Click Through Reads #50: TikTok Shoutouts and VR Ads

Hello Click-Through-Readers! We are here with another round up of paid media news highlights to get you up to speed on what is happening in the always-changing digital world. This edition covers new TikTok ‘Shoutouts’ designed to compete with popular celebrity custom video platform Cameo. I will admit I had never been on Cameo prior to writing this article and just went down a rabbit hole of celebrities and pricing. Some guy from the Bachelor who lives in my city and is always at my favorite restaurants is there and I can’t help but laugh at the thought of him funding his nights out with videos to random women on the internet. In more product release news, Facebook announced they are testing the next phase of ads in VR applications. They are testing it in a limited capacity. We cover the details as well as other top stories this week. 

TikTok Introduces ‘Shoutouts’ to Compete with Cameo

This week, TikTok announced the addition of a new feature called ‘Shoutouts’. Similar to Cameo, Shoutouts will allow fans to pay their favorite TikTok creators in exchange for a personalised video message. Users pay creators with TikTok coins, a virtual currency introduced by the platform last year to allow users to make donations to their favorite creators during live streams using digital effects and stickers. The addition of this feature will help TikTok be more competitive with Instagram and YouTube in providing a monetization system for their top creators. At the moment, the feature is not widely available yet. 

Facebook Tests Virtual Reality Ads

In June, Facebook announced their next phase of testing ads in VR applications - a small test of in-headset ads in the Oculus Mobile app. Facebook’s main goal is to bring more people into VR and improve the consumer experience. They also wanted to find new ways for developers to generate revenue. The test is only being experimented with a few apps and may be more available across the Oculus Platform & the mobile app once the testing is complete. Facebook states that it’s important that people can control what ads they see, so they are able to add options whether a consumer wants to hide an ad or view more details of the ad for example.

Google Introduces Enhancements to Privacy & Messaging Tabs

To help streamline management of global privacy regulations and their user messaging journey, Google is introducing enhancements to the privacy & messaging tab in Google Ad Manager and AdMob.

Google’s Privacy & Messaging tab is now a single place for partners to: 

  • Stay informed about relevant regulations;
  • Understand what actions they can take;
  • Message their users;
  • Navigate the advertising landscape to mitigate impact to their businesses. 

The Privacy & Messaging tab will also contribute to Google’s evolution of Funding Choices, moving all of its features into this tab alongside ad serving controls.

Stay informed about privacy regulations

To help you better understand how privacy regulations may impact your business, the privacy & messaging tab includes privacy regulation educational cards. 

Simply click on a card and find information on how the regulation may affect you, how you can give users control and additional Google resources.

Configure your ad serving controls

Previously located in the Admin tab in Ad Manager and the Blocking Controls tab for AdMob, the privacy & messaging tab makes it easy to configure your ad serving controls for privacy regulations. 

Easily select the types of ads you want to show users in that region, select your advertising partners and where applicable, enable additional creative controls. 

Message your users and offer them control 

Previously available in Funding Choices, the privacy & messaging tab now offers the option to create GDPR (web and app) and CCPA (web only) consent and opt out messages. 

Google also added new features to the messaging workflow, such as multi-language support for apps and bulk messaging so that you can easily deploy a message across all of your properties.

Beyond privacy regulations

In the coming months you’ll also be able to set up IDFA messages from the privacy & messaging tab. This optional feature will allow advertisers to give iOS 14.5+ users additional context before they see the App Tracking Transparency (ATT) prompt--such as altering messages to explain what their data may be used for before they decide to consent. 

Google wants to help their partners stay informed of privacy regulations, manage ad control settings and implement optional messages. In the coming months, you can expect Google to continue to add more features and message-types.

Facebook Makes Updates to Conversion Modeling and Events

As Facebook adjusts to ATT, they continue to make updates to improve conversion tracking modeling for advertisers. Here are the latest updates:

  • Advertisers can update campaign focus events without ads pausing and manually restart with every change. However, take note that there is still a limit to how often these focus events can be changed -- typically there is a 72-hour waiting period between each update. This will provide more flexibility to advertisers as they make updates to campaigns based on performance.

  • Estimated conversions will be added to 7-day click attribution windows, with the goal to account for lost data. Hypothetically, this will provide more accuracy based on modeled estimates. 

  • Advertisers who target more Android users will be able to optimize campaigns towards non-prioritized events. Previously, campaigns optimizing for non-prioritized events were paused.

