There were a host of updates in the digital advertising landscape in 2018. Here’s a curated list of important updates from all the channels to help advertisers navigate the ever-changing ad landscape. To get your daily dose of digital marketing updates, follow our Digital Marketing Apple
1. Google rolls out responsive search ads which adapt to users’ queries. The announcement read
Simply provide up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines, and Google will do the rest. By testing different combinations, Google learns which ad creative performs best for any search query. So people searching for the same thing might see different ads based on context.
2. Google AdWords becomes Google Ads. The new Google Ads brand makes it easier for marketers to advertise across partner pages, video, search, and more in order to reach potential customers. For small businesses, Google rolled out Smart Campaigns – It brings the machine learning technology of Google Ads to small businesses and helps them get results without any heavy lifting—so they can stay focused on running their businesses. Read the full announcement here
3. Google rolls out responsive display ads. The announcement read
Responsive Display Ads combine your creativity with the power of Google’s machine learning to deliver relevant, valuable ads across the web, at scale. Just provide a few simple inputs about your business－up to 15 images, 5 headlines, 5 descriptions, and 5 logos. Google uses machine learning to test different combinations and show the ads that work best. On average, advertisers see 10% more conversions at a similar CPA when using multiple headlines, descriptions, and images with responsive display ads (versus a single set of assets).
4. Advertisers can add an additional headline and description to text ads. The announcement read
One of the advantages of responsive search ads is that they give you more room to convey your message. While we work on improving responsive search ads across languages, it’s important to extend that same advantage to your existing text ads. That’s why, starting in late August, you’ll be able to add a third headline and second description to your text ads. In addition, your descriptions can have up to 90 characters.
5. Google rolls out Reach Planner for YouTube & video ad forecasting in AdWords. The announcement read
Now, for the first time, advertisers can forecast the reach and frequency achievable on YouTube and across Google’s video partners, in over 50 countries. This resource will simplify the planning process by providing unique reach across devices, for all core audiences and video formats.
6. Google updates ‘Ad Settings’ to allow users to give users more options for limiting ad personalization and is expanding the “Why this ad?” notices across all services that display Google Ads. Read more here
7. Google rolls out video in Showcase Shopping ads and shoppable images on publishers’ sites.
Video in Showcase Shopping ads is the next addition to the Showcase Shopping ads we launched last year, which let you upload multiple images to a single ad and promote your products through beautiful imagery, descriptions, products, and relevant promotions.
Read more here
8. Google rolls out ‘Ad Strength’ Indicator to help advertisers measure the effectiveness of their ads before they go live. Read more here
9. YouTube introduces TrueView for reach. They combine the in-stream format of its six-second Bumpers with CPM buying. Read more here
9. Google launches AdSense Auto ads that “use machine learning to make smart placement and monetization decisions on your behalf, saving you time.” Read full announcement here
Some of the benefits of Auto ads include:
1. Optimization: Using machine learning, Auto ads show ads only when they are likely to perform well and provide a good user experience.
2. Revenue opportunities: Auto ads will identify any available ad space and place new ads there, potentially increasing your revenue.
3. Easy to use: With Auto ads you only need to place the ad code on your pages once. When you’re ready to use new features and ad formats, simply turn them on and off with the flick of a switch — there’s no need to change the code again.
10. YouTube expands non-skippable ads to all the channels that can already monetize their videos. Watch the announcement here
11. YouTube starts testing ‘ad pods’: 2 skippable ads delivered back-to-back. The announcement read
Why does this solution make sense? Because when users see two ads in a break, they’re less likely to be interrupted by ads later. This new experience, launching on desktop this year then followed by mobile and TV screens, aims to accommodate viewer preferences while continuing to help advertisers connect with their most important audiences.
