Google is officially rolling out frequency targeting controls for video ads on YouTube according to a new blog post from the company.

With this move, advertisers can now take control and set limits for how often individuals see their ads.

In the past, the only way to do this was through connected TV campaigns in Google Display & Video 360 – more advanced advertising tools and features.

What Is Frequency Targeting For Ads?

Frequency targeting lets advertisers set a target number of times their ad will be shown to specific users.

This helps make the most of ad budgets by preventing ads from being repeatedly displayed to unreceptive audiences.

As the announcement for the feature explains:

“This will help advertisers optimize towards more precise reach and frequency, while ensuring that we continue to provide a suitable advertising experience for viewers. Target frequency allows advertisers to select a frequency goal of up to four per week and our systems will optimize towards a maximum unique reach at that desired frequency.”

Why Set a Frequency Target For Your Ads

Though there may be times when repeatedly seeing the same ad may be beneficial to motivate potential customers, there is a limit. Most studies indicate that repeatedly seeing ads is much more likely to contribute to diminishing returns and bad will with consumers.

For example, one Google-commissioned study found that TV advertisers see a decrease in ROI of 41% when the frequency of their ads was more than 6 views per week. Based on the data, more than 46% of ad impressions were above this threshold, making nearly half of ad impressions wasted.

The study says:

“Almost half of the linear TV impressions in our study were considered waste but the same study from Nielsen shows that brands can increase their average weekly frequency from one to three on YouTube with a consistent ROI.

“This is a huge opportunity for marketers to maximize their impact across the same set of people they are already reaching today.”

Final Details

Frequency targeting is now rolling out to all Google Ads users around the globe. 

Google claims that over 95% of all campaigns using frequency targeting hit their goal using the tool in testing.

Google is officially releasing its bumper ad tool to the general public. The tool, now being called simply “trim video”, makes it easy to turn existing videos (up to 140-seconds long) into short but sweet clips that can then be used as bumper ads for video campaigns.

Though the tool has been in testing in various forms since 2019, this is the first time the general public has been given access to it for their campaigns. 

In the time the tool was in beta testing, Google says it has “helped hundreds of brands drive more reach, frequency, and efficiency by effortlessly generating 6-second bumper ads.”

The announcement of the tool describes trim video like this:

“Trim video is a video ad production tool that helps advertisers make new bumper ads from their longer video assets quickly. Trim video uses Google Machine Learning to simplify the process of bumper ad creation by identifying the most important frames in a long ad and turning them into 6-second videos. It also has simple editing features that allow advertisers to modify the final output.”

Using the tool is as simple as copying and pasting a link to one of your existing YouTube videos or your Google Ads library. From there, you’ll be given four different options you can edit further or save as a bumper ad. 

To access the trim video tool for yourself, sign into your Google Ads account and select the asset library page. Then, select the tools and settings icon and look under “Shared Library” to find “Asset Library”. Here you’ll find the trim video tool under the Video section.

For more about the trim video tool, read the full announcement or visit the Help Center article dedicated to the tool.

Google is updating its online shopping features on desktop with a new focus on visual elements including an increased focus on product images.

The company released a screenshot as an example so you can see how product search results start with a row of thumbnail images.

As users scroll down the page, they will also see details about pricing, user reviews, and ratings for specific products included in the result,

When clicked on, the product listings bring up a panel with more information and links to purchase the product from different retailers.

Most importantly, the panel does not interrupt your browsing process and users can immediately resume shopping from where they left off.

As before, users can also filter product results using a number of categories including brand, type, retailer, and discounted products.

The announcement says about the overhaul:

“Whether you’re looking for clothes, electronics, beauty products or home goods on desktop, you’ll see a more visual feed of shopping results that includes products, brands, articles and videos from across the web.”

Additionally, Google says these product results and search filters are all dynamic, so they will continuously be updated to include the newest products, popular retailers, and up-to-the-minute discounts.

The new Google shopping update is already rolling out to all users and should be available to everyone within the next few days.

