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February 2021 Updates to Paid Media Platforms



In this monthly post, we bring you the latest from all of the major platforms.

Google Ads

What: Manager accounts can now bid across accounts with portfolio bid strategies

Details: Google has launched portfolio bid strategies that can be applied across manager accounts. Advertisers can create and manage them for both search and standard shopping campaigns. 

Impact: Combining bid strategies across accounts can potentially help drive performance, and generate more conversion value.

What: Standardized conversion attribution across Video Campaigns

Details: With the increase in video adoption for advertising, Google is now implementing standardized attribution to help advertisers understand how video works in the user journey. For now, this only applies to video campaign types that offer tCPA and maximize conversions bidding. Reach campaigns will continue to optimize for unique reach, but will show conversion performance. 

Impact: Standardized attribution will allow for conversion comparison across different video campaign types, helping advertisers identify optimization opportunities for video. 

What: Phrase match keywords will be the new default

Details: Google is phasing out broad match modified keywords, with existing broad match modifier keywords transitioning to mimic phrase match behavior. This simplification is designed to streamline keyword management, especially as automated bidding strategies become the norm for advertisers. 

Impact: This change has been rolled out in mid-February. There won’t be any immediate impact, however starting July, advertisers will no longer be able to create new broad match modified keywords. 

What: “Always On” Lead Form Extensions

Details: To help advertisers generate more leads, Google now lets you show a lead form every time users tap the headline of a search ad. Advertisers can enable this in campaign settings. 

Impact: For B2B advertisers that are focused on lead generation to build their pipeline, this option can help gather user information without sending them to a landing page. 

What: Responsive Search Ads Are Now The Default

Details: Starting February 18, responsive search ads are the default ad type for search ads. According to Google, responsive search ads can automatically identify the best headlines and descriptions to deliver the right ad to the right person. 

Impact: It’s no surprise that Google’s product updates are focused around increasing the adoption of machine learning across accounts. Advertisers should pay attention to ad strength and cross-campaign asset reporting for responsive search ads. 

What: Display and YouTube Ads Are Available In Attribution Reports

Details: In addition to Search campaigns, advertisers can now get attribution insights for Display and Video campaigns within Google Ads. Eligible advertisers can opt-in to this open beta within the Measurement > Attribution section of Google Ads. 

Impact: This update will allow advertisers to gain an understanding of conversion paths and assisted conversions for Google Ads campaigns, helping build a holistic overview of how users are interacting with different ad types. 

Microsoft Advertising (Bing)

What: eCPC To Be The Default Bidding Strategy 

Details: As advertisers adopt machine learning, automated bidding strategies are getting more and more capable. Beginning March, Microsoft Advertising will switch all existing campaigns using manual bidding to eCPC, which will be the new default. Any campaigns not using eCPC will be automatically migrated on April 30. 

Impact: Advertisers that are currently using manual CPC should start experimenting with automated strategies to test what works best for your business goals. Microsoft also recommends using campaign experiments to help ease the transition. 

General Note

If you missed last month’s update, turn to January 2021 Updates to Paid Media Platforms for all of the latest info. 

Did we miss any major monthly updates? Not covering a certain platform close enough? Feel free to let me know on LinkedIn



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