whatsapp-rolls-out-smb-product-‘catalogs’-to-support-local-discovery-and-commerce

At Facebook’s F8 developer conference in April the company announced a number of new offerings, among them WhatsApp Catalogs for small businesses. Facebook is now formally rolling it out in selected markets including Brazil, Germany, India, Indonesia, Mexico, UK and the U.S., with more countries coming soon.

Showcase products or services. Catalog allows businesses on WhatsApp to showcase products and services and share them with customers via the app’s messaging function. Consumers can also discover businesses and see and browse products directly on the business profile.

The process is simple. Business owners upload images of products (or their work product), provide descriptions, product codes and pricing. They can also add URLs to product pages, menus and so on.

It’s not entirely clear but it doesn’t appear that businesses will be able (at this point) to sell directly on WhatsApp. But they can link to pages where products can be sold or other conversions can happen.

Why we should care. WhatsApp is positioning itself as a complete commerce platform for small businesses. Although transactional capabilities are currently not present, I would expect them to be introduced in the future.

While WhatsApp is not widely adopted in the U.S., it has massive global usage. It has more than 1 billion daily users and more than 1.5 billion users overall. Like Instagram, WhatsApp is a platform that Facebook needs to further monetize to drive continued revenue growth.



About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes about the connections between digital and offline commerce. He previously held leadership roles at LSA, The Kelsey Group and TechTV. Follow him Twitter or find him on LinkedIn.



facebook-rolls-out-new-corporate-logo-that-will-appear-with-all-of-its-brands

Facebook introduced a new corporate logo Monday that will soon appear across its products.

The plain all-caps logo has been “designed for clarity” to help differentiate the corporate entity from the social networking app, Facebook CMO Antonio Lucio said. Facebook the brand will still be indicated by its familiar blue and white lower-case “f” and “facebook”.

The corporate logo also will be added to Facebook-owned services and platforms, including Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal, and Calibra. Facebook first announced the branding plan in August.

Why we should care. While marketers understand the full breadth of Facebook’s portfolio, surveys indicate that many consumers do not know that Facebook owns Instagram or WhatsApp, for example. With Facebook’s less-than-sparkling reputation, it’s an interesting choice to make the connection clearer to consumers. The company isn’t shying away from its dominance, though, even with (or in spite of) mounting antitrust scrutiny.

As Facebook moves to enmesh the backends of its apps with encryption, it has also been building more options for advertisers to enable advertisers to reach users across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger through the single Ads Manager hub. Advertisers we spoke to in August had mixed reactions about the branding move but let’s note the company’s reputational woes have yet to dent its advertising revenues.



About The Author

Taylor Peterson is Third Door Media’s Deputy Editor, managing industry-leading coverage that informs and inspires marketers. Based in New York, Taylor brings marketing expertise grounded in creative production and agency advertising for global brands. Taylor’s editorial focus blends digital marketing and creative strategy with topics like campaign management, emerging formats, and display advertising.



messagegears-rolls-out-amp-for-email-support

Email marketing platform MessageGears will now provide support for Google’s AMP for Email. Customers will be able to include interactive AMP components within their emails.

The AMP-enabled features allow recipients to take actions — such as RSVPing to an event — directly within email, rather than following a redirect to a different site or landing page.

Why we should care

Creating an interactive environment directly within the inbox could boost email engagement. AMP for Email also offers new opportunities for marketers to learn more about their subscribers through the actions they take within their emails. Those actions can then be used to inform personalization.

At a time when consumers crave — and respond to — personalized content, marketers who leverage AMP for Email to deliver personalized experiences to the inbox can anticipate the best results.

“AMP now enables
all-new email experiences like being able to submit RSVPs to events, fill out
questionnaires, browse catalogs, or respond to comments right within the
email,” wrote the Google AMP team in introducing the product earlier this year.
“Emails can also stay up to date, displaying the freshest content from comment
threads or the latest recommendations.”