Brands across the US are increasing how much they spend on search advertising, with the overall US search ad spend predicted to reach almost $112 billion by next year. That is nearly double the amount spent in 2019, according to the new report from Insider Intelligence.

US Search Ad Spend 2019-2026 graph

This year, the data says $99 billion is being spent on search advertising. Much of this is driven by Google, which receives about 56% of the total ad spend. Google is in fact driving much of the growth in this area, outpacing all other traditional formats. 

While Microsoft remains the second-leading search ad platform, the data indicates that other platforms like Apple and Amazon may eventually overtake it. 

Data shows that Apple Search Ads will receive $5 billion dollars alone in 2022 revenue thanks to new ad and placement options which allow brands to find less competitive ad space.

Meanwhile, Amazon is gaining ground as the best platform for bottom-of-funnel customers. 

Interestingly, the report indicates that TikTok is also a growing force in search ad spending. The new data shows that up to 40% of 18- to 24-year-olds in the US already prefer to use TikTok and Instagram for their searches instead of Google. This may explain why recent studies showed that brands spent 60% more on overall advertising on the platform. 

Mobile Vs. Desktop

Unsurprisingly, mobile search advertising spend is far outpacing desktop by about two-thirds and shows no sign of slowing down. 

One indication of this is the fact that more than half of the U.S. population was reported to have used a smartphone to make an online search in 2016. By next year, that number should reach 70% by 2023. 

Privacy-Focused Platforms Lose Steam

After years of slow growth, privacy-first platforms like DuckDuckGo appear to be losing traction with US searchers. This is reflected in other recent reports, including data showing that DuckDuckGo had fallen to less than 100 million daily searches in June. 

For more findings about the current state of search advertising, download the full report from Insider Intelligence here.

TikTok continues to gain more interest from brands – especially ecommerce brands – as it proves that the social app is here to stay. New data collected from over 5,000 stores shows that ecommerce brands spent 60% more to advertise on TikTok in Q2 of 2022. Even more, analysts believe the trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

This information comes from Triple Whale ecommerce analytics, which gathered the data from all the stores using their tools to estimate the overall growth of ecommerce ad spend on the increasingly popular social video app.

“It’s time to get on TikTok while the needle’s still moving in the upward direction, or before users are completely inundated with ads from new brands,” advises Triple Whale. TikTok “is no longer a channel serious paid media buyers can avoid without cutting into revenue and profit.”

Other Findings About Ecommerce Q2 TikTok Ad Spend

Notably, the most significant increases don’t come from major brands. Smaller retailers with annual sales between $1 million and-$5 million are instead leading the charge.

Along with these findings, the report also included a few other interesting facts:

  • Overall ad spend across the 5,000 online retailers rose by 11% in Q2 to a total of $529.7 million
  • Retailers with revenues between $1 million and $5 million are contributing to the biggest increases in ad spend
  • In the first two quarters of this year, retailers spent a total of $48.4 million on TikTok ads – which was a 231% increase over the previous 6 months
  • CPMs vary by industry. Baby, books and collectibles niches have a CPM below $10, while health & beauty & digital products are over $14 CPM
  • Stores with over $25 million in sales have the highest average order values and ROI

How TikTok Compares To The Competition

While TikTok is showing impressive growth in popularity among online retailers, it still trails Facebook and Google by a significant amount. Specifically:

  • Despite only growing 5.6% from Q1, Facebook remains the leading ecommerce choice for advertisers by a wide margin
  • Google grew 20.5% in Q2
  • Snap declined 10.8% in Q2

If you’ve been writing off TikTok as just another social network that will be here today and gone tomorrow, it is likely time to reconsider. The platform seems to be cementing its place among users and winning over brands through increased ad revenue.

TikTok is still considered a niche social media site by some, but the platform has grand ambitions to keep growing into an even bigger platform in the future. 

In TikTok’s first-ever company event, held as part of the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the company’s leadership spoke about the challenges facing the platform and their plans to overcome them.

