Jessica Wells Russell

Have you ever seen an ad that was so good, you had to buy that item immediately?

Well, me either, in all honesty. But I have given certain purchases serious thought thanks to well-placed product placements.  

Now that the typical user spends so much time online – about 24 hours per week on average, according to MIT Technology Review – brands are devoting more of their advertising dollars to digital engagement. 

This week’s Content Marketing Weekly is all about updates to digital advertisement styles and policies, and how these change the game for engaging with potential customers.

Facebook Aims To Give More Transparency Around Brand-Influencer Relationships

Facebook is announcing new rules and tools for brand-influencer advertising in an effort to provide more transparency for businesses and users, MarketingLand reported. This includes an update to Branded Content tag feature, which marks influencer posts with the word “Paid” at the top of the post. Now, posts will include “Paid partnership” as well as an “About this Partnership” button, which can provide viewers with more details about the influencer, their post and their connection with the featured brand.

“In all of this, our guiding principle is transparency: to ensure that people correctly understand the nature of the relationship behind the content in their feed and or brands and content creators to easily and accurately share partnerships on Facebook,” noted Maria Smith, Facebook director of product for News Feed and Monetization.

This means brands will have to be conspicuous about their use of influencers, and more clearly disclose this branded content.

Consumers have a love-hate relationship with brand influencer marketing, which has all but become the digital version of the television spokesperson – but *sneakier*. Shoppers and potential buyers like to hear celebrities talk about their love for certain products, and get a bit excited when they learn they too can use the (insert product category here)-of-the-stars. At the same time, though, they don’t want to be tricked by clickbait-y, influencer advertisements.

Even despite some hesitance from consumers, marketers have found that this strategy simply works – and has exploded over recent years. In 2016, a Linqia study revealed that 86 percent of marketers had leveraged influencers, and that 94 percent of those brands found the approach successful.

Read more about this update here.

Bing Ads Updated with Competition Tab, Performance Insights, and Local Recommendations

While Google still reigns supreme as the leading search engine, Bing is considered second most-popular in the U.S., with a combined 12-percent market share with Yahoo, Alphametic found. Now it appears Bing is working harder to close this gap with a recent, powerful AI update to Bing Ads, providing new tabs, including:

  • Competition Tab: This one is particularly interesting for marketers. Here, they can glean insights on which of their competitors’ ads perform better in search results than their own, and the reasons behind these rankings.  
  • Performance details: This feature leverages machine learning to highlight particularly interesting performance insights, including peaks or dips in activity.
  • Location recommendations: Here, Bing suggests locations that marketers might consider targeting, based on successes of similar brands in their space.

Bing says these tools are unique to the current digital advertising and search engine sectors, and that the new tabs and features will be rolled out over the next few months. Check out more here.

Pinterest Just Unveiled Several Updates To Its Self-Serve Ads Manager Tool

Also making waves with advertising changes is Pinterest, which just announced one of the first updates to the platform’s marketing capabilities since 2016.

Now, marketers will be better able to track the state of their campaigns through Pinterest’s Ads Manager self-serve tool, and benefit from more streamlined ad creation. Users will notice a more guided, step-by-step process for Promoted Pins, which allows them to select from a variety of business goals, audience sectors and featured content.

Marketers can also schedule their Pinterest ads, and have the ability to review these scheduled posts before they’re rolled out live.

In this past, this whole process was a bit clunky, and required marketers to actually exit the setup menu in Ads Manager to create New Pins they’d like featured as part of their campaign. This update enables more of a one-stop-shop experience for advertising on Pinterest, as well as a new Audience Insights tool to help marketers ensure they’re reaching the right audiences. Check out more on this update here.

5 Social Media Trends That Will Impact Digital Advertising

There’s a lot going on in the digital marketing space. Let’s take a quick look at a few more trends to be aware of:

  • Organic content and meaningful interactions: In the same vein as influencer marketing, consumers no longer appreciate marketing that doesn’t speak to their needs. In this way, content marketers in particular have to be able to create assets that bridge the current gap between the brand’s goals and the interests of its target audience.
  • Increased spending on social: Remember when we said that digital ads were the new TV commercials? We weren’t joking – this year, marketers will spend a whopping $40 billion more on digital than TV ads.
  • Ephemeral content and micro-moments: Brands are realizing that, especially with millennials and Gen Z audiences, more short-lived content can create a more meaningful and authentic connection.

Check out more on these updates here, and tune in next week for your weekly dose of content marketing insights.