Category : Ad Marketing

ChatGPT logo

How ChatGPT will Position Itself in Digital Advertising

Open AI’s research startup ChatGPT threatens to disrupt industries but is not a major concern for search advertising in the near future. Since its launch in November 2022 it is making headlines: 

  • Did Siri, Alexa and Google assistants lose out to ChatGPT?  
  • How much did Microsoft invest in ChatGPT? 
  • Five ways to save time with ChatGPT

I’ve read several current articles focusing especially on how ChatGPT threatens to disrupt industries to see if this is a concern for my business given that 60% of our income is for managing digital ads. The burning question remains “How will ChatGPT monetize?”  The answer is still being made up in real time as the chatbot only launched 5 months ago. It is not known what model it will end up using, be it ‘free to users’, ‘ad-supported’, ‘paid subscription’ or otherwise. 

I tried using the free version of ChatGPT and received the message that it is “at capacity.” The website provided an option to get on the waitlist to subscribe for $20 per month. With the paid subscription one can expect the following advantages:

  1. general access to ChatGPT, even during peak times,
  2. faster response times,
  3. priority access to new features and improvements.

Regarding the paid subscription model the website states: “We plan to refine and expand this offering based on your feedback and needs.”  

There is also a pricing model available based on use, with many options based on the type of use and a system of tokens.  See for details on this. There will likely be specialized versions of ChatGPT for different uses. 


The chatbot readily admits and even warns of its current limitations. For example, It can create responses that are grammatically correct but factually bonkers, such as referring to “old black-and-white radio shows- source.  Another big issue is that the answers will reflect the biases of those that it learnt from, providing answers that are potentially racist, sexist or contain other biases.  Also, for the time being, its learning does not include current events information dating from before September 2021. As new versions come out the biases and errors will be reduced and the data set which it draws from will surely increase. 

The New Bing

Microsoft’s search engine Bing has close ties to ChatGPT as Microsoft is a major investor. In January 2023 Microsoft Confirmed a $10 Billion Investment into ChatGPT.  The headlines read that this investment changed “How Microsoft Competes With Google, Apple And Other Tech Giants.”

Bing’s cozy relationship with ChatGPT does bring to the table some potential competition for Google. This certainly does not mean the end for Google as Google has enjoyed relatively little competition as a search engine. Bing for example is its closest competitor and has 9% search engine market share compared to Google’s 84% market share. 

Microsoft launched a new version of Bing on February 7, 2023, that integrates the latest version of ChatGPT.  “Users will be able to switch back and forth between the familiar interface with a search bar and one with a chat box. The chatbot version of Bing is currently available through a waitlist”. Will Google users start trying Bing to get access to the chatbot?  Probably some will, especially when it is more fully available. 

Version 4

The fourth version of ChatGPT was released March 14, 2023.  Unlike version three this one is not freely accessible. It is available to Plus users for $20/month and is also used by the Microsoft chatbot as mentioned above. 

“The biggest update is that GPT-4 can see, understand and respond to images. The earlier version was limited to text prompts. The company says that GPT-4 is capable of processing up to 25,000 words – nearly eight times more than its predecessor” – source.

Ad-Based or Subscription-Based Model

There is only speculation at this point as to how Open Ai will monetise the chatbot.  I found this Adweek article which has some information on likely options. According to the article,” It does not look like the chatbot will disrupt ads in a meaningful way in the near future.”

Bing already has an ad program setup for its search engine so it would not surprise me if ads will be displayed in the chatbot based on user queries. This would create a new source of ad revenue for Bing. That said, it looks like the Netflix-like model of paid subscription use is the way this is leaning for now, given that there is a wait list to subscribe to ChatGPT for $20 per month. If the video streaming industry can be used for some insights on monetization, Netflix for its part has used product placement in shows but until recently resisted showing commercials. They are only now experimenting with an ad-supported lower subscription tier in the US for $6.99 as of November 3, 2022. Disney also launched its own rival ad tier as part of a price increase. In Disney+, “Customers who didn’t want to pay the new $10.99-a-month price tag for an ad-free plan could continue to pay $7.99 monthly but would begin seeing ads” – source.  So when the competition got hotter for Netflix and Disney+ they started experimenting with ad models.  Netflix by the way had a revenue of US$31.6 billion in 2022 and is still growing.  As we know Google has stayed with largely ad-supported services and is doing very well.  Google had a revenue of US$279.8B in 2022, 80% of which was from advertising revenue. The ad revenue for Google included: 

  • Google Search & other: $162.45B
  • Google Other: $29B
  • YouTube ads: $29.24B
  • Google Network Members: $32.78B – source

Microsoft in comparison brought in $8.5B from search advertising in 2021.


