E-Commercial 2018 – What’s New In Paid Media

The opening talk at 2018’s eCommercial conference was courtesy of our own Ann Stanley, updating attendees on new developments across paid media.

What's New In Paid Search


The State of Digital Advertising in 2018

As changes in the political and economic world continue to churn, physical shops on the high street struggle as the eCommerce sector booms.

The UK currently has the third largest ecommerce spend in the world, and per head, the UK buys more online than any country in the world. Essentially, we love shopping online and eCommerce and paid media is going nowhere.

Paid media has also been shaped by news stories such as the Facebook Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the “Facebook Zero” algorithm change in January 2018, which essentially purged all organic reach for content from business and brand pages on Facebook.


Audience Behaviour is Changing in 2018, and Paid Media is Too

Social platforms continue to boom when it comes to where audiences spend their time and can see your brand. Visual platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram continue to grow, and so do your choices for advertising on these platforms.

Forms of paid advertising such as affiliate linking and Google shopping ads means that 52% of all advertising spend in the UK is now online – overtaking offline spend for the first time.

Where the online advertising spend is going is also changing, with mobile search advertising up 33% year-on-year, and Desktop advertising down 11% year on year. A mobile-first experience on an eCommerce site is now essential, due to both mobile-first indexing from Google, and the growth of mobile advertising.

Video advertising is also booming, with YouTube advertising growing rapidly – 77% year-on-year.

The biggest player in digital advertising in 2018? Advertising on Amazon should now be a consideration in your paid campaigns. As new sellers struggle to reach the Amazon ‘buy box’, sponsored products are now so popular that Amazon is becoming a bigger advertiser than Facebook. Though Amazon is often the first port-of-call for internet users in the UK and elsewhere, you also need to consider the spend not only for your advertising, but Amazon’s commission on the sale.


Google AdWords Became Google Ads in 2018 – What has Changed?

In July, the Google AdWords platform rebranded with a brand new dashboard and a host of new features.

These include:

  • Custom intent audiences
  • Smart campaigns and smart bidding
  • Expanded ads – 3 headlines + 2 descriptions
  • Responsive ads (search and display)
  • Shoppable image ads in Google Images
  • Mobile First Indexing and ability to create AMP pages for use in Google Ads
  • CSS partners – discounts and rebates on shopping ads

Google Ads is now leaning more towards automation and machine learning through smart campaigns and smart bidding.

Google Ads are now also highlighting the importance of your landing pages, which require clean design, relevant copy and fast loading pages.


Digital Advertising Platforms Are Always Changing – What’s New in 2018?

It’s not just Google Ads which are changing in 2018 – other changes across platforms include:


Bing is important for B2B campaigns, as Bing gets a lot of desktop traffic.

You can now clone your Google campaigns over to Bing.

Image advertising is soon to be launched.


Facebook has changed some of its targeting, including limited 3rd party audience data and stopping the creation of custom audiences based on your own data as a reaction to the GDPR ruling in the EU.

However, ad types continue to grow, with 11 different ad types across Facebook video, stories. marketplace and messenger, alongside the feed.


The introduction of the LinkedIn Pixel allows better-targeted advertising on the professional network.


New attribution models allow you to look deeper into the customer journey – how your customer reached Amazon, alongside their journey on Amazon itself.

Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic advertising is exploding, with platforms such as SkyTV and Spotify taking advantage of programmatic.

Key Takeaways From What’s New in Paid Media

  • Familiarise yourself with the new Google Ads dashboard and new features such as automated bidding
  • Spend time on your landing pages – design and speed will help your conversion rate immensely
  • Look at Bing if you sell B2B services or products
  • Custom audiences based on your own data now no longer an option, but the range of ways to reach your audience is always increasing


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