If you live, breathe, and love PPC, Google Marketing Live is for you. This is Google’s annual marketing conference that this year gathered over 5,000 advertisers and paid search industry players in San Francisco. It is a 2-day live-streamed event which outlines all the big announcements for Google Ads, all the digital marketing trends and innovations, features and products we can expect to be rolled out in 2019.
Did you miss out on this Super Bowl of digital marketing? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In today’s post, we’ll walk you through the main Google Marketing Live announcements, one at a time, so you will be up to date with all the impactful insights.
Let’s dive in!
1. GOOGLE ADS SMART BIDDING ENHANCEMENTS
As Google states it, there are over 70% Google Ads advertisers using Smart Bidding strategies today. The customers’ journeys are getting increasingly complex, so marketers need more flexibility in reaching their business goals. Hence, Google Marketing Live was the perfect place to announce some major improvements to Google Ads’ use of smart bidding and machine learning:
• Seasonality adjustments
Let’s say you have an upcoming promotion of 1 or 2 days and you know your conversion rate will skyrocket. Well, good news for you coming from Google Marketing Live 2019: seasonality controls will allow you to directly inform Smart Bidding about your future sale. This means that you will be able to schedule an appropriate adjustment for that particular period of time.
• Campaign-level conversion
Gone are the days when advertisers were limited to set conversion goals only at the account level. Now, you can set them at the campaign level too. You’ll be able to map relevant conversion goals according to your campaign goals, such as downloads or demo requests.
You can also create Conversion action sets and choose which conversions are shown in the Conversions column, per each campaign. In case you’re using Smart Bidding, the algorithms will optimize for these conversions.
• Maximize conversion value
Maximize conversion value is a brand new bidding strategy, focused on volume and growth, that allows advertisers to optimize for the highest conversion value within a specified budget.
As Google says, “you define the value that you want to maximize, such as sales revenue or profit margin, when you set up conversion tracking for your account.” Basically, this smart bidding strategy is suitable for advertisers who want to focus on maximizing conversion value and don’t have specific ROI goals, such as CPA or ROAS targets.
• Conversion Value rules
As not all conversions are always valued equally, in order to be more aligned with the business goals, these new value rules will allow advertisers to differentiate conversion values based on characteristics such as location, device, and audience.
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2. NEW GOOGLE ADS FORMATS
I don’t know about you, but I am always thrilled when Google AdWords updates include new ad formats. Here they are:
• Google Discovery Ads
This new type of ad, tailor-made for brand awareness, will run across the Google discovery feed (used by 800 million people on a monthly basis), the Gmail social and promotions tabs and the YouTube home feed.
Discovery Ads will roll out later this year. Advertisers will be able to create Discovery campaigns and showcase a single image of their product or service, or multiple images in a carousel format. Somewhat similar to Responsive Search Ads, Google will use machine learning to serve the best combinations of your five headlines, five descriptions, images and the logo you provide.
Discovery Ads will use audience targeting, similar to the one available in Display: in-market, interests, and custom audiences.
• Gallery Ads
This is the first Google Search Ad type to include visual elements, making them more memorable than plain text ads. They will be eligible to show at the top of mobile search results. As Google’s desire is to combine the intent of search with a more visual and interactive ad format and bring more content to the Search results page, Gallery Ads consist of:
- a minimum of four and a maximum of eight images
- a 70 character description for each and every image
- up to three unique headlines to test different USPs and CTAs
Similar to Facebook ads instant experience, Gallery Ads will also expand into its own full-page experience.
Tests from the early adopters showed that, on average, ad groups that have one or more gallery ads drive up to 25% more engagements (clicks or swipes). This only makes me even more excited to test them as soon as they’re available in our accounts.
3. GOOGLE MARKETING LIVE UPDATES FOR SHOPPING ADS
• New Google Shopping Homepage
Now you can connect with consumers through a new, redesigned Google Shopping experience, where they can discover and compare products from thousands of stores. All these to determine people to buy more and buy faster.
• Showcase Shopping Ads in more places
This visual ad format with rich imagery will get in even more places where people are looking for inspiration and ideas, like Google Images and the Discover feed, and soon also on YouTube.
• Other Google Ads news related to Shopping Ads include:
- Buy-online and pick-up-in-store capabilities, offering shoppers a more flexible way to purchase and receive the products. Advertisers who have product landing pages that show when pick-up in-store is available, as well as a local inventory feed in Merchant Center, and are interested in this beta experience – are required to fill out this form.
- Shopping campaigns with partners – for retailers and brand manufacturers.
4. BUMPER MACHINE
There are over 90% of people who discover new brands or products on YouTube. More than that, over 40% of global shoppers say they have purchased products they discovered on YouTube. Hence, the importance of video advertising.
Google Marketing Live 2019 announced a pretty handy (and free!) tool designed to address marketers’ needs when it comes to developing custom or new Bumpers creative from their existing video assets.
It is called “Bumper Machine”. How does this tool help? Well, it automates the creation of 6-second video assets from longer-form content. It will turn any video shorter than 90 seconds into 3 to 4 different bumpers, which can also be manually adjusted with some simple edits. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
Right now, YouTube does an alpha testing. The beta testing is expected soon and then it will be rolled out to the general public.
5. DEEP LINKING AND IN-APP CONVERSION TRACKING
The big news here is that advertisers will be able to link users to specific pages in their business’ app if the app is already installed on their mobile device. Performance tests on this showed that on average, deep linked ad experiences show 2x higher conversion rates.
6. GOOGLE ADS AUDIENCES - GOOGLE MARKETING LIVE ANNOUNCEMENTS
• The New Custom Audiences
Google will merge the custom intent audience and the custom affinity audience and simply call them custom audiences.
• The New Audience Expansion Tool
Similar to the Facebook lookalike audiences, the new Audience Expansion Tool will help you reach more people similar to those in your custom audiences.
THAT’S A WRAP!
On a general note, Google Marketing Live speakers touched topics like creativity, measurement, management, and insights. They emphasized the importance of the customer journey and the multiple touchpoints, how to adapt to this and how to have a consistent experience across your website and your app.
Privacy was another quite emphasized subject – protecting the user and being as transparent as possible.
To conclude, a big takeaway of the conference PPC managers and business owners should take action on right away is the quality of ads: be there, be responsible and be useful!
Whether you’re a business owner, marketing manager or PPC specialist, I am sure you’ll find something valuable in the Google Marketing Conference videos and Google Ads’ newly added capabilities.
So, which one of these updates makes you more excited? Let us know in the comments section below.
Until next time, stay above the curve with the new announcements!