Company leadership addressed a range of topics, including shopping across the platform, user safety, iOS 14’s impact on online advertising, and more. Let’s go over some of the highlights:

Advertising Updates

Though it has already amassed hundreds of thousands of advertisers, TikTok’s president of global operations solutions, Blake Chandlee says the company’s current goal is in the millions.

To do this, TikTok is expanding its advertising toolset and creating new features to help advertisers measure the quality of ads.

Managing director and global head of monetization product, strategy, and operation, Ray Cao, also addressed the impact of Apple’s iOS 14 on its advertising operations. 

This update made it difficult to target and track ads to many users as it gave users the option to block many forms of online tracking. However, Cao says the social network will overcome this by increasing the options for contextual ad targeting.

At the same time, TikTok is working to improve brand safety by better assessing what type of content an ad may be associated with. 

As Francis Stones, head of European brand safety explained, the company’s review process now analyzes sounds, text, emojis, and imagery to ensure brands do not become associated with something problematic.

TikTok Shopping Features

Along with these updates to TikTok’s advertising services, the platform is also continuing its efforts to develop its live shopping functionality.

Global head of business marketing, Sofia Hernandez explained that the new feature is being developed to allow brands to take advantage of user-created content quickly and easily, though further details were unavailable.

As TikTok grows into a major force on today’s internet, it is working to provide brands and advertisers with the types of features they have come to expect from social networks. While this is just a small look at the platform’s direction for the future, it shows that the newly popular social network intends to keep growing with its userbase.

As announced last August, Google is set to stop allowing advertisers to create, edit, or start running expanded text ads across the search engine’s ad network starting June 30, 2022.

Though expanded text ads have been a popular way to make your ads stand out and increase click-through rates, the company says it plans to replace the ad format with responsive search ads.

The goal, according to Google, is to simplify running ads while using automation to improve ad performance. 

According to the announcement, advertisers who have already made the switch from expanded text ads to responsive search ads saw an average 7% increase in their conversions.

Why Google Is Switching To Responsive Search Ads

Things are shifting all the time online, including the ways we are searching. According to Google, at least 15% of all search queries are never-before-seen searches. With responsive search ads, Google is trying to help brands keep up to date with these ever-changing trends and to always be where their audience is.

How To Prepare

For the time being, existing expanded text ads will be largely unaffected by the change. Though they cannot be edited, existing ads in this format will continue to run as normal. However, no new expanded text ads can be created.

To help you prepare for the upcoming change, Google recommends taking these steps:

  • Repurpose high-performing text ad content into responsive search ads and focus on improving ad strength.
  • Apply changes suggested in the account’s Recommendations
  • Pin headlines and other copy in specific positions to ensure they always show.
  • Use variations to test different ad versions.
  • Review assets in cross-campaign reporting based on performance to identify the most effective messaging.
  • Evaluate incremental growth in impressions, clicks and conversions at the ad group and campaign levels.

For more information, you can read the full announcement here.

As part of its big Google Marketing Live event this week, the search engine announced a big makeover is coming to some shopping ads in the near future.

Initially limited to apparel-related shopping results, Google is revamping both online ads and organic listings to be more visually exciting and drive more engagement.

You can get a  preview of what to expect below:

Swipeable Google Shopping Ads

The revamp brings shopping ads more in-line with the more visual organic listings which have been rolling out since last year.

Google is accomplishing this using Search or Performance Max ad campaigns, though the images or graphics must be provided by advertisers.

As the company described the makeover:

“These will be clearly labeled as ads and will be eligible to appear in dedicated ad slots throughout the page. We’re also rolling out new ways to showcase multiple product images within Shopping ads in the U.S., along with information such as product descriptions, reviews, and product availability, with no further action required of advertisers.”

Though it is unclear when this revamp will be rolled out, advertisers should be excited by the more stylish and engaging presentation when it arrives.

At TMO, we always prioritize being able to track marketing efforts and make actionable strategies to improve on what works. This is why we have always loved online ads like that Google provides, they offer detailed information on almost any type of ads you run. There’s just been one glaring exception – video ads.

