IgnitionOne’s new report covering trends across digital marketing reveals growth for Q2 2015. Despite gains made by Yahoo!/Bing in previous quarters, Google reclaimed paid search market share it only recently lost. However in programmatic display, Google lost ground to Facebook, decreasing -9% year over year in spend compared to Facebook’s 48% surge.
Key findings in the report include:
Strong search spend growth continues – U.S. paid search spend grew 22% year-over-year in Q2, the third quarter in a row of strong growth. Competitive pressures and mobile search growth is driving this spend increase.
Mobile search growth continues to normalize – U.S. spending growth for tablets is up 22% and phones spend is up 71% YoY. Smartphones have seen the greatest growth and represent the majority of mobile spend this quarter with 59% of spend compared to tablets.
Yahoo!/Bing give back market share – After three quarters of growth, the Yahoo!/Bing network lost U.S. search market share in Q2, returning to 24.5% of share compared to Google’s 75.5% of U.S. paid search spend.
Facebook takes display share from Google – Facebook outpaced Google in display growth with FBX growing 48% in spend, while Google dropped -9% YoY. Facebook’s share of display spend grew to 16% (up from 10% a year ago). Google’s share dropped to 31%, down from 38% last year.
Programmatic display grows – U.S. display spend was up 33% when compared with same clients measured in Q2 2014, continuing the growth trend from past two quarters. The decrease in impressions that we have seen in past quarters due to Facebook changes, has tapered off resulting in a total drop of only 1%.
Google announced last week that it was enforcing “close variant matching” to all exact and phrase match keywords. While this has been an option – and, to be sure, the default setting within AdWords Keyword Matching Options – for marketers since it was first introduced in 2012, starting in late September it will be the law of the land. Advertisers will no longer be able to opt out.
Close Variant Matching allows advertisers to show ads for queries that are considered “plurals, misspelling, or close variants” of their Exact and Phrase Match keywords. Close variations are defined as misspellings, singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings (such as floor and flooring), abbreviations, and accents. According to Google, many misspellings and abbreviations would be missed by advertisers given their low search volume. Thus, matching to close variants allows advertisers to increase quality traffic by showing ads for queries that reflect the intent of their current keyword set, even if they don’t match their keywords exactly.
This is undoubtedly true for some advertisers, particularly smaller, less sophisticated accounts, where the resources – whether people or tools – to help build out and manage large keyword sets just don’t exist. Google states that advertisers who have used it over the past two years have seen an average of 7% more exact and phrase match clicks with “comparable clickthrough and conversation rates.”
IgnitionOne’s own research skews a little differently, especially by vertical. By comparing the user’s query to the keyword it was matched to, we were able to determine whether or not that query fell into the close variant category, and then ultimately whether or not that ad click resulted in a conversion. Of course, this kind of transparency no longer exists either, as Google has since removed the query from the referrer – another wall in what is becoming an increasingly black box.
The retail industry fared the best, with CPA’s roughly 11% lower on close variant queries. However, advertisers outside of the retail vertical on average saw CPAs roughly 75% higher on close variant queries than they did on non-variants. Clearly, based on this data, the close variant traffic for non-retailers is likely to be significantly less efficient, but that does not necessarily mean that it’s bad traffic. That is up to the advertiser or their search partners to determine.
The primary concern is the lack of transparency. While advertisers can still use misspellings, et al, within their accounts, the ability to vet the specificity of the matching engine – and, therefore, the efficacy of this new change – went out the window when Google removed the typed query from the referrer.
THINGS YOU CAN DO
Continue to add in misspellings, abbreviations and other “close variants” with their own bids. Google should match to them when appropriate and enforce their independent bids.
If you suspect a negative impact on CPCs for some keywords, try pausing them and see if similar terms pick up that traffic.
Utilize a portfolio approach to optimization and evaluate whether there are other paid search assets, or other advertising channels, that could use the capital more efficiently.
Be aware that “close variant” traffic is likely to be less efficient, so evaluate whether or not their performance still falls within your efficiency tolerance.
IgnitionOne will continue working closely with our clients to understand the ramifications of this change and to ensure campaign results and metrics remain strong. If you have any questions, please reach out directly to your IgnitionOne contact or email us at email@example.com.
We know that most of our customers are well versed in paid search, but there are many who don’t live in the space and have limited knowledge. I was asked to write an introductory article to Search and I discovered that there are so many different aspects that go into search advertising: from bidding on keywords to the multiple search engines, it seems almost impossible to know every little thing about the channel.
Every day, billions of people encounter advertisements when they use a search engine. These ads tend to differ depending on which keywords the user types into the search bar. These paid search advertisements are getting increasingly important in the marketing and advertising world.
