[Ep81/01Nov21] - Performance Max Campaigns in Google Ads is Available To All Advertisers & Other Digital Marketing Updates from the Week of Nov 01, 2021

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1. New Tools In Facebook Group - During this week's Facebook Communities Summit, Facebook introduced new features to help group admins build the community they want, strengthen group culture and manage and sustain their communities. The most notable features are:

  • Customizing the colors, post backgrounds, and fonts that display in groups, along with the emojis members can use to react to content.
  • Using feature sets to select preset collections of post formats, badges, admin tools, and more that can be turned on for their group with one click, so that communities can engage in the ways they want.
  • Suggesting preferred formats for members to use when they post in their group. This will appear in a new posting button that stays with members as they browse the group, eliminating the need to scroll back to the top when they’re ready to post.
  • Creating a unique greeting message and sharing group rules that new members will automatically receive when they join a group, so they can develop a sense of belonging sooner.
  • Members will also soon be able to give community awards, like Insightful, Uplifting, or Fun, to content that they find valuable.
  • Connecting in real-time by using Community Chats in both Facebook and Messenger, as well as creating recurring events when group members want to get together more regularly, either virtually or in person.
  • Admins can pin announcements and choose the order in which they show up in a new Featured section at the top of groups, to ensure their community sees the most important details first.
  • Creating community fundraisers to raise money for group projects, to offset the costs of running the group, or to enable members to show their appreciation for their admins and moderators.
  • Selling merchandise they’ve created through a shop in their group, enabling members to show their support and deepen their sense of community.
  • Creating paid subgroups that members can subscribe to for a fee to gain exclusive access to more content, experiences like coaching or networking, or deeper conversations.

2. Instagram Rolls Out “Add Yours” Sticker for Stories - Instagram is once again following the lead of TikTok with a new feature and has launched a new ‘Add Yours’ sticker for Stories, which enables users to prompt others to respond to their Stories content, in order to create more engaging reply threads to Stories posts.

When users respond, they’re added to the profile bubble listing on the sticker, which, when tapped, enables users to go through all the other responses to the thread, building a response chain within Stories that can help prompt more engagement.

3. Instagram Launches Live-Stream Shopping Events for the Holidays Plus More - Instagram is diving deeper into live-stream commerce with the launch of a new series of shopping-based broadcasts heading into the holidays, which will also incorporate exclusive product launches and influencer recommendations to help maximize interest.
“On Fridays in November, (November 5, 12, 19) lookout for the #BuyBlack Live Shopping series to discover brands from talented Black creators. From December 5 – 15, we’re hosting a Holiday Pop-Up Shop LIVE series. Picture the magic and charm of a holiday market, but from the comfort of your couch.”

Instagram’s also launching new Gift Guides by price category on the Shop tab, which will highlight ideas in variable price ranges (up to $250), while it’ll also share new tips from the Instagram Shop team on key seasonal trends and recommendations. The new features will be accessible by tapping “Holiday Picks” on the Shop tab in the app.

And finally, Instagram’s also looking to help retailers maximize their holiday sales by offering 20% off a users’ first purchase in the app, as well as free shipping on eligible purchases.

4. Pinterest Introduces Live Shopping Feature - Carving out its share of the shoppable Livestream market, Pinterest on Friday introduced Pinterest TV, a series of live, shoppable episodes featuring content creators. Each Friday, the social media platform will facilitate exclusive, live product drops from the likes of Allbirds, Crown Affair, and Outdoor Voices.

Starting Monday, Pinterest will release new episodes every weekday at 6 p.m. EDT, with each day focused on a different category, and will record them for users to watch on-demand via iOS and Android. The social network is also setting up a virtual studio where Pinterest producers work with content creators on program development, according to the announcement.
Pinterest TV creators can tag products for viewers to buy, as well as access other tools, including a product drawer with prices and product details, product drops, and brand collaborations, and a module to offer limited-time discounts. They can also show how many items are left during the show, per the announcement.

5. Microsoft Advertising Rolls Out Smart Shopping Campaigns - Microsoft Advertising has said they focus on automating the repetitive tasks of search advertising so that marketers can focus on the creative and strategic endeavors and these features and updates enforce that concept.

“In this time of market uncertainties and competition, creating engaging online shopping experiences that can be effectively scaled and optimized is of utmost importance, especially for small business owners,” said Kevin Salat in an announcement today. Smart Shopping campaigns allow advertisers to use Microsoft’s automation tools to optimize their shopping campaigns to target customers who are more likely to convert at higher revenue values. These campaigns are “a combination of traditional shopping campaigns, automated bidding, Universal Event Tracking (UET), and remarketing. With these powerful automation tools enabled for Smart Shopping, you can help serve the right ad to the right user at the right time to boost conversion rates and reduce your costs,” said Salat.