More on the news

  • Dynamic AMP for Email rolled out to Gmail users earlier this year.
  • MessageGears is one of the first email service providers (ESPs) to support AMP for Email.
  • “Seeing the potential of AMP for Email, we’ve been really excited about supporting it in our platform,” MessageGears chief product officer Dan Roy said. “It’s one of the most interesting innovations in email technology in a long time. We can’t wait to see some of the amazing ways marketers are going to be able to use AMP to enhance the inbox experience and change the way people think about email.”

More about the Managed Inbox



About The Author

Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.



adobe-rolls-out-revamped-creative-cloud-desktop-app

Adobe has launched a new version of its Creative Cloud desktop application that has been redesigned from the ground up “to be a more intuitive way to access your apps, update them, and discover new apps that complement or extend your creativity.”

Instead of a lightweight app that’s designed for managing Creative Cloud apps, the new Creative Cloud desktop is now “a portrait into your Creative Cloud world.”

Features now include an easier system for managing/discovering apps, searching, a tutorials hub, full-screen management of Creative Cloud libraries, finding/discovering assets (like fonts and brushes), and Portfolio.

Here’s a 2.5-minute video that introduces the new desktop app:

The new version of this app will be rolling out to customers in the US through an update this week.

reddit-rolls-out-mobile-landing-pages,-standard-sizes,-optional-referral-urls-for-video-ads

Reddit announced three new video ad updates on Wednesday, launching a new mobile landing page experience, adding two more aspect ratios for ad sizes and offering optional referral URLs for CPV (cost per view) campaigns.

Mobile landing pages for video ads. The new mobile landing pages for video ads are designed to provide a “seamless viewing experience” — when a user clicks on an in-feed video ad on Reddit’s mobile platform, they will be redirected to a website where the ad continues to play uninterrupted alongside other branding and product information from the advertiser.

This is what it will look like:

are now enabled for all mobile video ads, regardless of their objective. Reddit said it expects the update to improve engagement, completion rates and conversion rates.

New video ad sizes. In addition to the 16:9 and 4:3 aspect rations for video ads, Reddit is now supporting 1:1 square and 4:5 vertical video sizes.

overhauled site last year, Reddit, reports an increase in page views and time spent on its website and app, along with user engagement growth. With the redesign complete, Reddit now has a platform on which it can build out more comprehensive ad offerings, something it has been steadily accomplishing over the past year.

In addition to giving brands more video ad options this time, Reddit also reported it is forming its first video engineering team to test and improve its video ad products.



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facebook-rolls-out-new-video-poll-ads,-set-to-open-ar-ads-to-all-advertisers
Thursday. Playable Ads are also now available to advertisers outside of the gaming vertical. Video poll ads are scheduled to launch this month and the AR Ads are moving into open beta globally in the fall.

Video poll ads. Moving on the success it has seen since the release of poll stickers for Instagram Stories Ads, Facebook is bringing polling capabilities to its video ads.

“In our early findings, we’re seeing poll ads in Feed drive increased brand awareness and conversions,” wrote Facebook. The company reported that five out of nine brand lift studies showed poll ads increased brand awareness compared to regular video ads, according to internal data from April.

AR ads move into beta. Facebook first began testing its augmented reality ads with a select number of brands in July, 2018. It is opening up a global beta for AR ad units this fall, making the ad format available to all advertisers.

In early tests of AR ads, WeMakeUp reported a 27.6 point lift in purchases — with the average consumer spending 38 seconds interacting with AR ads, trying out different shades of lipstick — and saw a 53% higher click-through rate compared to non-AR video ads.

WeMakeUp AR Ad

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics said it saw three-times the CTR and two-times the website purchases compared to other ads in its AR ad tests.

More advertisers get playable ads. As part of Thursday’s announcement, Facebook said it was also expanding a beta of playable ads, the mobile app ads originally released for gaming advertisers, to all advertisers. The ad unit is now available for reach, brand awareness, conversions, and video views objective. 

