As business owners and advertisers plan their holiday marketing campaigns, online platforms that sell advertising are offering new tools and features to help business owners reach consumers. Both Google and Facebook announced new ad features, just in time to help business owners this holiday season.
After being tested for about a year, Google is making their Shopping Showcase ads available to more advertisers. The feature was first tested in 2016 and throughout most of the year. It is now a part of the newest version of AdWords Editor.
The now available AdWords Editor version 12.1 has support added for several features, including Shopping showcase ads and expanded dynamic search ads. Showcase Shopping ads are available in the new AdWords experience and the AdWords API
Showcase Shopping ads lets marketers group together related products and present them together as a way to introduce your brand, business or product line. In many ways, they are similar to the Carousel ads in Facebook, with multiple pictures as part of one ad.
Showcase ads feature three product images from a retailer that are related to the search query and link to a Google-hosted landing page of products the advertiser groups together.
The newest version of AdWords Editor has other interesting features that advertisers and marketers should consider. Aside from the Shopping Showcase and Dynamic Ads, the update adds a keyword tool, new metrics, new campaign goals and more. Visit Google’s AdWords page to learn more.
Facebook has also added new features to ads to capture the attention of audiences and advertisers alike. Whereas Google’s improvements provide new ways to showcase online products, Facebook’s newest ad formats help integrate online ads with offline activities.
Facebook has been using location data to help business owners for years. For example, the Check-In function for Business Pages is a way to use Facebook to capture offline activities. Now, Facebook is officially rolling out an option that targets consumers based on the stores they visited. Similarly, Facebook is adding the ability to retarget people based on other offline events that Facebook can track, such as in-store product purchases and calls to a business’s office or call center.
In the past, these kinds of offline-online kinds of advertising required business owners to have a custom audience made up of emails from customers. Facebook has expanded the feature by covering some of the other ways people may interact with a business. For example, marketers can now target people based on such as by “RSVPing to a business’s Facebook event, as well as to targeting people across Instagram and its Audience Network ad network of third-party sites and apps”, according to early reports.
According to a Facebook representative that spoke to MarketingLand, Facebook will only include people in a store visitor audience when it has a “high confidence” that a person visited a given location. There will also be limits to the businesses that can use these features, such as having at least 10 separate locations.
It may be a while before some of the offline-online features are available to business owners of any size, but it’s a feature business owners should keep an eye on. With the holidays nearly here, business owners need to do everything they can to give their business a leg up on the competition.
For more news about Google and small businesses, read this article on the new, easier-to-use Google My Business.