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The Latest Updates From Google Marketing Live 2019

After an eventful Google I/O Developer Conference that included many intriguing announcements last week, advertisers and marketers braced themselves for yet more updates at this year’s Google Marketing Live Conference held in San Francisco, California. So here are some of the most important highlights from yesterday’s event that anyone advertising on Google will certainly want to know about!

6 min read

Introducing Discovery Ads

You may remember that last autumn, Google Discover was introduced, which is the name of Google’s Feed that shows you topics and news items about content that may be of interest to you according to your preferences. It can be accessed on the Google app on mobile phones and tablets as well as on the desktop browser version.

And now, Google is ready to make this platform available to advertisers as it introduces a new opportunity to advertise products and services. These ads, called Discovery Ads, will be native ads that can appear in several Google feed environments.

In order to get started, advertisers will be required to create a Discovery campaign before uploading their ad creatives and copy. With the help of state-of-the-art machine learning, Google will then optimise the best performing combinations in order to deliver the most relevant and successful ads. These ads can then be displayed in the Google Discover feed, which according to Google now reaches over 800 million users around the world.

However, Google did add that Discovery ads will only become available to all advertisers around the globe at some point later this year, without specifying a date. Nevertheless, this represents another major opportunity for advertisers to reach their audiences so watch this space!

Showcase Shopping Ads

Google announced the introduction of Showcase Shopping ads for Search back in 2016, which are ads that allow advertisers to target consumers that have ‘showcased’ a certain interest in a type of unbranded product or service, enhancing customers’ experiences by presenting them with the opportunity to view products that are related to their search query. This allows online shoppers to explore a variety of products that may also be of interest to them.

However, during yesterday’s conference, Google revealed that it would now be extending Showcase Shopping ads to Google Images, YouTube feed and the Discover feed. These are expected to be fully released within the coming months.

Gallery Ads

In addition to the introduction of Discovery Ads, Google unveiled yet another ad type that is ready to be rolled out soon: Gallery ads.

Advertisers will be able to feature up to eight images in gallery ads, which is Google's innovative mobile search ad format. Gallery ads are presented in a way that is actually quite similar to Facebook & Instagram Carousel ads and can be located at the top of mobile search results. For now, gallery ads will be launching exclusively on mobile and not on desktop.

Once someone looks up a specific product on Google, a scrollable gallery of different products will appear, with between four and eight images as well as a maximum of 70 characters possible per ad unit.

What’s also great about this ad type is that advertisers will only pay for these ads on a CPC basis, meaning they’ll only be charged for an ad if a user clicks through to the landing page or swipes to at least the third image in the gallery.

According to Google ad chief, Prabhakar Raghavan, initial testing of gallery ads have resulted in an increase over up to 25% in interactions when compared against traditional search ads.

When this will be fully rolled out isn’t entirely clear yet, however, we’ll keep you posted about any further developments!

Google Shopping Redesigned

Another significant improvement that has been implemented by Google is the redesign of Google Shopping, which aims to deliver a smoother and more user-friendly experience to shoppers. The concept now is to make Google Shopping a bit more personalised and tailored to everyone’s shopping habits and preferences.

As a result, online shoppers will soon have the opportunity to purchase items directly through the Google Shopping platform or by visiting the seller’s own website. Google claims that this new experience represents the fusion of the best aspects of Google Express and Google Shopping, with the hope of offering consumers an enjoyable and pragmatic shopping experience.

This redesign was already launched for users in France as Google tested the waters with its new look for its Shopping section. Furthermore, it was also announced that YouTube and Google Images were next in line with their very own Shopping Actions rolling out later on this year.

Improving Smart Bidding

Another interesting update that was presented during Marketing Live 2019 was the improvement of Smart Bidding.

Here’s how Google defines Smart Bidding: “Smart Bidding is a subset of automated bid strategies that use machine learning to optimise for conversions or conversion value in each and every auction - a feature known as “auction-time bidding”. Target CPA, Target ROAS, Maximize Conversions, and Enhanced CPC (ECPC) are all Smart Bidding strategies.”

So what part of the Smart Bidding process has Google improved? There’s actually three main points:

  • Campaign-level conversion goals: Do you have a campaign that is dedicated to a single conversion goal? You can now optimise all of your bids within the campaign for that specific goal.
  • Conversion actions sets: Want to optimise your bids across several campaigns? You can now create a set of desired conversion actions.
  • Seasonality adjustments: Is there an upcoming event in which there’s an opportunity to increase your conversion rate? Google Ads will now start optimising bids for that specific time period and return back to normal afterwards.

Expanding Audiences

Is one of your custom audiences performing considerably well and consistently responding to your content and offers?

Then Google’s brand new audience expansion tool may be exactly what you need going forward! This tool will help you target customers that look and behave in the same way as the people in your target audience, allowing you to target more people with great precision.

Does this sound familiar too? It probably does if you’ve got experience with advertising on Facebook where we call this a lookalike audience.

Not only will this great advertising tool allow you to target a greater number of prospects and leads, it will help you reach people who are more likely to express interest in the products or services that you are offering.

Launching The Bumper Machine

Finally, Google announced that it was rolling out a new tool that can help YouTube advertisers automatically create 6-second bumper ads from existing videos ads that run for 90 seconds or less.

Aided by machine learning, the Bumper Machine tool will “identify interesting, well-structured moments in a longer video” before converting those moments into numerous 6-second video ads. Advertisers can then choose which version they would like to proceed with.

It’s a quick process that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, whilst it also gives video advertisers the opportunity to adjust the creative before ultimately saving the newly created bumper ads.

Vishal Sharma, VP of Product Management explained that producing a six-second video requires additional time and resources that not every team has, before adding that YouTube’s video production partners can be consulted if help is needed to edit your existing assets or indeed create one from scratch.

This is quite significant due to the fact that YouTube’s unskippable six-second ads have proven to be so successful in the last few years. In fact, previous YouTube reports have indicated that 70% of the bumper campaigns it had analysed resulted in a strong increase in brand awareness, whilst nearly 90% resulted in better ad recall rates.

So what do you make of these latest changes? We’re quite impressed with some of these updates and we can’t wait till everything is rolled out! Is there one specific update that caught your eye? Let us know in the comments section below!

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