Why we should care. Facebook’s latest ad updates broaden the playing field for mobile advertisers — giving marketers new ad formats designed to boost engagement. With the new video poll ads and AR ads, marketers will be able to deliver more interactive experiences to help differentiate their brands from the competition.



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facebook-rolls-out-automated-lead-generation-feature-for-messenger-to-all-advertisers
automated lead generation feature for Messenger, which was first announced in May to all advertisers. The new offering allows businesses to create an automated question and answer experience within Messenger that launches via Facebook’s click-to-Messenger ads for Facebook News Feed.

Here’s how it works: when a user clicks a “Send Message” button in a click-to-Messenger ad within their Facebook News Feed, it launches an automated chat in Messenger between the business and customer.

Advertisers can integrate the lead generation tool with a CRM platform, and also have the ability to continue conversations with customers via the company’s Facebook Page Inbox, the Pages Manager app or a third-party live chat solution.

Why we should care

According to a recent consumer survey conducted by Drift (an online chat solution provider) and SurveyMonkey, 42% of the people polled said they expect a response via an online chatbot within five seconds of sending a message. By integrating an automated lead generation feature that connects to a CRM platform into its click-to-Messenger ads, Facebook is helping brands respond quickly to customer inquiries and streamlining communication with customers on the platform.

Businesses that had early access to the Messenger lead gen tool reported a measurable increase in qualified leads. RIFT Tax, a UK-based financial services company, used the platform in a campaign targeting Armed Forces members and drove a 42% increase in leads, with an 18% higher lead resolve rate via Messenger compared to phone conversations.

RIFT Tax also reported a less than 10-minute lead response time. “We’re putting forward a business case to add Facebook Messenger to our mix of channels for lead acquisition and to further develop using Facebook Messenger as a communication channel throughout the customer journey,” said RIFT Tax Senior Paid Digital Performance Manager Alicia Urunsak.

More on the news

  • Facebook’s click-to-Messenger ads, that integrate with Messenger’s automated lead generation tool, can be created in the messages objective within Facebook Ads Manager.
  • The new lead gen tool includes a feature that automatically sends a reminder to leads who haven’t responded to the questions.
  • The automated lead generation platform for Messenger rolled out globally on Thursday to all Facebook advertisers.


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linkedin-rolls-out-new-feature-to-help-smbs-promote-their-service-offerings
Small and midsize business owners will now be able to list the services they offer directly on their LinkedIn profile pages, the company announced Tuesday.

When an SMB owner adds service listings to their individual profile, they will automatically be eligible to show up in relevant search results for those services.

“From now on, members looking for help will be able to filter their general LinkedIn searches for service providers,” writes LinkedIn’s Group Product Manager Vidya Chandra on the LinkedIn blog, “When you add services to your profile, you’ll show up in these search results.”

Why we should care

LinkedIn reports it has more than 10 million small business leaders in the U.S. using its platform. Giving SMB owners (and freelancers alike) the ability to list their services directly on their profile pages could help them promote their services outside of their LinkedIn company pages — if they even have one. Making sure their profile page shows up in searches for the specified services adds an extra layer of exposure for the business.

This is a bonus for any company lacking the time and resources to build out a comprehensive social media marketing presence. Chandra writes, “This is a great way to quickly indicate to members that you are open for business.”

Not only is LinkedIn adding SMB service providers to search results, it will encourage members to message the SMB directly to ask about services.

More on the news

  • The new feature is first being rolled out to small business leaders and freelancers in the U.S. with a Premium Business LinkedIn subscription, but the company said it will make it available to all SMB owners this fall.
  • To add service listings, Premium Business subscribers can go to their profile pages on mobile or desktop to see if the feature has been activated. LinkedIn said users should see a box under their profile photo and headline to “Add Services.”
  • Any SMBs that currently do not have access to the “Add Services” box can request to be placed on a waiting list for the new feature.


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