Click Through Reads #69: Tiktok Interactive Add-ons, YouTube Shorts

Welcome back Click Through Readers!

We have some captivating updates for you this week. 

In March, Google launched YouTube Shorts to compete with the platform that everyone is trying to keep up with: TikTok. These Shorts have proven to be worthwhile. Google reports that Shorts are showing success and gaining momentum, announcing they are now testing ad placements on them. 

Meanwhile, TikTok continues to prove itself a tough competitor, rolling out some exciting and visually-appealing interactive add-ons. We can’t wait to see these in action!  

On a more technical level, Google made some updates to users’ viewing preferences, along with major changes to their extensions. Be sure to get the full scoop and re-evaluate the extensions you have up and running. 

Let’s dive in!


TikTok is Taking User Engagement to Another Level With Interactive Add-Ons

Your in-feed ads just got a whole lot more engaging with TikTok now rolling out its new feature, Interactive Add-Ons, to your social-media marketing playbook. This feature utilizes pop-ups, stickers and other visual elements to catch the eyes of your audience.

Types of Interactive Add-Ons

  • Standard:
    • Display Card: Highlight important messages
    • Gift Code Sticker: Incentivize your audience
    • Voting Sticker: Collect feedback and drive participation
    • Countdown Sticker: Create urgency
  • Premium:
    • Pop-out Showcase: Spotlight your product
    • Gesture: Increase participation
    • Super Like 2.0 - Coming Soon: Display pop-up once a user likes your ad

Based on a TikTok user survey from May, 2021, brand engagers who like, comment or share a TikTok video are:

  • 350% more likely to visit the brand's physical store.
  • 150% more likely to buy a product or service from the brand.
  • 40% more likely to visit the brand's website or app.

Pop-out Showcase Countdown Sticker
Pop-out showcase add-on for Tiktok ads Countdown sticker add-on for Tiktok ads
Display Card Gesture
Display Card add-on for Tiktok ads Gesture add-on for Tiktok ads


YouTube Shorts Show Great Promise - Could Ads Be Next?

With YouTube’s quarterly ad revenue missing its overall projections in Q1, Google is looking for ways to improve. Google announced that YouTube’s new format, Shorts are proving to be highly engaging and are gaining momentum. 

Shorts launched in the US in March 2021, essentially to compete with TikTok offering quick, engaging, 15-second videos shot on mobile phones. The platform now averages over 30 billion daily views, which is up 4x over last year. 

"As we've always done with products, we focus on building a great user experience first, and we'll work to build monetization over time," said Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. With this type of growth, it’s clear that users are enjoying the experience of Shorts, so monetizing the placement would be the clear next step. And rumor has it Google has already started testing this out.

It has been reported that Google has started testing ads on Shorts with app-install ads and other promotions that are more direct-response focused. “While it’s still early days, we’re encouraged by initial advertiser feedback and results,” said Philipp Schindler on the earnings call for Alphabet Inc.

This could be an exciting new opportunity for brands to test out an essentially new platform in the near future–especially brands who have seen success with ads on TikTok or Instagram Stories/Reels.

Ads on YouTube Shorts


Google Is Letting Users Limit More Ad Types on YouTube and the GDN

Effective immediately, Google is giving users more control over three more ad categories that they can choose to see less often, namely ads related to:

  • Pregnancy
  • Dating
  • Weight loss

To do this, a user goes into Account Settings from their Google Account dashboard, and select categories of ads they want to see less of. 

This is similar to what Google did a few years ago, when Google gave users control over seeing fewer ads related to alcohol and gambling. It’s important to note the difference between, “limiting” and “eliminating” exposure to ad categories. A user is still eligible to receive ads from these limited categories, just at a lower frequency. Google did not specify how much the frequency diminishes.Sensitive ad categories on YouTube

Google is stating the reason for this update is they want to give users more control over ads they see from sensitive categories. They will likely give additional categories to users in the future.

The effect on advertisers will likely be minimal; if anything, this will actually improve our advertising performance. Users who want to see fewer ads in these categories were less likely to convert anyway, so in the end we will be using ad spend more efficiently.


What you Need to Know About the Google Ads Extensions Upgrade 

As of April 30, 2022, all Google Ads accounts are being transformed into “upgraded extensions.” The new extensions offer a number of different benefits to help marketers optimize their campaigns. 

One of the biggest changes to these extensions is giving marketers the ability to pause ad extensions. Google made this change to help “reduce the complexity of extension creation and management.” The days of confusing extension removal/deletion are now behind us. You’re now able to test more extensions, and gain “greater visibility into automated extensions for more control to decide if you want to use them as part of your campaign.”

The second major change is having higher-level campaign trickle down. With the new update, any sitelink extensions on an Account/Campaign level are now eligible to show within ad groups that already run their own unique extensions. Make sure to double-check your accounts!

A few features are being left behind with this extension upgrade as well. Marketers will no longer be able to setup device preference for mobile in all extensions; start and end date in call extensions; ad schedules in-app extensions; or start and end time and ad schedule in price and structure snippets. 

In order to access any historical data from older ad extensions, marketers will need to access this through Reports (screenshot below). ‘Extensions’ will show historical data while ‘Extensions (upgraded)’ will show new upgraded extension data.

Google Ad Report settings


Microsoft Ads Expand Audience Network Features

This month, Microsoft announced a few key updates and enhancements to the Microsoft Audience Network.

CPM Pricing

This feature is available on image and video ads on the audience network. You can set the actual cost you want to pay per 1,000 viewed impressions

Multi-Asset Audience Ads

This feature was previously in pilot, however, this is now available to all advertisers. 

Microsoft will automatically optimize these ads to the best performing combinations to reach the right audience. This type of ad lets you create up to:

  • 16 Images
  • 15 Short Headlines
  • 5 Long Headlines
  • 5 Descriptions

Automated Bidding

Microsoft is piloting automated bidding across the audience network. Currently, only enhanced CPC is available for audience networks. However, Microsoft announced that more bidding strategies will be launching in the near future. 

If any clients would like to participate while in the pilot phase, they can contact their Microsoft Account Representative or contact Microsoft Ads Support Team

Audience Ads in Microsoft Ads Editor

This week, Microsoft announced you can now manage your audience ads images within the Microsoft Ads Editor Tool. This includes creating new ads and uploading to deleting and replacing audience ad images.

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