Key Takeaways from Google Marketing Live 2019

This May, Google hosted their annual Google Marketing Live conference in San Francisco. We were lucky enough to live stream the two-day conference in our office, giving our team the opportunity to learn about the new updates we have to look forward to as marketers. A total of 10 new ad innovations and products were announced; covering everything from ads types to shopping updates and brand/product discovery. Here are the four key takeaways from this years GML that our team believes will impact marketers the most in the coming months and beyond.

YouTube Launches 6-Second Bumper Ads

By: Raj Trivedi, Director of Digital Advertising

6-second Bumper Ads on YouTube allow advertisers to sequence their ads for more effective storytelling. In advertising, we always try to focus on showcasing the pain points and the results of whatever we are promoting, but only having six seconds to accomplish it is a challenge we are excited to take on.

YouTube ads are great for brand awareness for any of our clients in any industry. According to data collected by Google, a series of three bumper ads leaves a much more memorable impression on consumers than one single 30-second ad. If we are able to portray a story with multiple bumper ads, it could be very effective versus just one 30 second ad. I am excited to try to showcase emotion and story in 6 seconds in these types of campaigns and also very interested to see how it impacts brand searches. Long story short (literally!)… You only have six seconds, so use them wisely.

Google & YouTube Join Forces With Discovery Ads

YouTube ad updates didn’t stop at Bumper Ads in this years GML. Discovery ads are a simple and effective way to tap into the power of YouTube, and the best part is, you don’t even need a video!

Discovery was a big theme at GML this year and Google’s new Discovery Ads fell nothing short of that. Discovery Ads are native ads that appear in multiple Google feed environments: YouTube home feed, Discover, and Gmail. These ads will allow businesses to build awareness and connect with consumers by using intent-based targeting, meaning you don’t need to enter a query at that time in order to see the ad.

A unique way to leverage your top performing content is to utilize the best images from a social campaign you previously saw success in. Simply upload those images and YouTube will optimize your media mix for maximum performance. The YouTube home feed has always been a great place for users to discover new content and creators. And now, it can be a great place for them to discover your brand.

People often focus so much on purchases and conversions that they often forget about how important brand awareness is. By getting your brand in front of new eyes, you will in turn get the right eyes on the right products, which will then lead to conversions. At the end of the day, brand awareness is the discovery. And once you’ve been discovered, let the shopping begin!

A Redesigned Google Shopping Experience

By: Billy Ash Jr, CDO

Let’s talk shop. Online shoppers expect their shopping experiences to be simple, fast, and intuitive, right? Google has done just that, by making Google Shopping more, well, shoppable.

The overall search experience has changed drastically, especially over the past 2 years. It is apparent that Google has been making it a priority to keep users on their platform with their introduction of knowledge graphs, quick answers, and other types of rich snippets into their search results pages.

Google Shopping is their newest attempt at making Google a one stop shop for all of their users needs. With this update, Google has taken a major step in the e-commerce space to fight back against Amazon, who has been increasing their share of the overall search landscape every year.

Google’s ‘buy now’ feature allows the user to add products to their universal shopping cart from all different sites and checkout from their Google account, rather than on each individual website. This is a big trend as we saw Instagram launch their new shop feature around the exact same time.

Just like how Netflix changes your homepage based on shows that you’ve watched before, Google will be creating homepages based off your shopping habits and products that you indicate you want to see. With both shipping and pick up in-store options, Google is catering to all types of users who purchase online while also incentivizing businesses to participate as it drives foot traffic to their locations. What is really exciting about this shopping experience and truly differentiates it from Amazon is that it is not just limited to Google Search; they plan on releasing it to YouTube and Google image search later this year.

With this new feature, it’s imperative for business owners to ensure that their product feeds are set up correctly and that they are Shopping Actions merchants. Otherwise, they cannot participate in Google Shopping.

Google Adds Images to Paid Search With Gallery Ads

By: Amanda Hatton, Lead Social Media Strategist 

PPC advertisers now have the ability to feature up to eight images in Gallery Ads, Google’s new mobile search ad format. Going hand-in-hand with the updates to Google Shopping and Discovery Ads, it is safe to say that Google has come to accept the simple fact that images drive engagement and conversions. With Gallery Ads, they’re are finally putting that into practice.

As an avid online shopper, I love seeing carousel format ads on my social news feeds. Having a collection of products dynamically curated for me, based on my online activity is a personalized experience that always leaves me wanting to shop and see more. Now, to have the same experience on Google, right at the top of search engine results? You’ve caught my attention.

And, the fact that Gallery Ads aren’t strictly for products is a huge game changer. Think about it, wouldn’t you be much more convinced to book a reservation at a restaurant if the standard text ad you would normally see on Google was paired with a carousel of images of the food, drinks, and atmosphere? I would. Reading about something can only get someone so far; but by pairing memorable text with eye catching images, how could any business or brand not see success with this new ad format?

Final Thoughts from the TB Team

With all of these new updates, Google has made it very clear that they are doing everything they can to compete with other advertising and e-commerce giants like Facebook and Amazon. Just as Google is doing its job to keep up, it is our job as marketers to keep up with these updates as well and implement these new best practices into our campaigns. Not only are these updates critical to PPC success, they are achievable by businesses large and small. For example, any business, no matter their size or level of creative expertise, can succeed on YouTube with the ease and simplicity of the machine learning used to create Bumper Ads. We look forward to implementing these new strategies in our SEM campaigns and also providing our clients with an even better ROAS from Google ads.

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