5 key takeaways from Google Marketing Live 2019

Google Marketing Live 2019 took place last month on May 14th and it was kind of a big deal… The annual event is where Google gets to showcase the latest digital marketing products we can expect to roll out in the near future and creates a major buzz to us search junkies.

The core message this year was quite simple: Be responsible, be there and be useful. To help, Google announced a string of awesome new features and products designed to address top-of-funnel consumer scenarios.

Here’s some of the newest ad innovations that will better serve us digital marketers and our customers.

1. Google Discovery Ads

The news feed isn’t dead yet! In fact, it’s alive and well thanks to Discovery ads. Google unveiled Google Discover last September, which now reaches a whopping 800 million users globally. Now, they’re introducing a way to advertise on it.

Discovery ads provide an open canvas for advertisers to engage consumers in a swipeable image carousel. Designed to help users discover products they weren’t even looking for, Google said at the event:

“Discovery ads are a new way to reach people across Google properties in the moments when they’re open to discovering your products and services.”

This comes at the perfect time with 76% of online consumers reporting they enjoy making unexpected discoveries and 85% reporting to take a product-related action within 24 hours.

Discovery ads take advantage of this by allowing advertisers to show ads to prospects in the moments when they’re most open to finding something new. Here’s some of the other reasons why we love Discovery ads:

  1. They offer plenty of reach – You can serve them across the Google Discover feed, on the mobile YouTube feed and in Gmail under the social and promotions tabs
  2. They leverage machine learning – So, over time, you can deliver the best ad to your prospects
  3. They feature rich creative – You can showcase your brand or products in a swipeable image carousel, rendered natively across each Google property
  4. They drive results – By anticipating what your customers want ahead of time with Google’s understanding of intent

Discovery ads will roll out to advertisers later this year.

2. Google Gallery Ads

Say hello to Google Gallery ads! More visually compelling units that will appear at the top of mobile search results, these ads offer a scrollable gallery with between 4-8 images and up to 70 characters for each image.

Advertisers will pay for these on a CPC basis, either when a user clicks through to the landing page or swipes to the third image of the sequence. And they look very promising. In fact, during testing Gallery ads saw 25% more interactions than other search ad units.

They’re currently not available for the desktop, but may become so in the future. We’re also still waiting for the word on whether they will ultimately include video. So watch this space…

3. Google Shopping Showcase Ads

In line with the theme of delivering relevant ad experience, the importance of understanding user intent came up repeatedly at this year’s Google Marketing Live.

More specifically, Google emphasised the importance of using visual imagery to inspire consumers whose search queries indicate they’re hoping to discover new products.

In line with these, Google have expanded the reach of their Showcase Shopping ads. These type of ads rolled out in late 2017 but will expand to the image search results, Discover search results and YouTube this year.

So how are they different? Whereas a standard Shopping ad brings users to a landing page, a Showcase Shopping ad brings them to a catalog of related products.

Focusing on customer intent, the idea is that these users are searching for inspiration and, therefore, can benefit from exploring an array of options.

The ads will feature a main image and smaller images. They can also carry location information for those retailers that have nearby location and offer the featured product(s) in store.

4. App Deep Linking

Marketer’s rejoice! Google also announced at the event it will be implementing app deep linking from Google Analytics (as well as improved reporting).

This will link users to pages within a business’ app, which means if a user has your app installed they’ll be taken into that app from Search, Shopping or Display campaigns.

So say hello to a more personalised and expedited shopping and checkout process for your customers and goodbye to all the friction involved with an anonymous mobile web experience that requires a customer log in or entering payment credentials over and over again.

And it’s not just good news for shoppers. In early testing, on average deep linking ad experiences drove 2x the conversion rates. Yes please!

5. Google Shopping Experience

Google Shopping is becoming – you guessed it – more shoppable! Google announced its plans for a redesigned and improved Google Shopping Experience.

Following in the footsteps of social media platforms like Instagram (who unveiled its Checkout function a few months ago), Google is now enabling shoppers to make purchases directly within the Shopping interface.

Seeking to standardise and improve the experience for consumers, you’ll be able to purchase from merchant sites directly on Google from search, images and YouTube. You can add items to one unified shopping cart and Google will manage the transaction.

“This year, we’re unveiling a redesigned Google Shopping experience with new, immersive ways for shoppers to discover and compare millions of products from thousands of stores. When they’re ready to buy, the can choose to purchase online, in a nearby store and now directly on Google.” – Google, Google Marketing Live 2019

Google also guarantees all shoppers will enjoy an easy returns process and top-notch customer service.

If you want to hear more about all the exciting plans our search team has for your ads, contact us now!