12. Audio ads become available to all DoubleClick Bid Manager customers globally. Marketers can access ad inventory from Google Play Music, Spotify, SoundCloud and TuneIn. Read more here
13. Google makes its Video Ad Sequencing tool available globally. It lets you tell your brand story over a series of ads set in a specific order, or showcase your product message across multiple pieces of content.Read more here
Our recent research shows that videos in a sequence contribute to significant gains in ad completion rates. And, in a new study with Ipsos, we found that sequences of 6-second ads and TrueView ads drive brand lift across the customer journey. In fact, sequencing a 6-second ad followed by a TrueView had a significant impact on Ad Recall and Purchase Intent, with an average lift of 118% and 40% respectively
14. Advertisers can build Display ads with local inventory feeds using local catalog ads. Read more here
15. Google introduces TV screens device type for video ads that will allow advertisers to target users watching YouTube on connected TVs. Read more here
16. Google improves attribution for TrueView for Action ads on YouTube. Here’s what’s changing:
Read the full announcement here
17. Google launches four new search ad position metrics. Read the full announcement here
18. Google rolls out pay for conversions bidding in Display campaigns. Read more here
19. YouTube adds new call-to-action extensions to ads. The announcement read
When you want to offer a call-to-action, but your primary objective is something other than clicks or conversions (such as awareness or consideration), we will offer a new call-to-action extension that can be applied to TrueView in-stream ads, and later, to Bumper ads and TrueView video discovery ads.
20. YouTube Originals will become free and ad-supported by 2020. Read more here
21. Google opens AMP Story Ads to all websites. Read more here
22. AdSense users to submit all new sites for verification. Read more here
23. Google rolls out three new measurement features : Custom viewability metrics, Unique Reach reporting, and Brand Lift measurement for all video buys for enterprise-level ad buying platform Display & Video 360. Read more here
24. Google Data Studio comes out of Beta. Read more here
25. YouTube drops the number of required subscribers for Channel Memberships to 50,000. Earlier the required number was 100,000. Read more here
26. Google lets users mute repetitive remarketing ads. Read the announcement here
27. YouTube launches Video Experiments to help advertisers test ads in a real-life setting at a “very low cost”. Read more here
28. Google tests ads in its app Feed. Read more here
1. Bing Ads now supports 3rd headline, 2nd description in text ads. The updated Expanded Text Ads format now allows you to:
Read the full announcement here
2. Bing Ads rolls out advanced bidding strategies: Target CPA & Maximize Conversions. Read more here
You can enable Target CPA and Maximize Conversions for campaigns that are targeting locations within the following countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, United Kingdom, United States. Conversion-based bidding strategies (Target CPA and Maximize Conversions) require at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days to turn this feature on
3. Bing launches LinkedIn profile targeting for Bing Ads. Read the full announcement here
We’re making it easy for our clients to get started with LinkedIn Profile Targeting right away through the Bing Ads platform using familiar campaign creation and management tools. To start, we’re offering bid only targeting, with exclusions coming soon. It works across text ads, shopping, and basically all Bing search products (available in the US only).
4. Bing Ads launches Price Extensions. Read the full announcement here
With Price Extensions, advertisers can directly show potential customers the product or service they want, when they’re looking for it, front and center on Bing Search results. Clicks on Price Extensions can link to your website or a preferred third-party storefront like Amazon.
5. Bing Ads starts supporting language targeting at the campaign level. Advertisers can –
Read the announcement here
6. Bing Ads lets advertisers import Product Ads from Google AdWords. Read more here
You can now import from Google Ads:
20 thousand campaigns
10 million ad groups
20 million keywords
20 million ads
5.5 million ad group-level and campaign-level negative keywords combined
10 million ad group product partitions
200,000 all other entities combined
3 million targets
7. Bing removes sidebar text ads. The announcement read
Here are more specifics around the changes we are rolling out:
8. Bing Ads roll out Performance Targets feature to help advertisers set targets on groups of their campaigns and track the performance on the metrics they select, all in Bing Ads online. Read more here
9. Bing Ads rolls out new Competition tab with 2 main sections: Audience Insights and Recommendations. Read more here
10. Bing Ads rolls out an update which lets users manage targeting settings in bulk. Location targeting, ad schedule targeting, and device targeting settings can all be changed from the same place. Read more here
11. Bing Ads roll out in-market audience targeting to all advertisers. Read more here
1. Facebook starts testing AR ads in the News Feed. Read more here
2. Facebook launches ads on Stories. The announcement read
Facebook Stories ads support every objective that’s currently available for Instagram Stories ads, including reach, brand awareness, video views, app install, conversion, traffic and lead generation. Facebook’s full suite of targeting and measurement capabilities is also available for stories ads across platforms.