Google Ad Manager has struggled to deliver deep or informative analytics for video ads since their launch on the platform. Thankfully, this is finally changing with the announcement of several new tools and data for video advertising.

New Tools For Measuring Video Ad Performance

Programmatic Video Health Tools

With the new Programmatic Video Health Tools feature, Google will deliver actionable opportunities for improvement immediately upon logging into your account.

This is done by assessing your video performance and measuring key metrics such as viewability, impressions, and revenue.

Additionally, Google is introducing another insights card for what it is calling Video Ad Serving Template (VAST) errors.

In this card, you’ll find broad details about the number of errors in your video inventory and what may be causing these errors.

Real-Time Reporting

Since problems with your ads can literally cost you, it is important to quickly spot issues and resolve them – especially when videos might involve live streams. 

To help with this, Google has introduced real-time video reporting to show detailed performance data in under 2 minutes. 

Additionally, the new YouTube ads delivery tool will include information on the delivery of YouTube Video Ads

Advertising has undergone a massive shift in recent years. Instead of the sleek, high-end style that many associates with ads, consumers (and a growing number of brands) are embracing a more lo-fi, “imperfect” approach to ads. According to new research from Meta, this is especially true when it comes to social media ads.

In a recent blog post, Meta suggests this is about more than a change in visual trends. It is a shift in cultural standards and expectations, or “culture codes.”

As the post explains, this is “being driven by something more fundamental, which is a shift we’re seeing away from perfection and polish, towards a culture that instead celebrates what’s unpolished and real.”

Though it is unclear just how long this shift has been happening, Meta first noticed it in a study of Instagram Stories ads conducted back in 2019. 

The results of this study showed that ads that used a less-polished style performed far better in tests for both ad recall and content views compared to those with a more refined appearance.

This is particularly true for younger audiences who tend to spend a lot of time on social media. In a recent study from consumer behavior analysts YPulse, up to 84% of young consumers reported “I like it when content from brands is not perfect” and  79% said they are “tired of seeing perfect images in advertising.”

With this in mind, the researchers at Meta dug deeper to identify 6 specific codes that brands should follow if they want to continue connecting with online audiences:

Include Real People Telling Real Stories

Including real people – especially your actual employees or customers – helps to give your message authenticity. This is crucial for getting through to today’s savvy audiences.

Use “The Language of the Platform”

Obviously, we aren’t referring to the actual language you or other users speak, such as English, Spanish, Afrikaans, etc. In this case, speaking the language of the platform is all about proving you are “one of us” to other users by taking part in the latest trends, such as participating in “challenges”, putting a new spin on a popular dance, or using the hottest filters.

This helps establish your brand’s relatability to your audience.

Establish Relationships with Creators and Influencers

No matter what your feelings are about social media influencers, there is no denying the impact they can have on social media audiences.

According to Meta, even adults aren’t immune to the reach of influencers, with 63% of adults between 18-34 saying they trust a popular creator’s view of a brand.

This is considerably more than those who reported trusting brands themselves.

The power of influencers really comes down to the fact that they have established a relationship with their viewers and have an incomparable reach. This helps build your own credibility with a whole new audience you might have never reached before.

Go Behind The Scenes

When users say they don’t want to see “perfection” in ads, they don’t necessarily mean they want low-quality or poorly made ads. They just want to know your message is based in reality. This is why viewers tend to respond strongly to brands who are willing to take them behind the curtain. 

Keep Your Video Lo-Fi

Today, it is easier than ever to get access to affordable editing and production tools that can make your ad look like a Hollywood movie. Don’t use them. Sticking with simpler, lo-fi editing and production techniques, such as the most popular editing apps for smartphones, keeps your ad feeling authentic and hand-crafted.

Use Humor to Connect With Audiences

Humor is consistently one of the most effective tools for getting audiences to lower their guard. It makes your brand more relatable and makes listeners want to hear what else you have to say. The obvious catch here is that brands must be careful because several brands have made tone-deaf jokes which missed the mark and hurt their reputation.