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The big three announce ad updates

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The “tech trinity” of Google, Microsoft, and Meta announced some big updates yesterday.

Google’s waving bye-bye to similar audiences: The platform will stop generating these segments in May 2023, and will remove them from all ad groups in August 2023.

According to Google, the feature will transition to “more powerful and durable automated solutions” like:

  • Optimized targeting to help you find new, relevant audiences without relying on third-party cookies for Google Ads and Display & Video 360.
  • Audience expansion will do the same for Video reach or consideration video campaigns.

Basically, Google is preparing for a cookieless future with more automation. Wonder how that will turn out…

Microsoft announced 12 new ad product updates: The company’s latest update is quite big, so we’ll just cover the most essential ones…

  • Credit card ads are now available globally, appearing to the right of Bing search results.
  • Set up conversion tracking without code using Microsoft Clarity, currently in beta.
  • New UET dashboard that will help you monitor tag data and fix issues in real time.
  • Audience Ads management in Microsoft Editor using multiple assets.
  • A World Cup in-market audience specially designed for soccer fans.
  • Expanded manual bidding options if you’re running image ads.

And unlike Google, Microsoft is expanding similar audiences to new markets, in case you’re not sure of automation and don’t mind getting your hands dirty.

Meta is expanding professional mode: The features used by creators to monetize followings is now available for all users on the platform, including:

  • Reels Play bonus, which lets you earn money from shared Reels. Meta is also testing Reels ads in professional mode.
  • Stars feature will become available for “eligible creators,” allowing them to earn money directly from fans.
  • In-stream ads will help you earn money from long and live videos.
  • Subscriptions will provide the opportunity to publish gated content to a select, most loyal group of fans.

In case you couldn’t tell, Meta is transforming into a content-centric platform… probably to rival TikTok.

But there’s another piece of relevant news related to all of the above…


REGULATIONS

Digital Markets Act comes into force

Big tech companies may soon feel an even tighter grip from European regulations.

The Digital Markets Act (DSA) is now officially effective and it claims to have one goal: to make the digital sector “fairer and more competitive.”

But first, labels: First the European governing body has to determine which companies are “gatekeepers,” or companies big enough to dominate the market.

Apple is almost guaranteed to get a gatekeeper label, meaning it could be forced to allow users to install apps outside of the App Store and provide alternative payment systems.

It’s expected that the other big tech companies will share the same fate.

The change comes… when? Not for some time. The law is moving into a “six months implementation phase,” giving select gatekeepers until May 2, 2023 to comply.

Why we care: While there’s no immediate change, the new act will definitely bring changes to the industry landscape in the coming months.

Will regulating “gatekeepers” level the playing field? How will the regulations affect marketers’ revenues?

Guess we’ll see…


SPONSORED BY SEMRUSH

Undress your competitors’ organic traffic strategy

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In Sun Tzu’s The Art of The War, there’s a line that goes something like this:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.”

Let’s adapt that to SEO:

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear getting lost on page 2.”

Good news: there’s a way to unveil your competitors’ organic strategy, top pages, keyword rankings, where they are growing and where they are not.

It’s called Semrush’s Organic Research tools. And it can help you:

Try it for free!


PODCAST ADVERTISING

Have you tried podcast ads yet? This study shows why you should

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There’s a sea of short-form content that dominates social networks… and then there’s podcasts.

And an extensive study by Nielsen—described as the “largest ever study” of podcast ads—has shown that promoting your brand on a podcast could be a great marketing move.

The research: Nielsen gathered findings from 610 different studies with 147,000 respondents over four years.

They exposed participants to podcast clips, some with ads and some without, then surveyed them about a brand.

The verdict was clear: Podcast ads boost brand awareness. For example:

  • 79% of participants exposed to podcast ads showed a lift in brand awareness.
  • Almost 50% said they’ll seek more information about the brand.
  • They are also more likely to recommend a brand or purchase from it.

It looks like podcasts ads can also improve the affinity listeners feel towards a brand, or even create affinity where it didn’t exist before.

If you’re interested in advertising in podcasts, Nielsen recommends the following:

  1. Make your ads 35 seconds or more. Longer ads are better customized for podcasts.
  2. Don’t repurpose ads from radio or another medium.
  3. Mention your brand at least 8 times. More mentions equal better performance.
  4. Place ads at the start or in the middle because ads at the end don’t perform as well.
  5. Don’t worry about “who” will promote it. Ads performed the same regardless whether the host read them or they came directly from the brand.

