Pinterest Introduces New Conversion Tools

Pinterest is expanding its services for advertisers just before its Initial Public Offering (IPO) with the introduction of two new tools for Promoted Pins and Video. These tools are currently available for any brands that have a Pinterest business account, making advertising on the social media platform more effective than ever before.

Promoted Pins

One of Pinterest’s new tools is conversion optimization for Promoted Pins. With conversion optimization, advertisers have the ability to optimize their Promoted Pin campaigns for consumer actions including online checkout, email sign up, and more. Before this new tool, advertisers were only able to optimize for clicks, but now they have the ability to optimize their campaigns for more specific actions. This new tool makes it both easier and quicker for advertisers to reach their goals through Pinterest advertising by targeting people who are most likely to take specific actions.

Promoted Video

Pinterest also unveiled that Promoted Video will now expand to serve advertisers who have traffic or conversion goals by taking users to a landing page with the advertiser’s website. This landing page will also have a close up of the video.

Pinterest building out its advertising offerings will give advertisers easier ways to connect with Pinners based on their individual goals. With 265 million users, Pinterest has quickly become an effective advertising platform over the years. Although Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram remain the social media advertising giants, Pinterest connects you with a different type of audience and is worth looking into for your marketing strategy.

 

Thumbnail Photos in Google Mobile Search Results Become More Prevalent

Last year, Google started including thumbnail images with search results as another way for users to find the result that best fits what they were searching for. Although thumbnail images have been common throughout the past year, RankRanger, an SEO tool provider, reported a spike in the frequency that thumbnail photos are popping up in mobile search results through Google.

The report from RankRanger found that from March 7 to 11, the percent of mobile search result pages with thumbnail photos on Google jumped from 40 percent to 75 percent. This jump in frequency comes a few months after Google announced that they will be heavily focusing on image search in 2019, so this test with mobile search results showing more photos may be part of Google’s shift in focus for the next year.

With thumbnail photos clearly becoming a focus for Google, companies should stay ahead of the game and evaluate their websites and pages to ensure they are populated with relevant and optimized images that may be pulled by Google for thumbnail photos. When it comes to SEO, even if your company’s website is not ranked in the first couple of spots, it is possible for a thumbnail photo to make your result stand out from your competition while featuring a product or corresponding image.

As Google continues to push out more features that makes search more user-friendly, it is necessary for companies to keep up and make changes accordingly to benefit from the changes. As we dive deeper into 2019, images will only continue to be useful tools that should not be overlooked when designing a website and implementing an SEO strategy.

Assistant Ads Might Be Google’s Next Experiment

Marketers were taken aback recently when possible evidence that Google is beginning to test ads in Assistant results was posted on social media. Last Wednesday, an Android user, Gennaro Cuofano, posted a screenshot of his Assistant search results to Twitter. The screenshot showed an advertisement at the top of the search results with organic results following it.

After this screenshot caused a frenzy on the internet, Google responded by saying, “we’re always testing new ways to improve the experience on phones, but we don’t have anything specific to announce right now.” Although Google did not confirm whether or not it is currently testing the ads, Assistant advertising has been an obvious next move from Google now that more than one billion devices are equipped with Assistant technology.

If the Twitter post was indeed a test for Assistant ads, the next wave of pay-per-click and search engine optimization strategy tweaks could soon be approaching. From the screenshot, it looks as if the top ad in search results would be the ad that got the highly-visible spot in Assistant results. This means that competition to be first on search results could heighten (thus making bids more expensive) as more and more users turn to voice assistant technology.

At the rate that Assistant searches on mobile devices are growing, it will become increasingly valuable for Google to start this kind of advertising. Because of this, marketers should stay on top of these advancements to be ahead of the game if (or, more likely, when) Assistant ads do go live.

 

New Study Discovers What Consumers Are Buying with Voice Assistant

With smartphones, tablets, and voice assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echos, voice search has changed the way consumers search for information and purchase products. As this trend becomes stronger with new technology, OnBuy.com conducted a survey that discovered what consumers are currently buying with a voice assistant and how they feel about voice assistants as a whole.

