"Google Marketing Live Recap – New Products"

David Thai, VP Head of Search, Reprise US & Tommy Chan, Associate Director Paid Search, Reprise US

Google Marketing Live is an annual conference where the tech giant announces new product offerings. This year’s focus was simple - new ad formats focused around visualization, product enhancements and simplification of Google products.

New Products – Gallery Ads and Discovery Ads

With a massive growth in the visual sector, Google has released its answer – Gallery Ads and Discovery Ads.

Gallery Ads are swipeable visual ads on top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). They consist of a 70 character tagline with a minimum of 4 to 8 possible images. This ad unit is keyword based and will be charged on a CPC basis or when a user swipes to the 3rd image.

Discovery Ads are similar to Gallery ads but are served across Google’s Discover Feed, YouTube and under Gmail. These ad units are managed under the “Discover Campaign” type, and as of right now there is no way to exclude certain placements - it’s all placements or nothing. Advertisers are required to provide creative and copy, and then Google will optimize to best combinations based on machine learning, similar to Responsive Search Ads (RSA).

Why is it important?

Visual search has been around for Google since 2016, with the introduction of the visual site links beta, and the launch of Google Lens in 2017, an image recognition technology developed by Google. According to eMarketer, while visual search only remains a tiny portion of search the exponential growth has been strong, with a 140% increase YoY.

Gallery Ads are a great way to entice consumers through a visual offering. While visual ads already existed for the automotive vertical, this opens doors for brands that rely on storytelling and display key selling points to consumers by “showing them” rather than “telling them”. The biggest benefactors from these new ad formats are two types of brands – those which don’t sell direct to consumers and do not have a product feed, and brands whose offerings are rooted in visualization.

Historically brands who do not sell directly on sites rely on 3rd party partnerships to help convey brand offerings through feeds. By utilizing Gallery Ads, brands are able to not only display potential product offerings, but they are also able to showcase product usage or lifestyle imagery. The most important use case for Gallery Ads is through non-brand offerings, where you can capture and showcase multiple products all in one ad.

One of Reprise's clients was able to test this ad unit in Q2 in their non-brand campaigns and the results were staggering.

Gallery ads saw (vs ETAs):
  • 649% higher CTR
  • 29% higher ROAS
  • Consistent transactions

Ads are a great way to reach consumers on their journey through Google’s vast network and expand the reach of consumers through non-traditional search. The true power of Discovery Ads is the consolidation of multiple Google properties in one ad unit – traditionally advertisers would need to create multiple ad units to hit specific users. Now you can find and engage with users, whether they are viewing the Discover Feed, watching videos on YouTube or browsing through Gmail.

This consolidation means more time saved for advertisers, more reach for campaigns, and simplified assets and management for brands. All brands would benefit from utilization of Discovery Ads. One theme from Google Marketing Live is that user touchpoints have increased over the years as most of the time it is non-linear. To be an effective advertiser it is important to anticipate where the consumer is, understand their needs and adapt to those changes.

Recommendations

Gallery Ads should be utilized from brands to display offerings with the ideology to “showing the value prop” through non-brand tactics. These non-brand tactics will help potentially capture the correct user intent since multiple images are being served. Discovery Ads will allow advertisers to reach consumers in one seamless campaign setup. For brands that already run any type of YouTube or Gmail campaign, this will only increase the potential reach for your current buys. For new adopters, this ad format will allow you to reach consumers at different touchpoints when they are within the Google ecosystem. While there is increased visibility and enhancement for brands, this means user experience and expectations are high.

Sources:

  • https://searchengineland.com/google-adwords-images-sitelink-extensions-263908
  • https://www.emarketer.com/content/visual-search-2018
  • https://searchengineland.com/google-model-automotive-dealer-ads-launch-mobile-search-us-246319
  • https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/near-me-searches/
  • https://searchengineland.com/survey-82-percent-of-smartphone-shoppers-conduct-near-me-searches-304512

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