Paid search works on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. Companies bid for the most efficient advertising spot on a search engine based on keywords the user types in. For example, a travel insurance company would want to bid for the top spot for the keywords “best travel insurance companies”. The company is bidding for how much they will pay for each click their advertisement receives. CPC prices can be as low as $.01 to as high as $54.91 (for the keyword “insurance”). Is paying the high price for a top advertising spot worth it? The top advertisements average 12.2% more clicks than the next advertisement. So in short, yes.
Paid search usage is growing at an exponential rate. Every year more and more companies are jumping on the bandwagon. Just last year, search ad revenue totaled $18.4 billion, breaking the record.
There are a few search engines where the majority of paid search goes on, the most common being Google. According to Search Engine Watch, 67.6% of all paid searches happen on Google . Other major search engines are Yahoo!, Bing, and Baidu. Google gets an estimated 1,100,000,000 unique visitors a month. Bing gets an estimated 350,000,000 unique visitors a month. Yahoo! gets an estimated 300,000,000 unique visitors a month.
I had a conversation with Dave Ragals, Global Managing Director of Search at IgnitionOne, where we talked about how search engines have been adding more advanced products like Google Shopping (formerly known as PLAs) and Ad Extensions. He explained that with Google Shopping, retailers can now manage their products and inventory with AdWords. Google Shopping now offers Benchmark Click Thru Rate, Impression Share, Products Tab, and Exclusions. Imagine Google Shopping ad creation currently as your social circle. You can be part of multiple social circles concurrently, and have different attributes when in each. But this could change, as, “Google tends to be the leader and Yahoo!/ Bing always ends up following suit,” he told me. Ad extensions occur when there are numerous links associated with one ad. For example, say you are looking at a CPO Commerce ad (client). With ad extensions, there can be a link to various pages that are not directly related to your search but may be of interest to you based on your query (see below).
IgnitionOne’s technology is able to figure out where a company should advertise and what the CPC should be, all within a millisecond. In addition, they can determine which keywords are most effective to bid on. They are able to determine the marginal cost to marginal return ratio for each keyword/position.
The future of marketing is in search. Every day, more and more companies turn to search to fulfill their advertising needs. Those who don’t adapt to search will most definitely get left behind.
Coca-Cola, Nissan, and HBO have taken a giant leap into the virtual world of advertising. Virtual reality can transform the advertisement industry, but the industry itself has to understand the technology before diving head first into the transformation. Virtual advertisement will allow individuals to enter a completely different experience, getting immersed in a very authentic way of viewing ads. “Today social networks are about sharing moments, but tomorrow it will be about sharing experiences.” Virtual reality will give all a sense of presence that they are unable to get from any other advertisement.
The same ads you see on Instagram will now be appearing on your Facebook page. Facebook, who owns Instagram is testing this on Mercedes-Benz, allowing their car ads to target users who follow them on Instagram. Targeting will be extremely precise. “Brands could use Instagram for brand awareness, then Facebook for their direct-response messaging.” The goal is to target individuals based on their information on both Facebook and Instagram, giving them ads from businesses that interest them.
Search is part of a huge platform for driving conversions. The article talks about three different ways to improve a company’s entire marketing efforts through search perspectives. The first being to listen carefully as to provide the user with a better experience. The second is to review your brand’s trending techniques frequently. Finally, the third is experimenting with Google AdWord search.
The female dominated site, Pinterest, just hired David Rubin as their new head of brand. This was a bit of a curveball because Pinterest is predominantly used by females and at his last job, Rubin worked with Axe. However, Pinterest hired David in order to expand their reach to men as well. “This is a fantastic brand already,” Rubin said. “My job is to help unlock that for more people, more often.”
Foursquare is in the middle of a huge rebrand. It is getting rid of one of its main features, the check-in. In addition, they are also changing their logo and creating a new typeface. The problem they face with this is not upsetting their loyal users. They are trying to make the user experience more personalized. They have approximately 10.3 million users.
Google is notorious for getting big name brands to sign on for their promise of better click-throughs. Google has it easy with blurring the lines between organic and paid search. Mike Capsambelis, the Product Manager at Google Shopping wrote, “We believe these ratings will help differentiate products across google.com and google.com/shopping and will help merchants drive more qualified traffic through Product Listing Ads.” the product ratings willl begin to appear across Google Search homepage, as well as Google.com/shopping portal.
IgnitionOne was an early innovator of Portfolio Optimization which allows for the optimal spending of each dollar for highest return possible, aiming for the highest efficiency aggregate. We are also the first to leverage a proprietary Engagement Score, that measures the historical and real-time behavior of each individual visiting your site, allows for deeper insights beyond revenue at the user level. By combining the two innovations, engagement scores in conjunction with standard revenue metrics, it has the potential to significantly improve the accuracy/insights in automated portfolio bidding.