3. Facebook users can see all the active ads run by a Page. The announcement read
From the Info and Ads tab, people will be able to view the active ads a Page is running across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network, even if they’re not in the target audience.
4. Facebook rolls out playable ads, retention optimization and minimum return on ad spend (ROAS) bidding. The announcement read
Playable ads can also help advertisers drive higher-intent installs from people who have experimented with the game and are therefore more likely to play after installing.
Retention optimization allows gaming marketers to deliver their ads to the people most likely to play their game, helping gaming developers better monetize their apps.
Over the next few weeks, we will roll out minimum ROAS bidding. Advertisers will now be able to set a minimum spend to find the players most likely to make in-app purchases, and eliminate spend on connecting with players less likely to engage.
5. Facebook expands Ad Breaks (a 15-second in-stream video ad) to 21 more countries, including India. Read more here
6. Facebook introduced News Feed ads that launch a chat in WhatsApp. The announcement read
Businesses running these ads will receive aggregated metrics in Ads Manager to evaluate the effectiveness of their campaigns, including:
Conversations Started: The number of conversations attributed to your Facebook ad campaign from people starting a new thread with you or messaging you for the first time in more than a week.
Messaging Replies: The total number of messages that people sent to your business attributed to the ads you ran on Facebook.
7. Facebook starts to test search ads in its search results and Marketplace. Read more here
8. Office Depot becomes the first brand to take advantage of Facebook’s holiday-themed AR ads with the launch of its “Elf Yourself” ad campaign. Read more here
9. Facebook Attribution becomes available to all advertisers. The announcement read
Facebook Attribution helps you measure the impact of your ads across the Facebook family of apps and services and across publishers. For example, using the new data-driven attribution model, you can see how your ads on Facebook, Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger are contributing to incremental business results compared to if you were not running ads. And to gain a better understanding of your audience’s digital journey, you can use cross-device reporting to learn the device your customers engaged with your ads on as well as where they converted.
10. Facebook’s Marketing API v3.2 to alert advertisers if an ad fails to deliver and will provide details on what happened. Read more here
11. Facebook runs autoplay video ads on its messaging app. Read more here
12. Facebook takes action against clickbaity ads. Read more here
Engagement bait: Ads with spammy content asking people to engage with it in specific ways, such as requesting likes, comments and shares
Example of Engagement bait low quality ad
Withholding information: Ads that purposefully withhold information to entice people to click in order to understand the full context
Example of Engagement bait low quality ad
Sensationalized language: Ads that use exaggerated headlines or command a reaction from people but don’t deliver on the landing page
Example of Engagement bait low quality ad
13. Facebook Pixel adds a first-party cookie option. It will allow advertisers globally to continue to access data from Apple’s Safari browser. Read more here
14. Facebook launches ThruPlay video ads and In-Stream Reserve and In-Stream Reserve Category options for marketers. The announcement read
In-Stream Reserve allow advertisers to reach people watching video from a selection of the most engaging, highest quality publishers and creators. These placements are bought in advance and delivered to in-target audiences verified by Nielsen.
In-Stream Reserve Categories allows advertisers to choose content packages in specific categories, including sports, fashion/beauty and entertainment, bought in the same way as In-stream Reserve.
