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Google Marketing Live 2019 is an annual live keynote where Google announces their latest products and innovations for their marketing technologies. This year, Google has brought us tons of new products and features to get excited about. In a nutshell, Google is focusing on a user’s journey and each user’s journey is different and complex.
A user’s journey takes them to different places, and everyone has a different number of touchpoints and interactions with various marketing channels before finally converting. Providing relevant online experiences is a challenge and Google has been learning to anticipate what a user needs through machine learning.
In order to thrive in Google’s upcoming environment, brands must be trusted, provide detailed answers and provide content that caters to different buyer journeys.
Google has announced major additions and changes to their Google Ads platform in order to help brands more ways to reach their potential customers.
Discover is Google’s news feed and has been around since September. Discover is a feed where Google anticipates what topics a user is interested in and provides quick summary cards for websites, news articles, YouTube videos and more that they can choose to check out.
The Discover feed is located primarily on mobile devices either when visiting the Google homepage on mobile or swiping to the right on Google Pixel phones. In fact, more than 800 million people use the Google Discover feed each month.
Discover is a great place to reach people, as they are browsing for news, products and services that are interesting to them. Since its release, Discover has been ad-free, but now, brands are able to take advantage of people’s openness to introduce their brand or any new product.
Here are some features Google has highlighted for the Discover feed:
- Ad Creative: there is an emphasis on the visuals of your ad in Discover. It is an opportunity to catch a user’s attention and bring awareness to your brand. The Discover ads are intended to look just like any other Discover feed item, this means images and excerpts will be required.
- Results: Machine learning plays a huge role and is constantly learning about how users interact with the Discover feed and what their intent is. Google is able to anticipate what your potential customer wants ahead of time and will show your ad when the time is right.
- Reach: Discover ads aren’t just displayed in one place. They are shown across other Google platform feeds such as YouTube and Gmail. A single ad campaign has the potential to reach millions.
Gallery ads are an exciting new ad format that brings a huge advantage for those looking to reach mobile users. Just like Discovery ads, Gallery ads place a focus on image content. The most powerful thing about these ads is that they will always show up at the top of mobile search results and allow users to easily swipe through pictures.
A standard text headline is displayed above the scrollable images and each image has its own tagline attached to it. Gallery ads consist of a collection of 4-8 images and taglines that can be up to 70 characters long.
Ad headlines and descriptions have worked pretty well to communicate what companies have to offer however, we are now starting to see a shift where a larger emphasis is being placed on image content.
Take a look at restaurants for example. Let’s say someone is looking for somewhere to eat tonight and they search for Chinese food near me. Typically a Google search result ad would show up with one to three headlines and a couple of description lines. This does not have much distinction from the rest of the search results outside of the fact it will rank at the top of the listings. With a gallery ad, the user will be presented with multiple images of your menu items that they can swipe through and taglines describing them. Not only will this ad appear at the top of the search results but it also provides image content none of the other search result listings can offer. This will allow your ad to stand out even more and better gain the user’s attention.
Images have more impact and are more memorable than words. Gallery ads are something to be excited about because they present the user with additional content they can interact with.
Deep linking will improve the experience between your Google ads and your mobile app. A users current experience when clicking on a Google ad that is linked to an app is a pop up appears which gives them the choice to either continue with the website or go straight to the app.
Most people prefer the app because that’s where all their information is conveniently stored. For example an e-commerce store. It is much easier to buy from the app installed on your phone as it has payment and shipping info already stored and ready for your next purchase.
Deep linking in Google ads allow users to go directly to the desired app when clicking on a Google ad. Deep linking also can redirect users to specific pages inside of your app. If you were running an ad to an item on sale, instead of opening up the main page of the app, you can direct the traffic directly to the product page inside your app.
Having frictionless experiences like this on mobile is another way your business can increase conversions and get the most out of your Google Ads campaign.
Campaign Level Conversion Goals
It used to be that you would set your conversion goals at the account level, but now you are able to set your conversion goals for each campaign.
With this update, it is easier for advertisers to map out relevant conversion goals for each campaign and have more control over budget.
Maximize Conversion Value
A new bidding strategy Google has introduced is maximize conversion value. It allows advertisers to better allocate advertising dollars based on how valuable a certain conversion is.
This can be easily confused with the current “maximize conversions” bidding strategy, however that only allows advertisers to generate conversions within budget. Maximize conversion value optimizes for conversion value within budget.
Google also introduced value rules which ties heavily with this new bidding strategy. Soon you will have the ability to assign different values to different actions or factors such as location, device, audience, etc. This allows Google to give you clicks that provide the best value.
Accounting for seasonal spikes are handled by current smart bidding strategies. What Google is adding to its platform this year is the option to tweak bidding using seasonality adjustments. Whether your business typically generates more business at a certain point in the year or you’re running promotions or sales, you will be able to adjust your bidding at these times to increase your conversions.
Google has been de-emphasizing manual bidding for quite a while, but that doesn’t mean they’re giving us less control. They’re actually giving us more control over our ads as these new features aim to allow us to fine-tune our strategies based on our goals.
How are Google Ads Trending?
Machine learning is going to play a huge role in the future of Google Ads. Google continues to learn how people interact online and predict what their next actions will be. Right now, ads are served based on what people are searching for, but down the road, people will start seeing ads for products or services that they didn’t know they needed.
As Google is getting smarter and bridging separate channels to improve user experience, it is important for businesses to leverage multiple Google platforms as they can reach a much wider audience at multiple touch points.