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Facebook launches multiple image carousel ads

Facebook Multi AdFacebook just released a brand new ad unit that is nothing I’ve ever seen before (but maybe I simply haven’t been paying attention?) The ad contains a side scrolling carousel with three product images. In this screengrab, you can just see the second image coming in on the right. You can see it in action on the Facebook for Business blog.

I’m not a fan of ads that slide, jump, jitter or repeat but I’m digging this Multi-product ad. The scrolling movement is slow, giving you enough time to look at each image as it travels by. I wish that when it got to the end it would continue on like a solid loop. Instead it jumps back to the start like a Vine video. Smooth would be better but I can let that go. (Now that I’ve made my thoughts known.)

Retailers believe in online marketing, so why are they still spending offline?

RetailMeNot contacted 200 marketing decision-makers at retailers that sell both online and in physical retail locations and have at least $50 million in annual revenue to find out how they feel about digital advertising.

75% said they believe that digital delivers a higher return on investment than offline advertising. They believe it, but they’re not putting their marketing money where their mouth is.

Digital spend

Looking at the total marketing budget, 51% is going to the digital side, 49% to offline. Why? Old habits and a lack of confidence. Only 27% of those surveyed thought of themselves as advanced digital marketers. Only 19% said they thought their current multi-channel approach was effective. Which means a whole lot of marketers think they could be doing better if they tried harder or had more training.

Facebook gives users the tools to remove ads based on topic

FB Ad ChoicesFacebook is about to launch a new ad preferences tool that will allow users to block ads by excluding specific topics. They say this will makes ads “better” because the viewer will have control over what they see and what they don’t. They say they’re making this option available because “soon” they won’t just be monitoring what you do on Facebook, they’ll also be including data from “some of the websites and apps you use.”

In case you didn’t know that your movements on the web turn into marketing fodder, Facebook has a detailed explanation of how this works:

New AdSense magazine ads turns text into display automatically

As a blogger, I’d rather have display ads than text ads on my site. Display ads don’t just look nicer, they actually add a certain. . . je ne sais quoi to my site that text ads simply don’t have. But, I’m reluctant to check the “display” only box in AdSense because I don’t want to limit my ad money-making opportunities.

Thank heavens, there’s a solution. Introducing the handy, dandy Magazine style ad from AdSense.

This magic tool turns any text ad into a display ad instantly! No buffing. No waxing. No waiting for the paint to dry.

Adsense magazine ads

Here’s how it works:

Yahoo goes all in on mobile ads while Instagram and Pinterest take a slow but steady approach

Yahoo adsYahoo is rushing headlong into the advertising fray with a bold, new look on mobile. Instead of trying for unobtrusive ads that won’t disrupt the viewing experience, Yahoo is going with large, image-rich ads that lead to great content. In a funny way, these native ads are hiding in plain sight because they blend in to their surroundings in a good way. They look like content and though they’re clearly marked as sponsored ads, many people won’t notice or care.

Good content is good content, after all, so does it really matter if Netflix sponsored the behind the scenes look at Orange is the New Black? No!

Here’s where I was going to say that this format is great for entertainment stories but won’t work for. . . . (fill in blank) stories – but honestly, I couldn’t think of a good argument against.

New Facebook Audience Insights gives you a look into the lives of your customers

facebook audience insights“Know thy enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.”

I’m sure Sun Tzu didn’t have social media marketing in mind when he said that but it sure is true . . . well, it’s true if you substitute the word “customer” for enemy.

Do you know your customer as well as you know yourself? Facebook has a new tool that can help you if you don’t and might surprise you if you think you do.

The new Audience Insights tool will show you what your target customer loves to do, watch, buy and how they spend their free time. It’s an intriguing look at not only your customer pool but how that pool stacks up against Facebook users as a whole.

Search still driving ecommerce, social and affiliate on the decline

Maybe it’s my naturally pessimistic state of mind, but when I see a comparison report, I’m more interested in what stopped working than what’s still working.

A good example is this chart from the Q1 2014 US ecommerce report from The Custora Pulse.

Cutora Pulse April 2014

Comparing 2013 to 2014, we see that search marketing is still going strong. Organic and paid combined are responsible for 44% of ecommerce orders. It worked last year and it still works today. Google is responsible for almost three-quarters of that traffic which is both good news and bad news. On the good side, you know where to go if you want results. On the downside, there’s only one place to go if you want results and that’s scary.