Completed video views are particularly important to advertisers seeking to tell their story and build brand affinity, so we’re introducing ThruPlay, which allows advertisers to optimize and pay only for ads that are watched to completion, or for at least 15 seconds.
15. Facebook offers new, creative ad tools. The announcement read
Today, we’re expanding overlays so that advertisers around the world can build customisable creative templates for their dynamic ads to showcase products in more compelling ways. For example, if a retailer wants to create a Black Friday campaign with a product catalogue, they can now create their own Black Friday overlay to more visually promote discounted products…While overlays for dynamic ads are a great idea for the upcoming festive season, they can also be customised to fit any holiday throughout the year and can be used in non-seasonal campaigns as well.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be adding new holiday-specific templates and stickers to the video creation kit to help businesses more easily create video ads that showcase their products with holiday-specific visuals.
Soon, advertisers will be able to direct shoppers from the collection ad format to the updated instant storefront template, formerly known as the sell product template in Canvas, where they will have the option to automatically organise products from their catalogue into more personalised groupings such as “Suggested for you” and “Most viewed” to boost engagement and conversions.
Instead of having to upload your own videos into a collection, advertisers using the instant storefront template can now add a video that we’ll automatically generate, personalised with relevant products from your business’ catalogue. This makes the video creation process easier for advertisers and will help people see ads that are most relevant to them.
16. Facebook renames Canvas ads ‘Instant Experience’ ads, gives them pixel capabilities to measure engagement and re-engage with customers. The announcement read
Below are the template options including our newest template – instant forms – which makes it easy for people to share their contact information with a business.
17. Facebook’s new Flight Ads let advertisers target users searching for flights on travel sites, apps. The announcement read
Flight Ads will enable airlines to reach more potential travelers based on people’s visits to other flight-related Pages, websites and apps. Previously, airlines could use Flight Ads to re-target customers who had visited their website or app searching for a particular flight. Now, airlines can reach more people who have expressed interest in travel.
18. Facebook adds pixel to Groups to help marketers track engaged audiences. Read more here
19. Facebook removes more than 5,000 ad targeting filters to keep its platform safe & civil. Read more here
20. Facebook updates video ad metrics. The announcement read
We offer metrics such as 3-Second Video Views and 10-Second Video Views, and these metrics previously included the seconds people might rewind or rewatch a video when they see it in News Feed.
Businesses have told us they’d prefer that these two metrics only count unrepeated seconds watched to more accurately measure consumption, so we’ll be updating how we calculate these two metrics across all video reporting in Ads Manager and Page Insights to no longer incorporate watch seconds from rewinding.
21. Facebook rolls out new creative tools in the Ads Manager App to create and manage ad campaigns on the go. Read more here
Text Overlay & Text Policy Checker: The text overlay feature allows you to incorporate text within your ad. You can select different fonts and adjust the text’s positioning and opacity. The text policy checker will notify you when the amount of text in your ad satisfies or exceeds Facebook’s guidelines.
Image Cropper: The image cropping feature allows you to crop images to fit in your ads and Page posts.
Templates: The templates feature offers fully customizable ad templates comprised of stickers, text and shapes to make ad creation more efficient.
Shapes, Stickers & Logos: The shapes, stickers and logos feature enables you to add your brand’s logo, stickers and shapes to customize your ad and showcase important information about your business.
Color Filters: The color filters will allow you to adjust the look of your ad by adding color filters.
22. Facebook launches new requirements for custom audience targeting. Read more here
Starting July 2, we will require advertisers to specify the origin of the audience’s information when a business uploads a new audience. When uploading a customer file, advertisers will need to indicate whether the information was collected directly from people, provided by partners or a combination of the two.
In the drop-down menu of each ad, the “Why am I seeing this?” section will show people the source of the information (advertiser or partner) and if the advertiser was able to reach them through their phone number or email address. As always, people can choose to stop seeing ads from a particular advertiser in each ad or through Ad Preferences. We will continue to improve transparency over time to help people understand why they are seeing an ad.
