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Platforms Expand Reseller & Self-Serve Offerings for More Monetization

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Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Yelp, Amazon and others are pushing to increase ad revenues and reach more local businesses. Two prevailing strategies are expanding agency and other reseller relationships and simplifying self-serve ad buying.

From the reseller side, we’ve seen announcement after announcement highlighting a new program or feature that supports more advanced marketers who want to use these platforms on behalf of clients. Meanwhile, other platforms are trying to get the basics of self-serve ad buying down. Arguably, Facebook is the best example of effective self-serve ad buying with Boosted Posts.

During a recent LSA webinar, Yelp presented material on their Yelp Advertising Partners Program which is intended to make it easier for agencies to manage multiple client accounts and ad campaigns. This was the first time the company presented the material on a national platform, though there have been presentations at in-person events.

Facebook has dramatically accelerated their reseller strategy as well. Just a few weeks ago the company announced two new Marketing Partner categories that include “consultants” and “pros.” Consultants represent individuals or small businesses that aren’t formal agencies but provide some digital services. The “Facebook Pros” program is for smaller agencies.

Google is also focusing on the reseller side, announcing the GMB agency dashboard this year which allows users to manage multiple accounts, send and receive invitations to manage locations, combine locations and more. This focus on GMB agency users parallels the release of several new GMB tools that turn the platform into part listing, part website and part social channel, all via the SERP.

Pinterest on the other hand, has put a lot of effort into improving the self-serve ad experience. From allowing users to promote multiple pins at a time, to testing ads and ad groups, the platform has made updates that seek to build out a more robust self-serve ad buying platform.

Meanwhile, Amazon is quietly building a powerful advertising business that is growing rapidly. According to a recent study, 54% of product searches began on Amazon, up from 46% in 2015, which for the first time was larger share of product searches than Google. This activity is resulting in a projected $4.6 billion in online ad spend this year on Amazon, which makes the site the third largest online ad platform.

While not a commonly referenced online advertising platform, even internet TV provider hulu has put out a campaign seeking to build more awareness around its advertising business.

There is also a growing effort to push beyond traditional media publishers and even agencies into new channels such as web developers and IT professionals. Two examples are the recently announced Facebook Marketing Consultants and GoDaddy Pro for web developers.

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