The tortoise beats the hare.

 

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GOOGLE

Let AI do the work

Late last week, Google released a post on their AI Blog that slipped under the radar. In that post, the company gives a detailed overview of URL2Video, a tool (in research stages, for now) that’ll let you create short videos based on your website content.

It’s a unique concept that could have some serious advertising value when it’s available. Let’s check out the details:

  • Google worked with designers to come up with a formula that makes sense. If you’re skeptical of an AI tool that creates short videos based on your website, we don’t blame you. But, Google worked with designers to train its AI to decide on smart visual presentations for each website asset.
  • You get full control. The URL2Video tool allows the user to review and modify the product that it creates – users can reorder videos, tweak designs, and adjust constraints to generate a brand new video.
  • It’s built for advertising. Of course, there’s a motive behind this – the tool is built to encourage more advertising by cutting out the traditional costs of making a video. If you take a look at some of the examples in Google’s blog post, you’ll quickly see that the video style is very ad-friendly.

The Crew’s take: We’ve got no idea when this tool might be available, as Google mentioned it’s continuing research to implement audio tracks and voiceovers. Still, it’s a fascinating look at some of the stuff we might be able to get our hands on in the future – it might not replace humans for video ads, but it could be a valuable tool for plenty of marketers.


ADVERTISING

It’ll probably be the tortoise, not the hare

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The world is still very much in the middle of a pandemic – but you might not know it if you look at some of the record numbers that big businesses are posting.

And, though we’re rapidly approaching a bigger-than-ever Q4 and it might feel like the world is inching closer to normalcy, economists are cautioning marketers and brands not to be so sure of a quick recovery.

These are a few points to consider as we head into Q4 – and more importantly, beyond:

  • Don’t be so optimistic about a post-coronavirus ad environment. European countries are starting to re-enter lockdown, and Mathias Chaillou told Digiday that he’s worried about “declining overall ad spending.” If customers don’t have as much money or economic freedom, it could hurt the ad industry.
  • We’re likely looking at a tortoise-paced recovery. Nate Silver’s statistics website FiveThirtyEight has been conducting a biweekly survey of economists since May. The most recent consensus from economists is that the economy likely won’t be back to normal until 2022 or later – collectively, economists gave this a 66% chance of being the case.
  • If lockdowns persist – coupled with shrinking economies – customers won’t be spending as much. The recent Digiday report outlines many of the fears that media buyers are having about the (likely) slow recovery.

We’ll stop there, to avoid sounding like doomsday preppers. But, as marketers, it’s important to know what’s coming in the days ahead.

We’re not out of the woods yet, so make sure your marketing plan for the next year or two is flexible enough to handle whatever cards the world deals it.


SPONSORED BY FLIPPA

Do you want to sell your online business but aren’t sure how? Get a free valuation here!

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Affiliate marketing sites, blogs, e-commerce stores, Amazon FBA stores, SaaS companies, apps, domains and more.

Flippa is the largest marketplace globally for buying and selling online businesses, recording over $400 million in sales.

Every minute, a new buyer comes to Flippa looking to buy an online business. And you can put yours in front of this huge pool of over 3M registered users ready to buy.

Question for you: What could you do if you sold your business right now?

Look, Flippa has more historical sales data than anyone else so they know how much a business like yours is worth. And you can find out too, for free, in less than 3 minutes.

Oh, and you will also get insights to improve the saleability of your business.

Everything for free.

How does this work? Flippa compares your input to thousands of similar businesses sold on the platform and looks at how many buyers would be interested. Then you get a range of how much your business could sell for right now on Flippa.

That’s not all! If you decide to list your business on Flippa and sell it, there’s a special offer.

To celebrate their 3M users milestone, Flippa is offering a one-time-only 3% fee, instead of the usual 5 to 10% (depending on final sale price). You keep 97% of the money in your pocket!

Discover how much your business is worth!


FACEBOOK

The technical aspects of crafting Facebook Ads creatives

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Crafting creatives on Facebook is a pinch of art and a dash of science.

To run successful campaigns on Facebook, you need to understand how the platform is handling your creatives.

Garrison Yang recently explored the technical side of producing creatives for Facebook Ads, and here was his advice – broken down into three parts.

+ Creative production – you usually need new assets for two reasons:

  • Creative fatigue: Repeat impressions from the same ecosystem of ads can boost response rates in the near term, but for the same user, the response rate will decay over time. That’s why new creatives must be significantly different.
  • Creative expansion (of audiences): During the Learning Phase, the system has to make tradeoffs between the exploration of new audiences and doubling down on delivery against the subset of the audience that has expressed the best response rate. Launching new creatives pushes the algorithm to explore new polls of users from the same audience.

+ The factors to consider when producing new creatives:

  • How the user perceives ad creative.
  • How the ad delivery system handles ads. The more ads an advertiser has per ad set, the fewer impressions each ad will receive. This results in less total conversions attributed to each ad, which requires more budget to exit the Learning Phase. Bottom line: Establish the number of creatives to test based on your budget.

+ Testing – There are two primary ways of testing creatives on Facebook:

  • Auction selection: This is when you rotate different ads in an ad set. When watching the results, don’t forget to consider the breakdown effect.
  • A/B testing: This is the clearest way of testing because it guarantees that each ad will receive the same amount of spend. Although, you expose your ads to inefficiencies as you continue to force spend.

The points brought up by Garrison are not easy to summarize in a few lines. And, we suggest giving his piece a look if Facebook advertising is your jam!


ROUNDING UP THE STACK

TIKTOK: This is probably the last of the ‘TikTok ban’ news we’ll get for awhile. A federal judge just issued an injunction that Trump’s current executive order won’t be able to shut down the app.

FACEBOOK: It’s finally (almost) here! Facebook is publicly testing dark mode, and pretty much everyone is happy about it.

YOUTUBE: Google recently announced five new updates that aim to improve the user experience on YouTube.

WORDPRESS: There were some serious update problems over the weekend with WordPress. Though the issues are mostly fixed, it’s a good idea to check your WordPress installation to make sure you’re running on the right version.

MARKETING: We just came across a useful list of marketing resources – from SEO to remote working information, this is worth looking into when you’ve got some time on your hands.


BRAIN TEASER

It’s Monday. You know what to do.

🎃 Make it spooky.
😑 A rampage.
🤝Have you met?
🎩 Top channels.

Think you can guess which one got the highest open rate last week? Go vote here!


POOLSIDE CHAT

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

Disney just created a ‘realistic’ robot…

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…though it really depends on how you define ‘realistic’.

Disney recently announced that they’ve developed a robot with a realistic human gaze (who knew Disney was making robots?) and it’s racked up plenty of media coverage and more than 100k views on YouTube.

If you’re able to put aside the, well, horrifying look of the thing, you might actually be impressed. The movements are lifelike, and Disney has programmed the robot’s eyes to mimic those of a human’s.

The robot also has lifelike head movements and blinking. We’ve got a long way to go before we’re entering Blade Runner or Ex Machina levels of lifelike, but it’s cool to see nonetheless.

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