To finalize this ambivalent year, the latest updates round off what the platforms have been building on for these last few months. Machine learning has pushed accounts forward, market demand has been record breaking and audience engagement is now more important than ever. Our strategy is governed by the resources available and all eyes are transfixed on what the next year has to bring.
1. Google Ads
1.1 – Explanations Expand To Target CPA
Explanations is a new feature to Google Ads, previously in beta, that gives you additional insights regarding your campaigns and performance factors, such as bid adjustments affecting devices. We’ve seen these appear more and more in our tROAS campaigns to great benefit and now the feature will start showing for tCPA campaigns. This additional information is invaluable when strategizing forward, especially around the holiday season where budgets tend to shift.
1.2 – Google Ads Editor v1.5
Google Ads Editor is a favorite of ours given how much you can do on the platform compared to the sluggish Google Ads web app interface. New updates provide new opportunities and with the recent v1.5 release we have access to more recommendations, ad strength for RSAs, and image extensions. Whilst the application is still lacking important insights such as Explanations above, the ability to filter for new metrics and make changes efficiently is always a big bonus.
2. Microsoft Advertising
2.1 – Mixed Campaigns & Data Retention Changes
Microsoft added mixed campaigns to their platform, allowing you to combine both regular ad groups and dynamic ad groups into one sole campaign. This has a lot of potential, especially taking into account smart bidding and campaign goals, which both ad group types will be able to contribute toward. Whether you choose to combine your ad groups or keep them separate as not to skew metrics is entirely your call but for accounts with a smaller budget, this could be huge.
In the same update, Microsoft also announced increases to their data retention window for Universal Event Tracking with data being able to be retained for 390 days, compared to 180 days which it was previously. You will need to update the membership duration of your remarketing lists in order to take advantage of this increase.
3. Facebook & Instagram
3.1 – Preparing For iOS 14
With the release of Apple’s iOS 14 update, they announced their AppTrackingTransparency framework in the fight for data privacy, which required apps to show the user how their tracking information is being used, specifically if that information is being sent elsewhere, which they can deny. It came as a tough blow to advertising platforms with Facebook including these prompts from January 2021. To combat this, they have provided an update on how they are adapting to this framework, alongside a range of advice on how to prepare your accounts.
3.2 – Shopping Now On Whatsapp
With many businesses utilizing Whatsapp for their customers, Facebook are continuously releasing new features to cater for more efficient engagement. The latest update makes it easier to shop with ‘Carts’. Through Carts, you can browse the items you’re looking for and add products to your basket, ready to be sent back to the retailer. Given that Whatsapp is one of the most used and loved social media platforms in the world, this is incredibly powerful, it’s just a shame it didn’t come sooner.
A Quiet December
It’s been a quiet December for updates given how much the platforms have worked to accommodate the demand that 2020 brought. Still, there is continued focus to provide more tools for advertisers, with Google expanding their insights for tCPA campaigns, Microsoft increasing their data retention windows, and Facebook giving Whatsapp a shopping facelift.
This year has been a tough one for advertisers and has yet brought many opportunities with businesses adapting to online sales. Throughout this year we’ve seen many smart bidding success stories, free product listings available for retailers and more insights than we know what to do with. We hope you have enjoyed this year’s tech updates and wish you the best as we go into the near year.