OnBuy.com surveyed 1,203 U.S. consumers to better understand this trend of voice search and voice assistants. According to the survey, 25 percent of consumers said they are most likely to buy everyday household items through voice assistants, followed by apparel and entertainment both with 21 percent. Only 10-20 percent of consumers said they are most likely to buy games, consumer electronics, groceries and travel and under 10 percent mentioned furniture, appliances, prepared meals, and local services.

As for consumers perceptions on voice search, the top reasons the interviewees liked using a voice assistant is because it is hands-free, they can do other things while shopping, and they get faster results and answers. What they do not like is that it is not comfortable shopping by voice, they do not trust a voice assistant with payment information, and that there is no screen to see what they are shopping for on smart speakers.

The voice search and assistant trend has exploded over the past year and shows no sign of slowing. According to RBC Capital Markets, voice shopping on Alexa alone could generate more than $5 billion per year in revenue by 2020, while Juniper Research predicts that global ad spending on voice assistants will reach $19 billion by 2022.

With consumers adopting voice assistant and voice search technology as quick as they have been, it is important for companies to learn more about voice search and implement it in their marketing plans for 2019.

YouTube Jumps on the Stories Bandwagon

Not long after Snapchat launched Stories and changed the way users share content, many other social media giants began to mimic its innovative format. First, we were introduced to Instagram Stories, then WhatsApp and Facebook followed in its footsteps, and now YouTube is jumping on the bandwagon with their own version of Stories.

Currently only available for creators with a following of 10,000 or more, YouTube is changing up the Stories format that we are familiar with by allowing content to be seen for up to seven days instead of the 24-hour period that we are used to on other platforms. Creators can add filters, stickers, and text to their Stories, and subscribers can interact with them by liking, disliking, or commenting on the posts just as they would be able to on a regular video.

Although YouTube Stories were launched with creators in mind, marketers are also given yet another channel to reach consumers. If a brand has 10,000 or more subscribers, using YouTube Stories to feature day-to-day activities, generate excitement in product launches or events, show behind-the-scenes content, and more can allow the brand to capture the attention of consumers who might not have time to watch a full video. Also, since Stories stay at the top of users’ news feeds for up to seven days, brands that have relationships with YouTube influencers can promote products on their Stories in addition to long-form videos at a more frequent rate.

YouTube creators often spend hours upon hours filming and editing videos, but with YouTube Stories, creators as well as brands can connect with subscribers on a more casual basis. Benefiting both creators and marketers, this content format is likely to continue to develop and spread across other social media platforms.

Web Design Trends That Will Dominate 2019

As an ever-changing industry, there is always something new on the horizon when it comes to web design and development. Each year we see a new set of trends that make businesses stand out from their competitors in the digital space, so as we inch closer to the end of the year, here are a few web design trends that will likely dominate 2019.

Mobile-First Design

Building a mobile-friendly website has been stressed for years, however with mobile searches surpassing desktop searches and with that gap widening, it is more crucial now than ever to build for mobile first. Building a simple navigation, clean layout, clear calls to action, etc. as well as creating fast-loading pages will not only put you on the right track towards a mobile-friendly website but will also result in higher ranking now that Google is putting an emphasis on mobile first indexing.

Bold Typography

With the sharpening of device resolutions and access to more typefaces, bold typography has become a trend that is just as important as hero images and other design elements. In the past few years, designers have focused on using fonts that are legible and appealing, but in the new year, we will see more personalized fonts that really establish the personality of a company and generate interest in the website. Handmade typefaces, large block lettering, and sans serif fonts paired with serif fonts are just a few of the typography trends that we will be seeing more of in 2019.

Micro-Interactions

Micro-interactions are single-task interactions that create engaging moments for a user through the use of subtle animation and motion throughout a website. Micro-interactions include short sounds that let you know when an action is complete, changes of color when you roll your mouse over or click on something, swiping effects, and other entertaining forms of animation. These micro-interactions help guide a user through your website, give them instant feedback from an action, and overall make the site more interesting and engaging.

Organic Shapes

Sharp lines and straight layouts are on their way out while organic shapes and asymmetrical design are taking over websites in 2019. Designers are beginning to toss out the traditional triangles and rectangles and are replacing them with free-flowing shapes that elicit more emotion and give a website more character. Adding in hand-drawn, organic shapes are also a way for designers to create an original website that has not been seen before. The bends in the shapes create a sense of movement throughout the page, engaging users to explore the pages further.