New & Next in Digital Advertising for Higher Ed | Converge Consulting

Summer 2018 Recap: New & Next in the World of Digital Advertising

Between GDPR regulations and new formats launching across channels, summer 2018 has brought about some exciting changes in the world of digital advertising. Here’s what higher ed marketers need to be aware of heading into a new semester:

LinkedIn Carousel Ads

Carousel Ads are LinkedIn’s latest sponsored content offering. With the ability to add depth to your ads by featuring multiple cards, brands will now be able to tell a complete story. Additional metrics like measuring clicks and impressions for each individual card make it easy for a business to successfully measure ROI. Businesses will be able to offer a richer user experience by expressing their personality through carousel ads that are interactive and contain eye-catching visuals.

Facebook 3D

At the F8 Conference back in May, Facebook laid out plans for 3D posts and photos. The company was somewhat vague when they made this announcement, but were very excited to see what these would look like in the future. The new 3D photos add a sense of depth, activated by scrolling past, tilting your phone, touching, or clicking the post. This feature works for portraits of people and animals but also for landscapes and panoramas. No, you don’t have to be a tech expert to be able to create these 3D images. By using the dual camera set-up of most smartphones, Facebook is taking all the complexity out of the process to make it as simple as possible for their users. Facebook intends for these 3D photos to be a stepping stone before they eventually roll out their full VR experience down the road.

Visual Search

Microsoft recently joined the latest arms race of Visual Search. Competing with Google and Pinterest, Microsoft launched the new feature for Bing. Attempting to rival Google Lens, the visual search option will also be available in app form. Users will be able to search for things like flowers, animals, or clothing by simply taking a picture. The app will also attempt to identify consumer goods and find places to buy them online. The user experience for visual has been pretty touch-and-go over the past year but expect vast improvements in the future as companies continue to invest money and data to enhance this new search technology.

Google AdWords Update & College Search

Google updated their AdWords interface in July 2018 with new features and tabs to help businesses better analyze and optimize their campaigns. It will take some getting used to at first but Google ensures that this update is meant to make AdWords faster and more efficient. For more information about this update make sure to check out our blog post here.

Along with the AdWords update, Google also introduced a tool specifically designed to help those in the edu world: Google College Search. This new feature will ease the daunting process of choosing the right institution by altering search results for specific college-related inquiries. It will also make it easier for higher ed institutions to be found by right-fit students, making both sides happier in the end. Click here if you’re interested in hearing more about this topic.

Blockchain and the Downfall of YouTube Advertising

Over the past few years, digital advertising campaigns through YouTube have suffered. Fake views and bots have diluted traffic and cost the industry millions of dollars. However, an answer might be on the horizon in the form of blockchain. Launching soon is a new blockchain-based video platform, Verasity, that believes it could save advertisers an upwards of $19 billion by filtering out all of the confusion of fake views and unintended website visits. Verasity is able to do this through verifying impressions by using a new patent-pending proof-of-view technology. This means that blockchain could end up being the engine that revolutionizes the digital advertising industry. YouTube also announced that they will be pumping $25 million into getting rid of fake news to make life easier on digital advertisers. The future is looking bright for the industry.

Spotify Switching Strategies

Earlier this month, Spotify debuted its new startegy for ad-supported, music streaming service. Spotify will now let listeners skip ads through an interactive video and audio experience called, Active Media. Spotify listeners will be given an ad break that consists of targeted audio and video of which they can choose whether they want to hear, see, or skip the selected ads. The advertisers will then only pay for the ads that provide more advertisements that are in-line with each user’s interests. Head of sales, Andrea Ingham, is feeling very confident about this new rollout saying,

“Active Media is a win-win for listeners and advertisers; listeners benefit from an improved experience, allowing them to choose which ads they want to engage with, and in turn, we can offer advertisers better cut through and ROI.”

This summer is quickly coming to a close, but it’s definitely left us with more than enough debuts and updates to wet our appetites heading into this new school year. We hope this recap will make it easier to remember all that went down in the ever-changing digital advertising landscape over the past few months. If you’re interested in trying out any of these new features or just want to chat with a fellow EDU nerd, make sure to tweet us @ConvergeOrg. We look forward to connecting with you!

Dane Cronbaugh
Dane Cronbaugh
July 31, 2018