The Latest in #DigitalMarketing & #SocialMediaMarketing - March 4, 2016

Here is our take on the most notable stories in Digital and Social Media Marketing from last week.

Last week we had news from three of digital marketing's biggest platforms: Google, Facebook, and Instagram. Google got rid of a major ad unit, Facebook added a new ad unit, and Instagram celebrated the milestone of reaching over 200,000 active advertisers.

Google removes right hand side ads for desktop searches

Click Z | February 22, 2016

In a shock to Search Engine Marketers everywhere, Google scrapped their right-hand side ads on search result pages. This move decreases ad inventory by up to 70% on most search results, leaving only three premium ad spots for the three highest bidders. Highly-competitive search terms will see an additional forth ad at the top of search results, pushing organic results to the second page.

Our Take

Both Search Engine Marketers and professionals involved in Search Engine Optimization are going to feel some pain by this move. SEM'ers will see an increase in cost due to the drop in ad supply. This will especially hurt smaller companies who thrive on bidding medium amounts to be placed on the right-hand side.

Additionally, organic search will become more irrelevant on highly-competitive terms. The fourth ad means that there is one less organic result on the first page, and in search if you are not on the first page you statistically don't exist. With this move, Google is becoming more of pay-to-play platform.

Facebook Introduces Canvas, an Immersive, Full-Screen Mobile Ad Unit

Ad Week | February 25, 2016

Last Thursday Facebook announced a new ad type, Canvas Ads. Made specifically for mobile devices, Canvas Ads allow marketers to create expandable, interactive ads within Facebook.

Ads start out looking almost identical to Facebook's standard mobile ad units, but when they are clicked the canvas, which is just a strictly-structured but customizable webpage, opens up. These webpages can be made up of any combination of images, videos, and text. Everything is drag and drop so there is no HTML coding required.

Image via Facebook:

Our Take

These ads are really above and beyond anything Facebook has offered in the past; they are fully immersive and give marketers more room for creativity. Early testing has shown that users who expand these canvas ads spend an average of 31 seconds with the creative.

What's Facebook's play here? Well, reports are that these ads will soon come to the Facebook Audience Network. Since Canvas Ads mimic the functionality of popular 'Rising Star' mobile ads, Facebook is trying to expand their appeal to more experienced mobile display marketers.

Instagram passes Twitter in active advertisers

Marketing Dive | February 25, 2016

Eight months after opening their ad platform up to all marketers, Facebook-owned Instagram announced that they surpassed 200,000 advertisers.

Our Take

Fueled by the surging Facebook advertising platform, analysts knew Instagram would be a hit with advertisers. However, not many thought that Instagram would grow this quickly. Mobile is arguably Facebook's most successful ad placement so it makes sense that Instagram, being a mobile app, is being adopted so quickly. What is even more impressive is how well these ads are being received by their user base.

Instagram found that 60% of users "learn about products and services on the network" and 75% take some sort of action after seeing an Instagram post. According to the study, these actions include "visiting a website, searching [for more info about a company], shopping or telling a friend."

Stat of the Week

via Marketing Dive | February 19, 2016

1.35% and 5.55% of mobile app installs are fraudulent, according to Adjust.