Digital Bytes: Facebook reveal Sponsored Results

Welcome to FWM Digital Bytes, where we discuss all the biggest digital marketing and digital media news doing the rounds. This week we look at Facebook’s new Sponsored Results service, digital’s continued rise in the advertising and Bing’s new Quora functionality…

Facebook launch Sponsored Results

Facebook have unveiled a new Sponsored Results service that will allow companies to run ads in the drop down results menu of the website’s search bar. Pages, places and apps can be featured in the ad space and, as with most of Facebook’s ads, can be dismissed if the user wishes. In their blog, Facebook wrote: “Sponsored Results provide advertisers with the ability to embed ads in the list of typeahead results. Advertisers can create standard on-site ads (with a 70 character message) that lead to Facebook pages or apps (including custom tabs on their page). Ads can be targeted against Facebook entities, including Pages, Places, Apps, and subscribe-enabled users. Facebook users see the ad when the targeted entity appears in their search results. Ads only show in desktop search results, not on mobile and not on the “more results” page.” Currently ads can only divert users to pages within Facebook, though that could chance as the service develops.

Digital to overtake print advertising this year

Digital will overtake print in the advertising spend stakes this year, according to a new study by Carat. It had previously been expected that digital would overtake print in 2013, but a 5% global advertising increase this year will see the shift take place sooner than previously thought. Jerry Buhlmann, chief executive of Aegis Group, who own Carat, said: “Carat’s latest ad spend forecasts show the continuation of two fundamental trends which have changed the advertising industry. Firstly, Digital Media continues to grow materially ahead of all the other media and has overtaken newspapers – a year earlier than expected – to become the second largest medium in terms of advertising spend, behind TV. The trend of audiences moving online shows no sign of slowing down, as demand for online content and the proliferation of internet and mobile access increases. In parallel to this, the trend of the two-speed world continues, with the rates of growth in the emerging economies remaining well ahead of the US and Western Europe.” Direct marketing has also been on the rise this year, with 2012 seeing a growth of around 7 per cent.

eBay predicts rise of Social Shopper

Auction site eBay predict that the value of the ‘social shopper’ will increase dramatically across the next five years. Fuelled by the success of sites such as Pinterest, eBay have found in a report conducted by retail experts Conlumino that the value of social shopping will go up from £1.6 billion to around £3.3 billion, while UK sales directly inspired by social media will go up by 44 per cent from £210 million to around £290 million. “There’s a billion pound prize for UK retailers in using social to help customers make up their minds when they’re looking to buy something,” said eBay’s Head of Mobile Shopping, Petra Jung. “Generating direct sales is part of the prize in social shopping but using peer-to-peer networks to influence purchasing decisions is the far bigger opportunity. Many shoppers, particularly women, want fun and inspiration as much as information when they shop, and social networks are a great way to seek out a friend’s advice, see other people’s style, and get ideas.” Currently around 46 per cent of people use social sites while considering a purchase.

Twitter founders Branch out

Bing have continued to develop their search engine by integrating Quora into it. The company already feature Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn functionality and it is expected they will expand further in the coming months. The integration of Quora seems to be the first step in that direction, with Microsoft saying that it marks the company’s “ongoing commitment to work with industry partners to make the social experience compelling and useful for customers.” A post on the Microsoft blog added, “We believe search should be about giving you the best information from across the web including knowledge and people from a variety of social networks. This is why we’ll continue to work with industry partners like Facebook, foursquare, Twitter, LinkedIn and now Quora to help you spend less time searching and more time doing.”

Football v Soccer

Which is more popular – English or American Football? have crunched the numbers and found that while the NFL has more fans on Twitter and Facebook than the EPL, England is outperforming America on a club level, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United leading the way on Facebook, and Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool leading the way on Twitter. The full infographic can be seen here.