What You Need To Know About Digital Marketing – January 2017

 
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Happy New Year! Let’s kick things off with the January 2017 edition of What You Need To Know About Digital Marketing.  In the January edition, we cover Google’s Message Extensions and Instagram Story Advertising. An audio version of this post can be found up top. Have a listen and enjoy!

 

Google Rolls Out Text Message Extensions

We all know that millennials are obsessed with their mobile devices and it’s rare to see one of them out in the wild without their smartphone within arm’s reach. Marketers are always on the hunt for ways to influence these device-obsessed millennials and make it easy for them to connect with their brands.

Google has come to the rescue with their new Message Extensions for search ads. Finally released to the public, message extensions allow users to send a text message to the advertiser directly from the ad without ever visiting the website.

It’s very easy to set up. All you need to do is provide a mobile phone number, extension text, which is your call-to-action message like “Text Us Today” or “Message Us Now”, and message text, which helps your prospects start conversations. Message text could be like “I’d like to schedule an appointment” or “I’d like to learn more about your services.”

How have Message Extensions performed so far? Very well. WordStream, an internationally-known digital marketing company, stated that their message extensions were performing around a 6% CTR, which is almost on the same level of as call extensions.

We think this a genius move by Google. Forget millennials for a second, think about how many people in general want information about a company without having to speak with someone. We at Bell Media know this true because we experience this through our LiveChat option on our website. You can’t believe how many Bell Media customers were acquired through this channel. They message us first, and if they like what they hear, it progresses to a phone call and off we go.

Google’s message extensions is a fantastic lead generation tool and can serve as a powerful entry point into acquiring new customers. Anyone who is running search ads needs to implement this extension NOW.

 

Instagram Stories to Feature Video Ads

Instagram users, you’ve probably noticed the emergence of what’s called “Stories” at the top of your feeds. Similar to Snapchat’s stories, you click on the circles to watch a series of videos uploaded by your friends. Taking a page out of their cousin Facebook’s playbook, Live Video capability has also been added. Instagram Stories has exploded in popularity, with 150 million people checking Stories every single day. The Social Media giant is making its move to monetize the experience.

In the upcoming weeks, Instagram plans to roll out video ads that will be placed in the middle of these stories. Advertisers will be able to purchase and manage the video campaigns through Facebook’s Business Manager platform, the same platform where you manage your everyday Facebook ad campaigns.

Yes, Snapchat already has video ads, but it cost over six figures to advertise with them, which means no dice for small businesses. Instagram promises that their ads will stay in line with the CPMs for Facebook’s video ads, which are very attractive for small business owners. The targeting capabilities will also be the same that Facebook offers through their platform.

Here’s a few other notes about Instagram Story Ads:
Ads will only appear when a user swipes from one user’s story to another
Ads can be skipped the same way you can skip an ad on Snapchat
Ads will be vertical and take up 100% of the screen
Ad length will be limited to 15 seconds
Targeting will be the same as Facebook’s ad targeting

You’re noticing more and more videos on your Facebook and Instagram timelines. Whether you’ve realized it or not, the amount of time you’re spending watching videos online has skyrocketed. Media outlets are claiming that video advertising will be king in 2017. Simply put, Video Advertising is a MUST in 2017. Jump on the train, produce a video for your business and use Instagram stories to spread the word!

Thanks for the read! We’ll catch up with you in February!

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