Earlier this month, Google announced several updates and initiatives at its annual marketing event, creatively dubbed Google Marketing Live. Over two days, Google introduced several new features, design updates, and goals for their paid marketing platforms. A few of the updates were available immediately after their announcement, while the rest are expected to debut throughout the remainder of the year.
One of the most exciting product announcements was the introduction of Discovery Ads. Discovery Ads are a new ad serving type allowing businesses to advertise to leads at multiple touchpoints within a single campaign. They combine ad space within Gmail, YouTube, and Google's Discovery Feed (formally known as Google Now and Google Feed).
This kind of ad campaign is expected to show much higher conversion rates when compared to the other campaign varieties. It's no secret that buyers' journeys are not completed within a single touch point. Often, buyers interact with a product dozens, if not hundreds, of times before they commit to purchase.
Discovery Ads will allow advertisers to travel along with buyers during those journeys and advertise to them in their inbox, while they're watching video reviews, and reading through their curated smart feeds.
Discovery Ads are currently in beta and accessible to select users. They are expected to be rolled out worldwide later this year.
One of Google's main pain points has been its inability to catch up with Amazon's e-commerce capabilities. To gain some online shopping and advertising cred, Google announced Gallery Ads. Gallery Ads will present at the top of search engine results when triggered by a targeted keyword or keyphrase. However, instead of traditional search ads, Gallery Ads will feature a visually appealing image carousel, similar to those found when searching for movie showtimes or TV shows.
Carousels will take up more space than traditional search ads as well as allow advertisers to feature eye-catching imagery along with text descriptions. These ads will only be available on mobile but are expected to return up to 25% more interactions than search ads.
Other Ads Updates
In addition to new ad types, Google introduced a slew of new Ads features that will be available throughout the remainder of 2019, if not already available.
Seasonality Adjustments for Smart Bidding
One of these added features is the ability for smart bidding strategies to adjust for seasonality, sales, and events. Simply dictate the nature of the seasonal change, event, or otherwise, and Google will automatically adjust the bidding strategy to accommodate for it.
Bidding based on conversion values and actions by campaign just got a lot easier. Now, Ads lets users select individual conversion actions per campaign. There will no longer be a need for creating separate conversion actions up to accommodate campaign-specific bids - users can choose just the conversion action for which they'd like smart bidding to adjust.
Google has been testing promoted locations in Maps for a hot minute, but now they will be offered platform-wide. As with standard search ads, promoted locations will show up at the top of a Maps search when triggered by a specific keyword. For example, local taco spots can bid to be the promoted location when potential visitors search "Mexican food near me," or "Best tacos in Waco, TX."
Local ads will also be available on Search, Google My Business, the Display Network, and YouTube. Advertising competitive advantages will be a breeze. Offer a service that your competitor doesn't? Target relevant keywords on Business Profiles. You might even show up on your competitors' Google My Business Page or YouTube channel.
The Big Takeaways
The overarching themes of this year's Google Marketing Live were:
- Protecting user data even at the cost of available data;
- Using machine learning to make up for that data lost protecting users' privacy;
- Google's efforts to compete with Amazon through innovative e-commerce efforts.
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