In the scenario of the near future there will likely be a combination of paid subscription use and free use via Bing. There are currently waiting lists for both uses. I doubt that the paid subscription will cut into search engine use because a chatbot and a search engine are used for different types of tasks. We will see how fast or slow integration of ChatGPT is and how quickly it can accommodate a larger capacity for wider use. As for the use of the Chatbot via a Bing chatbot that may have ads, this does not worry me as a digital ad agency.  It will simply provide a new ad option and frankly, Google can use the competition. 

I suspect that Bing’s new free chatbot will be popular once it can accommodate a high number of users. If this is the case, more users will start using the Bing search engine since they are already using the chatbot, so this may help Bing get more market share from Google.    

Environmental Impact

It would be irresponsible to write about the potential popularity of using ChatGPT without mentioning the environmental impact that all internet-enabled services have. Video and audio streaming, search engines and AI chatbots all require servers which need to stay cool and require huge amounts of energy.

“In terms of data processing alone, industries using AI technology pollute as much as the aviation industry. In fact, training an AI system can emit more than 113 tons of carbon dioxide [2] which, in the case of ChatGPT, reaches as much as 522 tCO2e [3]” – source.

Now is an important time to make decisions about energy use before the chatbot is in wider use. 

About the Author

Jason Campbell is the co-founder of Red Carpet Web Promotion, providing digital advertising and web development services since 2000.

woman listening to music on cordless headphones

Google Audio Ads

We are familiar with audio ads on podcasts, on free audio streaming sites and on traditional radio. Until recently Google audio ads were in beta testing but are now available to all advertisers. See Google’s announcement here. Google serves audio ads for YouTube listeners who are exhibiting signals of listening, such as accessing content through a Google Nest smart speaker.

What they show: A YouTube audio ad runs during long listening sessions and when YouTube is playing in the background.  It is essentially a video ad that is focused on the audio content.

While a voiceover is the standout feature of audio ad format, they usually display a visual component—like an image or animated graphic—on-screen as the voiceover is playing, almost like any regular video ad.

Best practices: 
  • Focus on sound
  • Have a consistent tone and tempo: For a 15 second ad, aim for 40 words when using a voiceover in the ad.
  • Include a call-to-action in the audio and in the video creative

Audio ads compliment other awareness-building campaigns such as Google Display Ads, Facebook and Instagram ads. With Google now offering audio ads, we could organize a campaign to place your audio ads on YouTube, as well as other networks to reach users on popular music and podcast streaming platforms.

Please ask us for details on developing and placing audio ads for your business.


Update on COVID-19 Ad Credits for Google Ads

On March 27 Google announced $340 million in Google Ads credits available to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year.

Google posted an update yesterday (April 20) adding new FAQs on how the credit program will be administered.

See post with up-to-date information here:

One important question about eligibility that was on my mind is how they would identify small & medium sized businesses for this credit. Google Ads responded:

“We have a global team that is specifically designed to consult with and support the needs of small and medium sized businesses around the world, and the ad credits will be supporting those businesses. We work with SMBs worldwide from local stores to companies with hundreds of employees and many locations”.

Wondering how much your ad credit will be?  Google Ads says:

“The ad credit amount will vary by customer based on past Google Ads spend, and the country and currency where the business and Google Ads account is set up.”

We will contact each qualifying client when credits become available to discuss how to integrate the credits into your budget.


COVID-19: Credits for Google Ads for Small and Medium-sized Businesses

Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced a new $800+ million commitment to support small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), health organizations and governments, and health workers on the frontline of this COVID-19 pandemic. See announcement.

