This year is set to be an important one for advertisers currently using Google’s digital marketing services. On June 27 Google turned the digital marketing world on its head when it announced a complete rebrand of its advertising products.
Marketers currently operate in a world full of curious, demanding, and frankly, impatient consumers. And Google has made strides to help advertisers meet the needs of an increasingly savvy, mobile, and data-conscious public. So, starting July 24 Google AdWords is becoming Google Ads, DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 will be merged into the brand-new Google Marketing Platform and the Google Ad Manager will be launched.
Google AdWords becomes Google Ads
It’s no secret that consumers are searching everywhere. Whether it’s on search engines for products and services, a Google partner site, or Google Maps; consumers search dozens of different sites, networks and platforms to find the best offers. And Google is trying to help make this experience seamless.
So, what is changing? According to Google, other than its branding, you’ll have all the same tools, plus a few new ones to make reaching customers easier. They’ve made it clear with the release of the new update, changes to the Google Ads branding will not impact your campaign performance, navigation, or reporting.
One of the biggest new Google marketing tools, which will become the default experience for Google Ads, is Smart Ads.
According to Google, 90% of small business owners state that their online advertising goals are to get phone calls, store visits, or purchases online. You’ll be able to create Smart Ads and Smart Campaigns in minutes on the new platform; allowing you to drive anything from website visits to phone calls and in-store visits.
How Smart Ads work
When creating a new campaign with Smart Ads, you begin by selecting the goals that are most appropriate for your business. You can select multiple, allowing Google to craft a plan for you to reach users on multiple platforms that aid your goals and KPIs.
With new ad types, you can quickly add images to your ads that will show up on partner websites. This new “Image Picker” feature allows for automatic A/B testing of images. Google will then select the best performers to keep running.
Google wants Google Ads to do the work rather than making AdWords feel like a chore. New features like this are going to be game changers for small businesses. With less time to manage accounts, you could possible see some digital marketers losing their jobs over this update. In fact, with the new Smart Ads platform, which is in beta testing, had one advertiser able to double their sales in the first 60 days alone.
“People don’t see value in advertising if they don’t feel valued by advertising,” says Google’s Senior VP of Ads, Sridhar Ramaswamy.
A stronger collaboration with Google Marketing platform
Analytics 360 and DoubleClick will form up like Voltron in the coming weeks into the new solution called Google Marketing. Combining these formerly independent tools allows Google to offer big-spenders a complete set of tools that help plan, buy, measure, and optimize both media and consumer experience. The new Google Marketing platform will feature:
- 100+ integrations with exchanges and measurement solutions managed from a single interface
- Search Ads 360, which will allow advertisers to plan, buy, and measure search ads
- Display Ads 360, allowing advertisers to manage bids and audiences from a central location
But the most interesting component of the new Google Marketing platform is the way in which it will unlock collaboration between media buyers, creatives, and clients. Its interface will allow brands and the brains behind them to generate better campaigns without the hassle of constant email chains.
YouTube advertising updates
People are watching more than a billion hours of video on YouTube every day. And 91% of smartphone users have bought or planned to buy something after seeing a video ad. So, with metrics like that, it’s no wonder Google is pushing video hard through a whole mess of exciting new YouTube functionality.
Google announced that later this year they’ll be bringing a new option to TrueView for Reach ads. In addition to a call-to-action button, the new Form Ads will allow you to collect leads through a form directly on the ad.
As far as new YouTube advertising features go, Google announced a new smart bidding strategy called Maximize Lift; created to help advertisers reach prospects who are likely to search for their brand after watching a video. The new feature will automatically adjusts bids at auction time to maximize the impact video ads have on brand perception.
Advertisers have been using Facebook lead ads for some time now, but there hasn’t been a comparable offering for Google marketing. That is until now. Lead ads on YouTube will combine YouTube’s reach with robust audience targeting and the ability to capture the contact information of valuable consumers without asking them to go to your website before purchasing.
You don’t have a website?
Surprisingly, almost half of all small business owners in the United States don’t have a website. Among them, far fewer have the time and expertise to create websites and landing pages that are optimized for search ads. As a potential solution, Google is now testing auto-optimized landing pages. Working within Smart Campaigns UI, it’ll provide business owners an alternative to creating resource-consuming, product-centric websites. Auto-optimized landing pages use machine learning to pull information about your products and services directly from your ad, matching it to your on-page creative.
These updates should provide new and affordable solutions for small business. However, this overhaul and new features could spell bad news for digital marketing agencies who make a living off of creating websites for businesses. What are your thoughts.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.