action buttons to build beautiful and effective brand and product experiences on mobile.

“Within a Canvas, people enjoy moving through digital stories easily. They can swipe through a carousel of images, tilt to view panoramic images and zoom in to view images in detail, making the Canvas experience immersive and engaging in a way that mobile sites aren’t. And Canvas uses the same technology that makes photos and videos load quickly on Facebook, so it loads as much as 10 times faster than the standard mobile web.”

Link Ads (and More) Added to Facebook Messenger

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(Image source: developers.facebook.com)

The Facebook Messenger application has also been updating its ad capabilities.

From the Facebook Newsroom:

“Beyond the promise of the developer Platform, we’re now actively building capabilities for brands and businesses to be discovered on Messenger. This month, we’ve begun to roll out Messenger as a destination for News Feed ads. When advertisers select Messenger as a destination for News Feed ads, they can use any call-to-action in their ad, such as ‘Shop Now’ or ‘Learn more’ to link to Messenger. All clicks on those News Feed ads will directly open up a Messenger thread.”

Additional updates with this one include an ability for customers to make payments directly within the Messenger app (US only at present), and the ability for customers to share messages from advertisers with other users. Furthermore, developers can now create “enhanced mobile websites in Messenger” to “allow people to seamlessly enjoy and interact with a business’ mobile website within Messenger.”

All good stuff for those who are experimenting with this route of advertising – we suggest you start, too.

Instagram Enhances Video Links and CTA Buttons on Ads

We nearly made it through a Roundup without mentioning video – but not quite!

Instagram has made a few enhancements to its advertisement features, which include more prominence awarded to video links within ads. Here’s what Instagram says:

“For video link ads, when people unmute a video they’ll be taken to the destination URL while the video continues to play at the top of the screen. Now people can explore, browse and take action on a landing page while continuing to watch the video. People can also go to full screen or dismiss the video player if they prefer to browse the web page.”

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(Image source: blog.business.instagram.com)

The other improvements made to link ads on Instagram involve the CTA button.

Instagram candidly admits in its Business Blog that the CTA button up until now hasn’t quite been pulling its weight:

“Through a series of studies, we learned that the presence of our call to action button was not well-known in the original ad format. In an eye-tracking study, we concluded people simply weren’t seeing the button tucked in the bottom right corner of an ad. So starting in June, an enhanced call to action button was released—which extends across the full width of the ad with the call to action text appearing on the left hand side. The redesign has been successful, with performance increasing more than 45%.”

Now, the CTA button will be automatically highlighted when people show an interest in an ad (for example if they stay on the ad for four seconds or more), and advertisers now also have the option to extend the CTA button in the comments section, and include prices, URLs, and app store ratings (where applicable) to boot.

These updates, Instagram says, will be rolling out over the next month – so watch out for them, and see if they make a difference.

That’s it, my beauties! With jingling bells soon to be upon us, it’s time to start thinking about our advertisements, and now we’ve got four new tools to complicate matters even further. Merry Christmas indeed!