23. Facebook launches “Leave Feedback” tool for users to rate their experiences with businesses they’ve purchased from after clicking on ads. Read more here
1. Instagram tests new ad type “Promote” for Stories. Read more here
Instagram confirms to TechCrunch that Promote for Stories works similarly to Facebook’s Boost option that lets them pay to instantly show their feed posts to more users.
2. Instagram rolls out the collection format in Instagram to all advertisers. The announcement read
To build a seamless shopping experience on Instagram, we’ve also introduced solutions such as collection, an ad format that allows people to browse additional products with one tap from the Instagram feed, while staying in the app. We’ve been testing this solution with brands such as Netshoes, which saw a 6.3% lift in conversions and 42% lower conversion cost when using collection compared with other ad formats.
3. Selected advertisers can add a shopping bag icon to their Instagram Stories. Read more here
1. Amazon unifies its ad products and systems under Amazon Advertising. The announcement read
We’ve unified our product offerings under the name ‘Amazon Advertising.’ This is another step towards our goal of providing advertising solutions that are simple and intuitive for the hundreds of thousands of advertisers who use our products to help grow their business
1. Publishers on Twitter can monetize their entire global video audience on Twitter through In-Stream Video Ads. Read more here
2. Twitter starts testing Timeline Ads on publisher sites. Read more here
3. Twitter tests Promoted Trend Spotlight ads that give brands real estate above the Explore tab. Read more here
4. Twitter’s new Ad Transparency Center shows all ads shown in past 7 days. Read more here
1. CPM Bidding now available on the Quora Ads platform. Read more here
2. Quora unveils new Promoted Answers ad unit. The announcement here
Promoted Answers allow anyone with a Quora Ads account to extend the reach of their answers on Quora. Promoted Answers have all the same targeting options that are available for other ad formats on Quora. When a user clicks on the Promoted Answer ad unit, they can read the full answer.
3. Quora rolls out Broad Targeting which leverages machine learning to optimize ad delivery to reach users most likely to take the desired action. Read more here
4. Quora rolls out Conversion Optimized Campaigns. The announcement read
Advertisers who use Quora’s Pixel or integrated mobile measurement partners will now have the ability to optimize Quora campaign delivery for conversions. When you choose to optimize for conversions, the platform will show ads to people who are most likely to take the conversion action you want them to take. For example, if you want to get app installs and you choose to optimize for conversions, we will show ads to people who are most likely to install your app.
1. Reddit rolls out native video ads that autoplay in-feed. Read more here
2. Reddit gives advertisers the option to include a call-to-action (CTA) button within ads. Read more here
Advertisers can choose from 13 different options of CTA copy:
Get a Quote
No button (Default option, no CTA button will appear on the ad)
1. Pinterest’s new Promoted Carousel ads to display up to 5 swipable images in a single ad. The announcement here
Each card can feature a different image, title, description and landing page, giving businesses a chance to flex their creative muscles and offer people on Pinterest more reasons to engage with their ads. Here’s how:
Pinners see a Carousel in their feed just like any other Pin
They can swipe through the Carousel cards directly from the feed
They can also tap the Carousel to see the image and landing page
2. Pinterest updates Ads Manager, rolls out Product Pins features. The announcement read
3. Pinterest Shop the Look Pins are now available to all business accounts. Read more here
4. Pinterest rolls out wide-format Promoted Videos to all advertisers. The announcement read
We’re thrilled to announce that Promoted Video at max. width is available for all Pinterest advertisers, now with two formats to choose from when showcasing videos on Pinterest. Videos at standard width are the same size as all other Pins on Pinterest and videos at maximum width are ~4x bigger, spanning across Pinterest’s iconic two-column grid.
