Brafton’s Weekly Content Marketing Roundup features the latest trends in the world of marketing, search engines and technology, and this week we’re talking about social media use, updates to Google AdWords, how Mars found success with its content marketing strategies, and much more.

Google AdWords rolls out expanded text ads

Are you using expanded text ads yet?In yet another move to adapt to the growing mobile world, Google said goodbye to standard text ads in AdWords, and has now launched expanded text ads for brands.

Besides the ability to use more characters in text ads now, there are additional benefits to expanded ads. Brafton Content Marketing Strategist David Behuniak takes the time to explain the differences between the old standard and new extended ads, what it means for campaigns and why marketers should embrace this initiative. Read all about it here!

Social media grows in use among older mobile users

Think millennials are the only ones with their faces buried in their phones using social media? Think again.

The 2016 Nielsen Social Media Report revealed that 75 percent of individuals over age 50 access their preferred social media sites via smartphone or tablet. The study also provides insight into the differences in social media use between various age groups and genders, as well as how much time is spent on social media by each demographic. Check it out!

How Google accounts for CTR in search rankings

Google's algorithmNo one really knows what goes on under Google’s hood. Well, except maybe the masterminds who actually work there. But this week, Brafton Director of Digital Marketing Strategy Jeff Baker uncovered some interesting data from one of our other recent blog posts that provides insight into how Google analyzes and reacts quickly to every piece of content. In this blog post, Jeff revealed the importance that Google places on CTRs and content relevancy.

Marketing agencies know content isn’t going away anytime soon

Content will continue to grow in importance for companies’ marketing goals – this is according to 84 percent of brand, agency and freelance marketers surveyed by CopyPress.

The report highlights the trends, insights and predictions for the content marketing industry, including the types of content marketers produce, the common challenges they face, and how they are allocating their budgets to increase content spend. This infographic from MarketingProfs outlines many of the main points, with a link to download the CopyPress whitepaper.

Video is taking over content marketing

It’s no surprise to marketers that prospects enjoy and are responding increasingly to engaging forms of content. Video is one of the most effective ways to achieve this.

In an article for Forbes, owner of Thrive Internet Marketing Matt Bowman explains how video is successful at increasing various marketing metrics (for example, landing pages with embedded videos can boost conversions by 80 percent, according to HubSpot), and how brands should start using video marketing now if they aren’t already. Read it here to find out more about video’s growing presence.

Long gone are the days of stock images

Stock imagery was killed by consumer preference.Chances are you’ve come across a stock image or two that made you scratch your head. It seems to be a common occurrence – there’s even a Tumblr blog dedicated solely to stock photos of women laughing while eating salads.

So why have marketers relied on poor stock images for so long? Brafton Director of Digital Marketing Strategy Jeff Baker is back to explore that conundrum in this blog piece, and he also looks at other visual elements that brands can – and should – use in place of stock images. Check it out here to learn more.

Mars and its innovative approach to content marketing

Snickers has been on top of the content marketing game in the past few years with its humorous and celebrity-filled commercials. But what has been fueling that innovation, as well as the content marketing campaigns of other Mars brands?

Ad Age talked with Mars’ Global Director of Media Rob Rakowitz to find out more about the company’s marketing practices, objectives and execution, including what Rakowitz calls “4C conversion” – focusing on bringing the customer, consumer, communications and commerce together. Read more here and find out how not only Snickers, but Uncle Ben’s, Whiskas and Pedigree, succeed when it comes to content marketing.

That’s all for this week! Be sure to check back next Friday for another roundup of the latest news and trends in content marketing!

Tressa Sloane is the Sr. Manager of Editorial Development in Boston. Born a Southern belle, she now resides in the chilly (but wicked awesome) Northeast, and when she's not learning everything she can about content marketing, she's obsessing over Elvis, Auburn football and France.