This support includes:

“$340 million in Google Ads credits available to all SMBs with active accounts over the past year. Credit notifications will appear in their Google Ads accounts and can be used at any point until the end of 2020 across our advertising platforms. We hope it will help to alleviate some of the cost of staying in touch with their customers.”

Google search ads are a huge part of our business and therefore we are keeping up to date on the latest information on how to benefit from this Google credit. To date, Google has posted an FAQ page which includes this answer to “How and when will eligible customers receive the ad credits?”

“Small and medium businesses worldwide that have been active advertisers since the beginning of 2019 will be informed in the coming months through notifications within their Google Ads account.”

We will contact each qualifying client when credits become available to discuss how to integrate the credits into your budget. We are not sure where the line will be drawn or what criteria Google will use to distinguish between medium and large businesses as the credits are for small/medium businesses and not large businesses.

Facebook Ads

Facebook pledged credits for small businesses.  See details.

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate. We’ll share more details as they become available.


Call to Action in Video Ads

If video ads in Facebook and YouTube are part of your marketing mix, here are some tips on how to edit the end of your ad.


Facebook Video Ads

After the video ad ends, Facebook overlays a call to action in the middle of your video.  One can choose the call to action text and link in the video ad settings.  So for the last frame be sure not to have anything important in the centre of the frame.  I suggest putting your logo and any text that you want to include (like a slogan) at the top or bottom.  Keep the end short as the call to action from Facebook only appears after the video ends, so there is no point lingering on a long end frame making the user have to wait to click.

YouTube Ads

Youtube has many options for videos, this is a general tip for ads that users can click on to visit a URL. it is important to have a call to action and you can even write “click here” as part of your call to action to let users know what action to take.  I recommend keeping this ending of your video with your logo and call to action for at least 4 seconds.


Let me know if you have any comment or other tips based on your experience.

Fastbase leads

Fastbase Webleads for Google Analytics

There is a new service for finding out the company name, contact name and email address and other information of website visitors. It is an add-on to Google analytics offered by  There is a free trial which lists leads to your site for the last 12 months.  Here is the pricing page: The catch is that you have to login to your Google Analytics account and share your Analytics data with Fastbase. I do not know how they will monetize on having this data but it is valuable so I am sure they will do well!

I did a test for one of my clients and downloaded a list of 728 leads with a date range of 12 months. this is out of a total of 27,543 users to the site over the same date range. It remains to be tested to see if these leads are any good, but it could be a powerful tool for B2B websites. An extension on remarketing: rather than just showing ads to people who have been on your site you can actually contact them by email, phone or mail.

Out of the 728 leads, 623 had email addresses. I ran this list through to get an idea of how many of the emails are valid (it is processing,  I will include an update in comments.) It might be interesting to send out an email blast to this list to see what kind of interest you get.

Please leave comments if you have tried this service, have feedback or are interested in receiving these lead reports.

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Facebook Making Changes to Newsfeed

On January 11, 2018 Facebook announced a major change to their newsfeed that would show less posts from businesses and more posts from friends and family that are considered meaningful to users.

This is a big concern to business who use Facebook as a marketing tool. The good news for businesses is that this will not affect advertising, but it will affect regular posts.

Post vs. Boosted Post

As a business you can make a post and it will be seen by about 20% of users who like your page. Posts with more engagement including comments will show more often and to more users. What companies typically must do to reach a larger audience, including more of the users who like their page but also users targeted by interests and other factors is pay to promote the post. Promoted posts will also show in newsfeeds and will not be affected by the recent changes. In addition to promoted posts, advertisers can also show ads including image ads, video ads, carousel ads and other ad formats right in the newsfeed. These are considered “ads” and would not be affected by the recent newsfeed algorithm changes.

The bad news is that businesses who use facebook as a marketing tool without paying for ads will reach less people. Posts made by businesses will have to be much more engaging now in order to be seen in newsfeeds given the recent change. Or, businesses will have to pay to boost them or set them up as ads.

