Google Marketing Live brings together the world’s leading digital marketers to discuss, plan and prepare for the future of the digital marketing industry. Over two action-packed days, attendees were given an insider look into the latest trends, perspectives and best practices from industry leaders and visionaries. One of Reload’s PPC advertising experts Ruth De Luchi was invited to San Francisco for the event and has shared Google’s 10 new ads innovations to help marketers drive results.
1. Discovery Ads – Engage Consumers with Relevant Creative
Research shows that 85% of online consumers take product-related action within 24 hours of discovering a new brand or product. Google’s new discovery ads take advantage of this by allowing advertisers to show ads to consumers in the moments that really count (which generally means when they’re open to something new). These ads are also personalised to the consumer, so marketers can ensure they’re reaching the right people at the right time, increasing the chances of them making a purchase and lowering the cost per conversion. Women’s fashion brand TechStyle reduced their cost per lead by 25% using discovery ads, compared to other ad formats across search and social.
Discovery ads will offer extensive reach across YouTube, Gmail and Google’s Discover feed (the new Search page for mobile devices). This provides advertisers with a way to market across multiple channels with just one campaign format. It also allows advertisers a way to tap into the power of YouTube without actually having any video creative. Discovery ads also leverage Machine Learning, which means the system is constantly learning and delivering relevant assets to each consumer (read more on machine learning below).
Our first announcement is out! 💁 Presenting Discovery ads: inspire and engage consumers with rich and relevant creative across the YouTube home feed, the Gmail promotions and social tabs, and the feed in Discover. Hear more at #GoogleMarketingLive → https://t.co/J8PIH9BX7m! pic.twitter.com/38DDfzkSJU
— Google Ads (@GoogleAds) May 14, 2019
So how can marketers maximise the potential of discovery ads? Here are some best practice guidelines for when the ads launch later this year:
- Start with a narrow audience focused on custom intent. Once this audience type is performing well, start expanding and experimenting with in-market and affinity within new ad groups.
- Exclude or adjust messaging for prospective customers. Ensure your creative assets are different for remarketing vs prospecting.
- Keep audience types within their own ad group (e.g. in-market within one ad group and affinity within another). This ensures your audience insights are streamlined and Google can learn as quickly as possible.
2. Gallery Ads – Increase Interactions With Images
Also launching later this year, gallery ads will allow advertisers to show their product offering with compelling images and text across the search network. Users will be able to swipe through a visual ad (similar to Facebook’s carousel format) that sits at the top of the search results page.
This makes it easier for businesses to connect with people who are still researching and allows them to tell a more holistic brand story using images, rather than purely text. Gallery Ads have been proven to generate a 25% increase in user interactions compared to standard search ads.
3. Optimise Smart Bidding with New Models
One of the biggest discussion topics at Google Marketing Live was ‘Machine Learning’. For those who are new to the concept, machine learning uses artificial intelligence to allow systems and programs to automatically learn and improve by themselves without having to be programmed. This presents new ways to find meaning and intent behind consumer’s purchasing behaviour.
One of the ways Google is implementing machine learning is through its smart bidding strategies. Updates include the ability to add conversion goals at a campaign level, so advertisers can optimise all bids within a campaign for that specific goal (e.g. store visits or driving online sales).
Google is also introducing a new bidding strategy to maximise conversion value. This strategy automatically finds an optimal cost per click bid for your ad each time it’s eligible to appear. Google sets these bids to help get conversions that are the most valuable for your campaign, while spending your budget. The ultimate goal is to increase the profit generated by ad campaigns.
Google Ads are also adding the option for ‘Seasonality Adjustments’. This means if you have an upcoming sale or event that you expect to increase conversion opportunities, Google Ads will optimise your bids for that time period and return them to normal afterwards. This gives advertisers and businesses more flexibility to optimise ads for specific marketing goals.
4. Generate Bumper Ads with Machine Learning
Another tool making use of machine learning is Google’s ‘Bumper Machine’. This has been available to advertisers for around 12 months, but Google is now offering it to everyone by adding it as a tool within Google Ads. The Bumper Machine tool will cut any video under 90 seconds into 3-4 six-second videos to use across YouTube. With machine learning, the tool can recognise branding, text and/or the face of a product within your 90 second video and will use these sections to highlight your product within each six-second video.
