Each year, Google announces a range of new features at its Google Marketing Live event, hosted in Silicon Valley and attended by around 5,000 industry gurus. As ever, their announcements gave us a valuable insight into their general direction of travel. Google’s 2018 keynote emphasised transparency and trust, and while these are still central to Google’s new developments, their essential take-away from this year’s keynote was that brands should “be responsible, be there, and be useful”. Ultimately, Google’s aim is for brands to deliver relevant and specific ads to the right audience, all the while being mindful of their privacy.
The most significant announcements centred on additional advertising space, more eye-catching formats and making it easier for people to get ads live. I’ve picked out the below as some highlights:
Gallery Ads: These are are best described as being a Facebook-Carousel-style unit shown on mobile search results pages. From a brand perspective this will certainly be worth testing on terms which convert well, or where you wish to rapidly grow awareness such as product launches or during sale periods. They have been in alpha for a little while and will likely roll out to the UK this year. Google has tested image led ads several times over the years with only shopping ads really sticking. Given the proliferation of shopping in recent years, it’s likely that users will be more accepting of this most recent format than they may have been in previous years.
Bumper Machine: This addresses the biggest challenge for brands to run YouTube, namely creating video assets at scale. This tool uses Machine Learning to edit down longer format video into the 6s bumper format; this chimes with a Google study showing that seeing several bumper ads can have better brand recall than a single 30s unit. Global release date of this is as yet unknown, but we’ll be working behind the scenes so that we’re ready to launch this with our clients as soon as the release date is announced.
Google Discover & Discovery Ads are the evolution and monetisation of the Google feed. This proactively provides the information that Google believes the user will find useful, rather than waiting for them to perform a search. Advertisers can appear on the feed either by using discovery ads, targeting a specific audience, or via shopping ads where the structured data enables Google to determine relevance.
For retailers, Shopping Ads had a number of developments with the most exciting being the ability to buy directly from the results without navigating to the vendor’s website. How this will work with CSS suppliers in Europe is still under wraps.
In addition to the above there were a number of improvements to how advertisers can manage and build campaigns with greater levels of automation and simplification of processes.
Google’s developments in advertisement-led capabilities for brands change and develop at breakneck speed. If you’re interested in keeping ahead of the digital ad-sphere by implementing Google’s latest technology to ensure your brand continues to be found in the busy online marketplace then do get in touch for an initial chat. We’d love to hear where you’re at and discuss how we can help you to activate these new developments.