In the digital age, new features, updates and releases never really stay all that new for very long. There’s always something bigger and better just a few steps behind it... Therefore it’s crucial that you always stay up to date with the latest best practice, and have your tech-radar synced up with the online giants. The silver lining, however, is at Net Natives, unlike other agencies, we like to share (and shout from the rooftops) what’s been getting our ad experts excited, because if we’re excited, so should you. 

A picture tells a thousand words

A UK public research college recently tested the waters of Google’s latest ad format “Gallery Ads,” which are the interactive ads that sit at the top of the mobile SERP. You may not have come across them in your travels just yet, but they feature swipeable image carousels - similar to that you’d see on Facebook or Instagram, a standard text headline and a display URL.

We saw the CTR and impressions on this ad double in size, and then some (we’re talking 475% increases here), compared to their extended text counterparts running. It showcased that the interactive and visual ads really do get the results, which is unsurprising when you consider people remember 80% of what they see vs. 20% of what they read.

The moral of the story? It pays to get in on the next big thing early.

The beauty of Lookalike Audiences

With the education space more competitive than ever before, it’s crucial that platform features and the resources available are always used to their full potential. Enter LinkedIn Lookalike Audiences… a tactic that admittedly, we don’t usually recommend for undergrad ad campaigns.  That all changed when advertising one particular undergrad course using a relatively small website audience to create a global lookalike audience of 700% larger, consisting of highly targeted and relevant LinkedIn members. 

The tactic has quickly turned around some fantastic results through competitive CPLs and incredible CTR rates that were 183% above the agency’s 2018 LinkedIn benchmark. Something to celebrate when recruiting in competitive markets on Linkedin such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Although you can’t yet control the lookalike size or the source country, it is absolutely worth staying up to date with new platform releases and features.

Always ask the why’s

Every now and again, it’s good to test assumptions and question preconceptions. That’s exactly what we did when working with one particular institution on their Facebook ads. We’ve all heard of Facebook’s warning that if an image in an ad is more than 20% text, it will hamper delivery. But when so many live campaigns are seen on our feeds with lots of text in the images regardless, it was time to test the theory.  

We went live with a variety of videos for five different markets with thumbnails sporting a whole lot of text (well, in Facebook’s world anyway). Before long, Facebook issued it’s warning of affected performance, so the thumbnails were changed to no text variations. Very quickly, there was a dramatic increase in landing page views (our optimization goal) for every single market. The cost per landing page view also decreased, which was awesome. 

So the conclusion to the investigation is yes… Text in your images does matter, and moving forward, we have the evidence to support that claim!

More new shiny stuff

Another newly launched feature from Google is that you can now optimize campaigns towards specific conversion actions. Instead of optimizing towards all conversions (and bogging down your efforts with “micro-conversions” such as page views), there’s now the opportunity to guide Google’s algorithms towards conversions that are specifically important to you, which, in the ideal world (we’re glass half full kind of guys), will result in achieving more of them. 

There’s already been a long list of early signs of increased performance when optimizing this feature with a UK institution. Namely a 100% increase in the number of Applications Confirmed gained from Google Search activity, since utilizing Conversion Action Sets and optimizing Application Funnel conversions. We’re optimistic that this is just the start of the good results, and the positive outcome will only continue. 

So if you would like to dive deeper into any of these best practices to see how they could supercharge your campaigns and advertising in a new and exciting way, get in touch with our experts.

Sign Up to our Think Student Newsletter

Want even more of the latest news, trends and insights from the education sector? Sign up to our Think Student Newsletter for bi-monthly updates, straight to your inbox.

Sign Up Now

Sign up to receive Education Futurology and to be the first to hear about events, webinars and special offers from Net Natives.

This field is required
This field is required
This field is required

By continuing, you understand that you are submitting your information to Natives Group. The information that you provide will be used and stored in accordance with our Privacy Policy. If you have any queries, please contact marketing@netnatives.com.

Article by

Eleana Davidson Native Author

Eleana Davidson

Marketing Executive