Other big additions for this month are:

  • Automated Universal Event Tracking (UET) setup with Google Tag Manager.
  • Expanded targeting. The Microsoft Audience Network is expanding its footprint to 18 new markets, available to all customers in mid-November.
  • CPC and CPM pricing. On the Microsoft Audience Network, you can now choose between CPC or CPM Pricing, so you can select the right pricing model for each campaign.

6. “Google My Business” Is Now “Google Business Profile” - Google is renaming Google My Business to Google Business Profile, as it moves efforts to bring more of the business profile management out of the Google My Business app and directly into Google Search, Google Maps and those respective apps.

Google Business Profile will be the new name going forward for Google My Business. Google said the reason for the new name is to “keep things simple” and sometime in 2022, Google will retire the Google My Business app completely.

Google is encouraging businesses to manage their single listings directly on Google Search or Google Maps, either via the web interface or mobile apps.

If you manage multiple locations for your business and/or you are a local SEO that manages a number of businesses, you will still continue to use an interface like Google My Business, renamed to Business Profile Manager going forward.

Google also announced some new features with this announcement. The new features include:

  • Claim and verify your Google Business Profile directly in Google Search and Google Maps
  • Call History is officially launching in US and Canada (more details here)
  • Messaging can be done directly from Google Search (more details here)
  • Message read receipts can be controlled in Google Search and Maps

7. Google Page Experience Algorithm Update Coming to Desktop in February 2022 - Google will begin rolling out the page experience ranking update to desktop search results starting in February 2022. Google said the rollout will finish rolling out by the end of March 2022. This update will include all the current signals of the mobile version of the page experience update, outside of the page needing to be mobile-friendly.

Which factors is will be included in this desktop version? Google said all of them with the exception of the mobile-friendliness requirement, which is kind of obvious. So be mindful of LCP, CLS, FID, HTTPS Security, and the Absence of intrusive interstitials
While I do not believe this page experience update will be a significant update where you will see tons of sites see their rankings drastically change, those working towards improving their page experience have been primarily focused on their mobile pages. Now, that you have your mobile pages ready for this update, you can shift focus towards your desktop pages.

8. Tag Assistant Conversion Support In Google Ads - Google also introduced Tag Assistant, a tool that can help you diagnose issues with your conversion actions, such as unverified conversion actions, inactive tags, or no recent conversions. Additionally, the Tag Assistant shows which conversion actions are being properly measured in real-time.

The Tag Assistant can help advertisers troubleshoot unverified or inactive conversion actions, which can help them more accurately record conversions.

You can access the Tag Assistant debug mode here.

9. Conversion Goals Group in Google Ads - Google Ads is introducing conversion goals, which group conversion actions into categories based on conversion type and can be used to optimize bidding at the account or campaign level, the company announced on November 1.

So now there are three types of conversion goals:

  • Standard goals — Conversion actions added by the advertiser, which are then automatically grouped into conversion goals based on their conversion category type (e.g., “Purchases,” “Contacts” or “Submit lead forms”).
  • Account-default goals — The standard conversion goals (above) that you have designated as your account default. When you create a new campaign, all account-default goals in your account are selected for optimization by default.
  • Custom goals — Goals that advertisers can create and add any combination of primary (used for bidding) and secondary conversion (not used for bidding) actions.

“For example, let’s say you’re an online clothing retailer. Going forward, you can set a purchase as your account-default goal so that all of your campaigns can optimize for that outcome,” Google said in the announcement, “Within this purchase goal, you’ll also be able to define which specific conversion actions, such as ‘completed sale’, should be used for bidding.” Advertisers can decide which individual conversion actions are used for bidding optimization when the goal it belongs to is used for bidding.

Advertisers will begin seeing their conversion actions grouped by these new conversion goals when they create new campaigns over the coming weeks. Existing conversion, conversion optimization, and bidding settings will not be changed.

10. Performance Max Campaigns in Google Ads is Available To All Advertisers - Performance Max campaigns are a new way to buy Google ads across YouTube, Display, Search, Discover, Gmail, and Maps from a single campaign. Per Google, they complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you grow performance across Google’s full range of advertising channels and inventory.

Performance Max campaigns rolled out to all advertisers around the world starting November 2nd. They will also become the next generation of Smart Shopping and Local campaigns, which will both upgrade to Performance Max next year.

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