April 2020 – Digital Marketing Updates

Every month I attempt to provide Digital Marketers with some of the key digital marketing takeaways as well as platform updates that transpired within the given month.  The key takeaways will focus on the Digital Marketing Industry as a whole, whereas, the platform updates focus on the top marketing platforms within Digital Media.

Digital Marketing April 2020 Key Takeaways

Impacts of COVID-19 continued through all of April.  However, the end of April started to show signs of improvement as the White House presented its plan for a phased approach to reopen the economy. 

1. The Number of Advertisers Pausing Media Increased

Advertisers started pulling back spend in March as businesses temporarily closed offices and more consumers began to stay at home.  April was no different.  Number of advertisers pausing campaigns rose to approximately 37% in April.  This number is projected to decline in May as many states are planning to take a phased approach to open the economy.  Half of the marketers who continue to buy ads are looking to implement geotargeting during the pandemic.

2. Major Platforms Exploring Areas of Growth to Counter Revenue Decline

As major advertising platforms struggle to meet revenue goals amidst the coronavirus outbreak, they are forced to explore areas within their product offering showing promising signs of growth.   Google for example is banking on growth within Display and Video to pick up on the lower revenue numbers generated by Search.  Twitter on the other hand is looking to their direct response products like their mobile app promotion offering to help generate advertisers generate revenue.  

Digital Media Platform Updates


4/2 Product Targeting Available For US Sellers on Sponsored Display Search & Display Amazon enhanced their Sponsored Display product targeting capabilities for US Sellers. Although it was possible for advertisers to target similar products through the Amazon DSP, the feature was not available with Sponsored Display product ads. Learn more. New tactics and oportunities are now available to advertisers through this enhancement. Advertisers can now reach consumers browsing similar products as their own to increase clicks to their product detail page. It also opens opportunities for cross selling, remarketing and product discovery.
4/3 New Way For Sites to Highlight COVID-19 Announcements  SEO Google now makes it easy for webmasters to quickly add or highlight COVID-19 updates to Google search results. This can be done through the SpecialAnnouncement structured data or directly within Search Console if less technical. Learn more. This new feature may help with rankings and click performance due to providing additional relevant and recent content. Furthermore the SpecialAnnouncment structured data increases search results real estate, which can ultimately improve engagement.
4/10  Google Ads Editor Shared Budget Update Video

Google Ads Editor is a downloadable app that makes it easy for users to make campaign edits offline and in bulk. The latest released version 1.3 not only rocks a new look and feel, but also incorporates new shared budgets and optimization score features.   Learn more.

This updated version will have minimum impact on campaign performance. Although the optimization score will be more accessible, most optimizations will happen within the platform or by leveraging tools like SA360 and Marin.

4/16 Ad Creative Editing Available for Sponsored Brands Display Ad creative editing feature makes it possible for advertisers to edit their creative right within their Sponsored Brands campaigns. The feature makes it possible to change the products, headlines and logos of your live creative and submit updated version to moderation for approval.   Learn more. Creative is one the biggest drivers of performance and results. Being able to make quick updates to creative will enable more testing opportunities, which may result in improved or enhanced performance.
4/23 Advertiser Identification Verification Now Required Search In the pursuit of greater transparency, Google now requires every Advertiser to verify their identity in order to be able to serve their ads on Google. Once verified it will make it possible for Google users to see the Advertisers business name and location when hovering an ad.  Learn more. Impact will be severe for Advertisers who are unable to verify identity since they will no longer be able to advertise on Google.
4/23 Call Ads Now Include An Optional Website Link Display & Video Call Ads now have an option to “visit website” on the ad. This means users can either choose to click on the displayed phone number or go to the advertiser’s website to learn more.    Learn more. An additional option on a Call Ad may potentially lead to fewer call actions. However, although there might be less clicks to call, those that choose to Call may be more qualifiied. This will result in keeping the same amount of conversions due to fewer accidental clicks.
4/28  Video Parallel Tracking Migration Extension    Video   With parallel tracking, users are sent directly to an advertiser’s landing page, which improves load speed by avoiding the redirection from tracking URLs. Parallel tracking transition deadline was originally set for March 31st, but has been extended to June 15th due to COVID-19.   Learn more.  There will be no impact to media managment or performance.

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