Nowadays, awareness is one of the most sought-after goals by digital marketers. And online ads have long proven to increase brand awareness by at least 80%. One of the Internet’s giants, Google, is home to one of the biggest digital marketing platforms on the web, Google Ads.
Through it, marketers can significantly increase their brand awareness, reach new clients and prospects, score new sales, save money, and more. Today, Google Ads offers a wide variety of campaign types. Our focus with this article is going to be on Discovery campaigns. Stay tuned and you’ll learn all you need to know.
An introduction to Google Ads Discovery Campaigns
Back in 2019, Google introduced a series of new features to Google Ads under the name of “Discovery ads” to generate demand rather than satisfy it through ads.
What this means in literal terms is that Discovery ads act as a medium of showing your audience(s) what Google thinks they need instead of just sitting and waiting for them to search for it.
In other words, discovery ads do not function by responding to an inquiry made by a user, which means they might come off as intrusive for some. Because of this, Google has some strict quality requirements for marketers who want to use Discovery ads.
A Google Ads Discovery campaign can appear in 4 places: a user’s YouTube home page and ‘watch next’ feed, their Gmail’s promotions tab, and finally, the feed of their Google Discover app.
Now, you might be wondering. Since these ads aren’t linked to particular search queries, how does Google know whom to target? Well, for starters, you can set up some basic targeting parameters such as gender, age, and location.
But the main player, in this case, is Google’s state of the art Artificial Intelligence (AI). There is also the fact that Google has an average of 2GB worth of data on each of its users, which equals roughly 1.5 million Word documents. Such a massive amount of data allows the company to reliably serve ads.
How to create a Google Ads Discovery Campaign
Unlike some of the other advertising channels offered by Google Ads, setting up Discovery ads is mostly an automated process. This means that you can have a Google Ads Discovery Campaign up and running in just a few minutes.
Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how you can create a Google Ads Discovery campaign:
- First off, log into your Google Ads account
- Click on Campaigns on the left sidebar menu
- Click on the blue + button to initiate a new campaign
- Choose a campaign objective: Sales, leads, website traffic, or continue without an objective
- In the campaign type selection menu, click on Discovery
- Select your bidding strategy, average daily budget, and audience(s) targeting. Google will help you in this department as they will recommend you a bidding strategy that works best with your objective
- You’re done!
Google Ads Discovery Campaigns – Formats
Google Ads Discovery campaigns come in two different formats, Discovery Ads and Carousel Ads.
- Discovery Ad: a Discovery ad is very similar to a Responsive Display Ad. In it, you can include a number of images, logos, and up to 5 headlines and description names. You can also include your business name and a call to action (CTA) text
- Discovery Carousel Ad: as the name suggests, these ads allow you to upload several cards that a user can scroll through. These cards can feature different products or services
And here are the formatting parameters that you should follow for both types:
- Headline character limit: 40 characters
- Description character limit: 90 characters
- Number of images: From 2 to 10 images for discovery carousel ads, and up to 15 per creative for single-image discovery ads
- Images ratio: Landscape (1:91:1) or square (1:1)
- Image resolution: The recommended image resolution is 1200×628 px for landscape images and 1200×1200 px for square ones
- Max file size: 1 MB
- Business name character limit: 25 characters
- Logos ratio: 1:1 square
- Call-to-Action text: Manual or “Automatic”. You can select the best call to action from the drop-down menu. Or you can set it to Automatic, and Google Ads will automatically select the best call-to-action language to optimise for the best performance
Google Ads Discovery Campaigns – Best practices
Now that know how to set up Discovery Ads and their different types, let’s now delve into some of the best practices that you can follow to ensure their success:
1. Don’t cheap out on the creative assets
Creative assets are the cornerstones of a Google Ads Discovery campaign. In other words, make sure to use high-resolution images that showcase your product or service. Avoid using stock photos unless they are high quality.
It’s recommended to use at least five landscape and square images. We also urge you to use both single and carousel discovery ads. Indeed, the more creatives you throw at Google’s optimisation system, the better job it will do at serving those ads to the right audience(s).
2. Use audience expansion
The audience expansion feature is a tool that allows marketers to show their ads to users outside of their chosen target audience. This feature relies on Google’s brilliant machine learning AI.
And although this feature is great, it can quickly drain your budget, so tread carefully.
3. Focus your targeting
Based on data from previous or current Google Ads campaigns, you can try to narrow down your audience instead of expanding it.
Even if the product or service you are offering appeals to the masses, you’re probably better off focusing your targeting on a data-led selection of people.
4. Tell a story
Google recommends that you use Discovery carousel ads to tell a story about your brand. This story should develop as the user scrolls through the cards. This encourages more engagement with your ad and readies the user to visit your site and maybe make a purchase.
Still, keep in mind that the main objective of Discovery ads is to build brand awareness and consideration, so don’t expect your target audience to make a lot of conversion actions.
5. Watch your timing
Similar to targeting, if you happen to have any information regarding the time of day or the day(s) of the week where your customers are most active, try to use it to your advantage.
Say, for example, your audience is most active on Mondays and Wednesdays. Focusing on those days can help you bring more conversions than just running the ads all day long.
If you don’t have such crucial data at hand, Google can automatically optimise your Discovery Ads campaign for you, and that optimisation includes ad scheduling.
Google Ads Discovery Campaigns – Benefits
1. Visual & immersive
It seems like Google has taken inspiration from the likes of Facebook and Instagram when it comes to designing Discovery Ads. The way they look and feel is quite similar to a carousel ad that you would find on your Facebook feed for instance.
Such a format allows you, the advertiser, to engage your audience in a more immersive manner which is extremely important for businesses, especially e-commerce based ones.
2. Fully automated
Google has been in the trend of automating many of the features of its advertising platform lately, from bidding to keyword matching and more.
And while automation is a topic of hot debate over whether it is always beneficial or not, in the case of Discovery Ads, it is.
Google’s state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence and machine learning help to better optimise these ads in a quick and effective manner.
3. Incredible reach
Google claims that Discovery Ads are capable of reaching over 3 billion people every month, through Gmail promotions, Google Discover, and YouTube.
Quite an enormous reach is something that no advertiser should neglect. Indeed, you would be reaching both existing and potential customers with such a reach.
4. Great for remarketing
Lastly, Discovery Ads are a great channel for remarketing. So great, in fact, that the people over at PPC Hero noticed that remarketing through the Discovery Network netted more clicks than the Display Network.
Let us help with your Google Ads campaigns
If you feel overwhelmed by everything Google Ads has to offer, fret not, as you’re not alone. Book a discovery call with us today, and we’ll show you how we can take your business to the next level using Google Ads.