5. Pinterest Marketing Partner program rolls out creative segment with 7 ad platforms. Read more here
Businesses can work with Popular Pays, QuickFrame, Shutterstock Custom, Social Native, Vidmob, Vidsy, and The Online Studio. These Creative PMPs have built solutions through the Pinterest API that will give brands access to creative development tools that make it easy to build, manage and launch engaging Pins. Marketing Partners can help with everything from developing high-quality creative content to managing complex campaigns to refining targeting and measuring results.
1. LinkedIn updates Campaign Manager with objective-based campaign workflow. The announcement read
Today, we are excited to announce a measurement integration with Google Campaign Manager (formerly DoubleClick Campaign Manager), now part of Google Marketing Platform. It not only allows you to (1) see LinkedIn ad performance alongside the rest of your paid spend, but also (2) get attribution for your LinkedIn ads across all impressions and interactions, measured in a cross-device and cross-platform manner. Earlier this year, we launched this integration for a few ad formats, but today – we are launching it for Sponsored Content.
2. LinkedIn introduces dynamic ads in campaign manager. The announcement read
Build your creative and write your ad copy once, and LinkedIn takes care of the rest by automatically personalizing your campaign for each person you target. You can add macros — data mapping tools — for even greater customization capabilities. Dynamic Ads also include pre-built templates to streamline your creative, and auto-translation to engage your prospects, no matter what language they speak.
3. LinkedIn rolls out video ads. The announcement read
Video for Sponsored Content helps you achieve your marketing objectives across the funnel by:
With video for Sponsored Content, you can measure your campaign’s success through insights and detailed breakdowns about the types of professionals watching, engaging with, and even converting on your video ads. LinkedIn’s proprietary Conversion Tracking tool is also integrated, enabling you to measure the number of leads, sign-ups, website visits, and other valuable actions that your video content generates.
With Company Page video, organizations can now share first-hand looks into their:
4. LinkedIn rolls out carousel for Sponsored Content. The announcement read
Carousel ads make every stage of the buyer’s journey count by adapting to your marketing objectives and allowing you to raise brand awareness and consideration, send traffic to multiple landing pages, or seamlessly generate quality leads with Lead Gen Forms.
5. LinkedIn rolls out a redesigned reporting experience for Campaign Manager. Read more here
1. Snapchat launches in-app AR shopping. Read more here
2. Shoppable Snap ads roll out, and advertisers can import catalogs to automatically create product ads.
This made-for-commerce ad unit allows a brand to feature a series of products that users can tap to get more details. In initial testing, eBay saw a 5x higher engagement rate with Collection Ads compared to standard Snap Ads featuring the same products.
Advertisers can leverage their existing product feeds to help scale and automate ad creation for Snapchat campaigns. Product feeds contain all the relevant product information of an eCommerce website, such as image, price, color etc. This ‘library’ of assets can be used to automatically create a number of Product Ads – Story Ads, Snap Ads and the new Collection Ads – through brand new templates in Ads Manager.
Advertisers can create audiences based on more specific actions that visitors take on their site, such as when they browse certain product categories (like shoes), instead of any part of their site.
3. Snapchat partners with Amazon to offer image-based shopping. Read more here
4. Snapchat rolls out a private marketplace for brands to buy ads in Discover shows. Read more here
5. Snapchat advertisers of all sizes can run their own AR advertising campaign right from Snapchat’s self-serve tools. Read more here
The initial launch of self-serve Lenses will allow for “Reach and Frequency” audience buys — an industry first for augmented reality. We’re also introducing a new Snap Ads “Lens attachment,” which lets viewers swipe up on a Snap Ad to unlock a Lens. Snap Ads with the Lens attachment are great for advertisers looking to reach Snapchatters more likely to engage with their ads.
All AR Lenses in Ads Manager will include the full breadth of targeting, optimization, and measurement capabilities where available.
Reach and Frequency allows marketers to plan and buy in advance on Snapchat. The main benefits include predictable ad delivery, as well as greater control over frequency.