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See Mark Zuckerbergs full post:


Google Roadshow

I attended a Conference at Google’s Montreal office yesterday. I got an excellent refresher on all the of the advertising opportunities in YouTube and with the Google Display Network. A few things stood out as I learnt about some great new features, some of which are still in the beta stage, and also more about Gmail ads which have been available for about 1 month. Any advertiser can now use Gmail ads to target the user based on keywords or domain names that appear in email messages as well as Google search queries on the Web, sites visited and Google Profile information.

Another interesting feature for display ads and YouTube ads is Brand Lift. Brand Lift uses one question surveys to measure the effectiveness of your ads and how they affect awareness and branding.

Overall it was a conference worth attending and will help me to offer the most appropriate Google ad opportunities to my clients.

What it means to be a Google Certified Partner

Google Certified Partner BadgeWhile looking through your current or potential SEO’s website, you may notice the Google Adwords Certified Partner Badge. This badge represents that the company currently has Google Adwords Certified employee/s, and has also met other important criteria to become recognized as an official Google Partner.

Google Certification Benefits

In order to become Google Adwords Certified, an individual must pass two exams: Advertising Fundamentals, plus either of the Advanced Search or Advanced Display exams. This signifies that through extensive studying and experience, a company is more adept at providing a client with industry recognized training. Ultimately, this will help to improve your campaign performance across the Search and Display Networks.

This can also help to reassure the client that they are dealing with a dedicated and trustworthy company. The company invests time and money into the skills development of their employees in an effort to offer their clients advanced account maintenance and recommendations within the Adwords system. These techniques are applied to bring maximum results to a client’s campaigns.

To read more details on the process of becoming Google Certified, please see our post about how to become a Google Certified Partner.

How to Become a Google Certified Partner

With the many updates that Google has recently posted for the Certification program, we thought we would give you a little insight into what these changes entail and what the process is to become Google Certified. Now, instead of learning and taking exams through the Google Certification Program (GCP); users and companies will now have to create/transfer an account to the new Google Partners program.

Google Certified Partner BadgeImplemented Changes

•  As of September 30, 2013, all access to your GCP account will be read-only information.
•  A Google Partners account will be required in order to take exams to become certified.
•  Exams will no longer cost $50.00 USD. All exams and certifications taken via Google Partners will now be free!
•  Your previous exam history and certification status will transfer from GCP to Google Partners if you join using the same Google account.
•  Certifications earned through GCP will remain valid through the expiration date.

Google Exams
To become Google certified, you must pass at least 2 exams; first the Advertising Fundamentals, then you can choose between either the Advanced Search or Advanced Display exams.

Advertising Fundamentals
In order to pass this exam, you need to have a passing score of at least 85%. You will be given 90 questions that must be completed within 120 minutes. Study material for this exam contains 11 lessons that can be found on the Google Partners site: Advertising Fundamentals Lessons
While the Fundamentals exam covers the basic aspects of Adwords, it is highly recommended that you study all 11 lessons.
Once passed, this exam is valid for 2 years.

Advanced Search
If you pass the Advertising Fundamentals exam, you can then choose between the Advanced Search exam and the Advanced Display exam.

The Advanced Search exam requires you to have a passing score of at least 80%. You will be asked 99 questions over 120 minutes. The study material contains 9 lessons that you should study explicitly. This is no easy exam. The questions are created to challenge even the most experienced Adwords users, and require you to answer with the best practices…not necessarily the methods that you as an individual apply. The study material can be found at: Advanced Search Lessons
Once passed, this exam will be valid for 1 year.

Advanced Display
If you choose to become certified specializing in the Display Network, then you should choose the Advanced Display exam. This exam requires a 70% passing score and will ask you 90 questions over 120 minutes. There are 4 lessons in the study guide: Advanced Display Lessons and once again, it is highly recommended that you cover all of the lessons while preparing to take this exam.

Once passed, this exam will be valid for 1 year.

Once you pass the 2 exams, your certification status will be updated on Google Partners (and your affiliated company) within 24-48 hours.

Failed an exam? Not to worry, they are free to take but you will have to wait 7 days to retake a failed exam.

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