The last couple of months have been packed with digital developments, with digital transformation accelerating rapidly as a result of COVID-19. If you’ve been a little busy yourself adapting to the realities of running a business during a pandemic, you may have missed some of the most recent developments to emerge from the likes of Google, Facebook and Instagram. Here, we’ve rounded up all of the key events and launches so you can factor them in to your digital marketing strategy at this most crucial of times…

Google Boosts Visual Options for Advertisers

If you’re running a Google Ads Shopping campaign or using display ads, the very latest development puts lots more visual tools at your fingertips. This week Google Ads confirmed that advertisers would be able to tap into a host of new features to make their ads more visually appealing to shoppers – this comes as record numbers of consumers switch to online shopping so is a significant development.

Image Extensions is in beta for search ads, and permits advertisers to choose their own image to accompany the text ad, or instruct Google to do so using its machine learning capabilities.

Shopping campaigns can now tap into intelligent automation which is used to display useful information to browsers such as free shipping or fast shipping. Carousels which are dynamically generated by Google will also start to appear in Shopping searches a little later this year, while video content will also be permitted within display ads to drive greater engagement and conversions.

Responsive display ads have also been tweaked and will now come with automatically generated video ad formats, new layouts, the ability to add a company name and logo, spotlight specific products and highlight promotions.

Hulu launches ad platform

The US streaming service Hulu has launched its own ad platform with a beta open to advertisers willing to spend $500. The self-service ad platform has been designed with SMEs in mind and allows advertisers to target their ads based on criteria such as audience age, gender and location and genre of show their ads will be served alongside. All ads will be in a video format.

Instagram will launch a challenger to TikTok

The viral video app TikTok has become a political issue in the USA during the pandemic with discussions ongoing as to whether it should be banned in the country. The app has exploded in popularity and much like it did with SnapChat Stories, Instagram has signalled that it plans to tap into that same format with the launch of Reels in more than 50 countries, following a successful trial in Brazil, France and Germany.

Reels will enable users to create and share short videos which are no more than 15 seconds in length. There’ll be a host of creative options for adding video and audio and a highlights reel called Featured for the most popular videos. Instagram gave kudos to TikTok for “harnessing real consumer behaviour and doing amazing things” in its statement and said short form video was flourishing, making this a sensible new launch and one that gave consumers more choice.

Voice Search Growth Stalls

The latest data shows that the growth of voice search has stalled in 2020 with the use of the technology hitting a plateau according to the annual Mobile Voice Usage Trends report. The data shows that voice remains the fourth choice for mobile search, while more than half of consumers say they use a smart speaker never or less than twice a week to perform a search.

Author Rebecca

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