Even though we’re still experiencing the random snowstorm here and there in the mountains of Park City, summer is officially here. Over the past month, we’ve continued to see positive trends for our clients and the hospitality industry as a whole as we entered this new season. There was also no shortage of announcements across the digital marketing space, and we’re here to bring you the highlights.

1. GMB Adds More Flexibility with Business Hours

Google My Business has quickly adapted throughout the Covid-19 crisis with new feature updates. The latest update gives local businesses more specific types of “hours” that they can communicate through their GMB page. They can now set up separate hour types for seniors, pickup, kitchen, and more. This allows your business to better communicate with your customers regarding special hours throughout the day due to social distancing regulations.

2. LinkedIn Announced New Retargeting Audiences for Video Ads & Lead Gen Ads

LinkedIn has officially announced new on-site retargeting engagement audiences.  Advertisers are now able to create audiences based on anyone who opened a lead gen form, people who submitted a lead gen form or based on how much of a video has been watched (25%, 50%, 75%, 97%, 100%). These changes allow advertisers to continue to speak to audiences past the initial point of engagement and lead them down the funnel for better structured (and better-performing campaigns).

3. Prominent Brands Pledge to Stop Facebook Ad Spend in July

Brands and advertisers including Starbucks, Patagonia, REI and Unilever have pledged to stop all ad spend on Facebook during July. The campaign is called Stop Hate for Profit and has been organized to put pressure on Facebook to stop the spread of hate speech and misinformation. While Mark Zuckerberg has since come out to state that the social media company will roll out new labels to better explain why some content is allowed to run and that it will work to detect and remove any misinformation posts, the campaign continues to gain traction to push for greater change on the platform.

4. Google Sees 7% Decline in Paid Search Ad Revenue, Mostly Driven Travel Ad Spending

Google is set to see it’s first-ever U.S. revenue decline which is “driven primarily by a loss of travel ad spending”. We’ve seen first hand what the Covid-19 crisis has done to ad spend for the travel industry. Everyone from the OTAs to independent hotels were forced to decrease or stop spending altogether and with travel being one of the most monetized industries in the Google platform, it had a huge impact on the search engine’s revenue. For our clients that have been able to keep paid search ads live, we’ve seen a huge decline in CPCs which are down 52% YOY and 32% since pre-COVID-19, showing there is a great opportunity for low-cost advertising through this channel right now. This is most likely due to less competition in the space.

5. Spotify Adds Video Advertising Option

Spotify’s self-service ad platform continues to evolve, now offering video campaigns in addition to audio ads. As we watch Spotify expand its reach and content by going after more content creators from YouTube and Podcasts, such as Joe Rogan, it shows an interest in emerging as an alternative to YouTube for advertisers. Let’s hope the audience targeting options also follow suit.