Learn more about how these technologies and how they work together in IgnitionOne’s new insights document – download it here.
IgnitionOne announced an update to the Analytics solution within the Digital Marketing Suite this Thursday. The tool will help marketers improve their workflow and increase reporting speeds. DMS Analytics will add to IgnitionOne’s platform of simplification in the online marketing and advertising industry.
Every successful brand has good storytelling. Where to place the stories is a hard task, in addition to deciding where to spend money. Telling the story on all the platforms they can afford is the ideal situation. “The essence of that story should be a point of difference that is effectively dramatised.” This article notes that it is where (read: digital channels) the stories are told that is critical.
Paid search continues to dominate the digital advertising world. The National Retail Federation and Forrester Research Inc. released a report that showed that 76% of e-retailers said the paid search drove up more sales than the year before. 99% of the respondents said that they allocated some of their budget to some sort of PPC advertisements. However, display was also a factor in many companies marketing strategies. 77% of respondents said they spent more on display this year than they did last year. It is exciting to see the growth of digital marketing and how greatly it has changed the marketing world.
Mobile advertising took off for Facebook, so much that it increased their revenue up 61% since last year. That is $2.91 billion, where active mobile users grew 40%. The mobile industry has continued to make Facebook boom, as it holds the second highest spot after Google in mobile ad earnings. It is evident that Facebook holds itself high on the pedestil for gaining ad performance.
Mobile ad spend is predicted to gain a much higher outcome and get more money from advertisers than ever before. The article claims that the spending on smartphones and tablets combined will reach 83% and $18 billion in 2014. On the contrast, Newspapers will generate $17 billion, bringing radio at $15.5 billion. industry experts are advocating for marketers to gear their ads towards the mobile world, and focus less on print sources. “As the measurement tools develop, industry experts say marketers will become increasingly comfortable with shifting more money to mobile.”
The number of smartphone users is expected to reach 1.75 billion by the end of 2014. There have been some key trends in mobile marketing that came along with this increase of smartphone users. A few key trends have been geo-targeting, the use of micro-content, emails shifting towards mobile first and personalisation of mobile. Sooner, rather than later, mobile will be the number one platform on which companies advertise on.
When going through a digital transformaiton, 54% of companies believe it is up to the Cheif Marketing Officer to get the job done efficiently. “The role of marketing is bigger than just awareness and discovery, it’s about the relationship,” said Brian Solis. Companies need to know how to implement their technology in a way that is easy to understand for the marketers.
The programmatic ad market is set to grow from $12 million to $32 million in 2017. Adults in the United States are averaging spending two horus and fifty-one minutes each day on their mobile devices. One challenge that mobile poses is the tracking mechanism, seeing as there is no universal cookie that can be used in the mobile environment.
IgnitionOne just released its highly anticipated Quarterly Report. IgnitionOne’s quarterly report is the longest continuously running quarterly report on Digital Marketing trends. IgnitionOne had some extremely interesting key findings in their report. Search advertising spend is up 9% since last year. Google regained engine market share increasing their share to 79%. On the basis of the report, Roger Barnette says, “our clients closely track ROI and will follow results when deciding where to spend their next dollar.”
Just in case anyone had doubts, mobile commerce is here to stay. New research conducted by Australian Communications and Media Authority shows that mobile commerce has grown by 448% since 2010. As a matter of fact, the report shows that Australian consumers would rather shop from their mobile device. This growth of mobile commerce can be attributed to the increased ownership of smartphones worldwide. Smartphone ownership has increased 8% since May 2013. Mobile commerce is still growing and show no signs of slowing down.
Facebook has once again changed the way they track their customers. Facebook has now decided to track what users do outside of their site. This can be viewed as a huge breach in the users privacy. However, facebook claims they are doing this in order to provide more relevant advertisements to their users. Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, explains that “Facebook is going to use multiple ways to track their users and sell them to their advertisers.”
The infographics in the article show the future of digital marketing and the trends of the industry over the past years. According to the article, “within the next 5 years, digital will account for 75% of the Marketing budget.” Email and mobile both have grown greatly in channel effectiveness since 2012. Many executives say the biggest problem with switching to digital, is “managing the change.” However, it has been proven that digital is effective, so managing the change should be worth it.
Which social media platform are advertisers spending most of their time and money on for the future? The answer is Twitter. The largest goal for marketers, when polled, was bringing “awareness and sentiment” for their brands. Facebook was by far the most dominant social media platform, where 83%, up from 70% of advertisers are now paying for ads on Facebook. However, for a future outlook, advertisers are looking at Twitter as their favored way of promotion. Youtube came behind Twitter and Facebook, falling fourth as the best ad platform for ROI.
