Microsoft Advertising is helping you get ready for the new year with three new predictions for upcoming trends in digital advertising. 

As we enter the final month of the year, many are already planning their marketing and ad campaigns for the start of 2023. Unsurprisingly, many of these campaigns will be focused on health and self-betterment as consumers make their New Year’s resolutions.

According to a recent study by Opeepl, approximately 60% of people reported making a New Year’s resolution in 2022 with the most popular resolution being to get healthier.

Even more interestingly, almost half (49%) of those who didn’t make a resolution reported that they still made changes to their lives to improve their wellness around the beginning of the year.

To help you take advantage of this with ads that will connect with health-minded consumers in the start of 2023, Microsoft Advertising shared three predictions for upcoming trends in Health and marketing:

‘Organic Food’ Will Spike In Interest

Microsoft believes clicks for ads related to organic food may leap up to 20% during the week of January 14 compared to the same week in December.

With that in mind, Microsoft recommends planning ahead:

“Target users searching for healthy, nutritious food options in January with In-market Audiences. Our internal forecasting data suggests that clicks will peak during the winter on January 14, so although you should ramp up your budget after the holidays end, make sure you don’t run out midway through the month.”

Target Sports Apparel From Now To Late January

The predictions indicate that searches for sports apparel are likely to surge beginning early this month and lasting through January, creating an opportune time to target customers with related shopping campaigns:

“Use Shopping campaigns to showcase your sports and fitness apparel products late November and early December during holiday shopping sales. Microsoft internal data estimates that consumers will be most heavily searching for gear between the weeks of and November 26 and December 3, but activity will remain high until January.”

‘Fitness & Nutrition’ Searches Regularly Surge In Interest

While it is true that searches for fitness and nutrition-related topics are likely to increase in the new year, Microsoft Advertising also notes that this trend is likely to pop back up throughout the year. Because of this, it may be better to take an “always-on” approach to targeting these areas:

“Using 2021 data as a comparison for what to expect activity wise over the next year, we can assume clicks for nutrition and fitness will peak in January, May, July, and October. Consider an always-on approach since Audience Ads are shown to drive users down the funnel to search tactics.”

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.

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.

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.

Google is giving users more significant power than ever to control what ads they see. As announced at the annual I/O Summit conference (and reported by Greg Finn), this will be done by launching a new and improved My Ad Center feature that aims to make ads more transparent and relevant for consumers.

In the new My Ad Center, users will be able to find information about who paid for a specific ad and why they were targeted to see it. Additionally, users will be able to select which brands or topics they would like to receive ads for and specify the level of personalization they are comfortable with from ads.

At the time of the announcement, the My Ad Center feature is limited to only Google Search, YouTube, and Google Discover. This means users are still largely unable to dictate what type of ads they might see in other areas of Google or through the Google Display Network, though there are rumors that similar tools are coming to manage ads being shown via the display network.

Select Your Favorite Topics and Brands

Probably the most significant new introduction in the Google My Ad Center is the ability to dictate what topics or brands you are most interested in seeing ads about. 

Of course, users may still see ads or topics not listed in this tool if Google believes it is relevant to them. Still, this gives you significant influence by directly telling the search engine what you want to see.

More Transparent Advertising

Beyond controlling the ads you see, My Ad Center also aims to give you more information about the ads being shown by expanding the previously introduced “about this ad” section. 

Here, you will find details about who paid for an ad (using Advertiser Identity Verification) and information about why Google included you in the targeting for this ad.

Ad Personalization Settings

Personalization has become increasingly common in ads over the last few years, with advertisers using details like age, relationship status, education level, and more to create, personalize, and target ads.

Now, users can opt out of this by limiting any or all details used to personalize ads.

In this section, you can also limit or allow sensitive ad topics such as gambling, alcohol, or weight loss to be shown to you.

Lastly, My Ad Center gives users control over what data sources are used to personalize ads and where (for example, allowing personalized Google Search results or YouTube recommendations). 


The new My Ad Center feature is expected to launch soon, though an exact date is unavailable.

Google is finally adding its coveted Trusted Store badge to free shopping listings in search results. 

The badge has been available to reliable brands on the platform for nearly a decade at this point and has been proven to increase trust in online retailers by verifying your reputation. 

Stores running paid shopping listings have been able to take advantage of this by showcasing their Trusted Store badge on their ads, however, this has not been an option for those whose free product listings get shown. 

What Is The Google Trusted Store Badge?

The Google Trusted Store badge is a small icon representing that your business has been recognized by Google for delivering great products, fast shipping, and amazing customer service. 

Though the badge is typically thought to represent pages with consistently high Google customer reviews, eligibility is actually determined by Shopping Experience Scorecard scores. These scores are determined by monitoring submitted data from online stores to assess the speed and quality of service. 

If Google determines that you are an upstanding brand, you will then be notified that you are eligible to be a Google Trusted Store. 

What Is The Benefit of Being a Google Trusted Store?

Beyond earning a badge that will now appear on both paid and free product listings, being a Trusted Store brings several benefits for brands, including increased product listing engagement, more prominently displayed product listings, and increased trust from potential customers.

Perhaps most notably, being a Trusted Store also gives brands the ability to offer free purchase protection for customers, up to a specific amount of money. 

New Analytics Tools For Free Product Listings

Along with announcing that free product listings in Google search results may display the Trusted Store badge, the search engine launched a number of analytics tools for free listings. 

These new reporting tools provide details across several metrics including:

  • Total traffic
  • Impressions
  • Conversion rates
  • Pricing competition

This marks the first time performance data has been available to merchants for free product listings. 

The Big Picture

These upgrades to free product listings bring them more in line with paid shopping listings, making them potentially more attractive to online retailers. Thanks to the introduction of the new reporting tools, brands can also start refining their listings to improve click-through and conversion rates based on their recent performance and shopping trends.

Video ads are coming to TikTok’s search results if a recently spotted test is to be believed.

David Herrmann, president of Hermann Digital, pointed out the ads earlier this week in a tweet that shows a clip with a small “Sponsored” label at the top of TikTok search results.

Based on the location in the ad – above the “Others searched for” section, it seems safe to assume the ads will typically appear within the first few search results shown. 

Unfortunately, information about this ad test is extremely limited. According to Herrmann, the ads currently can’t be targeted by keyword, though he implies the ability to do so is coming soon. 

Instead, the best way to ensure your videos get shown as relevant ads in the current iteration is to create video “how-to’s” aimed at solving specific problems. 

“Make your ads solve problems, don’t just sell. Drive them to advertorial pages,” Hermann tweeted. “This is Pinterest 2.0, but better cause people buy.”

Another detail that is unclear is how brands might get access to this ad experiment. With no official word about the ads from TikTok, the assumption is that you must be a brand with an established presence on the app and have a managed advertising account.

Once running these ads, brands will receive a list of search terms driving clicks on their video ads, helping them generate more focused and better-targeted content and ads in the future.

The ads are obviously in an early form and will likely be expanded before they are widely accessible to brands on the platform. At the same time, they show how TikTok is working to provide new ways to monetize your presence on the app and reach new audiences with high purchasing intent. 

Given that TikTok’s users already seem uniquely primed to buy products they discover through the app, this looks to potentially be a major upcoming advertising opportunity for many brands.