Bing Rolls Out Video Extensions Globally

Advertisers can now utilize video extensions as another extension option with their search campaigns. This extension provides a visually enriching option and is unique to Bing search. Easy to implement, advertisers will need to provide the following to get them live:

  • Name: internal name for organizational/labeling purposes
  • Video source: URL or File
  • Thumbnail source: URL or File
  • Display Text: text to display beneath the video it is playing
  • Alternate Text: text to display in place of the video in case it doesn’t load
  • Action Text: text for the action button that is displayed beneath the video when it is playing
  • Action final URL: final URL for the action button on PC
  • Action mobile URL: Final URL for the action button on mobile (optional)

Step Aside Facebook, There’s a New Queen in Town: YouTube Ads for Ecommerce

For years, Facebook has been the queen of advertising and the bread and butter of many companies’ advertising strategy for ecommerce. But the potential of driving sales with YouTube, has been underestimated in many cases. Many think of YouTube as mainly an awareness play, but with the right strategy, it can drive surprising results as seen with the case study of the brand in this article. They took what they knew about Facebook advertising, and applied that to YouTube which surprisingly led to an initial ROAS higher than Facebook prospecting. Based on their success, the brand pulled together their “3 Ecommerce Ingredients to Succeed on YouTube”:

  1. Budgets & Reporting
    1. Start with a budget of $50-$100/day then optimize and scale based on what’s working
    2. Track overall revenue performance alongside YouTube itself
      1. Include 1 day view (similar to Facebook attribution) to get a more complete view. 
      2. Also measure spend on brand search + sitewide revenue to see the overall impact
  2. Audiences
    1. Always be testing new audiences but focus on the more intent driven audiences like Custom-Intent, In-Market, and Life Events (if applicable).
  3. Creative
    1. YouTube creatives can fatigue as quickly as they do on Facebook, so it’s important to swap out creative as often as you would on Facebook as well. 
    2. Creatives must be attention grabbing with strong value props within the first 5 seconds
    3. It’s important to be testing continuously, find winning creatives, and iterate off of those winners to create new variations.

New GoDaddy integration lets merchants easily show inventory across Google

Google has officially launched an integration with GoDaddy today. This integration will allow small retailers and SMBs on GoDaddy to reach an even wider audience to sell their products and services. 

Without leaving the GoDaddy Online Store, Business owners and advertisers can now automatically create a Google Merchant Center account, sync their catalog to create free product listings on Google, and promote their products on Google. 

In addition to free listings, GoDaddy customers now have integrated capabilities to launch Smart Shopping campaigns to promote products across more surfaces on Google, including Google Search, Google Images, Google Maps, YouTube, and Gmail. With this expansion, small businesses can now simplify their marketing spend, maximize their conversions across Google, and access post-purchase analytics to help scale their business. 

Bing Expanded verticals for Dynamic Remarketing beta

Bing’s has a new beta for dynamic remarketing. In this new Bing beta  dynamic remarketing id now available to  Automotive (listings), Entertainment (events), and Travel (Tours and Activities). Dynamic Remarketing is no longer just for Retail (Hotels/Vacation Rentals). In addition to the new industries added you can now also see how big a segment size is.


Businesses Can Now Buy Tik Tok’s Secret Algorithm

Tiktok‘s parent company ByteDance is selling the technology behind Tik Tok to other companies via a new site called BytePlus.
The company is offering a variety of services, including translation powered by machine learning, gaming analytics, real time video effects, data testing and tailored product recommendations powered by the same algorithm that powers Tik Tok’s “For You Page” recommendations.

Google Introduces Measures to Fight Financial Fraud in the UK

Google recently announced that they were the first major tech firm to join Stop Scams UK and pledged $5 million in ad credits to support awareness in the UK and to ensure consumers are informed about how to spot scammers.

In an effort to protect users and advertisers, Google Ads’ Financial Products and Services policy will be updated on Aug 30th to introduce new certification requirements for financial services advertisers targeting the UK.

Advertisers will be required to demonstrate that they are authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority or qualify for one of the limited exemptions described in the UK Financial Services verification page.

Google’s priority here is to keep users safe on their platforms, particularly in a space like financial services which is an area disproportionately targeted by fraudsters.

This new policy adjustment is only the latest action taken by Google in their commitment to tackling online financial fraud in the UK. They will continue to use a mix of machine learning and human review to analyze user experience and take further action.

Globally they have also introduced new advertiser identity verification which requires personal legal identification, business incorporation documents or other info that proves they are who they say they are and the country from which they operate.

Pinterest bans weight-loss ads in face of reopening-related social pressures

Consumers may be feeling the pressure to lose the “Covid 15”, and Pinterest is doing its part to ensure their users don't see harmful ad messages. Pinterest announced a new policy that bans all ads featuring weight-loss language or imagery to create a more inclusive platform for users. With the help of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), messaging around weight loss includes personal testimonials, products that claim to induce weight loss, references to Body Mass Index, and any ads that idealize certain body types will be prohibited. 

A huge motivating factor in this new policy is an uptick in unhealthy eating habits and eating disorders among young consumers and increased wellness-related searches reported by Pinterest. 

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