7 Recent Online Advertising Updates You Should Know

CONOR BOND | February 11, 2019

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With an ever-expanding suite of platforms for you to leverage, it makes sense that new features, ad formats, placements, and targeting functionalities are emerging (and vanishing) all the time. And although that’s what makes online advertising exciting, it’s also what makes online advertising overwhelming. Keeping up with the news is legitimately time-consuming, and when your schedule is packed with everything from keyword research to landing page design, it can often feel as if you’re simply destined to fall behind.

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Axis41, a Merkle Company, is a Salt Lake-based Utah advertising agency, with a marketing and communications focus, that combines strategic planning, brand management, graphic design and web development technologies to deliver integrated marketing solutions for their clients.

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Marketers Need to Invest in Detailed Geo Targeting Now

Article | April 16, 2020

Geo targeting is the most under-utilised targeting element available to marketers today, giving a huge opportunity to brands that invest time and money in smarter geo targeting. Most advertising platforms now allow for detailed geo targeting – often down to a zip code/postcode or even to GPS coordinates. Yet it is amazing how few advertisers are consciously investing effort in this area. Audience targeting/ retargeting (via cookies) has dominated online display advertising and is now under threat from legislation and the end of third party cookies. Targeting in search and demographic targeting in logged in social networks attract huge spends. With the end of cookies it has been contextual targeting getting the most attention. This has relegated geo targeting down the list in terms of investment and understanding. This is a mistake as in fact it has many benefits, and to succeed advertisers need to understand how it impacts their business.

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Coronavirus could cost U.S. advertising industry billions

Article | March 12, 2020

The U.S. advertising industry could face steep losses as sports leagues cancel or postpone live events and consumers spend less while many stay at home during the coronavirus outbreak, experts said on Thursday. With companies widely expected to slash marketing budgets, the ad industry could see nearly $26 billion in lost revenue, or a 10.6% decline, Michael Nathanson, an analyst at MoffettNathanson, estimated in a research note on Thursday. The coronavirus effect on live sports, one of the last remaining categories that continues to attract large audiences and therefore advertisers to traditional television, could “accelerate a meltdown” for TV advertising, said Richard Greenfield, a media analyst at Lightshed Partners.

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How to adjust your PPC strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic

