Lab Weekly: Google, Email Marketing, Apple & Social

Phoebe Skinner

Project Coordinator
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Another busy week in the office with lots of meetings. 3 members of the team attended the Nottingham Business Expo on Thursday where we got the opportunity to share our knowledge with other attendees. The day ended with us having a big handful of potential clients and not to forget… lots of freebies! Another big thing from this week, Richard was invited to Google HQ in London, following our long standing Google Partnership. We were selected out of 30,000 agencies as one of the 30 Growth Agencies in the UK. In the world of marketing, SEO and social media there has been lots going on including, Facebook planning to open messenger to publishers at F8 in April and Google have recently removed text ads from the right-hand side of search results. Our marketing manager, Jessica will be publishing her first blog about her two weeks as part of the Lab, including the show, her role, and the challenges she has faced. Look out for that next week! 
Google Changes Results Page
Google have recently removed text ads from the right-hand side of search results, as well as this it is now possible for four ads to be shown above the organic results. Together with the ads that appear below the results, a maximum of seven text ads can show at any one time. This update has happened to improve the user experience on Google Search and to make the experience the same across desktops, tablets and mobiles. By displaying fewer ads the search experience matches how people are actually engaging with Google. The conclusion is that the change will benefit consumers who increasingly search across devices. Below is an example of what the data shows.
This change is neutral for small advertisers:
Small advertisers worried that they would be impact on their business. Due to this the change was tested extensively, and since the new layout, small advertisers as a whole haven’t seen much change in clicks.
This change isn’t disrupting auction behaviour:
As you know, well you should, AdWords is an auction. A lot of people feared over the change, will it change our results? However based on the experiments of this launch there have been no appreciable changes to costs-per-clicks in aggregate.
It is vital that you know exactly how to manage your campaigns, below is an example of how you can do so.
Monitor your reporting:
Look at your performance reports segmented by Top vs, Other. The percent of clicks or conversions that you get from the right-rail ads should be small. If you are seeing something different than CTR going up and impressions going down then you should perform some diagnostic work to try and understand what might be causing your account to go against the expectations.
Keep an eye on your bids & budgets:
Keep an eye on your average position, bid to the performance you want to see and don’t overreact and bid to any theoretical auction pressures. If you are close to your daily limit then you might be driving more clicks than you are accustomed to from ads in position four. As a result of this you might need to bump your daily budgets up to ensure you capture as many of the profitable clicks as you can.
Carry on focusing on writing great ads:
The change to the results page won’t affect your ad quality measurements. Each ad will continue to be evaluated with your position taken into account.
Overall Google are often making changes, but this change should not make anything hard for you. When you have segmented your reports and seen how the traffic has changed for you then these actions above should keep you going on the right track.
Virtual Reality and Email Marketing
Due to the popularisation of virtual reality, the availability means it is not just restricted to movies and video games, VR is now very much being looked into by email marketers.
Research from Yesmail Interactive show us that mobile delivered 46.7% of email clicks in 2015 which has been increasing yearly and shows the ever growing incline of smartphone usage. As virtual reality is becoming a regular piece of technology and with smartphones now being able to provide this through the likes of Google Cardboard and the Samsung Gear VR, it’s understandable email marketing companies have put the two together.
You may be wondering how VR would make such an impact in marketing because ‘isn’t it just for games?’ Well, virtual reality can allow consumers to take a closer look at the products brands are trying to sell. With the most obvious of industries being travel and hospitality, VR can take the consumer to the other side of the world, offering a much more attractive idea of what a place is going to be like than a 2D image. In the automotive industry, Mercedes-Benz has already partnered with Google Cardboard creating an app which would take the buyer on a virtual ride of a Sauber C9 race car. All marketers need is some 360-degree camera equipment and before you know it users can be walking through a virtual world.
Apple Offers Tech Support on Twitter
With a surprising move Apple have begun to engage on social media with their new @AppleSupport account focused on helping their users.  It’s a surprising move from Apple from a company typically known for being a bit shy when it comes down to social media, to now opting in on Twitter.
Twitter has been a pretty big focus for the company in 2016, with the announcement of enhanced customer experience tools in February. These include customers having the ability to engage in private conversations using the direct message feature, and now with the new feature enabling customers to provide their opinions privately with businesses after an interaction.
This isn’t Apples first attempt with an account on Twitter, in October they launched an account ‘@AppleMusicHelp’ which was focused on giving users assistance with Apple Music. Apple Music Twitter support team probably noticed a lot of irrelevant questions being asked, justifying the new launch of ‘@AppleSupport’ which doesn’t seem to cater to a specific product line but is just for general support on all of Apples products.
LinkedIn have announced a new account-targeting option that will allow businesses upload lists of companies that they both do business with or want to do business with. The social media platform, LinkedIn will then cross-reference the lists with their own list of over eight million company pages and display afd to their users who work for those companies. Russ Glass, the head of products at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions said:
“This is us launching our audience match platform, and audience match is effectively LinkedIn’s entry into the custom audiences world. Account targeting is the first capability we’re releasing as part of our audience match platform.”
He also said that LinkedIn plans to develop the audience match platform so that marketers can upload different types of information.
LinkedIn are also going to allow advertisers to use the data to filter the accounts they target layering in its existing targeting options. The pre existing options include someones location, job title, seniority level, gender and age. By filtering these it means only certain ads will be displayed to clients employees, for example, marketing ads will be displayed to those who have “marketing” in their title. At the minute the account-based targeting option is only available for two of LinkedIn’s ad formats. The Sponsored Updates format that displays promoted status updates in people’s content feeds and the Sponsored InMail format that displays promoted messages in people’s LinkedIn inboxes. Brands that buy ads directly from LinkedIn’s sales team can use the account targeting, however the company will eventually allow brands buying ads through its self-serve tool to use account targeting. Comcast, Salesforce and Swrve were one of the first advertisers to use this new option.
Facebook have recently announced they will soon be letting publishers distribute their content automatically through the messaging serviceFacebook_MessengerBildMessage-750-337x600. Three people that are familiar with the company’s plans have said that Facebook are planning to announce this in April at its developer conference F8. The German newspaper, Bild appears to be the first publisher to use the tool to distribute articles through messenger.
The Notify App was released awhile back now to offer an example of how publishers can use messenger. The app lets people subscribe to receiving push notifications from a range of big publishers including, The New York Times, Mashable and Fox Sports. People can then click on the alerts in their notification tab which then opens the corresponding article in an in-app browser. TechCrunch have said that Facebook is planning to let businesses pay to message people who have already started conversations. This then makes it possible for publishers to sell their brands on sponsored messages and then distribute through messenger.
For the US audience Facebook messenger is the largest messaging app. The social media platform have said that the messenger service is used by more than 800 million worldwide each month.
Facebook Creates Periscope in Live Video
Facebook’s live-streaming feature will now enable live videos to rank higher in people’s news feeds. Whereas usually Facebook’s algorithm would usually not bode well for people streaming as they prioritize popular content rather than new content, this would mean that Periscope and Twitter have the upper hand. However, now Facebook are treating live videos separate from regular videos, the social network can prove it can get someone’s livestream in front of a wide audience.
Already with an audience larger than Twitter and Periscope, they are certainly more attractive to brands. If say, a company already has an audience of Facebook, they would not then have to go through the task of trying to get the audience onto another platform to view their livestream.
Even though videos will be saved to the user’s timeline after the broadcast has finished, Facebook stated in a company blog post that “people spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that is no longer live”. This appears to be to priority to the company recently as since they have added the ability for some users to stream in August 2015, they are now looking into making this feature available for the iPhone and Android app.

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