Click Through Reads #73: Google's Skin Tone Scale, BeReal's Popularity

Hey Click-Through Readers! Welcome back!

Google is making it easier for people of all backgrounds to find products and images that reflect their specific skin tones. See how you can help make search results more inclusive.

Augmented Reality is making its way into Google Shopping. If you sell a product online, it’s time to learn how you can optimize your users’ shopping experience.

In an announcement made at “Google Marketing Live 2022”, Google shared its plan to roll out lead funnel reports for enhanced conversions later this year. We’ve broken down this announcement, so you know who it affects and what it could mean for the future of conversion tracking.

Could the next hot social media platform be BeReal? User installs increased 157% in April, the highest in app history. Discover why this platform is taking off.

If you couldn’t make it to “Google Marketing Live 2022”, we’ve got the recap you need with the latest innovations to help you drive the best results. 

Sit back, relax, and let’s get into it!

 

Google Improves Skin Tone Representation in Search

Google recently introduced their next step to improve the representation of diverse skin tones across their products. They partnered with a Harvard professor and sociologist, Dr. Ellis Monk, to release a new skin tone scale called the Monk Skin Tone Scale (MST). Google stated that millions of people search the web expecting to find images that reflect their specific needs with little luck. Introducing new features that use the MST scale makes it easier for people of all backgrounds to find more relevant and helpful results. 

As an example, when you search for makeup related queries in Google Images, you’ll now be able to refine your results by skin tone. Seeing yourself represented in results can be the key to finding relevant, useful information to you as a user. Labeling content on the web correctly can help show results that best suit each user.

This year, Google plans to develop a way to label web content so creators, brands, and publishers can use the new inclusive schema to their advantage. Sites will be able to outline their content, making it easy to label their images where the search engine can easily understand.

Animation of the search for "bridal makeup looks," with options to sort results by skin tone

 

Google Dives Deep Into Optimizing User’s Online Shopping Experiences

Augmented Reality (AR) for Google shoppers is real and is coming later this year. AR provides a fully immersive shopping experience bound to engage online shoppers like never before on Google.  Soon, advertisers will be able to display 3D models of products on Google Search, allowing shoppers to visualize exactly how the product will look in their own space.

An 3D model of a chair for sale with an option to "View it in your space" with ARAn image of a chair for sale with an option to view it as a 3D modelA 3D model of chair rendered in someone's home using their camera and AR

Google will also be rolling out the ability to offer loyalty benefits to potential customers.

 

Later This Year, Google Plans to Roll Out Lead Funnel Reports for Enhanced Conversions

As part of their several announcements from, “Google Marketing Live 2022,” Google revealed that lead funnel reports will be available for accounts who have enhanced conversions set up and integrated with certain CRMs. Google plans to support enterprise-level CRMs first, such as HubSpot, Tealium, Segment, Mparticle, and Adobe. With Google's new ability to pull quality data from the CRMs to optimize leads, the performance of campaigns using smart technologies, like smart bidding and PMax, will likely improve. However, in theory, with data coming from all leads generated in the CRM, this might also replace offline conversion tracking.

Google's Lead Funnel Reports for Enhanced Conversions

 

Is This The Next Hot New Social Media Platform On The Horizon?

It’s no secret that social media platforms are leaning heavily into short-form, engaging content these days. The app BeReal, founded in 2020, is trying to break through to users in a new way by promoting living in the moment. Users share their raw, unfiltered view of everyday life, unlike other platforms that tend to show only curated highlights. The app prompts users to take and post one unedited photo or video at a random point throughout their day of whatever they’re doing at that moment.

Gen Zers are putting more emphasis on living in the moment and showing up authentically. And this app aims to do just that. It’s intended to have a different purpose than Instagram, TikTok, or Snapchat and provide users with a candid, unfiltered view into friends’ lives.

In May, BeReal reached the top 20 on the Apple App Store’s list of top free apps and landed fourth of all social network apps, behind Meta’s three apps (Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger). To date, it has approximately 10.7 million global installs, according to SensorTower. April was its record-breaking month, hitting 3.6 million installs, 157% more than March.

There are currently no advertising options on the app, but that could easily change as they move toward monetization. Investors see some promise in the app as it has a current valuation of over $600 million. 

Could this be the next new platform that takes over? We will see - but BeReal is definitely worth keeping an eye on, especially for brands with Gen Z as their target demographic.

 

New Google Ads Automation Best Practices

News of automated advertising services is often met with skepticism from marketers and advertisers alike. Google recently released a best practices guide to ease some of these concerns and help critics capitalize on Google Ad’s automated services

Best Practice 1

Use a broad match keyword strategy. In the past, using broad match keywords seemed like a surefire way to burn through your marketing budget. However, Google believes that search intentions have greatly changed in recent years. “People may not always know the right way to search for something when they first start learning about it. This makes it impossible to anticipate every relevant search while also keeping up with changing consumer behavior.” Google suggests combining a broad match keyword strategy with a smart bidding strategy, for optimal results.

Best Practice 2

Use smart bidding. Smart bidding uses historical data from your account to help predict performance, including what keywords will perform best. With this strategy Google will help you capitalize on certain keywords by bidding more/less in real time.

Best Practice 3

Use Responsive Search ads. Google is sunsetting extended text ads at the end of the month, so starting June 30th, marketers will no longer be able to create or edit existing extended text ads. Although responsive search ads are automated, they give users the control to show copy variations of their choosing, while still using Google’s automated learnings to figure out the best copy combination for your targeted audience. 

The full list of best practices can be found here.

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