Article | April 2, 2020

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact the world like never before. Businesses have been hit hard, institutions have been shut down, and people are being made to stay indoors in an effort to slow down the spread of novel Coronavirus. Nearly all businesses have been dealing with a lot of difficulties right now and the world of PPC advertising is no exception. As the world grapples with the pandemic unfolding in real-time, they turn to online searches and news to find answers to their questions. This extreme change in people’s behavior has also impacted the change in their online search behavior. While some industries were well prepared for this shift, many are not. Table of Contents Has Covid-19 affected your PPC accounts? Impact of COVID-19 on PPC advertising - Industries with increased performance - Industries with mixed performance - Industries hit the hardest Ways to adjust your PPC according to the new search volumes Has COVID-19 affected your PPC accounts? As of today, the COVID-19 related searches are ranking the most on Google, beating other searches related to news, weather, politics, Google, Facebook, and Amazon. To help track these emerging searches along with other breakout searches that users are looking at, Google has released the Google Trends Coronavirus Hub to offer more insights. For some advertisers, these new searches have drawn more visitors to their sites, bringing in new customers. For others, however, the results have not been so great. Wordstream notes that Google search ad impressions have declined by 7% over the last week, which is not uncommon during the holidays. But advertisers certainly weren’t expecting it to happen all so suddenly. Conversion rates have dropped by an average of 21% since the COVID-19 became an epidemic. Advertisers who acknowledge these changes need to be able to adjust their PPC strategies to keep their businesses agile during these uncertain times. Learn more: Teesside web advertising firm makes journey into glasgow Impact of COVID-19 on PPC advertising Google trends shows that the COVID-19 is on top of mind for most people, especially in the early morning and late at night. Many of us who aren’t fighting the pandemic head-on, often look to some other distractions online or try to carry on with our days as usual. Advertisers can review these searches and prepare to adjust their campaigns to avoid wasting their spend online. Industries with increased performance Healthcare and medical Ever since the outbreak, most of us have turned to search to protect ourselves and the community. In the wake of social distancing and a worldwide lockdown, we’re relying on Google SERP to purchase over-the-counter as well as vital medications. As a result, medical advertisers are seeing a strong spike in their sale of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies with increased ad clicks and higher conversion rates than usual. Non-profit and charity The non-profit organization is another sector that’s having a dramatically increased impact due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Charities, non-profits, and social enterprises are working the hardest to help communities fight the COVID-19 crisis. Since the epidemic, this sector has seen • A 10% surge in search ad impressions • A 23% surge in search ad conversions • A 20% surge in search ad conversion rates Luckily, Google’s ad grants program is working with more than 35,000 organizations to help non-profit use AdWords. Live-streaming and on-demand media The phrase, “Netflix and chill”, “Quarantine and chill”, couldn’t be more true and relatable right now. With people practicing social distancing at their homes, we’re consuming more entertainment than ever. This has led to a spike in the entertainment advertisers’ conversion rates, bringing in more viewers. Safe to say it’s not a bad time for the entertainment industry, as the demand for live-streaming media has skyrocketed and seen a dramatic hike in its conversion since the last few weeks. Learn more: How COVID-19 Has Impacted Google Ads Results for 21 Industries Industries with mixed performance Real Estate According to Wordstream, there’s no significant change in the search volumes or conversion rates in the industry yet. But there could be some shifts down the road. Consumers are more hesitant in attending open houses and more reliant on professional agents to schedule an appointment instead. Despite the +15% CPC increase in real estate listings and real estate agent searches in the last month, there has been a -25% decline in the conversion rates. Agents and brokers, however, have seen a 30% increase. Moving and relocation services have seen an 11% increase in search volume, maintaining a stable CTR, CPR, and CPR. Both property development and construction industries are seeing a decline in their conversion rates by -53% and -7%, as well as lower search volumes. This could lead up to a decline in real estate supply in the future. Automotive The automotive industry appears to have taken a hit. It has shown a noticeable decline of 30% in the industry with average conversion rates over the past few weeks. Although this can’t all be due to the pandemic, advertisers are seeing a lot of shifts in searchers’ preferences in the automotive market. Job and education There has been an increased demand in e-learning and training due to schools and colleges being shut down for at least a couple of weeks. Given the college application rush over and the upcoming SAT in June (yet to be canceled), prospective students’ behavior on the SERP remain the same. There’s also an increase in paid search traffic for new career opportunities and vocational training since the last couple of weeks. Industries that have been hit the hardest Travel and tourism It’s not at all surprising to see that fewer people are booking for travel these days. With business, consumers, and government avoiding unnecessary travels, advertisers are finding it hard to convert new searches on their sites. Searches for flight cancellations, delays and restrictions are also at an all-time high, leaving ads more exposed to curious searchers. To address this problem, advertisers should: • Add new negatives keywords for COVID-19, advisory, and cancellation related searches. • Promote cheaper fares and easy cancellations and adjustments for future travel. • Suggest travel insurance to your customers to ease concerns while increasing your average sale price. Live entertainment Search volumes for live entertainment have also reduced by 24%, with a dip in conversion rates by 30%. The need for public safety and social distancing has caused consumers as well as performers to cancel their live shows all across the globe. Ways to adjust your PPC strategy according to the new search volumes Unprecedented times call for unprecedented solutions. Here are some of the ways that you can adjust your PPC strategies according to the rising challenges: It’s important to understand what traffic your ads are getting and add new negative keywords add new negative keywords quickly to prevent your campaigns from reaching irrelevant panicked searchers. • Closely follow COVID-19 related searches to understand how people are searching online. Leverage Google Trends to see what’s trending the most. The Google Trend Coronavirus Hub is a great place for advertisers to find out users’ priorities and search interests in response to the changing news. • The flipside to users spending more time online is that you can easily find them while they’re browsing the web. Consider remarketing to your previous customers and website visitors, bring them back to your site and keep your brand in their minds. This way they will be more likely to convert. Conclusion While times are uncertain at the moment, it is important to keep a positive mindset and be safe. Make sure to stay in the lookout for any new disruptions caused by the COVID-19 and keep adjusting your PPC campaigns consistently.

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Alex Webb: More kids with smartphones spells advertising bonanza

Article | February 10, 2020

The revelation that, by the age of seven, 53% of British kids will own a mobile phone, will come as good news to one group in particular: advertisers. By the time U.K. youngsters are 11, the ownership ratio reaches a whopping 90%, according to a report published last week by the research consultancy Childwise. And as the penetration of smartphone usage rises, it creates more opportunity for advertisers to get in front of young eyeballs. Parents need to get clued up if they want to stop that from happening. For now, advertising targeted at children has been slower to migrate online than in the broader industry. Whereas more than half of the world's $614 billion of ad spending is now online, less than a third of the outlay for ads targeting children is digital, according to a 2019 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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Spotlight

Axis41, A Merkle Company

Axis41, a Merkle Company, is a Salt Lake-based Utah advertising agency, with a marketing and communications focus, that combines strategic planning, brand management, graphic design and web development technologies to deliver integrated marketing solutions for their clients.

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