Finally, it’s worth noting that podcast ads work best with brands in retail, auto, and packaged goods categories. Telecom and financial services didn’t perform as well.

One-two, mic check. The number of US citizens listening to podcasts increased 41% in the last 8 years, and the number is still rising.

So if you crack the podcast code, you could bag a ton of new sales. It’s certainly worth trying!


SPONSORED BY HUBSPOT

Hit pause on those B2B campaigns and take a moment to clarify your ideal customer profile

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When you know who your ideal customer is, it’s easier to optimize every aspect of your business, from demand generation to lifecycle marketing.

In this Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) ebook and worksheet, HubSpot and Clearbit walk you through how to create an ICP using your existing business data.

You’ll also find out how to activate your ICP across your funnel to drive results efficiently and effectively.

Download the ICP worksheet for free.


THE CREW’S INSIGHTS

How to create a high-converting lead gen page

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In the next 200 words or so, we’ll give you our formula for a high-converting lead generation page.

First, here’s why you might care about our opinion:

  • We’ve extensively tested our own homepage.
  • We’ve worked with 100s of advertisers who send you, our readers, to their own lead gen pages.
  • We’ve analyzed lots of lead gen pages from top brands for Stacked Marketer Pro.

Our formula? It’s super simple. A high-converting lead gen page typically has two things:

  • Headline, subheader, and email capture box above the fold. These three things need to be above the fold both on desktop and on mobile. Most people who hit your landing page won’t scroll past here. They’ll decide in a split-second.
  • A below-the-fold section with more context. We’ve tested our homepage both A) without a below-the-fold section and B) with a below-the-fold section that gives visitors more context. The winner is our current page, which has more copy below-the-fold. It almost never hurts to add more context for those rare undecided people who want to learn a little more before handing you their email.

What about the copy? Keep it simple. Give your readers one specific reason they should provide their email.

For an e-commerce brand, maybe it’s a $10 gift card. For a newsletter, it might be a value prop like ours: “We will make you a smarter marketer for free.”

The key is to deliver one important value prop quickly. Don’t muddle things up.

This formula has helped us significantly improve our conversion rate over time.

Did you find this helpful? It came from our Morning Brew report, where we broke down how Morning Brew became so successful—and how you can use their tactics for your own brand or business.

Sign up to Stacked Marketer Pro to read the whole thing.


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

PRODUCTIVITY: Switching between email, chat, and project management tools gets old fast. Worsktreams.ai makes collaboration easy by syncing all your tasks and tools in one place. #LetWorkFlow. Try Workstreams.ai today.*

BUSINESS: Uh-oh. More than a third of US small businesses couldn’t pay their rent in October because incomes were “being eaten by inflationary pressures.” Restaurant owners and real estate agents were the ones most affected. So… more remote jobs incoming?

E-COMMERCE: Thrifting is becoming increasingly popular among higher-income shoppers as well. The secondhand market is expected to grow by 80% in the next five years, growing twice as fast as regular retail. Macklemore was onto something…

GOOGLE: Speaking of thrifting… Google is adding new features to help users find the best possible deals, including promotion badges, coupon clippings, deal comparisons, price insights, and more. Time to pop some tags.

META: Whaaat, the 28-day attribution window is back? It looks like you can find it under the “Compare Attribution Settings” feature in your Ads Manager, though Meta hasn’t made an official announcement yet. Fingers crossed this is real.

ADVERTISING: If you thought Uber push notifications were annoying, how about Uber push notifications advertising other brands? Because it appears that’s next. Could be good news for advertisers hunting for new channels, though…

GOOGLE: So long, Google Hangouts. The chat feature previously built into Gmail is going away and is being replaced with Google Chat. Most messages and contacts will be automatically migrated, and Google will let you export data until January 2023.

*This is a sponsored post


BRAIN TEASER

What makes you young?

You can find the answer here.


POOLSIDE CHAT

Cool tech, (funny) business, lifestyle and all the other things marketers like to chat about while sipping cocktails by the pool.

Ad policies? Nope.

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When you’re selling something… iffy, it doesn’t take long for big ad platforms to flag your ads.

When that happens, you can either curse your luck or bypass advertising policies altogether with some good ol’ out of the box thinking. Like this knife brand did.

Technically, Normandy Knives can’t promote their blades on Facebook or Instagram.

But they can advertise not selling spoons. And create a landing page explaining that they sell non-spoons.

… And then create a bunch of ad variations all convincing their audience that they might sell anything… except spoons.

Shout out to the creative advertising team… they definitely earned their wages.

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