Google hosted its annual Google Marketing Live event in San Jose, California on Tuesday. During the live-streamed keynote address, Google executives announced several new features and initiatives coming to the company’s various advertising platforms. The event came just weeks after Google introduced three new (i.e., updated) advertising platforms – Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager.
While Google’s execs touted the company’s three principle advertising characteristics – valuable, transparent, trustworthy – the default theme to this year’s Google Marketing Live keynote was actually two other words – “machine learning.” It seemed as if every update Google announced, the speakers highlighted how their automated processes can help make your job as a marketer easier across all aspects of campaign management.
If you want to watch the full keynote, you can find a recording of the event here.
Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Ads and Commerce, kicked off the event by recapping major previous announcements to Google’s ad services. But, the new announcements we all tuned in for came when Nicky Rettke, Google’s Group Product Manager of Video Ads, and Anthony Chavez, Product Management Director of Google Ads, took the stage.
Reach nearby consumers with Local campaigns
During the keynote, the speakers stressed one of the worst-kept secrets in search marketing: consumers are increasingly expecting to find only the most local and relevant results to them. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Google continues to roll out features and campaigns designed to help drive traffic for local businesses.
“Today we’re introducing Local campaigns: a new campaign type designed to drive store visits exclusively,” Google’s Vice President of Product Management Jerry Dischler said in a blog post about the keynote. “Provide a few simple things – like your business locations and ad creative – and Google automatically optimizes your ads across properties to bring more customers into your store.”
Local campaigns will begin rolling out to advertisers globally over the coming months. Here’s a sample of what this will look like across Google’s platforms:
Manage campaigns with responsive search ads
With responsive search ads, you’ll be able to provide up to 15 headlines and four description lines as options for paid search ads. Using machine learning, Google will determine which combination of ad creative is most likely to perform best for a given search query.
The feature is still in beta, but Google has already highlighted a number of benefits responsive ads provide advertisers:
- Create flexible ads that adapt to device widths, giving you more room to share your message with potential customers.
- Save time by providing multiple headline and description options, then let AdWords show the most relevant combinations to your customers.
- Reach more potential customers with multiple headline and description options that give your ads the opportunity to compete in more auctions and match more queries.
- Increase ad group performance by attracting additional clicks and conversions that your existing text ads aren’t capturing, since responsive search ads help you compete in more auctions.
According to Google, responsive search ads also have a couple of advantages over expanded text ads:
- More space: responsive search ads can show up to three headlines instead of two, and up to two 90-character description fields (instead of one 80-character description field).
- More flexibility: you can provide up to 15 headlines and four descriptions for a single responsive search ad. And, AdWords will automatically show different combinations depending on the search query.
Here’s an example of how to create a responsive search ad based on Google’s best practices:
Responsive ads will start rolling out over the next several months to allow you to take optimization testing to a whole new level. According to Google, advertisers who use the search company’s machine learning to test multiple creative see up to 15 percent more clicks.
Maximize relevance and performance on YouTube
Nicky Rettke, Group Product Manager of Video Ads, took the stage at the Google Marketing Live keynote to talk about some major features coming to YouTube for advertisers. Before diving into those, she shared a few impressive stats:
- There are 1.9 billion signed in users visiting YouTube every month.
- Users watch a billion hours of video every day.
- There was a 150 percent growth in ad conversions last year and a 70 percent lift in in-store sales from YouTube ads.
Rettke then moved on to three new advertising features available on YouTube.
TrueView for reach
Google introduced this feature a few months ago and it’s currently available to advertisers. According to Google’s blog, “TrueView for reach brings our popular in-stream format built on user choice together with the simplicity of CPM buying. Optimized for efficient reach, this format can help you to raise awareness among a broad set of customers — and do so within our 95 percent viewable and 95 percent audible environment.”
TrueView for action
This feature has also been available to advertisers for a while. TrueView for action campaigns help drive leads and conversions by adding prominent calls-to-action (CTAs ) and headline-text overlays to your video ads.
Using this video campaign subtype, you can encourage customers to explore your product or service, share their contact information, and take other actions valuable to your business.
Maximize lift bidding
Google is rolling out this Smart Bidding strategy to help you reach people who are most likely to be interested in your brand and its products and services after seeing a video ad. Powered by (you guessed it) machine learning, Maximize lift is designed to automatically adjust bids to maximize the impact your video ads have on how consumers perceive your brand throughout the buying journey.
Maximize lift is available now as a beta and will roll out to advertisers globally later this year.
Optimize your shopping campaigns
Google launched a new Shopping campaign type earlier this year to help you optimize performance based on your brand’s specific goals. During the Marketing Live keynote, Google announced they’d be improving this feature so you can optimize campaigns for multiple business goals like store visits or new customers.
And, how does Google do it? You guessed it, machine learning FTW again. According to Google, “machine learning is also used to optimize where your Shopping ads show – on Google.com, Image Search, YouTube and millions of sites and apps across the web – and which products are featured.”
Google said these features to optimize shopping campaigns will begin rolling out over the next couple of months.
Cross-device reporting and remarketing
The crowd in San Jose went wild (relatively) when Anthony Chavez, Product Management Director for Google Ads announced the latest feature coming to Google Analytics.
Available now, you’ll “be able to take action based on a comprehensive view of customers,” Chavez said. Cross-device reporting and remarketing will provide a holistic view of traffic across devices in Google analytics. The feature also allows you to deploy cross-device retargeting strategies in Google Ads.