Google Ads launches automated insights and performance max campaigns to publish video action out of beta
The new products and features are another indication of Google's machine learning goals.
Google rolled out more automation features and campaign types as part of Advertising Week on Tuesday. The announcements relate to years of efforts to leverage machine learning for campaigns across Google's territories, as well as actions Google has taken in response to the pandemic.
"We've had an opportunity now to take a step back and figure out what some of the long-term trends are. And we've either made new efforts or accelerated existing efforts to try to play into those trends," Jerry Dischler, vice president and GM of ads at Google, said in an interview Friday.
Insights page in Google Ads
In May, in response to rapidly changing consumer behavior due to home ordering, Google released Rising Retail Categories, a tool that supports fast-growing product search. Building on this, a new Insights page in the Google Ads UI will incorporate data from Rising Retail Categories as well as Google Trends data tailored to the account.
Advertisers will receive up-to-date search trends, auction insights tailored to their Google Ads account, as well as See interest predictions. For example, as shown in the example below, an outdoor gear retailer might see that "tents" is a trending term, that competitors in the auction are gaining share of impressions, and that "skiing" is expected to trend in November. It also integrates with recommendations.
Insights will roll out in beta in the coming months, first coming to the US and UK in the fourth quarter of this year. Google says it will add audience and forecast data. "We hope this will just be a foundation that we'll build on to offer better business insights directly in Google Ads," Dischler said.
Automated Performance Max campaigns for Google Ads
Performance Max is Google's newest automated campaign type. "We've been working on automation for a long time, and COVID really felt like a turning point for a lot of advertisers, because when you've had such a big shock to the system and you're operating things manually, the burden is so high ... You have to focus on other things, like running your business," Dischler said.
Unlike other automated options (Universal App Campaigns, Local Campaigns, Smart Campaigns, Smart Shopping Campaigns), Performance Max runs across all Google-owned and operated properties. Ads for Performance Max campaigns can be served on the Display Network, YouTube, Gmail, Discover, and Search via dynamic search ads. They are intended to complement standard search campaigns.
As with the other automated campaign types, advertisers provide text and image and/or video files, and Google's machine learning systems automatically serve the responsive ads across these channels, bidding via automated smart bidding based on the target set by the advertiser.
The idea is to set up a single campaign to target all inventory, rather than creating specialized ads for specific channels. The new Insights page will also include details on Performance Max campaigns, including recommendations as shown in the example below.
Advertisers can make some manual inputs to inform the machine learning algorithms by specifying the audience most likely to convert and using conversion value rules to indicate which conversions are most valuable to the business. You can find the value rules in the Conversions section under Measurement when enabled in your account. You can customize values based on location, device, and audience. The rules are then applied to Google's smart bidding.
Performance Max campaigns are still in the early testing phase. More advertisers will be invited to the beta next year.
Automated video action campaigns and direct response for television
Google Ads will be releasing video action campaigns for all advertisers in the coming weeks. The performance-based campaigns will run on YouTube and Google video partners.
The company is also testing direct-response video ad formats for TV screens. Google said in May that more than 100 million users watch YouTube and YouTube TV on their TV screens each month. "We have brand advertisers that are doing very well, but direct response has been hard to come by," Dischler said. He said they are seeing progress in initial direct response testing. Video action campaigns are also being shown on television screens.
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