Six-second bumper ads. #Bumpermachine is a new tool @GoogleAds @YouTube uses to create 3-4, six-second videos baes on your original video. Have a 107% higher ad recall & 134% higher purchase intent! #GoogleMarketingLive pic.twitter.com/3hTRLeumn6
— Chacka Marketing (@ChackaMarketing) May 14, 2019
5. Increase Conversions with Custom Google Audiences
Google audiences currently work by automatically piecing together content, identity and context to ensure the most qualified audiences are seeing your ads. Google is now introducing ‘Custom Audiences’, which is basically a combination of ‘Custom Affinity’ and ‘Custom Intent’ audiences. ‘Custom Affinity’ audiences are people who have demonstrated a specific interest in a particular brand or product, while ‘Custom Intent’ audiences are a specific group of people who are currently in the market for a particular product or service offering. The distinction between these two audiences types will soon disappear as Google merges these behaviours into ‘Custom Intent’.
In addition to this new audience type, Google will also be releasing an ‘Audience Expansion Tool’. Similar to Facebook’s look-a-like audience option, this tool enables advertisers to see audience composition and reach of consumers similar to those in the original audience list. Interestingly, advertisers using Audience Expansion for Display campaign have seen up to 50% more conversions compared to other audience targeting.
6. Reach More People with Google’s Redesigned Shopping Experience
Google wants to make it easier for advertisers to convert prospects into customers, so they’ve redesigned the Shopping homepage to make it more personalised to user’s shopping behaviour.
Online shoppers will soon be able to purchase directly from retailers through the Google Shopping interface, with an easy checkout process using credit card details already saved by Google.
Shopping through Google will also be extended beyond the Shopping interface to Search, Google Images and YouTube, so users can purchase products directly from an image or video! This provides a wider audience reach for advertisers and increases efficiency by using one campaign format across multiple networks.
— Google Ads (@GoogleAds) May 14, 2019
7. Increase Brand Awareness with Showcase Shopping Ads
Showcase Shopping has been available within Google Ads for over 12 months, but it’s now had an exciting new update. While these ads previously only displayed within the Shopping interface, they’re now launching on Google Images, YouTube and Search, which will enable advertisers to reach users when they’re looking for inspiration and ideas. This can increase brand awareness and attract new users, especially since 80% of people who click on a Showcase Shopping Ad are visiting your website for the first time.
8. Let Prospective Customers Know Where You Are With Promoted Pins
Currently, users only see a business’s promoted pin when they search for the business name or related keywords within Google Maps. With Google’s updates, users will now see promoted pins when navigating to a selected destination within Maps, allowing them to see your store if they’re viewing a nearby area. Using Machine Learning, Google will determine whether a consumer would be interested in your store’s product or service, then show your business as a purple pin within Maps. This will benefit advertisers by expanding their audience reach across Google Maps, serving to consumers who are likely to have an interest in your product or service offering.
9. Increase Foot Traffic With Local Campaigns
Most consumers will research a product or brand on their smartphone before going into a physical store. So what if you could influence your prospective customer’s decision before they enter your store? Google’s Local Campaigns are a semi-automated campaign format that promotes your physical store across Search, Display, Maps and YouTube. This type of campaign allows you to input your store locations, ad copy and creative assets, then optimises the ad delivery across the various platforms to increase foot traffic to your stores. Local campaigns have proven to increase return-on-ad-spend by a massive five times!
10. New Advertising Opportunities With ‘Google Trips’
Planning a trip is a long and tedious process. How many times have you started researching for a holiday, only to be interrupted or come back a few days later and have to trace back to where you left off? With the new Google Trips, you can leave your research and pick up where you left off whenever you like!
— Emilie Berthiaume (@EmiBerthiaume) May 14, 2019
Google Trips creates a unified experience by allowing users to search for flights, accommodation, weather and things to do within a specific city or country, then saves this information so you can come back to your research at a later date. Google will even inform you when flights or accommodation prices move up or down. It also automatically provides recommendations and information using machine learning. This gives advertisers more opportunities to connect with users in their moment of intent to ultimately generate more conversions.