Google and Yahoo Ad Platform Updates Mean Marketers Need to Adapt
2015 may not be over yet, but it's already been a year of changes for advertising giants Yahoo and Google. With companies like Facebook amping up the competition in terms of advertising platforms, well-established players are continuing to innovate to stay at the forefront of the industry.
This year, Yahoo has introduced a partial shift from the Yahoo Bing Network to Yahoo Gemini, which gives Yahoo the ability to start selling ads for its search properties and gain more control. More recently, Yahoo also rolled out the new BrightRoll brand, under which all of its programmatic tech has been consolidated. This includes Yahoo data and Flurry analytics, programmatic buying services for Yahoo channels, and more.
Google, meanwhile, has most recently rolled out both Customer Match and Universal App campaigns. Customer Match is Google's answer to Facebook Custom Audiences, and allows marketers to upload email addresses to target specific users and match ads to them. The targeted ads can appear on search results, YouTube and Gmail. Google will allow the user control over how they want their advertising experience optimized, or whether they wish to stop receiving personalized ads altogether.
Universal App Campaigns are an automated campaign type aimed at driving app installs through Google Search, Google Play, YouTube and the Google Display Network, optimized to a marketer-determined cost per install.
So, how can digital marketers adapt to these changes, and what are some best practices to keep in mind? Consider the following:
- Become the mobile master: A majority of the changes being made to both Yahoo and Google advertising platforms are a result of the continuing growth in mobile. It's more important than ever to view mobile as a critical means for connecting with users. Rather than just letting desktop work be "converted" into mobile, take the time to sit down and strategize on how your team is going to use the new tools available to maximize marketing opportunities.
- Track programmatic: With a multitude of new programmatic abilities available, it's crucial to keep track of where and how your ads are performing to determine whether you're seeing the positive display advertising return on investment you want. Always start a programmatic campaign with clearly defined conversion paths and success metrics to avoid an unclear answer to the question, "Is this a success?"
- Test 1,2,3: Since these new rollouts allow for hypertargeted advertising opportunities, it's more important than ever to test various messaging within concentrated groups of users. It can be tempting to believe that Google and Yahoo are taking over a lot of the hard work for us as marketers, but the truth is it's more vital than ever to use these new tools to connect with our audiences on an unprecedented personal level.
There will no doubt be more changes coming to the advertising platform landscape as time goes on. It's important to adapt and tweak your marketing strategy as new technologies and trends emerge, and stay up-to-date to ensure you and your team are running at the optimum level.