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Twitter breaks the character limit with promoted Website Cards

Twitter is rolling out a new ad unit that will allow you to pack more information into a small space. It’s called a Website Card and it looks. . . okay, you know what I’m going to say here. . . it looks like a Facebook post.

website-card-screenshots

Instead of just showing a link to your website post like a traditional Tweet, Website Cards show an “engaging photo” and additional information about your site.

The announcement post says you can use a Website Card to drive traffic to any page on your website – a blog post, a product page,  a special sale page. . . nice. Twitter says that in tests they saw higher engagement and lower CPC. Makes sense. Anytime you give a person a large preview they’re more likely to click. It’s why photos and videos do better than straight text, especially on a highly skimable newsfeed.

Google livestreams launch of the ‘shiny appy AdWords’ upgrade

Adwords livestreamThis morning, Google execs stood up in front of 170 search market experts to unveil the all new, sleek, shiny, fully-connected, app-driven Adwords program.

Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management, AdWords says this is an exciting time to be a marketer because there are so many ways to reach the consumer – Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube, mobile, messaging, in-app, over-app, underdog and around the corner. More options doesn’t mean easier and it doesn’t automatically mean more effective. For that, you have to, as Dischler says, “turn signals into stories” and AdWords has some new tools to help you do that.

The new AdWords features fall under three categories; innovative ad formats, insightful reporting and intelligent tools.

Google opens +Post ads to all (ish) including new Hangout ad option

Modern online marketing is all about blending in so you can stand out. They may sound like mutually exclusive terms but oddly, they’re not.

Google demonstrates this point nicely with their recently released +Post Ads. These adds look like the normal, social media update we’re using to seeing across sites such as Google+ and Facebook.

Google Plus Post Ad

The fact that the highlighted box is showing up on a non-social media site makes it noticeable in a good way. It’s non-threatening because we recognize it as a friendly form of conversation. The icons in the upper right clearly state that it’s an ad, but it doesn’t feel like one. So we click and it get even less “ad” like.

Facebook update makes sidebar ads look more ‘native’

Yesterday, Twitter announced a change that will make their profile pages look more like Facebook. Today, Facebook comes right back with a design change of their own that has been a long time coming. No, they’re not going to start showing all your Page posts to your followers – wouldn’t that be nice? They are going to update that outdated sidebar with ads that mimic the look of a Facebook post.

Way to go native-ish, Facebook.

Facebook updated ads

The new ad will be the same size and proportion as a desktop newsfeed ad. If you’re running both types of ads, that means you can use the same creative and that means you save time.

But the ease of use isn’t going to help most marketers. What is going to help marketers is the bold statement these new ad formats make.

The Digital Advertising Alliance releases new guidelines for mobile icon use

Digital Ad IconIf you’re collecting data through any kind of mobile advertising, The Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) would like you to abide by a set of new rules. Okay, not new exactly – more like tightened up rules for the sake of consistency.

The newly released “Ad Marker Implementation Guidelines for Mobile” explains exactly when and where you should use the symbol you see here.

The Ad Marker Guidelines define minimum dimensions for the icon on mobile screens, as well as establishing dimensions for the touch area that should activate the icon. When users touch the icon on a mobile screen, the Guidelines also set forth what information and options may be displayed. This practical guidance, formed with input from a wide variety of companies and organizations, was created to present a consistent privacy experience to consumers.

Bing makes a visual splash with new Product Ads for search

In case you haven’t noticed, visual imagery is in like Flynn. Pinterest, Instagram, expanded photo options on Twitter and Facebook – it’s a byproduct of our lightening fast, mobile world. If we can see it, we’re more likely to choose it and buy it. So Bing is bringing that idea over to the search page with their new Product Ads.

Bing Product AdThe Product Ad can combine with the traditional text ad as well as an organic text result for a pretty big 1-2-3 punch. In this example, we have fresh flowers from Contoso Floral. Your eye goes right to the beautiful bouquets on the right.

Attack of the Clones: Facebook expands lookalike marketing options

twins by greyman - rgbstockIf your current customers like using your product then there’s a good chance that people who are like your current customers who would like your product, too. That’s the concept behind Facebook’s lookalike advertising and I have to admit, it’s doing my brain in.

The short story is this: starting this week, Facebook advertisers will have the option of sending their message out to non-customers who share similar characteristics as their current customers.

You’ll find the option in the Power Editor under Ad Tools –> Audiences.

The lookalike audience works with the custom audience tool Facebook launched last year. The new option can match up data such as location, Facebook interests and demographics. If you use Facebook Conversion Pixels, you can create a lookalike audience based on a subset of your current audience that performed a specific behavior.