Twitter is now growing to expand its mobile app promotion ads worldwide. The ads ultimately redirect users to download new apps or open their existing apps already downloaded on their smartphone. There is no doubt that Twitter has incredible targeting capabilities. Twitter also offers conversion tracking capabilities for its advertisers, allowing marketers to measure the impact of their campaigns. According to BIA/Kelsey, most of the credit for the success goes to Facebook’s News Feed ads and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets.
9% more was spent by U.S. Marketers this year in paid-search ads. Mobile and tablet devices made up for 27% of total search spend. Running campaigns on smartphones alone rose 173%. The article mentions IgnitionOne’s study on the move away from advertising on search partner sites. “The difference in efficiency on Google is likely due to how quality score is calculated separately for their partner sites,” per the study.
IgnitionOne is mentioned on its Q2 2014 marketing report, contributing to large improvements in innovation in paid search technology. The article also mentions different growth engines, such as Google and Facebook’s remarketing platform, Facebook Exchange. It takes note on how much mobile and tablet devices are growing in the market. Smartphone spending amazingly grew by 173%.
Facebook has received a backlash of complaints on their recent decrease in organic search. According to the article, there was an “internal tweak” that caused much anger for brands because now they have to pay to reach their audience. Originally telling their agencies that getting enough likes was sufficient enough to generate an audience, but now that organic reach has decreased, brands have to pay to reach their audience. This will cause Facebook’s ad revenue to increase, but decrease brands trust in them. Facebook has been working to improve their communication for future changes.
There has been a recurring problem with searches on mobile devices. Smartphone users have been getting directed to a company’s mobile site rather than the webpage they were actually looking for. Google is urging brands to fix this problem so that it is easier for users to get the information they are looking for. The problem that comes along with fixing this issue is that it requires a good deal of money and time for the companies to expend.
There has been a recent trend in companies to put their needs in front of their members. Many companies make decisions that are best for the company, but not the members. The author explains that this habit must be discontinued. Companies must stop worrying about what technology is the best, but worry about what will make the members happy.
In the realm of paid search, it is no doubt that Google tops the chart. However, the article explains recent trends with users on mobile apps, pushing Google behind first place. These mobile apps use alternate sources of revenue generated outside of Google ads. According to the article, 85.9 percent of digital ad search projected for 2018 is through mobile advertising alone. Sure, Google will lose the top spot in the mobile advertising world, but that’s not to say they won’t be too close behind.
Social media has made the world of marketing into a much larger platform of attention. Marketing is now all about satisfying the customers individual needs. No longer are brands targeting just an audience, but also, individuals within that audience. According to the article, there are six trends in social media that are bound to continue to hold a large promotion for marketers in their business. These six are content, social listening, Google+, visual social media, paid social advertising, and smartphones.
Starting August 6th, mobile devices will begin to include Facebook links. This is particularly targeting mobile app ads in order to have the same appeal those ads would have when accessing Facebook through a desktop. This change shows just how important mobile ads on Facebook are becoming.. According to the article, most of Facebook’s social revenue network comes from mobile, and this new version will only reach more users and continue to grow their total advertising income.
IgnitionOne’s new report covering trends across digital marketing reveals positive growth for digital marketing in Q1 2014. Search and programmatic display experienced an increase in spend QoQ, while mobile normalized and search engine market share steadied.
Key findings within the report include:
2014 starts with a positive Q1 for Search – Compared with a robust holiday shopping season, US search saw advertising spend up 8% Quarter over Quarter (QoQ) in Q1. Search spend was also up 8% when compared to Q1 in 2013.
Mobile device growth continues to normalize – US spending growth Year over Year (YoY) for tablets is up 79% while smartphones spend is up 107%. The slower growth rate is due to normalization as YoY growth is now off the larger base that resulted from the 300%+ rate of past quarters.
Engine Market Share Remains Steady – The Yahoo!/ Bing Network held on to its US search market share in Q1, with 22.9% of spend vs. Google’s 77.1%, barely up from last quarter’s 22.7%.
Programmatic Display Trends – Q1 saw a seasonal QoQ decrease in programmatic display KPIs for Retail marketers. The travel vertical saw growth, where programmatic display spend increased 3% QoQ, yielding a 25% increase in clicks and a 49% increase in impressions.
“Mobile device traffic is still sizzling, but has begun to stabilize when compared to past quarters,” said Roger Barnette, President of IgnitionOne. “What we are seeing now is increases in efficiencies, especially within the Yahoo!/Bing network where marketers have ability to control and optimize their mobile advertising to a greater degree.”