Aug 30 2023
Alexa Dillon

Innovations in Search and Social [August 2023]


What’s new in the realms of paid search and social media? This month, Alexa Dillon, Basis’ VP of Search Media Investment, and Erik Chellberg, VP of Social Media Investment, compiled all the latest news, trends, and resources for easy access.

Twitter is now X. Here's what that means. [:04]

At the end of July, Twitter announced its name change to X—and just like that, the blue and white bird logo has flown the coop. This is a massive first step in Elon Musk's plans to rebrand and transform the social media platform into a so-called “everything app," although little detail has been shared on what exactly that entails. There is no change to paid advertising opportunities on the platform as of right now, but that may evolve as Musk and team build out and expand X's organic and paid offerings.

A hand petting two small birds that look like they've been dyed blue
We’re sorry, but you’ve been replaced with a letter.

Google Ads launches several new features ahead of holiday season [:03]

Many of Google’s new marketing features are aimed at driving efficiency at a time when maximizing learnings to improve campaign effectiveness is top of mind, especially for retailers. For example, Google is updating product pages with more details to inform data-driven decisions that boost ROAS, making it easier to onboard local ads. Google is also rolling out more A/B experiment opportunities and expanding ad space in the top search slot for users who have shown explicit shopping intent.

New ways to make vertical video ads on YouTube [:03]

Google is rolling out an AI-powered feature to help advertisers run videos across orientations in video action campaigns. Flip video ads use computer vision technology and Google's AI to automatically transform horizontal videos into vertical and/or square videos. The functionality will be enabled by default but will not serve if an advertiser’s own vertical and square assets are uploaded in every ad group. If desired, it can be disabled in campaign settings through the "video enhancement" control. All flipped videos go through an extensive human evaluation before being approved.

Little girl flipping awkwardly into an inflatable backyard swimming pool
That’s cool, but check out THIS flip.

How Google’s Approach to Attribution is Changing and Why It Matters for Ecommerce Companies [:03]

Google has deprecated all but two of its attribution models, last-click and data-driven, citing low adoption for other rules-based attribution models—although the company’s heavy lean into data-driven attribution reinforces its desire for data ownership and analysis. E-commerce retailers should determine if they can accommodate minimum requirements for data-driven policies, or they will be forced to use last-click attribution in lieu of other time-decay options.

Google Demand Gen campaigns beta opens, will soon replace Discovery ads [:03]

The Demand Gen campaign type, announced in May at Google Marketing Live, is now open for beta. For marketers who sign up for the beta, their existing Discovery campaigns will automatically be upgraded to Demand Gen. All other Discovery campaigns will be eligible for the upgrade upon wide release in October, with automatic upgrades expected from January to March 2024. Demand Gen campaigns combine image and video ads and serve across YouTube Shorts and in-stream, Discovery, and Gmail. New features include ad previews, A/B creative experiments, the option to use a click-based bid strategy, and lookalike segments.

Microsoft’s Performance Max is now in open beta [:03]

Microsoft's version of Performance Max is now available for select advertisers, allowing them to maximize conversions and set targets for return on ad spend while leveraging Microsoft’s entire suite of inventory to reach untapped audiences. Like automated ad buying programs on other platforms, one additional key benefit is that advertisers can add assets, such as text and images, to groups, which are then automatically applied to campaigns at scale based on best-performing combinations.

A betta fish
Oops, wrong betta. Nothing fishy about these new features.

Inside TikTok’s Amazon-inspired flywheel strategy to boost social commerce [:02]

TikTok’s sights are set on growing its global e-commerce business to more than $20 billion through TikTok Shop. TikTok's creator community and appeal to Gen Z make it the platform to watch in the social commerce space, according to eMarketer insiders. As of today, 17% of US adults start their shopping journey on TikTok, compared to Instagram's 18%, Facebook's 21%, and YouTube's 23%.

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