Meta CPMs Are Skyrocketing. Is This The New Normal?

Prices Up, Morale Down. What role does Temu have in Meta's recent ad auction instability?

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META • Why Has the Ad Auction Been Tanking?

A new report from Bloomberg says advertisers running campaigns on Meta platforms are hitting a snag.

It confirms what people have been saying on social media — that ad costs have soared, sales dipped, and there's been no word from Meta on what's going wrong.

CPMs are up an average of two to three times what they were just a few months ago. CPCs up about the same.

Cody Plofker from Jones Road Beauty, who we’ve had on the podcast, is quoted in the piece saying:

It’s brutal out there.

Cody Plofker, Director of E-Commerce, Jones Road Beauty

Carly London, who runs an agency called Sometimes Curly and manages more than $100 million in Meta-related advertising spending per year, said she saw a 20% to 40% drop in ROAS for a few of her accounts over the past two months without any explanation.

In practice, that means that a marketer used to making $3 in revenue for every $1 spent on Facebook ads would suddenly be making closer to $2 in revenue — a meaningful difference when brands rely on predictable results to budget and manage product inventory.

Even seasoned advertisers are struggling to find strategies that work, making some people wonder if there’s an anomaly in Meta's usually reliable system. Perhaps the AI race is taking engineer eyeballs off the ad platform?

Despite these reports, Meta insists that its ad system is mostly functioning correctly, acknowledging only "a few technical issues."

The ad community, though, is left scrambling for explanations and solutions, with some pointing fingers at Temu's recent advertising spree as a potential cause of the upheaval. After all, digital ad platforms are supply and demand systems. If one player with a big wallet comes in, that affects everyone else.

As advertisers seek more stable grounds, platforms like TikTok and Google are becoming more attractive.

Meta's first-quarter earnings report is on the horizon, and the marketing community is watching closely, hoping for answers or, at least, an improvement in the system that many have relied on for so long.

Even so, as Cory noted in the Bloomberg piece:

This could be the new normal.

Cody Plofker, Director of E-Commerce, Jones Road Beauty

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LINKEDIN • A (Paid) Solution to Recruiter Scams

One of the many, many scams running around the Internet has been recruiter scams — people set up fake accounts on LinkedIn, approach someone about hiring them, then find ways to get money out of them.

It’s gotten so bad, that LinkedIn finally has a solution: a new verification badge for recruiters in the app.

Once a recruiter has confirmed their legal identity and place of employment, they’ll get a badge that tells members they’re on the up-and-up. Although the badge itself is a little confusing. When you tap on it, rather than saying “This person has confirmed they are a legit recruiter,” it says “This recruiter has access to a LinkedIn Recruiter corporate subscription.”

So yeah, you’ll need to be paying for a subscription package to get this. To be fair, most legit recruiters on LinkedIn do use a package, so that’s probably not a giant hurdle.

This is a different process than its identity confirmation system for regular users, which gives people a verification checkmark. That came a year ago, and uses third-party ID providers to run.

LinkedIn says verified profiles, on average, get 60% more profile views, 50% more comments and reactions on their posts, and 30% more messages.

This new recruiter verification system will start to roll out next week.

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YOUTUBE • Comments Coming Back to Kids Videos

If your brand uses YouTube videos to reach kids, there’s a big change coming — one that almost certainly will affect your engagement and, potentially, your reach.

And this time, in a good way.

As you might know, YouTube three years ago disabled comments on videos intended for kids. This came after a number of media reports found inappropriate content in some of the comment sections, and attracted the attention of lawmakers.

Now, parents will have more choices in whether and how their kids can engage with a video, through a new “read-only” comments option.

The new addition applies to two of the three content settings available to parents who want to configure a more kid-friendly YouTube experience for their child: “Explore More” and “Most of YouTube.”

The former allows kids to explore videos with content ratings for viewers 13 and up, while “Most of YouTube” offers older kids access to most of YouTube’s content except for videos that are specifically age-restricted for adults only.

By default, children will be able to read, but not write, comments under both of these content settings modes. Live chat will also be turned off.

Meanwhile, parents who want to disable comments entirely can switch their child to the “Explore” setting, aimed at viewers ages 9 and up. (This option is generally the first step into the main YouTube experience, after using the dedicated YouTube Kids app as a younger child.)

This is, of course, great news for brands who use videos to market on YouTube; now, comments will not be off on their videos.

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SNAPCHAT • Partnering With Data Analytics Tools

First, Snowflake’s Marketing Data Cloud will improve targeting and conversions data.

With the Snowflake Marketing Data Cloud, marketers can work from a single view of their customer, leverage privacy-preserving collaboration and native AI capabilities, and access leading marketing and advertising data applications to execute the full breadth of their marketing lifecycle.

The integration with Snapchat will enable Snowflake clients to quickly implement Snap’s Conversions API (CAPI) signal solution without needing to build a bespoke back-end integration.

Also, they’re partnering with AppsFlyer to help advertisers get a better view of campaign performance via Mobile Measurement Partner (MMP) attribution for their iOS campaigns.

Finally, the company teased an improved version of its Event Quality Score metric.

The Colabcomms mastery.

TIKTOK • Two Language Videos = Better Results?

TikTok this week published a study shining a light on a significant trend: the increasing importance of bilingual ads.

Partnering with NRG for this research, TikTok found that as the Hispanic population in the U.S. is set to soar, brands might be missing out by not crafting ads in multiple languages.

Hispanics, currently the youngest and largest ethnic group in the U.S., will make up a third of the American population by 2060. TikTok says the demographic's deep engagement with digital and social platforms presents an opportunity for brands to connect more meaningfully.

Specifically, the study highlighted bilingual ads that used voiceovers in both languages in the same video.

An ad entirely in Spanish doesn’t speak to the dual sense of identity these audiences feel. Layering English and Spanish creative elements to create balance ensures that brands can speak to bilingual users in a way that feels true to their identity as well as appeal to a broader audience.

TikTok says even English-speaking audiences showed a positive response to inclusive advertising. For instance, Millennials viewing Spanish-included ads are more likely to perceive a brand as caring and trustworthy.

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