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Microsoft Diversifies Advertising Platform with PromoteIQ Acquisition

author image Written by: Alex Greening           Categories - Digital Marketing, In The News

Microsoft Acquires Marketing Tech Startup PromoteIQ To Empower Retail Clients

Microsoft maintains its growth and is refining its B2B focus by acquiring vendor marketing technology firm, PromoteIQ. PromoteIQ’s platform allows retailers to build, launch, and scale vendor marketing programs on their eCommerce website with the goal of generating incremental revenue. As part of the acquisition, the company will be able to maintain its brand with the company’s founder and CEO, Alex Sherman continuing to lead, in addition to becoming a division within Microsoft Advertising, formerly known as Bing Ads. PromoteIQ’s big clients such as the American brands Kroger, Kohl’s, Office Depot, and Overstock among thousands of others, will continue to benefit from the PromoteIQ platform along with the added resources and support from Microsoft. PromoteIQ’s technology strategically complements Microsoft’s current retail advertising offerings…And together, we can enable retailers with a portfolio of technology solutions to modernize their e-commerce platforms and maximize their monetization opportunity,

A Step Forward for Microsoft

Microsoft Advertising provides retailers that compete with Amazon an alternative to the company’s quickly growing advertising business and a way to develop a new revenue stream at a time when in-store is slowing. PromoteIQ founders Alex Sherman and Peter Schwartz said in a joint statement that the benefits Microsoft Advertising brings to PromoteIQ include “industry-leading AI and machine learning capabilities, as well as a strong global retail market footprint.”

What PromoteIQ Brings to the Table

PromoteIQ’s platform is capable of managing hundreds of brands promoting million of SKUs on-site, and lets vendor-driven product placements live on a webpage next to a retailer’s organic site content. This opens up a potentially significant new arena of inventory for Microsoft and its digital advertising goals. Microsoft’s ad business is primarily composed of search and network advertising on Bing and LinkedIn, respectively. Adding PromoteIQ to its list of offerings to advertising clients will bolster the company’s commerce and retail capabilities, which will ultimately open up potential new ad sales growth. The Promote IQ acquisition will help Microsoft court retailers and dig into eCommerce, which is a key growth area in the coming years, according to buyers and analysts. This move will help empower retailers and brands, while also simultaneously allowing Microsoft and PromoteIQ to gain more benefits as part of the advertising industry. Microsoft is clearly playing in the long game.

Alex Greening

Google Pulling Back Ad Restrictions For YouTube

06/14/2022

Google announced that they are lifting some restrictions on YouTube mastheads ads. That means that advertisers who have been limited with their ad publishing until now, can finally publish ads in the following categories:

  • Sports betting (US Only)
  • Alcohol (where legal)
  • Prescription drugs (US, CA, NZ)

Categories for election and political ads, as well as non-sports gambling, remain restricted.

“We’re constantly reviewing our ad requirements to improve our products and services. Given the evolving regulatory landscape for sports betting and following our successful implementation of our new “per market” YouTube masthead format, we believe that this decision balances the needs of advertisers and consumers.” -Google’s spokesperson said.

YouTube mastheads are the ads that users see at the top of the YouTube homepage. Since it’s the most prominent placement, the ads there must comply with all Google Ads policies and YouTube ad requirements.

However, the masthead ad content requirements are much more restrictive than the ad requirements on other platforms. So, even if an ad has been denied for the masthead placement, it can still run somewhere else on Google.

Read More: Users Can Limit Three More Types Of Ads On Youtube

Ad Requirements for YouTube

As mentioned, ad content must comply with certain requirements. Here’s what ad content is prohibited on YouTube:

  • Exaggerated or inaccurate claims – exaggerated or false claims for a product or a service that misleads people
  • Offensive language – obscene or offensive language, derogatory language that incites hatred, discrimination, racism
  • Negative events and imagery – mentally distressing, disturbing, scary content, death, decay, etc. This also means no videos of people weeping at funerals, excessively gory content, dangerous challenges, etc. There are exceptions for movies, TV shows, news channels, etc.
  • Improper content – focusing on specific body parts or health conditions, nudity, racy and sexually suggestive topics. There are some limitations to ads for weight loss, hair loss, skin conditions, swimwear, etc.
Read more: YouTube Launches ‘Search Insights’

Why Is This Important?

Masthead ads are one of many YouTube and Google advertising formats and only a small portion of YouTube’s daily ad impressions. All of the previously restricted categories above can now select that placement for their ads, giving them more choice and options for their ads.

Read More: Should You Create Video Content?
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Instagram Updating Its Ranking Algorithm 

04/21/2022

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced that Instagram is adding a few changes in order to put more focus on creators and the credit they get. One of the mentioned changes is updating its ranking algorithm with the goal to put more focus on original work. Judging by the number of copy-paste posts we’ve seen so far, this update should have been made a long time ago.

 

Read More: Instagram’s Main Feed Going Full Screen

Making Sure The Credit Goes To Those Who Deserve It

Instagram announced the following changes:

  • Product Tags – it will now be available to everyone. So, no matter who you are, you will be able to tag products and drive traffic and attention to a business, creator or a company that they like.
  • Enhanced People Tags – now, you can add a category for yourself (into profile, edit profile) which will show up when you are tagged in a photo or a video. This makes sure you have your identity be what you want it to be, and credited according to your wishes.
  • Ranking – people that actually created something from scratch should be more credited for that, so the algorithm will focus more on that kind of content.

“We are going to do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content. So, more to come there as well.” – said Mosseri in the announcement.

But, what does it exactly mean? As mentioned in SocialMediaToday, the changes in ranking are not that well explained and it’s not clear if any penalization will happen.

Read More: Instagram Subscriptions Tests Three New Features

What Will Affect The Ranking?

The Twitter community did have some questions regarding the originality of content and asked about editing outside of the app. If you remember, Instagram started down-ranking content that was re-shared from other apps. So, if you will be re-posting your TikTok with a watermark on it, your content will still be penalized. However, if you only edited it off the Instagram app, that shouldn’t be a problem and won’t affect your rank.

Still, Mosseri admits that Instagram can’t know for sure if a content piece is an original or not. They only build classifiers that will show how likely something is to be an original, but they can never know for sure. It’s still a work in progress.

Posting History Is Also A Factor

Content aggregators are the focus of this update, and Instagram will be able to determine this with the account’s posting history. Instagram is more likely to detect that an account is an aggregator if it re-posts a lot of content from other accounts.” So if you’re re-posting a lot of content from other accounts, you’ll likely see a drop in reach.

The main goal of the whole update is, as we mentioned, to give more credit to original creators, but the system is not yet perfect. However, Mosseri said that Instagram will continue to improve its detection features over time to better distinguish where the content comes from and who posts original content, to promote the real creators and reduce the influence of big farm accounts.

It looks like it’s time to say goodbye to reposting trending memes in order to boost engagement.

 

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